Janet Day – Weekend visitors advance their itineraries
September 13, 2009
Changing Mountain Time: Have you noticed how the weekends have changed this summer? Visitors are no longer here from Friday night to Sunday night. They’re leaving work early and arriving around noon on Friday then leaving the valley by noon on Sunday.
They all seem to think they’re going to beat the traffic back to Denver, but in reality, they create the traffic.
Labor Day weekend was an amazing thing to watch as the phenomenon stretched into Monday because of the holiday. By 11 a.m. Monday, U.S. Highway 40 was at a standstill, with bumper-to-bumper east-bound traffic from Tabernash to Winter Park where it opens up to two lanes. Six hours later, at 5 p.m., when you’d expect heading-home traffic to be at its heaviest, there was hardly a car on the road. From our afternoon vantage point on the Fontenot’s deck, we watched and counted traffic that was thinner than a mud season Tuesday morning.
Business owners would do well to keep an eye on the changing weekend through the winter and into next summer, offering Friday afternoon and Sunday morning deals for visitors and a few Sunday afternoon specials for those of us who will still be around later in the day.
Feeding Families through Fun: Here’s one construction project the whole county should get behind – a benefit for the Mountain Family Center next Saturday will include a “canstruction” of Smokey Bear. The anti-forest fire icon will be re-created from cans of donated food as part of the 3K Walk Away Hunger event.
The event is part of the Grand Lake Fall Bluegrass Festival. Even if you don’t participate in the walk, donate a can or two to help out. Some cans and colors are still needed: Progresso Soups (22 oz), Bush’s Baked Beans (22 oz) and Green Beans (20 oz). Cans can be dropped off at the Grand Lake Visitor Center.
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Registration forms for the walk can be downloaded and printed by going to http://www.grandlakechamber.com. Registration fees are $25 for those age 17 and older; $15 for participants who are younger. There’s a $5 discount with the donation of five cans of food or free registration with $100 in pledges. The walk starts at 10 a.m.
If you can’t make it to the Bluegrass Festival, you can still donate canned goods and maybe win some great art. The on-going canned food drive includes drop-off locations at the clubhouse at Grand Lake Golf Course and the Grand Lake Art Gallery through Sept. 20. Bring in three canned food items and be entered into an art drawing. The top prize is an original watercolor; second prize is a fall photo. For details, contact the gallery at email@example.com or 970.726.3102.
Fire Fuel: I took a hike up the Jim Creek Trail recently and was amazed by how many fallen trees litter the area. It got a little annoying stepping over or going around so many of them, but it was alarming to think what could happen with one lightning strike. That’s a lot of fuel littering the ground. Nonetheless, it’s one of my favorite autumn hikes and the waterfall at trail’s end is perfect lunch spot. Get up there while the aspen are changing.
– Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com. Follow me and local tidbits at http://www.twitter.com/DayJan or http://www.twitter.com/DayDreamCrafts.
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