Summit Up 12-13-10
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only column that’s musing about driving through the snowstorms that dumped upwards of a foot-and-a-half of snow on our Summit County mountains over the weekend.
Despite today’s information world and the abundance of data at hand by phone, Internet and through officials like police officers, we found ourselves on the top of Fremont Pass on Friday, asking a Climax mine worker who was shoveling snow if he knew anything about the Interstate 70 corridor.
He didn’t. Except to say our friend, who had warned us not to drive the roads (the same warning that promptly made us decide to go rescue her anyway), had headed back in the direction we’d come.
She’d left with a cop who had told her I-70 was shut down between Copper and Frisco.
That’s was about the fifth point of miscommunication we encountered.
With the Dillon Ranger District’s ban on Christmas tree cutting, we braved the first of the storm to head to Leadville where we could get our tree and enjoy a delicious steak dinner at Quincy’s (we’ve been craving it since our post-rafting stops at Quincy’s in Buena Vista). That delicious steak turned out to be our saving grace, as our friend traveled before us through the worst of the storm and wound up, white-knuckled, at the top of the pass.
We, brave souls as we are, decided to hit the road with a third of a tank of gas, all-wheel drive, and a car full of idiots.
But not before trying, with all our might, to figure out what the heck was happening at the Copper exit. Could we get through?
Two guys got on their smart phones to check http://www.cotrip.og. We went the old-fashioned way (also known as not having a smart phone) and dialed 511. Another called Copper and pretended to be a guest inquiring if they could get from the resort to their vacation rental in Frisco. After getting his answer, he quickly admitted to the little, white lie.
Anyway, Summit Up readers, we’re proud to announce that with all these sources of information, we still left completely clueless as to whether we would get through between Copper and Frisco. All signs pointed toward… maybe.
So again, with a third of a tank of gas, all-wheel drive, and a car full of idiots, we hit the road, hoping our tree would still have needles once we got home.
The best indicator we had through the entire endeavor was watching cars pass in a not-coming-from-a-closed-highway-manner when pulled off at the top of Fremont Pass to inquire about our friend.
Anyway, long story short, we made it. The worst part of the drive was traveling behind a snow plow, which turned the snowy conditions into white-out conditions and made one of the brave souls pull her hat over her eyes in fear as we attempted to pass in the dark.
We’ll leave you with our story only, and let you make decisions on how to travel through snowstorms yourself. Now that the storm’s over (though more is apparently on the way),
The Breckenridge Snowflake Challenge Amateur Snow Sculpture competition wrapped up Sunday and you can see a pair of the outstanding sculptures above and below. Eighteen teams participated in this year’s event. Check back with the SDN later this week to see which team came out on top and won the $1,500 first-place prize.
Here’s wishing you a happy Monday!
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