photo by Lydia Stern

Summer tsunami is rising

It’s just over the horizon.
You can feel it. You can smell it.
Like an approaching tsunami, the ground is starting to shake. The birds are tweeting earlier. The animals are running toward higher ground. The water is looking ominous and building up to the impending wave. The moon is turning red and the idea of sacrificing a virgin (if, as the old joke goes, you can find one here) is floating around the grooves of Elk Avenue.
In other words, the start of another summer season is close.

Everyone seems to be anticipating a busy summer.
“Whatever” still seems to be fresh in the minds of some when it comes to Crested Butte. The Rocky Mountain Super Pass exposed the valley to more Front Rangers last ski season who really liked it here and want to see what it’s like in the summer. Norton and the Tourism Association want to fill the trails with visiting mountain bikers, and so they’re advertising aggressively to that market. New mountain bikers drawn here will be battling the local kids in the different grom or devo bike groups pounding the dirt as their parents work.
The wet spring helped allay fears of fireworks and wildfire danger. June has already logged in some of the best days of the year with blue skies and temperatures in the high 60s. Heaven. I always say one good summer day here is like seven great ones anywhere else.
Elk is getting busy. The parking is tight and the patios crowded. Already.
The shops and restaurants are starting to feel a little panic as shifts are still not filled and the workers they do have are balking about housing and extra hours.
So here’s the thought:
We are already in the middle of June. June is one of, if not the best, months of the year. Since the spring was rough with snow and rain 92 percent of the time, grab what you can of these remaining sweet June days. I know the forecast is calling for more rain this weekend but get up a little earlier to hit the reappearing trails. And if you get a full day, take advantage of it now. Then light a fire and sit beneath the brilliant stars and the waning moon.

Believe it or not, the Fourth of July is really close.
The initial waves are coming in now. Second homeowners are already driving in for the long stay. Ride the Rockies is less than a week away. And when that full July tsunami hits, it will keep crashing down here until mid-August. The wave brings a lot of good things such as more music, longer days, money to keep you afloat and tons of activities. But now is the time to get out and breathe. Breathing isn’t always easy in a tsunami.
The experiences you inhale into your soul now beneath the blue skies and full moon will make it a little easier in mid-July when that kid staying in a VRBO blindly runs out into the middle of Elk Avenue between parked cars as you head to the post office to pick up your pile of bills.

Strand and Snodgrass are riding wonderfully. Softball started this week. The days continue to get longer and there is still a spot on the benches to sit and chat with a friend. It won’t be like that in a few weeks—so do it now.
Summer season is just over the horizon…

—Mark Reaman

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