Wingood Lake Through the Years

By Hal Walter I  looked up at Music Pass and could see the dark clouds of the season’s first serious storm brewing, threatening snow or freezing rain up there at over 11,000 feet. I looked at my friends. We’d planned a burro pack trip over the pass and down the other side. It was September, […]

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Colorado’s Original Adventure Sport

By Hal Walter It’s July and the Colorado pack-burro racing season will soon be in full swing, with the sport’s Triple Crown taking place right here in Central Colorado in the towns of Fairplay, Leadville and Buena Vista. I’m always surprised when people haven’t heard of our indigenous sport, recently designated Colorado’s Summer Heritage Sport by […]

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Food Ink

By Hal Walter My interest in locally grown foods began about 14 years ago. I had long held the belief that the highest-quality foods were essential to optimal health, fitness and brain function, and that eating well also was part of living life to its fullest. I was at the annual Pueblo Chile Festival when […]

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What Matters is the Story

By Hal Walter “All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom […]

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A Story Told by Trees

By Hal Walter A recent writing assignment had me exploring historical points in my immediate geographical area, and it occurred to me, as it has many times over the years, how many people have made either permanent or temporary homes in this area long before we arrived with our four-wheel-drives, heated homes and Internet connections. […]

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This Sense of Place

By Hal Walter Bumper stickers claim that no matter where you go, there you are. And mystics will tell you that you are exactly where you need to be. For me, the better part of 30 years has been spent in Custer County, with 23 of those years here in the Bear Basin Ranch area […]

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And Yet Still I Write

By Hal Walter Raven is a bird that is associated with magic and healing, balance between light and dark, creation and wisdom: trickster. My neighbor, who is a golfer and practices his driving on the hillside behind his house, tells me ravens routinely carry away golf balls, thinking they are eggs, before he can retrieve […]

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A Harvest Beyond Words

by Hal Walter It has become a tradition of sorts each fall for my son Harrison and me to travel down to Larga Vista Ranch, owned by my friends Doug and Kim Wiley, east of Pueblo. We pick late-season produce, mostly sweet peppers, but also Pueblo chiles, watermelons and squash, just before the first hard […]

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A Harvest Beyond Words

By Hal Walter It has become a tradition of sorts each fall for my son Harrison and me to travel down to Larga Vista Ranch, owned by my friends Doug and Kim Wiley, east of Pueblo. We pick late-season produce, mostly sweet peppers, but also Pueblo chiles, watermelons and squash, just before the first hard […]

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Light on the Headstones

By Hal Walter As I was pulling away from the feed store, I noticed the early evening light on the headstones of the small cemetery on the hillside about a mile away. I’ve seen so many great photos of cemeteries in the Southwest, and had tried some photography in this graveyard a couple of times […]

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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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Memories from the Rainbow Trail

By Hal Walter Back in the day, my friend Paul and I would head out before light from the BackEdge cabin which he owns at the Gibson Creek Trailhead on the Rainbow Trail. We’d hike northward on the Rainbow in the autumn moonlight reflecting on the skiff of snow, through the big open meadow and […]

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Good Grass Makes Great Beef

By Hal Walter If you’re in the livestock business in the Wet Mountain Valley, what that really means is that you’re in the grass business. Few people know that better than Elin Parker Ganschow, owner of Music Meadows Ranch and Sangres Best Beef. Elin’s been in the grassfed beef business for nearly two decades, continuing […]

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The Positive and Negative of June

By Hal Walter As heavy smoke blows over Custer County from the fires near Wolf Creek Pass, it struck me what a frenetic energy has been running through our little community for the past few weeks; and how sometimes we pay too much attention to the little things rather than the big picture, like the […]

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The magic and spirit of DonCon

By Hal Walter It’s Monday evening at the Taos Inn, and DonCon is scurrying about like an Ebert’s squirrel hyped on the gathering March sunlight. Fresh from the challenging Taos ski slopes, he bounces around the stage area with speakers, amps and wiring, setting up the sound system for the open-mic show he hosts weekly, […]

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