High Points: Summer takes a turn | AspenTimes.com

High Points: Summer takes a turn

Paul E. Anna
High Points
The Maroon Bells are one of the Aspen area's most visited locations during the summer.
File photo

It first hit me last night a few minutes after 8 p.m. The sun is setting a little earlier. We are making a slow turn on summer. But, it’s only the 12th of August, you say. It’s 80 degrees out; these are the dog days! And, you’re right on all three counts.

But, come Monday, it will be the 15th of August, halfway through the final month of summer. Today, we are much closer to the autumnal equinox (Sept. 22) than the summer solstice (June 21). The days are getting a little shorter. The sun is a little lower. There are a few, just a few, yellow leaves showing up in the scrub oak and on the tops of the trees. If summer were a baseball game, we would be rounding third base. 

Now, there is no need to panic, but let this serve as a gentle reminder that this is a good time to start not just thinking about, but also actually doing all the things you wanted to do this summer. Food & Wine, the Ideas Fest, Mountain Fair, Heritage Fire — they are all done. Rearview mirror stuff. And, you’ve only got two weekends left of the Aspen Music Festival Summer Season. The final concert event of the year is Aug. 21.

If you love rodeo and haven’t made it out to Snowmass for some bull ridin’, you have one more chance, as next Wednesday, Aug. 17, they welcome the buckaroos for the last time in the summer of 2022. That went quick. Hope you got your tickets for Stevie Nicks and Chris Stapleton at the JAS Labor Day Experience, ’cause that too is happening in the blink of an eye. 

For some reason, summer seems to be the fastest of the four seasons. While it has as many days as fall, winter and spring, it seems to come and go quicker than its three cousins. Which is odd because summer days can occasionally seem endless. How many of us sit and think “This day will never end” when the heat is on, and the sun hangs high until late in the evening. There’s an old adage: Days drag, months run and years fly. I think that is another quirk of time. 

Anyway, it’s time to get out and enjoy what is left of the season. If you haven’t made that hike over the hill to Crested Butte that you planned, the time for doing is now. Want to bag a fourteener? Best set a date. Riding to the Bells? How about tomorrow? 

The thing is, though there is an inevitable sense of melancholy that sets in these final weeks of summer, it really is the best time of the season. The crowds begin to diminish as folks head back to the city to get kids back in school. The light takes on a unique glow, particularly at sunrise and sunset. And, the Palisade peaches and Olathe corn are at their sweetest. While we are at the peak of the heat now, over the next few days we can expect the temps to mellow a bit mid-day. With such a hot summer everywhere in the hemisphere this year, we should count ourselves lucky to have been spared the worst.   

Yes, we still have some summer days left on the calendar, so let’s enjoy it. And, remember, the lifts will open in just 104 days from now.