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Summit Up

Special to the Daily

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column writing about the impact of dust on us in the High Country.Yes, dust. All the way from Arizona, this dust settled on our snowpack a couple times over the winter. You remember it: You can’t wax for dust, or sand, or whatever you want to call that orange stuff between your skis and the snow.Dust, however, is not as harmless as it may seem. It settles in our snowpack and, because it’s a darker color, attracts more sunlight (thus heat), which then causes our snow to melt faster.

So, to the delight of rafters, but adding to the angst of water managers, we now have one more element to consider when we wonder about the drought. Wonderful. Yet, where there is a question, there’s probably a scientist trying to find an answer. Dust is no different. Researchers are studying the effects of dust-on-snow in Southern Colorado and in the Himalayas, which get pounded each year by Saharan sand. Good luck, we tell them. Let us know if we can, actually, wax for sand.***

We have an update from the Food Network, regarding our recent riff on fantasy fruit sculptures and other such diversions. Alert readers will recall that we related a story about a competition that involved onion volcanoes, which sounded very Summit Up.Well since then, we’ve learned that an onion volcano involves slicing onions into rings, then layering the slices with the largest on the bottom, the smallest on top, creating a cone-shape, then filling the whole thing with a combustible fuel and setting it alight. Yes! And all this is to be done without touching the structure with your hands. So we have been experimenting with this at home, and are happy to report only a few minor accidents so far, with a small fire on the dining room table, a singed eyebrow and some blackened fingernails. Next up for the fab folks at the Food Network, as we understand it, is a popcorn sculpture competition, with an eye toward breaking the world record for the biggest popcorn sculpture ever. There may even be some kind of Disney tie-in on this one. Just think about it, a 27-foot tall Goofy, made entirely out of popcorn. Stay tuned!

As the Memorial Day weekend winds down, we just want to say how happy we are to see that the great American tradition RVing hasn’t been impeded the slightest by gas prices that are hovering around $3 per gallon. We still see plenty of these giant metal-skinned beasts, leaving behind their droppings of crushed aluminum cans and empty chip bags, and that bodes well for the economy of our little mountain burgs. We wish all our visitors a safe journey home and just as a friendly reminder, make sure to take it with you when you go. You know what we’re talking about – pack it in, pack it out. Y’all come back now!***Central Lakes College in Brainerd and Staples, Minn., announced their graduates last week, and guess what? Summit County is representing …

Nancy Schneider of Silverthorne earned her Associate in Applied Science degree as an Administrative Assistant. And, she earned High Honors, meaning her GPA was more than 3.75. Congrats!***It’s Wednesday, and we’re sensing a quiet week after the Memorial Day madness. Send an e-mail to

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