Partisan Pack Behavior Makes Citizens Howl

By Martha Quillen Today in the U.S.A., ordinary citizens regard their political opponents as dangerous. Political anxiety is creating an almost universal sense of injustice. In the July 11 Mountain Mail, frequent contributor Linda Taylor addressed that phenomenon in a letter to Judith Ann Smith, who had previously expressed concern about the influence of Democrats. […]

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Down on the Ground with Loss and Transformation

By George Sibley Said farewell to a couple of friends last week. One was an aspen – a lovely tree about thirty-five years old according to its stump, in the prime of life. After three years of increasingly evident decline, it budded this year but failed to produce any leaves. It was one of a […]

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The Obvious Life of Weeds

By John Mattingly Ask not what you can do to weeds, ask what weeds can do for you. Weeds can tell you a lot about the tilth, fertility and structure of your soil. Some weeds can be used to improve the soil for garden crops. If, for example, the ground has a drainage problem or […]

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The Monarch Tram and Giftshop

By Mike Rosso For many years, I’ve driven right past this popular tourist attraction on top of Monarch Pass, but have never stopped in the gift shop or ridden the tram. This morning I took advantage of some relatively clear weather to visit and learn about the Monarch Crest Giftshop and Tramway, the highest commercial […]

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The Road to Chimera: Chapter 1

By Peter Anderson What follows is the opening chapter of a mystery-in-progress set in a fictional San Luis Valley town that may bear some resemblance to the town where I live. Ray followed the road through some cottonwoods and crossed the bridge over the Gonaway River. It had been almost twenty years since he and […]

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Between Fire and Flood

By Hal Walter After the driest spell in recent memory, the rains came pitter-pattering on the leaves of thirsty plants, splattering upon the dusty ground and at last creating a steady pouring sound as the water streamed from the roof splashing into the flower beds. I’d just finished a long period of “work” which mostly […]

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Personal Responsibility and Climate Change

By Sue Snively I stare in wonder at the local post office parking lot as I leash my little papillon dog to pick up my mail. The parking lot is full of SUVs and pickups, most with a dog inside waiting patiently for his “significant other” to emerge from those hallowed halls and drive him home […]

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CD Review: Khanundrum – Power of Three

Khanundrum, the band, as the name suggests is a series of unanswerable questions, where a lack of clarity is the only acknowledgment to be obtained. Why is the name spelled Khanundrum? Where is the guitar? Where is a keyboard? Where is the melody line? What key are we in? They are an enigma hidden within […]

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Book Review: The Last Stand of the Pack

The Last Stand of the Pack By Arthur H. Carhart University Press of Colorado Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-60632, paper Reviewed by Virginia McConnell Simmons Readers of outdoor West literature value several well-known authors, whose works are like bibles for anyone with concern about what is left of unspoiled landscapes and wildlife that once inhabited them. […]

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The Crowded Acre: Waking Dr. Devine, Part One

By Jennifer Welch After reading the title to this story, you might assume that it is about winning the lottery or waking the dead. In fact, it is not. It is quite the opposite. It is about losing the lottery. It is about saying goodbye to the living, and leaving the dead where they lie. […]

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Eye on the Fifth

By Daniel Smith   The primary election in the Fifth Congressional District – with some drama to it – is over, and the stage is set for November with a new and an old feel to the screenplay being acted out. The familiar is the return of Doug Lamborn, the six-term incumbent who, despite an […]

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Chaffee County Writers Exchange

By Judy Reese The Upper Arkansas River Valley is a smorgasbord of creative folks – some sculpting stunning vases from aspen, some capturing the beauty of the Chalk Cliffs in oils, others entertaining with bluegrass tunes or making characters come alive on stage. Some create with fiber or craft whimsical beasts in papier-mâché. Yet those […]

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About the Cover Photo

Back in the mid-1950s, Salida entrepreneur Elmo Bevington, and former Gunnison Sheriff George Cope, leased land on the top of Monarch Pass from the United States Forest Service (USFS) to construct a gift shop and restaurant. It was completed in 1954. Bevington then decided to develop an old trail near the building site which went […]

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