The Way We Really Were

By Virginia McConnell Simmons When snow and cabin fever piled up, miners might schuss over to Pitkin for a drink while awaiting spring and another chance to strike it rich at last. After all, a disgusted prospector whacked his hammer into a rock and broke off a tangle of pure silver wire from a boulder […]

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Music Review: Chuck Pyle – Cover Stories

  By Brian Rill On Nov. 6, legendary country artist Chuck Pyle passed away unexpectedly. His body was removed from the aquamarine waters of Palmer Lake after he went fly-fishing near his historic Colorado cabin. Mr. Pyle was later pronounced deceased at the age of 70. His 13th album was recorded in January this year. […]

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December Sunlight

THE NATURAL WORLD 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. […]

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A Bike Ride to Where We Are

By Hal Walter The phrase “No matter where you go, there you are,” could not be more true than it is for an autistic child. For when one is fully contained in his own mind, he truly cannot be lost. And thus it was for my son Harrison one recent Saturday. Since Harrison finally learned […]

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Down on the Ground Waiting for Snow

By George Sibley T.S. Eliot was wrong: November, not April, is the cruelest month, teasing us not with lilacs from a dead land, but with flirty little snowstorms that promise much but deliver little. Yes, it’s the November doldrums again over here on the west side of Central Colorado, where we are waiting, as usual […]

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Places – The Golden Towers

by Mike Rosso About five miles outside Salida is an unusual rock formation nicknamed “The Golden Towers” or “The Golden Spires.” The composition of the hill containing the bowl in which the Golden Towers sit, and much of the side slopes of the bowl is mostly Volcanic Welded Tuff, broken into small- to medium-sized rocks […]

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Book Review: Dirt: A Love Story

Dirt: a love story Editor: Barbara Richardson ISBN: 978-1-61168-766-8 ForeEdge: 2015 $19.95, 200pp. An anthology about dirt. How is it possible to have over thirty writers tell us about something that is, well, as plain as dirt? Well, it helps when you’re able to bring in some of the big guns of land-based writing: Pam […]

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“Need Food”

by Laurel McHargue “NEED FOOD,” read the cardboard sign held by a woman who appeared to be in her 70s. It’s hard to gauge the age of homeless people, as most do not age well. I was returning from a weekend conference in Denver and stopped by our local Safeway for a few things before […]

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The Grave Beside the Old Leadville Stage Road

by Christopher James Note: The following is an excerpt from Silver Rails – The Railroads of Leadville, Colorado, published by Sierra Grande Press. www.silverrailsleadville.com. One of the many mysteries that still eludes Leadville historians is the gravestone that stands beside the old stage road to Leadville. Look for it about fifteen miles south of town, […]

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Tips For Running for Small Town Mayor

by Forrest Whitman First: Never run against a dog. Ol’ Woody mopped up the floor with me at our debate through his psychic dog interpreter. I never should have defended the city code enforcer. Second: Ask first if you can run. My victorious opponent landed the old-guard oligarchs early. He sure knew who to ask […]

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News from the San Luis Valley

Woman Crashes Into Sheep Forty two sheep were killed after a drunk Monte Vista woman plowed into them with her car. Lynn Ann Michel, 47, was driving westbound on Rio Grande C.R. 8 South when she rammed the flock. After fleeing the scene, her license plate was recovered by Colorado State Patrol troopers. In addition […]

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From the Editor: Hatred Out of Control

by Mike Rosso This is not the column I intended to write. I was thinking of something seasonally appropriate, giving thanks for the past year while looking ahead to the new year. Instead, some 57-year-old white guy from Hartsel decided to play God, forced his way into a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, and […]

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About the Cover Artist: Joshua Been

Joshua Been, born in 1974, had no shortage of outdoor adventures that cultivated his appreciation for the natural world. Drawing since he could manage a pencil, he was captivated by animation and cartooning. This interest remained with him throughout high school and an active duty enlistment in the U.S. Army. Been went on to pursue […]

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American Lone Wolves: Unhappy, Unlucky Outcasts Seek Packs

By Martha Quillen Ahhhh, America the beautiful, my country, sweet land of liberty, home of the brave, to thee I sing – even though we Americans sure have a knack for revealing our dark side when things go wrong. And once again we are splitting into furiously oppositional factions, with an enthusiastic Republican promising to […]

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