The livin' may not be all that easy, but summer has indeed - finally - arrived in Grand County.
Waking up to a few inches of fresh snow on the eve of the solstice honed a bit of a wintry edge on the dawn of the new season, but its arrival is most welcome. Besides, had summer begun when so many of us would have preferred - say, in mid-May - much of Grand County likely would not have dodged the proverbial bullet hanging menacingly above Middle Park in the form of a record snowpack.
While it is premature to declare that all threat of flooding has passed, it does appear this year's runoff could scarcely have come off in a more orderly and less destructive manner. Snowpack exceeding 200 percent of average endured well into June. Had temperatures climbed quickly instead of in cool fits and starts, there is every reason to believe area rivers would have overwhelmed their banks and wreaked havoc.
As it is, only minor flooding has occurred, and damage has been minimal (knock on wood). Plus, the abundant moisture has fueled an explosion of wildflowers and should lend unusual lushness to alpine meadows well into late summer.
"We came for the skiing but stayed for the summers" is a common Grand County refrain. Looking out the window; it's difficult to disagree.