Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that figured out how to legally burn one down yesterday. A few of our trees had been given the orange mark of death a while back, and after receiving a letter from Frisco’s chief of police, we decided it was time to take care of our town-mandated yard work. With a civic-minded heart, we got out the chainsaw and prepared the fire pit for a glorious day of pine beetle mitigation action. The first tree came down smoothly with the help of the chainsaw and our former wildland firefighter friends. We marveled as they cut it up into bits, then started a blaze with the fallen shade giver’s remnants. “We won’t harbor pine beetles on this property!” we cried, as the slash crackled and hissed into embers.
In the midst of our pyromaniacal giddiness, a bright red fire truck creeped around the corner. It slowed as it silently monitored the leaping flames, but it maintained its stoic municipal presence. Guilt hovered amongst our rag-tag fire crew. Had we done something wrong? We were just trying to tell the pine beetles that no one rides for free in this corner of Frisco. But the truck hadn’t stopped, so it must be OK. We had sand at the ready … in the horseshoe pit, and everyone was equipped with shovels. Before we could start singing “Ding-dong the beetle’s dead!” The fire truck came back around. We were in for a talking to this time. First, the fireman instructed us to get a garden hose, which we did, from a neighbor’s yard that probably still doesn’t know he is without his water tube (sorry, Dean). We were ready for admonishment in the form of a big fine, but the fireman was very nice in explaining that we needed a permit for this sort of combustion activity. We didn’t have one, but he said the wildfire mitigation officer would be right over to help us out.
Two minutes later, the officer was at our pit, informing us that while it’s OK to enjoy a fire in a designated recreational fire space, you must have a permit for bigger projects, like the one we were undertaking with our retired firefighter friends on that day. Given the crowd’s experience, we should have known better. We were hooked up with a permit and a dose of High Country hospitality from the officer, whom we now know as Patty. We called the dispatch office to tell them we had started the fire, and called them again when we finished. In the end, the process seemed very holistic and satisfying. The firefighters and the other officials involved didn’t have to give us a break, but they ended up demonstrating grace under fire. So a big thanks, and even an Angel Alert!! Angel Alert!! goes out to our newfound fiery friends. Thanks for keeping our area safe in the friendliest way possible.
***We ran a really injurious story for our Humpty-Dumpty contest yesterday, which in the context of the contest means it was really, really gnarly and good, but we failed to include the picture. Here’s Ron’s account of his golfing injury, along with the pic (somewhere on this page) that is worth way more than a thousand words:”My friend Pete and I went to Denver to play golf on December 29, 2005. What the heck – 5 feet of snow here and golf weather down there. We played at Lake Arbor. The day was beautiful, the first nine holes were not so bad for December. We started off the back nine okay, but on the par-5 10th hole, I teed off with a good swing. And, whack! the ball hit a pole that was attached to a fence that runs along the tee box protecting some windows in the condos. The ball comes back and hits me in the forehead right about my eye, my own ball! Viciously attacked by a killer Nike golf ball (I needed) 12 stitches and X-rays to make sure everything was still intact. By the way, two days after the accident, I was golfing.” ***We’re out, wishing a very happy birthday to our mom Betsy, who’s reuniting with her family today.
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