On point during off-season columnists aspendailynews.com j gastroenterol hepatol impact factor

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Off-season is the best. I just overheard someone say how he would love to bottle it up and live in said off-season bottle forever. I think we can all relate. The people, the energy, and the weather have all been on point. And while we’d like to remain in the present, it’s hard not to hear the summer season clock ticking louder with each passing week.

The traffic still sucks and the construction is ridiculous, especially for this time of year. Check and check. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that those aren’t just first-world problems, but entirely Aspen-specific problems. We ain’t got s$*! to complain about except noisy construction and tourists, both of which mean no recession by the way. If there’s enough money to build and travel, Aspen’s in business!

It’s such a far cry from where I grew up. It is relative, I guess. One simply recalibrates to their surroundings, so now I’m fully annoyed by beeping trucks and noisy earthmovers and who could forget those pesky orange cones! I can’t even walk through town with ease any more, especially not with my dog. We zig right then zag left due to sidewalk closures on the same block on different sides. If I weren’t totally high off crabapple blossoms, I might be more pissed about it.

Can’t a girl just get some easy off-season living? OK, yes, the living is easy and the off-season is sweet. But as we rapidly approach Memorial Day I find myself getting restless. It’s happening. It’s going to happen. We’re going to have to share again and… as my mother would say, that’s the way the old mop flops.

I didn’t do any big off-season trip this year. I was funemployed, which was delightful. I shook desert sand from my shoes, which was also lovely, but I’ve been here dodging orange cones for the most part. I’ve loved every minute, minus the pesky orange hazards. And since we townsfolk like this little hamlet SO much it’s hard not to want more of the good parts. If off-season were a dinner option I would eat it every day of the week, OK maybe six out of seven. It’s that good. Just hold the cones!

In three weeks time that will all melt away. I will go down to the big ditch, better known as the Grand Canyon, sailing away from most artificial noises – J-rigs and occasional helicopters excepted. I’ll create a life on the river with seven others setting up our home daily, finding flat spots in the shade for the kitchen and an even flatter spot close to the river for bed. We’ll scour for hidden gem locations to tuck the groover out of sight. Privacy is key, but cool rock features, tall grass and unseen ledges make for a lovely outdoor commode. And if I’m really lucky I’ll wave to at least one boat from the groover during my 16-day stead.

Life’s simple pleasures – a soft cotton T-shirt after a day in the sun, bright red cactus blooms or a chilly river shower with Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap will be the day’s highlights. Well, of course, those, along with riding the big waves of Hermit, Hence and Lava, to name a few. We’ll play games on the beach in the evening aided by captain’s drinks and enjoy coffee from the same mugs as the night before while sitting in camp chairs in the morning. It’ll be Grand. And those are just the known’s! The unknowns, while at times a bit daunting or even scary to think about, leave room for all sorts of curious possibility. My heart nearly beats out of my chest just thinking about it. We’ll just have to wait and see.

While I’m totally wrapped up in this amazing spring we’re having, I’m about to check out a different world and pace and I’m pumped. Cut me some slack upon my return though. June 28 ought to have town at fever pitch and I’ll come back with the incredible urge to pee outside in a planter after spending weeks at the river’s edge in a much simpler place.