The Caboose: Spring Optimism for us Rail Passengers

By Forrest Whitman There was a lot of hopeful passenger train talk on my recent trip from Denver to Seattle on AMTRAK. On the first leg of that trip, the California Zephyr carried over 800 passengers. The train up the coast from Sacramento to Seattle looked full too. No one in either train’s lounge car […]

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The Natural World: Mountain Goats

By Tina Mitchell One mid-winter afternoon a while ago, we were driving from Coaldale to Cotopaxi. Above the Arkansas River, a patch of snow gleamed on a dry, south-facing cliff. Odd, since snow doesn’t usually linger long there. Then, the “patch” moved – a mountain goat! A first for us in the canyon. We dubbed […]

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What is an Escape Room?

By Anthony Guerrero On a country road seven miles outside of Monte Vista, a new and unique concept has arrived in the San Luis Valley. Since late November the Country Escape Room has opened its doors and then locked them behind its visitors.

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Going Ultraviolet – Water Plant Upgrade for Salida

By Daniel Smith You’ve probably read about the need for infrastructure improvement nationwide – the fact is, a lot of deferred maintenance has made those improvements imperative. In Salida, as in many communities in Colorado and nationwide, there are infrastructure components that date back to the 1950s.

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Alma: North America’s Highest Incorporated Town

By Laura Van Dusen County: Park Founded: 1873 Elevation: 10,578 ft. Population: 270 (2010) At just over two miles high, Alma is the highest incorporated town in North America. It was a gold mecca in 1859, later silver boomed, and, more recently, prospecting around Alma has focused on spectacular rhodochrosite crystals found at the Sweet […]

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CD Review: Xanthe – Time of War

By Brian Rill Xanthe’s tools consist of a guitar and voice, however to say she only has a voice without indulging wholly in the expansiveness of it’s character and the contour of her descant would be a mistake. The commodity value of repetition lacks weight when compared with the absolutely brilliant simplicity of Xanthe’s representation […]

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Eye on the 5th

By Daniel Smith When offered the chance to write this column, I thought about the complexity of tracking Congress in general and a single representative in particular – aren’t they whirlwinds of activity, needing staff to keep tabs on their daily appointments? I also thought about those millstones around many political reporters’ necks – legalese, […]

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The Final Gift

By Hal Walter It’s never easy to say goodbye to a close friend but when Curtis Imrie headed over the pass last month, I found myself scrambling for words and trying to regain my own sense of balance and direction. My first reaction was, Curtis can’t die. For here was a man who lived life […]

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The Crowded Acre: The Dude

By Jennifer Welch It’s no secret to most that I am part woman, part wild animal. I walk a paper thin line between human reasoning and animal instinct, between empathy for our man-made problems and disdain for the four walls surrounding me. I find it difficult to relate to most people, especially the ones that […]

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Legendary

By Ben Lara Editor’s note: This tribute to Brett Beasley was read during a Celebration of Life event held on February 10, 2017. My name is Ben Lara and for the past seven years I had the amazing experience in working with Brett as his immediate supervisor.  Brett started his Forest Service career in 1995 in […]

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A Public Lands Champion, Brett Beasley: 1970-2017

By Mike Rosso On February 4, 2017, U.S. Forest Service employee and Salida resident Brett Beasley, along with a teenaged boy, set out from 11,380-foot-high Uncle Bud’s Hut near Leadville for some backcountry skiing. The weather then turned bad. A fast-moving blizzard blew in and the pair likely became disoriented, resulting in a frigid night […]

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About the Cover Photographer: Beth Grimes

Inspired by the natural world and the human story. Beth Johnston Grimes, owner and operator of Yellow Feather Photography, “captured” this mountain goat on her birthday while hiking in the Chicago Basin. For Beth, a trip to the backcountry is incomplete without a camera in hand. Her lens magnifies the colorful beauty she finds in […]

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Quillen’s Corner: Give Me That Old-Time Religion

By Martha Quillen Trump’s mean-spirited but wildly popular insults have come as a bit of a shock to America and the world. But it’s hard to imagine a really nice guy becoming president. The idea of a peaceful, benevolent leader seems antithetical to American enterprise. Smiling George W. gleefully pitched us into war, and coolly […]

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John Mattingly: Wild Cherry Creek

In the northern San Luis Valley, County Road AA – known sometimes as Alanon Afterway – intersects Colorado Highway 17 about five miles south of the intersection of Highway 17 and U.S. 285. Highway 17 at Road AA is the corner of four surveying quadrangles, the northeastern of which is the Mirage Quad. Looking to […]

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