Gary Lindstrom: Some Summit winter facts you may not know about
In case you missed it, the Winter Solstice occurred last Friday at exactly 11:08 p.m. I think that I must have slept through it. Hardly noticed the event other than it sounded like a bunch of druids outside my house about that time.
It marks the shortest day of the year. Last Friday there was exactly 9 hours, 21 minutes and 21 seconds of daylight. There was one second more of daylight on Saturday. I hope you put it to good use.
It also marked the beginning of winter. The season when Ullr (hopefully) comes screaming out of the north giving us lots of snow and cold weather. Not sure if I am ready for all of that.
Traditionally the busiest week of the ski season is the week between Christmas and the New Year. I would begin to question tradition when Interstate 70 and Highway 9 are already jam-packed and have been for a week or so. Lots of cars mean lots of people. Lots of people mean lots of spending. Lots of spending means a good strong economy. Bring it on, because you never know when it is going to stop snowing.
The busiest month of the year is always March thanks to Spring Break in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Don’t know why I think that, other than during all the years I ran the jail it seemed that is where many of our guests came from during March.
The busiest day of the year is President’s Day. I heard a comedian a couple of weeks ago do a routine on how noone knows why it is called President’s Day. For all you comedians out there and the rest of you who don’t know, the name came from combining Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays national holidays into one Monday holiday.
I always thought that it was ironic that anyone who did not like snow and winter sports would ever live here and have to put up with the crowds and the problems that come with the skiers. I wrote an article in the 1980s about how tourists shop in groups at the grocery store. They wander around making group decisions on what brand of catsup to buy or how many bananas they need for the week.
I have always been proud of the fact that people all over the world know about Summit County. They might not know the names of the four ski areas, but they know Summit County. It is like Cher, Madonna or other one name luminaries. Summit County is right up there with Steamboat, Vail, Aspen and Telluride.
Summit County is atypical in so many ways. We are a real Colorado mountain county with a couple of ski areas dating from the 1960s and before. We have character and a certain brand strength that other locations do not have.
Someone living in Summit County and not liking cold weather and snow is much akin to a conservative Republican living here in one of the most liberal counties in Colorado. It brings new meaning to the biblical word, “longsuffering.” There is always Wyoming that has snow and a lot of conservative Republicans too. Ski Wyoming.
The most liberal counties in Colorado according to a couple of sources are Denver, Boulder, Summit, Pitkin and San Miguel. Four of the five have ski areas. Actually, they all have ski areas as Winter Park is owned by the City and County of Denver.
Maybe there is a doctoral dissertation in political science there somewhere and the political correlation to cold weather and snow. Ski Liberal.
Another strange piece of information that I have heard recently is that if you flattened all of the mountains in Colorado, it would become the largest state in the union in land mass. That should make all of our Texas skiers more comfortable. Ski Texas.
Also keep in mind that Colorado used to be in Kansas. We did not like that so we became our own state. We just let people from Kansas buy and rent houses here now. Ski Kansas.
Colorado was also part of Mexico many years ago. I know that would make former Congressman and now former Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo and the Minutemen angry to know that Colorado Springs and Summit County was once part of Mexico. Ski Mexico.
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