About the Cover Artist: Randy Pijoan

Artist Randy Pijoan of Amalia, New Mexico is the founder of Ventero Open Press, an arts-based nonprofit located in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Ventero is dedicated to the social and artistic development of the next generation of artists, with a focus on providing for youth who have little or no access to art […]

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Native Peaks

By Mike Rosso The Ute Indian tribes are the oldest continuous residents of Colorado. The earliest Utes are said to have populated the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains and were hunters and gatherers. Before the Europeans arrived, the Ute (which means “land of the sun”) were composed of seven bands; the Mouache, Weeminuche, Uintah, […]

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Alpine Station

By Christopher Kolomitz At more than 11,500 feet in elevation and reached via a modest four-wheel-drive road, a driving adventure to Alpine Station and the west portal of Alpine Tunnel makes a superb trip into Central Colorado’s high country. The journey provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of one of the state’s most ambitious […]

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Alive in the Hive

By Ericka Kastner I felt alive (dare I say buzzed?) as I pulled away from Jamie Johnston’s beeyard of nearly 2,400,000 honeybees off County Road 160 near Salida. The murmur of the bees’ song echoed in my ears, and I smiled as I drove, pondering the possibility of establishing my own small-scale hobby hive to […]

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On the Trail of a Triple Crown

By Hal Walter After 34 years of pack-burro racing, it’s perhaps not so remarkable that this season I finally attained the sport’s Triple Crown title, a feat that involves being the first place man or woman in each of the sport’s big races in the Colorado mountain towns of Fairplay, Leadville and Buena Vista. What […]

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Down on the Ground with Water Planning

By George Sibley How do you conduct resource planning for a resource when you know the demand will increase, but the supply won’t, and might even decrease? And how does a generation which has a heritage of generally avoiding questions like that through technological fixes, prepare a plan for coming generations to actually address such […]

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Lawyers in the Midst, Another Fluid Curiosity

By John Mattingly The effort by San Luis Valley water users to self-regulate – and sustainably manage – the surface and groundwater systems of the Valley with sub-districts is now approaching a decade in process. In 2004, Senate Bill 04-222 and HB-1198 basically offered Valley water users a carrot and stick: either come up with […]

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Regional News

Walter, Thorpe Win Triple Crown The triple crown in burro racing was won by both Hal Walter of Westcliffe and Karen Thorpe of Salida in a first-ever sharing of the elusive crown. Walter won his seventh World Championship and, at age 53, is the oldest person to have won the event in its 65-year history. […]

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The Buzz

By Ericka Kastner • Bee brokers pay between $140 and $180 per hive to rent it for pollinating. The stronger the hive (more bees, more pollen, more honey), the more a broker will pay. Weak hives may get put back on the truck and returned to their beekeeper. • Honey is made from flower nectar. […]

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The Love Ranch, Part 2

Chaffee County Historic Resources Survey Series By Fay Golson for The Chaffee County Heritage Area Advisory Board To conclude the account of the Love Ranch, the third property in the Chaffee County Historic Resource Survey and featured in last month’s Colorado Central, Jo Love’s importance to the ranch will be disclosed. Although their marriage was […]

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Along Ancient Trails

By Ron Sering Ken Frye, retired archaeologist with the National Forest Service, gestured to the vast expanse of the San Luis Valley. “We think the Old Spanish Trail went through not far from here,” he said. We were in the La Garita Store, fortifying ourselves with green chili burgers for a tour of rock art […]

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Climate Change in Central Colorado

By Tyler Grimes With any article on climate change, it’s tempting to try to grab the reader’s attention with horrifying statistics or stories of natural disasters or the severity of drought, but this is an issue where facts speak loudest: • The global temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees Celsius over the last century. (EPA) […]

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News from the San Luis Valley

Stun Gun Scenario An Alamosa city councilor who was attempting to evict his son from a rental property was living up to the traditional Wild West ways of resolving disputes – new school style. Leland Romero had waved a stun gun at his son Lucas during a lawn-watering incident and then pleaded guilty to misdemeanor […]

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One Person’s Rights Are Another’s Wrongs

By Martha Quillen I always check out the maxims posted in front of Salida’s Episcopal church. They’re often clever or funny, and occasionally downright thought-provoking. But in July one of them struck me as way too optimistic. “If it is good and right,” the sign declared, “then it will be.” After I walked by, I […]

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What Is It About a Cow?

 By Jennifer Welch Late one night we heard a call coming from our little pen, And there we saw two silhouettes in place of where just one had been, One moo’d softly as we came near, then everyone began to swoon, As the baby calf took her first steps beneath the light of the fullest […]

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