Posts Tagged ‘Interstate 70 Industrial Tourism Sacrifice Zone’

Industrial tourism

June 21, 2013
Eat me

I dined at the exclusive Vitamin Cottage in Dillon, selecting a delicious potato salad and San Pellegrino from the extensive menu of shit one can eat in one’s car.

Yesterday I visited, briefly, what the late, lamented Ed Quillen once called the Interstate 70 Industrial Tourism Sacrifice Zone. Nothing wrong with the place that Peak Oil can’t cure.

It had been several years since my last visit to the Zone, and peer as I might between the rare gaps in  traffic I could detect no signs of intelligent life.

There was existence, of a sort — the Breckenridge-Frisco-Silverthorne-Dillon clusterplex remained as relentlessly active as an anthill, busily raising a bumper crop of orange road-construction cones with one pincer and separating rubes from their rubles with the other.

I was in the Zone to meet a shooter from Steamboat Springs, whose current project required the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff I’ve been evaluating for Adventure Cyclist. Time was of the essence, and shop mechanics are crushed this time of year, so we didn’t care to wait for the lengthy disassembly-shipping-reassembly process, which can involve brown-suited gorillas using the box as a trampoline in between ZIP codes.

So I drove north from Bibleburg, and Doug drove south from Steamboat, and we met in the parking lot of a Silverthorne Wendy’s, as seemed appropriate, given the locale.

We were clearly members of the same tribe — Doug was driving a black Subaru with a bike on the roof, and I was driving a silver Subaru with a bike in the back — and neither of us was overjoyed to be in the Zone, though in its defense I will note that it was not on fire at the moment.

We discussed the Divide Rohloff, cycling and our own communities’ respective revenue-enhancement models — his, a vastly enhanced network of cycling trails (Welcome to Steamboat 2013!); mine, a downtown stadium for the Colorado Rockies’ farm club and a U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame (Welcome to Bibleburg 1913!).

Then we shook hands, jumped into our respective Subarus, and off we went.

Having taken the scenic route north, through Woodland Park, Hartsel, Fairplay and Breck’, I decided I owed it to science to take the interstates home. It being seven-ish I enjoyed mostly smooth sailing despite the $160 million Twin Tunnels expansion project until I approached the Air Force Academy, where I began a 40-minute crawl through three more road “improvement” projects to Chez Dog.

Those should do wonders for tourism. It certainly made me want to go somewhere. Take me out to the ball game. …