Hey, Spike!, what ‘cha been up to lately?
While it appears your scribe has been MIA, he’s been busy editing (again) the third annual edition of Discover The Heart of Colorado magazine, a four-color glossy publication covering the Upper Arkansas River Valley, which runs from Salida to Leadville.
Getting back to this names and faces column (number 450 since November 2008), a group of age-defying mostly South Dakota-based skiers in their late 50s and early 60s arrived in Summit County recently — just in time to experience those unprecedented electrical and natural gas problems that largely shut down Keystone and Breckenridge ski areas.
Led by longtime-ago editor of the Summit Sentinel, Brad Johnson, now of Watertown, South Dakota, the group included Mike Tomlinson, Dr. Ken Johnson, Milt Carter, Dr. Henri Lanctin and David Lanctin. All are from Watertown, except David, who lives in Chicago.
Staying in Frisco, the group makes an annual trip to Summit County. They had planned to begin Thursday by skiing at Vail and skiing Breckenridge on Friday.
“Arising early Friday, we discovered no power to our condominium and thus began a confusing day,” Brad reported.
Unable to make coffee, the group headed to The Sunshine Café in Silverthorne as it is a regular stop. To their dismay, Sunshine was closed because of the power outage, but a quick internet check revealed the Arapahoe Café in Dillon was open.
Arriving shortly before an onslaught of other customers, the group witnessed restaurant servers about to become overwhelmed. During breakfast, the rumor mill indicated that Breckenridge was open, so the group headed cross-county.
Local Summit County radio had little information and the Breckenridge Ski Resort phone numbers were of no help.
Upon arriving at the Breck Connect Gondola parking lot, an attendant said it might be noon before Breckenridge would reopen — if at all.
“In a world of smart phones, one wonders why Summit ski areas did not have a better messaging plan,” pondered Brad.
Perhaps it’s because they never experienced a natural gas pressure drop and subsequent power outage/brownout.
Quickly, the group headed to Beaver Creek, theorizing that most diverted skiers would stop at Vail. It was a wise decision based on reports from other skiers who attempted to stop at Vail only to find packed parking lots before continuing to Beaver Creek.
“While busier than usual, Beaver Creek’s lift lines were largely non-existent, and the group enjoyed the fact that Breckenridge tickets were interchangeable with Beaver Creek,” said Brad.
The group ended the trip on Saturday skiing at Copper Mountain Resort.
“Perhaps next year, Breckenridge and the Sunshine Café will make it back onto the agenda,” Brad wrote.
Meanwhile, on the sad news side, reports of C. Richard “Dick” Ike passing at 83 in St. Marys, Ohio, reached Colorado on Presidents Day. He died Feb. 14, according to former wife Janet Watson.
Owner of Ike Insurance Agency for many years, Dick was also a veteran national ski patroller in Ohio, joining in 1965, and later serving in major instructional and organizational posts.
Moving out to Frisco in 1988, he became the assistant patrol director at Leadville’s Ski Cooper. Dick was a Realtor and served as executive director of the Copper Mountain Resort Association. He returned to St. Marys in 2002.
“I had a great life; I worked hard, but played even harder,” he said.
He is survived by his children: C. Richard Ike III, Wendy Ike Burke, Michael Ike, T. A. Ike, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to firstname.lastname@example.org
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