Leadville News – September 12

Autumn Aspen Autobahn: Twin Lakes Side

Praying Angel_Twin Lakes_Fall 2017

An annual Autumn pilgrimage, the Praying Angel has returned in her golden glory at Twin Lakes, for a limited engagement. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

This time of year, it’s known as the Autumn Aspen Autobahn, as Colorado Highway 82 heading over Independence Pass becomes flooded with tourists – and locals alike, from both sides of the mountain – looking to take in that incredible autumn drive. For many, it will be the last cruise of the season, before the snow shuts down the pass until next spring. So if you have plans to take a cruise through Twin Lakes to enjoy the fall colors, here are some helpful Leadville Today travel tips about southern Lake County.

One of autumn’s most beloved Twin Lakes features is The Praying Angel. This magnificent arbor display, kneels proudly throughout an aspen groove, across the way at Twin Lakes Reservoir. And this time of year, the golden leaves really make her shine. The best place to view this unique mountain-scape is at the Praying Angel Fishing Access Spot. Turn off Highway 82 at the Red Rooster entrance, look for the “Boat Tours” sign. There’s plenty of parking, so that you can safely enjoy this special sight, away from the busy highway. 

VW Bus Coffee Twin Lakes

Peace, love and beans can be found at the new VW Bus Java Stop in Twin Lakes across from the visitor’s center on Highway 82. It’s open on weekends through the season.

If you’ve traveled through the village of Twin Lakes lately, you probably noticed the sunshine yellow VW Bus parked along the highway with the big, bold COFFEE sign in its front window. While self-explanatory to most folks, this new mobile java machine will be serving it up hot and fresh on the weekends through the end of the year, according to owner Bob Dalzell. And next summer he hopes to be be grinding up those beans all season! Stop in for your road-weary jolt to get you up over the pass or take in the fall colors in the village.

Did you know that there’s a mechanic in Twin Lakes for all those motorized toys and tools-of-the-trade you’ve been driving around all summer? Started in January of this year, Balltown Mini Motors is located on the corner of Highways 82 and 24, at 160 East State Hwy 82. Owned and operated by JR Fearneyhough, the business specializes in sales and service of utility task vehicle (UTVs) at a reasonable price.

These days, the average price of a brand new utility task vehicle UTV can cost between $10,000 and $40,000.  Balltown Mini Motors offer an option that’s budget friendly. From the John Deere Gator and Kawasaki Mule to other types of mini trucks and more, they have it all.

And when you have trouble with your rig, take it to a mechanic who has more than 30 years of experience in the profession. They also have interest in your old unit, for purchase or trade.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, whether you’re hunting, fishing or just out recreating in the beautiful outdoors, don’t let your trip to the Rocky Mountain get stalled by an unexpected brake down.  Call Balltown Mini Motors, LLC, by phone 719-917-8121 or email: balltownminimotors@gmail.com.


If you’re looking to satisfy those hunger pangs while out taking in the fall colors, stop in to The Twin Lakes Inn which continues to serve up tasty meals through September, open nightly for dinner and lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

According to General Manager Andy Walk, The Inn will continue to take lodging reservation past September, with the restaurant remaining open to accommodate lodging guests, as well as dining guests WITH RESERVATIONS. While the upgraded septic system will allow the establishment to offer more services beyond their busy summer season, the management is taking a  reserved approach heading into the off-season. In other words, reservations are strongly recommended. That said, they already have some Christmas parties lined up!

At your service is the dedicated staff of the Twin Lakes Inn (left to right): Server Steph, Bartender Jim, General Manager Andy Wald, Chef Chris, Chef Jeremy. Photo: Leadville Today.

And finally, news from The Friends of Twin Lakes.

  • Movie Night has been moved to Thursday this week, so be sure to catch the next show tomorrow, September 13 at 6 p.m. at the Schoolhouse.  Please bring your own beverage and snack as Denise Hagerty, a retired professor and screenwriter who formerly taught “Film as Literature,” leads movie-goers through “Dead Man,” a non-traditional western (almost a kind of spiritual western) starring Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Gabriel Byrne, Robert Mitchum and many other excellent actors. The group will explore and dissect the movie’s depiction of the “settling” of the frontier, Native Americans’ “noble savage” myth, and transformations involved in life and death.
  • The Friends of Twin Lakes will have their next Member Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. in the schoolhouse, 231 Lang Street. U.S. Forest Service Leadville/Salida District Ranger Jim Pitts will be our guest speaker.  The Friends have asked attendees to submit questions to Ranger Pitts before Friday, Sept. 21 for the Saturday meeting. 
  • Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. there will be a Fire Mitigation and Chipping Program Updtae. Join the new Wildland-Urban Interface Mitigation Specialist Carrie Howard as she updates residents on fire mitigation assessments and details of the upcoming chipping program where they will use grant funds to cover 1/2 of the cost.

So there’s some news from the Twin Lakes side of Independence Pass. See you on the Autumn Aspen Autobahn! And seriously, slow down and enjoy the fall colors!

Windmill_Twin Lakes_Fall 2017

Photo opportunties abound on the #AutumnAspenAutobahn, like the old windmill and barn setting off Highway 82 en route to Independence Pass. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

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