Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! covers a broad social scene |

Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! covers a broad social scene

Welcome to Frisco, home of what might be the world’s largest — free — amusement park.

Taking advantage of the popular amenity most frequently appears to be a mix of skateboarders and longboarders, locals and visitors.

They get on the free Summit Stage bus on Old Frisco Main Street and ride up to Copper Mountain Resort, nearly 7 miles up I-70, where they disembark.

For some it takes mustering up a bit of courage, while for others it’s an attitude of “just do it, dude.”

“Any day of fly-fishing in Colorado is a perfect day.”
Chuck Boyd
fly-fisherman with Project Healing Waters

Jumping on their ‘boards, they cross over Colo. 91, a Scenic Byway that leads up to Leadville, they get on the paved Summit County recpath to ride along the flatlands, following Ten Mile Creek by the beaver ponds, rolling toward Officers Gulch, where the first steep pitch downward awaits.

Some wear helmets, some don’t.

Speeds attained can get close to 40 miles per hour. Screamin’, they are.

They encounter bicyclists, hikers, runners, fishers and wildlife.

A recent somewhat formalized group event included Never Summer Industries staffers. The Denver firm builds snowboards and skateboards.

Headquartering out of Matti Wade’s Ten Mile Creek Kayaks, not far from a Summit Stage stop, about 100 daredevils ran the asphalt-carpeted granite-walled canyon jungle.

“Joey Herman of Never Summer got it all together. About 100 people came out to participate and at one time there were 50 longboards getting on the Summit Stage for a hot lap,” says Matti. “It was cool, and kinda made up for canceling the Ten Mile One Mile Kayak Races because of high water. It will be an annual event. We might even do it again for the fall colors.”

In addition to Joey’s leadership, according to Never Summer spokeswoman Jenna Malmquist, the firm was represented by Rick Rodriguez, Bill Rodriguez, Tony Evans, Goodrich “Goodie” Padilla and Micah Cook.

Joining the visitors was local longboard guru Tim “Slim” DeCamp, who pointed out that no one got hurt.

For a video of the downhill Copper 2 Frisco run, go this link:


A number of well-known attorneys, physicians, executives and politicians took time out of their July Fourth holiday to make sure American military veterans enjoyed fishing via the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing — a project “dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly-fishing and associated activities including education and outings.”

Making the event happen over in Park County’s Middle Fork of the South Platte River were host Don Holmes, who owns the Holmestead Ranch, Mark and Jim Fogg, Dan Killebrew, Chris Smith, Mike Smith, Carter Boardman, Dick Kimball, Carlton Obecny, Jim Benjamin, Bill Ritter, Don Aptekar, Chuck Turner and Kevin Shane.

David Brittain is trip coordinator for Project Healing Waters in Denver.

Joining the group was Vietnam chopper vet Chuck Boyd, a fly-fisherman out of Frisco and Parker.

“Any day of fly-fishing in Colorado is a perfect day,” Chuck notes, adding the biggest fish caught was a 22-inch rainbow, with 21 being the largest number caught, by two vets.


Up in Wyoming for the 39th annual Art Fair Jackson Hole, Spike! and Mary took the opportunity to attend painter Billy Schenck’s reception hosted by the Altamira Gallery’s Dean Munn, Mark D. Tarrant and Jason Wright.

Breckenridge readers will notice the last name Munn; he’s Joel’s brother Dean.

Joel lives on the other side of Hoosier Pass and is president of the Rocky Mountain Division of Professional Ski Instructors of America, following a lengthy career at Breckenidge Ski Resort, culminating as ski school director.

While at the gallery shindig, we met Kim Vletas, a professional fly-fishing guide at Patagonia River Ranch — yup, way down in Argentina, South America. She’s a friend of Jackson Streit, owner of Mountain Angler on Main Street Breckenridge.

Patagonia River Ranch is owned by Ken W. Gangwer, of Jackson, and features fly-fishing at six rivers. Jackson’s been there and he’s going again, Kim says.

Another encounter had us dining at the Merry Piglets with Karen Gill, a real estate broker who headed ticket sales at the Breckenridge Ski Resort for many years before she and Jim (since deceased) moved northward.

Karen extends a warm hello to all her Summit County friends.

We also met Russell Webb, of Idaho Falls, whose son Tim has ties to Frisco Starbucks franchises and with the CrossFit Low Oxygen Gym on Ten Mile Drive.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to

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