Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Snow on them thar hills! |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Snow on them thar hills!

Last Thursday morning was a mountain man’s delight.

Does not matter if you’re actually a mountain woman, a mountain child, or even a mountain canine, because if you live in the mountains of central Colorado, that particular morning was full of blissful wonder and, most of all, smiles galore.

And all for one simple reason: We awoke to snow on them thar hills.

This left the majority of us with one collective mindset — to hell with local headlines.

Sure, the Broncos still hate the Colts, the Huskies feud with the Devils, the town of Vail still pretends to dislike Vail Resorts and the town of Avon actually does dislike Traer Creek. But all day Thursday Facebook was ablaze with locals posting photo after photo of white-dusted golden aspens resting below snow-covered summits.

And to hell with statewide headlines, too.

Sure, Ken Buck and Michael Bennet take turns on every flippin’ channel playing Luke Skywalker to the other’s Darth Vadar, and Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo are busy utilizing the Pee Wee Herman Strategy Playbook (“I know you are, but what am I? …”) while John Hickenlooper is preoccupied choosing which color suit would be best for his inaugural ball.

Yet here in Happy Valley we’re as happy as a dog with two tails because of the thin blanket of gently frozen ice crystals atop our local peaks.

To hell with national headlines, as well.

Sure, Republicans pretend to hate the comedy of Stephen Colbert while wishing to slaughter Democrats at the expense of the entire country. Their new “pledge” looks sadly (and suspiciously) like their old “contract” which contributed greatly to this entire mess in the first place, while the Democrats wish to slaughter Republicans simply because they are (always) afraid of losing.

The national media is infatuated with bed bugs and whether or not Paris and Lindsay are sober while signing their respective bail checks, yet comments on the Vail Daily website are full of heated discussions over the risk-reward of a high-speed Chair 5, proving our childlike crush on the cold stuff.

And to hell with international headlines.

Sure, Arabs wantonly wish to slaughter Jews, while Jews feel obliged to respond in kind.

Protestants and Catholics are still more than happy to slaughter one another in Ireland.

Muslim men continue to hate Muslim women (as long as the lights are on) and, of course, Muslim extremists are still more than happy to slaughter anyone, including themselves, in the name of an apparent euphemism known in their part of the world as “peace.”

Yet we are here, smiling our little faces off because of the frozen flurries of frosty flakes atop our alpine crowns.

Life could be worse.

After a few days the most obvious white stuff faded, this is true. But you and I both know that if we hiked up high enough, and looked carefully along the northern sides of the larger boulders, we would find the white gold we all so anxiously await.

Besides, if we don’t take advantage of living in a bubble (albeit mentally) at least once in a while, what would be the point?

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at Comment on

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