Midsummer Thoughts…

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!“
—Puck in Shakespeare’s
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Thursday, the weather forecast calls for Dallas to be 100 degrees. It stays that way for the next week peaking out at 102 on Saturday and breaking on Wednesday when the forecast calls for it to cool off to a high of 99. Oklahoma City has a similar forecast with the weekend temps peaking out at 104. The Crested Butte high might touch 79 degrees on Sunday.
There are more than a few folks who live south of here but have second homes in the valley. Those mortals who choose to stay in Texas or Oklahoma are fools indeed. As we have seemingly hit monsoon season, some green is returning, the cool breezes are welcome and Paradise Divide is living up to its name.

Just as was reported in last week’s Teen View column, there is indeed a bounty of wildflowers up high above 10,000 feet. A hike to Daisy Pass confirmed that fields of wildflowers exist this year and I would advise those seeking color to take a hike. (see photo above)

Now on the way to and from Daisy Pass, one must travel Slate River Road. Holy People, Batman! The number of cars, tents, trucks and fully loaded and huge RVs is somewhat astounding. There is no shortage of campers crowding the backcountry. Let’s hope they are all being responsible and abiding by good camping etiquette when it comes to food and the end result of eating food. I wouldn’t advise drinking out of the Slate River anytime this summer.

And Elk Avenue is similar. It is packed out there right now. The outdoor seating is a hit and people are spending. If you aren’t making money right now as a business, you might consider a change in profession. Just sayin’.

If we could get winter back to where it sometimes feels like the business we are experiencing downtown, we’d be set. At least downtown, it feels like we’ve become a summer resort with a ski area. (I know Mt. Crested Butte is picking up in the summer but they are solidly winter-dependent). But let’s be honest. No matter how busy Elk Avenue is between June and mid-August, summer is short. And for working people and businesses to be able to make a real living, we need more than a summer full of people.

If you scratch beneath the surface, you can still see signs that a real community exists beneath the tourist attraction façade. There has been, unfortunately, no shortage of recent memorial services for people connected to this place. Some are old-timers, others are mid-timers, and a few are relative youngsters who have had an impact on the people here. But all have spent time and have a connection to this place. They are the people that have lived here and contributed somehow to making this a community. Namaste.

In that real community vein, softball season is moving into the twilight of the regular season and playoffs will begin. Look for the intensity to go up a notch.
And I happened by a Crested Butte Little League game the other night and enjoyed the exciting ending at Pitsker Field as the sun went down behind Red Lady. It was great to see one of the teams that had come close all season but not posted a W get a win in extra innings when the bottom of the order came through with solid hits. After the initial disappointment, even the other team seemed happy with that ending. That was true sport and something special to watch on a warm Crested Butte evening.

And a big shout to the community in general. During strict fire restrictions, everyone understood the seriousness of the situation and adhered to the rules. Following rules is not always easy in this place. . . But it looks like we’ve weathered the (lack of) storm and everyone deserves a heartfelt pat on the back.

Did I mention that summer is short? We are indeed in a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Enjoy the remainder of what is always a treasure at 9,000 feet—summer.

Check Also

Real estate boom and old school Crested Butte

Things are changing and I’m not just talking about the weather forecast that promises big …