Don’t forget to turn your clocks back this weekend. It’s fall back so Daylight Saving Time is ending at 2 a.m. this coming Sunday morning. Falling back will mean it gets dark earlier in the afternoon and given that the days are shortening, this can be a rough patch for a bit so don’t forget to check in on your friends and neighbors who might be most impacted by shorter days. The good news is for those who get up early–and like pretty sunrises. The sun will set on Sunday in Crested Butte at 5:02 p.m. The official CB sunrise on Monday, November 7 will be 6:42 a.m. instead of 7:39 as it was on Saturday. Just FYI — you will be springing forward your clocks at 2 a.m. on March 12.
Don’t forget to vote. Like me, I’m guessing a bunch of people have already filled out their ballots and that’s a good thing. Returning them before Tuesday makes it easier for the county clerk’s election office to stay on top of the vote counting this coming Tuesday. Don’t forget it is too late to mail your ballot back but there are drop boxes located throughout the county including one at CB South and another at Crank’s Plaza at the Crested Butte town hall. Next year there will be one in front of the Mt. CB Town Hall! You can also vote in person and get the ubiquitous but stylish “I voted” sticker on Tuesday…but why wait?
Again, in order to make it easier on the county election staff, don’t put it off until the last minute. Gunnison County Clerk Kathy Simillion said as of early this week her office had only received 2,747 ballots which she described as “some of the slowest returns I’ve seen in a long time. Getting early ballots back really helps to get the tabulation done earlier on election night.”
Speaking of voting, if you haven’t done it yet and are looking for some guidance, don’t forget we have already made our endorsements for the local ballot issues (solid yes on 6A, a less robust but still yes on 5A and 6B) and the Gunnison County commissioner’s race (vote for Laura Puckett Daniels).
A couple of other things you might want to think about: Senator Michael Bennet has been a good advocate for our community in a number of ways, including over the Mt. Emmons issue, so he deserves your strong ballot support. As conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens described Bennet this week, he is a moderate and thoughtful political leader. Thoughtful, moderate and a friend of Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley. That’s a good combo and all good reasons to fill in the oval for Michael Bennet. And while our congresswoman Lauren Boebert might make for good anger television like a sour Mean Girls episode, she seems more intent on getting attention than caring about our little slice of the world so go with Adam Frisch who suddenly looks like he has a small chance to win in this district.
On a few of the state issues, I see no reason to vote to allow wine sales in grocery stores for simple “convenience” and it is something that could hurt some locally owned businesses so vote no on Proposition 125.
The proposal to reduce the state’s individual and corporate income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4%, Proposition 121, will mostly help those that already have a lot of money while stretching the state budget. It is estimated that 75% of Colorado taxpayers will save less than $63 a year while those making more than $1 million will save more than $6,600 annually. It will also lower Colorado tax revenue collected by about $412 million. While not every tax dollar collected in Colorado is spent wisely (more should go to schools), sucking $400 million more from the general fund could impact programs and services so I’d recommend voting against Proposition 121.
And magic mushrooms are on the ballot with Proposition 122. Welcome to Colorado people. Presented as a way to carefully use psychedelics to treat some anxiety and depression issues, allowing access to natural substances to help people in a controlled environment through licensed “healing centers” sounds pretty good.
Don’t forget that official road maintenance on Cottonwood Pass on the BV side ended November 1. It can certainly be good for a bit after that, but I’ve known people who pushed the limit after a few inches of snow in town and regretted the decision as their vehicle found itself high-centered feet deep in the snowbanks above Taylor Park. From the Gunnison County perspective, Cottonwood will officially be closed as of November 7.
Kebler Pass Road is a bit more nebulous as Gunnison County tries to keep it passable through the second rifle hunting season which ends this year on November 6. Of course, weather is the key.
Don’t forget that CB’s parking regs officially started Tuesday. It will get serious once the snow really sticks and you might find yourself with a ticket (or tow bill) if you’re parked on the wrong side of the street.
Don’t forget that if you live in CB and love recreating in November there are choices in these seasonal transition times. Many people have taken the short trek up Kebler to get in some early skiing – both AT and Nordic. Lily Lake is always a good first taste of winter and the taste was apparently delicious last week. I’ve chosen to keep going south and reveling in the dirt. Even with some snow on the sides of the trails, the Gunni singletrack has been pretty nice for late season mountain biking. It is such a treasure to be able to have that at our fingertips. While a roundtrip probably cost me a little less than $12 in gas this year compared to just over $9 last year, it is worth every penny to be able to keep spinning in the high desert.
And finally, don’t forget to look around. Just look around and breathe. The transition from summer to winter can be stark but so absolutely beautiful up here in the high country. The blue skies, the white mountaintops, the migrating wildlife — whether it be elk or geese or those neighbors who prefer spending winter in the surf instead of on the slopes. Remember too, that those here now really want to be here and that is a tie that binds us all together.
The reality is we are surrounded by nature’s beauty, and you can see it from a bench on Elk Avenue, from the Rec Path or Highway 135 or just walking the dog in the local neighborhood. But it sometimes takes a quick reset or at least a few seconds of slowing down your breath in the ever colder thin air to again appreciate what is our great fortune. Don’t forget to appreciate the reasons you came here in the first place…it wasn’t to go to more meetings. We are all indeed fortunate…and that is something to truly not forget.