Summit Up: Where we’ve got the Blues down to a science |

Summit Up: Where we’ve got the Blues down to a science


Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column struggling to define sections of the Blue River.

We’d long assumed that the section above Dillon Reservoir is the Upper Blue, and the one below the dam is the Lower Blue.

A significant amount of people agree, but it’s not clear.

“The upper blue is from Dillon Dam to Green Mountain Reservoir,” said Ten Mile Creek Kayaks owner Matti Wade. “The Lower Blue is from Green Mountain Dam down to the Colorado.”

What of the Blue River above Dillon Reservoir?

“The Upper-Upper Blue” or the “Double-Upper Blue,” Wade replied.

Aha! But why?

“That’s not really a viable river for anyone to run – other than the play park that doesn’t ever run,” he said.

Duke Bradford, director of Breckenridge-based Arkansas Valley Adventures, concurs.

“We probably look at it from a boating standpoint,” he said.

This makes sense. But it can get confusing.

“Everybody has their own nomenclature,” said Scott Hummer, Blue River water commissioner.

He said “most locals equate the Upper Blue to being above” Dillon Reservoir, with the Lower Blue starting below the dam.

“Dillon to Green Mountain Reservoir you might call the Middle Blue,” Hummer said.

Silverthorne public works director Bill Linfield also said the Lower Blue is thought to begin below Dillon Dam.

“To most people, that seems logical – unless they live in Grand County,” he said.

Indeed, it would make sense from a Grand County perspective that the Lower Blue is the leg entering their territory.

Clearly there’s a lack of solidarity on this issue; boaters and people to the north see it differently from the what we figure to be the general Summit County population.

It’s kind of like how anyone who’s ever told you they’ve been to Crystal Lake could be talking about any number of lakes or ponds in this state and abroad.

The river thing can be frustrating, though, because now when someone mentions the Lower Blue, we’re not quite sure what Blue they mean.

And when a boating website says the Lower Blue is more mellow than the Upper Blue, we advise readers to take heed of the way these things are defined.

For accuracy, expect us to just use Blue River with a nearby landmark where applicable.

We’re glad we’ve finally brought about a semi-conclusive resolution to the Upper-Lower Blue debate.

It was taking up more time than you may have expected.


So we got an e-mail from Dan Streeter, who often sends us forwarded e-mails that are good for a laugh or two.

This one was especially funny, so we’ll take this opportunity to share it with you.

The subject: “Why Teachers Drink.”

It’s a series of scanned-in answers to test (or homework?) questions submitted by some very clever students.

We thought about making this quiz-style – with you having to turn your SDN copy upside-down to read the answers – but realized how obnoxious it is when publications do that.

So without further adieu, here we go…

– Q: Name six animals which live specifically in the Arctic.

A: Two polar bears, four seals.

(Ah-ha-ha. This one had us rolling on the carpet.)

– Q: Name one of the early Romans’ greatest achievements.

A: Learning to speak Latin.

– Q: Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed?

A: At the bottom.

– Q: Briefly explain what hard water is.

A: Ice.

– Q: What is a fibula?

A: A little lie.

– Q: Explain the phrase ‘free press.’

A: When your mum irons trousers for you.

– Q: Joanna works in an office. Her computer is a stand-alone system. What is a stand-alone computer system?

A: It doesn’t come with a chair.

– Q: What is a vibration?

A: There are good vibrations and bad vibrations. Good vibrations were discovered in the 1960s.


That was fun.

You know what else is fun? Spam (the meat).

Sure we’ve been shoveling the electronic stuff since the late ’90s, but we didn’t pop our first can of the pink-ish ham-ish stuff until Tuesday.

Many people say it is gross. We came across it in the canned meats aisle as we loaded up on tuna fish and sardines (yum!).

An item ordinarily overlooked, the Spam can this time was different; it had an easy recipe on the can:

Spam, Monterrey Jack cheese, tortilla.

Bam – an easy recipe we could mush together after deadline but just before bed.

Of course we augmented it with some home-grown cilantro and a can of Tecate.

Also we mixed a mean bowl of salsa with cayenne and crushed red peppers for the obligatory heat rush essential to our peace of mind.

Our first taste was a small cutting after we popped the meat wad out of the can. It tasted like cold hot dog.

We fried it on both sides then cooked up the quesadilla to make it look like the one on the can.

It went down well enough for us to go back for Spam and eggs the next morning.

Don’t expect your Spam to smell like bacon. If anything, it probably smells like fried bologna.

But at $2.50 for a can of six servings, you could live for a week on the stuff for the price of a cheeseburger at one of our local ski resorts.

Will we use Spam again? Probably not.

Our parents shielded us from it during childhood, and the last thing we need is for them to hear that we’re eating something that doesn’t look much different from cat food on first inspection.

It’s Sunday, and we’re rafting with beef jerky and PBR.

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