Opinions

Sat
18
Jul
atodd's picture

Vacationing close to home

They say you're a lucky guy or gal if you get to live where you vacation. Of course, when you work where you vacation, the former can overshadow the latter.
Which makes a weekend overshadow the former.
We loaded the pop up and worn-but-reliable SUV and headed to a whole other world — the Cimarron Mountains.
No detours, no one-lane traffic, just turn right on County Road 10, pass Second Chance Animal Shelter and the RAT bike trail and you're in a different world almost immediately.
About 14 miles up we bumped and bounced the little camper slowly behind us past Deb's Meadow, wound our way up to Owl Creek Pass at 10,114 feet, then worked our way behind the Turrets to land an ideal camping spot at the end of the road right on the Middle Fork of the Cimarron.

Sat
18
Jul
atodd's picture

Look again: That mountain may be a molehill…

Summer always makes me think of lakes and mountains – and mountain lakes.
My college roommate from Alaska spent a few days at the cabin recently. Mike is a retired physician battling Parkinson’s now, but he’s doing pretty well and hasn’t lost his lust for adventure or his sense of humor. People facing challenges, whether climbing a mountain or combating a chronic illness, are an inspiration.
Mike grew up in a place called Mountain Lake, Minnesota (population: 2,104; elevation: 1,302 ft.). There are lots of lakes in Minnesota (even the license plates proclaim it: “Land of 10,000 Lakes”), but there isn’t a mountain anywhere near Mountain Lake.
When I asked Mike how the town got its name, he just shrugged and said, “Oh, there’s a little hill there.” Even the town’s official motto, “Home on the prairie,” betrays its inapt appellation.

Thu
02
Jul
atodd's picture

Coordinators needed

Dear Editor,
Ouray County Cares sponsored by Ridgway Community Pride is looking for a few good people to coordinate the annual holiday program providing gifts, food and toys to families in need. This program is entirely volunteer driven, is well funded and gets extensive support from all areas of the community including individual volunteers, businesses and county entities.
Some of the existing coordinators have been involved for many years and, due to circumstances in their lives, will be unable to continue. All new coordinators will be mentored to insure a seamless transition. Ninety-five percent of the work occurs between October and December, so it is not a volunteer position requiring a lot of commitment throughout the year.

Thu
02
Jul
atodd's picture

A compassionate weekend

Dear Editor,
Twenty years ago we saw how special Ouray County was. This past weekend was another example of loving your neighbor by helping them. This is called Compassion Weekend. Ten hardworking people arrived at our house and proceeded to dig out the weeds underneath our trees and put mulch around them. Another group took bricks that we had and outlined the two flower gardens. Another group stacked all the firewood that was in a pile on the back of our property. These are jobs that my husband Dick and I could no longer do.
We are so appreciative to organizers Terry and Sabrina Butler and their whole crew of willing volunteers that have helped many people in our wonderful county.

Dick and M-E Spirek
Ridgway
 

Thu
02
Jul
atodd's picture

Healthy river takes patience

A long-time flyfisherman told Eric Gardunio, aquatic biologist in Montrose, that back in the 1980s the sight of four-pound Rainbow trout smacking big, puffy flies on the surface of the Gunnison River throughout summer was common.
"You just don't see that now," Gardunio said.
Overcoming whirling disease has been an uphill battle. Caused by a parasite that disrupts the nervous system of a Rainbow, the disease has decimated Rainbow populations throughout the West. The disease makes feeding nearly impossible and renders young Rainbows vulnerable to predators.
One predator is the Brown trout, which minus a healthy population of Rainbows has grown to dominate the lower Gunnison River.

Thu
02
Jul
atodd's picture

In order to shoe a horse it always pays to catch it first

There seems to be a new trend in the area of running…Barefoot. I, myself, no longer run. I have horses and they are much better at running, so I let them carry me. Anyway, the Barefoot Running “takeover” is definitely on the rise with humans. Many orthopedic sources are saying “it is healthier for the structure of the human body, to run without additional cushioning.” I do NOT agree with this statement based solely (pun intended) on past experience. Why, just this morning I stepped out on the front porch and stepped on a “goat head.” Jump, jump, **it, jump, jump **it…that really hurts. For the simple reason of personal safety, I will continue to wear shoes.

Thu
18
Jun
atodd's picture

Colorado and California – Different states, similar fates?

Tom Magstadt

Summer is beautiful in the mountains, but it's also a harbinger of horrors great and small, forest fires being among the worst and most devastating. Mud is no fun either, but without it – in the absence of abundant snow on the upper elevations and a long, slow thaw – we face something far more unforgiving.

For all our sophisticated technology and machines, soaking rains are still the best defense against forest fires. In ways we moderns often fail to recognize, the earth hasn't changed much since the Pleistocene Epoch, when mammoths and mastodons, long-horned bison, saber-toothed cats and giant ground sloths roamed the planet.

One big difference, however, is temperature. Global cooling and glaciers characterized the Pleistocene. The big worry in these times is global warming, disappearing glaciers and drought.

Heavy summer rains mean more mud, but every good thing comes with a price. If it doesn't, we're either stealing it or wasting it or both.

Wed
10
Jun
atodd's picture

Cartoon

Wed
10
Jun
atodd's picture

The ridge to the “Bridge of Heaven,” a hike up memory lane

The Old Horse Thief Trailhead is a Nolan Ryan stone's-throw from our house in Lovely Ouray. In minutes Bobbie and I are zigzagging up its wooded switchbacks, savoring fresh, pine-scented air that we’ve come to expect but now take for granted. The morning air is cool to bare skin, the trail damp from recent showers. Our bodies and minds soon warm to the uphill task and reluctantly cooperate. Life is still good.

Wed
10
Jun
atodd's picture

Pizza delivery, government style

Some of our Montrose subscribers have called recently to ask us why their newspapers have been arriving a few days later in the mail than usual. We just found out why. Instead of our out-of- county papers being shipped to Grand Junction for postal sorting, they are now being shipped to Denver!
This decision is not a local one, but a decision of your United States Postal Service.
We turn them into the Ouray post office, in turn they travel past Montrose to Denver, get sorted, then are sent back to Montrose. What do you bet they go through Montrose and Grand Junction on the way to Denver?
The efficiency of your big government at work.
There is a remedy, and we are working on it and should have it fixed in a few weeks. Thanks to our readers for alerting us.
For some reason, this kind of bureau- cracy reminds us of an exchange on the television show M*A*S*H, when Henry Blake was trying to get a special order delivered to the front line:

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