EDITOR’S NOTE: Original posted April 2012
Is it just me, or is there nothing more thrilling than not waiting in line at the grocery store? Or, how about immediately finding a parking spot at the post office? Yes, it’s true, I have been living in the mountains for a while and these are the little things that get us all excited this time of year.
The resort will officially close (for real) this weekend and while it is a bittersweet time to be a mountain resident, I will be the first to admit that mud season is my favorite time of a year.
For those not in the know, Wikipedia’s official definition of mud season is as follows: “A term used to denote a time period in late Winter and early Spring. The name comes from dirt paths such as roads and hiking trails which become muddy from melting snow and rain. It is regarded in some northeastern states within the United States as both a curse and a blessing because, although it is generally a messy time of year, it is an interlude between the standard tourist seasons of summer for hiking, fall for foliage peepers and winter for the ski season.”
I found myself on one of those muddy dirt roads mentioned in the definition above on a twilight hike with some friends on Boreas Pass yesterday and the conversation kept drifting back to the changing seasons. Most of my friends in Breckenridge work for the resort so when this time of year rolls around people left and right seem to be hopping planes for tropical beaches, coordinating caravans out to Moab, or finding ways to pass the time in a town that now seems eerily empty compared to just a month ago.
It may sound cliché, but I really do use this time of year to reflect and remember why I chose to make Breckenridge my home in the first place. With the streets suddenly empty, I have unobstructed views of the mountains and the unique and historical architectural accents I walk by every day without usually noticing. With minimal lines at the local coffee shop I can get caught up with the barista who has been remembering for years that I take almond milk in my coffee. Finding out that she is about to become a new mom was the highlight of my week.
It’s the little things that make you thankful for living in a small town and I admit that sometime I lose sight of those things when I find myself complaining about Main Street traffic on a Saturday in January or the crowds that descend on the grocery store during Spring Break.
This tiny mountain town is special in so many ways but when the tourist crowds recede and the locals come out of hibernation, it’s go-time for Happy Hour catch-up sessions, which is something my friends and I always take full advantage of during the few short weeks we feel we have the town to ourselves. We all know the summer crowds will be here before we know it for hiking, biking and Main Street wandering, so let’s enjoy this time we have with each other and remember the little things that brought us here, and keep us here as Breckenridge locals.