By Ed Quillen

One of the obscure pleasures of life in a little mountain town is the occasional dose of isolation. It snows all day with strong wind. The roads are closed, the phone and power lines go down. You have no idea what’s going on in the rest of the world, and you don’t really care because you couldn’t get there anyway. You’re just playing cribbage at home by lantern light while a wood fire cheers and warms.

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Living in a Small Place in a Big Bad World

By Martha Quillen

I used to love the feeling of isolation you could get in the Colorado Rockies. Forty-one years ago, Ed and I went camping in the Gunnison Country with friends. We pitched our tents right next to the road near Pitkin, and for several days we didn’t see a single car and couldn’t tune in a radio station. One night our friend observed that the U.S. could have been nuked, and we wouldn’t know it.

In 1971, Ed and I went to Silverton to look at the newspaper. The town was small, remote, and occasionally got snowed in. It didn’t have television, and VCRs and home computers hadn’t been invented yet. Red Mountain Pass was icy and terrifying; several of the downtown buildings looked like they wouldn’t make it through the winter, and eggs at the local store cost $1 each.

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