Salida Storytellers

GREAT STORYTELLING IS AT THE HEART of our culture, embedded in our history and key to a successful future. We tell stories to entertain, to educate and to connect. With this in mind, Andrea Mossman, manager of A Church in Salida, started to explore the feasibility of launching a community storytelling event — in the …

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Plant, Harvest, Taste

GUIDESTONES ARE TYPICALLY DEFINED as a sort of celestial clock recording the passage of events or as a stone marker acting as a guide for travelers. The mission of Guidestone Colorado echoes this sentiment. The name “was chosen to honor past and present leaders who have dedicated themselves to building healthy and resilient communities through …

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Pickleball Passion

IT WAS A BLUEBIRD-SKY SUNDAY MORNING in Buena Vista as I squinted against the intense sun, following the outstretched arm of Stephanie McDonald, the USA Pickleball district ambassador for southern Colorado. Her gesture encompassed the center of the newly poured pickleball courts, as she described where eventually there will be bleachers for fans to observe …

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Water in the West: Jenkinson as Powell

CLAY JENKINSON, A HISTORIAN, AUTHOR and scholar with a heartfelt interest in the American West, will make a one-of-a-kind appearance at the Salida Steamplant Event Center June 25 as the incomparable John Wesley Powell. Well known for his various books and documentaries, Jenkinson is also a one-person interpreter of various historical figures. He shared that …

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You Are the Proton

WHEN I WAS EMERGING (RELUCTANTLY) into adulthood, I wondered if I would live long enough to see the boundaries between religion and science come down like the Berlin Wall. I did.  Consider the phenomenon of quantum entanglement: Electrons have a property called “spin”, and it can be “up spin” or “down spin.” When two electrons …

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All You Need is … Inclusion

WALKING UP TO THE FRONT DOOR of the Starpoint-staffed home in Salida, I immediately reflect on my own life with the disabled population. My dad has managed a group home for disabled adults since I was 7 years old. Living in Salida I’ve savored my small, always positive, interactions with Starpoint consumers. So, I jumped …

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Smiles for Freedom

Relaxation Dental Salida

While anxiety and fear surrounding dental care is as common as dentists portrayed as villains (“Little Shop of Horrors,” Marathon Man,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” etc.) Dr. Nicholas Brown, DDS, is attempting to flip the script one patient at a time.  Brown practices at Relaxation Dental in Salida, and his motto reads, “Because there …

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The Problem with Nestlé

By Jennifer Swacina When I first heard about Nestlé mining water— right here in Chaffee County—I wished I had been here in 2009 to have joined those who rallied against it. Be careful what you wish for! In late 2019, I happened to read an article covering a routine county commissioner’s meeting with discussion that …

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Salida Mountain Trails: 16 Years of Trail Building

By Tom Purvis When spring came to Salida back in 2004, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced their plan to conduct a travel management planning process on their managed lands in the Upper Arkansas Valley. The trails that were available near Salida were few, rough, and not constructed sustainably. To say they were constructed …

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Blooming Towards Mortality

By Hayden Mellsop “No theme this month. Just write about whatever is on your mind.” Words to instill fear into the heart of any columnist, at least this one. Where to begin? Without a focal point my imagination resembles something of a flat, featureless ocean. Me, bobbing at its center, scanning the horizon in all …

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Salida’s Own Riveting Experience

By Patty LaTaille Okay, granted, there are many riveting experiences found in the mountain town of Salida. Whitewater rafting, mountain biking, climbing a fourteener, to name a few—mostly outside adventure activities. For those who prefer an indoor enthralling experience, scurry your way to downtown Salida proper and release your inner creative energy at the unique …

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Thoughts from the Front Lines

By Andrea Carlstrom The COVID-19 pandemic has brought painful, yet valuable life lessons for Chaffee County, the U.S. and our world. Although it is likely that the pandemic will linger for some time and will most likely bring new challenges and lessons, I consider it prudent to share what I have experienced and learned thus …

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Separation and Reconnection 

By Ed Berg      If you’re reading this, you’re one of a fortunate tiny minority of people. Nothing to do with this column, just that you live in a region close to the outdoors and agricultural lands, and you’re not watching television, at least at the moment. Yet early COVID fears of running out …

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The Sign Guy

By Mike Rosso If you’ve traveled in Colorado’s national forests over the past 15 years, chances are pretty good you’ve seen some of Bob Rohrich’s handiwork. Rohrich is a Recreational Technician with the U.S. Forest Service and based out of the Salida shop on East 3rd and C Street. He has been designing and hand-crafting …

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Mel Strawn: Artist and Activist

By Robert Parker Editor’s note: Renowned Salida artist Mel Strawn passed away on May 17, 2020 at the age of 90. We reached out to local artist and climate activist Robert Parker for his thoughts about this talented and beloved man. Mel Strawn was nationally known as an accomplished non-objective artist and printmaker. He was …

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The Continuing Saga of Hill Ranch

By Ron Sering Editor’s note: This article is a follow-up to one written in our January/February 2013 issue.  The long journey for the area near Nathrop known as Hill Ranch began in 1886, when irrigation rights were first established for use in agriculture and ranching. Exactly a century later, the Hill family sold the rights …

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The Museum of Authenticity

By Mel Strawn An adventurous artist, writer, and builder, Thordis Niela Simonsen was, in the late days of March, finishing the conversion of a small building in downtown Salida to be called the Museum of Authenticity: genuine encounters in art and culture. Small, yes, but I believe this museum to be a substantial addition to …

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A Rebirth?

By Mike Rosso May is my favorite month in Colorado. The creeks and rivers begin to swell. The trees are blooming and leaf outing and we can finally open our windows and let the fresh air in. Plus, no more messing about with kindling and ash. The temperature in my home naturally hovers between 66-68 …

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A Growing Tourist Town

By Mike Rosso We are currently experiencing the “shoulder season” here in Salida. The ski area closed this past weekend after record amounts of snow and visitors. I’ve not spoken to many downtown business owners about how the season went, but winter does have a way of separating the “wheat from the chaff” as we’ve …

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Salida to the Yucatán – Spinning Gold from Agave

By Nathan Ward Sound carries far in the predawn hours of Hacienda San Juan de Lizárraga. A white-nosed coati crashes through the scrub forest. The morning explodes into chatter as the sun rises and the wild babbling of chacalacas rents the air. Birdsong flows from the beaks of brilliant birds, bursts of color between palm …

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Places: The Front Steps of the Victoria Tavern

By Forrest Whitman The two steps up to the front door of the Victoria Tavern in Salida deserve a moment’s pause. Look around and you’ll notice, just to the right, a plaque dedicated to Mildred “Millie” Ohmertz Johnson. Before you go in for an adult beverage, think about Millie. Millie made Colorado history as its …

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Public Art Matters

By Jane Ewing Public art slows down pedestrians so they can enjoy their space and helps promote a positive impact on one’s mood. It engages people in art in the course of daily lives. Civic art adds distinctiveness to our communities and humanizes our outdoor places. Local aesthetics is one reason people attach themselves to …

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Salida to the U.S.A. by Passenger Train

By Forrest Whitman Passenger rail travel can be accessed conveniently with a three-hour bus ride from Salida to Denver. It’s going to be even more convenient in the future if the Colorado Passenger Rail Commission has its way. I host a rail show on KHEN radio (106.9 or on podcast) and attend many rail meetings. …

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Places: The Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center

Chaffee County’s past comes alive at a unique historic spot between Salida and Poncha Springs, just off U.S. Hwy. 50. The Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center is a place where it’s easy to imagine what life was like in the early settlement days in the Upper Arkansas Valley. The Hutchinson family settled in the region …

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Music Review: Dave Tipton – Memento

By Brian Rill David Tipton’s Memento is a touching tribute to the golden melodies of popular culture. The soothing sounds of a solo stick master rat-at-at-tating his steel strings offers a sweet relief to even the most stressed-out customer. Tipton, the original gangster of elevator music, makes a strikingly appealing and broad, sweeping declaration of …

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A Lost Tribute to a Historic Christmas Tree

By Mike Rosso Deep in a ravine below a Forest Service road on Marshall Pass is a decaying wooden sign dedicated to the first National Christmas Tree harvested from Colorado. The large wooden sign reads: “The White House Christmas Tree for Peace. John F. Kennedy President 1962. The first White House Christmas Tree from Colorado.” …

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Benjamin “Baxter” Stingley, An Early Salida Marshal

By Steve Chapman Baxter Stingley was one of the first people to arrive in Salida, in 1880. He was part of the exodus from nearby Cleora, when that boom town went bust overnight, following the relocation of the railroad. Stingley and his brother Jessie arrived in the Arkansas Valley from Iowa. Not much is written …

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Building a House: Part 3

By Mike Rosso In this installment of the house construction, the footers and foundation have been poured and are dry. It’s now time to frame the house. First, a pressure-treated sill plate is installed on top of the concrete. This is a rot resistant barrier between the earth and the rest of the house. Next, …

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A Local Imbroglio

On October 17, I sat down and watched some of the more compelling television I’ve seen in a while. It wasn’t on Netflix or HBO. It was on YouTube and was a broadcast of the Salida City Council meeting from the previous evening. The meeting began with a public comment period as they always do, …

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Places: Browns Canyon National Monument

By Linda Gibas Browns Canyon National Monument is a unique and rugged area which is also Colorado’s newest monument. Its journey to become a monument began when it was determined by Congress that certain Bureau of Land Managment (BLM) lands had wilderness characteristics. After studying and performing inventories, the BLM concluded in 1980 that 6,614 …

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Occupational Hazards: The Violent Deaths of Three Colorado Lawmen

By Steve Chapman One of the first things old West boom towns looked to establish was law and order. After enduring (or enjoying, depending on your perspective) early days of “anything goes” debauchery, criminal activity and survival of the fittest, citizens of mining communities such as Leadville, Buena Vista and Salida pitched in to hire …

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Building a House: Part 2

By Mike Rosso In the first installment of this series, we had just completed the dirt work for the new house, and were now ready for the foundation, stem wall and floor. The first step was to form and pour concrete around the rebar in the footings. The footings equalize the load of snow and …

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Q&A with Erin Kelley

Salida resident Erin Kelley is running for Colorado House District 60, a seat held by Rep. Jim Wilson since 2013. The District encompasses Chaffee, Park, Fremont and Custer Counties. She represents just one of the many younger women nationwide who have decided to run for office in 2018. Kelley is currently the secretary/treasurer for the …

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The Monarch Tram and Giftshop

By Mike Rosso For many years, I’ve driven right past this popular tourist attraction on top of Monarch Pass, but have never stopped in the gift shop or ridden the tram. This morning I took advantage of some relatively clear weather to visit and learn about the Monarch Crest Giftshop and Tramway, the highest commercial …

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