Colorado Country Life June 2020 Poudre Valley

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JUNE 2020

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Stream YouTubers Channel Colorado







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Number 06

Volume 51

June 2020 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative | 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 2020, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 | 303-455-4111 | | | 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

On the

Cover JUNE 2020

Stay in &


These Coloradans enjoy the virtual world while sticking close to home during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Chris Coleman.

YouTubers Channel Colorado

“ Yellow Bellied Marmot Mother and a Pup” by Kim Todd, a consumer-member of La Plata Electric Association.








COCountryLife pinned: Want to try something new in the kitchen? Check out the collection of recipes on our Kitchen Creations board for inspiration.







FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association shared: Want more #TigerKing? Read more about this fellow #electriccoop consumer in this month’s #coloradocountrylife magazine, the co-ops’ magazine at


Monthly Contest Father’s Day Giveaway Finding the perfect gift for dad isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Give Dad a gift card. Enter for your chance to win a $50 gift card. Go to Contests at to learn how to enter.


INSTAGRAM PIC of the month colorado_electric_cooperatives posted: Read how #electriccoops are #keepingthelightson during the pandemic in the Colorado co-op magazine. #itstartswithpower #poweron #ruralelectric #coloradocountrylifemagazine








n this ever-changing environment, it’s important to remember you have a trusted partner you can count on – your local electric co-op. Unfortunately, during this time of a global pandemic, scammers are on the prey. We have been seeing more reports of utility scams and misleading information surrounding solar installations, solar upgrades, and past due accounts in Northern Colorado. Scammers target utility consumers because consumers are understandably anxious with the threat of disruption to their utility service. New products and services in the energy industry provide an opening for scammers and pop-up companies to provide misleading information or shoddy products and services to obtain your money. Avoid Phone Scams A common phone scam typically begins with a phone number that appears to be from a valid utility company. The individual or company will claim you have a past due account and threaten to disconnect service or take legal action. These scammers will typically demand that you use a prepaid debit card or money order, often within a very short, urgent time frame, to pay the “past due” amount. Never give your banking or personal information over the phone to someone you did not call. If you have a question or concern about your energy bill, call us directly at 1-800-432-1012. Do not use the phone number given by the scammer! Avoid Solar Scams Another scam we see from time to time



is in connection with existing rooftop solar customers. Homeowners with rooftop solar may receive a sales call offering an accessory, upgrade or extended warranty to their solar array. The calls could be from crooks claiming to represent a solar company, promising to replace faulty or broken parts or improve efficiency. Use Trusted Sources There are also social media ads floating around providing misleading information. Be wary of phone calls, salesmen visiting your doors claiming PVREA won’t let you install solar, or social media ads that seem too good to be true (like zero cost solar). If you’re considering solar for your home, make sure you are working with a reputable company. Because this is still an emerging industry with evolving technology, there has been a proliferation of pop-up companies in the market to make a quick buck. Representatives of rooftop solar companies may have more sales experience than knowledge of the energy industry, and their primary goal could be making a sale and moving on to the next prospect. Call PVREA for guidance or we can provide you names of reputable solar companies. After all, we have a different “bottom line” that is not directly tied to the sale of a product or service. We take a more holistic, objective view of how to achieve energy and cost savings for our members, and that may or may not include rooftop solar. Remember, we’re just one call or click away, so please reach out with any questions about your electric service or bills – we’re here to help. Be Safe! Read more about PVREA on pages 7-10.

PVREA serves electricity to 45,000 homes and businesses in Boulder, Larimer, and Weld Counties. We are a member-owned co-op, led by those we serve.

OUR MISSION We are committed to providing safe, reliable, efficient energy solutions with exceptional service to our members.




Poudre Valley REA PO Box 272550 Fort Collins, CO 80527

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair Steven Anderson Larimer County

Director Thaine Michie Larimer County

Vice Chair Rick Johnson Larimer County

Director Jan Peterson Larimer County

Secretary James Fender Larimer County

Director Jack Schneider Weld County

Director Bryan Ehrlich Larimer County

Director Ronald Sutherland Boulder County

Director Peter Hyland Weld County




Relishing variety in recipes

Baking with friends because of COVID-19




s the pandemic restrictions start to loosen, it feels good to get out and about more, to see friends (no closer than 6 feet), to visit with neighbors across a driveway or street, to get back to some of our routines. There are still face masks involved and we haven’t quite returned to “normal” but at least we’re not totally confined to our houses. But, as we move into this new normal, there are some things from our “stay-athome” time that I want to bring with me and one of those is Saturday baking with friends. With my church going virtual on Sunday mornings and my women’s group, like every other group across the country, canceling

its events, weekMONA NEELEY ends got long. So, a group of us decided to “zoom” together and bake. We selected a recipe, set up a video chat over the popular Zoom app and invited others. We got to peek into each other’s kitchens via our computer screens and laugh and talk as we followed that week’s recipe. It was fun and I made some new friends. It was something I would have probably never done if I hadn’t been “stuck” at home. Mona Neeley is the statewide editor of Colorado Country Life, which is published in coordination with your local electric cooperative.

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Responding to the April letter writer: People have vegetarian diets for several reasons. I am not politically correct; I work in the cattle industry. I work with nutrition research cattle that ultimately will be used to study the best nutrition for beef cattle, including making beef healthier for human consumption. I enjoy my occasional beef meal, but you or someone you love may sometimes need an alternative diet. Lynne Kesel, DVM, Fort Collins

I read with misty eyes your article about your father as a lineman. I substituted my husband’s name each time you wrote the word “father.” I remember those storms vividly. I tried hard for the children’s sake and my own when storms hit to remain calm and cool, but thanked God when my husband returned home unharmed. Doris Canavan, Arizona Former Coloradan

The ORIGINAL Trimmer on Wheels!


We have long felt it unfortunate that most recipes in the magazine include large amounts of meat and sugar. We were bemused by a letter writer (April ’20) upset that a recipe included no meat. But, being in our 70s, we were greatly flattered that he referred to us as “hipsters.” W.C. Embrey, Bellvue Poudre Valley REA consumer-member

Thank a lineworker

...and BATTERY!


On behalf of all us “hipsters,” we’d like to thank the magazine for including vegetarian recipes. Even meat eaters sometimes want a change and appreciate new ideas. There are numerous reasons people choose not to eat meat, some of which include health, morals, religion, conscience, cost and convenience. Bill Williams, Dolores Empire Electric consumer-member

Go Online or Call for FREE Info Kit! TOLL FREE


I enjoyed the article about carousels, but you missed one. There’s a delightful one at the North Pole (near Colorado Springs). It has reindeer. Elisa Keesey Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member

SEND US YOUR LETTERS Editor Mona Neeley at 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or at Letters may be edited for length. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2020



Attics and Ventilation Protect your home with proper attic ventilation


A Start Saving Energy Today Saving energy is saving money and can be a fun activity to engage your friends and family. Tactics to save energy come in all shapes and sizes, including steps you can take today at no cost. Energy efficiency also increases the comfortableness of your home, and makes larger projects worth the investment. Visit these two sites to learn how you can take control of your energy use and save today. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ENERGY USE TODAY.

dequate attic ventilation is extremely important to reduce utility bills and to avoid damage to the roof and attic structure. Having a vent in each side of the gable was the typical attic ventilation configuration in older houses, but today it is considered woefully inadequate for an efficient house. The ideal ventilation flow comes in low over the insulation, keeping it dry and cool. Some of it should flow up under the roof sheathing to keep it cooler and then exhaust out near the peak of the roof. This airflow out the roof peak keeps it cooler during summer and much colder during winter to minimize condensation and ice dam formation. There are various attic venting options and all of them are better than gable vents. A combination of a ridge vent and soffit vents is most effective and not difficult to install yourself. Once you install proper new attic ventilation, block off the gable vents because they will interfere with the desired airflow. A good way to accomplish this is to staple extra attic foil over the gable vents. The ridge vent is located at the roof peak where the hot attic air is least dense, so it naturally flows up and out. In addition to this, breezes over the top of the ridge vent cover create a low pressure area to draw even more air through the attic — the cool air is drawn in the soffit vents. First, calculate how much ventilation you need. This is measured by the net free vent area of the particular vent product you select. The net free vent area is marked on the packaging. It is always less than the actual area of the vent because of screening and other obstructions to the airflow inside the vent. Measure the area of the attic floor to determine what is needed. A typical rule of thumb is 1 square foot of net free vent area for each 150 square feet of attic floor area. This amount of vent area should be divided evenly between the ridge vent and the inlet soffit vents. Check inside the attic to be sure the insulation is not blocking the soffit vents. Blockage can be solved by attaching small baffles. James Dulley writes utility bill-cutting and general money-saving magazine articles and writes nationally syndicated $ensible Home and Cut Your Utility Bills columns for 200 newspapers and magazines.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Learn more about attic vents and how to install them by visiting Click on the Energy tab and then Energy Tips.




At the Touch of a Screen How healthcare workers are bringing families together with donated iPads


he UCHealth Palliative Care team that covers Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies and UCHealth Greeley Hospital specializes in providing support to patients living with a serious or chronic illness. During the COVID-19 era, their roles have enhanced, and they have faced increased challenges while caring for patients and their families. In normal times, the nurses often sit with them for extended periods of time to discuss hopes, goals and worries that accompany living with serious illness. Katie Fundalinski, wife of PVREA Financial Analyst Justin Fundalinski, is part of the palliative care team as a Family Nurse Practitioner. In the early stages of the pandemic, when discussing work with her husband, she explained that visits had been limited to only two family members, and as restrictions quickly grew, in-person visitation decreased all together. “For a patient, dealing with chronic illness

is hard as it is. For them not to be able to be with their family as they struggle, and the difficulty of the families to not be with their loved one in the hospital is upsetting,” Katie said.

“We are so thankful for the technology and resources that aide us in easing the hardships that patients and their families are facing.” With the current restriction on family visitations, the hospitals have reinvented how they continue to facilitate visits. They have been using iPads or phones to connect seriously ill patients and their families. Unfortunately, because this wasn’t a common practice, the tools needed to make this happen weren’t available in abundance. Justin knew that in the past, PVREA had donated iPads to other organizations and told

his wife Katie he would ask around at work if it was possible to help by donating some to the care team. Poudre Valley REA was able to donate nine iPads to the team and nurses have been able to connect patients to their loved ones using Zoom, Duo and FaceTime. “Today, we set up a video chat between a 40-year-old patient at one of our facilities with his young son so they could celebrate the son’s birthday together,” Katie said. “We are so thankful for the technology and resources that aide us in easing the hardships that patients and their families are facing.” During these time, stories like this are constant from the palliative care team. Some patients are in the hospitals communicating with their loved ones and have high chances of continuing treatment and making a recovery. Other patients are taking it day-by-day, connecting with their loved ones aware that it could be the last time they communicate and are thankful to be able to see each other.

PVREA’s New Gateway Substation Goes Live


VREA’s newest substation, located at County Road 3 and County Road 48 just northeast of Berthoud, is live and sending electrons down the line for members in the area. The added infrastructure provides many benefits for members increased reliability and lower outage duration. Adding a substation in this area provides another avenue to reroute power in the event of a large power outage. If one substation loses a primary feeder, that electrical load can be shifted over to another substation while crews work to fix a problem. This decreases the amount of time a member is without power. In addition, the substation is needed to balance load growth occuring in the area from new subdivisions and businesses, and improves the ability to maintain the co-op’s system with fewer service interruptions. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2020



Launching Power Peak Rewards Now with Nest and Ecobee

How it Works

How to Enroll

> PVREA wants to lower demand during energy “power peak” hours, like those hot summer afternoons when everyone’s cranking up the air conditioning, and we can use a Nest or Ecobee thermostat to do it.

1. You can enroll in Power Peak Rewards with your Nest or Ecobee if you already have one. If you don’t, you can purchase one at any retailer or buy a Nest thermostat through PVREA’s online storefront and get a co-op member discount.

> A Nest or Ecobee thermostat can help you use less energy by tweaking the temperatures during the power peak hours while still keeping you comfortable.

2. Sign up through your smart thermostat’s app. Look for “Rush Hour Rewards” in the Nest app, or “eco+” in Ecobee’s app.

> You’re in control. If you’re home, the smart thermostat won’t let it get too hot. But if you start to feel warm, you can change the temperature at any time. > You need to be a PVREA member with central air conditioning or a heat pump and Wi-Fi to participate.

3. Once you’re signed up, PVREA will reward you with the onetime enrollment bonus of $50 right on your electric bill. 4. At the end of the cooling season, you’ll get another $30 reward on your electric bill for staying enrolled. You can receive the reward every year you stay in the Power Peak Rewards program.

The Rewards


Enrollment Reward for signing up - credited directly to your electric bill.


Participation Reward credited directly to your electric bill after the cooling season (typically November) if you stay enrolled.

Office Closed Our office will be closed on July 3 in observance of Independence Day.

June 2020

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month



Home cooling makes up a large portion of your energy bills. Try to keep the difference between the temperature of your thermostat setting and the outside temperature to a minimum. The smaller the difference, the more energy you will save.


Smart Thermostat Options


eating and cooling costs account for around half of a user’s energy bill according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So when it comes to reducing energy use and cutting home energy costs, the most impact can be made by programming the thermostat. The right thermostat settings could yield energy savings of 8-15%, and new technology is making it easier than ever to achieve those settings. The Nest 3rd Generation Learning

The Nest and Ecobee offer for purchase, remote sensors that allow the thermostat to take readings from any room throughout your home and adjust the temperature accordingly. This can be an advantage if your thermostat is located near a draft or in direct sunlight. The Ecobee’s sensors go one step further with occupancy sensing, which notices if there is movement in the house, in order to override geofencing if the primary phone user leaves the house and someone is

energy use compared to previous months and other Nest users. Ecobee must be hardwire installed, utilizes a touchscreen and can analyze HVAC data for 18 months. All temperature and motion data from the thermostat and sensors is recorded, and can be accessed online by the owner to help you monitor total energy use, how the weather influences your use, and how your home efficiency compares to other users in your area.

Thermostat and Ecobee4 are the most popular and sophisticated smart thermostats. Both devices are usually priced around $250, but consumers can easily recoup their money in energy cost savings. There are many similarities between the two thermostats. Both can be adjusted via computer, tablet, smartphone, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa device (the

still there. While many of the features are similar, there a few that are notably different and can help you determine which is right for you. Nest, powered by a rechargeable battery, is a learning thermostat and automatically learns your schedule. When you begin using Nest, it makes a few assumptions and creates a baseline for its schedule. As you adjust the

The two thermostats also can connect with various energy devices in your home. Ecobee recognizes dehumidifiers and ventilators, and Next recognizes heat pumps and auxiliary heat. For those looking for a smart thermostat with fewer bells and whistles, the Honeywell Lyric T5+ is one of the market’s most popular, priced around $135. While it can’t sense your

Ecobee4 even has a built-in Alexa-enabled speaker). And both thermostats can interact with other smart devices and utilize geofencing—using your phone’s GPS to determine if you’re home, then automatically adjusting the temperature. Nest’s geofencing works with multiple phones, while Ecobee supports just one phone. Ecobee makes up for this with its more sophisticated sensors.

temperature up or down, Nest records it, and after a week, learns your schedule and the temperature settings you prefer. From then, it continues to learn and respond to your adjustments. Nest also records 10 days of energy use data that shows you a visual of the times your system turned on and off during those 10 days. Nest also sends a monthly email report that includes a summary of your

presence or learn your schedule, it does have the geofencing feature and can interact with other smart-home devices, such as turning on lights when you arrive or leave home. Whichever fits your lifestyle and preferences, a smart thermostat is a good investment that can help you save energy and money in a more convenient way than ever.




Congrats to Our Scholarship Winners!


oudre Valley REA has awarded scholarships to 29 students - 28 through our annual College Scholarship Fund and one as a “Luck of the Draw” door prize at the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting. The College Scholarship Fund has been a part of PVREA’s community outreach for over 20 years. The scholarship program is funded entirely with unclaimed member credits as are other community programs for the benefit of co-op members. Scholarship application forms for next year will be posted on in the fall.

KIMBERLY BLOUGH Berthoud High School

KATHERINE DEMARET Rocky Mountain High School






Poudre High School

Fossil Ridge High School

Heritage Christian Academy

University High School

Colorado Early Colleges






Lyons Senior High School

Berthoud High School

Rocky Mountain High School

Berthoud High School

Windsor High School







Berthoud High School

Berthoud High School

Resurrection Christian School

Fossil Ridge High School

Windsor High School

Windsor High School

ARDEN MCCAULEY DAVID MCGEE ISABELLA NIELSEN Thompson Valley High School Liberty Common High School Liberty Common High School




Windsor High School

Fossil Ridge High School

Berthoud High School






Loveland High School

Berthoud High School

Resurrection Christian School

Windsor High School

Poudre High School




Now available in the U.S. without a prescription!

Popular French Diet Pill Goes On Sale Nationwide Clinical study shows active ingredients trigger weight loss in the abdomen without harmful side effects; guaranteed results or get 110% of your money back A compound that triggers weight loss in the abdomen has been used safely in France for years. It is now available in the United States without a prescription. The pill contains ingredients that not only burn belly fat... but... also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Plus, at just two dollars per daily dose, it’s very affordable. Today marks the nationwide release of this pill in the United States. It’s being offered by the Applied Scientific Research Center in Colorado. The U.S. brand name of this pill is OxiTrim. Clinical results show dieters can lose up to 5 inches from their waistline within just 8 weeks of daily use. That’s because OxiTrim works to enhance the body’s ability to burn a specific type of fatty acid found in the abdomen. OxiTrim does not contain stimulants or dangerous chemicals. The active ingredients have a track record of safety showing no harmful side effects.

France’s Weight Loss Breakthrough

In 2013, scientists announced a pill that facilitates weight loss in the abdomen. It contains a combination of ingredients shown to enhance the metabolism’s ability to burn belly fat. Since then, it has become a popular diet pill in France and Germany. Sales continue to climb as new people discover how well the product works. Michael Kenneth, President of the Applied Scientific Research Center is not surprised by the popularity. He says, “The pill is safe. It’s effective. It works fast. Plus, it costs less than a cup of coffee per day.” “And now, we’re making it available in America under the new brand name OxiTrim. We can’t wait to receive feedback from first time users. We know dieters are going to love this pill,” he added.

Double Blind Clinical Results

The findings were then published in the Journal of Medicinal Food... and... the Obesity Journal. Participants were given either a placebo... or else... OxiTrim’s active ingredients twice per day for 8 weeks. They then ate a normal 2,000 calorie diet and walked for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. The results were stunning. Those who took the active ingredients lost almost 4 times more weight than the placebo group. Even more exciting was the quantity of inches they lost from their waistline. The group taking OxiTrim’s active ingredients lost almost 5 inches of belly fat. That’s equal to 2 pants sizes for men... and... 4 to 6 dress sizes for women. The pill even helped maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. This is especially good news for anyone who is overweight, given the health risks they often face.

How It Works

The active ingredients in OxiTrim trigger weight loss in a way scientists have not seen before. Research shows they activate a protein in the body that breaks down fatty acids found in abdominal fat. “You can think of OxiTrim as a match that lights the fuse in belly fat,” said Kenneth. “This fuse effects metabolic rate which results in enhanced fat loss around the mid section and other parts of the body, too.” Kenneth also said, “Dieters should know OxiTrim is made from natural plant extracts. It is not a drug. It does not contain any stimulants or dangerous chemicals either.” “Plus, unlike a lot of other diet pills, OxiTrim won’t increase your heart rate or make you anxious. In fact, you won’t even know you’re taking it until you begin to see a slimmer waistline,” he added.

Approved By Top Doctors

“The advanced ingredients found in A double blind clinical study was OxiTrim have been used successfully in conducted on OxiTrim’s active ingredients. France for years. The clinical trials show The study was reviewed and analyzed by they can burn fat fast for those with a few scientists from the University of California, extra pounds to lose.” — Dr. Ana Jovanovic. Davis. “OxiTrim is the most exciting

Sales Frenzy: The newly released OxiTrim pill from France is set to break sales records nationwide this week. In clinical studies, users taking the pill’s active ingredients lost up to 5 inches from their waistline in 8 weeks without strict dieting.

breakthrough in natural weight loss to date. It’s a proven pill for men and women who want to cut pounds of belly fat.” — Dr. M. Usman, M.D. “I have reviewed the research and have decided to recommend OxiTrim to overweight people. That’s because OxiTrim doesn’t just reduce weight, it helps maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, too.” — Dr. Ahmad Alsayes.

110% Money Back Guarantee

Amazing feedback from users of OxiTrim has generated a wave of confidence at the company. So much so that they now offer OxiTrim with a 110% money back guarantee. The company’s president, Michael Kenneth says, “We’ve seen how well it works. Now we want to remove any risk for those who might think OxiTrim sounds too good to be true.” Simply take the pill exactly as directed. You must enjoy fast and impressive weight loss. Otherwise, return the product as directed and you’ll receive 100% of your money back plus an extra 10%.

How To Get OxiTrim

Today marks the official nationwide release of OxiTrim in America. And so, the company is offering a special discount supply to every person who calls before inventory runs out. A Regional Order Hotline has been setup for local readers to call. This gives everyone an equal chance to try OxiTrim. The Order Hotline is now open. All you have to do is call TOLL FREE 1-888-3080191 Then provide the operator with the special discount approval code: OTD20. The company will do the rest. Initial supplies of OxiTrim are limited. Those who don’t call soon may have to wait until more inventory is produced. This could take as long as 6 six weeks.



GRILL A MEAL THAT’LL MAKE ’EM SQUEAL Get your loved ones worked up for a mouthwatering, meaty meal BY AMY HIGGINS


Jason Ganahl’s Tip for Beginner Barbecuers Buy an instant read thermometer There are a bunch of different types on the market, but the one that I like best is the one I have the most history using: the ThermoWorks Thermapen. It’s important to use an instant read thermometer because when you open up the pit to check on your food, you want to make sure that you’re not letting all the heat escape. With a thermometer like the Thermapen, you can get in, check your temperature and get back to cooking right away without throwing off your entire cooking time. The other great thing about the instant read is that you don’t have a lot of time to pull off a steak at a perfect medium rare. You have to get an accurate temperature quickly to make sure you pull the meat off of the heat at the right time.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Get more grilling tips by visiting Click on the Recipes page.





ummertime barbecues beckon family and friends to gather, gab and work up an appetite. And when you know you have something great on the grill, you can’t help but feel like you really could beat Bobby Flay. Jason Ganahl, owner of Colorado’s G-Que Barbeque restaurants, won his share of barbecue championships and offers up some crowd-pleasing recipes that will radiate aromas to get those stomachs growling. Check out the G-Que Barbeque website,, to see what’s on the menu and to gather great advice and recipes from the “Maestro of Meat” himself. In the meantime, try one of these recipes:

“Maestro of Meat” shares barbecue secrets for backyard grilling success!

Luther Burger 6 slices bacon

Salt and pepper, to taste

Butter or ghee

2 slices cheddar cheese

2 (8 ounce) 70/30 patties

2 eggs

2 glazed donuts

Light some coals and add to one side of your barbecue and cover grill with a griddle. While the griddle heats up, start cooking your bacon in a pan over a medium high heat until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Remove from the pan, but reserve the bacon grease for later use. Once it’s piping hot, melt some butter or ghee on the griddle and lay the patties down on top of it. Press with a spatula for about 10 seconds for the best contact with the griddle and a good sear on the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook to your desired level of doneness, flipping once and reseasoning halfway through (about 3 minutes per side, depending on heat). Just before pulling the burgers off, top with a slice of cheese. Crack two eggs into the pan with bacon grease and cook them sunny side up over indirect heat. As the eggs cook, spoon some of the bacon grease over the top to cook them from both sides while leaving the yolk intact. Slice your donuts in half and build your burgers starting with the bottom donut, patty, egg, bacon and top donut.


Smoked Sloppy Joes 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt, to taste

1 1/2 cups ketchup

Black pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons mild yellow mustard

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 red bell pepper, diced


1/2 green bell pepper, diced

Brioche buns

In a large bowl, season the ground beef with salt and pepper, then mix in the onion, peppers and garlic until all ingredients are homogenized. Put the meat mixture into a foil pan and spread an even layer across the entire pan. In a cup or bowl, mix together the ketchup, mustard and brown sugar to make the sauce. Start a basket of coals in a drum smoker, add a strip of hickory wood and let it heat to about 300 degrees. Once it’s up to temperature, add the meat mixture to the drum and let it cook to an internal temperature of 140 degrees. Drain the grease out of the pan. Add the sauce and a small splash of water to the pan, and mix well to combine. Put meat back into the pit and cook for another 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. When the meat is nearly finished, toast your buns and then top with a heaping scoop of meat.

Nashville Hot Grilled Chicken Wings 30-40 chicken wings Salt and pepper, to taste Your favorite dry rub (optional) 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon black pepper 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 4 ounces melted lard Sliced pickles Set up your grill for two-zone cooking and let it heat up to 375 to 400 degrees while you prepare the wings. Traditional Nashville Hot Wings only use salt and pepper, but this recipe also calls for a dry rub for a little bit of variety. Season the wings liberally with salt, pepper and your favorite dry rub on all sides, whichever way you like. Once it’s up to temperature, add the wings to the indirect heat side of the grill, leaving space between them for air flow. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 20 to 25 minutes. While the wings are grilling, prepare the sauce by combining the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, black pepper, sea salt, paprika, garlic powder and lard, then combine with a whisk until consistent.

QUICK TIP / THE “BISCUIT TEST” If you’re cooking on a new grill, be sure to give it the “biscuit test.” It’s a simple, inexpensive way to see how it distributes heat. Watch the video at how-test-new-grill-biscuits/ to see how it’s done.

Move wings to the direct heat side of the grill and turn every 15 to 20 seconds until the skin is crispy, then remove from heat. Once all of your wings are fully cooked, toss in the Nashville Hot Sauce to coat. Serve with pickles and enjoy. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2020



ELECTRICITY KEEPS FLOWING DURING CRISIS The electric power industry, including electric cooperatives across Colorado and the nation, are facing the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to deliver electricity reliably and safely, according to a report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the nation’s grid watchdog. Despite a heightened risk of disruption to the workforce and supply chains and new cybersecurity threats, the grid is operating effectively. “The electric industry in North America is rising to the challenge, coordinating effectively with government partners and taking aggressive steps to confront the threat to the reliability and security of the bulk power system,” NERC said in its report. “At this time, NERC has not identified any specific threat or degradation to the realizable operation (of the grid).” NERC attributed the industry’s preparedness in part to its longtime use of comprehensive emergency response drills, such as GridEx. Such tabletop exercises helped the power sector coordinate with key government agencies and “provided a blueprint to ensure that business continuity procedures are up to date and

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

comprehensive,” the report states. The central threat to the grid is loss of critical staff needed to operate and maintain the bulk power system. Since March, Colorado’s electric cooperatives and their power suppliers have worked to ensure that their systems continue to meet the needs of consumer-members. Every local distribution co-op office moved to operating virtually so that, even with office doors closed to the general public,

No Pedal the Plains in 2020 There will be no metro area bicyclists descending on the eastern plains of Colorado this fall for the annual Pedal the Plains bike tour. It has been canceled. The annual tour, which brought about 1,000 riders and their supporters to various areas of eastern Colorado each September in each of the last 10 years, is overseen by The Denver Post Foundation through a partnership with the governor’s office. The governor’s office, focused on the pandemic situation, does not want to shift that focus to provide its previous support. There is also concern for the health and safety of the riders and the residents of the towns they would visit. Ride the Rockies, the other bike event sponsored by the foundation, is also canceled for 2020.



consumer-members could still drop off payments, call for information and access accounts online. New protocols were put in place to keep employees safe while they continued to do their jobs. Now that co-ops are reopening their doors, new procedures are in place to maintain the health of employees and consumers — and to keep the electricity flowing as the pandemic continues.

FEDERAL GRANT ADVANCES RESEARCH ON CARBON STORAGE A carbon storage research project in Wyoming received a step forward with a $15.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. Basin Electric Power Cooperative, which supplies electricity to Colorado co-op power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources and other partners are developing a site near Basin’s Dry Fork Station and the Wyoming Integrated Test Center to store over 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide underground. The project is working to mitigate CO2 emission from the consumption of fossil fuels. This has been a long process, according to project manager Scott Quillinan, and has demonstrated the feasibility of safely, permanently and economically storing CO2. Now the project is moving into final testing before pursuing commercialization and construction.


Conservation Award Winner Named The Collins Ranch of Kit Carson is the recipient of the 2020 Colorado Leopold Conservation Award®. The Collins Ranch in K.C. Electric Association territory is owned and operated by the Toby and Amy Johnson family of Cheyenne County. The conservation practices that the Johnsons have implemented on their cattle ranch have improved the wildlife habitat, water quality, and grass and soil health. The award, given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, recognizes ranchers, farmers and foresters who inspire others with their conservation efforts on private, working lands. “The 2020 Leopold Conservation Award nominees and applicants showcase the diversity of agriculture in Colorado and the dedication farming and ranching families have to the lands they steward, their communities

Moving cattle at the Collins Ranch in Cheyenne County.

and their families,” said Erik Glenn, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust executive director. “The Collins Ranch demonstrates what’s possible through sound conservation efforts like rotational grazing and improved water distribution systems,” said Clint Evans, Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationist in Colorado. “The NRCS appreciates the Johnson family for their dedication to conservation and their accomplishments as


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land stewards.” Other finalists for the award included the LK Ranch of Meeker in Rio Blanco County and the May Ranch of Lamar in Prowers County. The Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado is made possible by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the power supplier for Colorado’s electric cooperatives and other ag-supporting organizations.

Electricity Demand Drops as Coronavirus Cuts Use by Business The demand for electricity dropped to a 16-year low the first week of April as offices shuttered and manufacturing slowed or stopped as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spread across the country, according to the Edison Electric Institute. Mild weather throughout the country had already contributed to lower heating demands. But, as the virus spread, electricity output fell further to 64,896 gigawatt-hours, down 5.7% from the same week in April 2019. That was the lowest demand since April 2004. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects the country’s virus-caused economic slowdown and stay-at-home orders to keep electricity consumption low for the coming months. Currently, EIA is predicting that U.S. power consumption will be down about 3% in 2020, compared to 2019.





COLORADO YouTubers bring fun to small screens BY MALIA DURBANO


ur biggest surprise on this journey has been the friends from around the world that we have met,” explains Denise Knowles, one-half of the YouTube channel team, Colorado Martini. “We’ve made friends with people around our age who are into the same things.” The 50-something couple, who live in Hygiene, a small Boulder County town, was looking for a creative outlet after serious day jobs — Patrick is a warranty manager for a construction company, and Denise works in information technology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Their friends were entertained at parties with Patrick’s ability to make flavored martinis — hence the name of the channel. “Our friends were also amused by how we interact with each other, so what initially was an idea for a book became live videos.” The Knowleses aren’t the only Colorado residents who enjoy contributing to this video-sharing internet platform. YouTube began on April 23, 2005, when the first video was uploaded by one of the founders, Jawed Karim. He and his partners, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, sold the startup to Google in October of 2006 for $1.65 billion. Since then, the website has skyrocketed. Currently over 2 billion users visit YouTube each month and every day people watch over a billion hours of video generated by YouTubers like the Knowleses.



Finding a voice on YouTube It took a year for the Hygiene couple to find their voice and hone in on a few areas of interest after starting with a cocktail and lifestyles theme. Exploring new destinations, history and even the lore behind haunted buildings became their focus. Denise’s enthusiasm and passion for the topics are evident and contribute to why they were selected as a Top 30 Colorado YouTube channel by Denise, as a software engineer and geophysicist, performs the technical requirements for the channel. As an empty nester, Denise started making private videos about lifestyle to teach the world. With a graduate certificate in adult online learning, she now uses YouTube to “teach with a modern twist.” Husband Patrick assists with ghost-hunting technical gear, does all the driving and “makes us all laugh.” Their passion for travel, as well as creating community and teaching, has evolved over the past four years into the creation of 107 videos and a virtual community of friends and followers from around the world. One of their most watched segments is a walking tour of Deadwood, South Dakota, in the Black Hills. The small town was featured in an HBO movie, so Denise and Patrick went exploring. Viewers learn that Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane visited the town, which traces its roots to 1874 when Gen. George Armstrong Custer arrived to establish a fort, where gold was discovered and a gold rush followed. Another video with almost 3,000 views is her tour of the historic and elegant Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver. Denise invites viewers along as she enjoys afternoon tea in the atrium of the unique, triangular-shaped hotel. Their story of haunted Cheesman Park in Denver prompted a viewer to comment on what excellent storytellers they were. Inspired by the praise, they produced a video on the presumably haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, and have continued conducting paranormal investigations. The Knowleses share their passion for travel in their YouTube channel Colorado Martini.


Kerry Norman shares his love for the mountains in his YouTube channel Roaming 50.

Two-wheeled exploration YouTube acknowledges that its community keeps growing thanks to individuals who contribute worthwhile content for others to view. Another Colorado resident who does his part is Kerry Norman from Louisville. Of course, when many people think of Colorado, hiking and mountain biking come to mind. The Roaming 50 channel was started in 2008 by this passionate rider, who moved to Colorado from the United Kingdom. He started as a hiker, but realized a mountain bike could help him get deeper into the wild and away from more people. Norman admits that carrying cameras, batteries, a gimbal for stability and other audio and video paraphernalia on a ride can be cumbersome. And then there is the 10-plus hours of editing it takes to create a 20-minute, professionally-produced video. But mountain biking changed his outlook on life and lifted him out of a depression. He finds it therapeutic and hopes that, by presenting new riding challenges and destinations, he, in turn, is helping other riders. Since he likes to continually explore different terrain, he makes videos to expose riders to new trails. He prefers raw natural terrain over landscaped parks and provides educational content to share with new riders on what to expect when riding. He holds the audience’s attention by talking to them as if they are riding with him. His day job provides regular income so Norman produces intermittent videos to indulge in his passion and to express his creative side. His true ulterior motive is to show his kids the cool stuff their dad used to do before he got too old. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2020


COVER STORY They don’t have mountains like this back home, so I started documenting my climbs to share with friends, and it just took off from there.” — Chad Richardson Hiking in Colorado YouTube Channel

The Fast Lane

Chad Richardson shares a view from the top of a Colorado peak. Take a hike with him on his YouTube channel Hiking in Colorado.

Hiking in Colorado Thirty-one-year-old Chad Richardson also started making videos to share his newfound love of the beauty of Colorado with friends from his small hometown in Pennsylvania. He moved to suburban Thornton in 2014 to start a new life. To get in shape and help his recovery from Lyme disease, he started hiking. His first hike up the Flatirons in Boulder “was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” But with the view from the top, he was hooked. “They don’t have mountains like this back home, so I started documenting my climbs to share with friends, and it just took off from there,” Richardson said. He’s since discovered that he loves creating moments in time that will be forever captured in videos. Documenting hikes for the Hiking in Colorado channel, Richardson started out using his phone, but as viewership started growing he watched “tons of tutorials” on how to make great videos and invested in better equipment. The quality that comes from his Panasonic G 85 with a Rode VideoMicro must be why his channel was voted Top Colorado YouTube Channel and Top YouTube Channel for Hikers by in 2018 and it continues with that designation. The channel, which includes informative and articulate descriptions of hikes with detailed route conditions along with backpacking and camping related topics, has its 45 videos broken down into categories: tutorials, 13ers, 14ers and day hikes. With 44 Colorado 14ers and 26 13ers under his belt as well as more than 100 summits, including Mount Elbert, the highest mountain in Colorado, Richardson continues to be enthralled by the breathtaking beauty and unexpected history he learns about on his hikes. “Stumbling upon old mining equipment feels like stepping back in time and getting a glimpse into the history of Colorado,” he says.



Boulder resident Roman Mica turned a perk from one job into a whole new career. As an on-air news reporter and member of the Press League, he had access to brand-new vehicles to review. What started out as a blog turned into a YouTube channel. His naturally curious mind and journalistic approach made him a natural reviewer for new automobiles. There are two reasons why he loves what he has been doing for the last 10 years: 1) he gets paid to drive new cars and tell stories through videos and 2) he gets to use his creative side to produce something that is meaningful to others. His TFLcar (The Fast Lane Car) channel has accumulated 423,996,077 views since March 26, 2009. Its mission: “To provide the latest automotive news, views and reviews with unflinching honesty, transparency and credibility.” Mica tries to think of everything that could possibly be important to a consumer when reviewing a car. While pushing the button to open the back door of a Kia Telluride, he counts. When someone is holding a baby or a bag of groceries, seconds become important. Knowing how strong engine torque is, how many cup holders and how many USB ports a vehicle has are all important to different potential buyers. His team of 10 produces videos full time for five channels. They

race sports cars around a track and test the latest four-wheel drives on tough roads in the mountains of Colorado. Displaying everything from how much storage space an SUV offers, to how quickly and easily rear seats go down in modern crossovers, they provide thorough, detailed reviews. The Fast Lane Truck channel has 116 videos and over 288,000 views. The team gets the latest heavy duty trucks and compares them on a famous stretch of Interstate 70 highway, known as the Ike Gauntlet. This 8-mile section with a 7% grade starts in Dillon and goes east, up and through the Eisenhower-Johnson tunnels. At over 11,000 feet, these trucks are tested for their towing capacity by pulling a 16,000-pound horse trailer. A recent video pits the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD against the 2020 Ram Cummins on the “World’s Toughest Towing Test.” Since it was posted on June 29, 2019, this video alone has 1,193,648 views, with many comments from their viewers saying they wish they could afford one of these trucks. Mica calculates that viewership with all five channels combined: TFLcar, TFLclassic, TFLtruck, TFLoffroad and TFL — they accumulate over 30 million views a month. People love educational and well-produced segments on subjects that interest them. Roman Mica and two of his team members work on a new video for TFLcar at the shop in Boulder.

Roman Mica takes a ride and films a review of a Corvette, one of many vehicles he and his team features on their YouTube channel.

Colorado Mountain Man Survival provides you with all the survival training you could want or need on their YouTube channel.

Exploring Virtually Coloradans from all over the state contribute to YouTube on numerous topics and have created many channels, such as Colorado Mountain Man Survival, AVA Rafting and Zipline, Colorado RedBeard Fishing, MoreJStu and the extremely popular LifewithMak, about teenager Makenna Kelly from Fort Collins. And let’s not forget the Coloradans who also watch the millions of YouTube channels. A Durango resident, 28-year-old Jesse Shavel, watches inspirational content to educate himself on business and finance. He and his girlfriend watch live music and cooking shows together, but he is also an avid fan of UFC – the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Another frequent viewer, Kathy Briggs, watches YouTube instead of television. After 9/11, the 61-year-old started watching conspiracy theory videos, which ended up on YouTube. Then, in anticipation of a trip to Mexico, she began watching travel videos. Kathy now enjoys watching travel accounts from places all over the world and can experience them from the comfort of her own home in Paonia. The owner of a health spa, she also watches educational videos on natural healing modalities. YouTube has launched local versions in more than 100 countries and is available in 80 different languages. With billions of segments to choose from, no matter your interests, you’re sure to find something to watch while you are safe at home. Malia Durbano started her freelance writing career in Durango, and now spends winters walking the beaches of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, while also learning to speak Spanish.






taying at home can open your eyes to the changes that can benefit your castle — changes you may or may not have taken notice of before. Perhaps you’re noticing a draft around your windows and doors. Maybe you detected a hot spot in an area of your home that was previously overlooked. And with that, it’s conceivable that your electric bill is higher than it was last summer. Better energy efficiency at home starts with savings, not sales, and an energy assessment conducted with help from a trained energy advisor from your electric cooperative can help you get there. Some co-ops offer general assessments of the energy situation; some provide audits; all have expertise they can share. Co-ops are always there to answer questions about energy efficiency. In the past, some offered in-home assistance with energy questions. Others offered answers over the phone or via their website. As we move into our new “normal,” each Colorado co-op is finding ways to help its consumer-members answer their energy efficiency questions. “In my opinion the biggest benefit for a member having an energy [assessment] is knowing exactly where your energy is going — if you’re being the most efficient with your energy that you can possibly be,” said Andy



Molt, director of member services at Y-W Electric Association in Akron. Co-ops provide this information because they are trusted energy advisors that are always working to help their members save energy and control their electricity costs. “I’m usually looking for whatever problem the member has indicated, which could be high bills, a cold and drafty house or to check the efficiency of appliances,” said Alantha Garrison, energy use advisor at Gunnison County Electric Association in Gunnison, who has provided 535 assessments since 2010. Members become frantic when they see a major increase on their power bill and want almost immediate answers as to why. In conjunction with experience and the ability to refer to meter data reports, the process of identifying major power consumption problems has been simplified and resolved in many instances. Problems, such as poor insulation or air leaks from windows and doors, can be identified rather quickly using a thermal camera. “I can actually look and see if there are voids in the insulation and walls with [a thermal camera],” Molt said. Interestingly, Molt said he not only finds insulation problems in older homes, but sometimes also finds “huge voids” in the insulation of newer homes.

Energy advisors are constantly receiving training, certifications and reading materials to hone their skills. During on-site assessments, energy experts use all their senses and teachings to find abnormalities, such as hot water line leaks, running well pumps or damaged power cords. Their close examination sometimes leads to identifying safety issues as well. Amy Blunck, communications director at Fort Collins-based Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, shared that during one walk-through assessment, they found an old, metal surge strip that was malfunctioning. “It had burned a hole in the back of the strip, and it was arcing,” she explained. “This surge strip was in a barn sitting next to a pile of wood, and it could have burned the whole barn down if not discovered.”

Expert advice Many of the electric co-ops that provide energy advice support professional development for energy advisors that includes exposure to building science concepts. Training focused on both new construction techniques designed to improve energy efficiency and retrofitting options for upgraded older housing are common. Specialized training for multifamily units and manufactured housing are also common.

INDUSTRY “By providing a picture of how energy is used in the home, people can concentrate on what can save them the most energy,” said Eileen Wysocki, an energy auditor with Holy Cross Energy, headquartered in Glenwood Springs. Wysocki starts with a baseload estimate of energy use based on meter data. Talking with the consumer-member, she learns about household size and behavior patterns, and considers seasonal factors like heat tape used to prevent water lines from freezing during winter months. “We have many ‘second homes’ in our service territory,” Wysocki said, adding that even when those homes are empty, energy use continues. “Fan coil blower motors, whole house humidifiers, boiler pumps, ventilation systems, driveway snowmelt pumps, pool pumps, hot tubs, garage heaters, heated toilet seats and towel bars are using energy, regardless of occupancy.” The co-op serves Colorado’s popular ski areas around Aspen and Vail, and is currently designing a new audit form. It will stress benefits members can receive through efficiency upgrades, including comfort, said Mary Wiener, energy efficiency program administrator for Holy Cross Energy. While some co-ops provide assessments free of charge, especially when they are requested in response to high bill concerns, others may charge a small fee, offering rebates to members who implement some of the recommendations provided. An energy advisor can help a member avoid ineffective upgrades or the purchase of outsized equipment that might not improve their comfort or produce savings through recoverable costs. “For members, simply talking to us on the phone about their energy use or asking us to help them find the problem at their home or business often answers their questions, and they start to understand how much control they have over their own costs

“By providing a picture of how energy is used in the home, people can concentrate on what can save them the most energy,” — Eileen Wysocki, an energy auditor with Holy Cross Energy when it comes to their electric bill,” Blunck explained. “Understanding that something as simple as using a smart thermostat, where they can control the temperature so their kids aren’t constantly turning up the AC, or putting the donkey up in a corral, where he can’t get to the stock tank heater cord, can make a big difference in your electric bill.”

Offering solutions Most energy assessments are initiated following a request tied to high bill concerns, when members are really motivated to control their energy costs. On average, members can reduce their energy use by about 5% if they follow the low-cost or no-cost advice given after an assessment. Additional savings of up to 20% can be achieved by addressing issues with big-ticket items, such as heating and

cooling replacement, adding attic insulation or major duct damage discovered during the assessment. Improved energy efficiency not only helps the co-op control peak demand and wholesale power costs, it also provides opportunities to discuss services available to members. Those include rebates, weatherization programs and payment assistance. So, what are the biggest benefits of having an energy review? “Finding areas to air seal; learning specific habit changes that can make a difference; learning when it’s most expensive to use power; learning how much energy different items use, so you know what to expect on your energy bill; learning about new co-op programs you might not have known about,” Garrison said, adding, “also, if you have a pet, I’ll probably take an infrared image of it to send to you, which people love.” To learn more about energy assessments available to you, contact your local electric cooperative. Derrill Holly writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Amy Higgins has been writing for Colorado Country Life for nearly a decade focusing on the topics that make a difference in the lives of its readers.




Natural Selections Be triumphant in your garden with native plants



hen you hear people talking about native plants, they are referring to those that existed in the United States prior to European settlement. The benefit of planting natives is that they are naturally adapted to the climate, soil and environmental conditions of their original habitat. This means they require less water, less fertilizer and less maintenance. What could be better than having more time to relax and enjoy your garden? Recent interest in natives may have arisen because of the need to conserve water, but growing natives can have an even greater impact as biodiversity is being lost to increased development of open spaces. Natives help prevent the introduction and spread of noxious weeds; they provide critical habitat for native insects that have a specialized relationship with them; and they are more resistant to diseases.

Indian blanket flower

To reap the benefit of natives, plant them in areas that best approximate their natural environment, or life zone. In Colorado, there are five life zones defined by different



Black-eyed Susan


plant communities. The eastern plains are dominated by grasslands and riparian cottonwood trees. The foothills are defined by Gambel oak and mountain mahogany. The Upper Sonoran zone of western Colorado and the San Luis Valley is characterized by semidesert shrub lands and piĂąon pine-juniper woodlands. At 8,000 to 9,500 feet altitude, the montane area is defined by ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, lodgepole pine and aspen woodlands. Finally, the alpine zone above 11,500 feet is mostly treeless tundra. Consequently, a tree or plant that is native to the alpine zone would not be wellsuited to the low altitude eastern plains. When selecting plants, you will want to consider microclimates in your yard. A south-facing area with strongly reflected heat might be suitable for dryland plants while a cooler, north-facing area with moist soil would be better suited for forest edge plants. Dryland or desert plants, such as Indian ricegrass, Indian blanket flower, yarrow and yucca, which require more sunshine and less water, flourish along the eastern plains and the southwest. Along the Front Range, bee balm will flower heavily in sunny areas with moist soil while pussytoes will provide a lush ground cover with pink flowers in dry, clay soil. In montane areas, Rocky Mountain columbines, lupines and gentian thrive in cool, moist soils. Rocky Mountain penstemon (30 inches) or the shorter Blue

Mist penstemon (12 inches) are just two of more than 200 species native to Colorado that are well-suited to sunny or partially sunny areas. Mountain gardeners should avoid introduced penstemon hybrids as they are not as cold hardy. Lovely accents to mountain rock gardens include showy goldeneye, tansy aster and black-eyed Susan. High-altitude gardeners may also enjoy golden coneflower with its double yellow flowers and mountain bluet flower with its striking thistle-like flower heads.

Blue mist penstemon

Consult with your local nursery about plants that are native to your life zone. If natives are difficult to find, you can reap similar benefits with nonnatives that have adapted to your specific life zone landscape. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

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




hether it’s a swing, glider, rocking chair or hammock, garden design should include a place to rest and revive. Pam Penick settles in an Adirondack chair in her back garden under the shade of oak trees. As she slowly designed a series of gardens and patios on her one-quarter acre, she was inspired to write two books about gardening more sustainably: Lawn Gone! and The Water-Saving Garden. She also shares ideas at her blog “Digging.” “I created a garden with cat-like tendencies, meaning it doesn’t need my attention every day,” she explained. “It’s important to relax in the garden and not just tend to it. I love watching hummingbirds zip around, sipping from Turk’s Cap and Mexican honeysuckle.” Dave Whitinger, executive director of the National Gardening Association and an avid gardener in rural eastern Texas, sometimes writes outside. He finds a spot surrounded by greenery with the background music of chirping birds and humming insects.


“I love the fragrance of our flowering plants and watching wildlife visiting our gardens,” he said. Resting among lush green plants has physical benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and sharpening cognitive skills, according to the American Horticulture Therapy Association. “While working with people who have Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders, I’ve seen horticulture therapy help reduce levels of depression, anxiety and stress,” said Patty Cassidy, a registered horticultural therapist in Portland, Oregon, and author of Gardening for Seniors. Houseplants can be therapeutic, too. “As these health benefits are becoming widely acknowledged, more therapeutic gardens and green spaces are being built at elementary schools, hospital complexes, corporate campuses and even prisons,” Cassidy said. No matter the size of your outdoor space, make a place where you can relax and absorb the beauty that surrounds you.

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The Finest Feathered Flies Colorado’s small businesses need your support now more than ever. Colorado’s electric cooperatives support local businesses in their communities. One way they are doing that is focusing on the many small Colorado businesses that have been featured on the Discoveries page of this magazine and other similar businesses just trying to make it during this difficult time. Visit coloradocountrylife. coop/support-coloradossmall-businesses to see the wonderful list of Colorado small businesses still open and needing your support. HELP GROW SUPPORT Give a business a shout-out on social media. Leave it a review. Like, share and post on social media; the extra virtual love is appreciated. Be sure to tag your posts using #CoOpsSupportCO

#CoOpsSupportCO 24





ry flies float, wet flies sink and that’s pretty much the long and short of it. Well, mostly. Either of them can be fished on or below the surface, depending on the whims of the angler — and the fish. But that’s a whole other story. For some reason, dry fly fishing has generally been seen among the fly-fishing cognoscenti as “classier” than wet fly fishing: more difficult, more sporting, more demanding, more effective, more fun … blah, blah, blah. I will say this: It is definitely more exciting to watch a fish rise to a dry fly than it is to feel one bump an unseen wet fly beneath the surface. Some anglers — dry fly purists — would rather slit their wrists than fish a sunken fly. I’m just not one of them. Don’t get me wrong: I think dry fly fishing is neat, it’s extremely effective under the right conditions and, as we mentioned, more visually gratifying, but I’ll fish wet or dry flies as the spirit moves me. I don’t really care. Fly fishing is fun however you choose to do it. That said, I learned to catch bluegills, bass and eventually trout on soft-hackled wet flies when I was a kid and I’ve never lost my affinity for them. Maybe it’s because I learned to make my own from locally available chicken feathers, and something about that just appealed to me. The special hackle feathers necessary to make dry flies come from the capes and saddles of genetically-engineered roosters, and not only were they rare in those days, they were also priced well beyond the financial realities of a 13-year-old boy whose gross annual income varied with the number of 50-cents-an-hour lawn-mowing jobs I could find in the summer. Consequently, I couldn’t afford them, but the dairy farmer down the road kept a flock of laying hens plus a bunch of exotic breeds — Silkies, Brahmas, you-name-it — and their wonderfully soft, beautifully mottled feathers perfectly mimicked the wing and leg motions of water bound insects. Better yet, they were free. “Uncle George,” as he was known locally, was a jolly, Santa Claus-like character in denim overalls who supplied the neighborhood with fresh milk, butter, eggs and cream. He also allowed us kids to rummage through his henhouse for feathers to tie our flies with if we asked politely. We also used the feathers from wild game birds and fur from the squirrels and rabbits we hunted. I don’t think we fully grasped the symbiotic implications of that then, but there was something mysteriously gratifying about tying flies from materials we scavenged ourselves from the farm or in the wild. Today, I have drawers full of commercially-purchased fly-tying materials, but I still prefer to tie with feathers from barnyard chickens and wild game birds the boys and I hunt. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

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


The average electric vehicle can save a driver who drives 15,000 miles in a year about $850 annually on fuel. All-electric vehicles start to pay for themselves a long time before they reach the end of their expected lifespans, leading to significant savings over time. -Fleet Carma



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You Caught My Soul


I sit in golden bars of light waiting for a broken angel’s song. Thoughts of Thoreau come to mind, I can now understand his trembling, insatiable urge to be lifted up toward the window, so that he may glimpse upon one, last, illuminating spring.

When I am dead I will still inhabit thee, beloved West. Maybe then I can take you inside me as I long to do, be one with you in every molecule. Be your icy clear water chuckling and cavorting down my rocky hillside. Be your lofty white clouds and your deepest blue sky in the same space.

Do you ever wonder what life is all about? Do you ever have a serious doubt? What makes the mind so complicated?

A recorder of proud solitudes amongst a myriad of diversities, he remained true to his convictions and gentle to the environs’ tempo. I walk along the border of my dream under an endless sun, traveling as if in anticipation of new symbols to be juggled in the breaking light of my imaginings. The hours pass and I sit under soft bars of moonlight, waiting for the harmonies of night to somehow, render the day’s departure.

Scatter my ashes in this land over these mountains, in the icy streams, in the deepest snows. You caught my soul from the first moment and I will never leave you. Helen Williams, Walden Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member

Burt Baldwin, Bayfield La Plata Electric consumer-member

Business For Sale

Very Fine RETAIL GUN OPERATION COLORADO ROCKIES CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED Thank you to everyone who participated. We will announce the winners in the September 2020 issue of Colorado Country Life!


I want to think that life gets better sooner or later, but that’s a mystery I can’t seem to gather. Sidney E. Slater, Pagosa Springs La Plata Electric consumer-member

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

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VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES 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 VIRTUAL SANITY SAVERS! (We are doing our best to keep the calendar up-to-date at


Online Learning with Denver Botanic Gardens

Create a “Giving Garden”

Help feed the community by growing late-season vegetables to bring to the food pantry.

Gardener’s Supply Company Online Lookbooks Thumb through the popular gardening supply company’s “Midsummer Gardening 2020” online lookbook for the coolest and newest products.


WordFire Press Audio Books, Monument

The Colorado publisher has a variety of audio books for your listening pleasure.

Storyline Online

Whether your aged 1 or 99, you’ll love listening to stories read by familiar famous faces.

Create Your Biography Book

Get paired with your ideal writer who will interview you and help create your biography in a hardcover book.


Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s Daily Discovery Classes

The museum features a variety of crafty activities that are both educational and fun for most ages.

Master Class

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Virtual Visits

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Look Around the Louvre in Paris

Sneak Inside the Great Wall of China

Travel 352 Million Miles to Mars

Check out the Roman Pharos at Dover Castle

Explore Space in Pictures with NASA



Go to the Zoo

Visit Zoo to You at the Denver Zoo.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Virtual Animal Encounters

Pueblo Zoo Virtual Programs

The Wild Animal Sanctuary Mobile Device Videos


Watch Choreographer Corey Baker in a Dance Performance in Antarctica

Live Nation’s Live From Home

Check regularly for live performances from a wide range of music artists.

Comedy Works at Larimer Square

See clips of some of the comedy club’s best stand-up comedians.

Healthy Activities

Studio Share, Pueblo

Work out with the studio’s app or take an online fitness class.

Yoga Pod, Boulder

Choose from more than 70 yoga classes that you can do at home through Zoom.

Grand Junction Martial Arts

Get tougher with virtual kickboxing classes.

Silver Sneakers

Become a member and take on-demand classes designed for seniors.

Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo

Get dance lessons through the art center’s Virtual Dance Studio.


Find these podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, online and/or other podcast platforms.

Fresh Scoop

Dr. Kelly Diehl, scientific advisor at Denver’s Morris Animal Foundation, discusses animal-related topics with researchers.

Chef or Death

Join Chef Eric Chiappetta, a native Coloradan, as he interviews icons of the food and beverage community.

A Hint of Fiction

Listen to three mysterious stories and decipher which one is false.


The podcast hosts perform interviews with a variety of investors with various backgrounds.



FUNNY STORIES My soon-to-be 4-year-old grand-

daughter, Sadie, and I were about to play a children’s board game. I explained to her that the cards were to be kept “face up” during the game. As she began her first turn, I observed her with a puzzling look. Sadie was literally looking at the ceiling. HER face was up! Jane Jacquart, La Veta

My 4-year-old granddaughter has

WINNER: Teresa Alcorn of Wellington travels to Costa Rica with her mother, Gloria Hopp of Nathrop who is celebrating her 90th birthday. CCL is happy to travel along. Teresa is a consumer-member of Poudre Valley REA.

cute dimples on both sides of her cheeks. One morning, I was commenting on them and how I wished that I had dimples, too. She asked me to smile so that she could see if, indeed, I did have any. So, I gave her a large grin and she closely inspected my face. She looked at me with her hands cupped on either side of my face. Seeing my smiles lines, she told me, “Grandma, you don’t have any dimples, but you have some scratches on your face!” Raylean Furnish, Franktown

I retrieved my purse out of the car

from the blistering heat. I brought it into the house and said out loud, “I hope my lip balm didn’t melt.” To which my 5-year-old grandson asked, “What is a lip bomb?” I said, “You put it on your lips. Do you want some?” He replied, “Nooooo! I don’t want my lips to blow up!” Barbara McDonald, Pagosa Springs

While I was reorganizing my large

Poudre Valley REA consumer-member Angel Sanchez on a cruise to Cartagena Island brings CCL on the trip.

John and Linda Fialko, Poudre Valley REA consumermembers, take Colorado Country Life to the Czech Republic.

Mountain View Electric Association consumermembers Bill and Ann Oakes visit Tasmania and mainland Australia with CCL.

Mike and Regina Mulligan, Yampa Valley Electric Association consumer-members, take CCL to Ljubljana, Slovenia.

It’s easy to win with Colorado Country Life. Simply take a photo of someone (or a selfie!) with the magazine (even while at home) and email the photo, your name and address to We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Monday, June 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at

linen closet, my 4-year-old came up behind me and said, “I’m sorry I’m rude, Mom.” Without turning around, I said, “Oh, honey, you’re not rude! I love you.” He responded by shutting the door on me and turning off the lights. “See, Mom!” he said from the other side of the door. “I am rude!” He’s going to be a blast as a teenager. Jessica Fletcher, Falcon

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 2020 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@ Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2020



MAKING FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL Shower dad with Colorado-made gifts

Reel in Dad’s Appreciation When it comes to reels and spools, Montrose-based Ross Reels manufactures real beauties. Ross Reels has won multiple awards of excellence over its nearly 50 years in the business with a team that intricately hand makes these sought-after reels and spools. The Colorado company exudes pride for its home base with models named after areas, such as San Miguel, Animas and Gunnison. Reels start at $295; spools start around $42. For more information, visit

A Gift From the Heart(h)

Pack for the Peaks

As a 10th generation master blacksmith, Alpheus G. Rudd’s aptitude for firing up a forge and hammering out original artworks is ironclad. Although his main focus is on repair and restoration, the Buena Vista dweller can carefully craft creative and functional designs in the form of iron doors, tomahawks and harpoons, just to name a few. To say Dad’s Father’s Day gift would be unique is an understatement. Check out some of Rudd’s art for sale or send in a custom order at

If Dad is a lover of the outdoors, take a look at the assortment of durable packing equipment from Peyton-based Mountain Ridge Gear. MRG products center around equine packing gear, yet any outdoor lover can find sturdy equipment that will benefit them when roaming the Rockies. From duffel bags to pommel bags, saddle panniers and pack saddles, MRG merchandise is functional, durable and proudly made in the USA by an Air Force veteran. For more information, call 719-749-2289 or visit

Grooming Gear for Guys Beards are growing everywhere, but beards become a shaggy mess without a little TLC. Denver-based True Grit Grooming™ products help tame the wildest facial hair with products like beard cleansers, balms, oils, combs, soaps and more. Want to shave it off? TGG has men covered with shave brushes and shaving gel. Be on the lookout for the grand opening of TGG’s Showroom and Grooming Lounge where men can get the meticulous look they long for. For more information, visit



Use promo code ‘fathersday2020’ to get 15% off your order.



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COMMUNITY If you’re familiar with electric cooperatives you know this is one of the guiding principles in our not-for-profit business model. It’s part of who we are proud to be. During these challenging times, our cooperative family is here for you. We are responsibly doing our part to help power you through the unknown. There are a million things on your mind, making sure the lights stay on, shouldn’t be one of them. Because whatever the future holds, we’ll power it.