NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH

Crash near Kremmling ends with two flown to Denver

Vehicle-Accident-300A 31-year-old  Kremmling man faces felony charges after crashing his car on a dirt county road late Saturday evening. Two of the driver’s passengers were airlifted to Denver with serious injuries.  At approximately 10:45 p.m., a 2000 white Ford F150 was driven off Grand County Road 162 and rolled twice, partially ejecting one of its occupants. Two male passengers were flown to St. Anthony Hospital in Denver, and a small child was uninjured in the crash. The driver was transported to Kremmling Hospital, where he was arrested and then booked into the Grand County Jail. He faces felony vehicular assault charges, among others.  Alcohol is being investigated as a possible contributing factor in the crash, and it is believed only the child was properly restrained in the vehicle.

Hunters Urged to Avoid Violations

PARKS AND WILDLIFEEvery hunting season, officers for Colorado Parks and Wildlife hand out thousands of tickets for violations that cost hunters hundreds of thousands of dollars. While some of those tickets are for flagrant violations of wildlife regulations and hunting laws, many more are for minor violations that could have been avoided.

Hunters are reminded that not only can they be fined for violations, they can also lose their hunting privileges in Colorado and the 34 other states that cooperatively participate in a wildlife compact agreement.

Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager for the San Luis Valley, explained that hunters need to set aside some time to review the Colorado Big Game Brochure. The brochure explains many of the common violations and how to avoid them.

“Hunters must know their responsibilities when they get into the field,” Basagoitia said. “Wildlife laws are written to protect a valuable resource and for safety.”

Following are some of the more common violations that occur every year:

  • Not wearing fluorescent orange: You must wear at least 500 inches of daylight fluorescent orange, plus a head covering of the same color that can be seen from all directions. Camouflage orange or mesh orange do not qualify.
  • Carrying loaded firearms in or on vehicles: Rifles must not have ammunition in the chamber while in or on any motor vehicles. For those riding ATVs, weapons (rifles and bows) must also be in a closed case and fully unloaded (chamber and magazine). Most accidents involving firearms occur in or near vehicles.
  • Shooting from a road: Before firing a shot, you must be at least 50 feet off of a designated state or county road, and just off forest service or BLM roads. You also cannot shoot across a road.
  • License not voided: After you kill an animal, you must void the license immediately.
  • Improperly attached carcass tag: The carcass tag must be attached to the animal. The best way is to cut a hole in the hide and attach with a tie. It is OK to wait until you get back to camp or to your vehicle to attach the carcass tag.
  • No evidence of sex: Be sure to leave evidence of sex naturally attached to the carcass. Evidence includes the head, the ovum or the scrotum.
  • Waste of game meat: Big game meat can begin to spoil at 38 degrees. To keep the carcass cool, remove the hide as soon as possible after the kill to allow for air to circulate around the meat. Reduce the mass of the carcass by quartering the meat or boning out the meat. Place the meat in a cooler as soon as possible. Even in cold weather, a carcass should not hang outside for more than 36 hours. Remember: Because game meat contains very little fat, it cannot be aged like beef. The so-called “gamey taste” is caused by spoilage, not because the animal is wild. To learn how to field dress a big game animal, see the video at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/NewsMedia/Videos.
  • Shooting a spike-antlered elk: Hunters who hold a cow elk tag sometimes shoot spike bulls. Be sure of your target. If you are shooting at a long distance or in low light conditions, it can be difficult to see spike antlers. If you are not absolutely sure, do not shoot.
  • Illegally tagging an animal: You can only place a tag on an animal that you shot. You cannot trade tags with other license holders, or use tags of other license holders.

Coloradans Reminded to Buckle Up

CDOTThe Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol would like to remind residents that seat belts save lives, particularly at nighttime.

“Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to prevent serious injuries and save people from dying in motor vehicle crashes,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “It takes just two seconds to protect yourself. It’s a no-brainer.”

Nighttime seat belt enforcement is a priority for the Click It or Ticket campaign, as nighttime passenger vehicle occupants are least likely to buckle up and most likely to die in crashes when unrestrained. In 2012, there 83 drivers and passengers killed in crashes between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. who weren’t wearing their seat belts compared to 76 people in the daytime.

“We’ve seen one too many unnecessary deaths that could have been avoided by wearing a seat belt, which is why this campaign is so important to us,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

Top 10 Ways to Experience Fall Color

NW COLORADO FALL COLORSIn the fall, Colorado is transformed into a natural arena of shimmering colors, with the state’s signature gold Aspen trees serving as the main act. Colorado is home to scenic and historic byways, high mountain passes, winding hiking and biking trails, national and state parks, and scenic railways, all of which offer many ways to soak in the amazing fall foliage that peaks between mid-September and mid-October.

Following are the top 10 ways to experience Colorado’s fall colors.

Rocky Mountain High:

Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in North America, winds through Rocky Mountain National Park fromEstes Park in the east to Grand Lake in the west. With more than eight miles above 11,000 feet and a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge Road is an amazing vantage point for leaf peepers and is a favored spot for photographers. The Rocky Mountain Nature Association offers guided hikes and tours, as well as wildlife, nature and photo safaris. For an interesting twist, consider inn-to-inn hiking on The Walter Tishma Way. This 42-mile trek, offered by Footpaths of the World, combines four to six days of semi or fully guided hikes in Estes Park combined with evenings at rustic lodges and charming B&Bs. Rates start at $890 per person, double occupancy, and includes lodging with daily breakfast, sack lunches, luggage transfer, trekking poles, passes to Rocky Mountain National Park, shuttle service and more.

Photographer’s Favorite:

Gunnison is home to Kebler Pass, which boasts the largest aspen grove in North America and is one of renowned photographer John Fielder’s favorite places. Ohio Creek Road is a great starting point, as it passes some unique natural landscapes, including a series of ranch buildings marking the abandoned site of Castleton and the spires of “The Castles” – remnants of volcanic ash and mud that erupted from the West Elk Volcano some 30 million years ago.

Tires, Tracks and Trees:

The San Juan Skyway, a breathtaking 236-mile loop through the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, offers visitors an amazing array of fall colors. Designated as an All-American Road, a National Forest Scenic Byway and a Colorado Scenic & Historic Byway, the Skyway includes a 70-mile stretch known simply as the “Million Dollar Highway.” The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers a special Fall Photo Train (September 27-29), which is scheduled to coincide with optimal fall foliage colors. Amateur and professional photographers ride the train into the remote wilderness of the San Juan National Forest where photo opportunities abound. Another unique way to experience Colorado’s fall colors is with Soaring Tree Top Adventures, home to 27 zip lines that pass old growth Ponderosa forest Aspen trees as they turn into a range of golden yellows touched with orange.

Iconic Views Outside of Aspen:

The iconic Maroon Bells, two towering 14,000-foot mountains nestled in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, are the most photographed peaks in North America. Located in the 2.3 million acre White River National Forest, the Maroon Bells tower over numerous hiking trails that offer unbeatable views of golden aspen trees set against pines and other features, including clear alpine lakes. The area is accessible by car, however buses run daily through Labor Day and on weekends through October 6 from Aspen Highlands. Cost is $6 per adult or $4 for children ages 6-16 and seniors. Children six and younger ride for free.

Classic Western Colors:

Colorado’s Western Slope is home to the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat top mountain, and Colorado wine country. In addition to the reds, whites and rosés made in Grand Junction and Palisade, fall brings with it glorious colors. The Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Mesa is known for its amazing skiing, but in the fall, vibrant scrub oaks contrast with golden shimmering aspens along the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway. During the Fall Fest at Powderhorn (September 21-22), guests can access chairlifts along the mountain, offering a bird’s eye view.

Into the Wild:

Rugged Buffalo Pass, a dirt road just west of Steamboat Springs, is lined with rows of glowing aspen groves. The pass winds eight miles up toward the Continental Divide and Summit Lake, offering stunning views of the surrounding foliage. As the fall colors become more robust, locals recommend a hike to the pristine Zirkel Wilderness Area, one of the five original Colorado wilderness areas designated by the 1964 Wilderness Act. Located in the Routt National Forest, the Zirkel Wilderness Area is home to the Three Island Lake Trail, which takes hikers through coniferous forests and high meadows, past glacial lakes and vistas along the lush Elk River Valley. The 6.1-mile (round trip) trail is moderate in difficulty.

Scenic Southern Colorado:

Peaking at an altitude of more than 9,400 feet, the La Veta Pass on U.S. Route 160 in Southern Colorado is one of the most scenic drives in the state during the fall season. Gold aspen trees mixed with dark green pines line the pass while the magnificent Spanish Peaks and Sangre de Cristo Mountains stand towering over the foliage of the San Luis Valley. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, which runs from May through October, is another way to explore fall foliage in southern Colorado. The train passes through mountain meadows, canyons and colorful foothills that are otherwise inaccessible by motor vehicle.

Gondola:

The Telluride Free Gondola is one of the most popular ways to view Telluride’s amazing fall colors. The high-speed gondola transports visitors from Telluride to Mountain Village in less than 15 minutes. The aerial views include the town of Telluride, the Box Canyon, and colorful valleys lined with aspens and evergreens. For yet another way to see Telluride’s foliage, several trailheads are located right in town. Locals suggest the Jud Wiebe Trail, a three-mile loop, which winds through large aspen groves and passes by Comet Falls, one of Telluride’s many waterfalls.

Vroom with a View:

Colorado Highway 62 over the Dallas Divide represents an epic fall Colorado drive. Starting near Ridgway, visitors can get an amazing view of Mount Sneffels, one of Colorado’s 58 14ers, and the expansive Sneffels Wilderness Area, which offers several hiking trails for those wishing to venture out further. The route eventually connects with Highway 145 and Lizard Head Pass, which offers amazing views of Wilson Peak, the very mountain emblazoned on the iconic Coors logo.

Front Range Foliage:

The Peak-to-Peak Scenic & Historic Byway is Colorado’s oldest, having been established in 1918. The byway offers unmatched views of the Continental Divide and its dramatic fall colors. Though the byway is under 60 miles in length, there are numerous stop off points along the route, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, all of which offer their own unique vantage points for leaf peepers. Locals in Boulder suggest beginning a road trip in downtown Boulder, heading up through Boulder Canyon to the small town of Nederland and then along Highway 72, connecting to the Peak-to-Peak Scenic & Historic Byway.

sports-tile-800

In high school sports over the weekend:

In football:
Little Snake River Valley lost to Saratoga (58-12).
Meeker defeated Coal Ridge (36-13).
Steamboat topped Summit County (37-32).
Soroco beat Justice (54-6).
Rangely shut out Plateau Valley (60-0).
Moffat County fell to Rifle (62-0).
Hayden Day Spring Christian.

In volleyball:
Steamboat beat Basalt (25-17; 25-5)
Meeker defeated Hayden (3-1).
Moffat County lost to Rifle (25-22; 25-18; 25-23).
Rangely fell to Plateau Valley (25-16; 25-20; 25-11).
Little Snake River Valley topped Manila (25-15; 25-11; 25-7).
Hayden beat Vail Mountain 3-0.

In boys soccer:
Steamboat shut out Rifle 5-0.