The first snow of winter to fall in the valleys of the Western Slope can arrive without much warning. Even though it is expected as soon as the fall colors end, there is always an element of surprise when a town wakes up to several inches of snow that silently fell overnight. The latest occurrence in Lake City, one of Colorado's small mountain towns, was in mid-November 2015.
A CDoT snowplow clears Highway 149, also known as the Silver Thread Scenic Byway.
For those who must travel, the plow is a regular and welcome sight.
The town's churches are among some of the oldest structures, and have weathered many winters.
Downtown Lake City becomes a peaceful winter scene.
Despite appearances, there is year-round life in the town. While some business owners leave with the
summer visitors, others are full-time residents and serve locals with the same enthusiasm as tourists.
The town park, scene of many summer events, falls quiet. Where hundreds gathered weeks earlier,
now a single set of footprints crosses the grass.
The understated colors of Silver Street now stand out against a white landscape.
The dusty roads of the Alpine Loop now present additional challenges. High sections are already impassable.
Essential services extend to more than road clearance and emergency services. The availability of gas
and groceries makes a 50 mile trip to the nearest city avoidable when fresh snow falls.
Despite the apparent hardships experienced, people who choose to live in these places are of a hardy disposition. The ice and snow that winter brings present opportunities for a range of sports such as snowshoeing and skiing, and familiar summer landscapes are transformed into stunning, silent monochrome vistas.
Did you enjoy this post? Share it with a friend! You can view many more blog updates from the Lake City area here, and of course my winter image gallery here. Finally, I hope you'll consider supporting a small Lake City business when thinking of gifts (or treat yourself). You can view a selection of my offerings here. Questions? Contact me anytime!