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FEBRUARY 2021

MAPPING MAGIC A MOUNTAIN’S

PLUS 4

REMEMBERING A CO-OP LEGEND

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CO-OP WILDFIRE MITIGATION

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COLORADO-MADE POWDER GEAR


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Built by and for our members, we power what matters to you. That’s the value of our cooperative family. To learn how we’re delivering on our mission, visit www.tristate.coop

Tri-State is a not-for-profi t power supplier to cooperatives and public power districts in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.


Volume 52

Number 02

February 2021 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer cgloe@coloradocountrylife.org Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant kcoleman@coloradocountrylife.org ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative advertising@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-902-7276 National Advertising Representative, American MainStreet Publications 611 S. Congress Street, Suite 504, Austin, TX 78704 | 800-626-1181 Advertising Standards: Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216-1731. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. ©Copyright 2021, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-455-4111 coloradocountrylife.coop | facebook.com/COCountryLife Pinterest.com/COCountryLife | Instagram.com/cocountrylife Twitter.com/COCountryLife | YouTube.com/COCountryLife1 Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual. SUBSCRIBERS Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. Cost of subscription for members of participating electric cooperatives is $4.44 per year (37 cents per month), paid from equity accruing to the member. For nonmembers, a subscription is $9 per year in-state/$15 out-of-state. POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216

FEBRUARY 2021

MAPPING MAGIC

“Sunrise on the Plains” by Denise Smith, a member of Highline Electric Association.

4 VIEWPOINT

5 LETTERS

6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS

12 RECIPES

14 NEWS CLIPS

PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK

16 COVER STORY SKETCHING DOWNHILL RUNS

20 ENERGY CONNECTIONS

22 GARDENING

24 OUTDOORS

26 MARKETPLACE

28 COMMUNITY EVENTS

On the

29 YOUR STORIES

Cover

30 DISCOVERIES

Cover photo of James Niehues hand painting a ski map.

COCountryLife pinned: Start your Valentine’s Day off right with a homecooked breakfast. Give the Peanut Butter Breakfast Bread Pudding with Maple Peanut Sauce a try.

FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: Improve your home’s year-round efficiency by hanging thermal drapes. Made of thick, heavy materials, these curtains provide increased privacy and keep you warm in winter by preventing air from entering or escaping your home. #EnergyTip

Monthly Contest

A MOUNTAIN’S

coloradocountrylife.coop

Enter for your chance to win a set of 10 large note cards featuring ski map paintings by James Niehues. The set includes some of the most famous mountains in the Western United States. For official rules and how to enter, visit our Contests page at coloradocountrylife.coop.

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month colorado_electric_cooperatives posted: Thanks to legislators who took time today to learn more about #coloradoelectriccoops with Geoff Hier and the rest of CREA’s legislative team. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

3


VIEWPOINT

JOHN PORTER

A remembrance of a life well-lived BY KENT SINGER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

O

ne of the privileges of my position with the Colorado Rural Electric Association, the statewide organization representing Colorado’s electric cooperatives, is the opportunity to work with truly great Coloradans. Over the last 25 years, I’ve met many tremendous leaders from across Colorado who are not only champions of the electric co-op program, but also visionary leaders in their communities. John Porter was a legendary figure in the Colorado water and electric co-op communities. Porter passed away on December 28, 2020.

John Porter, who passed away on December 28 in Cortez, was one of those leaders. John was born in 1933 and raised on a farm near Lewis, Colorado, a town named after his maternal grandfather. After he graduated from Cortez High School, he earned a degree in agriculture from Colorado State University (then called Colorado A&M College). After college, John and his wife, Nancy, returned to southwestern Colorado in 1955 and operated their own farm in Lewis; Nancy also taught school in the Cortez school system. John and Nancy raised two daughters: Marsha and Mary. In 1980, John succeeded his father as the manager of the Dolores Water Conservancy District, the organization in charge of managing the Dolores River. In that role, John oversaw the development of the Dolores Project, which created McPhee Dam and Reservoir. To this day, McPhee Reservoir supplies municipal and industrial

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

water to the towns of Cortez, Dove Creek and Towaoc, as well as irrigation water to many farming operations in Montezuma and Dolores counties, including those of the Ute Mountain Ute tribe. In recognition of his leadership in the development of the Dolores Project, the Colorado Water Congress named John the “Wayne N. Aspinall Water Leader of the Year” in 2000. The Aspinall award is given annually to the person “exemplifying the courage, dedication, knowledge and leadership qualities of Wayne N. Aspinall in the development, protection and preservation of the water of the state of Colorado.” In 2017, the Colorado General Assembly adopted a tribute to John for his leadership in the Dolores Project and his years of service on the boards of the Southwestern Water Conservation District, the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority, the Inter-Basin Compact Committee and the Colorado River Water Users Association. I had the pleasure of working with John for the last 11 years in his role as the Empire Electric Association representative to CREA’s board of directors. Not long after I became the executive director of CREA, John invited me to a dinner with him and Doug Kemper, the head of the Colorado Water Congress. John felt it was important for me to understand the interplay between water and power and to get to know Doug and other advocates for rural Colorado. He was always interested in helping rural farmers and ranchers, whether it related to access to irrigation water or to affordable and reliable electricity. John was a great board member for CREA and all of his colleagues on the board

KENT SINGER

loved and respected him. He was always prepared for board meetings and always listened closely to his fellow board members. If the board reached an impasse on a difficult issue, John frequently suggested a thoughtful and effective compromise. John was also a big supporter of the CREA staff. As the chair of our Education and Communications Committee, John led the committee that oversees all of the education programs that CREA sponsors as well as the efforts of our communications team. I will never forget that whenever a CREA staff member was recognized for an achievement or celebrated a work anniversary, John would be the first to initiate a round of congratulatory applause. Several years ago, I made a trip to Cortez to meet with the Empire Electric Association Board of Directors. After the meeting, John gave me a cap with the famous “Certified Water Buffalo” insignia. John told me that from that time forward I would be recognized as an honorary water buffalo. The best part of the gift was the printing on the back of the cap: “From John 2016.” John Porter was a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather and a legendary figure in the Colorado water and electric co-op communities. We are so thankful to have known him and so grateful for his lasting contributions to our great state. Kent Singer is the executive director of the Colorado Rural Electric Association and offers a statewide perspective on issues affecting electric cooperatives. CREA is the trade association for your electric co-op, the 21 other electric co-ops in Colorado and one power supply co-op.


LETTERS

FROM THE EDITOR

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

A Good Teacher Makes All the Difference

BY MONA NEELEY

EDITOR

M

any of us have been trying to learn something new while we’re cooped up during the pandemic. I learned to knit and that was a reminder of the importance of good teachers, even if they are online. It’s a lesson I learned many years ago when I decided to start skiing. (Notice, I didn’t say I decided to learn to ski. I simply started skiing.) I grew up in Iowa; we didn’t ski. Then in college — in Minnesota — when my friends, who grew up skiing, asked me to go along, I did. But I never learned to ski and that led to disaster, as in skiing into the trees and getting pretty banged up. I swore off skiing after that.

Just For

Booking a Good Read

9

That is, until MONA NEELEY I married my husband, a former ski instructor. He loved to ski and talked me back onto the mountain, this time with lessons and his expert instruction. Skiing was so much more fun when I knew what I was doing (and when we started skiing in the Rockies). Having someone actually teach me how to ski made all the difference in how much I enjoyed the sport. I learned the importance of a good teacher. Mona Neeley is the statewide editor of Colorado Country Life, which is published in coordination with your local electric cooperative. Its goal is to provide information from your local electric co-op to you, its consumer-members.

in-state

DID YOU ENTER?

KNOW SOMEONE WITH MORE TIME ON THEIR HANDS OR LOOKING TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW?

Give them a subscription to Colorado Country Life. For 12-months they will discover new places and products from right here in Colorado.

To order, call Colorado Country Life at 303-455-4111.

Appreciating Electric Co-ops

On the topic of your charitable work electrifying rural Latin American areas: It makes me want to tell you that one of the most memorable vacations I had was to an unelectrified, candlelight-only cabaña on the beach in Tulum, Mexico. When I read about bringing electricity to places without it, I wonder if their way isn’t better. It’s been interesting and educational to follow the co-op concept after 14 years with Xcel Energy in Denver. Thank you for your hard work, your caring and your focus on building community. Christy Hansen, Red Feather Lakes Poudre Valley REA consumer-member

Reminder of Dad

$

ORDER a 12-month subscription today. It’s just $9 for in-state, or $15 for out-of-state.

I had to write after putting many of the books in your November book review issue on hold at my local library. I can’t say enough about your magazine and its always informative contents. I am a former teacher who always wants to learn new things and your magazine is helpful in that regard. Pam Hamilton, Grand Junction Grand Valley Power consumer-member

A few months ago Kent Singer wrote a beautiful article about his deceased father. He wrote exactly how I feel about my dad, who also passed away long ago. It was heartening to read that Kent acknowledged how his father influenced his character. His story reminded me of how special my father was to provide for my mom, me and my siblings. We greatly miss Colorado as we have moved to Nova Scotia, Canada, but enjoy reading your magazine. John Anselmo, Nova Scotia former Sangre de Cristo consumer-member

SEND US YOUR LETTERS JUNE 2020

Stay in & Stre am YouTubers Chan nel

Colorado

WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF CCL MARCH 2021

Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 or mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org. Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

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ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

COLORADO LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY Download Our Mobile App for FREE! Stay in touch with legislators while on the go.

Download the FREE App today! Using the camera on your smartphone, scan this code to get the download link.

iOS App Store

6

Android Google Play

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

Which Kitchen Appliance Should I Upgrade? BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN

I

f you’re looking at replacing old appliances, it’s smart to consider energy use because most new appliances use much less energy than they did in the past. Manufacturers have found innovative ways to reduce appliance energy use without sacrificing performance. The federal government began tightening appliance standards in the 1980s and has continued as technological innovations became more cost-effective. The appliance replacement most likely to produce the greatest energy savings is your refrigerator. An older refrigerator can cost about $20 to run every month. Replacing an old refrigerator with a new Energy Starrated model — a label that certifies that the appliance saves energy — can cut that down to less than $5 per month. New refrigerators will include an additional label, the Energy Guide label, which shows how much energy it uses annually and compares that to the most and least efficient models available. It’s also possible to measure how much energy your refrigerator is using with a kilowatt-hour meter. Energy auditors use these meters to measure energy use for common household appliances. If you’re not ready to replace your older refrigerator, replacing the seal around the door can sometimes reduce its energy use. When you’re looking to replace an older refrigerator to save energy, style counts. A

top-freezer setup is the most efficient, while a lower-freezer unit offers medium savings, and a side-by-side style is the least energy efficient. If your goal is to save money on your energy bill, resist the urge to keep the old refrigerator in the basement or garage — that won’t help reduce your energy use. An old refrigerator in an uninsulated garage on a hot summer day can use excessive energy. If you only need additional freezer space, find the most efficient freezer you can find instead. You can find recommendations on www.energystar.gov. If your current refrigerator is in good condition, another appliance you may want to consider upgrading is the dishwasher. With most of us spending more time at home these days, chances are you’re using your dishwasher more than you used to. As with any major purchase, be sure to read customer reviews for any brands and models you’re considering, and look for additional opportunities to save money, like an upcoming Presidents Day appliance sale. Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency write on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to learn the little ways to help you accomplish your energy efficiency goals. Look under the Energy tab.


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RECIPES

STIR UP SOME LOVE

Cook a sweet and tasty breakfast with your Valentine BY AMY HIGGINS

| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

“Those who cook together, stay together.”

T

here’s a saying, “Those who cook together, stay together.” Although that logic is disputed, there is something about making a mouthwatering meal with your sweetheart that makes each bite a little tastier. So why not start your Valentine’s Day off enjoyably with a home-cooked breakfast created by closeness? Divide your duties in the kitchen and then couple those efforts to make a dish deserving of love and appreciation. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Sweet Potato Waffles with Whipped Cream and Berry Compote Waffles: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 eggs, separated 3/4 cup 2% milk 1 pouch Honest Earth Mashed Sweet Potatoes 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for brushing on waffle iron, divided

Sticky Cinnamon Bacon Roll-ups

Berry Compote: 1 cup raspberries

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup blackberries

1/2 cup sugar

12 slices applewood smoked or 1/4 cup melted butter honey and maple bacon 4 8-inch flour tortillas 2 teaspoons cinnamon 2 tablespoons applesauce Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook bacon according to package directions; drain. In a bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar; mix well. Brush melted butter on both sides of each tortilla, then coat both sides with cinnamon sugar. Place three slices bacon and 2 teaspoons applesauce on one edge of tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Bake 12-16 minutes until sugar mixture is bubbly. Cut tortilla roll-ups in half before serving. Serve warm. Recipe courtesy of Farmland

1 cup blueberries 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 dash lemon zest or juice whipped cream Preheat waffle iron to medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, blend egg yolks (reserve whites), milk, sweet potatoes and 2 tablespoons oil until smooth. Add flour mixture to egg and milk mixture; blend until no clumps remain. In a separate bowl, whip reserved egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites gently into batter. Using a pastry brush, oil the waffle iron then add batter and cook until waffle removes easily. Repeat with remaining batter. To make berry compote: Wash raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Drain but do not dry. In small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm berries. Add sugar and lemon zest or juice. Cook until berries are broken down and juice reaches low simmer. Serve warm over waffles and top with whipped cream. Recipe courtesy of Honest Earth. QUICK TIP FOOD FOR THOUGHT If you’re an early riser and your sweetheart wants extra beauty sleep, serve up some love with breakfast in bed. Pair it with a warm beverage and fresh fruit for added oomph.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021


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NEWS CLIPS

Percent of homes using electricity as their main heating fuel Less than 10%

10-20%

20-30%

1970

30-40%

40-50%

More Than 50%

2018

ELECTRIFYING CHANGE IN HOME HEATING

Significantly more homes are using electricity as their main heating fuel each year, according to a report from the University of California Berkeley. Today more than 40% of homes nationwide use electricity to heat their homes, up from only 1% in 1950. The report noted that this change has occurred mostly without any policy intervention. It appears that much of the change is due to a decline in electricity prices and a rise in gas and oil prices. Source: Energy Institute at Haas; Map: Axios Visuals

CONTACT COLORADO LEGISLATORS WITH CREA’S 2021 APP Colorado Electric Cooperatives’ 2021 Legislative Directory is available in print, on crea.coop or through an app. The directory includes contact information for the governor and other state officers, as well as state senators and representatives and Colorado’s congressional delegation. Maps of the state political districts are included on the app. You can also directly call or email your legislator through the app. Download the 2021 app at no cost at the App Store or Google Play. Search for Colorado Legislative Directory.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

2020 RECORD YEAR FOR ENERGY STORAGE Last year wasn’t all bad. There were strides forward in the energy industry and new records set. In the third quarter of 2020, a record was set for new U.S. battery installations when 476 megawatts of storage resources were deployed. That is a 240% increase over the previous record, which was set in the second quarter of 2020. These big “batteries” are important as the electric industry moves to more wind and solar resources. The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, but energy storage units that capture the energy and that release power when it is needed help solve that problem. Industry experts are predicting that the new third quarter record will not stand for long. The country’s largest utility, NextEra Energy, plans to spend $1 billion on storage systems in 2021.

TRI-STATE PLANS FOR COAL PLANT CLOSURES Retirement dates have been set for three coal-fired power plants in Craig, Colorado, that supply electricity to several of Colorado’s electric cooperatives. The plants, known as Craig Station Unit 1, Craig Station Unit 2 and Craig Station Unit 3, are owned and operated by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which supplies electricity to 17 of the state’s 22 electric co-ops. Unit 1 will be retired by December 31, 2025; Unit 2 by September 30, 2028; and Unit 3 by December 31, 2029. The plants’ closures and the addition of new renewable resources are part of Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan and its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2030.


CO-OPS RAISE MONEY FOR WILDFIRE RELIEF

NEWS CLIPS

Colorado’s electric cooperatives collected over $116,000 for a Wildfire Relief Fund to help co-op employees and local first responders who lost their homes in this year’s wildfires. Funds will also go to relief organizations helping people and businesses in wildfire areas rebuild. Colorado Rural Electric Association, the trade association for Colorado’s electric co-ops, and co-op power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association each donated $50,000 to the fund overseen by the Colorado Electric Educational Institute, CREA’s philanthropic nonprofit organization. The remainder of the funds were donated by Colorado Country Life readers, electric co-ops and co-op employees. The CEEI Board of Directors met in late January to review the applications for the funds and determine how to distribute those funds.

BE SAFE in That Office at Home

The temporary home offices that so many employees moved into when the pandemic started almost a year ago have now become permanent places to work. That means it is time to make temporary situations permanent, including creating safe solutions for the extension cords now powering laptops, printers and other home office equipment. Extension cords are not designed to permanently power equipment. They are designed as a temporary solution. So, if you are

planning to continue working from home, it is time to hire an electrician and add additional outlets or move outlets to where they are needed. Make that home office a safe and efficient place to work.

Theft of Electricity Hurts Everyone on Co-op Power Lines Theft involving electricity, copper wire and other materials hurts everyone who is part of your local electric cooperative. That means it hurts you and could cost you money. Since the cooperative is a costbased business, any theft or loss of electricity or materials is made up by those who are part of the cooperative. When someone steals electricity, which the co-op has purchased from a power supplier, someone has to pay for that stolen power. That someone is the rest of the consumer-members who are part of the co-op. That is why everyone is encouraged to be aware of unusual activity. Report any suspicious behavior or odd wiring setups to your local co-op. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

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COVER STORY James Niehues sits in front of his canvas in his Parker studio.

SKETCHING DOWNHILL RUNS

BY EUGENE BUCHANAN

MAPPING A MOUNTAIN’S MAGIC

BY EUGENE BUCHANAN

E

James Niehues’s coffee table book, The Man Behind the Maps is now available.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

ver look at a trail map to see where you are on the slopes of Colorado’s myriad ski resorts? Should you take that black diamond shortcut to meet your friends at the lodge, schuss that blue square to save your knees or send your spouse or kids down one run while you rip another, with the promise to meet at the lift at the bottom? The man to thank is Colorado’s own James Niehues, an artist who’s one of cartography’s last great analog mapmakers. Niehues built his career around hand-painting trail maps for ski resorts, down to the last tree. Last year he collated his collection into the coffee table book The Man Behind the Maps, which

belongs in the fireplaced living room of every Centennial State skier. In all, he’s created maps of more than 200 ski resorts around the world, with another couple hundred of national parks, wilderness areas, visitor bureaus, golf courses and more. “I always believed that someday I’d compile enough ski map paintings to make an interesting coffee-table book,” he says from his home in Parker. “I envisioned it more of an art book than a book of maps naming all the runs — a book to dream by. By the time I was 70 I realized it had better happen soon.” Raised on a farm in western Colorado, Niehues always had a passion for landscapes


COVER STORY

“My job is to show them as they appear when you’re on the mountain” — James Niehues

and “loved a good puzzle,” a combination that lent itself to eventually portraying the serpentine slopes of ski resorts. But he didn’t start dabbling with a brush until he was a freshman in high school, immobilized for three months while recovering from the kidney disease nephritis. Hoping to relieve his bedridden boredom, his mother bought him an oil painting set and Niehues began tinkering. Later, while serving in the U.S. Army in Berlin, Niehues convinced his sergeant to convert the basement of their old, World War II barracks into a studio. He eventually went on to major in art at Grand Junction’s Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) but admits he’s still mostly selftaught. He later earned more stripes working at a print shop and as an artist for an aftermarket automotive manufacturer. “I drew products like timing lights, gauges, tachometers and things, and designed packaging, brochures and instructions,” he says. But tachometers weren’t quite what he wanted to do, and after seven years he turned freelance, working for such clients as Jim Cowden Advertising. When the trail map bug bit, he sought out the only people

Top: Appearing in his new book The Man Behind the Maps is “Breckenridge Mountain and Street Scene,” which was painted in 1989 for Snow Country Magazine. Bottom: James Niehues completes his works of art using the traditional method of paint on canvas.

making them at the time: Bill Brown, who had been illustrating ski maps for a few years, and Brown’s mentor Hal Shelton. Niehues’ first project was helping Brown map the backside of Mary Jane at Winter Park. “He liked my portfolio and gave me a small job,” Niehues says. “I tried to replicate his style and when he moved on into video production he helped me initiate my career as a trail map illustrator.” Niehues’ first solo contracted ski project was for California’s Boreal Mountain and Soda Springs in 1987. Then executives at Vail saw it and hired him to do their mountain in 1988 — his first major resort. Interest in his

work grew from there, and he soon realized he better learn how to ski if he was going to continue painting trails. “I bought ski equipment and learned on the job, becoming an intermediate skier,” he says. “I am first an artist that loves landscapes, and second a skier.” That doesn’t mean painting maps was much easier than making a parallel turn. Conveying a resort’s slopes onto a canvas, capturing its personality and turning it into a work of art can be as arduous as schussing a black diamond in a snowplow. “The trail systems can be hard,” he says. “Some resorts are easy with a single face, but COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

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COVER STORY most have multiple faces that can span 360 degrees. I have a flat, blank piece of paper and have to manipulate, or artistically interpret, three dimensions into one — and make it understandable and accurate. It’s a romancing of the ski area.” On satellite photos, he says, the trails are uninviting and narrow. “My job is to show them as they appear when you’re on the mountain,” he says. “First I lay out all the lifts and make sure they’re relative and that their base is down-page and vertical. Then I’ll review the aerials and fill in with slope shading, trees with shadows, rocks and other features.” The result is nothing short of remarkable, from the shape and tones of puffy cumulus clouds floating over his map of Steamboat Ski Resort to the northern lights wisping over Alaska’s Alyeska Resort. He also somehow captured the adrenaline in paintings for Snow Country magazine of the 1992 Olympic downhill course in Albertville, France, and the Salt Lake City course for the 2002 Olympics. “He has become the shepherd of skiers, guiding us through snowy landscapes that he creates with an authenticity that still defies computerized capabilities,” writes Right: A spread from James Niehues’s new book, The Man Behind the Maps. Below: Photos of mountain flyovers that help Niehues sketch the terrain for his clients.

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Jason Blevins in his book’s introduction. “No artist has had a more lasting impact on skiing. His maps are as much a part of the ski experience as chairlifts, groomed trails and hot cocoa … they urge skiers to visit, linger, return and explore.” He’s created trail maps for 16 resorts in Colorado, as small as Monarch and Powderhorn and as big as Aspen Highlands and Snowmass. “It’s fascinating to see the outpouring of people who are into his work,” says Jeff Hanle Aspen Skiing Company vice president of communications. “He’s created this amazing little niche that people connect to.” As for his ability to portray the Elk Mountains of Aspen’s resorts authentically, Hanle adds that, somehow, he nails it. “If you didn’t know better, they could be photographs,” Hanle says, noting they’ve also fastened the maps to the front of their chairlifts. “He’s great at using shading to give an accurate picture of what the terrain looks like. People can look at it and say, ‘Wow, that’s steep.’” Like skiers negotiating the twists and turns of the slopes he paints, Niehues, too, has had to adapt to changes in technique from when he was tutored under Brown and Shelton.

“A lot has changed in the 35 years I’ve been making them,” he says. “In 1988 I’d fly the area, shooting 36-exposure film, review the photos with the client, draw the sketch and then mail it off. It’d take weeks before I’d proceed to the painting, which I’d then convert to an 8-by-10 transparency with four-color separation, hand-drawing type and symbols onto layout boards.” Today’s digital world has made things a lot easier, he says, but it’s still a puzzle to piece together and he still paints every one by hand. “But now I can just attach a photo of the sketch and email it out, and then upload the final,” he says. “Today’s process also allows much more control of color and easier updating.” Like any artist, he’s had his favorites over the years — and also those problem children. “I’m a landscape painter, which means my favorite ones have a visual dynamic,” he says. “A trail map is the resort’s tool to get you around but also their visual fingerprint; it portrays the mountain’s potential to invite further exploration.” Some of his favorites include Alta, Big Sky, Blackcomb, Crystal Mountain, Jackson, Killington, Mammoth and Lake Louise outside the state; and in Colorado such resorts as Telluride,


“Although it’s been nothing too serious, I’ve gotten lost at resorts also and have used maps to know what run or area I want to go to. But for the most part, I just point it downhill and know I’ll get to the base eventually.” — James Niehues Breckenridge and Crested Butte. “If these were all framed up on a wall I’d pick out different effects, colors or compositions that I like in each,” he says. And some are harder than others — like the ones with multiple valleys and aspect orientations to interpret and portray in a two-dimensional painting. Oregon’s Mount Bachelor comes to mind, he says, for its 360 degrees of skiing off the summit; and British Columbia’s Sun Peaks for the exact opposite: 360 degrees of skiing out of a tight valley. “For Mount Bachelor I took what I call a ‘satellite perspective,’” he says, “because its south slopes have no distinct cuts — they’re running up-page but appear to be running downhill from color shading. For Sun Peaks I had to stretch the lifts to get proper distances between the bases and keep it all relative and credible.” And as resorts grow and add more infrastructure —Vail’s Blue Sky Basin comes to mind — the problems with painting them also grow. “I’m more concerned with the slopes themselves, so it isn’t a matter of how modern the resorts are but how big they are,” he says. “Heavenly Valley’s slopes are the same today as in earlier days, but there are more base facilities and buildings to paint. While I don’t have to change perspectives to get them in, some of today’s terrain expansions make them harder.” If fitting all of a resort’s trails onto a map is difficult, so was the task of compiling his work into a coffee-table book, which was released

James Niehues on one of his many mountain flyovers. In 1988, Niehues would fly over the area shooting 36-exposure film. Today he uses a digital camera.

in 2019 to rave reviews and robust sales. While it’s not in the book, his most recent map, finished just this year, is of Vermont’s Mad River Glen — another one of his favorites. “I flew over it early in my career while gathering aerials for Sugarbush,” he says. “I took only one photo and filed it away. It’d be fitting if this were my last one. Mad River has such a great history and tradition and it was a fascinating project. It’s a true skier’s mountain, complete with a one-person chair to the summit — it’s dotted with features that make it unique.” Admitting he’s now “semiretired” and taking on only a few projects a year, he’s not sure if Mad River will be his last resort. He’s returned to his original passion of landscapes, starting a series of sketches of the country’s national parks. “I’ve directed many projects on to [map illustrator] Rad Smith but am always keeping an eye out for that special resort I’ve always wanted to do,” he says. And this, of course, also gives him more time to practice what he paints and preaches: skiing. While he admits one of his favorite resorts to ski is way down south in Perisher, Australia, for its train-tunnel transition

from lush, green valley to white ski slopes, he loves getting out and skiing the sites of his creations. “When I get out on the mountain, I love the exhilaration of experiencing the great outdoors and taking in the scenery,” he says. And with the restrictions of COVID-19 this past year, he feels that’s more important now than ever. “I think the book has remained strong through these last months because it offers possibilities,” he says. “I try to paint every feature clearly so people can explore and dream about how they would ski. The season was cut short last year and skiers want to make the best out of this season — hopefully the book will help.” After all, his maps have certainly helped him as they have others. “Although it’s been nothing too serious, I’ve gotten lost at resorts also,” he says, “and have used maps to know what run or area I want to go to. But for the most part, I just point it downhill and know I’ll get to the base eventually.” Eugene Buchanan, a freelance writer who makes his home in Yampa Valley Electric’s territory, has written about the outdoors for more than 25 years. As a former ski patrol member, he has skied some of these trails illustrated so well by James Niehues.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Hold your smartphone camera up to the QR code to the right to visit James Niehues’ online gallery. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

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ENERGY CONNECTIONS

Keeping Rights-of-Way Clear Managing vegetation to mitigate Colorado’s wildfires BY SAR AH SMITH

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ildfires ravaged Colorado this summer, wreaking havoc across the state and scorching more than 665,000 acres of land. The 2020 wildfire season marked the worst in the Centennial State’s recent history, and the Colorado Rural Electric Association and its member cooperatives are determined to serve as advocates for better wildfire mitigation. The prevention of these devastating fires is not only imperative to restore and maintain the natural beauty of Colorado, but also the functioning of critical infrastructure and, of course, public safety. Colorado’s electric co-ops work tirelessly to mitigate situations in which their power lines might cause a wildfire. Some approaches include trimming trees on an annual basis to ensure they aren’t coming into contact with electric lines, maintaining the rights-of-way and keeping infrastructure up to code and equipment operating properly. Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs has taken vegetation management a step further by finding new and innovative ways to utilize technology to pinpoint potential fire risks. Holy Cross recently teamed up

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During the 2020 Colorado wildfire season, more than 665,000 acres of land were scorched.

with Intel Geospatial, a cloud “geovisual” data management platform, for a proof-ofconcept project. The project consisted of performing an overhead system inspection with an unmanned aerial vehicle, and then providing the photos to Intel Geospatial. “Intel has developed a software platform designed to allow integration of the inspection photos into a set of base maps, which then allows the end user to review the photos more efficiently for system deficiencies and create reports for field crews to repair the issue,” said Cody O’Neil, vice president of the Glenwood Springs district operations group at Holy Cross. “We look forward to incorporating this software into our system maintenance program, with the end goal of improving our system reliability, which in turn minimizes the chance that the electric system ignites a fire,” O’Neil added. Sangre de Cristo Electric Association, Inc., in Buena Vista is another cooperative that is thinking outside of the box. The association recently added a $6 per month wildfire mitigation rate rider on SDCEA monthly bills, which began in January 2021. The co-op experienced the depredation of wildfires firsthand with the Decker

and Hayden Creek fires. The aftermath of these fires created a major impact on those living near the lasting burn scars, and Sangre de Cristo’s region remains at high risk for an even larger, more severe wildfire in the future. Despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on vegetation management over the past several years, it would take an additional 20 years under the co-op’s current allocated budget to raise enough money to efficiently clear regional electric lines, and the association knew it had to accelerate the process. According to SDCEA, the board approved the $6 per month rate rider for 2021, with an incremental increase of $1 per year until it reaches $10. The rider will be reviewed periodically to guarantee its effectiveness and will be removed from SDCEA bills when it is deemed no longer necessary. “Over the years, Sangre de Cristo has budgeted and spent millions of dollars cutting back trees in our ROW [rights-of-way] and our easements. We have tried to preserve as many trees as we could. But the recent spate of wildfires in California and Colorado, along with the loss of life and homes, has caused us to re-evaluate our risk and the urgency that it requires. Our highest calling is the protection


ENERGY CONNECTIONS of life and property,” said Paul Erickson, SDCEA chief executive officer. The safety and livelihoods of co-op consumer-members are always top-ofmind, which is why CREA, along with its member cooperatives, is pursuing a threepronged approach to reduce the threat of wildfires throughout the state. The approach will heavily focus on the power line rightsof-way through the state’s vast landscape. The three prongs are: 1. Reviewing the vegetation management strategies in rights-of-way with private landowners and public land managers. Sometimes, co-ops and other utilities experience difficulties accessing the rights-of-way or easements if they can’t gain permission from adjacent landowners to cross their land. 2. Working with policymakers on changes that will allow for better vegetation management in rights-of-way. 3. Joining the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in addressing concerns regarding access to rights-of-way on federal lands. A right-of-way is an easement agreement between the landowner and the co-op allowing the co-op to access the power line (or whatever infrastructure is in the rightof-way). It also allows the co-op to maintain

the power line and to clear any trees or other vegetation that might cause a threat to the power line. Generally, the co-op pays the landowner a yearly fee for this access, which is negotiated between landowners and co-ops. In Colorado, these rights-of-way can vary in width depending on the type of power line running through the rights-of-way or according to the agreements with landowners. Land owned by the state or federal government can present its own set of challenges. Each governmental agency has its own criteria and policies regarding rightsof-way. Sometimes, it can take months or even years to get necessary permits to work within existing rights-of-way or easements. This lack of consistency and often drawn-out processes can make maintaining the vegetation to minimize wildfire risks difficult. Positive news is on the horizon for electric cooperatives across the nation. “The [federal] agencies have recently taken several positive steps to streamline approvals that allow electric co-ops more timely access to power line rightsof-way located on federal land,” said Janelle Lemen, NRECA regulatory issues director. “NRECA is engaging with the agencies to ensure consistent and coordinated implementation of these regulations.” That work is having an effect. The U.S. Forest Service issued a final rule on

Maintaining rights-of-way through the mountains is no easy task.

November 19, 2020, under the National Environmental Policy Act, which ensures that co-ops will no longer face a waiting period when there is an emergency vegetation management situation or maintenance that cannot be put on hold. Wildfires are not completely avoidable, especially during the dry summer months in Colorado. CREA and its member cooperatives are committed to providing safe, reliable electricity at an affordable rate. Vegetation management for wildfires is a fundamental aspect of the service electric cooperatives work to provide to their consumer-members, and co-ops will continue to act proactively on wildfire mitigation. By working together, wildfire threats in Colorado can be reduced. Sarah Smith, a freelance writer in Colorado, has a long history with electric co-ops.

Colorado’s electric co-ops work tirelessly to mitigate situations in which their power lines might cause a wildfire. One approach is making sure the rights-of-way are clear from trees.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

21


GARDENING

VICKI SPENCER’S FAVORITE GARDENING BOOKS Gardentopia by Jan Jansen

GAUGING YOUR GARDEN Get great gardening advice from books BY VICKI SPENCER

MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

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ast year the coronavirus brought so many changes to our lives. We all had to make adjustments, some more difficult than others. One bright spot during these trying times is increased interest in creating more livable outdoor spaces and engaging with the natural world. Several new books are readily available now online and at local libraries offering curbside pickup. My favorite is Jan Jansen’s Gardentopia. I spent hours with this pictorial guide, savoring 135 ideas for creating my very own sanctuary. Jansen’s insights as a professional landscape designer are inspirational. Each concept is briefly described and accompanied by photographs that bring the concept to life. The book is divided into five sections: garden design; walls, patios, walks and steps; theme gardens; color in the garden; and plants and planting. I found so many useful ideas that I bought the book to highlight suggestions for framing my garden area, creating focal areas, adding artful accents and more. I’ve no doubt this book will inspire others to enhance the beauty and function of their garden landscapes. If you are more interested in step-bystep guides, then Landscaping for Beginners by Landscape Design Academy should fit the bill. Another resource book is Pauline

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Pears’ revised Organic Book of Compost. It starts with the evolution of composting throughout history, then takes the reader on a journey through recycling household waste, culminating in the production of fertile soil. Although published in 2019, Nature Play at Home by Nancy Striniste could not be timelier. It is a compendium of ideas to engage children in creating outdoor spaces and to connect them with nature. There are suggestions for building play spaces in your yard; explorations in nature; and activities that involve climbing, planting and crafting with natural resources. All of these ideas are captured in photographs that spark the imagination. I found how easy it is to bring joy to children whose school lives have been disrupted when I saw my grandsons’ eyes light up after suggesting they each paint a mural on my garden shed doors. In Colorado we are blessed with so many accessible parks and wide-open spaces that we might unknowingly take them for granted. This was not urbanite Charlene Costanzo’s experience when she felt a sense of awe upon seeing San Carlos Bay, Florida, for the first time. In The Twelve Gifts from the Garden, Costanzo poetically illustrates in short vignettes how first impressions in

Landscaping for Beginners by Landscape Design Academy Organic Book of Compost by Pauline Pears Nature Play at Home by Nancy Striniste The Twelve Gifts from the Garden by Charlene Costanzo

nature can change after close observation and reflection. As a birder, I enjoyed her discovery that two dead trees were intentionally left in a well-maintained garden to provide homes for various species, including an osprey that she spotted dining on a freshly caught fish. Costanzo suggests that observations like this are gifts that can bring a sense of peace and well-being. Books that help us recognize, appreciate and cultivate gifts from the garden are particularly enjoyable as we spend more time at home, in our gardens and in nature with our families. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Read previous gardening columns at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Gardening under Living in Colorado.


CREATIVE CORNER

READER POETRY Winter Work Doin’ winter work ain’t easy. It takes a special breed to climb the windmills — chop the ice an’ haul ’n throw out feed.

An’ pardner, it’s gonna rip ’n roar, an’ it’s gonna have its way but in the end, even it must bend ’n quietly slip away.

It takes a fair amount o’ grit. It’ll separate the boys ’n men. It’ll push ’n pull ’n test ya and you’ll break if you can’t bend.

I’m sure the cows are grateful, though they won’t tell ya so, that you were out there for ’em when it was thirty-five below.

Now workin’ smarter, that’s the key. Bravado here won’t pay. Think ahead — plan yer moves ’n survive another day.

It’s a mighty satisfyin’ feelin’ to know they made it through an’ again the circle is unbroken an’ it’s partly ’cause of you.

Even yer ol’ pony’s measurin’, bein’ careful as if he knows that it’s hard to keep yer stirrup when you can’t feel yer toes.

Dennis L. Fischer, Nathrop

DO YOU WRITE POETRY? Send us your best work; we’d love to read it. Submission: Submit your poetry via email to: info@ coloradocountrylife.org or by mail to: Colorado Country Life 5400 Washington St. Denver, CO 80216

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OUTDOORS

HEAVY VEST SYNDROME Take a load off and recognize what’s truly useful during outings BY DENNIS SMITH

| OUTDOORS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

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very fly fisherman I’ve ever known has wrestled with “heavy vest syndrome” at one time or another. Me, too. I used to carry an inventory of accessories, gear and gadgets capable of covering any possible angling eventuality up to and including a fly-fishing expedition to the Dark Continent. For a while there I had so much stuff crammed into and dangling from my vest that I sounded like a junkyard coming down the trail. I didn’t mind the weight of the thing so much as the thought of having to paw through all that clutter to look for something I really needed and couldn’t find. At

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some point I finally had to admit that (1) fly-fishing the Dark Continent wasn’t even a remote possibility, and (2) I seldom used half the stuff I was hauling around, like the small binocular, the magnifying glass with tubular vials for collecting insects, the first-aid kit, the folding drinking cup and so on. In the process of determining what I absolutely could not live without for a day on the stream, a few items distinguished themselves — not only for being useful angling accessories in their own right, but also for being superior ones at that. Three of them stood out: a Ty-Rite tool, a Ketchum Release hook disgorger and a pair of 3X magnifying glasses. I’ve used all them for years now and can honestly say I’d panic without them. The Ty-Rite tool looks like a sawed-off ballpoint pen. A small, spring-steel hook pops out the tip instead of a pen point. It holds your fly while you thread the eye with tippet and then, with a few twists of the barrel, ties a perfect clinch knot. It’s the essence of simplicity in both design and function, and is definitely easier to hold a tiny fly with than my frozen, zucchini-sized fingers. It has the added benefit of preventing dropped flies. I keep it on a retractor pinned to my vest where it’s handy but out of the way.

The Ketchum Release hook remover is simply the best device I’ve ever used for that chore, though I probably wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t found one on the stream one day. I’d like to thank the guy who dropped it. Two features distinguish it from all the other hook removal tools I’ve tried: You don’t have to handle fish to release them with the Ketchum, and it doesn’t mutilate flies — or fish lips — the way hemostats can. OK, that’s technically three things. Regardless, it’s a keeper. The 3X magnifying glasses are indispensable for changing flies, tying knots, picking tangles out of line and leaders, examining captured insects up close and a hundred other daily fly-fishing tasks that require up-close visual acuity. They cost about 10 bucks, but they’re worth 10 times that. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Outdoors under Living in Colorado.


Advanced Technology Allows Macular Degeneration Patients To See Again And Allows Many Low Vision Patients To Drive Again While there is currently no cure, promising research is being done on many fronts. everything and anything possible to keep a person functioning,” says Dr. Stamm, “Even if it’s driving.” A scene as it might be viewed by a person with age-related macular degeneration

For many patients with macular degeneration and other visionrelated conditions, the loss of central visual detail also signals the end to one of the last bastions of independence driving. Colorado optometrist, Dr. Robert Stamm is using miniaturized telescopes which are mounted in glasses to help people who have lost vision from macular degeneration and other eye conditions. “Some of my patients consider me their last chance for people who have vision loss,” said Dr. Stamm, one of only a few doctors in the world who specializes in fitting bioptic

Same scene of rancher as viewed by a person without macular degeneration

telescopes to help those who have lost vision due to macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases. Imagine a pair of glasses that can improve your vision enough to change your life. Bioptic telescopes may be the breakthrough in optical technology that will give you back your independence. Patients with vision in the 20/200 range can many times be improved to 20/50. Bioptic telescopes treat both dry and wet forms of macular degeneration as well as other vision limiting conditions.

bioptic telescope is that the lens automatically focuses on whatever you’re looking at,” said Dr. Stamm. “It’s like a self-focusing camera, but much more precise.”

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READER PARTICIPATION is the backbone of CCL magazine. SEND US YOUR: Original Poetry Photos with the Magazine Letters to the Editor Community Events Submit via email to: info@coloradocountrylife.org By mail to: Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St. Denver, CO 80216

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COMMUNITY EVENTS Since some Community Events are being canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19, we at Colorado Country Life went on an online scavenger hunt to find ways to be entertained while social distancing. We hope you’ll enjoy our list of WINTER SANITY SAVERS! (We are doing our best to keep the calendar up to date at coloradocountrylife.coop/community-events.)

The Arts are Everywhere

Artworks Center for Contemporary Art, Loveland

In an exhibit titled “The Things She Learned,” artist Brenda Jones showcases artwork that tells a story of the lives of females — from young girls to adults — based on what they wear and how they look. But there is undoubtedly more to their stories. February 12-March 27. artworksloveland.org

Aurora Fox Arts Center, Aurora

“The Pavilion” is a story of high school sweethearts reuniting after 20 years apart and understanding one another’s past and present. This theater performance starts on February 26 and runs through March 21. aurorafoxartscenter.org

Bike Poster Contest

Are you a talented artist? You could win $1,000 if you can create the best bike racing poster to help advertise the Pueblo Bike Race. Deadline is February 19. Find all the details at coloradocountrylife.coop/community-events. Click on the sidebar on the right-hand side of the page.

Boulder Theater, Boulder

On February 13, the Boulder Symphony presents “True Love,” a concert of love, regret and heartbreak. One night, two shows: 6 and 9 pm. bouldersymphony.org

Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden

Sure, it’s always amazing to take a trip on one of CRM’s amazing locomotives, but don’t forget to check out its Depot Museum. All this year you can get a glimpse of railroad history with two profound exhibits: “Colorado Railroads & The Black Experience” and “Across the Fruited Plain: Migrating West to Colorado by Rail.” coloradorailroadmuseum.org/depot-museum

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado Springs Experience a colorful collection of Chicana and Chicano artworks at the exhibition “Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin.” Showing now through June 26. fac.coloradocollege.edu

CU Presents, Boulder

Help support the University of Colorado Boulder’s fine arts department by paying what you can to stream this stage performance of “Hansel and Gretel” to enjoy virtually through February 15. cupresents.org

Denver Art Unplugged Self-Guided Tour, Denver

For $9.99 per smart device, you can get an audio tour of several public art displays starting at The Scottish Angus Cow and Calf and finishing at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. denverfreewalkingtours.com

Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo

This art center features 24 new art exhibits per year by regional, national and international artists, which means there’s always something new to see. You can also view artworks virtually. sdc-arts.org

Walker Fine Art, Denver

Explore a variety of beautiful artworks at the “Upon Closer Reflection” art exhibition either in person or online through March 6. walkerfineart.com

Have a Thrill

Meeker Skijoring Event, Meeker

Get a thrill watching riders and their horses race through town February 19-21 at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds. This event also includes kid-friendly activities and adult event entertainment. visitmeekercolorado.com

XMR Racing, Walden

XMR’s first three races are over, but you can still catch an Xtreme Mountain Racing snowcross event in northern Colorado at Walden Reservoir on February 9. After this race, XMR heads to Casper, Wyoming (February 27) and then to West Yellowstone, Montana (March 19-20). xmr-racing.com

Get Out (or Stay in)

Bear Creek Nature Center, Colorado Springs, and Fountain Creek Nature Center, Fountain

These El Paso County nature centers offer several programs for all ages, including nature walks, themed children’s outdoor exploration programs and hands-on activities. communityservices.elpasoco.com/nature-centers/nature-center-programs

Colorado Preservation, Inc.

Since 1984, CPI has been “preserving, protecting and promoting Colorado’s historic places.” February 10-12, CPI’s Saving Places® Conference is going virtual and is chockful of engaging speakers and important topics. savingplacesconference.org

History Colorado Center, Denver

Gale Norton, Colorado’s first female attorney general and former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, shares her knowledge in a presentation dubbed “Federalism & Democracy” on February 10, 7-8 pm. historycolorado.org/events

Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center, Pueblo

Every Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am, you can see the center’s various resident raptors and learn more about them from the ones who know them best: the NWDC staff. hikeandlearn.org

Pet Photo Contest

Adoring pet owners can win cash prizes and help raise money for the community via the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club in a photo contest called “Who Do You Love? Cat or Dog?” Enter your photo by February 14. gogophotocontest.com/whodoyoulovecatordog

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

SEND CALENDAR ITEMS 2 MONTHS IN ADVANCE

Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303-455-2807; or email calendar@coloradocountrylife.org. Please send name of event, date, time, venue, brief description, phone number, a photo, if you have one, and email and/or website for more information.


YOUR STORIES

READERS’ PHOTOS

FUNNY STORIES

My daughter is a teacher where her

Life is good with CCL! Tana and Forrest Lawler pose with their copy of CCL. The Lawlers are consumermembers of Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.

Jennifer Rivas smiles with CCL, while socially distancing in the Roosevelt National Forest. She is a consumer-member of Poudre Valley REA.

grandson attends school. After school on Valentine’s Day, her 7-year-old grandson came into her classroom carrying a note and looking very perplexed. He handed her the note and asked her to read it. She read out loud, “I ‘heart shape’ you.” He said, “Grandma, I’m not ready for this. I don’t even have a house!” When his mother arrived to take him home, he got into the car and asked her, “Will you buy me a house?” Diana Hoehn, Dolores

My 3-year-old daughter Adella and

I were helping her big brother make solar system valentines. We created an assembly line where big brother carefully wrote the name of a classmate on each valentine, then he slid them to Adella who was in charge of handing me a planetary sticker. I then cut, folded and sealed them with the sticker and crossed the name off the class list. After we had made three valentines, she turned to me and asked, “Why am me doing all the work around here?” Karin Becker, Colorado Springs

Carol Click and her grandchildren pose with CCL in Atlanta, Georgia. Carol is a consumer-member of Empire Electric Association.

The paper came home from school

Empire Electric Association consumer-member Linda Isman snaps a photo with CCL while standing by the Dolores River.

WINNER: Morgan Country REA consumer-members John and Peggy Lough pose with Colorado Country Life in New Smyrna, Florida.

Take Your Photo with Your Magazine and Win! It’s easy to win with Colorado Country Life. Simply take a photo of someone (or a selfie!) with the magazine and email the photo and your name and address to info@ coloradocountrylife.org. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Monday, February 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. This month’s winners are John and Peggy Lough. They took their copy of Colorado Country Life to New Smyrna, Florida. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/ COCountryLife.

with my kindergartner, reminding parents that the next Monday was Presidents Day. When I explained to my son that there would be no school on Monday because we were celebrating Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays, he looked at me and asked, “No school? Am I invited to their parties?” Anonymous

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year we will draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person will receive $200. Send your 2021 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@coloradocountrylife.org. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021

29


DISCOVERIES

POWDER GEAR Discover Colorado-made products that will prepare you for your next winter adventure

Photo courtesy of Powder Factory

Prepared for Powder Powder Factory skis are built beautifully by hand in a 100% windpowered studio in Silver Plume. Each set is crafted using premium materials, such as aerospace-grade carbon fiber, hardwood cores and hardened steel edges, to create a final product that is resilient and lightweight so you can hit the hills with speed and strength. Choose from one of its factory designs or have one custom made. For more information, visit powderfactory.com.

Ready Yourself for the Ride Preparing for a ski or snowboard outing should not only include robust riding equipment, but also a durable backpack for essentials needed for the ride. Cortez-based Osprey manufactures packs that hold everything from snacks to snow safety gear and even the riding equipment itself. The best thing? It comes with an “All Mighty Guarantee.” Meaning, whether the pack was purchased in 1974 or yesterday, the company will repair or replace your pack for free. For more information, visit osprey.com.

Safeguard Yourself in the Snow If you’ve ever been stuck in deep snow in the middle of nowhere on your snow machine on a bone-chilling day, you know how important it is to find a way out quickly. Fortunately, there is a product made in Gunnison, that will lift you out of this serious situation: The Snowjack. The Snowjack is compact yet sturdy enough to boost your snowmobile out of deep snow terrain. For more information, call 970-641-1851 or visit thesnowjack.com.

Increase Your Oxygen Sometimes Colorado’s elevation literally takes the wind out of your sails. To augment your oxygen intake, try Boost Oxygen. This bottle of 95% pure supplemental oxygen gives your breathing a little lift in higher altitudes, after a hard workout or athletic competition, or if the area you’re in has poor air quality. Available in pocket size, medium or large canisters. Cost is $7.99$16.99. For more information, visit boostoxygen.com.

30

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE FEBRUARY 2021


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Colorado Country Life February 2021  

Colorado Country Life February 2021

Colorado Country Life February 2021  

Colorado Country Life February 2021