Summer-Fall 2010 Telluride Magazine

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M aga zine Su m m e r / Fa ll


G rateful


revisiting the Telluride shows

Terry Tempest Williams in defense of prairie dogs

running the

Hardrock 100



in early telluride

$3.95 Priceless$4.95 in Telluride Priceless in Telluride

profiles Hawkeye Johnson Suzan Beraza Mike Pale


ife appreciation...




4 6


1 • Hughes Reserve, Wilson Mesa

2 • Villas at Sundance Unit 11, Mountain Village

3 • Bridal Veil Lot 1, Telluride

4 • Lot 320, Mountain Village

16 miles from Telluride, extraordinary Wilson Mesa views. Parcel 1, 43.68 $1,525,000 ; Parcel 2, 35.1 $1,225,000

Sunny 3.56 acre property offers unobstructed views of Bridal Veil Falls, only 1 mile from Telluride. $2,295,000

5 • 360 North Willow Street

Beautifully executed 3 bedroom home with views or purchase with 2 vacant lots. $1,995,000; or $3,495,000

Newly constructed 2,432 SF town home with 3 beds, loft, garage, easy ski access and spectacular views. $1,395,000

Gently sloping lot with close proximity to Bridges Ski Trail overlooking the lush open space of Hood Park. $795,000

6 • 501 East Colorado Avenue, Telluride

Contemporary, elegant interior, 6 bedrooms ideally located across from Town Park. Furnished on 2 lots $3,970,000

Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 |



tarts here.






1 • Lot 364R, Mountain Village

2 • Tract I Muddy Creek Meadows, Wilson Mesa

3 • Indian Hills Ranch, Hastings Mesa

4 • Lot 912R, Mountain Village

Easy ski access and dramatic northern views, located in the exclusive neighborhood of Hood Park. $1,595,000

422+/- idyllic acres with enormous views, 2 ponds, corral, 2 grass airstrips plus a hangar/studio. $4,650,000

5 • Elk Creek Meadows, Wilson Mesa

Stunning 527 acres, 360° views, large pond, diverse terrain, year-round access, power, water rights. Call for details.

This 111 acre ranch parcel affords unobstructed views with a flat building site, aspens and a domestic well. $2,750,000

A secluded 1.73 acre lot on exclusive Victoria Drive with superb northern views and a private ski trail. $1,995,000

6 • Cielo, West Fork of the Dolores River

A quintessential 3 bedroom craftsman’s home plus a garage/guest cabin. Unmatched river frontage. $980,000

Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 |



35 Placer Court Featuring inspiring views ■

Exquisitely executed 6,469 SF with 2 master suites, 2 guest suites plus a bunk room and wine cellar Luxurious finishes include Walnut flooring, exposed trusses, custom Alder cabinetry and granite countertops Enjoy a private courtyard entry, covered rear deck, patio with hot tub, outdoor bar plus stone fire pit Impressive views of Grand Mesa, West Elks and the Cimarron Ridge



36 Surveyor Court 7th Tee frontage ■

Nestled into an aspen grove on the 7th tee box 6,534 SF with 2 master suites, 2 guest suites, bunk room with 3 built-in bunkbeds


302 Maverick Lane 6th Fairway ■

Award winning stone fireplace, vaulted ceilings and expansive glass Game room with bar, wine room, mud room and oversized 3 car garage Wrap-around deck is perfect for entertaining with a built in BBQ and cozy fire pit


A beautiful 1.32 acre homestead on the 6th fairway Panoramic views of the golf course 4,587 SF affords 2 master suites, 2 guest suites plus a billiard room, library, home theater and loft with a wet bar

77 Birdsong Trail, Boarders open space ■

Tapered stone columns, 2 sided fireplaces and spacious outdoor patio A short stroll to the Club House and renowned practice facility


14 acres bordering open space on 3 sides plus a creek 1,500 SF. 1 bed. 1.5 bath residence with media/office/guest room plus 5,000 SF machine shop/garage Superb Cimarron, Elk Mountain and Grand Mesa views plus easy access to 3 mile loop trail along Horsefly Creek Convert the 800 SF residence into a Guest Home after you build your dream home


Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 |


olorado’s premier golf & club experience.

Foursome Cabins 18th Green ■

Four premier homes within walking distance to the clubhouse, practice facility, Hole #1 and Hole #18 Uniquely designed with 4 master suites and the highest level finishes Enjoy vaulted ceilings, exposed timber, expansive windows, stone surround gas fireplaces and several patios An open floor plan averaging 4,200 SF is ideal for 4 golfers, 4 couples or large family gatherings Priced from $1,615,000 to $1,999,000 Fully Furnished

The 11th Hole Award Winning Golf ■

An award winning, Greg Norman designed course with dramatic Cimarron and Sneffels Range views Each hole has multiple tee boxes with the championship tees presenting a challenging length of 7,900 yards Practice makes perfect with the professionally designed driving range and practice facility or take a lesson with the in-house Pro Accolades include “#1 Best New Private Course in the U.S.” - Golf Magazine 2009

Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. WARNING: THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE HAS NOT INSPECTED, EXAMINED OR QUALIFIED THIS OFFERING. This is not intended to be an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offers to buy real estate by residents of HI, ID, OR or SC, or any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. The Property is registered with HUD and the Massachusetts Board

The Clubhouse A place to convene ■

A warm and welcoming clubhouse with attentive staff will provide impeccable service whether in the Grill or the Village Mercantile The open dinning terrace overlooks the fishing pond Steps from the clubhouse are teepees and the Crazy Coyote Pond allowing for wading, fishing, kayaking, playing and relaxing Chock full of large rainbow trout, the ponds at Cornerstone are a fly fisherman’s dream

Vacant Homesteads

Extraordinary opportunities ■

A limited time offering in the Summer of 2010 for 10 homesteads including golf club memberships The 10 lots vary in size from .30 to 20.7 acres Choose from proximity to the clubhouse, practice facility and 1st tee box to estate sized lots situated among serene aspen or breathtaking view lots Unique opportunity to acquire a golf membership with these 10 select lots These 10 lots priced from $165,000 to $395,000

of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salesmen. The address of HUD is 451 Seventh Street, S.W., Room 9146, Washington DC 20410 and the address of the Board is 239 Causeway Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02114. This offer is made pursuant to New York State Department of Law’s simplified procedure for Homeowners Associations with a DeMinimis Cooperative Interest (CPS-7). The CPS-7 application (File No. HO06-0005) and related documents may be obtained from the sponsor.

Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 |

Enjoy 3 nights and 2 days of golf

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Choose from comfortable condominiums to luxury homes and experience the ease of booking your next vacation through Telluride Resort Lodging, offering the best Stay & Play Packages in town.

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Stay & Ski, 5th Night Free* Stay 4 nights, receive the 5th night free *Packages based on pp /pn, max occupancy. Some restrictions apply, subject to availability, not including taxes and fees.

Owners – Maximize the potential of your vacation property and increase your rental income when you list your home with Telluride Resort Lodging. Our full service management company is seeking all sizes and types of properties. For information, please contact Hollie Hannahs at 970-728-7457.

For reservations and information:

800-778-8581 |

Ohs and Ahs.

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ask us about our amazing amenities element 52 pure telluride

Slopside, Ski-In/Ski-Out Private Lift • Ski Valet • Ski Lounge • Spa • Fitness Center • Natural Stone Pools Wine Cellar • Concierge • Te Bar • Underground Heated Parking.

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Less than 15 minutes from Telluride Equestrian Center • Fly Fishing • Ice Skating • Tennis • Groomed Cross-country Skiing and Snow Shoe Trails • 16 miles of Hand Laid Trails • 1880s Homeowners Cabin.

steve catsman, 970.728.6629.,


MAGAZINE M aga zine Summer /Fall 2010

34 Workingman’s Dead A Backstage View of the Telluride Shows

By Lance Waring Photos by Ingrid Lundahl

38 Rewiring Your Teenager Pinhead Institute Interns Plug into the World of Science “You got me working boss man, a workin’ around the clock…”

ingrid lundahl

34 departments DETAILS 10 11

contributors within

HEADLINES 18 tellurideturns New Bill Preserves Wilderness, Local Pedals the World for Epilepsy, Whitman Buys Alta Lakes, New Mountain Bike Park, Marijuana Dispensaries Flourish, Earn College Credits in Telluride, Gold Mining Resurgence, Local Bakery Goes Up in Smoke, Matterhorn Mill Rescued, Local Sports Stores Merge, Community Energy Coordinator Funded, Uranium Mill on Hold, Development Threatened in Bear Creek, Local Legends Pass and the Enlightening Telluride Index




writehererightnow Running the Hardrock


tellurideplaces The Senate


insideart Community Arts


telluridefaces Trailblazer Hawkeye Johnson Filmmaker Suzan Beraza Musician Mike Pale

ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY 22 naturenotes Saving Gunnison Sage-Grouse Valley Floor Prairie Dogs Spruce Budworms Invade Summer Weather 28 greenbytes Telluride’s Renewed Energy Challenge Tracking Energy Use Green Cents Goes Opt-Out Solar Farm Proposed in Norwood


mountainhealth What’s in your Backpack Varieties of Milk Caffeine at Altitude Medical Marijuana


askjock Queries and Retorts About Mountain Sports


localflavor Scampi Allo Scoglio Chitty Chitty Bang Bang



By Lisa Christadore

40 Man Caves

Not your Father’s Den By Rob Story

52 Telluride Gallery of Fine Art Turns 25 International art plus small town hospitality equals success By Susan Viebrock


31 Getting Around with a GPS

Technologically challenged? Using a global positioning device just got easier By MacKenzie Ryan


42 Law and Order in Telluride During the 1930s-1950s Sheriff Lawrence “Guy” Warrick By Rudy Davison

final word

65 Q&A A Conversation with Author and Activist Terry Tempest Williams By Stephen Barrett

summer/fall 2010


Summer/Fall 2010 • volume 28, no. 1

contributors [ Rhonda Claridge ] Rhonda Claridge began running as a chubby, cigarette-smoking teenager, when the five-mile roundtrip from her house to the Paradise Island Bridge in Nassau, Bahamas, was a long way. An admitted extremist, she moved from sea level to the hamlet of Ophir at 10,000 feet elevation. Being perhaps the only Bahamian to have run 100 miles may be her running claim to fame. She is definitely more comfortable in the wilderness than she is in a city—she recently dreamed she was finishing a 100-mile race among the top competitors when the course entered the basement of a colossal urban building, with a labyrinth of hallways passing empty rooms, no one and no course markers anywhere.

[ ingrid Lundahl ] Ingrid Lundahl has been here long enough to remember the legendary KOTO Halloween parties in the Quonset Hut. She probably shot those parties with her old manual camera, for nobody in particular— just because it was happening and she felt obligated, in her early years here, to document it all. That obsession has been replaced with a passion for gardening and a global wanderlust.

[ Rudy Davison ] Rudy Davison grew up on the Front Range, worked at the Denver Zoo, immigrated to New Zealand and came to Telluride in 1975 to publish The Telluride Times. His life as a generalist continued after the newspaper with Telluride Travel Connection, putting together international trips to Australia, Africa and South America. If he has any specialty it would be Colorado history, which Rudy learned writing predominantly about mining and leading 4x4 and hiking trips to regional mines. This area of expertise recently led him to Creede, where he met Sheriff Guy Warrick’s grandson and found another great Telluride story to write. 10

summer/fall 2010

MAGAZINE M aga zine

Publisher John Arnold Editor-in-Chief Creative Director Mary Duffy Editor D. Dion Copy Editor/Proofreader Bonnie Beach Art Director Kim Hilley Web Director Susan Hayse Senior Account Executive Paton Stone Contributing Writers Stephen Barrett, Matthew Beaudin, Reilly Capps, Thom Carnevale, Suzanne Cheavens, Lisa Christadore, Rhonda Claridge, Martinique Davis, Rudy Davison, Emily Dresslar, George Greenbank, Elizabeth Guest, Katie Klingsporn, Lynn Mayer, Peter Muckerman, Paul O’Rourke, MacKenzie Ryan, Rob Story, Susan Viebrock, Lance Waring

Contributing Photographers Doug Berry, Ryan Bonneau, Merrick Chase, Gus Gusciora, Ben Knight, Ingrid Lundahl, Sean McNamara, Whit Richardson, Brett Schreckengost

Find Telluride Magazine online at Telluride Publishing also produces the Telluride and Mountain Village Visitor Guide and the Telluride Calendar. Our products are for sale at our office, many retail shops in Telluride and on our website. For correspondence, subscriptions and advertising: 307 Society Dr, Suite D, Telluride, CO 81435 phone: 970.728.4245 · fax 970.728.4302 The annual subscription rate is $11.95. ©2010 Telluride Publishing Co., Inc., a division of Big Earth Publishing Cover and contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. Cover Photo: Ryan Bonneau


I worked Telluride’s Grateful Dead concerts. I’d been doing security for John Cohn at summer festivals for years. Crowds were small and our efforts were focused on the perimeter, people sneaking in being the primary concern. For the Dead concerts, the security staff was prepped to deal with the biggest crowd Telluride had ever seen. Ten thousand tickets were sold and several thousand hopefuls were expected to show up, because following the Dead is what they did. I was not a Deadhead, so working at the concerts, instead of just attending, was no skin off my back. I had listened to “Drums of Passion” since my college days, and I was looking forward to Babatunde Olatunji’s opening act. I knew Bill Graham, who owned a house in Telluride, through his pilot, Steve “Killer” Kahn, who considered Telluride his home away from home. Deadheads, we were told, were professional concertgoers. They knew how to behave and took care of their own. They politely lined up all the way down Pacific Street before the concert. A member of the “family” in a tux, tails and top hat worked the line, telling the fans how it would all go down, to keep it clean and be cool. Someone handed out trash bags. The “Hog Farm” staffed a tie-dye clad tent for people whose altered states took them places they didn’t want to go. We were warned not to accept the “spray that refreshes”—apparently the smiling folks with the spray bottles were offering free doses of DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide, a drug to aid absorption) laced with LSD. I chuckled as a local sheriff slipped in undercover, complete with headband, long hair, beaded leather vest and shredded Levis. Before Olatunji and his drummers took the stage, I looked out over a sea of heads, the microphones of “tapers”­—like Dr. Seuss characters—lurking over the crowd. On the sidelines, the “spinners” warmed up for their whirling dervish dancing. When the Dead wrapped up their last set, “Brokedown” broke down. Jerry started with the wrong words or in the wrong key. In a rare moment, he stopped the band and addressed the crowd: “Wait a minute, this is all fucked up…oxygen deprivation…we’re in the wrong place…people, we’re not used to this altitude in [sic] all….” (We know this because it was recorded by hundreds of bootleg tapers.) The altitude messed with the band and the wind messed with the sound. By all accounts, it wasn’t a great performance, but the vibe was off the charts. The crowd left the festival grounds as peacefully as they had come in, picking up trash on the way. On the eve of the upcoming Phish concerts, some remember the Dead concerts as a disaster—people sleeping in yards, bathing in the river, peeing in the alleys. Others describe Deadheads as the bestbehaved crowd to attend a Telluride festival. I for one caught onto the peaceful easy feeling and dipped into the après-concert party at Graham’s house with Kahn, et al. And even though I’m still not a Dead fan, I enjoy the memory.

ingrid lundahl

T wenty-one years ago,

Telluride has a special way of inducing crazy memories in its intoxicating setting. Part of that mystique is that the town is small enough to wrap your head around. In just a few days, you can learn the lay of the community and earn your mountain legs. We congregate at the ballpark, at gallery openings, in each other’s homes, on the trails and slopes, and in the end, we encourage our youth to spread their wings and look beyond our small, close-knit town. Telluriders are family. In the pages of this publication, you’ll get a feel for that community. From festival volunteers unionizing to male bonding and a distance runner finding that her challenge wasn’t incurred alone: We’re in this together. Our security and unity comes from a law enforcement legacy that has historically retained sheriffs for decades—our present sheriff is seeking his seventh consecutive reelection—because they, too, are family. There is another community taking hold on the west end of town—a community of Lilliputians who speak a language we don’t understand. Regional author and activist Terry Tempest Williams closes this issue with a personal look at these latest in a long line of Telluride immigrants. We don’t know where they came from, but we might know why they are here. Yield to the Present,

Du ffy

summer/fall 2010



May 28-31 Mountainfilm in Telluride Mountainfilm celebrates the spirit of the mountains, culture and the environment with films, presentations, seminars and the gathering of proactive people. The theme for the 2010 symposium is “The Extinction Crisis.” 970.728.4123 JUNE

brett schreckengost

June 3 Art Opening Large scale ink paintings by Jared David Paul and the artwork of Bill Kreutzman, the former drummer for the Grateful Dead, are featured at Ah Haa. Stronghouse exhibits Sue Hobby’s award-winning designs. 970.728.8959

[ get more ] for an updated calendar of events ONGOING Bungee Trampoline Lift your spirits—and the rest of you—with a bouncing ride on the bungee trampoline in Mountain Village’s Heritage Plaza. Riders from 25-200 pounds can catch a thrill for $15 from 1 to 6 p.m. daily between July 1 and August 15. 800.984.9068 Cemetery Tours Explore Telluride’s dramatic past with special guided tours through Lone Tree Cemetery. Tours are scheduled monthly on June 5, July 10, August 21 and September 11. Meet historian Andrea Benda at 4 p.m. at the Telluride Historical Museum. 970.728.3344 Fireside Chats Listen to fascinating tales from the past with free historical talks every Thursday from July 15 through August 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; the first three will be held at the firepit in Mountain Village’s Heritage Plaza and the second three will be in Telluride. 970.728.3344


Pinhead Punk Science Fun, free science experiments that entertain and educate young people are hosted by Pinhead Institute. The Punk Science talks are held Tuesday evenings from 5 to 6 p.m. (July 6 through August 3) at the Telluride Intermediate School. 970.708.7441

Sunset Concert Series Free live music in a spectacular outdoor setting in Mountain Village, 6 p.m. every Wednesday from July 7 through August 25. 970.369.7626

[ get more ] check out this summer’s lineup Pinhead Town Talks Cutting-edge science lectures geared toward the lay person, sponsored by Pinhead Institute, are held from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at the Palm Theatre every Tuesday from July 6 to August 3. The lectures are free but donations are welcome. 970.708.7441

[ get more ] find out about local science programs SquidShow Theatre Regular performances by a professional local theater company include an original show during Mountainfilm in Telluride, a June 12 performance of Inaccurate Reenactments—The Telluride History You Don’t Know as part of Heritage Fest, an original musical theatrical extravaganza July 31 - August 3 and more. 970.708.3934

summer/fall 2010

Telluride Art Walk Local galleries showcase regional artists on this monthly self-guided tour and reception, and the Stronghouse Studios hosts an art opening. Maps are available at participating galleries and the event runs until 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. 970.728.8959 Telluride Farmers Market Fresh, organic produce and meats, baked goods, flowers and handcrafted wares from regional farmers and artisans are for sale on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from mid-June to mid-October on South Oak Street. 970.708.7105 M AY May 27 Gondola Opens for Summer Free public transportation connects Telluride and Mountain Village with a scenic 13-minute ride.

June 4-6 Telluride Balloon Rally Hot air balloons launch at sunrise to fly above Telluride, and at sunset, the balloons are lit up and decorate the town’s main thoroughfare. This event is held annually, weather permitting. 970.708.2022 June 7-12 Wild West Fest Sheridan Arts Foundation hosts a camp for inner-city youth to experience Western culture and traditions, drawing in artists and music acts to support, entertain and educate. 970.728.6363 June 9 Yosemite National Park Presentation Shelton Johnson, a park ranger from Yosemite, speaks and presents a film at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 June 12-13 Heritage Fest Listen to old cowboy stories, see performances by Ute Indian drummers and dancers, watch a reenactment of Butch Cassidy robbing San Miguel Bank, pan for gold, ride a stagecoach and learn about mining at this celebration of Telluride’s history. 970.728.3344

[ get more ] get a full list of Heritage Fest events


Expressions of Beauty




171 South Pine



Table Lamp ©Ulla Originals




July 15 Ah Haa Family Summer BBQ Celebrate summer with the Ah Haa School for the Arts at a family barbecue from noon to 2 p.m. 970.728.3886

June 16 Mesa Verde Trip Visit ancestral Pueblo Indian ruins, the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Goodman Point excavation site; transportation, guides and lunch provided. Sponsored by Telluride Historical Museum. 970.728.3344

July 15-18 Telluride Playwright’s Festival/ Telluride Repertory Performance The festival and the Telluride Rep­join forces to present This Isn’t What It Looks Like, a comedic work in progress by Philip Gerson. Performances nightly at 7 p.m. at the Palm Theatre. 970.728.4539

June 23-July 3 Telluride Musicfest Musicfest brings classical musicians from all over the world to Telluride to play in intimate local venues. The final performance is in the Palm Theatre. 888.605.2578 June 24-27 Telluride Wine Festival Soak up everything about fine wine at this four-day event, with seminars, tastings, winemakers’ luncheons and cooking demonstrations. Musical guests include Jackie Green and DeVotchka. 212.766.4335 June 28-July 4 Telluride Plein-Air Landscape artists from across the nation come to paint the region’s vistas. Plein-air painting is done outdoors and artists brave the fickle weather to create work which is exhibited and auctioned as a benefit for the Sheridan Arts Foundation. 970.728.6363 J U LY July 1 Art Opening Ah Haa shows a retrospective of artist/instructor Brooke Ahana’s work. Stronghouse Studios has an opening reception for artist David Brankley. 970.728.8959 July 3 & August 14 Schmid Ranch Tour Visit the centennial ranch on Wilson Mesa and learn how the family homesteaded in 1882. Sponsored by Telluride Historical Museum. 970.728.3344


merrick chase/

June 17-20 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Celebrate bluegrass with four days of music in Telluride Town Park. This year’s lineup features Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Court Yard Hounds, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, Del McCoury Band, Hot Rize, Josh Ritter, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas and Bryan Sutton. 800.624.2422.

July 3 Red, White & Blues Mountain Village hosts a free concert on the outdoor Sunset Stage to celebrate the nation’s independence. 970.728.8000 July 4 Firemen’s Fourth of July Telluride holds a quaint and quirky bash for Independence Day with an elaborate parade down main street, an old-fashioned community barbecue and picnic in Town Park, games for kids and amazing fireworks. July 5-14 Telluride Playwright’s Festival Talented playwrights, actors and directors from all over the world gather to work and discuss new “made in Telluride” plays. There will be free public readings at the Sheridan Opera House, July 11-13, at 7 p.m. 970.708.2839 July 8-11 Telluride Yoga Festival Acclaimed yoga instructors from around the globe convene in Telluride to offer workshops in all types of yoga, meditation, kirtan and other practices. 970.728.2477

[ get more ] get a full list of Yoga Fest guests & events

summer/fall 2010

July 9-10 Hardrock 100 This grueling 100-mile endurance run starts in Silverton and navigates through high mountain passes and peaks, passing through Ophir, Telluride, Ouray and Lake City before returning to Silverton. (See story, page 32.) 970.259.3693 July 12-16 Young People’s Theater Summer Academy Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Young People’s Theater holds a weeklong session for kids on the dramatic arts. 970.728.6363 July 12-17 San Miguel Basin Fair & Rodeo Traditional county fair held in Norwood, with 4-H competitions, livestock auctions, arts and crafts and a dessert contest. The fair ends with a professional rodeo featuring bull riding, calf roping and “mutton busting,” where toddlers ride sheep. 970.327.4321 July 14 Play for Pink Golf Tournament Sponsored by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) Golf Tournament is open to the public and raises money to fight breast cancer. 970.728.2606

July 22-24 Telluride Americana Music Weekend Americana music, a meld of folk, country, rock-n-roll and blues, takes center stage at the Sheridan Opera House. Guests include Joe Ely, The Band of Heathens, Jason Eady & the Wayward Apostles, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart, Rod Picott & Amanda Shires. 970.728.6363 July 23 Ah Haa Art Auction Bid on something unique and locally made at this high-energy fundraiser, which features an entertaining live auction, a vast array of goods and art for sale and irreverent fun. This year’s event starts at 5 p.m. and the theme is “Artopia.” 970.728.3886 July 23-25 Rotary 4X4 Rally in Telluride Jeepers tour the high-altitude passes. 970.708.2202. July 24 Hike Into Historical Flowers John Sir Jesse hosts a hike into Bridal Veil Basin and discusses which flowers and herbs were utilized by the native Utes and earliest pioneers. Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Telluride Historical Museum. 970.728.3344

[ get more ] Telluride Historical Museum hosts a wide array of summer events July 30 Music on Main Street Enjoy music and special food at this one-day concert on the east end of the town’s main street, surrounded by the natural amphitheatre of the San Juan Mountains and the Telluride valley. 970.728.1175 ▶▶

BEAUTIFUL CRAFTSMAN STYLE HOME IN TELLURIDE 5 bedroom home located in one of town’s most desirable settings; many high-end features and custom finishes - $3,850,000

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~ Helping Buyers and Sellers in the Telluride region for 20 years ~

970-728-6400 / 970-729-2222 HOMES • CONDOS • COMMERCIAL • LOTS • LARGE PARCELS & RANCHES 134 E. Colorado Avenue, Downtown Telluride •

eventscalendar September 9 Cooking with the Tomboy Bride and Chef Bud Thomas Celebrate the 101-year anniversary of the birth of the Tomboy Bride’s daughter, the first child born at the old miners hospital (now the Telluride Historical Museum), and be a part of the live audience for a special web cooking show about the historic, high-altitude recipes used by the Tomboy Bride. 970.728.3344

July 31-August 1 Strokes for Genius Charity Golf Tournament With this fundraising event, the seventeenth annual, Telluride Foundation raises money for college scholarships for Telluride High School graduates. 970.728.8717

[ get more ] Telluride Foundation supports all of the local and regional nonprofits AUGUST August 5 Art Opening Ah Haa opening for artists Corinne Scheman and Ethel Coder. Stronghouse opening reception for Elaine Fischer. 970.728.8959 August 6 KOTO Duck Race Sponsor a yellow rubber duck, and if it floats down San Miguel River fast enough, you can win a variety of prizes, including a ski pass. The race is a benefit for the local nonprofit, commercial-free radio station KOTO FM. 970.728.8100 August 6-8 Telluride Jazz Celebration See the best acts of the jazz genre on the Town Park stage during the day and at the various local venues at night. The 2010 guest list includes Stanley Clark Band featuring Hiromi, Dianne Reeves, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lew Tabackin, Jackie Ryan, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Chuchito Valdes Raul Midón, Dmitri Matheny and the Crescent Super Band. 970.728.7009 August 7 Hike Into Geology Todd Brown hosts the hike and discusses the geological phenomena that created these ore-rich, lofty mountains. Meet at 7:45 a.m. at the Telluride Historical Museum. 970.728.3344


brett schreckengost

July 30-August 1 Telluride Tech Fest Celebrate science at this gathering that features distinguished guests— Nobel laureates, Internet pioneers and groundbreaking scientists—who discuss the past, present and future of technology. Tech Fest honors the innovation of AC technology here in Telluride in 1891 with a free Tesla coil demonstration. 970.239.4486

August 8-10 Marco Benevento Trio See this frequent Phish collaborator at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon. Shows run until 3:30 a.m.; only 250 tickets will be sold. 970.728.6666 August 9-10 Phish Phish phans descend on Telluride for two days of phun music in Town Park with one of the best-loved jam bands of all time. The show is SOLD OUT.

[ get more ] check out fun, free footage of past shows August 12-21 Telluride Chamber Music Festival Roy Malan, the festival’s artistic director and concertmaster with the San Francisco Ballet, brings highcaliber classical musicians to town to perform in intimate concerts. 970.369.1351 August 13-15 Telluride Festival of the Arts Mountain Village celebrates the culinary and visual arts with an outdoor promenade of art booths, lectures, tastings and live music. The event features chef demonstrations, food seminars, a showcase dinner and a nationally juried art exhibit. 970.369.7626 August 18-22, 25-28 Shakespeare in Town Park A summer tradition, Telluride Repertory Theatre Company performs Shakespeare on the Town Park stage. This year it’s The Merchant of Venice. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. and seating is on the stage perimeter. 970.728.4539

summer/fall 2010

August 19-20 Rally to Gateway Ride your classic car from Telluride to Gateway Canyons Resort, with roadside stops, trivia and prizes, and finish at the automobile museum at the resort. 970.728.6363

[ get more ] get Full Tilt bike race results and info

August 20-22 Full Tilt Mountain Bike Race Professionals and amateurs race on Mountain Village’s Mountain Bike Park, on a spectator-friendly expert trail. August 21 Steve Butts Memorial Tournament This fun annual golf tournament is a fundraiser for the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club. 970.728.6163 August 26-29 Telluride Mushroom Festival Put the “fun” back in fungi. This offbeat mycology festival features everything from foraging to lectures and cuisine. 970.728.8312 SEPTEMBER September 2 Art Opening Ah Haa opening for artists Julee Hutchison and Michelle Curry Wright. Stronghouse Studios hosts opening reception for Meredith Nemirov. 970.728.8959 September 3-6 Telluride Film Festival This world-renowned festival keeps its program secret until opening day but always features top-shelf movie premieres, classic films and discussions with the industry’s top filmmakers and stars. 510.665.9589

September 10-12 Lead to Creede 4X4 Adventure Telluride Historical Museum presents a two-day, three-night trip hosted by historian Rudy Davison. Visit mining ruins and catch the Repertory Theatre in Creede. Guests are responsible for transportation, meals, lodging and theater tickets. 970.728.3344 September 11 Imogene Pass Run Runners test their mettle on this 17-mile course that gains more than 5,000 vertical feet, beginning in Ouray, topping out at 13,000plus feet in elevation and ending in Telluride. 970.728.0251

[ get more ] find race information September 13-17

Black Bear Awareness Week A week of fun, educational activities to help people stay safe in bear country. 970.728.0190 September 16 KOTO Black Bean Sauté Good food for a good cause: community breakfast fundraiser for local radio. 970.728.8100

[ get more ] tune into KOTO FM or visit the website

91.7 / 89.3 / 105.5 / September 16 TASP Bob Miller Memorial Golf Classic Play a round in Telluride for a good cause, the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, which provides recreational and educational opportunities for athletes with disabilities. 970.728. 5010 September 16 Historic Pub Crawl Discover the history of Telluride’s oldest watering holes with discounted drinks and special guests along the way. 970.728.3344 ▶▶


[ get more ] see more foundation events and programs

OCTOBER October 7 Art Opening Celebrate Ah Haa’s “The Art of Being A Woman” month with an opening for Charlotte Jorgenson. Stronghouse hosts an opening reception for artist Corinne Scheman. 970.728.8959 October 17 Gondola Closes for Off-Season Wilson’ s Ranch Hastings Mesa Gondola closes for the fall off-season. • Scenic 317-acre gentleman’s ranch •October Fenced pasture, loafing shed, corral 23 and riding ringFamily Day Spooktacular •Create 3 spring-fed and a 5,000-ft. crafts ponds for Halloween at the Ah grassSchool. runway970.728.3886 Haa • 30 minutes from Telluride October 30 Offered at $3,804,000 KOTO Halloween Bash Don a costume and celebrate Halloween at a fun local bash that benefits community radio. 970.728.8100

brett schreckengost

September 20-26 Telluride Photo Festival This is the inaugural year for this event, which is geared toward professional and experienced amateur photographers. The weeklong festival features workshops with renowned photographers, seminars, Top of Town portfolio Tomboy Road • 970.728.3886 Telluride reviews and exhibits. • One-of-a-kind 19+ acre parcel located just above 25 Telluride September • Sunny location spectacular views Mountains to thewith Desert • Outside borders USFS Cyclists ridetown the limits, spectacular 133-mile • No HARC review or real route from Telluride to estate Moab to transfer tax for the Just for Kids raise money Offered at $6,700,000 Foundation. 970.728.4454

September 25 Open House at Bridal Veil Tour the historic home and hydroelectric plant that sits atop Colorado’s tallest waterfall, Bridal Veil Falls. 970.728.3344

Lot 431

Mountain N O V EVillage MBER

• 1.35-acre lot, easy to access • Quiet neighborhood, a short walk to November 4 Lower Goose ski run Youth Galloping Art Awards Opening • Ski area and San Sophia views Regional students are recognized for • Price plans their includes creativeDRB work,approved exhibited at Ah for ft. home 15. Haaa 5-bedroom, November 6,300 1 to sq. December Offered at $1,400,000 970.728.3886 November 12-14 KOTO Ski Swap Great deals on new and used gear, clothing and accessories for winter. Sell

112 Snowfield Drive

560 West coLumbia toWn oF teLLuride

November 19 Gondola Opens Gondola opens for the winter 20102011 season. November 25 Ski Resort Opens The lifts start running again for the g 2010-2011 season.

431 West Galena

Mountain Village

• Incredible 7-bedroom, 5 ½-bath ski-in/ski-out residence • Borders 35 acres of open space with spectacular views Offered at $6,250,000

your old stuff or buy something new at this fundraising event for KOTO community radio. 970.728.8100

Town of Telluride

• Spacious 5-bedroom, 5 ½-bath recently remodeled home • Adjoins open space, across from the elementary school Offered at $3,150,000

Lot 1163 mountain ViLLage

r ed door, Hampton court toWn oF teLLuride

• Historic home on 1 ½ town lots with • Recently refurbished 2-bedroom, • Set in one of Mountain Village’s most Lots 28 & 29 Telluride Lodge Unit 336 Hamptonand Court Unit 3 box skiof area views 2.5-bath townhome prestigious neighborhoods TBD West Galena Ave • Town of Telluride Town of Telluride 316 canyon West Pacific • Town Telluride • Quiet neighborhood, minutes from • Two exceptional, • Exceptional location steps from the • .81-acrecreek lot, located • Exceptionally finished 2-bedroom • Clean 1-bedroom, 1-bath top floor side lots on a cul-de-sac both schools and shops gondola and main street only 2 other homes modern townhouse condominium • Private, with quiet neighborhood • Steps fromremodel the gondola/main street • Excellent potential with •large All elegance and cool sophistication building footprint • State-of-the-art lighting design and top-of-the-line appliances Offered at $1,250,000 Offered at $1,650,000


September 17-19 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Listen to international blues and rock stars and sample the latest fermented favorites from microbreweries around the world. Headliners include B.B. King, ZZ Top and Mick Fleetwood Blues Band. The festival also holds music competitions and workshops. 866.515.6166

• Multi-level floor•plan with • Ski area box canyon views Top-of-the appliances, off-street • and Ski-in/ski-out with flat, easy expansion potentialparking and hot tub • Availablebuilding separately site or as a larger • Easy walk to Clarks and Lift 7 estate parcel • Excellent rental history Lot 28 is offered at $1,300,000 Offered at $1,195,000 Offered at $1,900,000 Offered at $540,000 Lot 29 is offered at $1,200,000

James F. Lucar eLLi James F. Lucarelli 970.728.0213 • 970.708.2255 • 657 W. Colorado Ave. (in front of Hotel Telluride) 970.728.0213 • 970.708.2255 657 West Colorado Avenue (Located in front of Hotel Telluride)

summer/fall 2010


brett schreckengost


Wilderness Bill Survives Amid rancorous debate over health care, financial regulatory reform and election-year politics, Congress might still find time to preserve nearly 60,000 acres in and around San Miguel County. U.S. Representative John Salazar introduced the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act in October and Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet have joined the conservation effort. The bill made it to Capitol Hill after years of groundwork by Sheep Mountain Alliance and other regional environmental groups. Salazar insisted that the groups preempt any local opposition by identifying and removing areas that might prove controversial. As a result, Naturita Canyon, which ranchers in the county’s west end use for grazing, was left out of the legislation, although that area would get protection from energy development. Similarly, portions of the McKenna Peak Wilderness


Study Area within Dolores County were dropped in response to objections there. What remains is a bill that concentrates on wild areas long eligible for protection but lacking Congressional designation. Its most significant addition is a 20,000-acre swath south of Ophir and extending into San Juan County that would be protected from development and commercial activity (with the exception of heliskiing and the Hardrock 100 running race, historic uses that would still be allowed). After a favorable hearing in April before a Senate subcommittee, the bill’s last remaining threat is getting lost in the political wilderness of Washington, DC. —Stephen Barrett

Surly bicycle out of Telluride, accompanied by a few friends, as he turned south toward Dolores through the yellow-leaved trees. Sixteen months later, he returned, this time on a gray February afternoon, rolling into town with a pack of friends as flakes danced through the sky and clouds hovered over town. A small crowd that included his proud parents awaited his return.


In between his departure and return lay an epic bike trek that took Allen around the world in a bid to raise awareness about living with epilepsy. The trip entailed more than 13,000 miles of pedaling. Allen crossed 22 countries and two oceans, passed through beautiful landscapes and

Man with a Mission On a crisp, lovely fall day in October of 2008, Telluride local Stephen Allen pedaled his

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[ get more ] learn more about Seize the World


Meg Whitman Buys Alta Lakes

brett schreckengost


frantic cities, cycling in scorching heat and in falling snow. He rode through southwestern United States, in Portugal and the Greek Islands, in Turkey and Egypt, India, China and Japan. He suffered seizures, camped in fields and was joined by friends and family along the way. Allen’s ride raised money for epilepsy research with his grassroots nonprofit Seize the World. He also shared his story of living an active life with epilepsy with too many people to count, because as he raised funds, Allen was living the message that he was trying to get out. “If you want to get out there and do something like this with epilepsy, you can,” he said the day he returned. Allen has suffered from grand mal seizures since age 15, but he hasn’t let it slow him down; he has extensive experience traveling, skiing and guiding in the mountains. And now that the ride’s over, he’s still going strong: Allen, 25, says he’s moving to Denver to try and land a job with a bigger nonprofit. —Katie Klingsporn

People who love Telluride know the story of the Valley Floor, the open field at the end of town that a developer planned to build on: Fifty million bucks later, it’ll stay an open field. People have heard less about Alta Lakes, an alpine valley just behind the ski resort under spiky Palmyra Peak, which a developer planned to turn into a neighborhood. But in rode a white knight—a very famous chevaleresse. This winter, one of the richest women in the world, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, bought almost the entire Alta valley for $16 million. The parttime Tellurider isn’t talking about it—she’s running for governor of California as a Republican, and

tellurideturns [ COLLEGE CREDIT ]

it is perhaps unflattering for a Republican to be seen as standing in the way of development—so it’s not clear if she intends to preserve it. But observers think that, like the Valley Floor, Alta Lakes will stay forever wild. Why? Whitman gave a million to that cause, too. —Reilly Capps

School’s In Session This Summer

[ mountain village ]

[ get more ] to see the Bike Park map, click on the Telluride Visitor Guide virtual magazine


Dispensaries Take Root

brett schreckengost

Telluride is unusual in that you can take your bike up on the gondola and ride it down the mountain—for free. Most resorts charge to access their lifts for downhill riding. The biking isn’t just free, it’s first-class: The Town of Mountain Village and other groups paid for a host of challenging new trails to be built on the resort. The routes were constructed by die-hard volunteers with axes, shovels, chainsaws and sweat. The trails are rollercoasters, winding through trees and around berms. How straightforward is the easiest new trail? It’s called “No Brainer.” It’s rated as a “blue” run, which means intermediate mountain bikers should be able to handle it. They also built “Squirrel Catcher,” a “black” run: technical, short and—like squirrel-catching—a real challenge. “Pan-Coaster,” another white-knuckler, is named after late local legend Jim Pancoast. The Park is also home to the “World Cup” trail, created for an expert event held here a couple years ago. As the name suggests, this ride is not for novices. The World Cup trail will be the site for the annual Full Tilt downhill bike race, August 20-22. The Mountain Village Bike Park opened last October and will reopen as soon as the snow melts, probably in mid-June, and stay open until the gondola closes in the fall. You can ride it all day long, from the time the gondola opens at 7 a.m. until it gets too dark to bike. —Reilly Capps

Town of Mountain Village/Doug Berry©

New Mountain Bike Park

There is just one pharmacy in town, but at the time of this writing, there were five medical marijuana dispensaries, with more on the way. The medical marijuana business in Telluride, just as in Denver, has blossomed. There are now more dispensaries here than either liquor stores or coffee shops. Dispensaries come in all forms: The shop called LSMFT (Legally Supplied Marijuana For Telluride) has the ambiance of your friend’s

basement, with a lava lamp and Cheech and Chong DVDs. Alpine Wellness feels more like a doctor’s office—a doctor’s office where you can buy marijuana teriyaki sauce. In both places, patients breeze through, looking chipper, despite a doctor’s determination that their condition warrants being prescribed marijuana. “I know there are some legitimately sick people,” says LSMFT’s Bryon Jordan, a migraine sufferer. He calls growing and selling the drug his “dream job.” Certainly, it’s been good for the town’s economy. The two dispensaries mentioned employ at least 10 people, plus all the growers, many of them local. “Canabusiness is going to bring our economy back,” says Jeff Lessard of Alpine, which has paid $800 a month in sales tax since opening. “In a ski town like this, there’s a lot of joint pain.” —Reilly Capps

[ get more ] information about the legal use of medical cannabis from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Small towns are a great place to live, but not to get a formal education. Telluride may be far away from colleges or university settings, but the nonprofit organization University Centers of the San Miguel is making the distance between here and a degree shorter. This summer, UCSM is partnering with Mesa State College and The New Community Coalition to offer accredited college courses in native plants, permaculture, film and environmentalism. “We have a beautiful setting combined with local experts creating the opportunity to offer classes on these essential subjects and skills,” says Robyn Wilson, the executive director of UCSM. —D. Dion

[ get more ] learn more about local higher education opportunities


Gold Rush Redux? These mountains make people rich. Before the real estate boom, there was gold, and this summer, as the housing market languishes, a Florida-based company wants to fire the gold mines back up. A company called Mount Sneffels Mining wants to mine for the precious metal on the Ouray side of Imogene Pass in Yankee Boy Basin. It isn’t clear whether drilling will start this summer, because mining isn’t like it was for Telluride’s infamous Bulkeley Wells in the industry’s heyday. Back then, you staked your claim and hacked away. Now, permits and environmental impact studies can take months, and it may be some time before San Juan gold surfaces again. — Reilly Capps

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tellurideturns [ RETAIL ]

brett schreckengost

Local Sports Stores on Same Team




Telluride Loses an Icon

Preserving History

When Baked in Telluride burned down on February 9, Telluride lost one of its defining businesses and oldest structures. A former warehouse, the metallic red building was first documented on an 1893 map, and its exterior remained mostly unchanged over the years. Its only addition was the wooden front porch, which transformed it into a landmark more cultural than historic. Over the last 34 years, B.I.T. had become common ground for visiting skiers, bluegrass festivarians, adults and children, rich and poor, longtime residents and new arrivals. The hippie innuendo of its name hearkened to an earlier and still alluring ethos, where ordering a bagel and lox doubled as a Sunday morning pastime, and purchasing a cherry pie was its own reward. In the days after the fire, the acrid smoke hanging over the valley was as pervasive as the disbelief within it. The bakery’s unmistakable stenciled signs and its colorful M&M cookies were gone, and without them, something about Telluride seemed incomplete. “Why did I do the bakery all these years?” owner Jerry Greene asked himself after the fire. “It was for my customers and for my employees, whether I was making money or not. Who could replace this institution?” —Stephen Barrett

The Matterhorn Mill has been falling apart for roughly half of its existence. Built in 1920 just south of the Ophir Loop (on Highway 145), the flotation mill represented the latest technology for processing precious metal ores. But apart from a brief second act during the 1960s, it has mostly been neglected and left to the elements.

The venerable Paragon Ski and Sport enterprise, an iconic Telluride business since the early eighties, finds itself in new, and very local, hands. Bootdoctors owners Bob and Penelope Gleason purchased the business this spring. The sale marks the union of two of Telluride’s most-established sports retailers. Bootdoctors is a 25-year-old business started in Taos, N.M., where the Gleasons still own a store. They’ve been set up in Mountain Village since 1997. Paragon Ski & Sport has been operating in Telluride since 1983, its telltale logo stamping many a neon bike jersey from earlier times. “We’re excited about the merger of two highly valued, locally owned and operated institutions,” Penelope Gleason said. She said she hopes the larger company may be able to negotiate better health insurance rates for employees. “We’re that kind of business. We do that stuff because we really feel like having a livable wage and livable job in a resort town is essential to holding up its character.” —Matt Beaudin


brett schreckengost

Wheels of Change

When it became apparent last fall that the mill might not survive another winter, San Miguel County, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation sprung to its rescue. Now stabilized, the mill’s future has been secured with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places and the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. —Stephen Barrett

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This year, The New Community Coalition got a boost from the state in its efforts to tackle the region’s emission goals and sustainability objectives. TNCC received a $65,000 two-year grant from the Governor’s Energy Office to fund a local community energy coordinator who will drive energyefficiency efforts in the San Miguel and Ouray Counties. The position went to Kim Wheels, a local energy specialist who is enthusiastic about the cause. Her new gig entails getting the word out about important opportunities for conservation, ▶▶

Passings [ Kate Lundahl ] Like the flowers she coaxed from her garden, Kate Lundahl was plucked too early from this earth, at just 60 years old and still in full bloom. She wrote the Backyard Botany column weekly for the Norwood Post for almost two decades. Lundahl raised her two sons non-traditionally, housed in everything from a tipi to a treehouse, and was a master of the creative arts: a professional cook and carpenter and an avid painter, birder and gardener. She met her soulmate Lars Lundahl in Telluride on the local theater stage in the eighties and they later married; she was preceded by him in death in 2000.

[ Kevin Green ] He died in his element—skiing in the outdoors. Kevin Green was an avid athlete who made many of the first ski descents of Telluride’s backcountry, including the iconic San Joaquin chute. He was a purist, sticking with his old, straight boards and never giving in to the short, shaped skis that facilitate the sport now. Green also coached and played hockey and was a passionate flyfisherman and bow hunter. Green leaves behind not just his legacy as a skier and an outdoorsman, but also his son, Chase, and his brothers, mother and extended Telluride family.

[ Ellie Wonderlick ] She was more than just a “good dog.” Ellie Wonderlick, nine, was in the prime of her career as an avalanche and rescue dog, and was even a cover girl, gracing the front of the Telluride Magazine 2009-2010 winter edition. She was a fit and affectionate yellow Lab retriever who descended from a long line of venerable service dogs; her great aunt was Jane Watenpaws, Telluride’s first official avi dog. Ellie’s family was the Richards—ski patrollers Kim and Gary and their children. Ellie participated in several avalanche searches over the years for the ski resort and San Miguel Search and Rescue.

tellurideturns energy projects and tax rebates. Along with that, Wheels and an advisory board are working on a sustainability action plan they hope to have finished this year. She also has regular meetings with other coordinators around the state to share information and innovative ideas. “I like it a lot,” she said of the new job. “It’s challenging. I feel like there’s a lot on my shoulders.” —Katie Klingsporn

in an agricultural zone. SMA and other groups are also challenging the company’s water rights in court. Although state regulators insist their permitting decision lies beyond politics or public opinion, theirs will not be the last word on what could become the country’s first new uranium processing mill in a quarter-century. A permit decision in early 2011 is likely a prelude to an appeal and the legal proceedings ahead. —Stephen Barrett


Uranium Mill Still on Hold


merrick chase/

Paradox Valley remains ground zero in the debate over nuclear power for another year, as state regulators review Energy Fuels’ proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill. Unlike the contentious land use hearings by the Montrose county commissioners, the state’s review entails a technical look at the mill’s planned operations.

Even so, that review got off to an inauspicious start in December. It took the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment a full 30 days to determine that Energy Fuels’ 15-volume application was complete. But somehow, despite the agency’s thoroughness, regulators failed to acknowledge a 17-page letter from the mill’s opponents that questioned the adequacy of the company’s data. Undaunted by that setback, the environmental group Sheep Mountain Alliance has filed suit against Montrose County for approving the industrial mill

Development Threatened in Bear Creek No one is certain what the Gold Hill Development Company wants to do with its historic mining claims in upper Bear Creek—except keep other people off them. Few people actually believe the new owners can enforce trespassing in such a forbidding location. Even so, the purchase has caught the attention of the hikers and backcountry skiers who recreate there. The reason for their alarm is that the new owners include Tom Chapman, a Colorado developer who made his reputation by parlaying remote claims into big profits, often by threatening to develop them if his price is not met. In upper Bear Creek, Chapman’s company paid nearly a quarter-million dollars for mining claims that last sold for $75,000, before new zoning had restricted their access and building potential. Chapman still says he might build a cabin at almost 12,000 feet in elevation, using a vestigial road traveled predominantly by marmots. It’s doubtful the U.S. Forest Service or the Town of Telluride will buy him out—not when similar real estate sells for so much less per acre. That leaves the Telluride Ski Resort, which has talked inchoately and not very discreetly about expanding its boundaries. The resort’s entry to upper Bear Creek would now come at a much bigger price. —Stephen Barrett

artists 50, 51

prairie dogs 23, 65, 66 bags 28, 56, 57


Color By Numbers The Hardrock 100 race covers 100 miles and takes place at an average elevation of 11,000 feet. The cumulative vertical gain is 33,992 feet. Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth, is 29,035 feet in elevation, and climbing the peak via Route #1, the southeast ridge, has a vertical gain of 19,632 feet. As of the last count (Oct. 31, 2009), there are 21,625 medical marijuana patients registered in Colorado; 74 percent are male. The average age of all patients is 40, and severe pain is the reported condition for 91 percent of all patients. Muscle spasms is the secondmost reported condition at 34 percent. Forty-five medical marijuana patients live in San Miguel County, less than 1 percent of the state total. The federal minimum wage in 1987, when the Dead played in Telluride, was $3.35; it was the minimum wage from 1981-1989. The federal minimum wage in 2009 was $7.25. The Harmonic Convergence that coincided with the Grateful Dead concert in Telluride is said to have correlated with the Maya calendar; the astrological event was an alignment of the Sun, Moon and 6 of the 8 (9 at the time) planets in a configuration called a “grand trine.” The Harmonic Convergence began the final 26-year countdown to the end of the Maya Long Count in 2012, the end of one historical cycle and beginning of a new 5,125-year cycle. The Grateful Dead played more than 2,300 shows from 1965 to 1995 (when Jerry Garcia died). During the 80s, the Grateful Dead played in 37 states, the District of Columbia and 9 foreign countries. The #1 cause of death in the outdoors is an accidental fall; #2 is drowning; #3, heart attack. Artists held about 221,900 jobs in 2008. About 60 percent were self-employed. In 2018, artists are projected to hold 247,700 jobs, a 12 percent increase. The average American uses 334 plastic bags each year. Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour; less than 25 percent are recycled. On average, a plastic bag is used for only 12 minutes before being discarded. An estimated 14 million pounds of trash, much of it plastic, ends up in the world’s oceans every year, and the average American contributes 800 pounds of packaging waste to landfills each year. There are 50 billion pounds of BPA (Bisphenol A), a chemical used to harden plastic, produced annually. During the twentieth century, 98 percent of all prairie dogs were exterminated. The area covered by the largest recorded prairie dog “town,” or group, is 25,000 square miles. —D. Dion (Sources: Hardrock 100 Endurance Run website; National Geographic Society and Peakbagger. com; Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment; Federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics; Neil Michelsen’s The American Ephemeris;; Bag It documentary fact sheet; Deadbase; National Geographic) g

summer/fall 2010


helen richardson/denver post


[ Sage-Grouse ]

Struggling to Survive A dozen or more volunteers crouch in the sagebrush each spring, watching in awestruck silence as the male birds fan out their glittering tail feathers and inflate their chests into huge, rounded mounds. The birds strut about the “lek” in an exotic courtship dance, warbling a strange, melodic song that resembles the sound of running water. This is the best—maybe the only—time for the volunteers to count the Gunnison sage-grouse. When their dance is over, the cocks draw their chests back in, fold up their feathers and are instantly camouflaged again, disappearing into the brush and tall grass. The volunteers count the birds annually, and each year the numbers in the San Miguel Basin population fade. In 2006 there were 77 males, a number that steadily declined to just 33 in 2009. To the dismay of conservation groups, the federal government failed to list the bird for protection under the Endangered Species Act, but not because the Gunnison sage-grouse wasn’t in danger of becoming extinct. Apparently, according to an investigative report 22

filed by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior, the agency’s own deputy assistant secretary, Julie MacDonald, had “unduly influenced” the decision not to list the bird. San Miguel County and a gaggle of environmental organizations filed a lawsuit, causing the Fish and Wildlife Service to take another look at listing the grouse. A new decision is expected on September 15. Until then, the future of the bird remains uncertain. Their numbers continue to decline, but more stringent regulations that have been placed on energy development and drilling taking place in grouse habitat could change that trend. Volunteers in the Gunnison Sagegrouse Working Group are doing their part to protect the bird. They convene each year to build new habitat by seeding the grasses and forbs that protect the grouse from predation, cutting back the piñon and juniper trees that encroach on the birds’ space, and installing solar pumps to pull up water needed for the chicks’ survival. This might seem like a huge amount of work to do in order to save just one bird, but the organization’s director, Leigh Robertson, said that these efforts are not just made on the bird’s behalf, but in the interest of the entire ecosystem. “We’re really looking at the whole picture. You never

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know the consequence of losing a single species,” says Robertson. “The Gunnison sage-grouse provides food for other species: If everything is in balance, the population can handle predation and the whole ecosystem works well. With more links in the food chain gone, the ecosystem becomes more fragile. Every species we can save is important.” —D. Dion


Budworms Invade Tromping through the woods near my Lawson Hill villa, I was startled by the fine lines of silk dangling from the needles of the surrounding evergreens. They were so plentiful they created a ghostly shimmer—was it a plague of ballooning spiders? An invasion of Asian silkworms? Or special effects for Blair Witch Project II? Upon closer inspection, I found a small worm at the end of the line. Western spruce budworms are proving to be more lethal than supernatural. The evergreen forests of the San Juan Mountains are being invaded by this latest in a long line of insect epidemics, and it seems very little can be done to stop them.

The first reports of infestation— recognized by the distinctive loss of needles on conifer branch tips and tops—were from the Lawson Hill subdivision in 2008. The damage has since proliferated, and the ski area and forests surrounding Mountain Village now have brown, dying trees as a result of the infestation. Budworms are significant because they can eat all the new growth produced by host trees. Young trees are especially vulnerable, and defoliation predisposes them to other boring insects and wood-decaying fungi. “It doesn’t kill every last thing,” says Yvette Henson, director of the Colorado State Extension in Norwood, “but if you have several years of infestation, it can do a lot of damage.” Budworm outbreaks in Colorado last an average of 11 years, with the last incident spanning from 1972 to 1985. The Forest Service has surmised that spruce budworm is the most widely distributed and destructive forest defoliator in western North America. On the heels of bark and engraver


Weather Highlights MAY 2009 High 80º Low 30º Precip. 2.33” Snow 4”

(Record 90º 2002 & 2003) (Record 3º 1939) (Avg. 1.8”) (Avg. 7.2”; Max. 35” 1930)

JUNE 2009 High 85º Low 30º Precip. 2.59” Snow 0”

(Record 92º 2002) (Record 15º 1937) (Avg. 1.22”) (Avg. 0”; Max. 8.5” 1979)

JULY 2009 High 88º (Record 96º 1922 & 2003) Low 39º (Record 26º 1941) Precip. 3.1” (Avg. 2.5”) AUGUST 2009 High 86º (Record 91º 1939) Low 32º (Record 20º 1939) Precip. 1.2” (Avg. 2.92”) SEPTEMBER 2009 High 77º (Record 88º 1990) Low 26º (Record 9º 1931) Precip. 2.07” (Avg. 2.07”) Snow 0” (Avg. 0.9”; Max. 23” 1959) OCTOBER 2009 High 67º (Record 85º 1948) Low 6º (Record 0º 1956) Precip. 1.55” (Avg. 1.96”) Snow 9” (Avg. 9.7”; Max. 42” 1984) —Thom Carnevale

naturenotes beetle infestations on spruce and fir, and tent caterpillars and SAD (Sudden Aspen Decline) in aspen groves, local forests are suffering. According to Dave Bangert, Mountain Village Forester and Recreation Supervisor, “The root problem is stressed stands of trees, caused by past droughts, poor soils and overstocked stands.” Property owners can spray with chemical and/or microbial insecticides, as they have been doing in Lawson Hill and the Ski Ranches, but the budworm’s natural habitat is from Colorado to British Columbia, and forest experts say chemicals alone won’t destroy them. Following years of drought, three seasons of normal and above normal precipitation are giving foresters hope that tree vigor will return. To find out more about forest health, take part in local “Tree Tours” sponsored by The New Community Coalition (, Colorado State University Extension (

sanmiguel), and Town of Mountain Village (contact Dave Bangert at —M. Duffy


Plight of the Prairie Dogs Whether you love them or hate them, prairie dogs elicit a strong emotional response from people in Telluride and beyond. On KOTO FM, DJs banter about colorful ways to snuff out prairie dogs that have taken up residence on the Valley Floor, while editorials in the local papers urge people to be more humane with our furry friends. Varmint shooters and chemical extirpators may have to yield to preservationists when it comes to the 23-acre colony of Gunnison’s prairie dogs that arrived on Telluride’s Valley Floor four years ago. Town officials have opted for a containment strategy for

the prairie dogs, meaning they are trying to keep the existing population in its present location east of Boomerang Road, and will “remove” any new colonies; they are also watching to see if the Fish and Wildlife Service protects the prairie dogs under the Endangered Species Act. Experts are taking tissue samples from the rodents to determine whether or not there is a distinct subspecies, called “montane,” named for its range, which skirts Telluride’s Valley Floor. Gunnison’s prairie dogs in the montane range are currently a candidate species for listing under the ESA. According to Dan Reinkensmeyer, a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service, they have a listing priority of three out of 12, based on threats to the species’ survival. “Which is high,” says Reinkensmeyer. “It could be a year before it gets listed; it could be two years. I have no idea.” Ranchers and developers dislike the creatures because they compete with livestock for resources and disturb the

landscape with their burrows, but according to Professor Con Slobodchikoff of Northern Arizona University, Gunnison’s prairie dogs (also called Zuni prairie dogs) have a communication system that is more complex than that of dolphins, whales and non-human primates. His research shows that each chirping call warns other prairie dogs of nearby predators—the type, direction and even color— using harmonic variations. It is precisely their vulnerability to predators that makes the species important to the ecosystem, says Reinkensmeyer. Prairie dogs don’t just fall prey to humans—they are also a food source for coyotes, fox, bobcats, badgers, weasels, black-footed ferrets and many raptors. They also manipulate the land itself. The burrows they create disturb the vegetation and allow different types of plants to flourish, and when they are abandoned, they provide habitat for burrowing owls. Says Reinkensmeyer, “They are truly a keystone species.” —D. Dion

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bag with a Little Green Riding Hood face-hole cut under one peaked corner can keep you dry and alive. Signal Whistle and Mirror: Unlike your voice, these will never go hoarse on you. These items won’t just help you get un-lost, says Muckerman, they’ll also help you to survive. Perhaps just as important, he says, is to “Stay calm. Finding that calm self within you is the most essential item.” —D. Dion & Peter Muckerman

[ get more ] learn about first aid and wilderness survival techniques

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What’s in Your Backpack? Everyone, it seems, gets caught unprepared on a hike. Whether you’ve forgotten your sunscreen or run out of water, you’ve probably been chagrined to find yourself without something you need in the unforgiving environs of the mountains. So what items are essential for survival? Peter Muckerman, a wilderness first-aid expert and owner of First Lead Medical Training, helped Telluride Magazine come up with a list of the basics. “Comparing lists of ‘essential items’ has provided countless hours of contentious discussions around campfires,” says Muckerman, “and for good reason: There is no definitive list. But any meaningful examination of contenders should revolve around this one, simple principle: surviving the unexpected night out. Things can go wrong. Thinking ‘it’s just a day hike’ lulls people into a sense of complacency. A couple of wrong turns, a sprained ankle, and… welcome to the food chain.”


Muckerman’s Essential Items: Compass: Even if you aren’t adept at orienteering, a compass can illuminate your world. “South? The car’s back that way. I could’ve sworn it was the other way.” Edged Tool/Good Knife: We humans are otherwise not on a level playing field in the “fang and claw” department. This is your primary tool in the wild. Fire Tool: Wooden strikeanywhere matches in a brightly colored match safe, or a butane lighter with an adjustable flame. Flashlight/Headlamp: And don’t forget spare batteries. Even the right trail is black at night. Shelter: Mylar space bags pack up as small as a soap dish and are easy to carry with you. You’ll wake up somewhat wet from condensation, but you’ll wake up. Warm Hat: Yeah, I know, it’s a sunny day. Trust me: You’ll be glad you packed this. Calories: On cold mountain nights, if you don’t generate as much heat as you are losing…it’s simple math. Water and Water Purification Tablets: Water is life. Dehydration can kill you. Poncho: Even a lawn and leaf

summer/fall 2010

The Many Varieties of Milk Choosing milk used to mean deciding between whole, skim or 2 percent. Now the choices range much wider, with everything from cow’s milk to soy, rice or nut milk. There are as many opinions about what type of milk is best as there are varieties of milk. One thing we have learned about food is that the more it’s processed, the more it’s stripped of its nutritional value and inherent health benefits. This also holds true for milk. Breast milk is perfectly designed by nature for the mental and physical development of a child. It is high in quality fat and loaded with necessary nutrients, probiotics and enzymes that enhance digestibility and provide protection to the immune system. Organic raw milk, be it from a cow or goat, is as close as we can get to those health benefits. Raw milk is alive with the enzymes and probiotics needed to easily and properly digest the milk while supporting healthy bacterial flora in the intestinal tract. In pasteurizing milk, we kill off the “aliveness” that benefits the body. Pasteurization also kills the pathogens that raw milk can contain, which is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns against drinking non-pasteurized milk—but when basic sanitation

measures are followed, raw milk is completely safe. For consumers who don’t have access to raw milk, it’s best to choose whole cow or goat milk, preferably organic. Organically raised cows and goats are typically grass fed and reared with minimal use of hormones and antibiotics, and the quality of milk is therefore more nutritious. Whole milk is best because of its concentrated source of calories and fat content. Fat is necessary for the absorption of calcium, as well as for proper brain and nerve development, and it helps satiate the drinker. To restore enzymes to pasteurized milk, it can be cultured with kefir, a fermented milk containing bacterial flora. Dairy allergies and lactose intolerance are becoming more common, a phenomenon some nutritionists attribute to the lack of enzymes in pasteurized milk. Soymilk is an alternative, but it comes with a host of health concerns. In 1990, the FDA issued a warning that soymilk should not be used for infants because it “grossly lacks in the nutrients needed.” Most soymilk, unless labeled organic, is also made with genetically engineered soybeans. It also contains phytic acid, which inhibits absorption of minerals; protease inhibitors, which block digestion of protein; and it has high levels of toxins such as aluminum. Elevated levels of phytoestrogens and isoflavones in soy have been found to depress thyroid function and wreak havoc on the hormonal system—all health concerns not just for infants, but also for growing children and adults. Soy should be consumed in moderation. Two more dairy alternatives are almond and rice milk. Almond milk has an advantage because it has a high protein and fat content, while rice milk is largely a source of carbohydrates. With both, it’s important to carefully read labels— sugar, synthetic ingredients and flavoring are often added. When eliminating dairy milk be sure to add good sources of complete protein and quality fats. It’s great to have choices, but the golden rule with food is to stay as close as you can to the bounty of Mother Nature. —Lynn Mayer, CNC ▶▶

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mountainhealth Caffeine at Altitude: Friend or Foe? You can’t open a magazine or a visitor guide in Colorado without finding a warning about drinking caffeine at altitude. But are these admonitions science-based, or are they just a bad rap? According to Peter Hackett, MD, the world’s leading authority on altitude illness and Executive Director of the Institute for Altitude Medicine, it’s a myth that people need to avoid caffeine when traveling or recreating at high elevations. The concern, he says, is dehydration, because caffeine causes an abnormal increase in the excretion of urine (diuresis)—but regular coffee drinkers and caffeine junkies develop a tolerance to this effect. Hackett points to clinical studies performed at Mount Everest base camp, comparing

caffeine drinkers to those drinking only water. Climbers on caffeine were not affected by its diuretic properties; they were also less fatigued than the climbers drinking just water. That arousal can be a good thing. Hackett writes that caffeine doesn’t just perk up your mood, it also stimulates your brain, kidneys and breathing, all of which are helpful in acclimatizing to higher altitudes. Hackett also reasons that caffeine can help with headaches. Regular caffeine drinkers can suffer from headaches if they abruptly curtail its use, so it might be best not to kick the habit on a trip or a climb. Furthermore, high-altitude headaches are caused by dilation of blood vessels in the brain reacting to the decreased oxygen levels; caffeine constricts blood vessels and might ameliorate those effects. —D. Dion

[ get more ] learn more about the effects of altitude

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Despite its long history of use (marijuana has been prescribed since 2737 BC to treat everything from rheumatism to incontinence), the medicinal value of marijuana is still disputed today. Some effects of the drug, however, are well documented, including alleviation of nausea and vomiting; stimulation of hunger (important for patients undergoing chemotherapy or treatment for AIDS); and lessening of intraocular pressure (helpful for patients with glaucoma). Medicinal marijuana is legal in Canada, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Italy, Finland and Portugal, as well as in certain parts of the United States—including Colorado—although federal law still prohibits its use. —D. Dion


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effect that matters. Collectively, the towns participating in the challenge reduced the usage of single-use shopping bags by approximately 5.3 million. What he was really aiming for, Allen said, is changing people’s habits and making them more aware of the effects of their everyday activities. —Katie Klingsporn

Telluride Renewed In the Telluride region, local governments have been riding the green bandwagon for years— changing out incandescents, recycling at meetings, even implementing an effluent recapture system at the wastewater treatment plant. But this took it to a whole new level. Last fall, the world celebrated 350. org Day, a global initiative urging world leaders to enact climate change legislation to reduce the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, considered the safe upper limit. The mayors of Telluride and Mountain Village joined in and offered a bold objective: to become a 100-percent carbon neutral community by 2020. With that, the Telluride Renewed Challenge was born. The idea behind the challenge is for the towns to transition to entirely renewable—and ideally local—energy sources. Ideas for accomplishing this include a solar array at the water treatment plant, micro-hydroelectric projects in town and more. It’s an ambitious undertaking. Electricity use in both towns has been on the rise in the last couple years, and late in December, a historic power demand tripped a main breaker, resulting in a blackout


in Telluride and Mountain Village that lasted more than an hour. Despite the uphill battle, Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser said he thinks the community’s up to it. “Our challenge is great, almost overwhelming, but it is doable,” Fraser said. —Katie Klingsporn

[ BAG IT ]

Bring Your Own Bag Last year, ski towns across the Rockies engaged in an environmental challenge: a friendly competition to see which community, per capita, could slash its use of single-use plastic shopping

summer/fall 2010

bags the most. Some 34 towns, from Aspen to Durango, participated in the Colorado Association of Ski Towns Bag Challenge, with shoppers carrying canvas bags and participating stores getting the message out with signs and fliers. In the end, Basalt proved to be the greenest, saving the use of 380,000 plastic bags during the summertime challenge, and took home the prize: $10,000 toward the installation of a solar array (sponsored by Alpine Bank and PCL Construction). Telluride didn’t win, or even make the top three. This may have been a disappointment to local shoppers, who, the year before, had handily beat out Aspen in the inaugural bag challenge between the two towns. But organizer Dave Allen, a Telluride local, said it’s really the cumulative

Solar Farm in Norwood Norwood, the agrarian community just west of Telluride, is known for its small farms and ranches and its plentiful sunshine. This winter, the area will be home to a new kind of plant that flourishes in the sun: a solar electricity plant. SunEdison plans to construct a 2-megawatt photovoltaic power plant on a 40-acre parcel located southeast of the town. Local energy cooperative San Miguel Power Association already has a contract with SunEdison to purchase the plant’s output for 25 years, fulfilling the co-op’s goal of providing its members with clean, renewable sources of electricity. The proposed solar plant will supply about 2 percent of SMPA’s annual load. SunEdison expects to break ground on the project in September and hopes to be providing power in January of 2011. —D. Dion


Green Cents Goes Opt-Out merrick chase/



San Miguel Power Association’s Green Cents program, which rounds energy bills up to the nearest dollar and uses the extra change to fund green projects, started out as an optional program. This winter, though, Green Cents went opt-out. The power co-op started enrolling all its members in the program in February, and now people who don’t want to participate have to say so.

greenbytes The program funnels those extra dimes and quarters into a fund that is used for new green energy projects or making its transmission system more efficient. According to SMPA, the program should cost members less than $7 a year, but certainly no more than $12. If all of SMPA’s 9,600 members stay enrolled, the co-op estimates that Green Cents could raise up to $70,000 every year. —Katie Klingsporn


Measuring “Kill A Watts” In the home, energy-guzzling culprits—the old fridge, the space heater—can sit quietly on shelves or in corners or closets, gulping electricity without even being noticed. But thanks to a joint effort of San Miguel Power Association and the Wilkinson Public Library, people can now

detect energy hogs in their homes or apartments. SMPA donated portable energy tracking devices to the Wilkinson Public Library—as well as all the other public libraries within its service territory—as part of its Watch-A-Watt initiative. The gizmos, called “Kill A Watts,” can be used to measure the electricity consumption of various home appliances. They are small and easy to use and can be checked out, just like a library book. Plug it into the wall, then plug an appliance into it, and it’ll measure things like voltage, watts and kilowatt-hours—which is the same measurement used by SMPA in electricity bills. SMPA General Manager Kevin Ritter said the power co-op wants to help its members identify exactly what is using energy in their homes. For those engaged in the great race to shrink carbon footprints, the Kill A Watt can help root out the bigger consumers of energy. —Katie Klingsporn

Being green isn’t always easy, but we’re helping make it more affordable and convenient for you to make clean energy choices. • Our rebates help reduce the cost of purchasing and installing your own renewable energy system. • Our green power program lets you buy renewable energy to power your home or business at a price that’s easy on your wallet. • Our green cents program lets you invest in local renewable and energy efficiency programs. • Our energy efficiency programs and information will help you learn how to use your green energy wisely.

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[ RUNNING AT ELEVATION ] Dear Jock, I plan to run the Boston Marathon next April. Some studies claim altitude training will help and others say it will be detrimental. What do you say? Will training in Telluride help or hurt my performance at sea level? —A Distance Athlete Distance, The 1968 Olympics in mile-high Mexico City yielded slow times across the board for endurance events, while anaerobic competitors (such as sprinters and weight-lifters) set world records. These results sparked an altitude-training debate that continues today. There is no question that high altitude decreases athletic performance, and it’s also true that training at altitude seems to be advantageous—although not all scientists are in the high-altitude training camp. The experts do agree that exercise at high altitude creates physiological changes, such as an increase in the number of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. The question is how long these changes linger when the athlete moves to low elevation—and whether or not the challenge of recovering from a taxing workout at altitude negates its advantages. After reading conflicting studies, I offer the following advice: Train high to maximize your body’s oxygen-carrying capacity; sleep low to increase the amount of oxygen available for recovery. Compete within 72 hours after arriving at low


elevation to prevent your body from losing any of its high-altitude edge. And of course, eat smart and stay hydrated. Best of luck in Beantown, —Jock

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[ SHADES SELECTION ] Dear Jock, I’m in the market for a pair of sunglasses to wear when I’m skiing, biking, fishing, playing golf, hiking and looking cool on the bench in front of the Steaming Bean. My fishing buddy says polarized lenses are the only way to go. Is he right? —Shady Shady, Light reflected from such surfaces as a flat road or smooth water is horizontally polarized. Instead of being scattered in all directions, reflected light tends to travel in a horizontally oriented direction. This creates an annoying, and sometimes hazardous, intensity of light that we call “glare.” Polarized lenses filter this intense light. They are especially useful for fishermen who want to see their prey below the surface of the water. But polarized lenses can be detrimental. For example, when downhill skiing, polarized lenses may mask the glare from an icy patch of snow. They also obscure liquid crystal displays, which might be problematic when using a cell phone, wristwatch or global positioning device.

summer/fall 2010

So to answer your question: A pair of polarized glasses is ideal for fishing but may not be ideal for your other activities. You’ll have to factor lens tint, frame fit and price into your decision. Whatever shades you purchase, Jock recommends a hard shell storage case and a sunglass retention device to extend the longevity of your investment. Speaking of investment: Purchase your shades from a specialized optical retailer, not off the sale rack at the gas station. You get what you pay for, and your eyes are worth every penny. See you around, —Jock

[ DON’T DRINK THE WATER ] Dear Jock, I like to ramble around the hills, but I don’t like to carry a heavy pack full of water. I’ve seen some people drinking straight from streams above tree line. Should I follow suit or will I contract giardia? —High Country Hiker High Country, According to the Center for Disease Control, anytime you drink untreated water in the backcountry, you run the risk of ingesting the Giardia lamblia parasite. These microscopic protozoa live in the intestines of many of Colorado’s high-country mammals such as beaver, deer, elk, cattle and humans. They spread through oral contact with feces. Because giardia is encased in a sturdy shell, it is exceptionally resilient, even when submerged in water. Common symptoms of giardia include two to six weeks of severe gastrointestinal distress, vile sulphuric flatulence and explosive diarrhea. Treatment usually requires a course of potent antibiotics. Jock has drunk from quite a few high-country streams over the years, but usually within close proximity to the source. Thus far, I haven’t been stricken with giardia. However, several of my friends haven’t been so lucky. Witnessing their suffering caused me to foreswear drinking from alpine streams. The temporary discomfort created by carrying sufficient water—or a purification device—on the trail seems paltry compared to the ravages of the

giardia parasite on the human digestive system. In summary: The risk of contracting giardia is a real crapshoot. With pun intended, —Jock

[ GONE FISHING ] Dear Jock, I hear there’s great flyfishing around Telluride, but no matter how hard I try, I never catch any fish. Where are those trout hiding? When is the best time to go after them? —Empty Creel Empty Creel, The free-flowing waters of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers are rife with six species of trout, including rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat, cut-bow and the hybrid tiger trout. These fish also lurk in the tail waters of the Uncompahgre below the Ridgway Reservoir. While it is possible to fish 365 days a year, your best bet is to avoid the spring runoff when the rivers are muddy and the fish can’t see your fly. Water temperature also plays a crucial role: You want to fish when the water temps are rising, though not above 70 degrees. For reasons unknown, dawn and dusk are usually excellent times to wet a line. Perhaps fish—like humans— enjoy the traditions of breakfast and dinner. A final consideration is selection of the proper fly. This decision depends upon a variety of factors too complex to discuss here. If you really want to learn how to catch fish, hire a guide. A day spent with a expert local angler will give you the tactics and tools you require to catch—and release—the wily trout. An important postscript: The purchase of a Colorado fishing license or Colorado Outdoor Recreation Card places you under the umbrella of a statewide backcountry rescue insurance pool. If the unexpected occurs, the cost of your search and rescue is covered. So make sure your fishing license or recreation card is current. Thanks for dropping a line, —Jock

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doug berry /

with a


Not nerdy enough for you? Smart Nearly everyone’s been in a phone owners can also download car with a GPS unit—an electronic, online maps and have a clear track feminine voice calmly and politely with way-pointed directions during coaching the driver to turn left at their hike or ride. “There are lots of the next intersection or merge onto companies that provide hikes locally, the freeway at the upcoming ramp. so you can actually load [GPS tracks of] Perhaps it was too dark to see the those hikes while you’re in town and see turnoff you were looking for, but the where to turn, where the best viewpoints hushed voice from the dashboard guided are, where to camp. This kind of application you safely to grandma’s new retirement By Mackenzie Ryan doubles as a personal navigator on the trail, as home. Now, Global Positioning System units well as giving you access to a database of trails,” are everywhere: There are numerous GPS models says Wagner. For example, offers free and brands, some available in phones. Even technologydownloads of Telluride’s popular Bear Creek hike or the highesthating, outdoorsy people are jumping on the GPS bandwagon. elevation, long-distance trail in America, the Colorado Trail. Hiking in the woods, a GPS system won’t tell you to turn left at Smart phone GPS systems do have disadvantages: Should you the next tree. But it can prevent you from getting lost in Lizard Head drop your precious mode of communication onto a rock, you risk Wilderness or tell you how many calories you burned climbing Mount the loss of your phone for the remainder of your trip. To boot, GPS Wilson and El Diente. Or, if trails are not well-signed or overgrown, it can technology burns up battery power like an SUV does gasoline. be the difference between a great day and wandering back after dark. Most backcountry enthusiasts prefer to use a traditional GPS, Owners of “smart” phones are the biggest group of newcomers maps and a compass for off-trail navigation. Avid backpackers might to the world of GPS geekdom. BlackBerrys, Androids and iPhones favor these types of units, which will hold up during rugged hikes can do it all. They come with inexpensive mapping applications that or cross-country travel. This kind of wayfinding requires map-andallow you to upload your GPS track immediately onto an online map compass orienteering skills. Beginners who want a durable, easyand see valuable stats, such as elevation gain and loss, mileage, to-use unit can pick up the Garmin Dakota 20, says Wagner. It’s speed and calories burned. “You can essentially turn your phone waterproof, runs on AA batteries and has a touch screen that reads into a GPS, collect your hike or your ride [data], and then share the well under direct sunlight. photos you took along the way with friends and family later on,” says Unfamiliar with backcountry travel but still want to learn some Kris Wagner, marketing director for GPS-software juggernaut, Trimble orienteering? Visitors and locals who desire an education in routeOutdoors. The benefit with these applications, he says, is that “you finding can take a custom course on off-trail navigation at San Juan don’t have to know anything about GPS. They are designed so you Outdoor School/Telluride Alpinism. Owner Tara Butson says her can turn them on, hit start, and the device knows what to do.” professional guides teach clients how to read a topographical map and Another advantage of the iPhone’s GPS capability is that you how to use a map, compass and GPS. Guides try to incorporate the don’t need to be staring at the screen while you’re outside playing, lesson into a specific goal, such as reaching a particular peak or doing Wagner says. “It’s as easy as pushing play on your iPod, letting it a scavenger hunt. “The real reason people get lost,” says Butson, “is collect all the information, and hitting stop when you’re done. Then, g that they don’t read the map.” when you go online, it’s all there.”

The ultra-simple GPS device, “SPOT,” is meant to transmit your whereabouts in the wilderness, in case you need to be rescued. SPOT users buy the unit and pay for an annual subscription, and in return they can call for help or be located on a Google Map, even at elevations of up to 21,000 feet or in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. The device can’t transmit specific messages but can signal that the user is okay, needs non-emergency help or is in a critical “911” situation. In addition, SPOT offers a tracking service that allows you to plot your route by sending and saving waypoints. It also avails your social networking: You can broadcast your latest trek to smart phones and web links via the SPOT shared page. summer/fall 2010



running the

Hardrock 100 a Lesson in Gratitude By Rhonda Claridge


itting in the outhouse at Burrows Park, I could hear the breathing and patter of runners as they passed by outside, crossing over a tributary of the Gunnison River to begin the 4,000foot climb up Handies Peak. I had trained for years for this singular event—the Hardrock— a 100-mile footrace on mostly singletrack from Silverton to Ouray, to Telluride, to Ophir (where I live), back to Silverton, over 11 mountain passes and up 33,992 vertical feet—almost 5,000 feet higher than Mount Everest. I had run in blizzards, mud, rain, dust storms and mind-bending heat. I had forgone both indulgences and meaningful experiences to log miles on foot, bike or skis, for one to six hours, six days a week. I had become accustomed to functioning in a fatigueinduced mental fog for half a year. Now, just 32 miles and eight hours into the race, I was losing everything—my intentions, efforts, hopes. It wasn’t nerves or the usual gastrointestinal distress that comes with distance running; it was too late for the former and too soon for the latter. It was a stomach bug. As I admitted to myself that I was finished—the race was over for me—a profound self-loathing set in.

An hour passed. I washed my face in the Lake Fork. Would I walk back three miles to the Sherman aid station or continue over Handies 10 miles to the next aid station at Grouse and quit there? Logistically, it seemed easiest to go on. Sad and bitter, I set off, half-heartedly climbing a pine-needle trail through the forest. Occasionally, the conifers gave way to aspen groves and open meadows. A mist of rain fell through the sunlight, shooting rainbows, and a few deer raised their heads and swatted their tails. I couldn’t eat or drink—my stomach cramped in fits—but the scenery was comforting. Above treeline, two hours later, I pushed myself up the steep switchbacks. At the top, just over 14,000 feet, I paused to look around. It was a windless, quiet afternoon, rare for that high in the atmosphere. Small, popcorn clouds studded the sky, all on one plane. Down in the valleys, the sun had already set, but here it lingered, silhouetting the peaks and accenting the iron-red slopes of adjacent ridges in an autumn light. Every view was long and vast and three dimensional. Below, two alpine lakes shone like plates of mica. A few other Hardrock runners sat near the summit, silent and blissed out. They smiled like monks as I passed them. It was my fifth ascent of Handies. One time, pacing a Hardrock runner, I had topped out here at 1 a.m. The night was warm, and pink sheet lightning illuminated distant mountains in pulses. The San Juans were like a map of memories: bike riding around the Wilsons, skiing US Grant, climbing Mt. Sneffels on my way home from work... The race was over—the joke was on me—but I was still glad to be up there. I kept my gaze on the blue lakes shrouded in brown folds, and soon I was rounding their shores.


summer/fall 2010

karen kingsley

I had told my “crew”—my husband, Sean, and four female pacers—“Don’t let me stop unless I’m really dying.” So when I arrived at Grouse at 8 p.m. and complained to Sean and Heidi Attenberger about the diarrhea and dehydration, they just gave me funny smiles. “See how you feel in Ouray,” Sean said, while Heidi pulled on her Camelbak with a casual, “You’re fine.” Coming from someone else, her comment might have frustrated me, but Heidi is a paramedic. I figured if I went into renal failure or fell off the trail, she would know how to save me. Besides that, Heidi was the German national champion single-skull rower for two years, placing fifth and sixth in the world championships. An expert skier, she hikes up Palmyra Peak at dawn to handthrow explosives for ski patrol. And she was there to pace me. Ouray was a mellow climb and a 6,000-foot descent, 14 miles away. We set off, walking the sections that I had planned to run. Soon, we switched on our headlamps. In the dark, we could see the lights of other runners and pacers on the mountain above us like fireflies. “Look how pretty it is,” Heidi said.

brett schreckengost

At 2 a.m., we jogged into the Ouray aid station to meet Sean and my next pacer, Karen Kingsley. I cautiously ate some potato soup and chips and dillydallied in a warm down jacket, until Karen said, “Let’s go.” We walked out of town, climbed some stairs and stooped through a low-ceilinged mining tunnel before popping out on a metal bridge across Box Canyon, new features of the course. “Cool!” Karen said. Karen has won the Randonee Skiing National Series twice and had just skied from the summit of Denali. As we climbed Camp Bird Mine Road, she talked about Alaska, all the while picking up the pace. Soon, birds chirped and the cliffs and trees of Governor’s Basin gained definition. For me, it was like coming out of anesthesia. My body and consciousness returned, and I was well.

Karen led the snow climbs to Virginius Pass, concluding our 5,000-foot ascent. She had placed tenth running in Nationals and qualified for the NCAA as a college junior, studied atomic physics in graduate school, raced for the German national cycling team and a pro-Canadian team, and won the Iron Horse three times and Mt. Evans twice. She was inspirational. “You can run this downhill fast,” she said, and I could. We raced into Telluride Town Park at 9 a.m. and I was suddenly starving, a good sign in ultrarunning. The stomach bug gone, I gobbled down two burritos. Carrie Koenig, my next running partner, is another brainy jock friend who rowed bow seat in the eight-person boat at Cornell that won Easterns and Nationals. We hiked and jogged up Bear Creek as we have done many times, blazing by other Hardrock runners and chatting about guys. Hours later, in a tableau of columbines and Indian paintbrush, a beautiful man appeared on the Wasatch Trail above us. “Am I hallucinating?” I joked. To her credit, when he sprinted by in the opposite direction, Carrie kept on with me. Then we were over Oscar’s Pass and scudding down to where a vertical ribbon of snow dissected Blixt Road. It was only about thirty feet wide, but it was sloped and slick and a fall could mean sliding a few hundred feet or worse, going airborne a thousand feet into Chapman Gulch. This was Carrie’s nemesis. I had promised her that the snow would be gone for the Hardrock in July, but here it was. We stopped and stared at it. Carrie was reading my mind. “I can do it,” she said, and she did. After that, I remember her skating on the pinecones in dried runnels, the road itself being ball bearings; my toes aching on the steep descent; then passing over the little spring and through the corn lilies to Ophir Pass Road. In Ophir, mile 82, I picked up my last pacer: Karen Brown is well-known among ultrarunners in California, having set records for the Quad Dipsea 50K and Headlands 50K. It might have been a conversation she and I had a few years ago while climbing Ajax Peak that resulted in my running the Hardrock. We both love distance running, and that was the first time I’d talked about doing a hundredmiler. Now, Karen led me up mucky Grant-Swamp Pass, away from the rockfall of other runners. As we crossed the big open tundra of Cataract Basin, a black squall built over the Weminuche Wilderness Area. On the trail, there was a mile of nothing but rounded rocks, too small for my raw and blistered feet to land on flatly, big enough not to move if I kicked them. Karen politely endured my whining. We descended for the last time through firs and spruce. “I’m finishing before dark. I’m not putting on my headlamp again,” I said, and I ran the last five miles as fast as I could, Karen out in front, offering encouragement. My feet were pulp, but my legs were singing. After 39 hours, I passed through the flags and kissed the Hardrock, the tradition at the finish: I was middle of the pack, sixth female. Sean had been driving, waiting, and helping me all along, and now he tried to muster some enthusiasm. In the fluorescent glare of the high school gymnasium, I urged Karen to eat a burger with me, but she wasn’t hungry. “No, I just need to lie down in my van,” she said, walking away. Outside, in the dark, Sean was asleep in the driver’s seat of the truck. Amazingly, I had done it—finished the whole 100 miles. I had run the g Hardrock...and I had a lot of people to thank.

summer/fall 2010


A Back stage Vie w

of the T ellu ride Sho w s

By Lance Waring

photos by ingrid lundahl

Working man’s


summer/fall 2010

A pungent haze of patchouli and pot smoke hangs above Telluride’s Town Park. From my post on stage right, I gaze at the gyrating dancers under the speaker tower. Their feet move in time with the hypnotic rhythms of African percussionist Baba Olatunji, raising a miniature dust storm that obscures the colorful beads, swaying braids and twirling skirts. But their joyful silhouettes are still visible—spinning, reaching, writhing—all profoundly lost in the groove. Gradually, the drums crescendo, building toward an ecstatic climax. At the penultimate height of the polyrhythmic sound wave, Babatunde Olatunji lets out a mighty shout and silences the pulsing beat with upraised arms. He stands for a long minute while the crowd roars its approval. It is August 15, 1987. High above, the heavenly bodies have aligned for a rare harmonic convergence. Here below, the Grateful Dead are about to take the stage. It took more than just the stars lining up to create that moment. Bill Graham, famed music promoter and part-time Telluride resident, proposed a Grateful Dead concert to the town more than a year ahead of the show. The notion proved such a political hot potato that the town council opted to hold a special election and let the populace decide if hosting a pair of Dead shows in the park was a good idea. The weeks leading up to the vote were contentious: Supporters cited increased economic activity along with the opportunity to host a historic party; detractors prophesied a swarm of unwashed hippies taking over town. Of course, both were ultimately correct. For reasons unknown, the ballot question was posed in verbal reverse. Thus, supporters’ posters featured a smiling Doo-Dah man with the text “Remember a NO vote means YES to the Dead in Telluride.” Despite (or perhaps because of) the counter-intuitive wording, the measure passed. I was pleased with the result. My favorite band was coming to play in my own backyard. Hold onto your hats and get your tickets early, the Grateful Dead were coming to town! Ticket sales caused some consternation. Before the dawn of the Internet, concert tickets were purchased by phone—or sometimes via mail— from a company called TicketMaster. In this case, the town council decided that no more than 10,000 tickets would be sold for each night of the weekend show. This self-imposed limit created a sense of scarcity. As I recall, Bill Graham offered townsfolk tickets before opening sales to the general public. And, just before the shows, Graham flooded the black market with tickets to eliminate would-be scalpers. But I didn’t have to worry about it. Thanks to my employer, Telluride local Bill Blake, I was on the inside. ▶▶

summer/fall 2010


I’d worked on Blake’s landscaping crew for the past two summers. The work was very physical—building fences, laying sod, digging ditches and such—but there was a mid-summer payoff, because Blake held the contract with Planet Bluegrass to set up Town Park for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Every year in June, our crew would spend a week putting up perimeter fencing, raising backstage tents and spreading signage around the park. As a bonus, we earned coveted shifts on security detail, which came with all-access weekend passes. Then, after the festival, we’d spend a few days putting bluegrass back in its box for next year. I worked with Big Jim Rydell and a congenial drunk named Sammy from Sedona. We loved the Bluegrass Festival. For common laborers like us, it was the closest thing we’d ever seen to a paid vacation. Needless to say, we were excited when Blake announced that he’d landed the park setup gig for the Dead, complete with backstage security detail during the shows. But this time, the deal was even sweeter. Not only would we set up the park with the usual fencing and tents, but we’d also be responsible for building and disassembling the massive speaker towers, the band’s mythic, custom-designed “Wall of Sound.” Blake reckoned this task would take us two days beforehand and a day after to break down and load the semi-trucks for the Dead’s next concerts in Arizona. Jim, Sammy and I were excited. (This may sound pitiful, but after a summer spent digging postholes and humping rolls of sod, the chance to load a semi-truck with scaffolding sounded refreshing.) We needed more hands, so we called our friends. A week’s worth of work at $10 per hour plus backstage passes made for an easy sell. We quickly assembled a crew of local all-stars. On Monday, a week before the show, Jimmy Rye, Sedona Sammy and I started working in the park with our friends. We had the tents and the perimeter fencing buttoned up by late Tuesday afternoon. We were about to quit for the day when a fleet of semis rolled onto the soccer field. Two large, swarthy men in silk shirts unbuttoned to their navels hopped out of the lead truck and strode over to us. They introduced themselves as Bob and Pete Barsoti, road managers for the Dead. Although the Barsoti brothers were overweight and poorly dressed, I was starstruck. These guys knew the band; they were part of the family. By extension, while I worked for them, I’d be part of the family, too. So I was in a forgiving mood when Pete told us all to show up for work at seven the next morning. “Lots to get done tomorrow,” he growled. “We’ll need to get a jump on it.” That morning, we jumped. By 7:02, we’d all signed the waiver forms; by 7:05, we’d donned company-issued hard hats, and by 7:10 we were tearing into the back of the first semi. Applying the same formula the Egyptians used to build the great pyramids—large numbers of poorly paid workers and brute strength—we unloaded all the trucks and had the first level of scaffolding aloft by lunchtime. By late afternoon, the first speaker tower was completed. Then Pete wanted us to start erecting the second tower, but we’d been working hard all day and were getting tired and sloppy. A hammer had already slipped out of a tool belt up high and nearly killed one of the crew. It was time to call it quits before somebody got hurt. We left the park to the sound of Barsoti bellowing, “Be here at seven o’clock sharp. Big day tomorrow!” “I could get tired of that guy,” somebody muttered. “He’s a loudmouth.”


summer/fall 2010

T he

Barsoti pushed us hard the next day, but we kept our tempers and persevered. We’d signed up for the job; we’d see it through. Plus, we all wanted to be backstage during the shows, and the Barsoti brothers hadn’t yet distributed our all-access passes. They waited until Friday afternoon, when we’d finished stacking the giant racks of speakers four stories in the air. When we lined up to get our precious tickets, Pete dropped a bomb. “We’re gonna have to break this all down on Sunday night after the show,” he said gruffly. “We’ll probably work most of the night. So you may want to take a break on Sunday during the day and get some rest.” The crew was dumbfounded. Get some rest while the Grateful Dead were playing and we had backstage passes? He had to be kidding. The deal had changed, and it felt unfair. It seemed dangerous to work so high up on scaffolding all night after a Dead show. We grumbled among ourselves for a while. Somebody suggested we demand an extra $5 an hour as hazard pay. We groused to Blake. “You told us we’d load out Monday, not Sunday after the show.” “They changed the schedule on me,” he replied. “I hear what you’re saying, but we need to get those trucks on the road for the next show in Arizona.” “We don’t have to do anything,” somebody responded venomously. Blake was clearly caught in the middle. “All right, I’ll get Pete and Bob back here to talk it over,” he said, going to get the Barsoti brothers. The two road managers stood side by side, arms crossed over their paunches, staring at our ragged line of laborers. “I hear there are some guys who don’t want to work for us anymore,” said Pete. “Anybody who doesn’t want to work, take a step forward and tell me why.” I don’t know if everybody else took a step back, or if my feet actually shuffled forward. But somehow, I was suddenly standing alone in front of the menacing Barsoti brothers, so close I could see their thin gold chains gleaming around their necks. “It’ll be hazardous to tear down scaffolding after the second show,” I said. “We want an extra five bucks an hour to load out at night.” And then, without consulting the rest of the crew, I added an ultimatum. “If we don’t get hazard pay, we quit.” Our sudden labor insurrection had the Barsotis over the barrel. There was no way they were getting anybody else to load those trucks Sunday night, and they knew it. “All right,” Pete snarled. “It’s a deal. But you, kid,” he said, pointing at me, “you report to me before you finish your last shift.” I could tell you all about the shows. I could recap the playlists, try to describe the madcap energy, the wild dancing, the smiling people, the spectacular rainbow, the insufferable beauty of it all. I could even tell you I shook Jerry Garcia’s hand. And it would all be true. But the real truth for me didn’t come during the shows. No, the truth came early on Monday morning. The loaded semis rolled out around 3 a.m., and the Barsotis sent the rest of the crew home. They gave me a flashlight and ordered me to pick up cigarette butts and other concert flotsam on the soccer field. As dawn broke, Pete Barsoti approached. “Hey kid,” he rumbled, hiding what could have been a smile behind his steaming cup of coffee. “You’re done here. Go home and get some sleep.” Then he added, “Good job yesterday. You were right to ask for hazard pay.” He tossed me a wink and left. I squared my shoulders and walked into the Telluride morning, dead tired g but grateful, nonetheless.

I don’t know if everyone else took a step back or if my feet actually shuffled forward. But somehow, I was suddenly standing alone...

Lance Waring’s first Dead show was at the Holt Center in Eugene, Oregon, in September 1982. The experience was transformative.

summer/fall 2010


Rewiring Your Teenager

By Lisa Christadore

Pinhead Institute Interns Plug Into the World of Science imply put, teenagers’ minds are incomplete circuits. Neuroscience research has proven that, as an adolescent’s brain matures, it rewires, extending and severing frontal lobe connections necessary for rational decision-making and measured reactions. Any parent can attest: with adolescence comes the dreaded years where their once-human child turns alien. Whether it’s a tongue piercing or a sudden apathy for algebra, bright pink hair dye or tasteless Facebook photos, young adults make some puzzling, unpredictable decisions. Which is why shipping 17-year-olds off to summer internships at prestigious institutes such as the California Academy of Sciences, NASA’s Ames Research Center and Harvard University might seem risky or ill-advised. But in 2003 the Pinhead Institute, a Smithsonian-affiliated nonprofit organization for science education, undertook the challenge. Pinhead’s directors believed it was possible for teenage minds to connect theoretical science and tangible discovery, yet the Institute’s isolation from science’s academic “nerve centers” presented an obstacle as wide as the West. “Telluride is a tiny box canyon, removed from many of the large scientific institutes,” says Pinhead Executive Director Sonchia Jilek. “So we started with our connection to the Smithsonian and sent our first intern to the Smithsonian Institute’s Natural History Museum.” The program has since taken off. Last summer, Pinhead put 10 interns to work all over the world. Pinhead requires interns to chronicle their journeys (http:/ Followers can read their blogs and not only witness brain synapses firing away, but also the remarkable “reprogramming” of teenage neurons into logical and socially aware adult cells. Their stories are fascinating.

[ dawson white ] Dawson White is into vascular plants and hardwood trees. He believes in conservation initiatives and identifies himself as a “born naturalist.” Three years have passed since White was an intern with Pinhead, and his link between passion and profession is tightly fastened now—not the case when he was 19. White first visited South America in 2006 with friends. His only ambition then, he says, was to “get out of Telluride and have a crazy adventure,” but ultimately he was fascinated by the culture and inspired by the jungle. He had connected with the place, and through Pinhead, he was able to return and spend six life-changing weeks in Southeast Peru. From the moment he stepped back into the Amazon’s endless sea of vegetation, his interest caught fire. White was selected in 2007 for the BRIT-Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program (AABP) internship under the mentorship of Dr. John Janovec. He joined Janovec’s botany team to assist in its Amazonian plant survey project in the Los Amigos Conservation Area. Armed with a machete and pruning instruments, White would hike for hours through the jungle, inventorying hundreds of forest diversity transects. Janovec witnessed White learning to identify hundreds of plant families in one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. White was stupefied every day, whether examining gigantic hardwood trees, Aguaje swamp palm, bioluminescent fungi or tropical ferns. “Every square inch around me was living,” he says. The unyielding life surrounding White fostered an intense appreciation for Earth’s woven ecosystems. “Every single day, a new building goes up,” White says. “Our natural ecosystems are the greatest war fields on earth—it’s life in a constant battle for survival. To conserve it, we must study the land and understand each plant’s diverse role.” White is a senior now at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He is an active field botanist who worked with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in 2009 and is intent on pursuing a doctoral degree in botany. “Dawson learned that he doesn’t have to wait around for somebody to tell him what to do next in his work or his life,” says Janovec. White agrees with his mentor. “I know now that the more I put into this career, the more I will get from it. To be able to travel the world, contribute to our botanical knowledge and promote conservation initiatives as a career would be fulfilling.” 38

summer/fall 2010

photos courtesy of pinhead institute


[ Meghan Cain ] When Meghan Cain enters a room, everyone feels her presence. She is a force overflowing with charisma and efficiency, two traits that landed her a Pinhead internship in Dr. Andrew McCammon’s chemistry laboratory at University of California, San Diego. Before the internship, Cain had no defined career path, was terrified of public speaking and felt content in her Telluride shoes. She admits that she didn’t even like science in her early high school years. So how did she end up as a Pinhead intern in one of the most distinguished chemistry laboratories on the West Coast? It was a book—The Hot Zone—that did it. Cain read this chilling tale of viral outbreaks and was so inspired that she approached Jilek at Pinhead and asked about internships that investigated viruses and bacteria. A few months later, she was accepted into McCammon’s lab, where she began bird flu inhibitor research. She buried herself in avian influenza literature, learned drug-docking programs and was living with college kids in a UCSD dorm. Cain was overwhelmed, but by the third week, she was speaking in lab-language, using words such as “ligands” and “mutants,” and navigating the city like it was Telluride. Rommie Amaro, a former post-doctorate student in the McCammon laboratory, mentored Cain. “We put Meg on a project that involved designing and debugging our program that optimized molecular structures for receptor protein binding,” Amaro explains. Cain was challenged and humbled daily, but she tackled her research with confidence and precision. “Honestly, the rate at which I’m gaining scientific knowledge and understanding doesn’t compare to high school,” Cain wrote on her blog. A few weeks later, she added: “Being around a more-educated and knowledge-thirsty crowd feels right.” “I was completely and utterly blown away by the knowledge Meghan gained in just six weeks of working with Rommie,” Jilek says. “She held her ground, explaining her work to 25 researchers at a lab meeting. I couldn’t be more proud.” Cain has completed her first year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and attributes much of her decision to pursue science to those six weeks in the McCammon lab. “I learned that scientists are living and breathing humans,” Cain says, “not just brains behind a lab coat.”

gus gusciora

[ aj rekdahl ] AJ Rekdahl is perhaps best known as the frontman of his Telluride-based band, Triton. Song lyrics and rock star photos litter his Facebook page and his devotion to playing guitar is apparent. Yet Rekdahl’s teenage brain never considered music and science intertwined; biology stayed on the left side, guitar found its niche on the right. All this changed last summer when he was chosen to intern at The Institute for Music & Brain Science in Boston. He was placed in a neuroscience lab at Massachusetts General Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Mark Jude Tramo, the Institute’s director and a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. “I was never hugely interested in the brain,” Rekdahl recalls, “but when I began to witness and comprehend the effects music had on it, I became fascinated.” Rekdahl had never traveled alone outside of Telluride, let alone to a notorious hospital in one of the busiest cities on the East Coast. “Those who knew AJ were nervous he would cancel his trip,” says Seth Berg, Rekdahl’s calculus teacher at Telluride High School. “This was definitely the bravest thing he’s ever done.” The bravest thing was also the best thing he’s ever done: Rekdahl fell in love with Boston. Certainly, the Fourth of July fireworks over the Charles River, Daddy’s Junky Music store and seeing Paul McCartney live at Fenway Park shaped his adoration. At the hospital, Rekdahl was gaining tremendous knowledge. He devised his own math codes for statistical analyses of patient data to determine relationships between pitch performance and neuronal network patterns. He visited patients, maintained the Institute’s website and provided the solution to an electrocardiogram signal dilemma. “Being a musician, I’m familiar with sound recording,” Rekdahl says. “I suggested we convert the EKG signals from analog to digital. It was pretty logical troubleshooting.” Six weeks later, Rekdahl was testing the successful recording systems for the hospital. He also contributed to a section of Tramo’s paper, describing implicit learning’s impact on musical perception. Working with the other scientists had an influence on Rekdahl. “AJ had the ‘genius-inventor-working-alonein-garage’ image of scientists,” says Berg. “Since returning from his internship, he has realized that laboratory research is a team experience, it’s not solitary like schoolwork, and he can now see himself doing it.” Watching his lab colleagues, Rekdahl could picture who he wanted to be; executing research tasks, he discovered strengths he was proud to contribute; and in the “big city,” Rekdahl found that intellectual musicians do exist. “If you don’t fit the mold in Telluride, you stand out,” Jilek says. “In Boston, there was no mold for AJ, and he realized that being quirky is OK.”

Teenagers’ neural pathways are rewiring, intellectually and emotionally, as they transition into adulthood, the “most tumultuous time of brain development since coming out of the womb,” says neuroscientist Jay Giedd. They are more susceptible to impulsive actions and foolish decisions, but they are also more impressionable; what may be a pinprick upon an adult is a stamp upon a 17-year-old. As long as the funding continues, Pinhead will keep encouraging students to bid farewell to summer parties and home-cooked meals and set out on adventures that will change their lives. “They are all scientists at

[ GET MORE ] Pinhead Institute

heart,” Pinhead’s Jilek says. “Interested, asking questions…we are the direct conduit to exploring these interests in the real world.” Adolescence, after all, is a process of trial and error. Maybe teenagers are natural scientists. summer/fall 2010


Not Your Father’s Den

Man Caves


summer/fall 2010

gus gusciora

Travis Spitzer, up on Aspen Street, knows he’s lucky. He has not one, but two “Man Caves.” (As any casual viewer of sporting-event commercials now knows, “Man Caves” are refuges where men can be manly— watching football, playing pool and drinking beer— inside their own homes.) Like many men before him, Spitzer considers his garage a Man Cave. It’s where he wrenches on his motorcycles, hangs his surfboard, pumps his mountain bike tires and stacks his climbing backpacks. The garage never holds an automobile— just everything else Spitzer uses to satisfy his Y chromosome. It’s his own personal toy chest. Spitzer’s second male sanctuary (or “mantuary”) is his TV room. It’s equipped with a 72-inch flat screen, a refrigerator and a small wet bar. Spitzer can mix himself a White Russian, lay back on soft couches festooned with dozens of pillows, punch up his remote and watch, in stereo, The Big Lebowski—an enduring Man-Cave favorite. Even Spitzer’s ring-tone is a line from Big Lebowski. While Spitzer always thought his TV room was a Man Cave, it has, alas, proven otherwise. Man Caves have rules, and the biggest one entails exclusivity: To be a proper Man Cave, the room must prohibit or at least strictly limit non-men: to wit, wives, kids and mothers-in-law. Spitzer’s TV room is not sacrosanct—his kids watch Hannah Montana movies in there. One morning in early March, Spitzer found out the hard way just how unlike a mantuary the TV room really is. The previous night, he’d gone to bed expecting to wake up to a call from Telluride Helitrax, summoning him to fly in a helicopter and ski powder. He never heard his phone. Why? Because his two-year-old daughter had hidden it in the TV room’s refrigerator. There are no hard and fast dictates here, but men are pretty sure that when toddler interference keeps you from heli-skiing...well, you’re somewhere far, far from a Man Cave. Spitzer, luckily, can hang out in his friends’ Man Caves. Nobody knows exactly how many exist in Telluride, but surely there are dozens. Telluride is an affluent town, after all, and it’s not hard to satisfy the equation: wealthy homeowner + extra room + family man that needs a little space of his own = Man Cave. Tim Hild’s place on Galena is perhaps the best known. A free-standing structure decorated by neon “lounge” signs, it is known all over town as “The Lounge.” It features a full wraparound bar, nightclub-quality sound system and stunning views of the San Juans.

By Rob Story

As my good friend, Mr. Wikipedia, puts it, “A Man Cave (also sometimes mantuary) is a male sanctuary, such as a specially equipped garage, spare bedroom, media room, den, or basement.” But that definition is vague. I would add: “A dedicated area of a house, such as a basement, workshop or garage, where a man can be alone or socialize with his friends.” A Man Cave doesn’t necessarily need a keggerator, but it doesn’t hurt. It’s hard to say when Man Caves became a cultural phenomenon. It may have been early in George W. Bush’s first term, when it was revealed he’d nearly choked to death on a pretzel while watching TV by himself. Laura and the twins were nowhere near. Neither were the demands of the Oval Office, nor a public reading of My Pet Goat. Bush was eating a salty snack and watching football in a womanless, offspring-less sanctuary—and that thought comforted men, no matter their political stripe or whether they wished the pretzel had finished the job. Some psychologists claim that a Man Cave can provide refuge from stressful surroundings and be beneficial to marriage. According to Steve


The best indication that Koelliker’s basement redoubt is a genuine Man Cave comes when you open its refrigerator. One recent Friday, the contents included: a bottle of Patron Silver tequila, assorted beers, a jar of Reddi Whip and a package of bacon...

Brody, a clinical psychologist from Cambria, California, who specializes in marriage counseling, “Separate time is important. A good relationship has both intimacy and independence. Man Caves may just be the 21st-century wrinkle to it.” While men have always retreated to garages for independence, they eventually began insisting on an interior room of their own. This century, coincidentally, also saw poker begin its rise. Men are spending increasing amounts of time inside rooms with zero feminine touches. Now, a few years after Bush’s pretzel, there are websites dedicated to selling the trappings of Man Caves: keggerators, pub chairs, poker tables, air hockey games and more. Nutrition isn’t important in a Man Cave, which explains why the Klondike ice cream bar company has erected an unbelievably intricate Man Cave scenario on its website. Not only does mancave/ portray a nice Man Cave (complete with aquarium, mounted moose head and old-school joystick arcade game), but visitors can also play a game in which a heckled husband escapes screaming kids and retreats to a virtual Man Cave to “slip into a sports channel coma” and “relive the six-string glory days of his New Wave tribute band (until his wife pulls the plug).” How this sells ice cream, I’m not quite sure...probably through male empathy. In nicely appointed Telluride homes, Man Caves are the rooms with ragged futons and posters that could hang in college dorm rooms—and probably did years ago. Candles and sterling picture frames do not belong. These rooms are not meant to impress mothers-in-law or the girls from Book Club, after all. Accessorizing a Man Cave means drink coasters and poker chips. In Paul Koelliker’s Columbia Avenue Man Cave, a pool table dominates the long, skinny, subterranean room. “It was here when we moved in,” Koelliker says, “and it’s not going anywhere.” This past January, when 20 or so guys crowded in to watch the NCAA National Championship game, the pool table had its cover on and served as a buffet table—if you count cold cuts and potato chips as buffet fare. (Football-watching men do.) “This is a nice place to have guys over to drink beer and not mess up the house,” Koelliker says. When guys shoot pool at Koelliker’s, they’re smiled on by a Jerry Garcia (of the Grateful Dead) poster. Actually, it’s more than a poster— it’s a numbered lithograph created by Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick. Koelliker’s Grateful Dead infatuation is also evidenced by the framed poster (signed by the artist) of the Dead’s legendary concert in Telluride in 1987. The 50-inch TV, Koelliker says, is “mostly tuned into sporting events, football usually.” People watch it from velveteen couches that recline like super-wide La-Z-Boys. Left of the TV is the colorful husk of a 135-pound striped marlin (caught near Cabo by Koelliker’s wife). Other decorations include several paintings of ducks, in homage to the preppy hunter side of manly men such as LL Bean and Eddie Bauer. The best indication that Koelliker’s basement redoubt is a genuine Man Cave comes when you open its refrigerator. One recent Friday, the contents included: a bottle of Patron Silver tequila, assorted beers, a jar of Reddi Whip and a package of bacon—which, yes, lots of us call “man-fruit.”


According to Man Cave Law—or at least the rules on—only men have decorating authority in a Man Cave. This was seen in dramatic fashion in Ben Jackson’s old house on Pacific Street. The whole house was built with Ben’s Man Cave dreams in place. On the third, uppermost floor, Ben built a lair reachable only by a pneumatic elevator. Visitors were whooshed upward in the same vacuum-tube apparatus used in drive-thru banks. When the elevator doors opened, they revealed...a boat room. Seriously, a boat room: Ben had the room lined with nautical-grade teak. The seats were galley benches. The windows were portholes. It had a “wet” bathroom with shower, in which no shower curtains or towels lived: the whole thing was meant for getting sprayed and then draining. Aye-aye, Matey... . Brian O’Neill took a different tack when it came to imagineering his sunnyside Man Cave. He made it all about the home theater. “Nine people can sit there comfortably,” he says. It’s a two-tiered design. A sprawling, L-shaped, microfiber sofa occupies the top tier. Below is a Ralph Lauren sofa and chair. All seats angle to view the biggest damn television you’ll ever see: a 103-inch screen illuminated in crystal-clear precision by a high-definition projection system. It was all custom built. O’Neill is from Boston originally, and several Telluride guys and I gathered to watch his monstrous screen when the Celtics vied for the NBA championship in 2008. Watching that TV, we felt every drop of sweat fall from Celtics leader Kevin Garnett’s brow. When the Celts won, we exulted like we were on the court. Afterward, we cued up a decidedly non-hi-def video O’Neill has owned for years, Larry Bird: A Basketball Legend. It was strange to watch grainy, 1980s videotape on such a huge screen, but we did, falling in love anew with the exploits of the pale, somewhat doughy, badhaired Bird. It’s just that kind of man crush, sports-hero worship, for which Man Caves are the perfect haven. A Man Cave is about “bromances”: non-sexual, homosocial male bonding. It’s not about women at all. In mantuary settings—where guys congregate, lie back on couches and drink beer—we’re usually just spouting trivia and scouting athletes on our favorite sports teams. Women sometimes think guys watch porn in Man Caves, but, really, that’s why we’ve got g the Internet. summer/fall 2010


Sheriff Lawrence “Guy” Warrick Law and Order in Telluride during the 1930s-1950s By Rudy Davison It was well past midnight and the birthday party at the hotel had broken up more than an hour before. Some of the guests had retired to their rooms long since. Others, after a final toast poured by their host, the hotel owner, trudged off through the early spring thaw to their homes in the little Rocky Mountain village of Telluride, Colorado. In one of the rooms in the hotel he owned, Fred Casagrande was dead, sitting on his bed, having been dealt a deadly and treacherous blow. —from Colorado’s Riddle of the Hotel Horror, by Hal White This riveting local tale about Casagrande’s murder appeared liams for thievery, he approached the man alone and without a in a national detective magazine in the 1940s. The murder was gun. When Williams arrived in Dolores with a herd of horses just one of the notorious cases solved by Sheriff Lawrence he was taking to New Mexico and learned that the unarmed “Guy” Warrick, who served in San Miguel County for 16 years, sheriff from Telluride was waiting for him, he unbuckled his the second longest term of any San Miguel County sheriff. gun belt and gave himself up peacefully. Telluride was still a rough place in 1911 when Warrick, 19 It was this sort of discretion that became a hallmark of years old, arrived from Lawrence, VirSheriff Warrick during his tenure in ginia, looking for adventure in this rugSan Miguel County. Another Warged mountain setting. He was destined rick trait was his ability to cooperate to do just that as he upheld the law in with other law enforcement agencies. what was still the Wild West. Guy fell In 1935, he led a posse on a manhunt in love and married Viola Narron and for Herbert and Otis McDaniels, two had two daughters and two sons. In Cortez area brothers who were on the 1933, when Guy was 35 years old, he run for killing a 70-year-old sheepman ran for the office of sheriff. Although named James Westfall and Montezuma he was a Republican candidate in a County Sheriff W.W. Dunlap. The first heavily Democratic county, Guy won murder was malicious: The brothers the election. It was the beginning of an robbed Westfall for $20, his revolver illustrious career. and his rifle, then left him to starve to Sheriff Warrick started by streamdeath inside his cabin after gagging and lining his department: He dismissed tying him to a chair. the lone deputy and ran the office Vigilante groups from six adjacent single-handedly for a number of years, towns threatened to lynch the brothsaving taxpayers thousands of dollars. ers for this cruel act, so after they were Viola and Guy Warrick Guy was not just economical, he was caught, the McDaniels were taken to a also diplomatic, a quality that was tested in the county’s notosecure jail in Glenwood Springs. Once the situation quieted rious West End. Cattle and sheep ranchers worked this harsh, down, Sheriff Dunlap and a deputy were bringing the brothers wide-open canyon country, an area where the horse was more back to Cortez for trial when they spotted a car overturned in important than the automobile and carrying a pistol or rifle a ditch. Sheriff Dunlap got out to examine the accident, forgetwas de rigueur. Men there often settled disagreements by branting his revolver stashed in the side pocket of the front door. dishing weapons. One of these tough West End characters was Otis was quick to notice this mistake, and even though he was a cowboy named Ed Williams, who had been in shootouts with shackled and manacled, he grabbed the gun and ordered the posses trying to arrest him for cattle rustling. Williams knew deputy out of the car. As the deputy ran for cover, the two how to use a gun and could outdraw an overzealous law offibrothers got out and confronted Sheriff Dunlap as he tried to cer. He warned Guy when they first became acquainted, “You’ll convince Otis to put the gun down and give up. This was anget me a damn sight quicker without a gun than you will with other fatal mistake: Otis shot the sheriff with his own gun, and one.” So, when newly elected Sheriff Warrick had to arrest Wilthe brothers escaped.


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sy of Mike Warric k All images courte



Sheriff Warrick’s investigations made headlines in national newspapers and kitschy detective magazines from (top to bottom): highgrading at the Smuggler-Union Mine, a faked robbery by the county treasurer and the murder of Sheriff Dunlap by the McDaniels brothers.

Sheriff Warrick was the first lawman alerted. He organized a posse and threw up a dragnet that extended from Ridgway to the Utah border. Bloodhounds from the Colorado State Penitentiary in Cañon City and biplanes from the Colorado National Guard were called in to join the search. For 22 days, Herbert and Otis eluded capture. They covered more than 300 miles before ending up at Rowe Ranch near Cañon City, finding work as ranch hands. However, a cowboy recognized the two fugitives, and this time, they were captured for good. Herbert received two life sentences and Otis was sentenced to die in the gas chamber. Two years later, Warrick dealt with another murder in the West End, the outcome of a long feud between postal carrier James Mooney and rancher Huston Goforth. The disagreement began when Mooney insisted that Goforth mount his mailbox on a post rather than let it sit on the ground. When the rancher refused, the two men argued so bitterly that a showdown of some sort was expected—especially after a postmistress told Mooney that Goforth and his friend Melvin Brewer had threatened to “get him.” Fate took its course after Mooney finished delivering Goforth’s mail and was driving back to his house with two female friends. Goforth and Brewer intercepted the postal carrier’s car and approached his vehicle. Mooney warned them off, but when they kept coming, the postal carrier took out a .22 caliber target revolver and shot at both of them. Brewer took a bullet in his neck and Goforth was also wounded. The shooting stopped until Goforth reached inside his leather coat. Mooney, figuring he was going for a gun, exchanged the pistol for a shotgun and finished off Goforth, then drove away. Later, he turned himself in to Sheriff Warrick. Brewer was brought to the hospital, where his life was saved, and Mooney was taken to the Telluride jail. Sadly, an investigation revealed that the two ranchers had been unarmed. In 1939, Warrick uncovered another type of crime—a “high-grading” scheme in which gold ore was pilfered from local mines. The story begins with a love triangle: Ex-con Everett Shearin’s pal from prison, Jimmy Hutchins, fell in love with Shearin’s wife. The situation escalated until both men were armed and threatening to kill each other. Sheriff Warrick intervened and jailed the men for their own safety. When Shearin was questioned about a check he had that was signed by a local mine owner, he casually told Sheriff Warrick that it was payment for high-grade ore. An investigation revealed that about 80 miners working at the Smuggler, Tomboy and Liberty Bell Mines had smuggled gold ore out in their lunch buckets or clothing and sold it to fences. The fences took the ore to a secret mill located in the cellar under the Roma Bar in Telluride, or to another mill located in the basement of a house in Silverton. The processed bullion was sold to the U.S. Mint in Denver or other buyers.


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With an estimated $50,000 to $100,000 worth of gold ore shell casing that he knew belonged stolen, 12 men were arrested and charged, including seven to a particular type of British firefrom Telluride. Three of those seven were Nellie Mine owner arm. Just a week earlier, Wolfe had Paul Nardin (a 40-year resident that used his mine as a false bragged to the sheriff that he owned source for gold sales) and Roma Bar operators Carlos Giardi “the only British 303 gun in this part and his stepson, Charles Fassen. These two men bought the of the country.” high-grade ore, processed it in the mill below the bar and sold Warrick found the meat in Wolfe’s the gold. All three were prominent citizens in the Telluride min- kitchen refrigerator. Wolfe confessed to the ing community, and there were mixed feelings about whether crime, but at his trial, he told the judge that he needed the Sheriff Warrick should have interfered meat to feed his wife and their three in the “code of the gold young daughters. His wife added that camp,” where men the family was solely dependent on her who dug the ore were husband’s income and didn’t know how entitled to remove high they’d survive if he went to prison. Ungrade. But the sheriff, fortunately, the evidence was irrefutwho was running for able, and Wolfe was sentenced. reelection, reminded Sheriff Warrick’s job may have folks that cleaning up tested his conscience sometimes, but this illegal conspiracy solving the infamous Casagrande could save legitimate murder was probably his most gratimining operations from fying achievement. Telluride hotel having to close down. He owner Fred Casagrande was found was elected once again. bludgeoned to death on his birthday, Just a few months afshortly before midnight. Earlier in ter the high-graders were the evening, he had celebrated the sentenced, Warrick inoccasion with friends, drinking wine vestigated five-term San in the hotel kitchen, and the party was still Miguel County Treasurer Charles L. going on when Casagrande’s two daughters, Spillman, who had embezzled $2,897. a friend and the friend’s mother returned Spillman was found locked inside the from seeing a movie at the Nugget Theater. It courthouse records vault, tied to a chair was late, and the daughters and their guests with wire. He told the sheriff that he went to their rooms to prepare for bed. was in his office counting receipts when It was routine, however, for the youngan armed robber took a few thousand est Casagrande daughter to get a nightdollars in cash, tied him up and locked time hug from her father, and she was still him in the safe. Robbery sounded plauawake around midnight, waiting for him. sible, but it occurred to Warrick that She climbed the stairs to his bedroom and Spillman was discovered the morning saw light filtering under his door. The little Top: Carlos Giardi shows after a crew of workmen arrived in the girl opened the door and saw her father lyinvestigator Jack Gilmore his area; they would certainly have heard ing fully clothed on his bed. Although he secret gold processing mill the treasurer kicking the vault door or was slumped to one side, she thought he was underneath the Roma Bar. Bottom: Everett Shearin (left) making noise. The sheriff also found a asleep and tried to wake him. Casagrande’s unwittingly tipped off Sheriff screwdriver inside the vault that Spilllimp body rolled over to expose the stillWarrick (right) about the man could have used to cinch the wire bleeding gash at the back of his head. Horhigh-grading scheme. himself. His suspicions were confirmed rified, she screamed for help. when the treasurer, aware that an auA hotel guest called Telluride’s doctor/ ditor and a special agent were examining county records for coroner, J.J. Parker, who in turn summoned Sheriff Warrick. suspected irregularities, confessed to Sheriff Warrick that the The two men started forming theories about the murder, and robbery was a hoax and that he had been stealing small sums their first hunch was that a stranger drugged and murdered of county money for four years. Spillman was sentenced to five Casagrande. But after lab reports showed that no drug was into eight years of hard labor in the state penitentiary. volved, their second guess was that the hotel owner let someAs law abiding as Sheriff Warrick was, he must have had one he knew come into his bedroom, unaware of the danger. mixed feelings about his role in convicting a poacher named Then the murder weapon was discovered: a homemade tire Irvin Wolfe. Anna Flora, a rancher, reported to Warrick that iron. Sheriff Warrick thought someone in Telluride would one of her veal calves had been stolen and slaughtered. While surely identify the owner of this unique tool, but no one did, so investigating the crime scene, Sheriff Warrick found a 303 it seemed unlikely that the murderer was a local. ▶▶

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As he questioned hotel guests, partygoers and others, Warrick learned Casagrande had persuaded two acquaintances from Aspen to stay over and celebrate. One of these two was short on funds, so the hotel owner went upstairs to his bedroom to get five dollars to loan his friend. Apparently Joe Holman, another friend that had been invited to the birthday party, watched him go upstairs for the money. Holman, however, had had an early glass of wine with Casagrande and left before the party. When Warrick interviewed Casagrande’s daughters, they showed him where their father kept his cash, a trunk where he always hid at least $50 in a tin box. The box had been broken into and the money was gone, and Casagrande’s empty wallet was found stuffed inside a book. It became clear that robbery was the motive. Warrick questioned the daughter’s friend. She told the sheriff that after the noise from the party died down, she remembered leaving something in the washroom and went to retrieve it. Before she got to the washroom, she saw a man coming out of Casagrande’s bedroom and she hid in the darkness. He didn’t see her, but she saw him carrying something that looked like the barrel of a shotgun as he crept downstairs and exited the hotel. Warrick became convinced that the killer was someone Casagrande knew well enough to invite to his room for a birthday nightcap. A married couple that owned a store in Telluride told Warrick they had been at the hotel when Holman was present. They didn’t know him very well and were surprised when he showed up at their store the day after the murder, asking them to make change for two $20 bills and keep it in their safe for him. They obliged but became suspicious after they learned Casagrande had been robbed. Holman became the chief suspect. He alone had not been questioned or had his fingerprints checked. Fortunately, Sheriff Warrick had sequestered all the wine glasses from that evening for fingerprinting and sent Holman’s glass to the crime lab. The results came back, showing that Holman was one of several aliases for a man named P.L. Hansen, who had served time for a variety of crimes ranging from petty theft to robbery. Sheriff Warrick immediately put out a warrant for Holman’s arrest. It was Dr. Parker that apprehended Holman after he found him sitting alone inside a cafe in Telluride. Holman put up no fight and within 15 minutes was taken into custody. He made a full confession and, at his trial, was convicted of seconddegree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Sheriff Warrick’s job also had a lighter side. In 1941, a couple from Ohio lost their one-year-old fox terrier, Spot, when they stopped in Telluride to service their car and had to return home without him. They were distraught and wrote a letter to the sheriff, asking for help. The couple was fortunate to contact Warrick, a dog lover whose faithful bulldog, Jiggs, accompanied him everywhere, at the office and at home, for many years. It was a joyous reunion when, 80 days after Spot was lost, a crate arrived at the couple’s house with a very thin but very much alive Spot inside. A bag of dog food and a note


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were attached to the crate. The note read, “I was lost in Telluride, Colo., while on vacation. Sheriff Warrick is sending me home. All I ask is kindness. Reach in—I won’t bite.”



Murder suspects Otis and Herbert McDaniels (kneeling) eluded the law for 22 days, inspiring a story in Startling Detective.

Perhaps the greatest professional praise Sheriff Warrick ever received came in a personal letter of commendation from FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover, shortly after the sheriff helped the FBI apprehend a criminal named Glenn Don Scott in Sawpit. Hoover wrote that the sheriff ’s unselfish contribution of time and effort provided “outstanding assistance” and was a “good example” of the results that could be achieved when law enforcement agencies cooperate. These qualities had long been recognized by fellow lawmen in Southwest Colorado and by the San Miguel County citizens that elected Warrick for nine terms, spanning the years 1933 to 1946 and 1955 to 1958. His outstanding service and dedication made him an icon of local law enforcement. At age 66, Guy Warrick retired from public service. Seven years later, he died peacefully in Telluride and was laid to rest in the g Lone Tree Cemetery on the east side of Telluride.

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telluride historical museum


the Senate By Paul O’Rourke with George Greenbank The first call came in around 3:30 a.m., informing the telephone operator that a residence down on East Colorado Avenue was on fire. The town’s lone fire truck was dispatched, absent two latearriving firemen who, while chasing after their comrades, noticed plumes of smoke pouring from another building on South Spruce Street. Upon investigation, they found the rear of the Senate Soft Drink Parlor, a 1½-story building, totally engulfed in flames. The two men rushed to the Silver Bell, one door to the south, and called in this second fire, aware that the truck, water and other firemen were headed off in another direction. The Daily Journal reported the next day, on July 3, 1923, that the entire quarter-block on the west side of South Spruce between the alley and Pacific Avenue—which included the Senate, the Silver Bell building and the McPherson boardinghouse—had been destroyed by fire. The residence on Colorado Avenue was also a total loss. Suspicions ran deep that arson was to blame for both fires, the first set to guarantee the absence of firefighters at the second. Suspects, who remained unnamed in the Journal, were brought into custody and interrogated, but they were eventually released. The fire smoldered for days and even reignited a few times; all that survived were three first-floor brick walls of the former two-story McPherson House.


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Decades before the fire, a sign on the McPherson House declared, “Spruce Street is now open.” Room and board ran $7 per week and meals went for 25 cents. By January of the following year, the name of the establishment run by Jonas and Della McPherson was modified from Spruce Street to the more familiar McPherson House and offered, according to the Journal, the luxury of both “hot and cold water.” That’s not all: In 1901, the boardinghouse, where troupes of traveling entertainers found temporary accommodations in Telluride, was also equipped with a “private lighting plant.” The power source, called an “electric dynamo,” was installed in the basement and supplied some 80 incandescent lights for the rooming house, as well as for adjoining neighbors. The McPhersons were not, according to the Telluride press, a happy couple. On January 21, 1903, Jonas was arrested on a warrant sworn out by Della, charging him with assault. He pled guilty; his 30-day jail sentence was suspended pending good behavior. His abusiveness aside, Jonas was also so poorly schooled in the art of fiscal management that it drove his wife to place an announcement in the Journal on November 29, 1906, warning the public that “she [would] not be responsible for debts contracted by her husband.” It seems the McPhersons (both Della and Jonas were mentioned in the court documents) had recently defaulted on interest payments to one F.E. Adams for a loan secured by the boardinghouse, and they had also failed to keep the premises adequately insured against loss by fire, as was required by the deed of trust. On December 15, 1906, enough of the couple’s property sold at a public auction on the courthouse steps to satisfy the debt. Della was granted a divorce in June of the following year. She retained her married name and ownership of the boardinghouse after Jonas left town and continued to run the business until 1923, when the fire wiped her out. She never did purchase any fire insurance, but the owners of the Senate (Barney Gabardi and August Ress) had; they were reimbursed for their loss. Nine days after the big fire, Gabardi and Ress purchased the boardinghouse property from Della with plans, according to the Daily Journal, for a “modern and up-to-date business house.” What business was conducted at the new Senate, beyond the advertised cigar store, billiard hall, restaurant and “soft drink” parlor, wasn’t publicized, but it was probably illegal and patronized mostly by men. You might say that what happened at the Senate, stayed at the Senate. Big Billy was Telluride’s most notorious— and perhaps most beloved—of the town’s many madams. She had a brief layover at the Senate during the late 1930s, in between gigs at the Silver Bell and the Smuggler Inn. But as mining went idle and the town’s population

relieved of his duties shortly thereafter. In April 1974 Joe Zoline, the original owner of the ski resort, made a legendary exit of his own. Catsman refused to seat the absentee owner, who did not have a reservation, ahead of other waiting patrons. Zoline cussed at Catsman, ripped one of the saloon doors off its hinges and threw it in the street. An editor for Ski magazine, who happened to be at the bar that night, immortalized the incident in print. Today’s Senate building has evolved again. Sensitive rehabilitation work in recent years has created attractive living and commercial space while preserving a meaningful percentage of the structure’s history and architecture. And even though the old bar is gone and the roulette wheel and poker table are absent, a bullet hole in the quarter-sawn pine floor—a remnant from a long-ago gunfight—serves as a reminder: You can take a building out of the past, but you can’t take the g past out of the building. telluride historical museum

dwindled during the 1940s and 1950s, the Senate, like the rest of Telluride, went a little quiet. Not until 1965, when William “Poppy” and Peggy Hamner purchased the building as a home improvement project, art studio and gallery, did the Senate come back to life. This purchase was coincident with a faint but growing glimmer of interest in the town and a resurgent mining industry. George Greenbank, living in one of the cribs on Pacific Avenue, recalls peeking into the Senate’s back door one morning in the early 1970s. “It still had the bar and roulette table and round poker tables and looped-back chairs. The shed in the back [restored during the 1990s as an apartment by the Wick family] was full of dusty Telluride history.” That history, along with many pieces of Hamner’s art, was purchased by Steve and Terry Catsman, and they, together with Terry’s sister, Monika, opened the Senate Bar and Restaurant in June, 1973. Telluride was on the cusp of notoriety as an up-and-coming ski resort, and the Senate, which was known for its authentic and sophisticated cuisine, received rave reviews in several international publications, including the Zagat guide and Vogue. The bar became a

favorite meeting place for miners, cowboys, hippies and skiers and was tended at various intervals by the likes of Catsman, ski patrolman Jim Guest and raconteur-turned-wrangler Roudy Roudebush. The Senate was more than just the town’s hotspot—it was also the site of a few infamous showdowns. In April of 1974 the town marshal, the inimical Everett Morrow, made his last stand. The notoriously heavy-handed officer stormed into the Passover Seder celebration at the Senate, brandishing his six-shooters and busting up the ceremony because he believed its wine-pouring was in violation of the liquor law. Morrow was

[ get more ] learn more about Telluride’s history at the museum on north Gregory Avenue

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Mary Duffy


Sky’s the Limit for Local Art By Elizabeth Guest East of main street is a painting without a frame: The road recedes into a rocky maze contrasted by the delicate plume of a peaceful-looking waterfall. The horizon is marked by the triangular tip of Ajax among a lofty neighborhood of A-framed peaks, all pointing toward that aerial ocean above. This, however, isn’t the only artistic scene set in Telluride. Surprisingly, in this remote mountain town the arts are flourishing, so much so that Telluride won the Governor’s Arts Award in 2010 for its commitment to the arts. Among the area’s residents, nature is just the opener for a greater appreciation for the aesthetic, and here, art is accessible to everyone because local organizations maintain a vital connection between community and artists. The way that the various nonprofit art groups work together to create such a vibrant scene is inspiring. It also helps that there are passionate people such as Sasha Cucciniello, manager of Stronghouse Studios, events coordinator for Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities (TCAH), an active thespian and founder of SquidShow Theatre. “There’s definitely an underground art scene, which is not typical for such an outdoorsy place, but there’s an audience here that is open and appreciative,” says Cucciniello. “Telluride is an artsy town, and a lot of people are drawn to its artistic flair. We want to let the world know that the arts are thriving in Telluride.” The Ah Haa School for the Arts is one of the local hubs for creativity. For two decades, the school that was started by bookbinder Daniel Tucker has offered a smorgasbord of classes, catering to the specific demands of the community. In 2007, the school moved to the historic train depot building on South Townsend, where an increasing number of art enthusiasts are accommodated, a service that Executive Director Rachel Loomis-Lee is determined to maintain. “My goal has always been to offer something for everyone, from the very beginner to the seasoned artist,” she says. “We would also like to see Ah Haa become a destination art school.”


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A few blocks from the tidy, chocolatetrimmed depot is the more rustic, bohemian building that houses Stronghouse Studios, a cooperative that promotes aspiring artists. The brainchild of TCAH, Stronghouse started nearly five years ago in this funky, historic stone warehouse building on South Fir Street. The cooperative provides affordable studio space with 24-hour access for artists. Stronghouse may be relatively new on the scene, but TCAH is Telluride’s oldest institution for the arts. Created in 1971, TCAH gives out grants regularly for artists and projects, hosts free artist seminars and a holds a popular Art Walk on the first Thursday of each month to showcase local galleries and work. Fashion and custom designer Sue Hobby is especially thankful for TCAH. “I’m less of a starving artist than I would be anywhere else,” she says. “I’ve also had opportunities here that I wouldn’t have had elsewhere.” One such opportunity was the TCAH grant that sent Hobby and Amy Jean Boebel, a local sculptor who runs Sapsucker Studios, to the 2009 World of Wearable Art competition in New Zealand. The event is the Oscars of the clothing design industry, and Hobby and Boebel took home two awards for their three-piece series, “Screen Play.” Back in her studio, Hobby slips into a wedding gown and wanders outside to lay down and roll on some burning cigarettes. Just your typical day in the office, right? Seriously—in her mini-thrift shop studio space, Hobby is making a costume for one of Cucciniello’s upcoming plays: a singed bridal dress.

The Ah Haa School is equally abuzz with artistic activity. Upstairs, five full-time staff workers fuel the school from their offices, organizing upcoming events such as the art auction, which is an annual summertime fundraiser and a local favorite. Next to the offices, a pack of playful toddlers trounce around the upstairs classroom, singing and clapping to Kindermusik. At the other end of the long building, a hanging goes up in

Mary Duffy

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from her elephant series, each featuring fluid brushstrokes and vibrant colors expressing the emotions of both pachyderm and artist. Relatively new to painting, Crilly has rented a space at Stronghouse for almost two years. Like a lot of local artists, Crilly’s passion for art stemmed from an Ah Haa class; she took “Painting from Within” with Robert Weatherford, and her interest blossomed. The story of Elaine Fischer is another example of the symbiotic relationship between local art agencies. Five years ago, Fischer (whose day job is in politics as commissioner for San Miguel County) picked up more than a paintbrush during her class experience at Ah Haa; she fell into a new avocation. She soon staked out studio space at Stronghouse and was showing a collection of abstract paintings the following fall, which is now an annual undertaking. Her last show consisted entirely of selfportraits, even though dabbling in realism was unfamiliar territory for the abstract painter. Although she never imagined pursuing such a controlled style of painting, becoming an artist has opened her to the unpredictable pathways of creativity. There are no boundaries in art, and the finished product is perhaps the only parameter that separates an actual artist from an ideological dreamer. Just ask Hobby: “What makes an artist is producing something that is an expression of yourself,” she says. “You can sit around and plan and talk about art, but the bottom line is you have to produce, whether you know what you’re going to make or not.”

365 days of

The creative process always involves some surprise, hence Ah Haa’s name. Unexpected things happen, such as Crilly’s transformation from graphic designer to a traveling elephant salesperson, having sold several of her pieces at craft fairs. Her latest idea is to write a children’s book called Elephants Have Feelings, Too. Crilly might be onto something, considering the increasing number of kids in town. Ah Haa is all about youth art classes. Just look at the course listings—Kindermusik for preschoolers, Batik Prayer Flags for elementary ages and Teen Project Runway. In 2009, the school offered 85 children-specific classes out of 239 total. That same year, LoomisLee estimates that more than 2,000 locals and visitors—children and adults alike—participated in Ah Haa’s classes, workshops and events. “We provide an amazing array of creative opportunities for young people—non-athletic, after-school and summer alternatives for children and teens,” says Loomis-Lee. And Ah Haa continues to be creative with its curriculum. “Our course offerings are always evolving. This fall, the school is coorganizing the first Telluride Photography Festival, which will bring together at least 500 professional and amateur adventure, action sports, and nature photographers from all over the world.”


the school’s spacious gallery. In the basement, wheels and kilns quietly await an afternoon ceramics class. Stronghouse has similar creative zones. There are several studio spaces, TCAH offices, a dark basement suited for photography and a small gallery, which is open on Thursdays from 12 to 6 p.m. This past winter, Ally Crilly displayed several paintings

The Ah Haa School for the Arts is a community center for arts and culture in Telluride. The School’s overall goal is to nurture the creative spirit. At the Ah Haa School, we believe every person harbors an artistic ability, and that everyone – including the community at large – benefits from exploring and developing that ability. The School is home to the prestigious American Academy of Bookbinding, whose programing runs throughout the Spring & Fall.

visiting artist series The Photography Festival is slated for September, around the same time as Fischer’s fall show. On a sunny morning at the southern end of the Stronghouse building, she is back to painting the abstract and finishing up her latest piece: A wide spectrum of colors fan out like a peacock’s tail, overlaid by dynamic scribbling lines. It’s tighter than her previous abstractions, the result of the increased control demanded during her selfportrait stint in realism. Like the burgeoning arts community here in Telluride, she is on a creative journey. “It’s making me dizzy, but I kind of like it,” she says, stepping back from the canvas. “We’ll see where it goes.” g

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summer/fall 2010



twenty five

Telluride Gallery of Fine Art Turns

By Susan Viebrock


wenty-five years ago, here in Telluride, development was just hitting its stride, sounding the death knell for the tie-dyed era of hippies and miners from the 1970s. Funk was fast approaching fashion in 1985, when Will and Hilary Thompson opened the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art on main street, 130 East Colorado Avenue. The Thompsons, longtime business partners, were living in Denver at the time. “We kept hearing about Telluride, so in the winter of 1985, we visited the town to check out the skiing,” explained Thompson. “You know how it goes: The very next day, we bought our gallery space.” Thompson declared his mission right out of the gate: “We are in business to showcase the best art out there.” No qualifiers, and not just the best art for a small town, but the best art, period. At times, that has come down to showing art for art’s sake—for fun, not for profit—and it has also meant teaming up with Telluride Mountainfilm. The first Mountainfilm Gallery exhibition featured Heinrich Harrer’s photographic record of seven years in Tibet, 1944 to 1951. The show premiered at the American Museum of Natural History and was shipped to town straight from the Newark Museum. “None of the work was for sale,” Thompson said, “but it was beautiful and deserved to be seen locally.” Renowned glass artist William Morris also debuted during the festival in Telluride at the Gallery. The breathtaking $950,000 installation was an insurance nightmare: kids and backpacks. There was some major nailbiting going on. Mountainfilm exhibitors Christo and Jeanne-Claude are world famous for their large-scale public art, where they wrapped material around places such as the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris and decorated Central Park in New York City with 7,503 gates draped in saffron fabric. Thompson forged such a strong bond with the art celebrities that he was invited to attend Jeanne52

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Claude’s memorial service at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art last April. He developed a relationship with the pair in the same way he has managed his ongoing success: He simply never gives up. Over the course of 12 years, he repeatedly asked the artists to exhibit in his gallery. Despite Jeanne-Claude’s constant rejections, Thompson finally sealed the deal for a show by pointing out that he and Jeanne-Claude were playing the same game, guided by vision and tenacity. With a wink, he asked: “Why do you two keep banging on town hall doors all over the world until someone finally gives in and says ‘yes’ to your monumental projects?” Mountainfilm 2010 was yet another coup: the Gallery featured works by celebrated architect/installation artist and part-time Ridgway local Maya Lin. Over 25 years, Thompson has built a blue-ribbon stable of painters, photographers and sculptors, as well as fine art jewelers, which are his bread and butter. The list includes iconic photographer Ruth Bernhard, photographer Jerry Uelsmann, photographer/installation artist Sandy Skoglund, illustrator/painter Bernie Fuchs, and painter/sculptor Francisco Zuniga, each of whom was given a major and nationally publicized retrospective. Jesus Moroles, Thomas Ostenberg and Albert Paley are considered among the best sculptors in the country. Painter Malcolm Liepke had a show in London this spring. Award-winning jeweler Barbara Heinrich’s work has been on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thompson is around to celebrate his silver anniversary because the man has always gone for the gold, leveraging relationships with museums, major galleries and media that are beneficial for everyone involved. The Gallery has invited 25 patrons from Indianapolis’ Eiteljorg Museum to visit town this September and is affiliated with the Robert Miller, PaceWildenstein and Betty Cuningham Galleries, as well as having connections with Art in America and Southwest Art. But Telluride Gallery of Fine Art’s strongest bonds are local. In addition to Mountainfilm, the Thompsons and the Gallery’s staff have participated in programs and fundraisers for almost every major nonprofit on Telluride’s cultural calendar. This winter, the Gallery hosted the celebration when the town was awarded the Governor’s Arts Award. After 25 years, the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art is on solid ground, but it would all turn to sand, according to Thompson, were it not for his incomparable staff. “Director Bärbel Hacke, Michelle Curry Wright and Carisa Ames work so well together to put the Gallery on stage every single day. Their attention to detail and in-depth knowledge of our stable [of artists] means they are skilled educators as well as administrators.” Hacke has worked for the Thompsons for 23 years and has become the face of the Gallery, he says. “When people first arrive in town, they double-park and make our Gallery their first stop, just to touch base with Bärbel and have her show them what’s new.” Listen to live interviews with the featured artists by searching Telluride Gallery of Fine Art at g

Orange Dress, oil on canvas, 21 x 20 inches

View other works at

M alcolm Liepke celebrating our 25th year

Telluride Gallery of Fine Art

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hawkeye johnson By Martinique Davis Over the last decade, Hawkeye Johnson has hiked nearly 15,000 miles in his quest to complete the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide and Appalachian Trails two times apiece, hoping to earn the extraordinary distinction of completing long-distance hiking’s “Triple Crown” twice. What’s his motivation? Johnson responds with one word: freedom. He’s more than just a long-distance hiker; he’s also a fundraising powerhouse. On a recent mission, hiking the Continental Divide Trail in 2007, Johnson single-handedly raised more than $17,000 for Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, a local non-profit organization for which he’s been a volunteer for the last nine years. This summer, as he completes the final 950 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, he is poised to bring in even more money for the institution. His hiking exploits represent an unusual means of philanthropy and an even more uncommon way of life. But for Johnson, spending months walking across America’s most rugged and isolated terrain, while raising money for an organization that helps people with disabilities explore new physical horizons, helps him realize a more ephemeral goal: emancipation. Johnson’s inspiration for these solo, long-distance endeavors was first ignited in prison, a place that represents the antithesis of freedom. He wasn’t an inmate, but he was a corrections officer in a maximum-security jail in Connecticut for 20 years, a job that he says opened his eyes to the toll incarceration takes on a person’s spirit. “I was around a lot of young men in their late teens and early twenties who had basically squandered their freedom. I spent 20 years working with people who were trying to find some freedom. I think that’s what got me started,” he says.


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What began as a simple means of relieving some job-induced stress by walking sections of the Appalachian Trail not far from where he grew up eventually evolved into longer and more physically taxing hiking trips on trails around the country. It was his way of escaping the confines of everyday life. “I loved the freedom to move every day, on my own, doing what I wanted to do,” Johnson explains of his extended treks. “So as soon as I was able to retire, I got into it full time.” He left Connecticut, living on the road for a time before discovering his new home in Telluride in 1999. But despite skiing 100 days a year during the winter and spending his summers tackling such feats as the Colorado and Pacific Crest Trails, Johnson still felt his new life lacked something meaningful. He found what he was looking for in Telluride’s Adaptive Sports Program, an organization for which he became a devoted volunteer. As a ski guide for the blind and an instructor for the disabled, Johnson was again struck by the struggles of people searching for liberation—but this time, he was helping them in their quest to break away from the confinement of their disabilities. Johnson continued his treks, completing the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail a second time, then spending six months hiking Tasmania’s Overland and South Coast Tracks. In 2003, he made a through-hike (non-stop) attempt of the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail, ultimately completing 2,800 miles. He went back in 2004, finishing the remaining miles to achieve the Triple Crown of long-distance hiking. The next year, Johnson checked the 800-mile Arizona Trail off his list. But it wasn’t until 2007, when he started planning his return to the Continental Divide Trail, that Johnson added the fundraising aspect to his pursuits. He was inspired by a child who, in lieu of Christmas gifts, asked his family to donate money to TASP instead. He set up a website,, where his Telluride supporters and those he met on the trail could make per-mile pledges and flat donations. By the end of his 3,000-mile journey, Johnson had raised a whopping $17,000 for the homegrown

Mary Duffy

Telluride nonprofit. That money helped the organization purchase a high-definition video camera for movement analysis training and promotional purposes, as well as a flat-screen television for its new headquarters in Mountain Village’s Capella building. Last summer, Johnson embarked on his next fundraising challenge: Starting in Campo, California (on the Mexican border of the United States), he traveled the first 1,700 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail north to the California/Oregon border. And this summer, he plans to complete the remaining 950 miles from Oregon to Canada to, at last, achieve his goal of being a twotime Triple Crown hiker. Life on the trail isn’t always easy, Johnson admits, nor is being away from home for extended periods of time. It’s not the physical part that’s the most difficult, he says, although he admits that there are times when hiking day after day, in all kinds of weather, can “get to be a drag. But…at least I can experience this discomfort. There are people out there who would love to be able to feel this, and I find strength in that,” he says of the physical toll. His long-distance endeavors can be much more taxing emotionally, he describes, especially on Wednesday nights when he knows a great band is playing at the Mountain Village Sunset Concert Series or when he’s alone in his tent on the Fourth of July. And it’s not just his hometown that he’s missing: Johnson married Telluride local Debbie Madaris at Las Vegas’ Graceland Chapel last year while on his way to start his Pacific Crest Trail journey. Despite some of the hardships faced while out on America’s wildest trails during these fundraising journeys, Johnson says that the sweet satisfaction of accomplishing his personal goals while doing something good for his beloved hometown nonprofit makes the grueling days and long nights worth it. “People ask my why I do it, and for me, it’s really a question of what one person can do. It doesn’t have to be big—you can start by just doing something simple. I just try to be an example. I’m keeping myself happy, and hopefully, along the way, I g can influence some people.” summer/fall 2010


Mary Duffy

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f i l mm a k e r

suzan BERAZA By emily dresslar “I think there’s just a certain kind of person that is attracted to both the mountains and the islands,” says Telluride filmmaker and actor, Suzan Beraza. She should know: Raised on the islands of the Caribbean until her late teens, Beraza has made Telluride her mountain atoll for more than 20 years. The daughter of a Spanish businessman and an American mother, Beraza was born in Jamaica and raised in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, where she grew up speaking English at home and Spanish in the neighborhood. “Now, Telluride is home,” she says, “but going back to the Caribbean is very comforting. I was lucky to grow up where I did. To me it was normal, but it was pretty darn idyllic. When I go back, it’s all of the little things, the flora or the food—the rice and beans—or even the bugs. And the music is everywhere—salsa and merengue. I start dreaming in Spanish, and then I’m home again.” Here in Telluride, Beraza keeps a cozy home in the local enclave of Lawson Hill with her husband, Ashley Boling. Beraza and Boling are both mainstays in the Telluride theater and arts scene; they also share a quick wit, a talent for the stage and an energetic, tow-headed 7-year-old, Lochlan Beraza Boling. Instead of days at the beach, family time in the Rockies means river rafting and riding mountain bikes.


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Beraza didn’t officially move to the United States until she attended Berry College, a small liberal arts school in Georgia where she studied theater. As an actress, she also studied people, and one of the first cultural differences she noticed was that, in this country, people require more personal space. “When I first moved to the States, I would notice people backing away from me,” she laughs. “That’s just how the Latin culture is—very gregarious, very open, very inyour-face.” After graduating from college, Beraza joined a theater company in North Carolina, but the winter production schedule was slow. A season in a snowy ski town seemed like a novel idea. “The first winter was hard on me—long and cold. And then my first summer in Telluride, I was hooked.” That long and cold winter was in 1987, and just a few years later, Beraza and a few friends founded the Telluride Repertory Theatre Company. Over the next 15 years, she acted in, directed and produced dozens of regional plays. “One great thing about doing local theater is that it really taught me how to get a lot of product without a lot of money,” she says. It was a lesson that served her well when she turned her focus to documentary filmmaking a decade ago. She set up shop in her Telluride home and founded a new artistic endeavor, Reel Thing Productions. For her initial foray into film, however, Beraza focused the lens on her homeland in the Caribbean. In 2000, she directed her first memorable short film, Sister & Brother, set in the Dominican Republic, where her brother still lives. The short, which screened locally at Mountainfilm in Telluride, is a wordless and touching commentary on cultures colliding. It was a brilliant first effort. “I remember [local film producer] Barb Hunt and I were on the plane reading the camera manual as we went down there,” she says. Returning to edit the footage, Beraza taught herself the ropes of post-production, and her new career was born. “I was one of the few people in Telluride to learn non-linear film editing, or editing on a computer. It became my profession, and I started to make my bread and butter as a film editor.”

Mary Duffy

Beraza began working as a freelance editor and collaborated on, among other projects, local filmmakers George and Beth Gage’s award-winning documentary, Our Land, Our Life. Her work was taking a decidedly environmental and cultural turn: Beraza’s Reel Thing Productions was delivering sharp social commentary and important ecological messages. Reel Thing’s Life’s A Beach, selected to screen in Cannes and other international film festivals, offered a colorful critique of our country’s obsessive consumption. Beraza also edited important films about the lack of safe drinking water around the world and the environmental impacts of dams, winning Telly Awards and honors from various film festivals. This year, Reel Thing Productions completed its first feature-length documentary, Bag It, Beraza’s directorial debut on a fulllength film starring local actor Jeb Berrier and featuring the writing of local author Michelle Curry Wright. Bag It, a movie with a message that’s also fun to watch, begins in Telluride with a single container of peach yogurt sheathed in a plastic bag. It takes its audience on a trip around the world to find

out what happens to the bag and other plastic disposable goods such as coffee cups and water bottles. “A lot of the ideas in the film may seem obvious, but sometimes we’re just not paying attention,” says Beraza. “We want this film to be really accessible and offer some easy ideas for people.” Making the film meant crossing the United States and Europe and traveling to Hawaii, the Bahamas and the Midway Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Beraza and her crew also set out on another kind of expedition: to learn about the real effects of the plastic industry on our world. When Berrier and his girlfriend, Anne Reeser, discovered that they were expecting a baby during filming, the documentary expanded to include the impacts of plastic on humans. “Jeb takes the journey for all of us,” Beraza explains. “The original idea came about with the Aspen versus Telluride plastic bag challenge. I had already made my own resolution to bring reusable bags to the grocery. And then we started talking to experts and finding out more, and the subject began to take on a life of its own. That’s how it goes with documentary films.”

Whether she was shooting in exotic locations around the world, editing and funding the film, or securing entries on the film festival circuit, Beraza has been going full speed on Bag It for nearly two years. Although a short break might be deserved, plans for the next film are never far from her mind. Says Beraza, “I have this idea for a film in the Dominican Republic….” Beraza’s cinematic work isn’t the only thing that is defined by her composite upbringing. In person, Beraza is vibrant and warm, like the Caribbean culture of her childhood. And she’s also sharp, reflecting the mountain peaks of the home she’s chosen in which to raise a family. She appreciates those same qualities in her friends and colleagues. “What has kept me here all these years are all the smart, funny people in Telluride,” she says. “You just don’t get g that everywhere.”

[ get more ] read more about Beraza and her work

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Get Involved or Loose It! The Public Access Preservation Association is a motorized and non-motorized recreation group that supports access and responsible use of public lands. We have transferred over 1000 acres of mining claims in Ophir to the Forest Service, worked to keep local jeep roads and trails open to the public, and we are presently assisting the Forest Service on the creation of a few new trails. Please join our team to keep access open for everyone. summer/fall 2010


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mike Pale By Suzanne Cheavens Many a young kid has spent hours in their room hunched over a guitar, learning the popular songs of the day, ignoring the pain in their fingertips as the callouses toughen, dreaming of one day being a rock star. For most would-be musicians, though, life intervenes and distracts: Jobs, marriage and kids can form a daunting cabal. But not for Telluride’s ubiquitous musician, Mike Pale. He has it all, and—unlike most—he was able to quit his day job. Pale’s story starts with his birth in Detroit on August 15, 1965, when the Beatles were playing to a deafening sea of teenage screams at Shea Stadium in New York. Through the years, that particular date has been dotted with remarkable moments in rock music history. The storied Woodstock festival and the Grateful Dead’s momentous appearance in Telluride both occurred on Pale’s birthday, a fact he finds personally significant. He is convinced that the Beatles show—the first stadium concert ever—created some kind of crazy portal through which he coincidentally was able to enter into life. His eyes take on a merry glint when he offers this notion, but looking at his life today makes the idea seem plausible.


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Pale is the most in-demand, popular musician in Telluride, a town with discerning musical tastes and no shortage of incredible live music. Pale can be seen everywhere, a guitar slung across his lean frame, perched on a stool for one of his many solo acoustic gigs or sharing the stage with one of his two bands. His schedule is hectic. In the winter, he entertains skiers in the afternoon at Gorrono Ranch on the ski resort, hustles down to the Bubble Lounge for an après ski gig, and very often—all in the same day, mind you—saddles up with either his cool soul-funk-jazz outfit, BluOrbit, or bluegrass firestorm, the Turkey Creek Ramblers. Then there are the numerous appearances in The Peaks Great Room and Capella. Come summer, he’s equally omnipresent, be it lunchtime hotspots or late-night band throw-downs. Does he enjoy it? “It’s more than fun,” Pale says. “It’s what I do. Nothing makes me happier.” Being a full-time musician in a small town is downright miraculous. One would think that there simply isn’t enough going on, but the fact that Pale has accomplished this speaks to his fierce work ethic and the level of passion he feels for playing. It also speaks to his broad talent and chameleon-esque ability to move nimbly between musical genres and styles. But he’s humble about his success. “I’m lucky and I’m privileged. Music is a selfless pursuit. You have to put ego aside.” His luck started with a cheap acoustic guitar that was passed down from his mother and then his brother, Joe. From there, he progressed to a Yamaha acoustic his cousin helped him pick out when he was about 13. That instrument served him through his garage-band days in college and beyond. His first pro guitar was a Martin D-16 purchased from Telluride Music, where he worked for five years. It was brother Joe who lured Pale to Telluride in 2000. Here, Pale landed a job as sound technician at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, where he was first exposed to music other than the jazz and funk in which he was already steeped. Legendary bluegrass/jazz guitarist Tony Rice and Telluride Music’s multi-instrumentalist Dave Lamb opened doors for him, and he happily plunged across the threshold into this new world. “Tony Rice made a huge impression on me. I love his tone, I love

Mary Duffy

his style. He talks about music as if it’s a texture. And Dave plays everything. He has a passion for traditional music that rubbed off on me,” he recalls. Freshly inspired by the possibilities he discovered in Telluride, Pale forged ahead, gathering gigs and fellow musicians and working as much at night as he did at his day job at the music store. And, along the way, he married and became a father. Though now amicably separated from his wife, he takes as much joy in his son, Ethan, as he does in his music career.

“It’s more than fun. It’s what I do. Nothing makes me happier.”

Discover our colorful past at the

Telluride Historical Museum

At the top of Fir Street in Telluride ©lucy boody

Pale’s local star shone even more brightly last summer when he joined forces with longtime Telluride resident Amy Taylor, the daughter of music business heavyweight Skip Taylor. The pair played seemingly everywhere— the “Tour of Telluride,” as they laughingly refer to their jam-packed summer of 2009—and recorded a collection of their favorite songs. The dusky-voiced Taylor was more than an enchanting addition to Pale’s vast repertoire: She was also unafraid to offer him honest feedback for his original songs. “Music is Amy’s life,” Pale says. “She is a perfect complement to my playing, and she always tells it straight.” The fruitful collaboration not only taught Taylor about the art of harmonizing, but it also afforded her an insight into Pale’s commitment to music. “He’s all about being true to the song,” she says. “What he brings to the song augments it and takes it to another level.” Pale’s versatility has made him a fixture in Telluride’s live music scene, providing a vast array of musical opportunities to him that have stretched his boundaries and honed his chops. Taylor uses words such as “integrity” when speaking of Pale and his approach to music. But it is that very honesty that, unbeknownst to the casual listener, engages not just the ear but also the soul. “His heart shines through,” says Taylor. “It’s powerful.” g

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Scampi Allo Scoglio (Baked and Marinated Shrimp Scampi)

Chef Sergio Gonzalez The Bistro Ingredients : Juice of 1 lemon 5 tablespoons (2.5 fluid oz. or 180 ml) extra virgin olive oil 2 pounds (900 grams or 6 to 10) peeled, deveined large shrimp or similar size prawns (scampi) 2 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, dusted in flour

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1 tablespoon chopped, fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley


recipes “Summertime and the livin’ is easy,” goes the song… and so it is. Summer in Telluride means you don’t have to shovel the snow off your car or wear wool socks, and here in the mountains, it’s never so hot that you’ll need air conditioning. The days are long and full of fun, so it’s best to keep your entertaining simple: Chef Sergio Gonzalez of The Bistro offers his recipe for Scampi Allo Scoglio, a divine dish that is uncomplicated to prepare; and Cornerhouse Grille owner Kenny Rosen gave us the formula for his fabulous new favorite, an easy-to-drink cocktail named for a classic children’s movie—Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


summer/fall 2010

to prepare: Stir the lemon juice into the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper, then brush the shrimp with this mixture and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350º or 375º. Pour off the marinade into a roasting pan and warm over moderate heat with the garlic. Add the shrimp to a skillet with a little cooking oil that has been heated to a smoking point. Sear the shrimp less than a minute—just until its color changes and it becomes opaque and curled. Put the skillet along with the shrimp into the oven and cook for another five to seven minutes. It should be cooked thoroughly, but not dry. Bring the roasting pan to the stovetop. Discard the garlic; add the shrimp scampi and butter dusted in flour and cook until the butter dissolves completely. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the shellfish on a platter and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Owner Kenny Rosen Cornerhouse Grille

Whole Foods-Style Mexican Restaurant & Juice Bar


Featuring Local and Organic Ingredients

~ Fresh Organic Juice Bar Handmade Tortillas & Salsa Bar Beer, Wine & Margaritas Many Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Dishes Available ~ Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week Indoor and Outdoor Seating Take-Out & Catering Available

3 oz. homemade sweet and sour (3 cups each water and sugar, 2 cups each lemon and lime juice) 1 oz. rum 1 oz. triple sec (orange liqueur) 1 oz. Midori (melon liqueur) 0.5 oz. grenadine Splash of soda

to prepare:

123 E. Colorado 路 728-9355

Make the homemade sweet and sour beforehand: Dissolve the sugar and water over medium heat, then bring it to a boil; let the syrup cool.

Visit to see our Restaurant and Catering Menus

Mix the syrup, lemon and lime juice and chill.

gus gusciora

Rim a tall glass with sugar. Pour the rum, triple sec and Midori over ice; add sweet and sour mix, grenadine and a splash of soda. Shake or stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and cherry.

summer/fall 2010


Mary Duffy

diningout 221 South Oak 221 South Oak St., Telluride 970.728.9507 Situated near the Telluride Gondola Plaza in a restored 1800s residence, 221 South Oak serves cuisine characterized by fresh ingredients and rich flavors from New Orleans, France, the Caribbean and New England. Open for Sunday brunch or dinner nightly.

NEw AmEriCAN CuiSiNE An eclectic blend of flavors and styles served in an intimate atmosphere. Enjoy patio dining just steps away from the Gondola Open 5:30pm to Close • Sunday Brunch 10am to 1pm 970-728-9507

9545 Restaurant & Bar Located at the Inn at Lost Creek 119 Lost Creek Lane, Mountain Village 970.728.6293 9545 offers an elevated dining experience featuring modern American cuisine with Rocky Mountain influences. Join them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, patio dining and cocktails on the terrace next to Sunset Plaza in Mountain Village. Cosmopolitan Restaurant & Tasting Cellar 300 West San Juan Ave., Telluride 970.728.1292 Chef Chad Scothorn turns comfort food into innovative cuisine, often featuring wild salmon, saffron and tomato fish stew, grilled pork tenderloin, grilled beef fillet and more. The Tasting Cellar also hosts private dinners paired with wines from the collection. EMILIO’S 226 West Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.369.1101 Mexican fare that features the classics: fajitas, carne asada, pollo en mole, tostadas, burritos, enchiladas. The full bar includes sangria, daiquiris, tequila kamikazes and blue Hawaiians. Daily lunch and dinner specials.

La Marmotte La Marmotte

A food and wine experience  Serving Contemporary French Cuisine in one of Telluride’s most historic buildings, the Ice House

A food and wine experience

Serving Contemporary French Cuisine in one of Telluride’s most buildings, the Ice House (970)historic 728-6232 One block from the gondola • Reservations Recommended


One block from the gondola • Open 6 – 10 pm • Reservations Recommended summer/fall 2010

(970) 728- 6232

Gray Jay Café at capella 568 Mtn. Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.0880 Serving breakfast, lunch and après ski daily. This European-style café offers meals for guests to dine-in or take on the go. Reminiscent of a country kitchen, Gray Jay Café enjoys a premier mountain location, thanks to Capella Telluride’s convenient slopeside access. La Cocina de Luz 123 East Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.728.9355 “The Kitchen of Light” specializes in food prepared with love. It features handmade tortillas, a salsa bar and daily specials as it incorporates traditional cooking methods with organic and whole foods. La Cocina is

Mary Duffy

diningout open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a small bar. Take-out is available. Casual dining indoor or out.

now offering small plates with smaller prices

La Marmotte 150 West San Juan Ave., Telluride 970.728.6232 In a quaint, 125-year-old building that once provided Telluride with ice, La Marmotte now provides Telluride with exquisite French cuisine in a provincial, elegant setting. Contemporary chef and owner Mark Reggiannini uses fresh, simple ingredients to create the rich, classic French flavor without the traditional heaviness. New Sheridan Chop House 223 West Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.728.9100 This steakhouse and wine bar features executive chef Erich Owen’s new American cuisine. The Chop House is known for its dry-aged, USDA prime steaks, fresh seafood, free-range organic fowl and an array of fine cheeses and local ingredients. The Chop House also has Telluride’s only nitrogen wine bar.

ask about our durango Location

Onyx at capella 568 Mtn. Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.8989 A modern, sleek setting creates the perfect balance between mountain spirit and casual elegance. Onyx’s menu provides extraordinary interpretations of traditional dishes from the best alpine restaurants in the world, complemented by a unique and sophisticated selection of fine wines and aperitifs. Suede Bar at capella 568 Mtn. Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.8949 This elegant bar is the social epicenter of Capella Telluride, where guests can enjoy a relaxing lunch or après-ski aperitifs. It is a departure from the casual lodge pub, with an upscale meeting space and a chic spin on casual American cuisine. In addition to local brews and European wines and champagnes, Suede Bar also features signature cocktails. The Bistro 138 East Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.728.3448 A rustic Italian restaurant in the heart of Telluride, The Bistro serves thin-crust pizza and fresh Italian fare at reasonable prices. Bruschetta, pesto, prawns, pasta, veal and tiramisu are a few menu highlights. Chef Sergio pairs his culinary delights with great wines and prompt, friendly service. Serving lunch and dinner, no reservations. Catering available.

the bistro Relax on our patio this summer with wine & fresh Italian cuisine.

Emilio’s sErvEs m Exican food

up authEntic from family rEcipEs in our downstairs location rEminiscEnt of tElluridE’s mining Era, with thE ambiancE of old town mExico.

142 E. Colorado 970.728.5239 Open daily for lunch & dinner.

SpecialS every Day • FreSh homemaDe SalSa • vegetarian itemS houSe FajitaS • molcajete Sunday - Thursday 11am - 10pm Friday & Saturday 11am – 11pm

Best Margaritas In Town (970) 369-1101 226 West Colorado Avenue

Visit our Cortez loCation

summer/fall 2010


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Picking Up the Pieces

Stephen Barrett: What are we fighting about when we argue about prairie dogs? Terry Tempest Williams: Usually, we’re fighting about land. That’s it in a nutshell. Over and over again, ranchers and farmers don’t want prairie dogs on their land because they feel it’s a danger to their cattle or their horses. Developers don’t want prairie dogs on their land because they feel it diminishes it. And I think it’s also how we view prairie dogs. You know, the names for them in my family were “popguts,” “vermin,” “varmint.” They’re the lowliest of the low in so many eyes, and yet if we look at them as keystone species—where 178-plus other creatures flourish because of a prairie dog community—we might begin to look at them differently. In my mind, they’re sentient beings. They have much to teach us about community. SB: They have a lot to teach us?

merrick chase/

TTW: They’ve certainly taught me a lot, and when you look at the scientists who’ve worked with them, I think they would say the same thing. Con Slobodchikoff from Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff has spent his professional career looking at their capacity and ability to communicate. He’s proven that they have the most sophisticated animal language decoded so far. That’s hard for many people to comprehend. When I asked Slobodchikoff what he’s learned from prairie dogs, he said, “I’m hoping that this work will help show that prairie dogs and all animals are not just mindless robots that can be disposed of as vermin or property but are sentient beings that should be treated with empathy and respect.”

Author and Activist Terry Tempest Williams Finds Beauty in a Broken World by stephen Barrett Terry Tempest Williams is often described as “inspiring.” Some may say it is the quality of her prose—at times lyrical and, at others, precise—that provides this inspiration. Others might say it’s a product of her environmental activism or her intellectual reach. I argue that it’s her artistic focus, which can easily shift from the intimately personal to the universally profound, that enlightens us. Williams’ book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World, invites the reader on a search that extends from the intricate mosaics of northern Italy to a now-vanquished prairie dog colony near her home in Utah to post-holocaust Rwanda. Our discussion begins with the locally apropos topic of prairie dogs.

SB: Early in our nation’s history, we had writers and artists who revered wilderness. In our westward march, we really trampled over everything that was wild, and only when it was gone did we start to value it in the same way. Do you see any way of preventing that from happening in this critical period? TTW: We are at a critical period. Niles Eldridge, curator at the American Museum of Natural History, calls this the Sixth Extinction. And I do think that writers have concerned themselves with these issues. I would say that these are issues of justice, not just for our own species, but for all of life. Writers and their pens create a clarion call for a more humane world. They ask us to engage and enlist our own sense of empathy for something larger than ourselves. ▶▶

summer/fall 2010


finalword SB: What do you think it will take for our culture to reach a point where it does extend justice to species beyond our own? TTW: We’re in a pivotal, transitional moment. E.O. Wilson talks about how we’re in a bottleneck. And how do we come through? We don’t know. I think about Jane Goodall when she says, “Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved.” Who is saved? I think it’s us, alongside all the other extraordinary creatures that share this planet. I think we are desperate to really begin embracing a more holistic view of the planet. Around 50 years from now, will the nation-state be as important as regions and continents, and will our identity not be one of nations and states but a planetary identity? That is my prayer, because I think we’re evolving to this situation—and I think we’re seeing two parallel philosophies at work here, even in our own country. Call it red state/blue state, conservative or progressive points of view: either way, there’s a lot of fear on both sides because the world is changing so rapidly.

TTW: I think the answer has to do with education. I think it has to do with learning from our history, and with leadership—not from outside us but from within us—again asking that essential question: “How shall we live, and how shall we live together?” SB: It’s an awfully daunting challenge.

TTW: It is daunting. And at times, downright overwhelming. That is why the metaphor of mosaic is so essential for me. Mosaic is taking that which is broken and creating something whole, something beautiful. Mosaic is tangible; it is real. It is something we can make, something we can create together. One of the things I learned when I was in Ravenna, Italy, is that mosaic is not simply a craft, but an art form, a form of integration. You break stones, you cut glass, and you put them together, allowing for the interstices or spaces in between. They are not perfect. That’s one SB: I hate to frame it as a dichotomy, but there reof the rules of mosaic—there’s perfection in ally are two ways of looking at the future: optimisimperfection. Here’s the other thing, Steve—I tically or pessimistically. think there has to be joy in what we do. At times, there is the sense that the world is on TTW: And I choose to be optimistic, just because fire, whether it’s the war in Iraq and AfghaniI think that we can’t go back. And I don’t see it as stan or the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and a horizontal or as a vertical perspective; I see it as it’s easy to find yourself brought down to your a spiral. I think we are now on this ever-widening, knees in despair. But then I return to my exoutward spiral to a deeper and higher consciousperience of creating a genocide memorial in ness, and that scares people. Perhaps it’s this EarthRwanda. The women asked to have the bones centered consciousness or “Ecozoic” mind that of their beloved properly buried and brought Thomas Berry speaks of—I believe this is what we are moving toward— into a place of dignity. The power of working which is part of our evolutionary path. So it appears to be a dichotomy—the side by side with Hutus and Tutsis, Rwandans rise of fundamentalism in all forms alongside this recognition that we are and Americans, was transformative as we interconnected—but I think they are both a response to this progression of constructed the memorial, a mosaic literally mind and soul. built from the rubble of war. Mosaic creates community. I saw the eyes of the mothers SB: Do you think that prairie dogs or any other species might who lost everything: their children, also share an instinctual sense that we have reached this critical their husbands, parents, siblings. I [ GET MORE ] point? saw their eyes turned inward from the grief and trauma. But slowly, TTW: I don’t know. But if what we know scientifically is true— gradually, as they worked togethfor the life work of that a species like prairie dogs has this heightened sense of er in their community with a plan Terry Tempest communication—how can they not know that they are at greatand a purpose, their eyes began to Williams er risk? How can they not feel when all of their family members look outward. The memorial was around them are being shot at in a free-for-all with high-powered beautiful. The mosaic that decorated rifles? Sometimes I think we’re the most unconscious species on the the altar was beautiful. Jeweled stones planet. And we have no excuse, because we have a brain that understands creating letters set in tile read “TWIBUKE,” metaphor and feeling and imagination and empathy. We also have a great which translates to “Never Again.” I realcapacity for cruelty and arrogance and ignorance. That’s one thing that was ized beauty is not optional but a strategy for so disturbing to me when I was in Rwanda. Here, you see how a million survival, and it was joyful. I believe we are Tutsis were murdered by Hutu extremists in 100 days by hand with mameant to work together, to create together chetes and farm tools. This is not outside of our capacity as human beings. something beyond ourselves. We are meant On one hand, you see the beauty we are able to create; on the other hand, to find the language that opens hearts rather you see the absolute horrors we can afflict on one another. How do we bring than closes them. Finding beauty in a broken these two hands together and unite them in prayer? world is creating beauty in the world we find. I think this is where joy is found, in the vitalg SB: That’s a big question. ity of the struggle.


summer/fall 2010


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