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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column getting more and more serious about this idea of stealing water.

Those who read yesterday’s front-page story know what we’re talking about: Not only is this drought exacerbating a typically fireful summer, but it’s beginning to look like it may kill any chance for decent snowmaking come ski season. The analogy is that the level of water in the streams from which the resorts draw their snowmaking water is as bad now as it usually is in November.

In talking with some long-timers (we’d call them old-timers, but that would be denying they’re in better shape than us, and as we told the Summit Up Staffers the other day, “De-Nile ain’t the only river dryin’ up”) we’ve heard about some other dire winters – ski resorts not opening until January and shutting down two months later.

Ourselves, we’d rather not have to find out what that’s like. So we got down to some noggin’-scratchin’ to figure out if this could be avoided. Our line of thinking went something like this:

We need to figure out where there is water … and steal it. So, what places have an abundance of water? There’s the oceans; but they’re too far away. They’ve got all those lakes in Minnesota and Michigan, but ditto. There’s that Mississippi River, which always seems to be flooding anyway. We suppose we could outfit a few dozen tugboats with funnels in the back; tell them to motor upstream and the increasing pressure of the water going into the funnel might be enough to push it through a straw system strung up this way.

We thought about using all these firefighting tankers. We could give them Buddy Passes in exchange for a few clandestine pickups and deliveries. Unfortunately, they’ve got problems of their own.

That led us to wonder if we couldn’t train a few thousand pelicans to fill their beak-cheeks full of water and fly it up here. We’re still waiting to hear back from Steve Irwin on that one.

In the end, we decided it would be easiest to arrest all these people who are futilely watering their lawns (despite voluntary and mandatory water restrictions), whether they’re in Denver or Dillon, and instead of making them pay fines or do jail time, we sentence them to produce 200 gallons of water by Thanksgiving. We don’t care where they get it, so long as it didn’t come out of their tap here; they could create it from hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis for all we care.

Maybe our brand of justice seems extreme to you? Well, we’ll tell you what: Needle-point looks extreme when you don’t have any cornices to huck yourself off of.


Mark you calendar and dust off your tu-tu! We’ll be putting together a caravan of hopefuls to head down to Denver Aug. 3 for the Denver Nuggets Dancers auditions. The team dancers, you should know, get paid for their performances at the basketball home games, as well as local appearances.

Who knows, you could be the next Paula Abdul.


Gross Biological Tidbit of the Day: How fast does the air come out of your mouth when you cough? We don’t know if this is accurate or not, but the trivia dealers are telling us that it’s an amazing 60 mph.

Now do you suppose that’s faster or slower than a sneeze?


We’re forwarding prayers for rain to the Big Guy, so send yours to, fax to (970) 668-0755 or just do some harmonic Buddhist chants on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237.

We’re out confounding the police speed traps with our chest cold …

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