Raising Rainbows – Horace Frantz’s legacy is a lake that bears his name

by Susan Bavaria

But Tessie weeks later shared a similar fate
And wound up one night on a Senator’s plate;
With lemon and spices and other things good
Our Tessie from Frantzhurst had now become food.”

from A Tale of Tessie the Trout © Frantzhurst Trout Farm

In the 1930s, the Frantzhurst Rainbow Trout Company of Salida shipped their product fresh in wooden boxes covered with ice by truck and refrigerated railway car. Two million pounds of rainbow trout went annually to clubs, hotels and restaurants from coast to coast who found its “firm white flesh” as good as advertised. The company employed about 30 people and was second only to the Royal Gorge Bridge in attracting tourists to this area.

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Fly Fishing with the Buddha

by Hayden Mellsop

“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.” – Dalai Lama

With these words, the Dalai Lama has once more thrown into doubt and confusion my sense of myself as a compassionate caring human being who happens to enjoy fly fishing. I have spent many years as a guide both here in Colorado, and in my home country of New Zealand. Fly fishing for me is a way for me to relax, make a living, and celebrate the beauty, intricacies and inter connectedness of Mother Nature.

Of the many aspects that keep me coming back to the river, rod in hand to ‘try my luck’ as the saying goes, the principal one is that you never know from day to day how the fish will respond to your advances. This serves as a constant reminder that despite the fact that we can read all the books, espouse all the theories and buy all the gear, ultimately we are interacting with and delving into rhythms and cycles of nature of which we have scant knowledge, and that is the way it should be.

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Out of the Wild

by Abby Quillen

I grew up in Central Colorado, and most weekends my family piled into a canary-yellow 1975 Chevy pickup and pitched down rutted-out, rock-strewn roads to hike, explore, or cross-country ski at places with names like Mosquito Pass, Missouri Gulch, and Cochetopa Creek.

By the time my sister and I were 18, we’d both sucked in the thin air on top of a 14,000 foot mountain, run across high-mountain meadows, visited too many ghost towns to list, waded barefoot in ice-cold streams, and spent countless nights sleeping with only a tent and a sleeping bag between our bodies and the hard, cold ground.

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Animals have their stories, too

by Hal Walter

It’s all about the animals, and maybe it’s about people, as well.

Animals were a big part of the decision to live out here, to follow this path. And animals, both domesticated and wild, continue to be a big part of the magic of this existence.

Afternoons linger into evening this time of year, and we decided to take our son Harrison for a ride on one of our saddle donkeys, Ace. About a half mile from the house I was leading Ace, and Mary was walking behind. I felt some minor calamity on the lead rope and turned to see my son falling. It really wasn’t much of a rodeo, but Harrison took a tumble anyway. Suddenly the evening became a blur of a screaming child who suddenly became very cooperative. A call to the clinic, and a drive to town. X-rays. A fractured arm. Splint. On the way home we stopped to watch two young foxes play along the road in Silver Cliff. Harrison acknowledged the foxes and I knew everything would be OK.

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REGIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP (and other items of interest)

Helicopter Stranded on Mountain

A Colorado Army National Guard helicopter that was diverted from a rescue effort June 15 on Mt. Shavano to another on Little Bear Peak in the Sangre De Cristo Range, made a precautionary landing after striking the mountain and will have to be removed in pieces, according to an AP story.

The CH-47 Chinook was originally dispatched from Ft. Carson to help rescue a 40-year-old Denver man who was suffering from altitude sickness on the ridge between Mt. Shavano and Mt. Tabeguache in Chaffee County. It was then diverted to assist an 18-year-old from Highlands Ranch who suffered a fatal fall from a rock face while attempting to climb Little Bear Peak.

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Q & A with artist Christo about the proposed “Over the River” project

Since its conception in 1992, artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s proposal to hang fabric panels over 5.9 miles of the Arkansas River through Bighorn Canyon, between Salida and Cañon City, Over the River, has brought controversy, passionate opposition, philosophical questions about the nature of art, and studies – many studies – by various state and federal agencies, over the suitability of such a large-scale project in the chosen setting, scheduled to be exhibited for two weeks in the summer of 2013.

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Down the river of inaccuracy

by Ed Quillen

Granted, I can be quite the nit-picker sometimes, especially when I’m reading a book that rubs me the wrong way. Such was the case with Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River, written by Jonathan Waterman and published in 2010 by National Geographic.

No writer gets everything perfectly. That’s why we need editors, preferably several of them. I expected better from an organization as prestigious as the National Geographic Society.

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On the Ground – Quo vadimus?

by George Sibley

After my really grumpy column last month, I’ve put in some serious thought time trying to think of something positive to write about this month. In a nation confronted daily with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the bottomless pit of Iraqistan, the corruption of governance by money, et cetera, it’s not easy to have positive thoughts about anything other than the beautiful weather we’ve been having in the valley. Dry, droughty, it’s true – but we expect that in June; maybe even live for it.

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Urban Hillbillies Coming to Central Colorado

by Mike Rosso and Elliot Jackson

Many Americans might be tempted to conjure up pictures of barefoot, dentally-challenged Appalachians when they hear the words “string-band” or “old-timey music.” Almost needless to say, they will think of it as “white music.” In fact, this music does has deep roots in the experience of white immigrants from the British Isles and Ireland. The early settlers of Appalachia played their own versions of ancient tunes brought over from their homelands. Blues, jazz, country music, even rock and roll has its origins in these tunes found throughout the Eastern mountains and the deep South of the United States.

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Letters and Correspondence

Memories of the Morada

To the Editor:

As I was growing up in San Acacio, Colorado, I remember going to the Morada in San Pablo, Colorado with my brother-in-law’s father and family, Senor Patricio Sanchez from Canon de Chama during Holy week. Every day and every night we had to pray the rosary at his home and we knelt for hours praying for all the living and then for all the dead, name by name. We did not dare to move while in prayer, ask my sister who is married to Patricio’s son, Floyd. At that one time in remembrance, my sister Debbie was kneeling on a small rock that just happened to be on the linoleum. I will always remember the look on her face when we were finally dismissed from prayer.

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Marcia Darnell

Marmot Alert!

Usually when a mechanic pops a car hood, he expects to have to investigate to find the problem. But on June 3 the workers at Caton’s Super Lube in Alamosa didn’t have to dig deep at all. The flashing lights and weird sounds in a local woman’s vehicle were due to a marmot (aka groundhog, woodchuck or whistle-pig) in the engine compartment.

“We opened the hood and everybody went ‘WHOA!’” said George Rivera of Caton’s. “It took off and went into the break room and hid behind a file cabinet.”

Animal control officers trapped the marmot and took it away. According to Rivera, finding animals under the hood isn’t that rare, but this type of animal was a surprise.

“It was a trip,” he said.

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A Farmer Far Afield – The Elephant in the Room , Part 1

by John Mattingly

Four blind men describe an elephant: one at the trunk, one at a leg, another at a side, and the fourth holding the tail, resulting in radically different accounts of the pachyderm’s anatomy. So it is with those of us offering descriptions of The Economy. In this four part series on Economic Growth, Debt, Accounting, and the Stock Market, I confess to being one of the four blind men.

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Guidestone – New Ways of Thinking About Agriculture in Colorado – Pt. 2

by Mike Rosso

Guidestone, who is helping move the Upper Arkansas Valley into the 21st century with their Land-Link initiative and other farm and agriculture-based programs, has big goals for the future.

Guidestone looks to increase its educational offerings by organizing a Beginning Farmer Training Program through the Land-Link Initiative. The program will assist young farmers to develop their skills around building a successful farm business and would include such classes as financial planning, market strategies, production techniques and food policy. They intend to develop an internship and mentoring program that will give on-farm training for new farmers that seek hands-on experiences before launching their own farm enterprise. In the long run, Guidestone seeks to create farmland access for next generation farmers by holding title or lease to agricultural lands to preserve them in perpetuity and then sub-lease these properties to next generation farmers for local food production. The organization anticipates working with the local land trust organization, the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas, to create affordable access to farmland for this purpose.

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Book review

The Cliff Dwellings Speak: Exploring the Ancient Ruins of the Greater American Southwest
By Beth and Bill Sagstetter
BenchMark Publishing of Colorado LLC, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9645824-2-2
$24.95, 314pp, plus appendices, glossary, bibliography, and index

Reviewed by Eduardo Rey Brummel

Winter is over, days are longer, kids are out of school, and ‘tis the season for getting outside, tanning your hide, skinning knees and scraping elbows. For those planning to visit Mesa Verde and/or other cliff dwellings, you’re in luck. Beth and Bill Sagstetter have just completed this follow-up to The Mining Camps Speak, which is also destined to become both essential and popular.

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The CF&I Connection

by Virginia McConnell Simmons

Part 2 of 2

Editor’s note: In Part One of this series the author discusses Central Colorado’s strong links with the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in Pueblo.

Limonite at the Orient Mine in the San Luis Valley was the largest producer of iron ore in Colorado. Unfortunately, it was inadequate for profitable mine operations in the long run.

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