It's orange season!

Well, it is officially “orange season” here in the high country. Orange season has two meanings; it’s the beginning of the hunting season and it’s also the beginning of the road work season.

The hunting season part isn’t too bad as it usually results in cheap elk and white tail being available, and elk jerky in a few weeks which is very yummy.

The road work part of the season can really ruin your day. Yesterday they had traffic backed up from east Vail all the way to the top of Vail pass in the name of paving.

Here closer to home even my little side street had bucket loaders and backhoes on it, which resulted in a 15 minute delay to get to the traffic light on highway 6. At the light I had another 3 songs on the CD worth of wait as they’re in the middle of widening highway 6 for the new off ramp to the east of here and there were some really big machinery ripping up the westbound lanes; making the busiest road in town one lane for about 5 miles. Then there is the work that is still going on for Wally World which brings traffic to a crawl again so no one hits the landscapers putting in aspen trees and rocks on the roundabout. This is followed by the repaving on Bob the Bridge in Avon which snarls traffic going to/from Beaver Creek…

I’m not one of the billionaire elite who live in Arrowhead or Beaver Creek so I’m blessed with infinitely more patience for things such as this, and it was getting on my nerves… I’m sure some time during the day one of the “Affluenza” up there drew a gun on some poor DOT worker. Seriously, you get in the way of an Audi A8 or BMW X3 when one of these fat cats is getting on the highway in Avon and you’d think you’d killed a member of their family. They’re a scourge up here that was delivered by the promise of million dollar plots of land and twenty million dollar homes…

It’s funny that most of them don’t even really live here and are nothing more than tourists who don’t stay at the lodges, don’t buy anything from the local establishments, and don’t even ski. But whatever you do, don’t piss one off because they suddenly become the most important person in the entire valley.

They’re funny to watch though as money tends to gravitate to money. Someone once figured out that only one out of 18 homes up here is occupied full time and the rest are mere status symbols… I’d call them investment properties, but no one sells them once they’ve got them simply because at your next dinner party you can brag about your “home up in Vail”. I guess that gives you enough popularity-points to be worth the money you spend keeping a second, empty, home up here. So, if Bob has a home in Vail, and you *have* to compete with Bob, you get a more expensive home in Beaver Creek and the cycle perpetuates.

It’s this thinking that has flooded the valley with these folks. There are people still living here who remember when most of Arrowhead was a sheep ranch and Edwards was a gas station… Now the going rate for floor space in Edwards is $35/sqft. and rising.

Anyone reading this will have most likely heard of Cordillera due to the whole Bryant debacle. Well, 10 years ago, Cordillera was a goat path that wound along a ridge rife with bare earth and tumbleweeds and had absolutely no value whatsoever. Now it’s the same dirt and the same weeds, but covered in “cheap” 3-5 million dollar homes. And the locals just laugh… It’s fortunate the folks who own homes up there don’t actually live there because once it snows, that goat path they call a road up there is impassible by anything less than snow cat. I wonder if the houses up there come complete with helipad…

Well, I have to take off for work and slog my way though traffic cones, folks with slow signs, and dodge earth moving machinery.

Well, it’s progress…