Little Pond Big Issues

A FEW YEARS BACK we visited relatives on their small farm in Vermont. I had never been that far northeast. It was lush and green with healthy woodlands bordering the roads. One night we gathered around a large fire. As folks began heading to bed, I looked back at the fire and asked our cousin, …

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Building Earthships

IT’S A DELICIOUS, IF TORTUROUS, CYCLE WITH ME: just when I’m on the brink of throwing up my hands and writing all humanity off as a wretched lot of uberconsumerist, plastic-mongering jackasses who deserve to suffocate in the ozone-depleted bed we’ve made for ourselves — lo and behold, some brightly shining soul or earth-conscious initiative …

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Trail Stewards

CENTRAL COLORADO HAS BECOME a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and is known for being welcoming and accommodating — a necessity of embracing a tourist economy. The Upper Arkansas Valley has a reputation for being home to some of the most beautiful, unsullied landscapes in the state. Arriving at trailheads, visitors and locals tuck their vehicles …

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BRANCHING OUT: The Ark Valley Fruit Tree Network

By Ann Marie Swan Claire Mechtly of Poncha Springs daydreamed of fruit trees weighted with fragrant, sweet orbs of all things good, then tenderly harvested. While riding her bike around town, Mechtly noticed neglected apple trees, hairy-looking with branches gnarled and elbowed. She imagined cutting those limbs to bring in light and air, and restoring …

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Places: Droney Gulch State Wildlife Area

Photos and article by Mike Rosso

Folks who drive U.S. Highway 285 from Poncha Springs to Buena Vista have passed by the interpretive sign on the west side of the highway titled “Christmas 1806.” It describes Zebulon Pike’s expedition as it passed through the Upper Arkansas Valley and how the hunting party shot eight buffalo and feasted on Christmas Day near the mouth of Squaw Creek, a half mile to the south. The following day the party camped at Big Bend along the Arkansas River.

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The Poncha Springs Italian Connection

Lithograph of Poncha Springs, Colorado in 1892: A – Schoolhouse, B – Library, C – Presbyterian Church, D – Poncha Hot Springs Hotel, E – Restaurant, 2- Herald News, 3 – Meat Market . (Courtesy of the Salida Library)

Early Settlers from Lago, Italy to Poncha Springs, U.S.A.

By Dr. Francesco Gallo

On April 5, 2016, Ralph Benjamin “Ben” Scanga was elected mayor of Poncha Springs, a statutory town in Chaffee County where, one-hundred thirty years ago, his great grandfather Giuseppe Scanga had emigrated from Lago (Cosenza), Italy. It’s a dream that has come true; it’s a good seed planted in fertile soil that gave origin to a solid plant.

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Happy Trails: The New Colorado Trail Basecamp

By Tyler Grimes

Mile for mile the beautiful trail in America,” boasts the Colorado Trail Foundation (CTF) of the 468-mile trail between Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango. Thousands hike the free-to-the-public trail, some day users, others straight through. “In 2015, there were 230 known CT completers, a hodgepodge of multi-year section doers and thru-travelers: hike, bike and horse,” said Bill Manning, CTF Executive Director. The CT spans five national forests through 11 ranger districts and six wilderness areas, climbing from a mile high to over 13,000 feet. “Trips range from less than an hour to more than a month,” said Manning. “Possibly the most engaged users are the thru-hikers striving to see all 486 miles in a single trip.”

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Living Small – The Tiny Home Movement

By Mike Rosso It might be a reaction to the mega mansions and trophy homes of the 1990s and 2000s. Housing shortages and rising home prices may also be contributing to it, but the minimalist, tiny home movement is alive and kicking, nationally and here in Central Colorado. What is a tiny home? Also known …

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Tony’s Restaurant – Burritos and More

by Central Staff Anyone who’s lived in Salida over the past 20 years has likely enjoyed one of his burritos – he being Tony Perez, who, along with his wife Marisela, run Tony’s Restaurant in Poncha Springs. For years, Tony’s been delivering his handmade burritos to businesses throughout Salida, and in 2008, he finally opened his …

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The Parlor House of Arbourville

Story and photos by Mike Rosso

Regular travelers on the east side of Monarch Pass have seen it. Just north of Maysville, the crumbling remains of a four-sided mansard roof rise like a sentinel above the guardrail on the south side of the highway. At 55 mph, that’s about all that motorists are likely to see, but closer inspection reveals an impressive piece of historic architecture that won’t likely survive any expansion plans on the part of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

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Historic Architecture of Central Colorado

This two-story, T-shaped building is situated in the center of Poncha Springs directly across from the town park.? Large cottonwood trees, purportedly planted in 1879, frame the front elevation.? The building is faced with red brick made at the Salida Brickyard and hauled by wagon to the site. The cross gable metal roof has wooden brackets supporting the wide overhanging eaves and a bell tower with a concave roof profile.

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Restaraunt Review

by Patty LaTaille

6380 U.S. Hwy 285
Poncha Springs, CO (719) 539-2903

Grimo’s restaurant has been a mainstay in Poncha Springs since 1985 – continuing to be family-owned and now operated by Frank Grimo. It’s a delightfully stereotypical “Italiano” sort of place; complete with a red, white and green striped outside awning, red linen tablecloths and napkins, bottles of wicker-wrapped Chianti bottles and sparkling colored Christmas lights. (Think of visiting your Italian grandmother’s house in years past, but without the plastic covers on the furniture.) Good smells, good food – and Italian operas or Frank Sinatra crooning in the background.

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