It's been dumping (again) here in Southwest Colorado, so last night I took off early from work to lap some runs at the local pint-sized home-town ski area: Hesperus. It has precisely one wooden-seat lift (circa 1958) that goes approximately 2 miles per hour, a handful of runs, and a surprisingly decent pitch.
If you come to a place like Hesperus looking for impressive mountain stats and terrain parks with names, you are entirely missing the point. This is a place where there's about a zero percent chance you won't see at least a few friends and about an equally slim chance you'll catch any attitude from locals or lifties. Hesperus is one of a dying breed and worth preserving as more than just a relic of skiing's roots. Why? Lapping a bunch of fresh-tracks runs with views of the sun setting over the desert and mountains for $26? Plus night skiing? (Yes, night skiing.) Awesome.