Janet Day: ‘Talk of the Valley’ going weekly
Talk of the Valley
I’m Back. Surprised to see me again so soon? The Talk of the Valley is going weekly. There’s just too much going on and I have too much to say about it all to risk missing things. So look for this column every Tuesday and keep those tips, questions, compliments, complaints and amusing gossip items coming.
Trail Time. Trails are clearing quickly and everyone’s anxious to get out. There are a few snowfields on the old Idlewild Ski Area trails, but they’re generally passable. Hurd Creek is clear, if muddy in sections. The trail makes for a nice after-work or first-thing-in-the-morning loop of an hour and a half (depending on where you park and how far you go before heading back).
The Spruce Creek Trail remains covered by knee-deep snowfields about half way up and the lower portion is suffering severely from erosion, both natural (runoff) and human-made (bike tire ruts).
Most of the trails by the St. Louis Creek Campground are fairly clear of snow, but not of logging operations. There’s a lot of lumber coming out of that area these days and the drive to the campground or on up to the Spruce Creek Trailhead is
unrecognizable. Thick stands of trees are gone; homes set back on private land bordering the forest and Denver Water Board property are strangely visible and Byer’s Peak can now be seen from just about everywhere.
Beetle-kill cutting operations are opening up vistas all over the area. Logging by Rendezvous and the Idlewild Ski Area made the big blue chairlift structures visible from Highway 40. For some reason, and maybe just because they’re blue, I like being able to see them. It would be great if the lifts are structurally sound and can be safely left in place as the area is developed.
A Road for Reality. A big woo hoo and thank you to the Fraser road crew that re-painted the stripes on the road behind Safeway going up the hill to Winter Park Ranch. They moved the center line east about three or four feet to create a wide bicycle/pedestrian lane on the west side. There’s plenty of room for vehicles in both directions and the many bikers, hikers, anglers and walkers who use that hill as access to the Fraser River, its adjacent trail and the town’s shops.
Naming Nonsense. So now we have a dispute over what to call the new recreation center, whenever it gets built. Simply calling it the Valley Recreation Center makes sense to me ” it favors neither Winter Park nor Fraser and doesn’t make it sound like a private center only for Grand Park. But the best name I heard so far came from a local photographer, “The Rec at Grand Park.” Forget the spelling; just say it aloud.
Economic Indicators. The national housing crisis seems to be settling into the county. While it hasn’t reached the level found in urban areas, the length of the foreclosure legal notices in the paper last week was eye-opening: pages and pages of them. In reading every one of the notices, I couldn’t find a pattern. The financial strain is affecting a broad cross-section of the county. Last week, there were foreclosure notices for several small condos, a few starter homes, big lots in high-end developments and comfortable homes in mature neighborhoods. The listings included homes in Kremmling, Granby, Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur, Tabernash and Fraser.
Based on the number of “for sale” signs going up in this end of the county, foreclosures and walk-aways may not be ending any time soon. Growing mortgage payments, shrinking paychecks and $4 a gallon for gas or milk can be overwhelming when they all occur at once. The New York Times last week had a cover story about the role second home purchases are playing in the crisis. It’s a growing issue in many recreational areas around the country ” what started out as a get-away or an investment is now, for many people, a huge financial burden.
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.
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