Last night a hot air balloon was illuminated in the park in Lake City.

Burners were a relief from the extreme cold.

And the today they were flown above the frozen lake, while everyone else whizzed around on snowmobiles.

A State of Flux


Hinsdale County is a beautiful and remote location. Many people are drawn to come here to Lake City on holiday, and many of those people buy second homes. During the month I was here last summer with the Hardrock Revision residency, it became apparent that the population of Lake City fluctuates wildly during the year. This has a big impact on businesses and the economy here. Now that I’m back, in the depths of winter, I can certainly see the difference.

A dig around the US Census and other reports brought some numbers to light.


Eggs at Altitude


All the way up from Denver my ears were popping as I climbed to Lake City which is at 8,671 ft above sea level. That’s 8,546 ft higher than my hometown of Manchester. There are some serious mountains near Lake City too – Uncompaghre being the highest at 14,409 ft.

With the Ute Ulay mine being at 9,200 ft you’d get very fit working at that altitude.

Apart from the possibility of altitude sickness, which can usually be avoided with a few simple measures, there can be some serious side effects of life so high up. Water boils at a lower temperature the higher you go – so my soft boiled eggs and soldiers were a disaster this morning.