After much thought I have decided to write a blog. It took a long time to decide to write one. I could not decide on what to focus on. I settled on the idea that my blog should be an extension of who I am as a person and the way I like to do things. My interests are so wide that I wanted to share as much of my passions with you.
It was the day before Christmas eve and we were driving up into the Rocky Mountains to meet up with our grandson and his dad. The reason is the grandson, Damien is coming to stay with us for two weeks and he lives in Telluride and we live in Fort Collins. It is a good 8-hour drive one way, so we usually meet in Glenwood Springs to pick up Damien. We were trying to beat a winter storm that was heading this way as it turned out we lost. It started snowing by the time we hit Georgetown on I-70. We thought this wasn’t so bad we had driven in this before. By the time we went through the Eisenhower Tunnel it was snowing very hard. Trucks were pulled over to the side of the road and putting on their chains. Even some cars were putting on their chains. We made it as far as Eagle and Damien and his dad met us at a fast food restaurant. We visited for a few moments over lunch and then headed back to Fort Collins. But, that was not to be. We pulled over in Frisco for coffee and to re-evaluate our chances of making to the Eisenhower Tunnel.
We were checking on our phones for weather reports and checking the cameras that are located on the freeway. The reports were sketchy about I-70 being closed. Not sure on how accurate this information was we decided to try to make it to Silverthorne, a mere 20 minutes down the road. Well guess what, it really was closed. The police forced everyone off the freeway. They had their cars across the road, so you could not sneak past, which I am sure many people would have tried. Once in town we were not sure what we were going to do at first. We thought the storm would just go by in a couple of hours. Now believing that the storm was going to be longer than anticipated we tried to find a hotel to stay for the night. Every hotel was booked in Silverthorne and in Frisco.
While we were trying to find a hotel, I parked the car in a parking lot. I had not looked up to see what the building was at first. We decided to look for an affordable place to eat. Hahaha the funny thing was the restaurant we found online was directly in front of us, The Arapahoe Café. Kismet? So, we went in and had dinner thinking maybe I-70 might open after dinner. The food was delicious, the service was fantastic, and they were very understanding of our plight and allowed us to stay till they closed.
I-70 was still closed so, we began to look for stores that would be open all night, considered going to a movie etc. We ended up going to Target and walked around an almost empty store, and why wouldn’t it be almost empty, there was a snowstorm going on. Finally, a clerk told us about the Rec Center and that we might find refuge there. Gave us very clear directions.
The roads had gotten so bad we slid a bit to the rec center. We were greeted by tons of people pouring into the center and the Red Cross was trying to process as many people as they could. Craziness ensued when blankets, mats and cots were being handed out. People were in a panic of sorts that they would not get a cot or blanket. In situations like this is when you see the true nature of some people. There were small children running around playing. People sitting in front of the tv for the latest news on the weather. Then there was those of us who were searching the place for outlets to charge our electronics. Overall everyone was pleased we had someplace to go that was warm, dry and friendly.
During all this craziness in walks a couple that look like Mr. and Mrs. Claus. They were not in costume. But he had a white beard and her white hair up in a bun. He did have a red vest on. The kids knew who he was without a costume. The couple began going to all the children and talking to them very softly and lovingly, and giving them coins. It was a joyous thing to behold. I believe this town is prepared for this sort of thing, as it does tend to happen in the Rocky Mountains this time of year. Once things calmed down a little Damien showed how much he was affected by all this. He was a little scared. We managed to calm him down enough that he wanted to wander around the rec center. When they announced I-70 was open boy did this place clear out fast. There is about 40 people who decided to stay the night rather than try to drive that night. It looks like bumper to bumper traffic going home if we left at that moment. We had not been one of the lucky ones to get blankets or cots so, when people began to leave Damien went and asked some of them closest to us if we could have their cots and blankets. He proceeded to set up a place for all 3 of us and with blankets. He even made sure we were near an outlet, so we could charge our phones. Once he laid his head down he was asleep. I do not know how he was able to sleep when there were babies crying and noise etc. We let him sleep for a while before we decided to head home.
All the people we talked to in Silverthorne, Colorado were kind, helpful and understanding. We have been in this town before and shopped, ate lunch etc. It is a lovely town and can recommend it to everyone who is traveling.