Top 5: Keystone residents seek self-rule, Summit woman treks 18,221 miles, and why Colorado might not have a good snow year

Bethany Hughes, left, and Lauren Reed, right, pose for a photo after finishing their 18,221 mile "Her Odyssey" journey in Tuktoyaktuk, Canada. The "Her Odyssey" journey spanned almost seven years and traversed 14 countries.
Bethany Hughes/Courtesy photo

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1. What is ‘puffing’ and why is it illegal in Colorado?

On cold mornings, a person’s routine may consist of several efforts to ‘warm up.’ Be it sipping on coffee, slipping into a sweater or starting the car early, attempts to bear chilly mornings comfortably become routine this time of year. One popular habit that is intended to help cope with cold could land people in a more troublesome situation altogether.

“Puffing” describes when a driver starts their car and leaves it unattended — idling with the keys inside the vehicle. The term, which references puffs of exhaust escaping a tailpipe in cold weather, expresses a way to warm one’s car up before heading out for the day.

Avon Police Sergeant John Mackey said this common habit is surprisingly illegal in Colorado. Why?

“More vehicles are stolen in Eagle County from puffing alone than anything else,” Mackey said.

— Vail Daily

2. I-70 closed on Vail Pass on Thursday, Nov. 3 as snow blasts the High Country

At around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, Interstate 70 east of Vail closed due to safety concerns as a snowstorm blasts the Vail and Copper Mountain area. The storm continued into Friday and more travel delays were expected, the National Weather Service (NOAA) reported.

About an hour later, eastbound traffic of U.S. Highway 6 was closed from I-70 over Loveland Pass. The closure went into effect at 4:45 p.m. and ended near Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

In a hazardous weather outlook issued Thursday, the National Weather Service’s Grand Junction office said widespread rain and snow will continue throughout the day as a storm system moves over the area.

A winter weather advisory remained in effect until Friday morning.

By 7 a.m. on Friday morning, both directions of I-70 opened. By 9:04 a.m., U.S. Highway 6 was open, too.

Staff report

3. Keystone resort residents seek self-rule as Colorado’s newest town

After 50 years as an unincorporated mountain resort, Keystone residents are trying to become Colorado’s newest town — taking on the challenges of democratic self-rule.

They filed a petition in October in state court with more than the required number of signatures and are preparing for a special election early next year. It’s a matter of freedom, residents say, to focus on meeting human needs: school bus stops for kids, safety for visitors as hazardous oil and gas tankers from Loveland Pass rocket through, and power to shape their own future.

“Keystone wants to become a real town and take control of its destiny,” said Ken Riley, a retired Air Force colonel and aerospace industry executive leading an 11-member committee coordinating the campaign.

— The Denver Post

4. A 18,221-mile, 6-plus-year odyssey: Summit County woman completes journey from southern tip of South America to Arctic Ocean

Seven years is a long time for anyone. For those just entering adulthood, seven years may entail a high school graduation, a college graduation, marriage and possibly kids. 

For Summit resident Bethany “Fidget” Hughes and her hiking partner Lauren “Neon” Reed, the last seven years have been focused on trekking 18,000-plus miles from the southernmost tip of South America to the Arctic Ocean. 

Hughes and Reed set out to complete the nonmotorized journey by hiking, biking, kayaking, river rafting and canoeing their way across the Americas. Hughes and Reed originally set the goal of finishing their expedition in 2020, but the pair did not consider being hindered by a worldwide pandemic.

“We were traveling through really vulnerable populations in Mexico at the time that COVID started,” Hughes said. “There was no way I was going to put our ego and ambitions before the health of the people who don’t even have running water.” 

— Cody Jones

5. Don’t expect Colorado to have a good snow year. Here’s why.

Colorado can expect a warmer and drier winter, putting the state at greater risk of wildfire and lessening the chance of rebounding from the ongoing megadrought plaguing the West, climate scientists say.

To blame, they say, are La Niña conditions striking for the third year in a row.

Only twice before have La Niñas struck for three straight years, according to Becky Bollinger, of the Colorado State University’s Colorado Climate Center.

Historically speaking La Niñas split the state in half, Bollinger said. The northern portion can expect an average or above-average snowy season while the southern section will likely be warmer and drier.

— The Denver Post

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