A sterile approach to sport fishing

Every July for the past several years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has hosted a tournament at Ridgway State Park to catch and kill as many smallmouth bass as possible. Prizes ranging from $5,000 in cash to a bass boat have been awarded for most fish, biggest fish and smallest fish caught.
At Elkhead Reservoir, there’s an annual tournament in June to catch and keep and kill as many northern pike and smallmouth bass as possible. Cash prizes of $4,500 and a similar value in fishing gear are awarded.

The mountain is usually going to win

The March 7, 1963 Ouray County Herald's top headline blared, "Search continues for victims of snowslide."
The search had been going on since Sunday, March 3, when Rev. Marvin W. Hudson of Ridgway and his daughters, Amelia and Pauline, were swept away in an avalanche at the Riverside slide just a few miles south of Ouray.

The cheerleaders never age

My oldest brother, Jim, attends University of Texas men's basketball games as frequently as he can. He made an observation last year, which he shared. He said that while he's getting older each year, the cheerleaders never do.
I don't know why I thought of that a few weeks ago when we were in Austin attending my son's wedding. I think it's because he and his beautiful bride, Kelly, took a path to marriage that was less than conventional from my (stuck in time) viewpoint.

Close encounters of aggravating kind

Traveling by commercial airline isn't fun, and if anyone tells you it is, they are high-flyin' fibbers.
I said it.
And I say this even though my oldest son is a pilot for a commercial airline.
It's because of his job that the publishing duo in Ouray County gets to fly anywhere for next-to-nothing to no charge at all. Which, with ill relatives in other states to tend to and a granddaughter to get to, flying at a cost of next-to-nothing really, really helps keep the bank account grounded.

He was one of the good guys

Johnny Lowe passed away last week. He was one of the good guys.
Johnny and his wife spent a lot of time in their second home just outside of Ridgway. He was a retired real estate developer. But he was also a man of faith with a sense of humor that wouldn't stop.
Johnny came in to the Plaindealer office every year to change his subscription address. Thirty minutes later I would feel like I just chewed the fat with my best friend.
I'll never forget the first invitation he gave me, to play low-stakes poker with a group at a local establishment.

If there was good cause, someone should have said so

Who's to blame next?
No telling.
In fact, we don't know who's to blame now, though there are plenty of folks in Ouray looking for answers after the city council unanimously voted to fire City Administrator Katie Sickles Monday night.
Sickles, who was hired a year ago almost to the day after a three-month trial run as interim administrator, may never know why she was released. Council voted to fire her without cause, which means they get to keep their reasons to themselves, and Sickles gets to keep a severance package.

Carving a path to Bucket of Blood

Still sifting and meandering through history after our Dec. 27 history edition.
I was trying to find out exactly where Ohlwller Park was situated in Ouray. I'm pretty sure it was at the southeast corner of 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue, and I probably need to just go spend a little time in the Ouray Library and ask Maureen and folks there if any maps exist showing the park.

Theatrics in Lake City

Lots of nice comments about our Dec. 27 issue of the Plaindealer, which was a compilation of select articles — at least one from every decade — spanning the past 140 years.
Best story came from a Ouray city councilor who said a local resident told her that he knew there was a crazy miner living in the hills, and the article in the paper only confirmed his fears.
"Did you see the date on that article?” he was asked.

Sizing up our 2018 predictions; making new ones for 2019

Last year, on Jan. 4, Beecher and I made our predictions for Ouray County for 2018. How did we do?
Here are what our predictions were, along with outcomes, as we saw them:
1. The strong economy would make it difficult to lure seasonal workers to the county.
Outcome: We only know what we hear. Several business told us they struggled. The Ouray Hot Springs Pool was looking for help a lot. Our employment advertising revenue was not as much as the prior year, which may mean less searching or more giving up.

Celebrating Ouray Trail Group

We received a note from Bob Risch, president of the Ouray Trail Group, that offered some trail usage numbers.
The group recently counted all the signatures from 42 trail registers throughout the county and found that 56,829 hikers registered at trailheads in the county in 2018. The U.S. Forest Service, according to Risch, estimates that only one-third to one-half all trail users will register before hiking, so usage numbers could be as high as 150,000.