Page 1





























First
snow,
September
2009–
taken
w/
8.0
megapixel
digi‐cam
 
 







































































 October
26,
2010
 
 As
I
gaze
with
anticipation
out
my
living
room
window,
I
try
to
account
for
the
 inches
that
have
melted
away
during
the
past
three
days
of
snow.
With
eight
so
far
in
our
 parking
lot,
I
fight
the
urge
to
assume
this
is
foreshadowing
an
epic
winter.
It’s
only
 October
26,
which
means
there’s
about
a
month
or
more
of
unpredictable
weather.
That’s
 right,
I
said
un‐pre‐dict‐able.
Defined:
“not
to
be
seen
or
foretold”.
The
upper‐Gunnison
 Valley
is
the
only
place
I’ve
lived
where
you
can’t
depend
on
NOAA
or
LOLA
to
be
accurate.
 Sure,
our
surrounding
peaks
will
no‐doubt
get
hammered
by
the
majority
of
systems
that
 roll
through
the
southern
Rockies.
But
will
our
asses
be
covered?
Or
perhaps
I
should
use
 the
local‐deemed
term
“Crusty
Butts”
when
referring
to
those
whom
anticipate
roaming
 free
on
the
jagged
and
intimidating,
yet
all‐too‐often
dry,
12,000’
peak
of
Crested
Butte.
 You
see,
a
Butte
is
a
solitary
rock,
or
mountain,
that
juts
out
of
an
otherwise
vacant
 landscape.
Our
Butte
is
bold
and
beautiful,
and
towers
over
our
historic
little
town
like
a
 giant
with
arms
crossed.
Our
community
depends
on
our
mountain’s
ability
to
bring
 travelers
with
open
lenses
and
open
wallets
each
season.
Our
residents
await
the
day
that
 the
shale
and
dirt
take
cover
under
the
infamous
white
blanket,
only
to
be
replaced
with
 hootin’
powder
hounds
and
rabid
escapees
from
Lonestar
State
Penitentiary.
But
just
how



many
dead
presidents
and
corn
huskers
will
we
be
lucky
enough
to
accommodate
this
 season?
How
many
hounds
will
run
free
on
our
playground,
sniffing
out
the
goods
where
 the
average
Joe
wouldn’t
think
to
look?
We’ll
never
know
until
the
lodging
sales
skyrocket.
 There
won’t
be
a
sign
until
you
get
rear‐ended
by
an
Oklahoma
license
plate.
Until
we
 either
do,
or
do
not,
get
absolutely
annihilated
that
first
week
of
December.
 As
locals
we
know
that
we
always
have
options.
That
is
why
we
choose
to
live
here.
 Well,
unless
you’re
out
due
to
an
injured
ACL
or
another
leg
injury,
which
it
seems
almost
 20%
of
us
are
at
any
given
point
between
December
and
May.
The
backcountry
that
 surrounds
our
resort
gets
up
to
3x
more
snow
than
our
beloved
Crested
Butte
each
year,
if
 not
more.
We
know
that
we
have
limitless
boundaries,
and
we
can
travel
as
far
as
our
feet,
 or
snowmobiles,
are
willing
to
take
us.
We
also
know
that
once
we
get
out
there,
we’re
 pretty
alone
with
our
surroundings.
We
scan
360
degrees
from
our
viewpoints
atop
high
 mountain
peaks,
and
we
sigh
with
appreciation
for
the
solitude
and
serenity
that
we’re
so
 privileged
to
have
access
to.
After
all,
that’s
why
we
choose
to
live
here.
Right?
 Wrong.
That’s
only
one
reason.
As
locals
of
such
a
unique
community
and
 pursuers
of
seemingly
surreal
lifestyles,
we
cannot
forget
what
makes
us
so
attractive
to
 the
outside
world.
Our
community.
After
all,
it’s
what
stuck
us
here
in
the
first
place.
Sure,
 most
of
us
came
with
dreams
of
steep
powder
turns
and
an
escape
from
the
flashy
and
fly
 corporate
culture
that
has
taken
over
at
the
other
ski
destinations.
But
once
we
arrived,
it
 was
the
culture
and
the
small
town
vibe
that
kept
us
around.
It
was
watching
a
local
cop
 harass
a
teenager
with
an
“I
knew
his
mother
when
she
was
pregnant
with
him
so
this
is
 acceptable
behavior”
approach.
Or
knowing
that
you
can
ride
your
cruiser‐bike
to
the
post‐ office
faster
than
you
can
drive
there.
Even
on
a
snow
day.
Or
knowing
that
if
you
forget
 your
wallet,
the
cute
girl
at
the
local
coffee
shop
(who
you
can
swear
you
saw
dressed
as
a
 beer
can
last
night
on
Main
Street)
will
simply
jot
your
name
on
the
IOU
list.
 It’s
the
little
things
that
keep
us
around.
Sure,
the
big
things
help.
Big
lines,
big
 dumps,
big
vistas,
big
high‐fives
and
big
smiles.
But
immobilize
yourself
with
an
injury
and
 spend
mid‐winter
on
crutches,
and
I’ll
bet
everything
in
my
pockets
(at
least
1/2
oz
of
lint)
 it
won’t
be
enough
to
get
you
packing
your
bags.
Why?
Because
when
you
hobble
your
way
 into
the
bank
on
your
crutches,
which
thanks
to
local
knowledge
came
fully
equipped
with
 spikes
for
traction
on
ice,
the
teller
had
more
empathy
for
you
than
your
own
mother
did
 (then
again
the
teller
probably
didn’t
just
cough
up
half
of
your
medical
bill).
The
guy
in
 line
next
to
you
sees
the
same
physical
therapist
you
do,
and
the
first
thing
he
says
to
you
is
 “Dude,
how’s
the
swelling
in
that
knee?
Still
chillin’
on
the
couch?
Here,
check
out
this
new
 video
I
just
bought.
SICK
big‐mountain
riding
and
pillow
lines
galore!
Should
help
you
pass
 the
time.”
Your
jaw
drops
as
he
leaves
your
side
and
approaches
the
teller.

 “Really?”
you
ask
yourself.
“Did
that
just
happen?
I
barely
know
that
guy!”
 That’s
what
we’re
all
about
up
here
at
9,000’
above
sea
level.
Sharing
and
spreading
 the
love.
Seek.
Destroy.
Share.
The
enticingly
hardcore
scene
got
us
here
and
filtered
the
 rest
out,
and
the
local
‐camaraderie
kept
us
around.
So
when
you
get
rear‐ended
this
 winter,
be
thankful
that
the
snow
Gods
are
calling
out
to
others.
Be
thankful
that
the
driver
 is
supporting
your
lifestyle
by
hiring
your
landscaping
crew
for
$12,000
per
summer
in
 order
to
keep
their
HOA
off
their
back.
And
if
you
must,
find
comfort
in
knowing
that
they’ll
 most
likely
stay
on
the
“blue”
runs
and
won’t
interfere
with
your
pow
lines.
Don’
t
forget
 how
attractive
groomed
“corduroy”
is
to
family
members
that
only
get
out
twice
per
year.
 Sure,
they’re
the
ones
keeping
us
in
lift
lines,
but
they’re
also
keeping
us
with
jobs.
They’re



the
ones
covering
your
asses.
Know
that
you
can
always
disappear
into
the
backcountry,
 but
that
when
you
return
you’ll
be
forced
to
share
your
powder
report
with
the
locals
at
the
 burrito
shop.
And
yes,
there
may
be
an
outsider
listening
in.
And
no,
you
shouldn’t
lower
 your
voice
in
order
to
protect
your
secret
stash
from
a
non‐local.
If
you
can
recall,
you
were
 in
their
shoes
once
also.
And
if
you
were
lucky
enough
to
be
born
here,
then
your
parents
 wore
those
shoes
once.
And
shoot,
if
the
shoe
fits…well,
that’s
why
we
choose
to
live
here.
 Right?
 


“Row‐Row
wouldn’t
know
what
to
do
in
Time
Square!”
–
taken
w/
8.0
 megapixel
digi‐cam


First Snow  

understanding the small-town vibe

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