Skier’s Remorse: An Early-Season Lesson in Inertia

THE TELEPHONE RANG MUCH EARLIER than I had expected. “Moeller, get up,” the excited voice blurted. “It snowed 13 inches at Monarch. Let’s get rolling.” I clambered out of bed, looked out the window and grinned. The Pueblo sky was dumping fat, sloppy flakes the size of pancakes. Moments later Adam sped up to my …

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Places: Music Pass

Story and photo by Ericka Kastner

Some of the best places in Central Colorado become even better in the stillness of winter. Cold temperatures and deep snow often mean fewer people, ice sculpted over creeks varying in appearance daily, and trees cloaked in frost creating the illusion of a magical wonderland.
At 11,446 feet in elevation, Music Pass is one such place. In the summer the road is heavily traveled by ATVs and dirt bikes, and Front Range visitors flock to the area for camping and hiking near the southernmost end of the Rainbow Trail. But on a recent winter day, I had the place all to myself. My pup and I parked at the Grape Creek trailhead and, donning snowshoes, trekked up the mostly snow-covered road towards Music Pass amidst blessed tranquility. To the north, the jagged peaks of South Colony Lakes and Broken Hand Peak beckoned me to plan a backpack route next summer. Looking south and west, the road ahead was flanked with wide open, high mountain meadows illuminated with sunlight.

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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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December Sunlight


By Tina Mitchell

The sun rises later every morning. Night falls earlier each day. You walk the dog before work in pitch black, hoping that the local coyotes aren’t prowling the darkness a few feet behind you. After work, what’s left of the daylight fades fast and you do outdoor tasks in twilight. You stare into the seemingly interminable darkness, morosely remembering the long, lazy, languid evenings of summer. Is that what’s troublin’ ya, friend?

The approaching winter solstice, this year on Dec. 21, brings the shortest day of the year because it features the latest sunrise and the earliest sunset. Right? Well, actually – no. After the winter solstice, total daylight does increase a minute or two every few days. But those of us who mourn the waning sunlight can look to an earlier milepost. In early December – this year, around December 2 in Central Colorado – we’ll experience the earliest sunset of the year. On that date, sunset holds around 4:43 p.m. for almost two weeks; after that, it inches back a minute later every few days. 

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Blizzard Delight

by Jane Provorse

Ever wished you had just stayed home?

A couple of years ago my family decided to visit relatives in Wisconsin for the Christmas holidays. I booked plane reservations for myself, my husband Bob, and our two teenage daughters to fly from Denver to Milwaukee. The night before we were to leave our home in Salida, a blizzard was forecast to hit Denver the following morning.

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Blast from the Past: Cooking on a Woodstove

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Winter – February 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

BABY, IT’S COLD — and snowy — outside. And the snow just keeps coming. Thanks to my husband Steve, a.k.a. Mister Weather-Statistics Answer-Man, I can accurately report that here in the village of Twin Lakes, we’ve received a whopping five feet of the white stuff from December 1 through January 11. We’ve been snowed in several times, and we’d probably still be housebound if not for some very kind neighbors with advanced snow-plowing skills.

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The Blues of Winter

Essay by Matt Hutson

Winter – February 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

I HATE WINTER. I realize that sounds pretty funny coming from a guy who lives in Gunnison County, the part of the state best known for its brutal winter conditions. But it’s true.

I think it all dates back to my teenage years. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, through a variety of mishaps and stupidity, I ended up having multiple knee operations. Somehow I spent part of five or six winters limping around Carbondale in a full leg cast. Mucking around in the slush in a cast is not a good time; the toes of the affected leg never quite seem to warm up. To top it all off, one is deathly afraid of slipping, falling, and enduring yet more considerable pain. I haven’t been on a pair of downhill skis in over 25 years.

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