Down on the Ground with Our Land

By George Sibley

“Creative destruction” is a term we’re most familiar with in the context of capitalist economics: the restless flow and ebb of capital in its often mindless, generally heartless, search for The Next Big Thing – steam abandoned for internal combustion, coal yielding to natural gas yielding to solar, typewriters losing to computers, with individual lives and communities at least temporarily devastated if not destroyed as whole industries disappear here and new ones pop up a thousand miles away. Creative destruction.

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Quillen’s Corner – It’s a Mad, Mad World, at Home and Abroad

By Martha Quillen

It’s hard to know whether the most serious problem facing our world today is rising temperatures or rising tempers, but perhaps they’re related. Maybe tempers are rising because modern life confronts people with so much that seems out of their control, such as climate change, war, terrorism, escalating costs and changing technology.

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Dogs – John Mattingly

By John Mattingly

I don’t dislike dogs. But this doesn’t mean I would run a mile to divert a dog from jumping off a cliff, nor would I go out of my way to be mean. I appreciate that dogs have become a treasured mammal among many humans – sometimes to the exclusion of all rationality – which prompts the proposition that many dog lovers have both rosy glasses and selective amnesia about the nature of dogs, and that they tend to ignore a few of the savory historical facts about canines.

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Salida’s Vandaveer Ranch

By Daniel Smith

Photos by Mike Rosso


From cattle ranch to golf course subdivision, center for natural resources to concert venue, on to citizen-driven development: WHAT’S AHEAD?

Over the years, various visions for the 192-acre property have been floated by planners and city leaders. The former Vandaveer Ranch property on Salida’s eastern border has been a work in progress more than a decade and appears to be moving closer to fruition.

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High Altitude Adventures with Corydon Rose

roses-cabin-on-left-1958_webBorn in New York in 1835, Rose had made his way to Colorado by 1873, where he took up mining in the majestic San Juan Mountains. He built his home in a gorgeous high-mountain meadow, roughly halfway between Ouray and Lake City. When entrepreneur Otto Mears built a toll road along Engineer’s Pass in 1877, Rose’s place officially became known as Rose’s Cabin, complete with a store, eating house and roughly 50 miners. A passing stage line guaranteed further success, since the coaches stopped at the camp to change horses.Fifteen miles from Lake City, along Engineer Pass, lie the ruins of a dream held by one man. His name was Corydon Rose, and today he is remembered as the courteous host at his namesake mining camp, Rose’s Cabin.

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The Way We Really Were

By Virginia McConnell Simmons April showers often brought more snow than May flowers for I-think-I-can narrow-gauge railroads. Winter blizzards and snow slides often upended estimated times of arrival, and in January 1884 a D&RG train was marooned for two weeks east of Cumbres Pass, while passengers cooked dwindling food and even washed clothes on the …

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About the Cover Photographer: Thomas Schultz

schultz_webThe cover photo was taken by Thomas Schultz on a cold day in November on his first trip to Creede, Colorado. Landscapes, urban exploration, ghost towns and abandoned buildings have always held a fascination for him. This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 5D camera with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. The image was initially post-processed in Adobe Lightroom, adding a texture overlay in Adobe Photoshop. His carefully chosen textures, also original photos, are shot on location and added to enhance the images, giving depth and richness to a piece, creating atmosphere. Once a texture is selected for an image, layer opacity and merge options set the mood for the final photo.

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The Crowded Acre – The Grass is Always Greener …

By Jennifer Welch

I never did fall in love with the idea of grazing our livestock on leased property 10 miles from the farm. The idea never sat well with me for a variety of reasons, the loftiest of which has been protection from predators. Our poultry are protected round-the-clock by a 140-pound livestock guard dog who resides on our property. The Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats benefit from his protection as well – being the little bite-size nuggets that they are. I don’t worry too much about our breeding pigs, as they average 600 pounds apiece, but the freshly weaned feeders would make quite a tempting snack. And the sweet, trusting Jersey cows make a nice target while they are calving or just afterward with a small, velvety calf by their side. No, I don’t like the idea of pasturing any of these animals even just 15 minutes away from our home base, but that is what we had to do to make things work.  

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The Hilltop Mine – A Relic at 12,900 Feet

Story and photos by Maisie Ramsay

High atop the wind-blasted saddle between Mount Sherman and Mount Sheridan sits the time capsule that is the Hilltop Mine. This is not the kind filled with trinkets and buried for future discovery – no, the Hilltop Mine is an accidental time capsule, a relic of times long past, a monument to human ambition. Crack open the history books, and get a glimpse of the past.

The Hilltop Mine is now little more than a sun-bleached outbuilding clinging precariously to a 12,900-foot talus slope. The massive infrastructure that transported tons of ore has largely disappeared. What meager evidence remains is slowly dissolving into the earth.

“Some see (these sites) as a monument to history and our founding economy, others see them as an eyesore and something environmentally destructive,” says South Park historian Christie Wright. “I find them quite fascinating … but then you look at Leadville, a Superfund cleanup, and the EPA spill in Ouray. It was the founding economy of our state, both good and bad.”

The Hilltop Mine was not the Mosquito Range’s first high-elevation claim, nor the most well-known. Rather, it was among several high-elevation mines extracting precious metal from the Mosquito Range during silver boom of the 1800s. 

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Time is but the Stream …

By Hal Walter

My life in fishing began, literally, because I could not be held in captivity, as evidenced by my escape from the daycare facility by digging a tunnel beneath the fence.

The tunnel – inspired by episodes of the sitcom Hogan’s Heroes – was really not much more than a trench beneath the chain link, but it was large enough for a skinny kid to wriggle through. My partner in crime elected to not follow me under the fence. Within seconds a general alarm had been sounded, and I was apprehended in the side yard between the daycare and the neighboring house by a woman who contained and tackled me with all the deftness of Von Miller.

Since it was clear I was not happy at the daycare and was possibly an escape risk, my mom elected to turn me loose with a fishing rod along one of America’s great rivers. I was perhaps 8 years old. This was before the advent of “Free Range Kids,” and I thank her for this experience to this day.

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