(Last Updated On: April 11, 2009)
The town is quiet now. The tourists have gone home. The snows continue to fall, but the chairs on the mountain aren’t running any more. Half of the restaurants in town have shut their doors until May. But those that remain open are a gathering place for the locals. The locals are happy because they can finally kick-back, relax, and enjoy that beer out on the deck. It’s as if the whole town has breathed a huge sigh of relief. The town is not empty, it’s just full of people who know one another. People who haven’t seen one another all winter stop in the middle of the street for a little chat. That didn’t happen in the winter. Everyone was on the go-go. The locals have stopped dressing up for the tourists. Carharts and torn sweatshirts have become the standard uniform for those who frequent the Eldo. And if there’s an event in town, everyone is there.
I like off-season. I would like it even more if I could ski right now, as April and May are typically some of the best times for ski mountaineering. All the same, it’s nice to walk down Elk Avenue and recognize more than half of the people. Yesterday, it took me 20 minutes to walk 2 blocks because I kept chatting it up with people I haven’t seen in a while. Everyone is smiling. Many are off to spend a week or two biking in the desert or surfing in the ocean. But many are just staying here- because they know some of the best things to do here happen during the off season. I feel sorry for the tourists. They don’t even know what the are missing 🙂