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8 Things You Must Do Before Summer Ends

summer2It’s almost over and you haven’t done half of what you wanted to do have you? Well, you better get after it.

Go to a Festival
There’s still some left and the Jazz Aspen/Snowmass Labor Day Fest is one of the best-as long as you’re not expecting actual jazz that is. Whether your tastes range from the Pagoda Springs Mountain Chili Cha on August 24 or to the always exciting Ft. Lupton Trapper Days on Sept 5 and 6th, you better get cracking because they’re almost done.

Park It
Not only are city parks a great place to take your dog to poop, some of them actually have concerts. Some folks are rightfully up-in-arms over pay concerts in city parks, but there are plenty of free (tax-payer subsidized) concerts to attend. The time is running out though as some park concert seasons like Evergreen Lake concerts end by the third week of August.

Camp out
If your idea of fun is camping during a blizzard, then there is no rush. If your idea of fun camping does not include thawing your beers in the fire to drink, then you may want to get camping soon. Once Labor Day hits, the mountains cool considerably. While the changing aspens near the end of September are gorgeous, do you really want to wake to them as you thaw your eggs in the fire?

summer3Bike Time
Whether yours is a Schwinn, a Harley or a Honda, your days of perfect weather are coming to an end. It’s time to pedal that Trek, fire up that Honda and clean the leaking oil off that Harley if you want perfect conditions. If you want to sweat in those leather, spandex or cargo pants you need to do it now. It’s no fun slipping on all the sand and gravel laid down by road crews once the first snow flies and the cold weather takes all the fun, and feeling from you on the road.

Take a Hike
It’s a tradeoff right now: the days are noticeably cooler, but the monsoon season has fired up in the Rockies. You always should start early to avoid thunderstorms in the afternoon, but they seem to start up earlier this time of year. Still, if you wait too long, you’ll be like a stick in the mud. It makes for way more difficult hiking with a couple pounds of mud on each shoe.

Sounds Fishy to Me
While you can fish year round at lower elevations, your season is coming near an end up high. That is, unless you enjoy sitting on a giant ice-cube and staring down a hole. Then your season is yet to come. The Frying Pan River is in full swing up near Aspen right now. The only problem you may find is getting your favorite spot as a whole lot of fishermen have the same idea as you.

summer1Raft Away
Rafting usually is pretty much over by now, but with the abundant spring snow, slow melt-off and the above mentioned monsoon season, there are still options available. The Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon is regulated and still marginally good. The Arkansas River rafting season is about to die when the Arkansas River Flow Management Plan (VFMP) cuts the flow down by 15% a day starting August 15th. The river currently is flowing at about 700cfs, which equates to roughly only about two exclamations of, “uh oh,” and “OH s***,”every 15 minutes.

Work on that tan
Though your tan won’t last past the turning of the aspens, if you haven’t bronzed your body yet you’re just about out of time. With the sun moving farther away, you no longer feel as if sitting in a microwave and the chances of a burn have diminished substantially. It’s a great time to just lie out without baking yourself straight to a case of melanoma.

Michael Ryan


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