It seemed like the aspens changed more quickly than usual this year and now serve as a continual reminder that winter is coming.

It's still warm during the daytime, but I've broken out the jackets and sweatshirts in the chill of the morning, only to shed them later in the day. Even so, I'm ready to start skiing.

I got my Millennium Pass last week, I've made sure my gear is in order, I've seen snow high in the Sangre de Cristos. Temperatures dip below freezing when I camp in the high country these days, and I can feel my hiking season winding down. I'm looking forward to the days when chairs, rather than my legs, carry me up the mountain.

To finish up this year's spectacular hiking season, though, I have plans to hike the length of Lobo Ridge, standing on the summits of Lobo Peak and Gold Hill  on the same day, help do some trail reconnaissance in the Columbine-Hondo and take a long weekend in the Apache Kid Wilderness, not far from Truth or Consequences. We'll see what else I can manage to get done before the snow really starts to fall.

I can count the remaining overnight trips on one hand. The Taos Whiplashes' roller derby season will end after Saturday's (Sept. 29) bout at the Youth and Family Center. MLB playoffs are around the corner. Summer activities are quickly wrapping up, and I can hardly wait to start spending my free time at my home-away-from-home for nearly five months of the year — Taos Ski Valley!

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