Riding a classic Crested Butte trail last weekend, I took a pretty good crash and threw my body into a log. It could have been pretty snappy but luckily it ended up just pretty bruisey. I wasn’t on the steep downhill but instead on the flat rolls not moving very fast, when I started thinking about something like which restaurant is open on Sunday night or when was the best time to get a package at the post office—instead of paying attention to the trail. I hit a root that threw me off the bike and into a log that didn’t move. It hurt. It was a good lesson as I wasn’t staying aware in the moment and I am paying for it today with a good limp.
The Crested Butte Community School starts up again this coming week. The kids of the village will be sleepily walking the streets between 8 and 8:30 a.m., headed to their classrooms starting Monday and so we must be aware. Don’t be checking your email on your way to work or posting a picture of your marvelous breakfast on Facebook while waiting at the stop sign on the Safe Route to Schools route. It is always time to pay attention when driving but as the seasons shift, it is time to be aware of the kids.
The Crested Butte Mountain Rescue Team has had a pretty busy summer. You can see some of the adventures on page 1. Fall can be busy too as people try to squeeze out the last days in the backcountry or hunters head up just one switchback too far. It seems a lot of the situations come when people stop paying attention. They follow a rogue trail to the cliff or overestimate their abilities in the wild. It isn’t an amusement park out there where some teenager will turn off the ride when it gets too scary. It is real and people should stay aware when hiking, biking or riding in the beautiful backcountry areas that surround us.
It’s hot these late August days. Weirdly hot. Crested Butte is pushing into the 80s. Oh my. But after the hottest July recorded worldwide in history the heat doesn’t seem to be going away. Darn those dang Chinese and their climate change hoax. Be aware to take extra water. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.
An interesting guy who locals knew as Shredwin passed over to the other side recently. A good man who loved antique bottles and the last powder stash, Edwin decided it was time to move along. His friends would disagree with that decision and wish they could have perhaps convinced him to stay with us a little longer. Again—be aware. If you have a friend or relative who you think might be having thoughts of ending this life, listen to them. Help them reach out for professional help by calling the 24 hour crisis hotline at 1-844-493-8255 or text the word ‘TALK” to 38255. For emergency care, the hospital in Gunnison will connect those at risk with the right people or see a certified mental health professional at the Center for Mental Health facility in the Ore Bucket building in Crested Butte. We all sometimes need a little help like that but it is often difficult to ask for that help so stay aware and offer that assistance if you think it is needed.
Be aware. Be mindful. Try to stay in the moment. That is good advice almost all of the time but now is a particularly relevant time to stay aware. Kids are going back to school. Offseason can be particularly hard for a lot of our friends. The backcountry is calling. It’s hot and your mind can wander on a bike ride.