places … The Midland Tunnels

By Ericka Kastner During Leadville’s bustling mining days of the late 1800s, the town of Buena Vista was served by three separate railroads and the standard-gauge Colorado Midland arrived last – in 1887. A steep, uphill buggy ride from Buena Vista gave passengers access to the Midland Depot, which was situated high above town and […]

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What if Wildflowers Could Sing?

By Hal Walter Peter May has been a musician for most of his life, and even co-produced and played on a Grammy Award-winning album, but he never dreamed he’d be the composer for one of the greatest symphonies in the universe – nature. The 52-year-old Michigan native and longtime Crestone resident recently released his new […]

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Whither Pack-Burro Racing?

The sages tell us that everything is always changing, and in fact the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that nothing endures but change itself. Thus is the case of Colorado’s indigenous sport of pack-burro racing. It began back in 1949 with a race over Mosquito Pass to Fairplay. Nearly seven decades later I’m beginning to wonder […]

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The Saguache County Museum

By Connie Rapalski The Saguache County Museum began as an idea that grew into a huge community project. At the time, all Colorado communities were asked to join in the 1976 Centennial celebration of the Rush to the Rockies, which brought miners and other pioneers to Colorado. Several clubs including the Saguache Women’s Club along […]

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Badger Creek: A Wilderness?

Article and photos by John Lacher I grew up in the hills just outside Boulder. That upbringing offered me the opportunity to ramble around the mountainside on little explorations. I was always thinking about discoveries just beyond the next ridge or rock outcrop. Perhaps I would find an abandoned cabin, an old Indian campsite, or maybe […]

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CD Review: The Heartstring Hunters 

By Brian Rill From my experience as a songwriter, most love songs start as a series of passionate screams inspired by a beautiful muse, only to end in a desperate, stifled echo never to be heard by the intended recipient. The Heartstring Hunters however have a very different story. Started by husband and wife duo […]

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The Weed of Wrath

By Hal Walter Marijuana. Most folks are either decidedly for it or against it. Me? I’m mostly a weed spectator though I lean toward the libertarian viewpoint that a person has the right to do whatever to their own body so long as it doesn’t harm others. Like it or not, marijuana is now legal […]

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Scorpions

By Tina Mitchell The dog stood still as a statue, nose to the floor. Maybe he was watching an insect. But usually he’d just check it out and move on or else snarf it down. This behavior was different. Curious, I walked over. Uh, oh – the boy had zeroed in on a scorpion. A […]

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Watershed BV: A Small-Town Hub

In 1937, the U.S. Forest Service built a ranger station on Main Street in downtown Buena Vista. It remains the only historical downtown ranger station in Colorado. It served its purpose for the Forest Service until the 1970s when it became a Chaffee County health clinic. For the past 20 years the building has sat […]

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The Gas Creek Wars

By Virginia McConnell Simmons With Mount Princeton and Mount Antero providing a serene backdrop, Gas Creek and Chalk Creek thread a valley lying north of Centerville, where U.S. Hwy. 285 drops down, passing under a water diversion pipe. This valley extends north to Cache Creek, which flows beneath the highway south of Nathrop. Here began […]

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Prisoners of War in Colorado

By Mike Rosso During World War II – from 1943 to 1946 – Colorado was home to around 43 Prisoner of War (POW) Camps, according to Metropolitan State University of Denver. Nationwide, there were 175 Branch Camps serving 511 Area Camps housing nearly 425,000 POWs, most of whom were German, although some of the earliest […]

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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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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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Rok Skool

By Mike Rosso Since 2011, many Chaffee County teens have learned the fine art of rockin’ out, thanks to Rok Skool, a musical education program offered through Articipate, a Salida-based nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping arts education alive and thriving in the 21st century. The founders, Jill and Trevor “Bones” Davis, saw an alarming trend […]

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The Real Deal Music Review: SHEL Just Crazy Enough

By Brian Rill SHEL – Just Crazy Enough The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche prefaced his book The Will To Power with this line, “Of what is great one must either be silent or speak with greatness, that means cynically and with innocence.” I will attempt to relate honestly the virtue of music amidst my […]

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