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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column happy to give away a gift certificate and T-shirt.

Yes, people really do win at Summit Up.

This past weekend, we solicited readers to send us stories about the worst thing they ever stepped in. You know, in the world of daily columns, you never can tell what’s going to get people to respond. This was one of those surprises. First, here’s what our winner had to say (the winner was the first person to respond to our query). Emily Tracy, of Breck and Canon City, got back to us Sunday at 8:03 a.m. with this:

“The worst thing I almost stepped in (on) was a copperhead snake – I was walking across my mother’s backyard in southern Missouri, carrying my 1-year-old son, and realized my foot was about to land on a copperhead (i.e. poisonous) snake. Somehow I was able to lengthen my stride and step over – not on – the snake. At the time, my mother was getting ready to separate from and divorce her husband (not the same snake), and I was helping her pack for her move to Colorado.”

Two-and-a-half hours later, Randall Horton sent us this story:

“This was discovered in Breckenridge, but originated in Louisiana. Eight years ago, my then-8-year-old daughter and I came skiing for a long weekend in Breckenridge in December. When I opened my suitcase, a strong odor of rancid butter assaulted my olfactory system. The mystery odor promptly disappeared after I unpacked. The next day while riding the elevator down to go to the outdoor pool (we were staying at Beaver Run) the odor engulfed us. Searching for a source once again, I discovered what appeared to be mammal (probably cat) feces on the sole of one of the Teva sandals I was wearing. Shuffling around in the snow does indeed do an excellent job of removing kitty caca, I found, but it is a bit nippy on the bare sandal-clad toes. The bayou-origin poop was probably stepped in while I was washing my car several days before leaving for Colorado. The cloth shoe bag that held the Tevas was disposed of, and the sandals were sealed in a plastic bag for transport home. Some sort of environmental law was probably broken by this interstate transport of feline doo-doo … eight years should be beyond the statute of limitations, though.”

The next day, Karen left us a voicemail at 8:36 a.m. to say she was visiting a farm and walked outside one morning (in bare feet, of course) and stepped on a slug.

“Ewwwwwwwwwww,” she said in the message. “It was pretty gross.”

Seamus Rutherford, one of our fine Kiwi readers staying in Summit Up Land this winter, had a story of what almost sounded like child abuse. He called two hours after Karen:

“I lived on a farm in New Zealand growing up,” he said. “We’d walk to school, and quite often it was cold, with frost on the ground. The only way to keep our feet warm was to stand in cow patties. It wasn’t horrible at the time when you were standing there – it was pretty warm. It was when you got to school and had to wipe your feet off that it got kind of messy.”

Stephana called later that afternoon with a Halloween story of stepping-in-mess. She said kids were going down the street trick-or-treating, mostly tricking though, because they were destroying everyone’s pumpkins. Well, Stephana was on the porch playing mannequin; she was dressed up like a witch and standing still as a statue. The kids came up, ding-donged, and her husband distributed the sweets. As the kids were backing away, wondering whether or not Stephana was real, one nonchalantly put his foot into the gourd – which wasn’t lit because it was a moldy, rotten mess inside – and it mooshed all over him. She said, “Isn’t that gross?” You can imagine the fright that put into the little punks.

Our final call, came in anonymously a half-hour after Stephana’s.

“One summer, I was hitchhiking barefoot and was walking backwards when I stepped right into a fresh roadkill opossum.”

And, although it came last, that’s got to be the grossest one.

Emily, stop by the Corporate Suites in Frisco, and we’ve got a gift certificate for you and a T-shirt.


We hope your day goes much cleaner than these folks’. Your tales of misery and laughter can become part of our lore here, too. Just write us at, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just talk about what a weird word “lore” is on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.

We’re out getting large on Girl Scout cookies …

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