EARTH, WIND, (SNOW) AND FIRE
First, this isn’t the Post I planned to write.
Secondly, the story ends well.
Off-season in Aspen is low-key and quiet, a lull before the summer storm. Last night, Wednesday evening, that “lull” went south. As usual The Gant has been closed for a month, giving homeowners and contractors a 30-day window for construction projects. At night we have a watchman who monitors the 5-acre premises. I’ve put myself in charge of overseeing the vacant D-Building where I live. It’s an unpaid position.
About 10-ish, in bed, reading the New York Times, there was a ruckus (now known to be a fire) and commotion. I spotted serious flames on the far side of the tennis court and suffered a “There goes the neighborhood.” moment before pulling it together and calling 911. The very calm operator assured me help was already on the way and to evacuate. (I evacuated to my balcony.)
Two fire trucks, police cars, emergency vehicles and some front office staff were arriving before I hung up the phone. Our 87-acre Fire District is protected by 43 men and women, primarily volunteers. We have 4 stations, the main one just 5 blocks away, with 10 vehicles including 4 structure engines, 2 wildfire engines, 2 rescue trucks, 1 water tender and a 104′ ladder truck. Those vehicles are the crown jewels of our 4th of July parade.
The fire was in a dumpster, loaded with construction materials, parked near the K Building. The firemen quickly got to work. When the mega-ladder truck drove in and parked right below my balcony, I knew we were in business. Within a few hours, the fire was out and what could have been worse, wasn’t. The Fire Marshall visited today. The Gant already has so many safety measures in place and last night, with the help of community volunteers and the taxpayers who generously support and equip these departments, it all came together and worked. That’s worth bragging about.
THE ROCKIES COME ALIVE
As I said , during the fire it was snowing! Despite the flurries, it’s Springtime in the Rockies. Last Saturday evening, the day before Mother’s Day, I sat down to a delightful dinner party for eight. The occasion? An invitation to celebrate one birthday and honor four Mothers. I fit into that motherhood category.
Initially, as is common with most table talk, we toggled between one giant conversation to many smaller ones. As dinner was served, we quieted down, concentrating on the Lobster Bisque and launched into the evening’s heavy-duty conversation. Who? What? Where? And, When? Six of us are volunteer USFS Rangers so, inevitably, this is how it went…..
Are the bears out? Yes, with babies. Moose sightings? Yes, male near T-Lazy 7 and a female near Difficult Campground. A Pine Marten, healthy-looking, crossing the road up to the Maroon Bells. Elk are heading for the hills. Deer in abundance. No owls nesting near library this year. Male Cooper’s Hawk at usual cemetery nest, waiting for female. Spring flowers popping up, birds building nests but May snowstorms playing havoc with trails. The photos in this week’s post tell the story.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POST, the NAANWICH
There’s no space to share this week’s recipe, a delicious Naanwich of cumin-spiced lamb (or ground beef or buffalo burger, chicken or fish), shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly-sliced red onions and homemade cucumber raita. It’s time to ditch the mustard, ketchup and mayo as your spreads of choice and get creative with that sandwich and 5 others.