We complain whether it snows or not
This past Tuesday I was driving back over Fremont Pass coming from a late meeting in Leadville. I noticed what I thought were a lot of bugs coming at me in my headlights. The longer I drove, the more bugs there were.I checked my outside temperature gauge, and it was 36 degrees. It was then that I realized it was snow. It was Sept. 13.I have lived in Colorado for 35 years as of last May. On Sept. 3, 1970, it snowed in Lakewood for the first time that season. I remembered it specifically because I was a Lakewood Police agent, and several of us were over at the gas pumps on Quail Street getting gas, standing around like children marveling at the snow. I also remember that the local news did not report it at all. It was not that unusual.
The first snow I saw this year was on Aug. 28. I was driving from Summit County to Colorado Springs early in the morning, and there was a light covering on the Continental Divide. It looked marvelous and made a great contrast with the dark green mountains.We sometimes forget the importance of the people who deal with snow on a regular basis. The people who have to remove snow from our highways and streets. The people who have to take care of the snow at the ski areas. The people who have to forecast avalanches.These are the people who will get up in the middle of the night and look out their windows to see if it is snowing. They will lift the phone to see if there is a dial tone. They will call dispatch to see if there is any new information. They will turn on the computer to check the latest weather information. They will lie in bed staring at the ceiling, thinking about the possibility of what might happen tomorrow.Snow means so much more to these folks.
As I travel around the world and meet people who have never lived in Colorado, I try to explain some of the differences of living at nearly 10,000 feet. When I get to the part about how some people never remove their snowplows, I lose some folks. I explain that it is not unusual to be driving around in Denver in July when it is nearly 100 degrees and see an old beat-up pickup truck with a snowplow attached to the front ready to push snow. When I am asked why, I explain that in some places it might snow in July. I am not sure they believe me. I am not sure that I believe it myself, but I know that I have seen it snow in July. I am not sure that a snowplow was needed.I also like to tell people about riding my Harley- Davidson in the summer in a snowstorm and pushing snow to the point where I have to leave the road to gain traction. I have done that more times than I like to mention. The local ABATE motorcycle group’s logo is a motorcycle with a snowplow on the front with the words “We ain’t no fair weather riders.” I guess that tells it all. The growing season in Summit County is 28 days, and that is about the length of the motorcycle-riding season.
Living in snow and dealing with it on a daily basis takes a special kind of person. It is much like always waiting for the other shoe to drop. You could wake up in the morning to a bright sunny day and end the day with a dump of several feet of wet sierra concrete.We sit around for weeks on end waiting for snow, complaining none has come, and then it snows nonstop for days until we can’t wait for it to end. We complain it does not snow and then complain it snows too much. We can’t wait for it to snow and then can’t wait for it to stop. We can’t wait for winter and then can’t wait for summer.After living here for over 31 years I am convinced people move here so that they can complain about the weather or the lack of weather, whatever was happening or whatever was not happening. Lindstrom lives in Lakeview Meadows and represents Summit, Eagle and Lake counties. He writes a Monday column. He can be reached at email@example.com, or visit his website at http://www.garylindstrom.com.
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