More Stupid Tourist Tricks

Above:  Stupid Tourist Tricks are a good source of amusement for locals.

It is always amusing to me when I see the traffic of the Fawnskin Flyer soar because of articles I’ve done about snow plows, snow chain rentals, or snow tires, snow tire chains and cables because locals don’t really care about those things.

Maybe new residents do or perhaps second home owners do–but most of us are savvy about such things.

However, the rest of the world looks for the information and seems to somehow find it here along with some of my smart mouth commentary.

Because it has been a while I thought it was time for more stupid tourist tricks. This was triggered because I have been really entertained by some of the things going on around these parts.

It is due to the heavy snow fall we had during the holidays–which proves to be both a curse and a blessing around these parts.

It is a blessing to the local economy and a curse for locals and some of the businesses who have to deal with the bad behavior.

Just last week I walked down to town to wait for a lift. Imagine my amusement watching all kinds of vehicle antics.

There was the car that stopped in the middle of the road to shop at the Fawnskin Market instead of driving into the parking area cleared for such purposes.

They didn’t have chains and seemed to not care that they were blocking the entire East bound lane of highway traffic.

Then there was the Budweiser driver. Not great advertising when you decide to attempt to drive down too narrow an area and then block both lanes of the highway while you spin your wheels.

Honestly, I was p0inting out the pull out area just a little further up in front of the Fawn Lodge but I think he didn’t want to haul the beer over in the cart.

Next, there were the semi trucks that decided to pull over near and on Grout Creek Bridge. Yes, they blocked a whole lane as well.

My favorite was the guy delivering the new windows to that gigantic McMansion being built on the lake.

Actually, he was doing pretty good for a while–so much so that I was impressed.

I have a Class A license and actually was certified in Diesel Truck Driving when there weren’t too many female operators so of course I have to spout my opinion!

But things went bad pretty quickly. He got directions from a local fireman and turned around.

Pretty tricky with so many berms and not too much room.

Then he sat for a while–pondering.

Then he drove past the Fawnskin Post Office.

Then he stoped and backed up over Grout Creek Bridge.

Then he sat some more.

AND THEN he did it, he tried to drive down that little road next to Fawnskin Realty and high centered the trailer so that the tires at the rear just spun nicely in the air.

That was about the time I started my trek back home.

However, since I live above it all, I was able to see that he made it over to the job site…and then promptly got stuck trying to drive out later.

Must have been high excitement for him and it kept me amused–and I found that even the birds at the feeder thought it was great fun to watch.

Then take yesterday…

I’d been sticking close to home and so was oblivious to the lifting of the chain restrictions and the massive onslaught of visitors coming up to see the snow.

Here is an important point to note:

Heavy Snow Fall + Weekend + Cleared Roads = Heavy Tourist Invasion

One neighbor who had invited a friend  to visit said it took EIGHT hours for the guy to drive up the mountain.

Personally, I’ve driven in a blizzard up here once the first year I lived here and that was the last time I chose to do so and I can’t help but wonder why someone would cart their family up in a snow storm.

Perhaps they really are oblivious to all the hazards or maybe they don’t have any other time off and so feel that they must.

One of my pals just shook his head, “You mean they chose to load their loved ones in a car and not only make them endure the drive but also put them at risk?”

Good point and one that I hadn’t thought about…

Anyway, yesterday we took a late jaunt down the mountain.

HM was coming to Fawnskin and took a long while because he found it difficult to drive out of State Lane onto Highway 38 because the traffic stream coming into the valley was so bad.

Like a good seasoned local, he decided to nip over to the North Shore and drive to my house.

I had thought about banking and a couple of other errands but it was so late I just forgot about it and decided that it was a great decision because by the time we arrived onto the Arctic Circle (that high portion of Highway 18 that is famous for ice, rock slides, and crazy drivers) it was clear that everyone is Southern California was heading up here.

Most people still had their chains on despite the fact that the highways were clear due to the sun and higher temperature.

However, that didn’t stop them from suddenly pulling over next to a berm to

a) drop their chains (as in take them off the tires) or

b) stop to sled down the step slopes right above the highway.

That has to be better entertainment than “Fracture Ridge” over on the South Shore.

Anyway, things were moving okay until we passed Snow Valley where people were surprisingly not parked alongside the road to the East–but when you got to the West end near the Snow Drift Tubing Park–that was a different story.

Even though there really is no shoulder, due to the berms, people  pull over anyway and parked so they could go sledding. A few actually attempted to drive into the Snow Drift parking lot and support the local commerce.

In the meantime, this made sure that everyone slowed to a crawl that seemed to get worse just before we arrived at the Bus Stop Coffee House & Cafe.

To say things were crazy is an understatement.

Taking the back road helped us bypass some of the mess but we were not prepared for the wild parking lot or the chaos inside the entry way.

Outside, people decided to make a secondary road IN the parking area. This means that cars weaved through the area between vehicles that were double parked.

And of course, they were driving too fast for the conditions not realizing they were driving on solid ice.

Also, people were parked blocking half the road on Hunsaker.


Inside the Bus Stop Cafe the crew was attempting to be cheery but it must have been tough thing to do so late in the day.

Instead of the normal bright toothy grins, we saw tired smiles with no pearly whites to be seen.

Now in spite of there being public restrooms nearby and the gas station facilities across the street (which we later found out that the station closed) there were hoards of people rushing the cafe door and heading downstairs to use the facilities where a line about 20 deep was formed for the restrooms.

Now I’ve written about this problem before in the now famous Toilet T-Issue because all merchants face this challenge.

Yes, they had signs up but no matter…High Altitude Urination is something that the county and local business and visitor associations should help address.

Anyway, since we are regular paying clients we were a sight for sore eyes and shortly after our orders were taken the door was locked securely with a “closed” sign taped to it.

They had sold out of a lot of product but they really could not take any more of the insanity.

As usual, we had a wonderful meal…

However, HM’s journey didn’t seem like such a great idea now since it took so long to get there and the roads were still very congested.

Ultimately we headed over to a pal’s house to wait it out and, several hours later, HM was able to slide into the down hill lane and made it to his destination in fairly good time.


I stayed at my pal’s home by the fire and watched with amazement just how many vehicles were

Now as you know, I always have something to say about such matters…

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 29th, 2008 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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2 Responses to “More Stupid Tourist Tricks

  • 1
    Part Timer Larry
    December 30th, 2008 19:35

    Thank you! What a great post. We just arrived back down the hill. As a part timer, I am not really a tourist, but not really accepted as a local either. I try to act as a local, and shop local. I saw some of the worst behavior wherever I was this in this past week, I’m not sure I an complain about the lack of customer service anymore. It started with the renters across the street. Parked a large pickup in the street, much narrower because of the berms, so that several of us couldn’t get out of our driveways. Then the people complaining in a local coffee house about them running out of medium sized cups and cardboard sleeves. Hello?? Anyone see the roads? Think trucks could get up when cars couldn’t? Then there were the foul mouthed teenagers in line at Vons, eating fruit like it was going out of style and complaining loudly to the clerk about not having a Vons card. Today, at our local lunch joint, when they told us they were out of roast beef and avocado and we just switched our order, we heard horror stories of people over the last several days. Geez, I had turkey instead of roast beef. For this people get irate?

  • 2
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    December 31st, 2008 14:09

    Welcome to the joys of living in the mountains during the holiday frenzy. Most of us Fawnskin Folks just hunker down around home for the duration. Should lighten up after this next weekend. Then mostly only the weekends will be hell!