John Mahar's Blog

Education, Spanish, Travel, Poems, Bonnaroo reports, and more.

Friday, February 15, 2008

aspen is a fun place to be and highlands is the best place to ski. i met a couple canadians today, matt and will, and joked about kegs on top of the bowl and then met up with them for lunch by chance. we sat together, and the two of them spent the majority of lunch arguing about backcountry skiing and how dangerous it was. They spouted statistics, told anecdotes of other skiers, claimed the other was full of shit and so on. what are you going to do? sit and watch TV? then the other matt accused will of elitism. "If you're so gung ho about it why don't you do it." "I'm broke." [this doesn't hold much water when you're skiing at aspen]. "How many avalanche classes have you taken?" "one, but you scuba dive, why won't you backcountry ski?" this went on for quite some time, and it was entertaining for all. we're sharing pictures now.

for those unfamiliar with aspen, it used to be a mining town. and now it's inhabited by a variety of ski and or other extreme sportsers, real estate agents, and/or rich pretentious so and sos. There are other segments of the population, the most notable of which are the immigrants. from the beautiful foreigners working the lifts to the hardworking crews who do all the real work in this town and the rest of the valley, there are many many nonnativeborn residents here. I talked to our hotel room-cleaner. she and i spoke in spanish. she and her family have been in the usa 11 years, 8 in the roaring fork valley. muy amable. what would happen here if they started cracking down on illegals? This place would have to recruit laborers from rural america, and that might even be a bigger clash of civilizations than the one they've got now.