About the Cover Artist: Stuart Codington Andrews

A resident of Buena Vista since 1984, Stuart Codington Andrews made Central Colorado his home due to the quality of light and rich diversity of the landscape. Since arriving here, he has built an artist’s life based upon his reverence for the beauty of the natural world, his fascination with the peculiar interactions of humanity, and affection for the surreal moments created when the two meet.
Andrews invests his time in recording the impact of the changes that are shaping the New West. A self-educated painter, his works collect dreams, the collisions between pop culture, manifest destiny, alpine life and his own desperate romance with the mountains, all cleverly fused in oil paint.

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News from the San Luis Valley

By Richard Flamm

Alamosa Set to Build New Airport Terminal
Due to the dilapidated condition of the current building, Alamosa County Assistant Administrator Carol Osborn stated the new terminal is a necessity. The Valley Courier reports the new terminal will likely attract a new air service provider as well. The estimated cost of the terminal is $3.5 million.

Valley’s Unemployment Rate Above Average
The Valley’s unemployment rate remains worse than the national and state average, which ranges from 6.2 and 6.6 percent. The Valley Courier reported Alamosa’s unemployment rate at 7 percent and average hourly wage at $14.85.

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By Christopher Kolomitz

Snow – and Headaches – Pile Up
Snowfall in early February has helped the region’s snowpack considerably and has caused a few headaches at the same time. At Monarch Mountain, the magical 100-inch base was reached after it snowed more than 11 feet in two weeks, creating some epic powder days. The big dumps made for dangerous avalanche conditions, with slides hitting and closing U.S. 50 on multiple occasions, blocking the Taylor River Road for 24 hours and taking out a vault restroom near Gothic. Big rigs, including a tanker, rolled off the road in Gunnison County during one of the storms; and near Kebler Pass a snowmobiler was killed when buried by an avalanche. Heavy snow collapsed the roof of the 74-year-old Sayer-McKee building in downtown Leadville after 20 inches of snow fell in one day. And the multiweek burst of moisture caused Leadville leaders to begin work on a snow removal plan. Apparently the “Cloud City” has never had a formal plan.

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A Beautiful Friendship

By Lynda LaRocca

From the moment I heard about it, I knew it was a grand idea (and by “grand,” I mean “wonderful” and “brilliant”). I also knew that if anyone could pull it off, it was Ed and Martha Quillen.
So when Ed telephoned one afternoon in late 1993 asking for reprints of articles I’d written that had anything to do with the Upper Arkansas River Valley for a regional magazine he and Martha were about to start up, I immediately complied.

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20 Years

By John Mattingly
Cherishing Ed Quillen’s aversion to sentimentality, I will note that the human tendency to attribute special significance to years with zeros has a long and rich history.
Zero is very special. Yet it had to take a tortuous, and tortured, path on its way to being the real champion of our number system.
The Church fought the notion of zero, because for zero to exist, it meant that nothing, as nothing, could exist; in prior centuries this directly conflicted with dominant notions of the biblically directed universe in which the only entity capable of understanding, having or working with zero was god himself. Only god could create something from nothing. Creation ex nihlo.

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Down on the Ground with Colorado Central

By George Sibley

Mike’s reminder that this issue marks the end of the 20th anniversary of Colorado Central sent me to a couple closets here in Gunnison, to look for my copy of the first issue, to remind me why Ed and Martha Quillen, who had already done enough time in the media world to know better, decided to start this publication.
To my consternation and frustration, I couldn’t find it. I found a couple beer boxes with issues number 91 up to the present, but my first 92 Colorado Centrals are stuck away somewhere else. I’ll undoubtedly come across them when I’m looking for something else I can’t find when I want it, but not today.

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More on the Pyramid

By Martha Quillen

In honor of Colorado Central’s 20th birthday, Mike asked me to revisit the cover story I wrote for the first issue. Times change; that’s as apparent and expected as the sunrise. But upon rereading the March 1994 issue, I realized that the changes we anticipate are not necessarily the changes headed our way.
In 1994, Ed and I sounded absolutely sure that growth and prosperity were just around the corner. And so did the people of Crestone.

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The St. Julien Livery and Feed Stable

By Fay Golson for The Chaffee County Heritage Area Advisory Board

The St. Julien Livery in downtown Buena Vista is the eighth property featured from the Chaffee County Historic Resources Survey. The 0.39-acre property is located at the southwest corner of Chestnut Street and Railroad Avenue. The building not only served as a livery but also, a few years after opening, as an ice and coal store. During their time, livery stables were vital to towns throughout America.

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Book Review: Parked in the Past – Historic Tales from Park County

By Laura Van Dusen
The History Press, 2013  ISBN 978.1.62619,161.7

Reviewed by Forrest Whitman

This is a delightful read for anyone interested in our Colorado Central country, especially Park County. Laura Van Dusen wrote most of these chapters for her monthly column in the Fairplay Flume newspaper, and that’s an advantage. The reader can pick up the book at any point, just as he or she might a newspaper, and read the news of the day, be it 1966 or 1866.

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The Natural World

By Tina Mitchell

It’s 8 a.m. at the wildlife rehabilitation center where I occasionally volunteer, and the place already bustles with activity. This particular morning, we have 66 orphaned or abandoned baby squirrels to weigh, 66 formulas to blend, 66 babies to hand-feed, 66 babies to clean up and settle back into their cages – all before 11 a.m., when the next round of feedings begins. After a quiet winter at the rehab center, everything kicks into gear with the beginning of breeding season – and the squirrels typically lead that parade. Indeed, in early February I spotted several Fox Squirrels engaged in courtship behavior: chasing, spiraling and chattering around a tree trunk, across the ground, and up another trunk. This can only mean one thing – the spring baby squirrel season arrives this month.

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Q&A with Linda Powers

Editor’s note: In the first issue of Colorado Central Magazine in March 1994, Linda Powers was the subject of an article entitled Bella Abzug in Cowboy Boots.
Linda had been elected to the Colorado State Senate in 1992 by a margin of 53% to 47% over her opponent, Republican lawmaker Harold McCormick of Cañon City. She represented what was then District 4, comprised of Park, Fremont, Lake, Chaffee, Gunnison, Hinsdale and Pitkin counties, along with eastern Delta County. Linda was the first woman to represent the 4th, and was also the only woman, in all the General Assembly, to represent a rural district.
From the March 1994 interview: “I didn’t even own a dress before the campaign,” she confesses. “Now I own two. Clothes are theater, in a way, and you use them to help your role.” No matter how elegant her outfit, she’s generally wearing knee-high cowboy boots, too. “Shows you what I stand on,” she jokes.

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Collegiate Peaks Forum Series – Enriching the Lives of Area Residents

By Mike Rosso

Since 2003, a dedicated group of area volunteers has been helping to enhance the lives of intellectually-curious regional citizens, and they’ve been doing it free of charge.

It began in 2002, when four Chaffee County couples decided to bring interesting speakers to the area. They began telling their friends about the idea and the Collegiate Peaks Forum Series (CPFS) was born.

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A Crestone Pyramid Update

By Peter Anderson

The nightmare would begin something like this: From the western flank of the Sangres, I am looking down on my home territory, out across the windswept savannah of the San Luis Valley toward the usual landmarks – San Antonio Mountain and the south San Juans off to the southwest, the La Garita Range to the west, even a few of the great Sawatch peaks off to the north. But there is a new mountain in the foreground … no, not a mountain … it’s a man-made pyramid … a pink pyramid four hundred feet tall. What the … ?

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Old Monarch Pass – Winter 2012-13

By Ed Lambert, Salida, CO

Buried in waist-deep snow,

this century-old, mostly abandoned roadway

is a pleasant cross-country ski among healthy pines

to airy 11,375 feet windblown, old Monarch Pass summit.

Meandering north and south from here,

this twisting ridge of cold granite,

a massive, magnificent swelling of earth,

divides the North American continent,

like God parting, for His chosen, the Red Sea,

splits the pristine, frigid plentiful waters born here,

that then flow great distances east or west,

eventually stirring into salt-water bosom of Atlantic or Pacific.

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This Sense of Place

By Hal Walter

Bumper stickers claim that no matter where you go, there you are. And mystics will tell you that you are exactly where you need to be. For me, the better part of 30 years has been spent in Custer County, with 23 of those years here in the Bear Basin Ranch area near Westcliffe. For 20 of those years now I’ve been writing for Colorado Central Magazine.

As I recall, Ed Quillen contacted me, having heard I was some sort of local hell-raiser, wanting some writing for his upstart magazine. I set about trying to prove him right, portraying the local development industry as a scam in my first essay. Looking back on it after 20 years, much of what I projected has proven to be correct and continues to this day. What started with a rail hub in the 1800s, then continued with a questionable ski resort and a faddish housing boom in the 1990s, has resulted in what a friend in the real estate profession recently told me is a 15-year supply of homes. That means it would take 15 years at current rates of sale to sell all the houses now on the market. And people are still building houses. Other than that, little else about the local economy has changed, including the prospects for employment and income. The price of real estate was so low when we bought this property that we could not even begin to think about living here at current prices, though we have paid the price in other ways, like gasoline, time and social isolation.

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20 Years

Welcome to the 20th anniversary issue of Colorado Central Magazine. This is the 238th copy to roll off the presses, and with a little luck, we’ll be in the 400s in another 20 years.

But who would have thought, back in 1994, that news delivery would be impacted to such a degree by computers and electronic media? Back then, I was discovering the wonders of a Mac Centris 610 computer, but I never would have conceived that 20 years later, a small handheld device called an iPhone would have thousands of times more processor speed – and function as a camera, cell phone, internet device, etc.

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The Backshop at the Salida Yard

The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad founded South Arkansas, which was shortly thereafter named Salida. The first railroad shop and roundhouse facilities in Salida were for narrow gauge locomotives and equipment. Standard gauge track and equipment was introduced starting in the 1890s, and a new standard gauge roundhouse was built just downstream of the narrow gauge roundhouse (pictured above). For years, Salida was a dual-gauge yard.

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A Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Timeline

(Originally published in the November 1994 Colorado Central Magazine, updated by Forrest Whitman)

1880: The Denver & Rio Grande wins the Royal Gorge War with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, and builds a narrow gauge line west from Cañon City up the Arkansas as far as Crane Park, near the summit of Tennessee Pass.

1881: The narrow gauge line is extended over Tennessee Pass to Red Cliff.

1887: Via Glenwood Springs, the Tennessee Pass line reaches Grand Junction, where it connects with the other narrow gauge line which runs from Salida over Marshall Pass to Gunnison and points west.

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