Where to go when your "check engine" light goes on
OK, technically it went on in Montana, and while I hoped it might be something that, like in the manual says "will go out on it's own after three cycles", it didn't. Where to take my car?
Finding a decent mechanic in a new place is an intimidating process. I started calling around and found that just not everyone in Summit County works on Mercedes. So after a couple of referrals, I ended up at Ski Country Shell, just off the Dam Road in Frisco. I made an appointment for 9 am and dropped it off, leaving the keys with the service dept. Then I went over to the Holiday Inn, across the parking lot to await a call to see what the verdict was.
Within 7 minutes I got a call reporting what the computer code was and telling me they needed to dig a little deeper. 2 hours later I got a call saying it was finished and ready to go. All it needed was new spark plugs and I was set. $200 (you can hardly get someone to open the hood for $200 in California) later, I was on my way with my car running great.
Holly, the service dept. manager, was intelligent, helpful and wrote down the computer code for if it happened again. She also told me what to watch out for in the future.
I was impressed and pleased. Ski Country Shell
Auto & Truck Repair/Foreign and Domestic
1125 N. Summit Blvd.
Frisco, CO 80443
Take the Highway 9 loop through Dillon and up over the Loveland Pass for spectacular views. The trip takes about 45 minutes and bypasses the Eisenhower Tunnel (beware: large trucks carrying flamable loads use this route) and goes from about 9,000 feet to nearly 12,000 feet.
The "Atlantis" of Colorado
"Still A Trading Post."
Situated pretty much in the heart of Summit County, the modern reincarnation of Dillon still fulfils its original function but instead of servicing the mining community its new role is now centred around tourism and in particular winter sports.
The town became established in the mid to late 1800's on the back of the respective gold and silver rushes, primarily as a trading post. As the city of Denver grew eyes were cast towards the area as a potential high-country water source for the city and in the 1950's the decision was made to site a reservoir where town was located. Construction on the dam began in the late 50's and the new reservoir completed in 1963.
Of the old Dillon only a few buildings were relocated, including the famous Arapahoe Cafe and Pub, the rest of the town being drowned by the rising waters of the reservoir. Towards the end of summer, when water levels are at their lowest, the bell tower of the old church can often be sighted.
"Welcome to Dillon"
At first glance the town of Dillon appears to be a gateway.... the small town with all the amenities for stocking up for your ultimate destination. But the town should not be overlooked. Scratch below the obvious surface and you will find a historical museum, live theater, concerts, a weekly farmers' market, live concerts, parks, restaurants and a working marina.
Lake Dillon provides the scenic centerpiece for Summit County. Glorious views from every angle present an aspect to the viewer of 14,000 foot peaks surrounding the area.
Old Dillon lies beneath the lake. In the spring of 2003 the water level was so low (30% full) that the steeple of the old church actually rose above the surface of the water!
Each year locals have a lottery, betting when the ice will melt on the lake. An alarm clock is placed on the ice. When it falls through, the person with the closest time wins. This year it was May13th.
If you haven't yet, be sure to visit my Keystone pages for more tips and photos of this incredible area.
View of a hotel.
This is where you catch the gondola for a ride up the mountain. In the spring/summer, you can take your mountain bike up with you on the ride or you can just ride it up and hike down one the many paths.
These are the gondolas!
If you don't have your own mountain bike, you can rent them at one of the bike shops. They come with helmets, too. You really might need one. The trails are divided into different skill levels. Some are pretty technical.
This guy's about ready to make another run up the mountain.
Taking a break!
The kids have their own play area complete with a pretend jail and a saloon.
There's a long flat bike path that runs along this river in Keystone for people who don't want to use up all their energy.
The bike path goes 35 miles (60km) west over Loveland pass - elevation 11,000ft (3350m)- to Vail.
Lake Dillon is much prettier than this picture shows. We have a bad drought in Colorado this year and there are some big forest fires in the state. Because of this, there's thick smoke in the air. There wasn't much sun shining through when I took this pic. If you notice ...the water level is low, too. Maybe next summer will be better.