Good afternoon everyone! My work week is wrapping up with only a few bumps and bruises to show for it so I’ll call that a win. The Boo Bear just wrapped up her first week of preschool and it’s clearly worn her our (just guessing by her little attitude) so it will be nap time very very soon. We’ll see how The Boy does but clearly he’s much too old for a nap. Just ask him. Irregardless, now cometh the latest and greatest edition of the diatribe.
Ok, I will not be rehashing the brown season in this edition. I feel like I’ve pretty well covered that already. I’m still slightly bitter about the whole FB follower issue, but I’m moving on as best I can.
I realize that it is officially 12 days until the first day of Fall but my fellow mountain folk know that Fall has already been here for several weeks. The yards in town are starting to be covered in leaves, yellow it starting to show everywhere, and the leaf peepers will soon be flocking to our little mountain oasis. I mean, who can blame them?!
But before you load up in your Prius (or some other environmentally aware piece of ridiculousness that runs on unicorn whispers and puppy dog smiles) and head into the hills to catch that perfect photograph please keep the following concerns in mind: The residents have just endured an entire summer of being overrun by tourists and we are about to be overrun by hunters. So when you park your little wagon in the middle of a narrow road to set up your tripod, attach your absurdly sized camera, adjust your floppy hat and knee high grey socks before taking 1000 pictures of the same damn tree…we might not be so friendly by this point in the year. Residents actually still use these little dirt roads to get around for real stuff.
Let’s break this down a little bit shall we? For starters, why does every leaf peeper dress the same? Is there some uniform requirement that I am unaware of? Perhaps there is a speedy checkout option at the leaf peeper supply website that autofill’s your cart with one outfit before checkout. Maybe there is a famous leaf peeper that is a demigod in their circle that they are all trying to emulate.
If you are unfamiliar with the leaf peeper garb here is the non-gender exclusive outfit description: there is a floppy fishing hat, grey tee-shirt (maybe white), khaki cargo shorts or khaki cargo pants for cooler days (but always khaki), grey wool calf high socks, and hiking shoes. Then there is the ubiquitous, yet optional, flannel or fishing shirt with the button down cape-thingy in the back. The fishing shirt is either pale blue or khaki. You know, maybe the peepers are actually out of season golfers based on their goofy looking attire.
Next, there are pull outs ALL OVER THESE ROADS! USE THEM! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been trying to commute to the next town over the hill and ran into a one car traffic jam. Then the offending peeper decides not to look at me in hopes that I won’t see them standing there with their tripod in hand. I’m not sure if their lack of eye contact is out of shame, my withering glares, or they actually think they are invisible. My other favorite is how one solitary Prius can singlehandedly block a 200 foot long pull out so no one else can use it. The simple physics of this doesn’t seem possible but I can assure you that it is.
Finally, be original for crying out loud! There are literally thousands of miles of scenic roads in Western Colorado. If you find that you are the 10,000th person on a particular stretch of road: go find a different road! Please don’t become part of the traffic jam of absurdity. Some of us actually need to use that road for our real lives.
Now I guess I should address any “locals” that read this blog. Chances are, if you live in the mountains, your local economy is based largely on tourism. Yes, I know they drive us crazy, block our roads, cause us to stand in line for 45 minutes to just to eat dinner, have bizarre accents, are frequently just damn rude, and they drive RVs at 17 1/2 miles per hour on perfectly fine stretches of highway but they spend lots of money in your town. They spend the money that help our local shops keep their doors open, and they pay the taxes that most of our local government services rely upon. Does that excuse their aggravating presence? Well, I’ll leave that for you to answer for yourself. But here’s a little secret, many locals always pray for rain and wind during leaf season so the tourists will go away and we can have our communities back. Even if only for a few weeks.
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