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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column wondering what the big deal is about highway noise.Highway noise never hurt anyone, it never kept anyone up at night (if it has, please call us for our free pamphlet entitled, “Recognizing White Noise”), it never ruined any backyard barbecues, never did much of anything except piss off a bunch of million-dollar-home-owning snobs in the Vail Valley.Said snobs are calling for a ban on the noisy jake brakes that truckers use to STOP THEIR RIGS FROM CAREENING OUT OF CONTROL AND DESTROYING EVERYTHING IN THEIR PATHS on the downside of steep, mountain passes.Poor Interstate 70. Has a highway ever come under more scrutiny (at least the stretch from Golden to Glenwood Springs)?It’s been called an environmental rogue for cutting off natural wildlife corridors and bisecting critical habitat. It’s been poked, prodded and studied to figure out how it can accommodate a greater volume of cars. It’s been the scene of gruesome car crashes and deadly rock slides. People have called for a monorail to take over some of its responsibilities.And now it’s being picked on because it’s too noisy.C’mon folks. You knowingly bought or built your homes next to Interstate 70. What did you expect?Let’s say for a second that it’s not an affront to everyone who would love to own a home in Vail that these people are calling for legislation that would simultaneously make the road less safe and less noisy just to enrich the serene mountain lifestyle they’ve envisioned. Let’s say that that is not infuriating, just for a second.Let’s just consider highway noise itself. What’s the big deal?As we indicated before, if highway noise is keeping you up at night, your problems go way beyond jake brakes. It’s not the noise that’s keeping you up, it’s thinking about the noise and how you can possibly exert some control over it. That’s why you can’t fall asleep. And if it’s ruining your backyard barbecue, you’re looking at it all wrong.The noise I-70 exudes is a soothing hum. It’s the drone of people doing things and going places. It’s an excited sound. We could listen to it all day.In fact, we’ve been known to pass sunny Sunday afternoons just sitting pensively on decks within earshot and view of the highway.We pick out cars that catch our fancy and ruminate on where they might be headed, why and with whom. Every car has a story, and we could guess what they are for hours.And on those blessed days when we have a friend on the deck to ruminate with, we often play our highway games. We call it I-70-opoly. We list each make of car we can think of, then see how long it takes to spot them all. And with the truckers, we try to guess what’s in the cargo by the look on the drivers’ faces.Through it all, the one constant is the noise – the sweet buzz of travel. Often it’s the only thing that keeps us grounded and makes us feel at home. And these people want to get rid of it … for superficial reasons … when doing so would make the road less safe. Shame on them.***Some Summit Up staffers were recently lamenting the fact that you can never find a good, rubber snake when you need one. This is so true.It’s like, you go to every Rite-Aid and Wal-Mart in America, and rubber snakes practically fall off the shelves -as long as you’re there to buy light bulbs or shampoo or something other than rubber snakes.But just try to go specifically looking for a rubber snake and you’ll see what we mean.We think they scurry beneath the walls when we are after them, sensing our intentions to buy. It’s the only explanation.It’s a similar phenomenon to when we are waiting for a phone call, and it doesn’t come until we go to the bathroom or leave the house. Or when Chevy Chase’s character in “Vacation,” Clark Griswald, correctly screamed: “You pass a *!%&-damned gas station every hundred yards for a thousand miles, but when you really need one, you end up walking your *&^%! off.”Yes, we can recite that entire movie verbatim, and maybe on a slow column day we will. But not today. This quote from Chevy proves our point, if, of course, we had a point.***Another Monday will have come and gone, long time passing. Don’t let it pass you by.Come and go with us atsummitup@summitdaily.com or just mimic the slow, sweet drone of the highway on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237.We’re out guessing where that driver’s bound …


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