Quillen’s Corner – Distrust and Disgust Provoke Political Disputes at Every Level

by Martha Quillen Whom do you trust? I don’t trust people because they’re reputed to be experts. Or because they write books, or say they’re Christians or enlightened or accredited. And I don’t trust FOX news commentators, MSNBC personalities, corporate spokesmen, President Obama or Salida city council members and administrators to tell me the whole …

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A Farmer Far Afield – Beef: It’s Really Not for Dinner

by John Mattingly In my last two columns about the beef business, I discussed the cow-calf end of the supply chain, explaining how feedlot operations benefit from the various subsidies enjoyed by cow-calf ranchers. My basic claim is that the foundation of the beef business, the cow-calf operation, is financially irrational. The beef business persists …

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Protecting Pennsylvania Mountain

by Jane Koerner Pennsylvania Mountain may be too modest in contour and elevation to compete with the fourteeners of international renown, but the biologists don’t complain. While hundreds of hikers elbow their way up the highest peaks of the Mosquito Range, the scientists inspect their decades-old tundra plots relatively undisturbed. On the ridge below their …

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Reviews – Intermission: A Place in Time

By Glenda Lee Vollmecke Outskirts Press Paperback: 192 pages ISBN-10: 1478712406 ISBN-13: 978-1478712404 Reviewed by Elliot Jackson I confess, I started this book laboring under a misapprehension. From the cover art, which shows a handbill for a “Beatles Night Out” at “The Tower Ballroom, New Brighton,” I was expecting a lot more about the English …

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News from the San Luis Valley

Healthy Living Park Acquires Property The Rio Grande Healthy Living Park in Alamosa is one step closer to becoming a reality after backers of the project won a lawsuit and managed to purchase the controversial property from the developer. The site of the proposed park, the Polston property, adjacent to the Rio Grande river, created …

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REGIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP (and other items of interest)

River Claims Victims The summer of 2014 has seen multiple fatalities on the Arkansas River, including the death of a Vernal, Utah woman who disappeared after a raft she was a passenger on went over a spillway just north of Salida during an evening float trip on June 28. Amanda Taylor, 31, was found four …

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The Crowded Acre – Annabelle

by Jennifer Welch Jamie said the calf delivered just fine, making her oldest cow a mommy once again. Annabelle was a good mommy to her calves, and this time was no exception. She was a full-blooded Jersey that had been bred to a Scottish Highland bull. Her calf was a bullcalf, shaggy and wet, eager …

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The Pass Creek Trail

By Christopher Kolomitz

On summer days, when Central Colorado is overrun with out-of-state tourists making questionable vehicular movements, a quick escape from town into the high country is sublime.

The Pass Creek Trail, west of Poncha Springs, is a fine place to stretch the legs, and on a recent summer weekend only one car was in the trailhead parking lot. The hike terminates after four miles at an elevation of 11,360 at Pass Creek Lake. If you are looking for an easy, short hike which is close to town and contains history, water, wildflowers and some classic Colorado scenery, this place is for you.

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Saguache Paints a New Picture: Artists Create Hope for this Historic Town

by Bill Hatcher The casual visitor to Saguache, Colorado will see ranches, farms and a quaint valley town. But upon closer inspection, you will find a trove of artistic gems that rival those in any metropolitan area. A downtown revitalization project, completed in 2012, gave businesses a chance to recover from the town’s century-old slump. …

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Wingood Lake Through the Years

By Hal Walter

I  looked up at Music Pass and could see the dark clouds of the season’s first serious storm brewing, threatening snow or freezing rain up there at over 11,000 feet. I looked at my friends. We’d planned a burro pack trip over the pass and down the other side. It was September, and anything is possible. I just didn’t have a real good feeling about it.

“I know another place,” I said.

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Historic Architecture – The La Veta Pass Depot Constructed by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad

Photo and story by Kenneth Jessen The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad reached La Veta Pass in 1877 on its way westward into the San Luis Valley. At 9,390 feet, it was the highest railroad pass in the United States at that time. A stone depot was constructed at the pass along with other railroad …

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Heard Around the West

by Betsy Marston/Writers on the Range NORTH DAKOTA Everyone knows that ravens can manipulate sticks as tools, and that squawking magpies enjoy teasing dogs and cats, but who knew that cows – with their bodies alone – could make pipes spill natural gas? In Bismarck, North Dakota, one cow apparently did just that, simply by …

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The Lake County War: Unanswered Questions

By Charles F. Price

One hundred and forty years ago this June, gunfire punctuated the predawn darkness at the base of Land’s Hill on the west side of what is now Hwy. 285 between Salida and Buena Vista. Shot twice from ambush, a homesteader named George Harrington fell dead. His wife, Helen Mary, pulled his body from the flames of a burning outbuilding.

The couple had been trying to extinguish a fire kindled by arsonists to lure them from their nearby dwelling house on Gas Creek, exposing them as targets against the glare of the flames. This murder in the early morning of June 17, 1874, witnessed by the couple’s infant daughter and Harrington’s visiting young sister, ignited the worst calamity in the history of Central Colorado, an event now known as the Lake County War. (The area of the conflict was then in Lake County but became a part of Chaffee County upon its creation in 1879.)

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What Really Happened to Gottlieb Fluhmann?

by Jan MacKell Collins In October of 1944, two GI’s from Peterson Air Force Base were hunting near Lake George. One of them, Master Sergeant Francis Brahler, hiked up to a remote granite outcropping. A reflection from the sun caught his eye. Further inspection revealed an actual glass window in the rock, completely hidden from …

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Ute Indian Lands

by Virginia McConnell Simmons Ute Indians say they were always here, but, like migrations of other emigrants, theirs began far away. It started in Central America and Mexico thousands of years ago and ended on reservations in Utah and Colorado. The Ute and other Uto-Aztecan people, whose language is reflected in Utah’s state name, moved …

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From the Editor – Lightening Striking Again

by Mike Rosso “This won’t last long.” My hiking pal David LaVercombe and I had just taken refuge underneath a cluster of fragrant spruce trees as the storm raged around us. We were about three miles up Greens Creek Trail when we first heard the thunder. Then came the raindrops – cool and refreshing at …

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