Meredith C. Carroll: An Aspen summertime PSA — Dear Visitors … | AspenTimes.com
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Meredith C. Carroll: An Aspen summertime PSA — Dear Visitors …

Meredith C. Carroll
Muck Off

Dear Summer Visitors,

Thank you for choosing Aspen-Snowmass for your summertime jaunt! You’re all here early this year, and by “you’re all,” we mean all of you. Really, all y’all are here, already. Wow. Hi.

Hang on a second, though — you’re not actually brand new here, right? Many (most?) of you arrived at the onset of the pandemic or soon thereafter and just kind of … stayed, yes? Well, it’s either you or people who drive and park exactly like you. Regardless, welcome (again).



Whether it’s your first summer in Aspen or you tell everyone who didn’t ask that it’s your 15th, we’ve got a few Dos and Don’ts to make your forevercation not feel like an eternity.

DO



Read and support both of Aspen’s daily newspapers, not just for keen insight into the Roaring Fork Valley but also as a reminder of how responsible and strong local journalism forces accountability and encourages civic engagement.

DON’T

Become front page news. You’re here, you’re not working (that anyone can discern), and it is Aspen. However, basic real life rules (and laws) still apply, and if you break them, you will likely end up in one or both of the newspapers you perused over coffee this morning. While your stay here may eventually end, a Google Images search of your mugshot may last forever.

DO

Find inspiration in nature after first checking the weather forecast and your own limitations.

DON’T

Inspire the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office to issue a news release like the one from a few days ago that called two rescued hikers “inadequately prepared” for failing to check both the weather forecast and maybe also their own limitations on a known difficult trail.

DO

Heed the Red Flag Warnings for extreme wildfire danger.

DON’T

Think the alerts and warnings apply to everyone except you and then you go and become that guy who set Basalt Mountain on fire three years ago.

DO

Learn about the critical work of Mountain Rescue Aspen and consider lending your support by purchasing a fishing license or Colorado Search and Rescue card.

DON’T

Be that guy who set Basalt on fire three years ago and then eight months after that needed a 19-person Mountain Rescue Aspen team to locate him out-of-bounds near Highland Bowl.

DO

Take a deep breath and lose yourself in the mountains.

DON’T

Literally get lost. Also, don’t go out alone. See above.

DO

Live a little and splash around in the Dancing Fountain across from the Wheeler Opera House.

DON’T

Survive being lost in the mountains only to die by drinking the Dancing Fountain water.

DO

Enjoy the freedom of the great outdoors.

DON’T

Expect to find it on Independence Pass if you’re already east of Difficult Campground and still behind a truck or trailer that’s 35 feet or longer. Trust.

DO

Visit a pot shop, if that’s your thing.

DON’T

Assume people are staring or judging you for it; marijuana ceased being a novelty in Colorado when it was legalized here recreationally nearly a decade ago.

DO

Look up and see if you can spot the Yeti on Shadow Mountain.

DON’T

Try climbing Shadow Mountain in search of the Yeti and then accidentally meet your untimely demise instead. (Scaling Shadow Mountain isn’t as easy as the Yeti makes it seem.)

DO

Revel in area boutiques, bars and restaurants now that most capacity and mask restrictions have been lifted in Pitkin County.

DON’T

Party like it’s 1999, or even 2019 for that matter. Emerging from a 15-month-long corona coma at 7,908-feet above sea level will require a tank of oxygen long before a can of hard seltzer.

DO

Ditch the car at some point and explore the area by bicycle.

DON’T

Replace your car with an e-bike all while still holding onto a driver’s mentality and speed, but especially the speed. And also the mentality.

DO

Be prepared to see wildlife when you’re out and about.

DON’T

Be thoughtless when choosing your footwear. Related: If you can’t run fast in Crocs, don’t hike in them.

DO

Take a selfie with the nail bear sculpture on the Hyman Avenue pedestrian mall.

DON’T

Take a selfie with an actual bear (or moose, fox, mountain lion, deer, elk, marmot or any other animal not available in a petting zoo). Do we even have to say that? (If history is our guide, then the answer is yep.)

More at MeredithCarroll.com and on Twitter @MCCarroll.


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