Down on the Ground…with Messy Vitality

A review of Aspen and the American Dream by Jenny Stuber I NEED TO BEGIN THIS COLUMN with an apology to the spirit of this magazine’s cofounders Ed and Martha Quillen. Ed was pretty adamant about not including Crested Butte or any of the recreation-dependent communities in his version of “Central Colorado”; he did not see …

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Great Blue Herons: Can they Co-Exist with Recreationists?

By Chris Rourke Along a more than four-mile stretch of the Slate River near the town of Crested Butte lies a colony of Great Blue Herons. They return every spring to lay eggs, hatch their brood and tend to chicks. The majestic and colorful creatures can be spotted high in the tree tops overlooking the …

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Still Sweeter Every Day

By Chris Rourke

With a sound as sweet as their name, “Free the Honey” blends three-part harmonies and traditional stringed instruments, while telling listeners about the simple goodness of life.
Yet this time the Gunnison Valley-based acoustic band has a new song to sing, as it returns to its roots as an all-female trio.
Its members – Jenny Hill, Lizzy Plotkin and Katherine Taylor – first formed the band three years ago. Each a talented musician in their own right, they learned of one another through the grapevine of a small community. Once joined, the magic began to happen, combining the best that the south has to offer with the support of a western community. Despite the demands of travel and their insistence upon professional excellence, the group has no intention of slowing down.
“I read a quote today … that compared music to fuel,” said Plotkin. “It’s the fuel of our lives right now, and it would be a shame to ever stop. It fuels us, it keeps us going and it keeps us authentic.”

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Schofield Pass

By Polly Oberosler

Editor’s Note: Back in April of this year, a massive rockslide occurred on Schofield Pass, a four-wheel-drive forest service road which connects the towns of Marble and Crested Butte.
Popular with mountain and dirt bikers, hikers and Jeep enthusiasts, there was speculation that the sheer enormity of the slide might permanently close the pass, which was originally built in 1883 as a wagon route between the two mining towns. But, on June 8, after three days of work by a dedicated crew of U.S. Forest Service employees, F.S. Road 314 has reopened.
The work was overseen by Jim McBreen, construction and maintenance supervisor for the USFS He described very large trees above the road that were shattered by the slide and reported that one of the holes in the road was nearly 16 feet wide and 4 feet deep. He estimated that nearly 100 yards of road were affected by the slide. A bulldozer team consisting of Larry Augustson and Salvador Landa did much of the road clearing, despite the difficulty of bringing the machine up to the remote location.
Jeepsters and other local four-wheeling clubs regularly perform volunteer work on the road, but this slide was a bit outside of their ability levels. We asked sometimes contributor and Gunnison Valley native Polly Oberosler to share some insights into the pass with us.

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REGIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP (and other items of interest)

A Mysterious Suicide in Turret A 92-year old Turret resident was found dead in the basement of his home by friends Sept. 12 after they had not heard from him in over a week. Edwin Bartheld, who hand-built his off-grid home on an abandoned mine site in the old ghost town, had lived alone since …

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Pioneer Ski Area – Colorado’s First Chairlift

By Duane Vandenbusche

The Pioneer Ski Area began during the winter of 1939-40 and was located three miles up Cement Creek and eight miles south of Crested Butte on the side of spectacular Cement Mountain. Pioneer would become famous as the first ski area in Colorado to employ a chairlift.

The ski area was hatched in the minds of Gunnison skiers Rial Lake, Art Fordham, Chuck Sweitzer and Wes McDermott. All of these men had skied off Monarch and Marshall Passes in the 1930s, but they yearned for a ski area that could eliminate the long treks to the tops of mountains. The four men knew the region around Crested Butte to the north had everything needed for a great ski area – tremendous snow, high mountains, and a great ski tradition dating back to the early 1880s.

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Meet Doctor Robert

By Elliot Jackson

For most of us, our first memory of “The Music” was mediated through the miracle of electronics, whether through the radio:

12 years old, rushing around getting ready for school, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” plays on the AM radio, stops me in my tracks, and I’m instantly in love – Lynn Wetherell, Paonia, Colorado

Ancient technologies like the record player:

 Had the 45 of “Yesterday” (still remember, the flip was “Act Naturally”). Summer of 65, I was four. Maybe the first record I ever owned. Played it over and over and over and over … Adam Davis, Kirksville, Missouri

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regional restaurant review

by Lum Pennington

Teocalli Tamale
311 1/2 Elk Avenue
Crested Butte, CO
(970) 349-2005

This winter in Salida has been an anomaly: endless weeks of sunny, warmish weather with hardly a snowflake in sight. When even my Toyota began to whimper, longing for a cool slick of snow and ice in its treads, we struck out in search of “winter wonderland,” suspecting we’d find it in Crested Butte.

Admittedly Crested Butte is a long way to travel for lunch – especially since Salida offers so many terrific culinary options. But hey, we were in need of snow. And we found it – and the reward we knew we’d get at Teocalli Tamale.

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