We got a hint of the winter weather to come in the next couple of months overnight, when lows sunk down near the freezing mark last night, and a dusting of snow was on top of the highest peaks. Denver set a record low for this date, and I think we may have as well. I don’t remember it ever getting this cold in mid August. Temperatures are in the fifties today, with a cool nip in the air. Fall is on its way, and I’ve already seen a hint of yellow on some of the Aspen leaves around Nederland.
Just recently, I made a new friend who expressed a sentiment I rarely hear around here. She said summer was her least favorite season, and she could hardly wait for fall. Wow, I thought I was the only one. No, in truth the summers in Nederland are very beautiful and for the most part pleasant, but since I have to drive down to the plains for work, I grit my teeth to suffer through the 90 plus heat that is the norm through August, fantasizing about cooler weather. I told a coworker that my optimum hiking temperature is 47 to 50 degrees, and he was horrified. But the truth is, I’ve always loved the cooler temperatures and feel energized by the crisp, cool air. Many of the Fourteeners Bryon and I have hiked have been during the month of September, both for the cool temps and the more stable weather (lack of thunderstorms).
Recent days in Colorado have also brought significant haze to the area from the west coast. We always keep our windows open during summertime, and yesterday morning I woke up with bloodshot, red eyes from all the smoke in the air. Reading the national news, it feels like the entire west coast is ablaze with no end in sight. Our neighbor is a firefighter and told us resources are stretched to the max, that they are even recruiting firefighters from other countries to help. He just came back from being out 21 days on a fire in Oregon.
Of course, this inevitably leads to thoughts of a weather change and talk of El Nino. The El Nino is the warming of the Pacific Ocean, and this is thought to rival some of the biggest El Ninos from the past. I lived in California for the incredible 1997-98 El Nino which brought boat loads of snow to to Sierra and drenching rains to Southern California. Though El Nino can be incredibly destructive to many parts of the world, bringing droughts to some, and typhoons to to others, who can blame Californians for getting on the El Nino train and hoping it comes sooner rather than later.
For me, I’m just enjoying a taste of our Fall weather and looking forward to the onset of cooler weather. And yes, the diehard skier in me can’t help but look forward to that first big snow storm as well. What can I say? I am a true Colorado mountain woman.