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Summit up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column sipping clouds through straws.We tried to sneak in another backpacking field expedition this past weekend. As our good readers in Summit Up Land know, summer just isn’t long enough, and so you have to push the envelope when it comes to getting in all the warm-weather activities on your wish list. We apparently pushed too hard.We say this because, when you wake up, only a dozen hours into your backpacking trip, and it’s raining and sleeting, and then you open up the tent door and can only see 20 feet into the distance because a cloud bank is smothering the ridgeline you’re camped on, you have a tendency to second-guess your planning.One of the things we don’t see often in Summit Up Land is fog. You all would see it more, we guess, if you’d go camping with us. It seems the weather has it in for us this summer.Oh, well, we’re adaptable, creative and flexible, like good Marines, and we made do: We sat there with Silly Straws seeing who could suck up the most cloud-vapor and spit it into a Nalgene (since we were several miles from the nearest place to filter out some water). That didn’t work too well, so we were forced to call “no joy, no glory” and give up.

“What’s wrong with this weather? It’s great,” said the hunters we stopped to talk to on the way out. “Why would you want to quit now?”Let’s just say thick fog tends to dull that bright orange vest we were wearing for protection.***Leo and Mike at High Country Highlands (that’s a cattle operation, if you didn’t know) called in this Angel Alert!! Angel Alert!! after the boys in blue conducted a beautiful bovine benefit. The boys say their newest Highland bull calf, Sammy, figured out how to escape the pasture at the Oxbow Ranch early Wednesday morning, finding his way to a ditch next to Highway 9. An observant Silverthorne officer spotted Sammy and, knowing that cars and cattle don’t mix that well, called in reinforcements and got the bull back to where he belongs.

“I didn’t know the town of Silverthorne had a team penning squad,” Leo writes in his e-mail. “See what goes on while we are sleeping? Great job!”Leo also noted they’ve got some fence-fixing to do now. We’ll send out some new karma-plated bulletproof vests for the Silverthorne cops for this one.***Dan, our field agent in charge of Park County shenanigans, wrote us a sad note today. Due to his health, he won’t be able to contribute as much, nor will he be able to continue working over here in Summit Up Land (until he gets better, which he will). He’s getting a lot of help from his co-workers, though, so he sent us this Group Angel Alert!! honoring “the gang at the Summit Stage who came out to Fairplay Saturday to cut wood for me. They spent 99 percent of their time cutting wood for our use and one percent to take a little for themselves. We are highly indebted to Mary Estes and her whole family; to Kathy, Pam, Ben and Sam; to Angelo, and to Alex, Buzzy and 11-month-old Elijah, who brought along his very own chain saw! I want to thank all the Stage gang for their support, and send along a big thank you to the riders of the for the last four years experience.”

We’re all right here if you need us, Dan.***Be warned, Summit Up Land, it’s Tuesday. Your protective chant for the day is “mekka-lekka-hi, mekka-hiney-ho,” and don’t forget the requisite wink-and-nod. If you need more ju-ju, mojo tips or discount voodoo equipment, contact us at, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just share some of your own favorite chants on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.We’re out, so it’s probably going to rain …

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