While we aren’t exactly “paperless” in our office, we are definitely “paper-less” — using a lot less paper than we used to. We encourage our customers to communicate by email, and with online payments available, neither of us has to print out a piece of paper. We used to go through a ream of paper every week. Now, we barely use four reams per year. I like that.
Winter road hazards are not restricted to snow and ice. Travelers on East-bound I-70 in the Floyd Hill area need to be aware of morning sun glare, which can be blinding. According to CDOT:
From early November through early February, morning drivers can encounter a blinding sun glare as they head eastbound up Floyd Hill (mile 244 to 247 – east of Idaho Springs). The glare occurs from approximately 7 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. However, it is especially severe between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. The problem is created by the sun’s angle during the late fall and early winter, in combination with the hill and the highway’s configuration through the area.
Read the full article here: CDOT: Beware of Seasonal Sun Glare
Our weather services are telling us to be prepared for some snow flurries, with an inch or two accumulating on unpaved surfaces, Wednesday night and Thursday. Temperatures are also expected to plunge into the single digits on Friday night.
Summer’s over folks – let’s break out that cold-weather gear and have a great winter!
The professional forecasts for this winter are starting to come in. What’s in store for Summit County? The truth is, no one knows. We’re west of the Continental Divide, but don’t really qualify as Western Slope. We’re kind of like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. Surrounded by mountains, perched up here in the high country on our own.
That explains why we can get two completely opposite forecasts from different sources. So what do we do? Plan for either extreme, and look out the window every day. Whatever happens, we’ll be ready.
Well, it was a month late, but March weather finally arrived! Yesterday we had a foot of snow in some areas, and this morning another few inches blankets Summit County. We’re thankful for the moisture!
- El Niño (Little Boy) = weather throwing a temper tantrum
- La Niña (Little Girl) = normal weather on steroids
- Negative Arctic Oscillation = Cold
El Nino describes unusually warm Pacific temperatures near the equator, resulting in weather mayhem – drought or flooding; La Nina is the opposite, unusually cold Pacific temperatures near the equator, and tends to magnify usual weather – storms like “Snowmageddon.” Enter their cousin, “Arctic Oscillation.” This refers to shifts in atmospheric pressure between the Arctic Circle and North America. In the positive phase, cold air stays trapped in the extreme north. In the negative phase, cold air is swept south.
This winter, we are facing a combination of La Niña – magnified weather, and Arctic Oscillation in a negative phase – more cold air farther south. Result? As the Farmer’s Almanac describes it, predictions are that we’re in for a Wet and Wild Winter!
Source: Farmer’s Almanac
Guest Blogger: Linda Longacre
I love this time of year. It is so full of delightful surprises. Think back just a few weeks, when that morning in late August we woke up to something different. Indistinguishable at first, but then we realized that the air had changed. It had a new feeling, like a promise of something special to come. Then gently, over the next few weeks, the promise started unfolding. Our nights became a little cooler, the mornings more clear and crisp, the days delightfully warm and balmy, almost dreamlike. The flowers started outdoing themselves with a blazing of color that they hadn’t yet achieved all summer.
It has been a time of buzzing insects, busy getting the most out of the pollens before the winter puts the plants to sleep. There are long, slanting rays of sunshine in the afternoons, giving in reluctantly to the cooler, crispier evenings. The night sky seems clearer, and more stars seem visible. And then, it happened. That first definition of what was ahead. The morning peaks were covered in a new blanket of snow. Now everyone starts scurrying, animals and humans alike. It’s time to get in the winter supplies, do the last repairs to stairs and decks, deliver wood for the many fireplaces that will give their comforting warmth in the cold mornings ahead. Amidst all the hurried preparations, a new surprise greets us. Glorious colors unfold as the aspens start to turn. This year, especially, with so many of the pine forest lost to beetle kill, the aspen colors seem particularly vibrant. We stop during the busy days and look around us at the panorama of the beauty we live in, and drink in the colors. These moments will sustain us during the long weeks of winter white that are coming.
And what do we do during this time of preparation? The snow plowing equipment is all given a final check for repairs or maintenance. The salt is delivered and the salter is mounted on the truck. The skid steers are sporting their new snow tires. The snow plows are mounted and ready. We watch the weather reports more closely. Our crew is alert on standby ready to go and waiting for their first call. And then we wait with anticipation for those first snowflakes that usher in the new winter season ahead. And this morning, here they are!
Today is officially the last day of summer, although here in the mountains fall arrived weeks ago. There is fresh snow on the peaks, and splashes of gold on the aspens. This time of year, we’re scurrying around like squirrels getting ready for the start of our snow plowing season.
So what does a snow plowing contractor in Summit County do this time of year? Well, we’ve spent all summer following up with our customers and getting renewal contracts in place. But there are always some that get postponed to the last-minute – maybe the property is for sale, there has been some kind of family emergency, or our communications have gone astray in cyberspace or gotten lost in the mail.
We’re also spending hours with our crew, driving the routes, making note of any changes that have been made to landscaping or snow storage areas, and looking at areas where we had issues last season so that we can avoid repeat problems. Pre-season training of our snow plow operators is one of our most important activities before the first snow. Once things get covered up with that white blanket, it’s a lot harder to do.
We are very happy to have a stable core crew. This is JJ’s fourth season with us, so he is familiar with the properties, and he’s an ace at operating the Bobcat. Aaron joined us last year as an experienced loader operator. Growing up in Alaska, he learned from a young age how to move snow, and he has been an invaluable addition to our team. We will also be introducing some new crew members in the next few weeks.
The snow plows are coming out of storage, equipment buckets are getting traded for snow plow blades, and new snow tires are being installed. Long-range forecasts are indicating another season of above-average snowfall and below-average temperatures. You can be sure that when that first storm hits, we’ll be ready.
And in the meantime, this is also one of our favorite times of year. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful place, and we do take time to enjoy the fall colors. If you’re wondering where to go, check the Forest Service’s Fall Color Guide.
Let it snow!
Steve & Karen
“Home” has a different meaning to everyone, and even the word conjures up a wide range of emotions. I was thinking of this while driving home after my last trip to Denver. It’s nice to have the convenience of a large city close by, without having to actually live there. But I’m usually anxious to finish my business and head for home.
I enjoy the anticipation of my first glimpse of the Continental Divide. And I always find myself taking a moment to catch my breath as the panoramic view comes into sight. The mountains don’t change their shapes. And I realized how much I depend on that. My heart always calms down as I leave the chaos of the city behind me.
I found myself reflecting on the beauty of where we live, the sense of pride, of belonging, of safety and comfort. And then, as I drive out of the tunnel, I see “my” mountains . . . the familiar shapes of Buffalo Mountain and the Gore Range; then off to my left, Peak One and the Ten Mile Range coming into view. How timeless and dependable they all are, and comforting, waiting to welcome me home.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to give each other that same sense of comfort and dependability? To be able to say that Summit County is not just where we live, but “home” in the same sense our beautiful mountains say it to us. Summit County is my home. Is it yours?
You’ve either escaped to Mexico
or else you’re looking out the window at more snow falling and thinking, “Oh
rats!” In rebellion, you wear your flip-flops or sandals in the snow. Or, you give in and revel in the nearly unprecedented spring conditions, and go
board or ski some more.
This is the month of the melt-off, when the nature around us
renews itself and comes back to life and gives us the glory of the mountains in
summer that we all love.It is also a
grueling month of sorts. Not summer, not
winter. Sunny days followed by a blizzard. Mud and dirty snow everywhere, and melting snow piles leaving behind
six month’s accumulation of trash and dog poop.
But then, we live here for a reason, right?It’s that sound as we leave in the morning of
a new bird song in the area. The feel of fresh clean air in our lungs. The sparkle of snow on the mountain peaks, bold against the sky. The brave crocus or tulip sending up a green shoot through the snow.Or the morning that is so
sunny and bright, with our special Colorado blue sky, as we shed our boots,
hats, scarves, gloves and coats, and trade them in for shorts and sandals.And we have the constant lake watching too, waiting
for the day the timer falls through the ice in anticipation of sail boats and
summer regattas. These are the joys of Mudd Month.
So we put up with the mud (pronounced mudd!), the water, the
dirty snow, the cleanup, and greet one another with smiles, because we know
what is ahead and the anticipation runs high.
Meanwhile, we do have the cleanup.Mudd Month is the time we assess the ravages
of winter and what is left behind.What
are some of the necessary things to do?
- Do you have damage or rot in any
- Have you noticed
an area of bad drainage on your property that will be a problem?
- Is water
seeping into your basement or crawl space?
These items don’t have to be overwhelming.As with your snow removal, your friends at
Alpine Ventures are ready to come to your aid.
Contact Steve today for a free estimate, and get on the schedule early to
keep your property maintained.
And hang in there, Mudd Month will be over before we know
it, and we are looking forward to a wonderful summer!