Feature Coverage

Early county visitors rolled in on 'mud wagons'

The decades following the Civil War brought changes to the Western Slope of Colorado. The miners and prospectors came searching for rich mineral veins, and the homesteaders, ranchers, and farmers soon followed. They arrived by foot, in wagons and on horses.


Ouray School's Owen Lane (front) holds off Rock Gibbs at the finish of a high school cross country meet against Montrose on Sept. 3 at Fellin Park. Lane finished the boys' sK race in fifth place with a time of 20 minutes, 36 seconds-just a second faster than Gibbs. Ouray's Hayden Hart and Ridgway's Canyon lshikawa were the top two finishers among local schools. Hart finished third with a time of 19:36, while lshikawa finished fourth with a time of 19:56. David Emory - Special to the Plaindealer


Above: Austyn Go ode of Montrose pets Snickerdoodle, her Yorkshire cross hog, after the Ouray County Fair livestock auction on Saturday. Snickerdoodle weighed 222 pounds and Goode received the grand champion prize for showmanship and third place for market swine in the fair.

Local grads adjust to college's new realities

Before she leaves for class each day, Ara Norwood fills out a questionnaire on her phone about COVID-19 symptoms, waiting for the "green screen" that clears her for her day at Colorado Mesa University.

The big week of bird migration in Ouray County

The migration of birds is a natural phenomenon. Usually every fall, birders are treated with migrant shorebirds, gulls, and other birds passing through the area and using Ridgway Reservoir as a stopping point. This year the big week at Ridgway Reservoir was Aug. 17-23. These dates can vary from week to week and into September, depending on the year..

Three decades of Bizarreness

When Lupita’s Bizarre Bazaar owner Susan Baker came to Ridgway in 1989, she saw potential in the little “cowboy town” to be what it is today.  And when Baker envisions something, things happen.

Tips for dealing with back-to-school stress during COVID-19

As schools open across our nation, we have been seeing that things are going to look different in every town and city. In some instances, decisions to do home school or on line school have been made for families by their districts. In other instances, there are decisions to still to be made: should parents send their child ren to in-person school or not? Even after families have la bored over these decisions and made what they hope to be "the right decision," there is always a possibility that things can change without their input in these uncertain times.

Everything's great - except for that old coot in the mirror

I'm a retired horse trainer living in my beloved childhood home town of Ridgway. The national forests are my playground and every day is a holiday. I have a wonderful wife, Sandy, and I've got countless friends. Every morning I'm faced with the dilemma of whether to go fishing, read a book, or do something with my stellar horse. I often use her to help rancher friends with their cattle. Angel is a pretty bay mare that I raised. She is the horse that everyone dreams of owning: affectionate and gentle, but never pushy, rude or disobedient. She does everything I ask of her with a smile on her face. I trained her to be a cutting horse and she has won a little money. Angel is a pleasure to ride doing ranch work. I have packed her and also taught her to pull a buckboard. I'm sure she is one of the best all-around horses in the Uncompahgre Valley. She thinks I walk on water, and I'm pretty sure she hung the moon.

'I'm a determined individual'

The first challenge was just getting to Ouray. Aja Tibbs and her family sold their suburban Denver home a week before the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person closings difficult, if not impossible.