More than two feet of snow Monday and Tuesday brought abundant precipitation to Telluride — as well as abundant smiles.
The snow shovelers smiled because they began earning cash in mid-November. The big dogs smiled because they got to romp around in soft, refreshing fluff. The small dogs smiled because the cold convinced owners to cloak them in warm, fuzzy coats. Skiers and snowboarders, of course, smiled because they looked up at the cascade of frozen dendrites and saw a reason to go on living. Indeed, Telluride Ski Resort reported 26 inches of total storm accumulation at the top of Lift 9.
Though still mired in the lonely doldrums of off-season, local merchants also benefitted from the season’s biggest storm to date. At Timberline Ace Hardware, clerk Dan Shaw said, “Shovels and tire-chains are flying out the door! Scrapers too.”
Outside on Colorado Avenue, plows had pushed snow to the center of the street, leaving 5-foot-tall piles that weren’t easily crossed. An intrepid pedestrian, however, could navigate to the Free Box, where the only remaining clothing was thin and uninsulated.
Next door at Easy Rider bike shop, owner Jonny Haas speculated on the blizzard’s effects. “It means my bike repairs will stop on a dime. It means I’ll be busy fixing boards and tuning skis the rest of the winter. People get so excited when it snows like this, they dive into their closets and start checking the condition of their gear.”
At the main street location of BootDoctors Paragon Outdoors, mechanic Max Cooper said the bike shop would remain partly open to service Telluride’s burgeoning number of fat bikes. But most of the store vibed Nordic, with skinny skis and XC boots occupying racks and walls. Cooper proudly pointed out the store’s “Nordic Hot Box,” a waxing and tuning station devoted to servicing cross-country skis. While most area stores focus on Alpine skis, this will be the third winter the old Paragon flagship will concentrate on putting the “glide” in Nordic skiers’ kick and glide.
To walk in Telluride’s alleys was to see garbage bins with foot-high snow crowns and a couple of friends laboring to liberate a high-centered Toyota Camry. Sidewalks in residential neighborhoods were not at all consistent. While some homeowners zealously shoveled walks as part of their civic duty, clear pathways often stopped abruptly at the property lines of off-season vacationers. The River Trail lay peacefully silent, as the still falling snow labored to obscure dog poop till March, or at least the annual January thaw.
Not far from Between the Covers — which had a placard out front urging passersby to “Warm up with an Eggnog Latte!” and a more vague message to “Let it Snow!” — was an SUV with Texas plates. The couple who owned it were debating how much snow needed to be cleared before driving off. “Are we s’posed to clear all the snow off the top of the car, too?” the woman twanged. “I’m not sure,” the man from the Sun Belt replied.
Let Telluride clue you in, Lone Star Staters: You only need remove snow from the headlights, windows and windshields. The act of driving will take care of the roof.
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