Looking forward to summer in Winter Park

This time last month I was in “home stretch” mode – those last few weeks of the season: April showers, spring skiing, birds suddenly appearing from nowhere, the smell of pine in the air, the tubing hill covered in mud and the anticipation of a long summer filled with outdoor activities”. Well we’re into 15th innings of the home stretch it feels like – winter doesn’t want to quit even though we’ve been in spring from over 7 weeks.

I suppose I’m reminiscing about last year when, after an incredibly dry March & April, Pole Creek golf course was open before the ski area closed. No such luck this year. 60 inches of new snow fell in the first 3 weeks of April, and we’ve had plenty more since the season finished on April 21st. It’s snowing heavily right now as I type. The official stats were 284 inches for the season – still substantially below average (about 20%) and if it hadn’t been for that 5 feet in April, we might have been talking about the “second worst season in history”, or third – something like that.

The popular, intelligent and maybe even profound thing to say at the moment is that “the moisture is good”. I have nothing against “good moisture”. It can rain for goodness sake – for the whole of May if it likes. But combined with sub-zero temperatures, it gets a bit old when you’re itching for things to dry out and the toys of summer are waiting patiently to be played with. Such is life living in the mountains.

Moving on, the summer events calendar is already out and as usual we’re heavily weighted towards music. The annual Jazz Festival, Blues Festival and (growing) Winter Park Music Festival return, but there’s other music to be had: at Cooper Creek Square on Fridays starting June 21st and – my favorite – High Note Thursdays every Thursday from June 20th through August 15th at Hideaway Park. This really has turned into the community social evening of the week where families are there with their sunglasses, dogs, hot-dogs and beers and there’s so much chit-chat going on that the music is almost secondary to the occasion. Anyway, if you’re up here this summer, whatever you like to do, have fun doing it.

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