Inhospitality in a hospitality town |

Inhospitality in a hospitality town

Tuesday morning, I woke up to my 15th day of self-isolation. Since the sky was finally blue I decided to go for my run, the only thing keeping me sane these days, on the Rio Grand Trail.

I was off to the side of the trail pre-run stretching when a very friendly, off-leash, black boxer walked right into my hamstring stretch and dropped her toy at my feet. Slobber, smile and all.

Naturally, I went to pet the dog and say hi when her panicked owner ran up shooing me off and snapping at me that she was not letting anyone touch her dog. Fair. I can appreciate the precaution. But snapping at me while your dog is off-leash and walking up to people is not the answer.

I did suggest she leash her canine as a solution. But I may not have offered said solution in the most congenial of ways. To the Rio Grand Lady, I apologize. Your stress and fear-induced aggressiveness is no excuse for me to behave badly as well.

Times are difficult. Money is tight, fear is rampant, and we all wear our stress and uncertainty like a shroud. That being said, can we please try not to lose the absolute best thing about this town? Aspen has been a town of hospitality and friendliness for as long as I’ve lived here. Let’s not let COVID-19 shut that down too.

I will continue to run the trail between 10 and 11 a.m. daily. If anyone needs a smile, a wave, or a breathless Good Morning, I’ll be there. And to the RGT lady, might I suggest one of those “I’m Working Please Don’t Pet Me” vests for your baby. It might save you from another upsetting encounter.

Ryan Hile


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