Ahh yes, off season is here. One of the nicest possible times of the year in Telluride occurs every April when at least half the town disappears to Mexico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas and pretty much every place in between. The school shuts down not for one, but two weeks forcing all but the most broke parents to take their kids on holiday.

While the fall offseason is nice, it doesn’t compare to April. With no time away from school most Telluriders enjoy the traditional October Indian summer, fall colors and get ready for the winter. So the real offseason remains April.

For those of us who hang back, we savor the benefit of being able to park in front of any and every bank in town. Bar stools at the Sheridan, while it stays open are readily available. We gleefully walk the aisles at Clarks, knowing that we will only have to have a handful of conversations with old friends, instead of a dozen or more. Even everybody’s favorite parking cop takes a break from the scofflaws of Telluride and heads south, sticking green envelopes on windshields throughout Baja.

All in all, mid April is the most peaceful time possible in Telluride. One downside: the majority of local restaurants, retailers, bars and businesses close for 2-6weeks. Of course, that means that you get a whole month without buying a $15.00 cheeseburger, or an $8.00 cocktail so despite the lack of work, one can actually make money during offseason, the old fashioned way, by saving every penny.

The only other problem with April in Telluride is mud season, or more accurately, dog poop season. With the receding snow pack, canine feces, desert dust from windy spring days and snow melt combine to form a nasty concoction. The issue can generally be managed by paying attention to where you step and taking your shoes off before you enter somebody’s house, an inconvenience I tend to struggle with…

So, the next time you find yourself stuck in Telluride during offseason, jealous of all your friends and co-workers flying off to one exotic locale after another, remember to savor the quiet time. It is really the only space on the entire calendar where somebody can get a taste of what Telluride used to be like prior to the roaring nineties, Visa commercials and the influx of new “locals.”

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