CDOT Mitigates Avalanches, Clear Roads
Somewhere along today’s media field trip with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the opening date for Independence Pass slid from June 1 to the first week in June as crews worked alongside the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) to mitigate dangerous conditions and get the upper portion of State Highway 82 open for thru traffic. Work crews engaged a helicopter in today’s work, using explosives dropped into the cornice area above SH82, west of the Village of Twin Lakes in order to activate dangerous chutes and bring the snow to the ground for clearing, if necessary. But as crews assessed the situation as well as the damage to the roadway after a rough winter, it was Dr. Ethan Greene with the CAIC who when pressed for a firm open date of the seasonal thoroughfare, returned after a brief inquiry with CDOT officials and stated it will be the first week in June rather than the Saturday, June 1, the date given earlier in the day as the tour got started.
Two days might not seem like much but it would mean the second lost weekend to an already short summer for many seasonal businesses in Twin Lakes. Fortunately, most mountain folks know how to make the best of it and Twin Lakes is definitely OPEN for business this Memorial Day Weekend! So while you won’t be able to make your traditional trek all the way over Indy, please consider a drive out to the village to support all of those businesses and take a (slow!) ride up to see all of the avalanche aftermath – it really is something!
“I’m going to make walking sticks out of some of those trees and write “Avy 2019” on them and sell them,” laughed Anita Mason who operates Punky’s food trailer out at Twin Lakes. Now that’s how to make lemonade from lemons! By the way, everybody’s favorite hamburger joint (and more!) is open for business in its usual location in front of the Shooting Star Gallery.
In fact, everyone in the village is open, whether Independence Pass is or not! When LT caught up with Andy Wald with the Twin Lakes Inn & Saloon, he was on his way over to the Red Rooster Visitor’s Center in Twin Lakes to give all of the volunteers a free drink ticket at the saloon! And it was reported that when Bob at the Twin Lakes General Store needed some helped getting all those shelves stocked with some inventory that finally arrived, friends and neighbors put out the word and the helpers showed up. That’s how it works in southern Lake County, so be sure to show them your support and get down there and enjoy – BEFORE the pass is open and all the rest of them arrive!
Leadville Today will keep you posted on the opening of Independence Pass but for now, here’s some other news from southern Lake County!
News From the Friends of Twin Lakes
The Friends of Twin Lakes (FOTL) 1st Annual Wine Tasting Event was a big fundraising success with $875 in ticket sales and an additional $362 in donations from attendees. Many thanks to Cathy and Carl Wagner for their time, instruction and donating the wines tasted (and auctioned) and some of the delicious bites. Thanks too to Mark and Anne Graff, Andrew Wald and Chefs Alex and Darrel for opening up the Inn to host the event, preparing the bites, providing servers, clean up, etc. A tremendous time was had by all!
Bingo on Wednesday, May 29, at 5:30 PM in the Twin Lakes Schoolhouse, 231 Lang St., Twin Lakes. Please bring your own beverage and snacks. A $5 donation per player is greatly appreciated.
Are you ready for a quick evacuation or to shelter in place? Need a refresher or are new to what it takes to be a resilient community? Then join the FOTL on Friday, May 31 from 4 to 4:50 p.m. at the Schoolhouse, 231 Lang with Mike McHargue, Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Cailee Hamm who will provide useful guidelines and important factors to consider to help you and your family be prepared for these events. After the Lake Christine and Weston Pass fire evacuations last year and the avalanches this year–the need for residents to be prepared is more critical then ever!
The Friends of Twin Lakes (FOTL) Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, June 1 at 9 a.m at the Schoolhouse 231 Lang. Join the FOTL as they do a quick year review, make summer plans (so many options for speakers/events) and elect 2 new directors for their board.
The Arkansas River Conservancy will make a presentation at the Twin Lakes Inn on June 5 to learn more about the Ark River Community Preserve! This project will preserve one of the last undeveloped stretches of private property along the Arkansas River – 90 acres of key wildlife habitat and a mile of river for public access. Hosted by Central Colorado Conservancy the presentation on June 5 will be from 3 – 4:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by Monday, June 3 firstname.lastname@example.org or 719.539.7700
Another upcoming event about the local area will be, The Arkansas River: From Leadville to Lamar on June 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Twin Lakes Inn. Follow the Arkansas River from its headwaters to the Eastern plains in this renowned Rocky Mountain PBS Documentary After the film, a discussion will be led by several water experts including Greg Teter, Parkville Water, Sarah Mudge, Commissioner and Chair of Lake County Commissioner Board, Cheryl Wells, Lake County Water Advisory Council and Robert Krehbiel, PE, assisting with Lake County Water Augmentation Plan. Come learn about the water resources and the many uses of the Arkansas River.
On Tuesday afternoons starting in June at 1 p.m. there will be a CPR/AED/First Aid training offered by St. Vincent Hospital at no cost. Space is limited for each session so sign up and help community response capability. Contact Jonathan Burk at email@example.com to register. Due to the high demand and limited spaces, please make sure to attend your assigned date!!