Roses & Thorns (July 23, 2021)
- Thorns to the anglers who stubbornly fish well into the afternoon despite the high temperatures and the low water flows present on the Roaring Fork River. Our fishing friends tell us the trout need a break. Some guide services are knocking off by 2 p.m. for the benefit of the fish. But drive along Two Rivers Road below Basalt and on any given afternoon you will see five to 10 individuals or parties fishing as if there isn’t a care in the world. Who cares about the long-term health of the trout population as long as you get your selfie, right?
- While we are at it, roses to the individuals and guide services who are voluntarily knocking off early in the afternoon during these tough times.
- Roses to the organizers of this year’s iteration of the Snowmass Rendezvous. Having the event spread out from Fanny Hill to the Base Village was great and a lot better than being smashed into the Snowmass Mall. Certainly could have used twice as many vendors, but we’ll give them a pass on that this time around given the past year’s madness. But next year, more beer, please.
- Both roses and thorns for Tom Bailey for his actions on former cattle ranch he bought near the Garfield-Pitkin County line south of Carbondale. Bailey obliterated a massive rock outcropping that protruded up immediately adjacent to Prince Creek Road. Excavators have chipped away at the outcrop for weeks, taking the rubble and burying it in a large pit dug a few hundred yards away. The apparent goal is to flatten the ground so it can be more easily irrigated. Bailey undertook similar industrial-strength grading work after he bought a piece of the Perry Ranch just south of Carbondale along Highway 133 several years ago. Yes, the rock formation on Prince Creek Road was on his private property and he got an excavation permit from Garfield County. Nevertheless, a legal move isn’t necessarily a moral move. We’re not talking about a molehill. What he obliterated was a distinctive landmark. It seems senseless. That said, we will give Bailey roses, at least for now, for preserving the former working ranches as pasture rather than converting them into subdivisions.
- Thorns to the motorists who simply can’t resist driving the entirety of the West Hopkins Avenue pedestrian way. Never mind that it’s one-block only for motorized vehicles, the eight-block stretch that leads to a variety of popular cycling routes also has become a go-to route for e-bikers, and many of them. We can’t emphasize enough that big-city driving tactics are a dangerous practice in Aspen. Throw in an influx of e-bikers on what in theory is a pedestrian byway, and we have a recipe for disaster. Exercise caution. Please.
- Roses to the town of Basalt for salvaging the summer for countless midvalley youth and families by getting the swimming pool remodel finished in early July. Yes, it would have been nice for pool-goers to splish-splash during the heat wave of June, but better late than never.
- Thorns to those obnoxious SUVs sporting their empty trailer-hitch bike racks and luggage things about town. How about this: After you get your Suburban, Expedition or Denali up here, parked and bikes or coolers off-loaded, how about you remove that extension from the hitch instead of letting it stick out in the roadway? Or at the very least, fold up the damn thing so it’s not sticking out another 4 feet.
- Roses to all of our service industry friends out there plowing through the summer. We see what you’re going through from the back of the house to the front, and we just want you to know we’re rooting for you all (and tipping well). Your long days, patience with the impatient and unruly customers and calm demeanor goes a long way. Hang in there. You’ve got this.