It's the middle of October. Most of the Aspen trees have turned at the higher elevations. A few trees still have yellow leaves on them at lower elevations. The Cottonwood and Willow trees are a blaze of color in the plains and front range cities. The dry Summer has stressed the trees, making for brilliant Autumn colors. But the dry Summer has made for one of the worst fire seasons ever, with the largest Colorado fire ever in Northern Colorado, the Cameron Peak fire, at over 160,000 acres. The entire state is under no burn/no shooting fire restrictions.
Winter is coming in 5 weeks, and major early season snow storms that usually blanket the high country, are not in the 30 day forecast. And worst of all, Colorado is in the grip of a rising pandemic threatening to shut down commerce and activity gatherings for indefinite periods of time. For the multi billion dollar ski industry, the worry is not only lack of early season snow to build a base for snowmaking, but a looming threat posed by Covid19; the threat of openings shut down to control the virus. Or openings cancelled, resulting in a real Winter of Discontent.
Winter in Colorado is skiing - the best snow in the world, drawing tourist dollars from all over at a time when most other states see Winter as their slow season. This Colorado Winter could be the worst ever, or salvaged by early and continuing seasonal snow. And a vaccine - to keep ski areas open by controlling the virus and dispelling the fear. I only hope that in Colorado, the Winter of Discontent does not come to pass. Mask, distance, limit groups, and get the vacccine when it arrives this Winter.