Adios, Grand County
July 31, 2009
With the seasonal population flux, life in a ski town is fleeting, and the best advice I ever got was to seize the day, to get out and play every chance.
That’s why I have no regrets about leaving next week.
My bride-to-be and I are packing up for a new life in Texas (she got a great job and I’m going along for the ride), but I’m not leaving behind any “should haves.”
I got up early on those powder days and went to ski while it was nipple-deep, and I said “yes” to all the backcountry adventure I could pack into my short time here. Sad as I am to go, I’ve checked off my list pretty much everything from “climb Byers Peak,” “cycle up Berthoud Pass” and “paddle the Fraser River” to “see a band at Red Rocks.”
Just about everyone in the Fraser Valley can tell that old tale about how they came for just one season and just never left. And every ski town has its own version of “the curse,” or some operating belief that once you’ve gotten into the rhythm of the seasons, there’s just no way you can leave.
But leave we will. And while Texas gets a bad rap in most of Colorado, mostly for the big-spending, loud-talking types known to come up to the mountains and drive SUVs like idiots, I’ll be joining their ranks. I already have a cowboy hat and I’m looking for a “Don’t Mess With Texas” bumper sticker (and I’ll be sure to drop in during high season and ask for sweet tea at Hernando’s).
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Texas summers are apparently something like sitting in a microwave on “high,” but I’ll find new play places and new playmates, maybe even get into kite boarding on the Gulf Coast or start palling around with Lance Armstrong who’ll be living just down the road.
I won’t miss Fraser’s nine months of window-scraping, wearing a stocking cap to bed or feeding that pot-belly stove with endless cords of wood.
I will miss the good friends we’ve made here and this beautiful landscape, where I’ve had great ski days, hiked my way to Narnia and basked in alpenglow evenings. I’m sad I won’t get a chance to swim laps in the new rec center in Fraser – something I think will be a boon to the Valley.
And I’ll miss writing this column, as it’s always fun when someone recognizes it and says, “You’re the orange hat guy who writes about … you know … stuff, right?” Thank you for indulging me.
But no regrets, Grand County. It’s been fun.
Now it’s your turn. Say “yes” next time someone asks you to go out and play. Before you know it, the snow will melt off that cornice or the river will be too low to run again, and there’s a good chance the person asking you to go might just move to Texas tomorrow – I hear that’s where it’s at.
– Despite packing boxes and loading up the U-Haul trailer, Charles Agar still finds time to get out and enjoy the mountains while he can. Contact him with Texas advice or barbecue recipes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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