Summt Up 4-4-11: Where we’re taking in the I-70 social experiment |

Summt Up 4-4-11: Where we’re taking in the I-70 social experiment

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that spent Sunday afternoon alongside stranded passengers in the Georgetown Visitor’s Center.

What an interesting spot for people watching. We’re pretty sure it would be an ideal social experiment to insert scientists or psychologists in the mix to observe how folks bond, get distressed, calm each other, or irritate each other as they suffer the same fate of waiting for the unknown: whether the highway will open or not.

In particular, we witnessed locals coaching out-of-towners on the perils of taking on Berthoud Pass as an alternate route.

“You hit 12,000 feet, and this is what it’s like at 8,000 feet,” some said. They then preached the more elicit – but elusive to the uninitiated – dangers of driving across the flats by Granby and into and out of Kremmling.

Sho’ ’nuff, it’s a white knuckler when the snow’s going and a-blowing. Same as what they said. And, rather than relaxing for a few hours in sleepy Georgetown with other like-minded motorists, you’re stuck behind the wheel for twice if not thrice the amount of time, all the while gripping the wheel… no thanks. We’ll take a cup o’ tea or a cold brew – or otherwise support local business – and wait for the gate to rise.

It’s here that we want to give a shout-out to the folks at the center for playing host to us – we filed this very column through their computer and Internet connection – and everyone else looking to stretch their legs and use the toilet. Thank you Georgetown Visitor’s Center!

As a side note, during the five hours we spent waiting, we sat beside an audio system that dutifully announced something relevant to Georgetown each time someone pressed the right button. We learned – repeatedly – about the Georgetown Loop Railroad, the Wild West, its wildlife, how “go West young man” came to be and more. We’d tell you all about it, but we’d rather you go visit the center. That, and by the third time, we’d tuned it out.

But seriously, you millions of Summit Up readers should stop in and say hi

to the folks manning the counter. Because maybe you’ll learn something, not just because we told you to. Check out the (stuffed) mountain goat and bighorn sheep that greet you as you enter. Just don’t touch.

Georgetown Visitor’s Center, we also want to thank you for hanging onto our staffer’s coat, which was turned in by an unnamed, good-hearted soul who deserves our very own Angel Alert!! Angel Alert!!

Our karma bit us on the butt on that one – not long ago, we scolded a woman for taking her expensive ski jacket into the Silverthorne Recreation Center locker room and not locking it up. Woops! Guess we made a boo-boo too-too.


On a completely different note, we’re letting everyone know it’s National Window Safety Week.

Here at the visitor’s center, on the other side of us from the audible kiosk, the Weather Channel is spouting off tips of what to do in high winds, the first being to stay away from windows. These guys are focused on the Southeast, where thunderstorms appear to be taking over the world, but we figure that tip is also applicable here.

Furthermore, you should regularly run emergency safety drills with your family, utilizing windows as exits.

Sound good, but we frankly don’t do that.

There’s more. Much of it is pretty intuitive, we think. But, just in case…

Want to keep your kiddos from falling from the windowsill? Keep furniture (including cribs! Duh!) away from windows. Oh, and try to open the windows that kids can’t reach.

Just in case they do clamber up and teeter out, you might want to consider using “soft landscaping” like shrubs, grass, bark and mulch under the windows to lessen the impact.

And while window screens offer unending laughter when your child inadvertently attempts to run through them (we’ve done it…), they’re technically meant to keep insects out, not support the weight of children, or pets for that matter. Just in case you were wondering.

Oh yeah, and just like you can get OUT the window in an emergency, intruders can get IN through your windows. Keep ’em locked.

But not too locked, the experts say. Bolting or painting them closed keeps you from getting out. Does it seem like we’re going in circles here?

There’s one last piece of advice we got for this week other than the extensive set of tips for picking up broken glass that we completely ignored. We’ll let you look that one up on your own. This one, we’re not quite sure how it applies in any way.

“Refrain from nailing or attaching decorative lights to the interior or exterior of window frames.” OK?


Gotta go grab that coat. Happy Monday!

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