1. Order take-out. No way around this one—local restaurants are taking a huge hit since the order to shut down in-house dining for 30 days, beginning March 17, from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. And we could all still use a break from cooking. It’s no substitute for full-on operations, but, if you’re able to, help out these businesses by ordering some meals to go (and don't forget to tip!). Our friends at the Aspen Times are keeping an updated list of restaurants offering take-out and, in some cases, delivery.
2. Kick and glide. Ashcroft Ski Touring is generously allowing anyone to access its trail system for free “until the snow is gone.” With more snow in the forecast, the Nordic trails in and around Aspen should get a welcome refresh, and they are still being groomed. You'll need your own gear, though; the rental shops at the Aspen and Snowmass Cross-Country Centers are closed for the season. And the Spring Gulch trail system near Carbondale is open, while noting that “late-season conditions are the norm.”
3. Earn your turns. Unlike most people in the US, we are fortunate to have ski areas nearby as easily accessible recreation centers, even if the lifts aren’t spinning. Just do your uphill skinning at a safe social distance. Need Alpine Touring equipment for going uphill? No place locally still offers rentals, but check out the demo gear on sale at Ute Mountaineer and Bristlecone Mountain Sports (call first to see if they remain open) and the spring sale at Cripple Creek Backcountry (both the Carbondale and Aspen Highland locations are open for the time being).
4. Get counted in the census. According to a press release about the local Census 2020 outreach, the data gathered brings in $13 billion in annual funding to Colorado. But the state would potentially lose $2,300 per year for each person who doesn’t complete the census. The census opened last week (March 12); a large and creative local outreach was planned that is unlikely to take place for the time being. Be proactive and go to www.A2PCensus2020.com to complete the online questionnaire. It only takes about 10 minutes and is the easiest way to get it done.
5. Take a deep dive into local history. Have you ever spent much time exploring the Aspen Historical Society’s archives website? In addition to thousands of photos (many of which you can buy as prints), the site links to more than 300 oral histories (listen to local luminaries of the past like Fritz Benedict, Gretl Uhl, and Friedl Pfeifer), documents and records (check out Aspen High yearbooks that date back to 1909), and a dozen historic newspapers once published in Pitkin County.