Omelets, patience and a super bloom in the valley

There’s the old saying that to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs. With our office over by the skateboard park, the saying could be that you can’t improve the skatepark without breaking up some concrete with a giant jackhammer. Yeeeouch! So, we here at the News will watch and listen as the new and improved skatepark takes shape into something really special for the kids and skaters in town. Hopefully the destruction takes less time than the construction which will hopefully be less noisy. It is a different kind of test for patience.

The skatepark is what’s happening in front of our eyes with a worthy human project. Mother Nature, however, is throwing a few broken eggs our general way as well. The Crested Butte Mountain Resort bike park is still under snow. Remember that huge ski winter we just had that some say ended prematurely the first week in April? Rumor had it that the Vail decision makers made the decision to help with the elk migration, and in our first paper in April we did capture a few elk hopping a ride on a chairlift to make the late winter migration easier. Well, the still lingering powder is making a mess of the mountain’s hiking and biking trails – if you can even find them yet. The amount of snow still on the hill is impressive for the start of summer. CBMR announced this week that instead of opening the summer season on June 10, it will open on June 17…if all goes well. It could be later. 

Is there some irony in that a ski resort closed its winter doors a bit early given the conditions  and as summer begins, the early resort closer can’t open its summer doors because of the persistent winter bounty? Is someone going to put a bounty on my head for even bringing it up? 

The late summer opening is a test in patience. Let nature take its course with some help from CBMR snow movers and don’t hop on the trails so early that it damages them for the entire summer. 

Same goes for many of the rest of the North Valley bike trails that are under snow or under water. Give them time people. Take a breath and meditate on that excellent run you had on Spellbound in March. This is part of the price for a legendary winter. Patience will pay off this summer.

Mother Nature is pulling our chain and breaking a few eggs on Kebler Pass as well. More than one road washout has delayed the opening of the road that leads to the nearby farm and vineyard belt by Paonia. The deep snow has not entirely melted on sections of the pass and now that Cottonwood Pass has been cleared, the county’s machinery is working to get Kebler open. But Tuesday we heard and saw that another road washout will need to be repaired (see page 10) before vehicles can get to the other side. Maybe someone should have told the semi-truck driver who was apparently watching his phone’s Google Maps app more than the physical signs that indicated that trucks his size are not welcome on the road — the road that is still closed. Oh well, he made it to the top of the pass where he tried to squeeze the big rig between Mother Nature’s winter leftovers (see page 11). The semi got really stuck and he hitched a ride back to town to call in the troops to set it free. Someone I’m sure made bank (not just snowbank) getting it unstuck Tuesday. Consider that Mother Nature’s way of helping the local economy? 

Again…Kebler will no doubt open sometime in June, but when in June remains a bit of a mystery. Having patience is a virtue and despite the semi driver who was counting on his phone’s virtual reality to make a quick shortcut trip to Carbondale, let’s show some patience and let it dry out. Oh, but then don’t forget the state is working on putting up a temporary bridge to cross another major sinkhole that Mother Nature shot onto the highway a month ago destroying a section of Highway 133. Broken eggs. 

I’ll conclude with an end product that comes with letting Mother Nature take her course. She can make more than a few delicious omelets and they are starting to be everywhere. The soft green of the aspens in the North Valley popped out on Friday. The sky stayed blue for most of the three-day weekend. Taylor Reservoir and Blue Mesa are filling up.

As we start summer and the hope of a banner wildflower season, there is evidence that that is already starting to be the case. The snowmelt is starting to crawl up the valley and I took a walk early Tuesday morning in what might be described as one of the first super blooms of the summer. In a drainage that is normally hot and filled with waves of sage this time of year, I sauntered into a world of color just off 135 on a rough path that was too sloppy to hike not that long ago. All different kinds of flowers were popping, and the brilliant yellows of early season wildflowers literally blanketed the hillside as far as the eye could see up the drainage still south of Almont. Mojo and I encountered just a runner, a researcher and a fellow dog walker and it was like floating in a kaleidoscope. If this is a sign of things to come this summer in this valley, we will be living in the technicolor dream. 

Leaving it alone when the trail was muddy and returning this week brought a high mountain treasure. Mother Nature took her time but paid off. And she will no doubt keep it up for the summer. 

As we roll into June, don’t despair at the broken eggs—embrace the lesson of patience. Recall the joy of powder in Staircase and then get ready to enjoy what looks to be a summer filled with interesting and delightful omelets…

—Mark Reaman

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