Eating, drinking and adventure in Chaffee County: Local tips for your next trip | Summer Fun Guide

“Now THIS is Colorado,” reads the highway sign welcoming visitors to Chaffee County. And it’s easy to see why.

With the Arkansas River connecting the idyllic, artsy towns of Buena Vista and Salida, this is a mecca for whitewater rafting and fishing. With an impressive cluster of 14,000-foot peaks, it’s a land that calls also to high-altitude climbers. Off-roaders get their thrills on rough and rowdy tracks such as the one on Mount Antero, while other sightseers follow the winding pavement of Cottonwood Pass over the Continental Divide.

Did we mention mountain biking? And hiking and camping?

“If you want to be alone in the woods, this might not be for you,” longtime Buena Vista resident Laura Hart says.

But if you want adventure and don’t mind a crowd, look no further than Chaffee County. Here are helpful tips from locals:

P.T. WOOD former Salida mayor, owner of Wood’s High Mountain Distillery

• Starting out: I love the crack-of-dawn tour up on (Monarch) Pass. Get up there and watch the sunrise with a baked good from Little Red Hen (1).

• Best stretch of water: The Numbers is probably my favorite in the whole world. Just super solid Class 4, beautiful whitewater for kayaking. And then the more casual day run is Browns Canyon (2). Low stress, high fun, and it’s really pretty in there as well.

• For mountain biking: Go up the Salida Mountain Trails (3). Just head up Frontside Trail (from downtown). There’s a kiosk with a map there. You can choose your adventure. Unkle Nazty is a pretty challenging, full-suspension type of descent. Or you can head out and wrap around to Cottonwood Trail, which is a longer loop I love.

• For lunch: Amicas (4) is one of my favorites: amazing salads, wood-fired pizzas.

• For later: If you’re looking for fancier, the Fritz (5). Benson’s for more of a bar hangout. High Side for live music.

• What else: There’s a number of spots up Chalk Creek, past Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort (6), that are either overnight rental cabins or vacation rentals that will have private hot springs with them. Cabins at Chalk Creek is one that comes to mind.

LAURA HART mother, community organizer in Buena Vista

• Wild time with wildlife: Go up the road to St. Elmo (7). They’ve got so many chipmunks all over. They’re well-known for the chipmunk feeding. That’s something you have to do.

• Perfect afternoon: There’s a little restaurant at River Runners, which is a rafting company. Right on the sand, they do live music, and it’s like hanging out at the beach.

• On the water: People love to rent paddleboards (8) from CKS on Main Street and take them over to the lake. There’s some really cool eddies right there on the river at the end of Main Street that people like to bring kayaks and paddleboards to. It’s even fun just to watch.

• A great tradition: Farmers market every Sunday during the summer at McPhelemy Park.

• For ice cream: K’s (9) is the nostalgic thing to do, but my favorite is Louie’s on Main Street (10).

• What else: My family is avid off-roaders, and I love to pack the kids and get on the trails. You definitely want to make sure you know what you’re doing and are prepared. There’s a lot of people that come and think they can do a trail. They’re called mountains for a reason.

JENNIFER DEMPSEY Salida Circus founder

• Ideal day: I would go rent a yurt at Joyful Journey (Hot Springs Spa in Moffat). Then I would come back into town and have a really delicious dinner at Little Cambodia. Then I would go hear music at (pour-your-own) 146 Taphouse (11), and I would have 12 different sips of beers.

• Fun hangout: Velveteen Lounge (12). It’s like you’re in 1920s Paris. You get all these designer cocktails, wine or beer, and they have all these cool events.

• Mark your calendar: The month of July will be the Salida Goes Surreal Festival. All through July there will be surrealism art shows at the SteamPlant and alleyway art installations throughout town.

• Shopping: Definitely The Beekeeper’s Honey Boutique. We’re full of consignment shops here. Free the Monkey, Ruby Blues, those are very interesting. Another place that families must stop by is Kaleidoscope Toy Shop (13).

• What else: Everybody who comes to Salida must stop by Box of Bubbles. Ken Brandon, he’s a native. It’s an art and community workshop space that he also lives in. It’s called Box of Bubbles because he wanted a place for people to come and talk about their ideas without their bubbles getting burst.

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Summit County families travel outside the community to find baby formula as national shortage continues

Camden Webster is a 7-month-old baby living in Blue River with his parents, Mandy and Tristan. Mandy said that it’s been difficult to find Camden’s baby formula due to the national shortage and that she’s had to travel outside the county to get enough supply.
Mandy Webster/Courtesy photo

When Abbott Nutrition closed its Sturgis, Michigan infant formula production facility in February, almost overnight, infant formula became hard to get. Three months later, the shortage continues as families across the nation struggle to find enough formula to feed their children.

The manufacturer voluntarily decided to close its facility after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to use certain powdered infant formula products from the company’s Sturgis plant, according to a release from the FDA.

One month later, Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet joined over 30 of his colleagues in sending a letter to the president of the Infant Nutrition Council of America calling on infant formula manufacturers to make every effort possible to get parents and families the formula they need to feed their kids, says a release from Bennet’s office.

More recently, the FDA and Abbott Nutrition came to an agreement that the company would take various corrective actions “that are expected to ultimately result in an increase of infant formula” and “ensure safe powdered infant formula is produced at the facility.”

According to a statement from the company from May 13, it has been relying on its FDA-registered facility in Cootehill, Ireland to ship out millions of cans of infant formula powder to the U.S., and it has also prioritized production at its Columbus, Ohio, facility. The same statement said that, subject to FDA approval, it could restart its Sturgis, Michigan site within two weeks.

But as the company works to get its facility up and running again, families are worrying about having enough supply on hand to feed their children. And in the case of Summit County families, some parents are even traveling as far as Glenwood Springs or the Front Range to stock up on supplies.

Blue River resident Mandy Webster supplements her 7-month-old son’s diet with a specialized infant formula called PurAmino. Webster said the formula was already hard to find before the shortage and that she normally ordered it off of Walmart’s website.

About three months ago, Webster said her mother shared her predictions about there being an infant formula shortage.

Eventually, the search for the formula became more difficult. Webster said she started enlisting the help of friends and family in other states to be on the lookout at their local stores when she could no longer find a site that would ship it to her in Summit County.

She also began punching in various Colorado zipcodes on Walmart’s website in the hopes that she’d find a few canisters at other locations around the state. In some cases, the search for formula has even dictated the family’s vacation, particularly on a recent trip to Moab, Utah.

“We stopped in every possible location between here and Moab, Utah on our camping trip there this last weekend, and were able to find some down in Glenwood Springs, which was a huge help,” Webster said. “We got an additional two canisters and should help get him through another couple of weeks.”

Tristan and Mandy Webster pose for a photo with their son, Camden. The family has struggled to find their son’s baby formula due to the national shortage, and in some cases, they have had to travel outside the county to find it.
Monica Kubinek/Courtesy photo

Breckenridge resident Andrea Finnerty agrees that finding formula in Summit County seems to require a scavenger hunt that, more often than not, doesn’t prove successful. Finnerty said her children no longer use formula, so her family isn’t impacted by the shortage. Nevertheless, she does have a Sam’s Club membership and has offered to pick up formula for various local and out-of-state families during her trips to Denver.

In total, she’s spent around $420 on formula in the last month. Finnerty said some families have reimbursed her for the supply and for travel time, but for some, she’s donated it to them since they might be in an especially tough spot.

In most local stores, customers are limited in how much formula they can buy. As supply dwindles and stores struggle to stock shelves, families worry about whether or not their stock will last and where they will go to find more supply for their children.

“For me, it reminds me of trying to find toilet paper and paper towels — when COVID first hit — at Target,” Finnerty said. “It’s like a wipe-out, apocalyptic-style bare shelves.”

Webster said she isn’t planning to rely on the uptick of production and is instead focusing her sights four months down the road when her son won’t be as dependent on formula anymore.

“I don’t foresee the actual formula shortage coming to an end any time soon,” Webster said.

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Crash blocks westbound lanes of SR-408 in Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A crash in Orange County is creating delays in the westbound lanes of S.R. 408, according to Orlando police.

Police said a travel trailer was overturned on the road at Exit 12B, Crystal Lake Drive. Orlando police said four of five lanes are blocked due to the crash.

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The state tweeted traffic is backed up all the way to Exit 16, S.R. 551/Goldenrod Road.

Police said no one was hurt in the crash.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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Rockdale County deputy hit, killed by 16-year-old driver while he directed traffic – WSB-TV Channel 2

Rockdale County deputy hit, killed while directing traffic The driver who hit the deputy remained on the scene, but it’s unclear if they will face any charges.

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — A Rockdale County sheriff’s deputy has died after being hit by a car while directing traffic, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputy Walter Jenkins, 54, was directing traffic on Georgia Hwy. 138 at Hwy. 912 around 9:30 p.m. when he was hit by a silver Kia Sportage.

Georgia State Patrol says the car was being driven by a 16-year-old girl.

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GSP said the teenager drove into the intersection where Jenkins was directing traffic and hit him with the front of her car. He was wearing a reflective vest while standing in the intersection.

Jenkins was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Just before 2 a.m., the office said Jenkins’ body was being taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for an autopsy by a police escort.


The sheriff’s office said that the teenage driver stayed on the scene. There is no word on if she will face any charges.

GSP says the accident is still under investigation.

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TRAFFIC UPDATE: I-20 reopens in DeKalb County hours after serious crash – The Atlanta Journal Constitution

TRAFFIC UPDATE: I-20 reopens in DeKalb County hours after serious crash   The Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Cruising Lake Michigan on the S.S. Badger ferry, from Ludington to Manitowoc, and on to Wisconsin’s scenic Door County

S.S. Badger on Lake Michigan

In October’s late afternoon sun, passengers on the S.S. Badger relax their way to Ludington, Mich., with a nap, a book, a game of chess, and gazing at Lake Michigan on one of the last ferry runs of the year.

LUDINGTON, Michigan – May brings the return of travelers, lining up their vehicles at Ludington’s Lake Michigan docks to board the famed S.S. Badger. The ferry is a National Historic Landmark, as well as an enjoyable ride across the lake toward summer vacation destinations in Wisconsin above Milwaukee: to Door County, and all points west.

For Ohioans, the ferry between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is an alternative to the laborious multi-lane highways to Milwaukee, including the traffic crawl through Chicago. From Cleveland, the total drive to Manitowoc, north of Milwaukee, usually is at least eight hours. Charming beach vacation towns in Door County are another two hours north.

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Man facing drug trafficking charge following Nassau County traffic stop

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Deputy-worn body camera footage shows what the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office says was a traffic stop that ended in a meth bust.

The Sheriff’s Office said William McCollough refused to pull his vehicle over and then led deputies on a brief chase to his home in Callahan. He’s facing a list of criminal charges, including trafficking meth.

Deputies said McCollough, 45, was driving with a suspended license and nearly 24 grams of crystal meth and drug trafficking paraphernalia in his car.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, when they searched McCollough, they found drugs on him.

“Did you eat the rest of it?” a deputy asks.

“I didn’t eat anything. (Inaudible) it has weed in it.”

But deputies appeared to find more than weed when they searched McCollough’s car.

“That looks like salt,” a deputy says.

“That’s crazy. Meth in the seat,” a deputy replies.

When deputies go to the other side of the car, a baby seat can be seen in the back of the car.


Moments later, a larger bag of crystal meth is pulled from the car, investigators said.

McCollough seems surprised when a deputy confronts him in the back of the cruiser.

“What is that you just pulled out of that bag?” McCollough asks.

Deputies said the nearly 24 grams of crystal substance tested positive for crystal meth.

On the trafficking charge alone, McCollough faces a mandatory minimum of three years in prison if convicted on top of the other charges.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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Fatal crash stops traffic on State Road 415 in Volusia County

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A single-vehicle crash on State Road 415 in Volusia County stopped traffic in both directions Sunday as troopers investigated, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The crash happened at 10:21 a.m. near Osceola Tram Road, troopers said. Witnesses alleged that a car — driven by a 45-year-old man from Buford, Georgia — was headed northbound on S.R. 415 and merging in and out of southbound lanes to pass traffic.

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During an attempt at this, the man was confronted with oncoming traffic in the southbound lane and overcorrect to the right, his car beginning to overturn, according to a crash report.

The car collided with a tree before coming to rest overturned, and its driver was pronounced dead at the scene, the report said.

Both lanes of S.R. 415 in the area were blocked for the investigation, which troopers said was ongoing at the time of this report.

No other details were disclosed.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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Gregg, Smith County airports optimistic about summer travel season | Local

Airports in Gregg and Smith counties haven’t logged negative effects of a reported pilot shortage, with an expected strong summer travel season on the horizon.

The East Texas Regional Airport in Gregg County and Tyler Pounds Regional Airport in Smith County report, though, that flights at those airports could see larger aircraft in use by American Eagle, which provides service from both airports to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

In Gregg County, airport Manager Roy Miller said flights have not been cut — as happened at some smaller airports this year among multiple airlines: American Eagle maintained its three round-trips a day at East Texas Regional Airport. New equipment is on its way to the airport, though, that will improve service.

American Eagle has said it’s moving away from the 50-seat airplanes it’s been using at East Texas Regional Airport and other locations to 70-seat planes, with a limited first class cabin and more leg room, Miller said.

“We’re going to be a part of that,” Miller said.

American has been experiencing “limited pilot shortages for some time,” Miller said, and industry projections say factors such as pilot retirements in coming years could exacerbate the issue.

But American Eagle has been able to staff the local routes, both airport directors said, and they’ve heard nothing at this point about planned service decreases.

“I think our service is healthy and I think it’s going to improve,” Miller said.

East Texas Regional Airport’s activity is returning to pre-COVID numbers or better, he said.

March saw a total 6.8% increase in passengers. For the year so far, total passengers are up 23.3% from 2021, when a COVID surge continued to affect travel.

“I’m hoping we’re going to close the year out in double digit increases,” Miller said, adding that the expected larger regional jets will provide more capacity for more people to travel.

Robert Ison, CEO of American Airlines, provided an update on the airline’s staffing efforts in a conference call with industry analysts earlier this month. (The airline reported a $1.6 billion loss in the first quarter, but saw a net profit in March for the first time since July 2021 driven by lower infection rates, relaxed travel restrictions and “tremendous pent-up demand for people to travel.”

“Our summer planning began last year as demand returned, and we haven’t slowed down,” Ison said. “American has 12,000 more team members in place to support the operation this summer than in the summer of 2021. We’ve already welcomed more than 600 new pilots this year, exceeding our goal. And we will continue to aggressively recruit, hire and train across all departments to develop the best pipeline of talent in the industry.

We’re ready for the summer, and we have sized the airline for the resources we have available. … We’ve also made targeted investments in people, technology and resources that are yielding promising results for our team members and customers.”

Thompson said the Tyler airport has seen a potential positive effect of people hearing news of the expected pilot shortage — more people are wanting to learn to fly and the student pilot population is growing as news of the need for pilots has spread along with the lifting of pandemic restrictions for travel.

Tyler Pounds Regional Airport typically has 3-6 American Eagle flights a day, Thompson said, and that airport, too, might be getting larger aircraft in the future.

“We also have charter operations here that, again, as people return to flying there’s a good upside there as well, with more business for the charter operations,” located at the airport, he said.

Activity at the airport is on the “upswing,” Thompson said, with a strong April.

“Locally, the American staff has been very robust,” he said, and he’s expecting a positive travel season this summer.

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