People in my life who live elsewhere have asked me, so what’s Crestone like in the pandemic? And my first thought was always, gee I don’t really know. I know what my house is like in the pandemic. But I don’t see many other people, so who knows what their experience is. There are some observations I can make- Town is usually pretty empty, I don’t see many people on the trails, and when I sit outside, I hear more nothing than usual.
Fall in Crestone is one of our busiest times. The abundant mosquitoes of July have gone, making spending time outside possible. There is usually a constant flow of people from all over coming through town, either just to stay on their way to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, or to visit our own mountains in the Sangre de Christo Wilderness. Town is usually packed. Or as packed as Crestone gets, which just means that sometimes I have to park all the way up at the Post Office (which is a whole block away) when I go to the grocery store.
This year is definitely different. The mosquitoes never came, so August just felt like the other months- lovely and perfect, as always in a Colorado summer. But the tourists never came either. A few did. But it seems like most people, myself included, have opted not to open their Air BnBs. The prospect of cleaning in an acceptable way after every guest was too daunting.
So if anything, Crestone has become even more isolated from the rest of the world. I know my family has. And it is definitely a privilege. We have a keen understanding that the rest of the world is not so lucky; they can’t ignore so easily the troubles that have engulfed our world. Although smoke from the fires all over the West sometimes settles over the valley, we remain far from danger. And for the most part, we have enjoyed fresh clean air this late summer and early fall.
We Crestoners feel lucky and blessed in these chaotic times. We sit here at the end of a dead end road, and feel protected from the outside world.