Carnes: Happy Valley, here’s your sign | VailDaily.com

Carnes: Happy Valley, here’s your sign

To quote the greatest band of all time, the signs are “here, there, and everywhere.”

OktoberFest events have concluded and the Great American Beer Festival is in full swing.

The Broncos are going nowhere fast and affordable housing is still a never-ending issue (but never enough of one to supersede wildlife or seasonal workers).

Yep, Old Man Summer is finally withering away and Infant Autumn is rearing its golden head, although not quite as golden as it used to on Golden Peak (sigh).

Either way, it’s a sign.

The air is cool and crisp, days are shorter, and even a few locals have been spotted wearing flannel, but this weekend’s “Man of the Cliff” will solidify that particular sign of autumn.

Listen closely as some will inevitably say, “I’ve never seen it this cold this early in the fall before!” while others will surely say, “I’ve never seen it this dry this late in the fall before!”

After the first real dump, we’ll hear, “This is a sign we’re gonna have the best snow year ever!”

All are incorrect.

We have the fall time change in a few weeks (November 3, to be exact), but on the plus side we no longer have to feign concern over SKI magazine’s silly, completely non-scientific and totally irrelevant annual “Who’s No. 1?” poll, as they finally concluded after 20+ years (aka, wimped out) that certain advertisers would spend their money elsewhere if they weren’t ranked in the top three (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).

A sure sign of potential profits once again trumping marketing substance.
Although about two weeks behind normal, our extreme dryness over the last six weeks delayed the colors and changed the Forest Service signs from “Sure, go ahead” to “Don’t even THINK of starting a fire!” faster than Vail Resorts got rid of most of the humans in their Human Resource department.

Contrary to what most believe, we (our planet) actually gets closer to the sun as we approach winter, and for me, it’s time to contemplate the craggy peaks of the Gore Range while watching the golden leaves spread like swatches of carpet in anticipation of the season’s first snowfall, predicted this Thursday.

If it happens it will be our first real moisture in over a month.

A few restaurants will close their doors for good and a few new ones will pop up in their place, some developers will get what they want while others will be sued left and right and a few new councilpersons will be elected.

All of these signs are happening now or will very soon, and either way the snow will return and before we know it we’ll be smack dab in the middle of another winter season and much too involved skiing and catering to guests to really give a damn about the circus act in Washington D.C. and the head clown with his personal issues.

Those are signs we can happily ignore until spring.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at poor@vail.net.