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DRIVING THE ACCESS ROAD IN WINTER:tire tracks on snow covered road

As we all know chaining up your vehicle is a necessary part of living in our area. The main problem,as we all know with chains, is getting them on.
Some of us are real good at it and some of us it's real hard. The links below provide some interesting alternatives for equipping vehicles to provide better traction in ice/snow.



The Code of the West...the realities of rural living

The Code of the West, an unwritten code of conduct, bound the men and women who came to this part of the country by the values of integrity and self reliance. The Code guided their decisions and interactions. In keeping with that spirit, this information is offered to help citizens who choose to live outside city limits.

The fact that you can drive to your property doesn't guarantee you, your guests and emergency service vehicles can achieve that same level of access at all times. Please consider:

  • Emergency response times cannot be guaranteed.
  • Possible problems with legal easements, especially if you gain access by crossing another's property.
  • Cost and maintenance of the road. Many rural roads are maintained by private road associations, not county governments.
  • School busses travel only on maintained county roads, so you may need to drive school age children to the nearest county road.
  • Extreme weather conditions and natural disasters can make roads impassable for a period of time.
  • A four wheel drive vehicle with chains is often necessary for daily navigation in mountainous terrain.
  • Mail and newspaper delivery are often not available at the residence, television and internet access service may only be available via satellite and parcel and overnight delivery (FEDEX, UPS) can be a problem.
    Mountain driving can be very different from normal driving conditions. Some hazards you should be aware of are steep hills, changing weather, wildlife, and rocks in the roadway. If your vehicle experiences difficulty traveling up steep roadways, pull off the road at the first place you may do so safely, or stay in the right lane to allow other vehicles to pass. Here are some added tips:

  • Pay special attention to speed limit signs and warning signs, such as those warning of curves, steep hills or other hazards.
  • Watch for bicyclists near the right edge of the road.
  • Use a lower gear to control speeds while going up or down long, steep hills.
  • You must yield to vehicles going uphill if you are traveling downhill on a narrow road.
  • Do not coast downhill by shifting into neutral or disengaging the clutch.

    When driving in rural or country areas, there are a number of special situations that require attention. Watch for driveways, farm equipment, railroad crossings that might not be marked, and bridges that are narrow and poorly surfaced. Some intersections may be hidden by trees, brush and crops. Animals often are found wandering along the roadway. Extra care and slower speeds should be used when driving on gravel roads because of the reduced traction due to the road surface. The road surface can be affected by loose gravel, slippery conditions after rain or snow, ruts in the driving lanes, and washboard conditions. When approaching oncoming vehicles, watch for soft shoulders or the absence of shoulders.


  • Water, sewer, electric, telephone, trash and other services may be unavailable or operate at urban standards.
  • Extreme weather can cause power outages to occur more frequently. It is important to be able to survive for up to a week in severe cold with no utilities, if you live in the country.

  • Nature will provide you with some wonderful neighbors, such as deer, elk and eagles. However, rural development encroaches on the habitat of coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, prairie dogs, bears, mosquitoes and other animals that can be dangerous. In general, it is best to enjoy wildlife from a distance. If you do not handle your pets and trash properly, it will cause problems for you.
  • The physical characteristics of your property can be positive and negative. Spring runoff can cause a dry ravine or small creek to become a major river. Steep slopes can slide in unusually wet weather, large rocks can roll down steep slopes, expansive soils can buckle concrete and twist steel. All of this should be considered when building on vacant land.

  • Farmers and dairy operators often work around the clock, especially during planting and harvest. Its possible that agriculture uses will disturb the peace and quiet.
  • Land preparation can cause dust, chemicals are often used in fertilizing growing crops, farmers burn ditches to clear them of weeds, animals and their manure cause objectionable odors. Any or all of these may be a problem for you.
  • Colorado has "Right to Farm" legislation and an open range law. Do not expect county governments to intervene in the normal day-to-day operations of your agri-business neighbors. If you don't want cattle, sheep or other livestock on your property, it is your responsibility to fence them out.
  • This information, adapted from a Larimer County pamphlet, is not exhaustive. It is intended to inform, not dissuade and to urge anyone considering a move to the country to examine all the things that may cause the experience to fall short of expectations.

    Mailing Address

    PO Box 73
    Drake, CO 80515

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