The treasure of the Sierra Mojada

Sidebar by Patrick O’grady

Pack-burro racing – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

I ran my first 10K on Memorial Day weekend, and I’m here to tell you — I’ve never seen a bigger pack of jackasses.

That’s not just a figure of speech. The event was the Silver Cliff to Westcliffe Western Pack-Burro Race, and as such featured a herd of four-legged jackasses to complement the two-legged variety.

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Pack-burro racing in the “Real World”

Column by Hal Walter

Pack-burro racing – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

It’s easy to figure, but difficult to understand, that if it hadn’t been for the obscure sport of pack-burro racing, I might not be living in Central Colorado tending to this jackass and word farm. But here I am, and if I have anyone to thank for saving me from the madness of what most people call “The Real World,” it would be Jumpin’ Jack, Clyde, Virgil, Hannibal and Spike — my five long-eared dependents.

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The real code of the West: an urban hinterland

Essay by Ed Quillen

The West – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE WEST is a hard thing to put your finger on. For one thing, it has several “centers.” There’s the Center for the Study of the North American West, in Phnix, I’ve heard, along with some centers I’ve actually visited — the Center of the American West in Boulder, and the Center for the New West in Denver.

Those are all centers to explore the political and sociological complexities of “the West.” But past the multitude of centers, what do we mean when we talk about the West? West of what?

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The Leadville Blues: Colorado’s best “base ball” team

Article by Duane Smith

Local History – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

What baseball team was Colorado’s best ever? Rockies’ fans would pick one of their favorite nines, while old-time fans would argue for one or another of the Denver Bears’ strongest teams. For the nineteenth century, however, no debate is necessary. The 1882 Leadville Blues sweep all before them, as they did their opponents for one glorious season.

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More time might prevent some wounds

Essay by Christina Nealson

Mountain Life – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Emma’s coveralls sag ’round her small, plump body and cast a smell of alfalfa and cow dung. The furrows in her face are as deep as those in her fields, dark lines etched by years of sun and wind, the work of the land.

Her two-story wood home sets proud on a prairie landscape with few trees. Its quiet walls no longer rumble with the comings and goings of family. Her clutch is gone, the up-stairs bedrooms shut off to save on heating bills.

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In Leadville, DuPont means more than dynamite

Article by Sharon K. Chickering

Local Artist – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazin

Art and Mary DuPont sit at a round table in a corner of their southern-facing, second-story front room, sun pouring in through floor-to-ceiling windows which command views of Leadville and the Sawatch Range. Bright red and yellow/orange tomatoes hang from potted plants on the floor.

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Mother Nature can attack in many ways

Letter from Stephen C. Glover

Geologic Hazards – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine


Thanks so much for sending me an issue of your Colorado Central Magazine. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

I was particularly interested in the article by Paul Martz on “Construction in the Stupid Zone.” I may be going to do just that, on a site up Chalk Creek.

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Tourism destroys environment faster than old industries did

Letter from Emil Bruce Lester, Jr.

Industrial Tourism – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Mining, Logging, Grazing Would Have to Work at It To Destroy Like Tourism


Soon after someone devises another way of earning a living, others join in, associations are formed, political action committees are financed, and someone adds the postscript “industry” to the business.

Tourism has now matured to the level of an “industry” in this country. Thirty years ago, tourism would have been considered an activity for the marginally employed, for the leisure set, and for retirees; it was not a serious occupation. Today serious money is involved.

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Floods and quakes and other geologic perils

Article by Paul Martz

Geologic Hazards – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

The first article in this two-part series dealt with potential problems with a more-or-less immediate negative result: Losing control of your pickup while towing a horse trailer up Droney Gulch because of slick bentonite after a thunderstorm is pretty immediate, from my point of view.

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Driving off the pavement

Article by Don Pennington

Outdoor recreation – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Most of us probably spend more and more of our waking hours working to support a family and the expense it incurs. Today, many of us work two jobs or work both days and evenings to make ends meet. Because of these things it has become more and more important to incorporate into an ever smaller amount of time, the recreational experiences that make our time and effort at work worthwhile.

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Walking in the Woods

Essay by Tom Lynch

Outdoor Recreation – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Most of us, if we watch much TV, have seen the Coors Light “Tap the Rockies” commercials. A shot of snow-capped peaks appears. Then the forms of several young men and women, vastly over-sized, loom above the mountains. They are engaged in a sporting activity — tossing a football or Frisbee — and, of course, drinking Coors Light.

The message of the commercial, in addition to the obvious plug for the brew, is that the vast Rocky Mountains are really just a big playground.

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Arthur Lloyd Monk: the mysterious grave on Cochetopa Pass

Brief by Central Staff

Local history – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Between mileposts 44 and 45 on Colo. 114 west of Saguache, a lone fenced grave sits a few yards south of the road. The marble tombstone carries this inscription:

DIED APRIL 19, 1883
AGED 51 Yrs 7 Ms 18 Dys

And the burden laid upon him was more than he could bear.

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Guffey’s canine mayor makes TV appearance

Brief by Central Staff

Guffey – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

The mayor of Guffey got a few minutes of fame recently, when Denver TV station KMGH featured the public official on its 10 p.m. newscast.

Guffey, which sits between South Park and Cañon City, isn’t incorporated, but the settlement has a mayor anyway. Her name is Shanda, and she’s a seven-year-old golden retriever.

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Curtains for the Arkansas

Brief by Central Staff

Christo project – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, internationally famous artists, plan to hang translucent fabric over four to six miles of the Arkansas River in the Spikebuck area. The huge art project, called Over the River, likely won’t materialize until 1999 or later.

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