Southwest Colorado Travel Update: Crews Make Progress on US 550 Red Mountain Pass  

March 18, 2019 – CDOT officials say pass could open in two weeks, but the continued closure means no skiers/snowshoers allowed.

CDOT PHOTO: A wall of snow towers above the bulldozer on South Red Mountain Pass. Over the weekend Colorado Department of Transportation crews started clearing the massive amounts of snow and debris from the Brooklyns slide that has been covering the highway for two weeks.

SOUTHWEST COLORADO ― Saturday avalanche mitigation efforts proved successful for a helicopter crew that set out to “knock-down” more than 25 slide paths that were primed for collapsing onto highways. The bulk of the operations took place on US Highway 550 Red Mountain Pass which has been closed since Sunday, March 3.

Last week’s unsettled weather and high avalanche danger prevented crews from performing snow removal operations on Red Mountain Pass. By mid-morning on Saturday, after the first of several slides had been triggered and fallen onto the closed highway, equipment operators with their arsenal of heavy machines headed down the closed road to start pushing snow out of the way. Crews started on the south side of the pass, just north of Silverton. By early afternoon mitigation had been completed on the north side of the pass allowing crews to work near the Riverside snow shed, just south of Ouray. Crews are assigned to 12-hour shifts working around the clock in order to get the pass open.

“We have never encountered avalanche slides to this magnitude. We’re pleased with the outcome of the avalanche control operations. Crews can now work without risk of potential slides,” said CDOT Area Maintenance Supervisor, Vance Kelso. “We are remaining optimistic that with cooperative weather and decreasing avalanche danger, we can get this pass opened within the next two weeks.”

Mitigation operations were also performed Saturday morning on two other southwest Colorado passes, US 550 Molas Pass and CO 145 Lizard Head Pass. Both passes were opened to the traveling public by mid-morning.

CDOT PHOTO: CDOT crews punched a hole through the Riverside shed which had been filled with snow and debris from a triggered avalanche. A massive amount of snow awaits the team on the other side of the tunnel on North Red Mountain Pass.

RED MOUNTAIN PASS HIGHWAY CLOSED TO EVERYONE:

The continued closure of Red Mountain Pass restricts anyone from accessing the highway. This includes vehicles and foot traffic as well. Skiers, snowshoers and hikers are warned that if they are caught within the closure area, they will be reported to the San Juan and Ouray Sheriffs’ Departments.

“This closure is for the safety of all,” said CDOT Maintenance Foreman, Paul Wilson. “We have many pieces of heavy equipment including, bull dozers, loaders, track hoes and snow blowers moving about on the roadway. Our crews need to focus on the task at hand ― opening this road to the traveling public and to the residents of our local communities. This work can progress more quickly without the distraction or hazard of anyone else in the work area.”

CDOT PHOTO: After successful avalanche mitigation over the weekend, CDOT’s crews are now able to safely work around the clock. Heavy equipment operators are working 12-hour shifts, 24-7, in an effort to open US 550 Red Mountain Pass to the traveling public.

The Mountain Poems of STONEHOUSE ~Shiwu (石屋 ~ translated by Red Pine.

The Rōbert [Cholo] Report (pron: Rō'bear Re'por)

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I searched high and low without success

by chance I found this forested peak

my thatch hut pokes through the clouds and sky

a moss-covered trail cuts through the bamboo

the greedy are worried about favor and shame

I spend my time in the stillness of meditation

bizarre rocks and gnarled pines remain unknown

to those who look for the mind with the mind

~~~

The Zen master and mountain hermit Stonehouse—considered one of the greatest Chinese Buddhist poets—used poetry as his medium of instruction. Near the end of his life, monks asked him to record what he found of interest on his mountain; Stonehouse delivered to them hundreds of poems and an admonition: “Do not to try singing these poems. Only if you sit on them will they do you any good.”

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Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, Dead at 81 ~ RollingStone

Pioneering guitarist and progenitor of surf rock with “Let’s Go Trippin’” and “Miserlou” inspired generation of musicians

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01:  Photo of Dick DALE  (Photo by Robert Knight Archive/Redferns)

Dick Dale, “the King of the Surf Guitar” and a pioneering guitarist that inspired a generation of musicians, has died at the age of 81.

Redferns

Dick Dale, “the King of the Surf Guitar,” has died at the age of 81.

California Rocker first reported that Dale died Sunday. His bassist Sam Bolle confirmed Dale’s death to the Guardian. No cause of death was revealed, but the guitarist suffered from health issues in recent years. In 2010, Dale said he was battling rectal cancer, and in an interview that went viral, Dale said in 2015 that “I can’t stop touring because I will die” due to medical expenses stemming from cancer treatment, diabetes and renal failure. “I have to raise $3,000 every month to pay for the medical supplies I need to stay alive, and that’s on top of the insurance that I pay for,” Dale said at the time.

Born Richard Monsour in Boston in 1937, Dale first played ukulele and then guitar as a child; Dale’s father, with Lebanese roots, taught his son the Middle Eastern scales that would later form the backbone of surf music.

After moving to Southern California as a senior in high school in 1954, Dale developed an obsession of surfing, ultimately combining his two passions and teaming with the Del-Tones to create tracks like 1961’s “Let’s Go Trippin’,” considered the first surf rock song, and the following year’s “Miserlou,” Dale’s take on an Eastern Mediterranean song; the Beach Boys would cover “Let’s Go Trippin’” two years later on their 1963 LP Surfin’ U.S.A.

Dale defined surf music as “that rumbling and all that stuff like that they associated the heavy Dick Dale staccato… it sounded like the barrel of a goddamn wave” in an interview with Surfer.

Dale was also recruited by the Fender company to test drive and help improve their instruments and amps; thanks to its association with Dale, the Fender Stratocaster became the go-to guitar for surf rock, with Dale’s signature golden Stratocaster dubbed “the Beast” a gift from Leo Fender, who custom-made the guitar for maximum volume.

“Nobody played loud, because there was no reason for them to play loud, so Leo [Fender] gave me one of his amps and told me, ‘You go beat it to death, and tell me what you think of it.’ And I started blowing them up, and they would catch on fire. I blew up over 50 of his amps,” Dale told Surfer in 2010. “He would say, “Why do you have to play so loud?” but when I put it on stage, the people’s bodies would soak up the sound because I wanted my guitar to sound like Gene Krupa’s drums.”

Jimi Hendrix, like Dale, would play his Stratocaster left-handed. Eddie Van Halen would later cite Dale and surf music as one of his prime inspirations, with the Van Halen guitarist modeling his method on Dale’s quick-picking. Stevie Ray Vaughan, another disciple, would team with Dale on a cover of the Chantays’ surf classic “Pipeline” in 1986; the rendition would be nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 1987 Grammys.

 

~~~

Dick Dale, Surf Guitar Legend, Dead At 81~ NPR

Dick Dale, the surf rock pioneer who took reverb to new levels, died on Saturday night. He was 81. The guitarist’s health had declined over the past 20 years due to a number of illnesses, including diabetes, kidney disease and rectal cancer. The news was confirmed to NPR by Dusty Watson, a drummer who worked and toured with Dale between 1995 and 2006, who says he spoke with Dale’s wife, Lana Dale. No cause was given.

Dale, born Richard Anthony Monsour in 1937, changed the sound of rock and roll in the early 1960s when he upped the reverb on his guitar and applied the Arabic scales of his father’s native Lebanon. Born and originally raised in Massachusetts, he found his aesthetic when his family moved to Orange County, California in 1954 — where he took up surfing.

His high-energy interpretation of an old song from Asia Minor, “Misirlou” (Egyptian Girl), became the most famous song of surf rock: He had learned the tune from his Lebanese uncles, who played it on the oud.

“I started playing it,” Dale, who had started out as a drummer, told NPR in a 2010 interview, “and I said, ‘Oh no, that’s too slow.’ And I thought of Gene Krupa’s drumming, his staccato drumming… When we went to California, I got my first guitar, but I was using this rocket-attack, Gene Krupa rhythm on the guitar.”

Dale’s collaborations with guitar inventor Leo Fender also made sonic history. “I met a man called Leo Fender,” he told NPR, “who is the Einstein of the guitar and the amplifiers. He says, ‘Here, I just made a guitar, it’s a Stratocaster. You just beat it to death and tell me what you think. So when I started playing on that thing, I wanted to get it to be as loud as I could, like Gene Krupa drums. And as I was surfing, when the waves picked me up and took me through the tubes, I would get that rumble sound.”

Fender and Dale also worked together on amplifiers, Dale told Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross in 1993. “I wanted to get a fat, thick, deep sound,” Dale remarked.

Fender kept trying options, but Dale still wasn’t satisfied. “We kept on making all these adjustments with output transformers, with speakers,” Dale told Fresh Air, “and that’s how I blew up over 48 speakers and amplifiers. They’d catch on fire, the speakers would freeze, the speakers would tear from the coils … So he went back to the drawing board came up and invented the Dick Dale Showman amplifier, and the dual Showman amplifier with the 15 inch Lansing speaker. That was the end result … along with the creations that we did on the Stratocaster guitar, making it a real thick body because the thicker the wood, the purer the sound.”

~~~  CONTINUE  ~~~

At 83, Mary Lane Upholds The Blues Tradition: ‘I Still Got It’

When blues legend Buddy Guy calls you the real deal, that’s no small compliment. Recently, Guy bestowed that honor on Mary Lane. After years of flying under the national radar, Lane has released a new album and is getting a well-deserved burst of recognition.

The 83-year-old singer began performing as a kid on the street corners of Clarendon, Ark. before making her way north to Chicago as part of the Great Migration. There, Lane developed a local following playing in clubs, alongside members of the blues pantheon including Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Magic Sam and Junior Wells. Along the way, she recorded just one album more than 20 years ago. Now, Lane is back with a new collection called Travelin’ Woman, out now.

Lane remembers her earliest days performing in Arkansas, where she would sing for the workers in the cotton fields. “I used to go to the field and all the people were out there picking cotton and everything. I’d always be behind. I’d be back there just singing and everybody say, ‘Come and sing, Mary. Go on and sing.’ And I kept on doing it for years and years as I came up.”

Lane’s talent and drive took her from the countryside of Arkansas to the city of Chicago in 1957, where she became known in the city for her showmanship, her spontaneous songwriting — “I just sing what I feel” — and working solely off the inspiration blues music gives her.

“The music got to be right. You know, I gotta feel it,” Lane says. “A lot of musicians out here, they play and they sound good. But you got to have that feel for the blues.”

On, Travelin’ Woman, produced by Jim Tullio, Lane sings of migration, heartbreak and country troubles, all delivered with the signature expression and spirit of traditional blues greats. Lane says she still sings the blues because it upholds the tradition of what the blues meant to her generation. The younger generation of blues artists coming up now, she explains, just don’t play it the same.

“For real, they haven’t experienced the things that I have,” Lane says. “Most of the older musicians, they singing about life and the things they feel, and that’s how they play the blues and sing the blues. So the younger guys, what they got to sing about? A lot of them don’t even know what the blues is.”

Lane was the subject of the documentary I Can Only Be Mary Lane and released Travelin’ Woman under the new Women of The Blues record label as the label’s first artist. Lane is taking the recent accolades in stride. “Until I can’t do it no more, I’ll be out here,” she says. “I still got it.”

Samuel Jackson Owns The Place

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“I know how many motherfuckers hate me. ’I’m never going to see a Sam Jackson movie again.’ Fuck I care? I already cashed that check. Fuck you.”

 

Samuel L. Jackson is driving our golf cart pedal to floor through the unseasonably cold southern California morning fog, pushing the whining electric engine to its limits. It is 8:15 a.m., and he and his foursome have already played nine holes. I met up with them at the turn and hopped into Jackson’s cart as they continued on the course, interrupting their mild shit-talking with sporadic occurrences of golf on the back nine. It is one of those bizarrely random Los Angeles groupings of people you never imagine together. Richard Schiff puffing on a cigarette in a faded Yankees cap and pink-trimmed performance golf slacks. An unfailingly upbeat producer-writer who spends much of the time encouraging everyone’s shots and explaining the game of cricket. A young semipro in a razor-crisp polo who drives the ball off the tee like he’s opening up a portal to another dimension. Don Cheadle is supposed to be here but is absent for unknown reasons. (We eventually discover on the clubhouse television that it has to do with him appearing on Good Morning America at that precise moment.) I later hear that Josh Duhamel frequently rounds out the group. I have never been on a golf course in my life.

This becomes clear to me when I later interview him in the country-club restaurant and he sprinkles n-words and motherfuckers about the dining area like handfuls of glitter as Grandpa- and Memaw-type club members look awkwardly into their eggs Benedict. He behaves not only like a man who belongs here but also like one who basically owns the place. His casual inattention to the perceived authority of white power structures is so deeply woven into his way of being that in his presence it seems bizarre that anyone, anywhere, would think to behave differently. A lot of people like to say they don’t give a fuck. Samuel L. Jackson simply doesn’t.

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“I’ve never understood that whole ’I want to do two movies a year’ thing. I want to get up and act every day.”

In two separate calendar years, 1990 and 2008, Samuel L. Jackson’s name was on the call sheet for seven different films. Moreover, he has found his way into megafranchises like Star Wars and The Incredibles, and as former SHIELD director Nick Fury, Jackson has shot eleven different Marvel movies, including four Avengers films.

But if any year is the year of Sam Jackson, 2019 looks to be it. In addition to his upcoming Marvel work, he will star in the sequel to 2000’s cult-classic remake of Shaft and handle narration for the much-anticipated docuseries Enslaved.This year also marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Pulp Fiction, which will be celebrated with hundreds of theatrical screenings and a bevy of appearances and interviews by the man who immortalized Jules Winnfield. The Jackson-led M. Night Shyamalan sequel Glass opened the year atop the box office for multiple weeks, and between that and his Marvel commitments, the actor could spend the first year of his seventies with more weeks at number one than any other working actor in 2019—a remarkable feat for a man who is already the highest-grossing film actor of all time, with his movies accounting for an estimated $13 billion combined.

Great Reason for Skipping School

Screen Shot 2019-03-15 at 1.24.00 PM.pngStudents around the globe have launched an international walkout to protest adults’ refusal to take action on climate change. They’re taking it into their own hands! Find out more about the protest and the students’ demands.


The children worldwide protesting against lax climate change policies are trying to get something across to their elders: they won’t be silent when it comes to protecting themselves and the generations that come after them. That’s why they launched a strike on March 15, walking out of their schools and taking to the streets to make their voices heard.

Ikkyū

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CANCEL ALL DEBTS
Robbers never strike at the homes of the poor;
Private wealth does not benefit the entire
           nation.
Calamity has its source in the accumulated
           riches of a few,
People who lose their souls for ten thousand
           coins.
~~~
The Basics Never Change, as evidenced by this from Wild Ways, Zen Poems by Ikkyū (Translated by John Stevens, White Pine Press), who died in 1481 at the age of 87. D. Dorworth
Ikkyū was an eccentric, iconoclastic Japanese Zen Buddhist monk and poet. He had a great impact on the infusion of Japanese art and literature with Zen attitudes and ideals.

Silverton officials close county roads, discourage backcountry use

It does not appear crews will trigger avalanches on Kendall Mountain
The Colorado Department of Transportation triggered a slide in 2013 along U.S. Highway 550 near Silverton. The town of Silverton and San Juan County are considering whether to close the backcountry to recreationists because of considerable avalanche danger.