Durango: a town of doctors, lawyers, hippies, college kids, ranchers, and those people who fit somewhere in between. Most of us Durangotangs, however, have one thing in common: we love those outdoors.
Living in Durango, we are lucky enough to experience all four seasons in their full glory, not to mention those seasons in between where it’s cold but there’s no leaves on the trees or it’s warming up so there’s no skiing but no rafting yet; let’s round up and say we have about ten seasons here in Durango. All of them, even the awkward in-between seasons, have something great to offer Durango inhabitants. From biking to hiking to tubing to mudsliding down Hogsback, every time of year brings joy to the Chaco wearing population.
With the cooling temperatures, and the opening of Wolf Creek Ski Area, I would like to specifically acknowledge the lovely autumn/winter season. Season number 220 falls somewhere between October and December, depending on the generosity of El Nino. This season boasts roasting hot days and frigid mornings, camping trips one weekend and skiing the next, and a great deal of mixed feelings.
In this season, the weather is a particularly special case. With subzero temperatures early in the morning and record breaking highs by noon, life becomes slightly confusing. A ski jacket is appropriate morning attire, but come afternoon and a bikini is more fitting. It really adds a lot of fun layering opportunities.
As for activities during this season, the world is your oyster. Dustings of snow in the mountains and perfect temperatures in the desert call all types of people to the great outdoors. One weekend you can camp in Canyonlands wearing a tshirt, and the next you can enjoy the five inches of pow at Wolf Creek Ski Area on their opening weekend. Pull out your rock skis people, it’s desperate skiing time.
The mixed feelings are the most interesting part about this season. Every morning when you wake up, who knows what you’ll be feeling? Depression could rear it’s ugly head as you reminisce on summer fun. Joy could strike your heart as you walk beneath a tunnel of golden, green (the late bloomers) and brown (the impatient) trees. Like the brown trees, you may experience anticipation for the coming ski season. These people often attempt to quench their thirst by skiing on obsolete patches of snow in the mountains, or, when Purgatory opens on (hopefully) November 21, shredding Demon for five hours straight.
When it comes down to it, fall/winter or finter or wall is about as mixed as it’s name: this is why it’s so fantastic. People often overlook poor wautumn in their rush for winter or love of fall, but it’s time to get out and appreciate it. With numbered days left, wear sweaters and shorts and go camp and ski and feel happy and sad and embrace the full glory that is fall/winter. Then, soon enough, welcome El Nino and go shred some gnar.