Colorado Country Life July 2022 Poudre Valley

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JULY 2022


rides to


Small Town Spin on BIG Fun


UPGRADE YOUR HVAC AND SAVE Looking to comfortably heat your home this winter while being more efficient, environmentally friendly, and still save money? Consider a high-efficiency heat pump! + HEATS EFFICIENTLY IN SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES Modern cold climate heat pumps can heat homes efficiently down to -13°F and operate in sub-zero temeratures as low as -20°F.

+ IMPROVES YOUR HOME’S AIR QUALITY Natural gas and propane furnaces generate heat by burning a mixture of fossil-fuel and air. Heat pumps don’t use combustible fuel to create heat which eliminates potential exposure to dangerous combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide.

+ SAVES MONEY COMPARED TO ELECTRIC BASEBOARD HEAT OR PROPANE FURNACES A heat pump can transfer up to 300% more energy than it consumes, compared to a high-efficiency propane furnace’s 95% rating. Because of this, electric heat pumps can also save substantially on fuel consumption.


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

Number 07

Volume 53

July 2022 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant ADVERTISING | 720-407-0711 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 2022, 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 22.5 cents per month, paid from equity accruing to the member. For nonmembers, a subscription is $10 per year in-state/$16 out-of-state. POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216

“Grand Lake Fireworks” by Keith Lantz, a consumer-member of Mountain Parks Electric.





28 POETRY On the JULY 2022


rides to

thrill Small Town Spin on BIG Fun

Cover Widsom Rides employees from left to right: Gabriel Morales, Gama Soto, Carlos Reyna, Sean Duran, Jessy Sexton and Thomas Gerbitz.

LINKEDIN CONNECTIONS Colorado Rural Electric Assoc. posted: CREA directors got a peek into future energy solutions during a tour with Dr. Bryan Willson of the Powerhouse Energy Center at CSU in Fort Collins. There is lots of work being done on #hydrogen , #fuelcells , #bettercookstoves , #algae , #methaneemissions and more.


Colorado Country Life was in Westcliffe: A great shot from another SDCEA consumer-member. This lovely photo is by Brooke Grohs: “A Westcliffe Summer.”


Monthly Contest This month, enter for your chance to win a wind chime from Longmont-based company Fettle & Fire. Read more about them on page 30. For official rules and how to enter, visit our Monthly Contests page at

PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK COCountryLife pinned: Bring home flavors from Morrison’s The Fort! This month stir up some Green Chile Ice Cream. Visit to get the recipe. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JULY 2022



What Was Born on the Fourth of July? BY JEFF WADSWORTH PRESIDENT & CEO

This month we celebrate a historic birthday — a date synonymous with America’s independence, patriotism, and way of life. July Fourth is a time to ask ourselves what our Founding Fathers held so dear, that they declared our Nation’s independence.

owned by their members. We govern ourselves, for the betterment of our members, so that local priorities are reflected in how we do business.

Those early patriots dreamed of a just country guided by local leaders who could equitably represent their fellow citizens. They prized independence, representation, and local governance. And these qualities, among others, ring true for your cooperative.


At your co-op, our business model directly reflects these qualities. Seven cooperative principles guide us as we strive to provide the products and services that enhance your life. But a few speak out to me now.

DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies, making decisions, and electing representatives. This type of representation was crucial to how our country formed, and I’m proud we continue to honor that system of governance.

AUTONOMY & INDEPENDENCE Cooperatives are autonomous, selfhelp organizations



Our Founding Fathers stood together, states united, and called upon foreign allies for support. Similarly we work together within our cooperative family of local, regional, and national partners to improve services, bolster economies, and deal more effectively with social and community needs.

CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY Finally, the Fourth of July makes me think of this last cooperative principle. It’s one of the principles our founders risked their lives for when our fledgling nation adopted the Declaration of Independence. At Poudre Valley REA, we exist to empower the communities we serve and enhance your way of life. In closing, all of us at your co-op hope you have a safe and joyous holiday. Happy Independence Day!

ABOUT YOUR CO-OP PVREA serves energy solutions to over 50,000 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.

CONTACT US 1-800-432-1012

MAILING ADDRESS Poudre Valley REA 7649 REA Parkway Fort Collins, CO 80528


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair Steven Anderson Larimer County

Director Rick Johnson Larimer County

Vice Chair Jack Schneider Weld County

Director Thaine Michie Larimer County

Secretary Peter Hyland Weld County

Director Jan Peterson Larimer County

Director Sheryl Dryer Henderson Larimer County

Director Ron Sutherland Boulder County

Director Bryan Ehrlich Larimer County


FROM THE EDITOR Small Towns with Big Personality




y Iowa hometown, with its population of about 1,000, MONA NEELEY was and still is a farm town. Things revolve around agriculture, especially since the local grain elevator was purchased by an international company a while back. The traditional elevator by the tracks has grown into the largest, most technically advanced oat mill in North America, and that affects everything in town. My hometown has celebrated Oatmeal Days for years. And then there’s that special Saturday each year when the mill sells $1 boxes of oat cereal to locals. The mill just north of town employs multiple generations of families as it sponsors local events and contributes to the economy. This month’s cover story is about a small Colorado town with an international business. However, in Merino’s case, the international business is homegrown and centers on a theme not every community can boast of: carnival rides. Merino is home to Wisdom Rides of America, which manufactures portable amusement rides in all their bright colors, shapes and configurations. Wisdom, which provides employment for artists, sculptors, metalworkers and others in northeastern Colorado, gives Merino its own uniqueness. Read more on page 16. 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 Favor of Nuclear Power

First, I care about the environment. I have been researching solar and wind turbine energy for many years. I have been against the expansion of these sources. I prefer coal, natural gas and oil and, above all, I prefer nuclear and hydro power. Nuclear is the safest and most efficient. The mainstream media has turned nuclear energy into a big bad wolf for the environment. Think about the magnificent birds killed with wind turbines and the wildlife displaced with solar. And there is the danger and high cost associated with recycling and disposing of these alternate energy sources when they reach end of life. I finally found an environmentalist speaker who makes a lot of sense. Visit to watch him. Craig Beal, Peyton Mountain View Electric consumer-member

Maintaining Visions of the Future

I am grateful every time I turn on my lights that PVREA has maintained visions of the future throughout its existence. It gives me hope that the decision makers choose to follow science when pursuing renewable energy. Thank you for thinking about my children’s grandchildren and the planet they will inherit as you continue to move toward a sustainable future. Victoria Jordan, Bellvue Poudre Valley REA consumer-member I am pleased that YVEA is increasing its reliance on wind and solar, and I encourage this to expand. I am already feeling the impact of climate change, most directly in the increased wildfire danger in the mountains. York Miller, Columbine Yampa Valley Electric consumer-member


Local beer State park Main street Disc golf course

• • • •

Hot springs Made-in-Colorado product Place for steak Local museum


FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF THREE $100 GIFT CARDS Share your favorites at

SEND US YOUR LETTERS Send your letter to the editor to share your thoughts about CCL. To share, visit our Reader Engagement page at reader-engagement. Mail your letter to Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email mneeley@ Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length.




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WWW.SPIRAL-STAIRCASES.COM Stop feeding prairie dogs. We’ll rent hunting rights from you.

Seriously looking for duck & goose habitat. Encourage young sportsmen by providing safe, private access. You make the rules.


Wanted: Jeep CJ or Wrangler. Reasonably priced. No rust buckets.


9” x 12” Aluminum

Planning a Remodel? Timing is Everything BY MIR ANDA BOUTELLE


emodeling is a great opportunity to take care of energy-efficiency improvements by adding them to your scope of work. There may be cost savings and convenience in tackling it all at once. Here are a few examples of energyefficiency upgrades for common remodeling projects:

Kitchen remodel For pricing, email

If your kitchen remodel includes new appliances, buy EnergyStar®-rated models. EnergyStar refrigerators are about 9% more efficient than standard models, and EnergyStar dishwashers save both energy and water. As for kitchen faucets, there are options available with multiple flow rate settings. You can save water by using a lower flow rate on your faucet when washing dishes, vegetables or your hands, but you can easily change the setting to quickly fill a pot for cooking.

Bathroom remodel

Our June winners are: Anya Hockins of Grand Junction; Sheryl Ziegler of Fremont, Nebraska; Samantha Vigil of Pueblo West; Jennifer Ilarraza of Monument; Alex Chang of Berthoud; and Tyree Morrison of Beulah.



For bathroom remodels, include a high-performance shower head. Look for the WaterSense logo for shower heads, faucets and toilets, which ensures the product meets performance and water use standards. Check the fine print on your existing equipment to see how much you can save. The gallons per minute (GPM) is usually printed on shower heads and faucet aerators and the gallons per flush (GPF) is usually printed on toilets.

High-performance shower heads and faucet aerators conserve water and save energy used to heat water. Using less water can lower your water bill or increase your septic system’s life span.

New siding or exterior paint The best time to make sure your wall insulation is adequate — or to see if you have wall insulation at all — is when you replace your siding or paint the exterior of your home. Wall insulation saves on energy costs, makes your home more comfortable, and reduces outside noise. Batt insulation, spray foam or foam board are good options if you are removing the siding. If you are painting, you can have a contractor blow insulation into the wall cavities through holes cut into the siding or from inside the house. The holes are then plugged and prepped for paint. A little planning during a remodel can go a long way toward improving your home’s energy efficiency. Remember: It’s more difficult and more expensive to go back and tackle energy-efficiency projects after your space is finished. Miranda Boutelle is the director of operations and customer engagement at Efficiency Services Group in Oregon, a cooperatively owned energy-efficiency company. She also writes on energy-efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

LEARN MORE ONLINE For energy-efficiency tips for your basement, lighting and attic insulation, visit


MORGAN CROUSE Larimer County Fair & PRCA Rodeo Queen 2022

Each year your cooperative supports the Larimer County Fair and PRCA Rodeo Queen by donating to the Larimer County Queen’s Scholarship Program. This year, we’re pleased to introduce PVREA member and this year’s royalty, Morgan Crouse of Fort Collins, Colo. We met Morgan in Loveland where she boards her horse, Pepper — a “super fun quarter horse” that specializes in reining and cow work. Before the summer sun turned the morning into a sweltering afternoon, Morgan talked about her life, her responsibilities, and how she’s valued her time as Queen. Morgan was 6 years old when she started 4-H as a Cloverbud, participating in horseless horse projects focused on participation, education, and teamwork in lieu of competition. At 8 she entered the 4-H program and stayed in all 11 years. Morgan said the Desperados 4-H Club taught her pretty much everything she’d need to know to one day be Queen. They covered the basics, how to keep records, how to keep calm in stressful situations, and how to have patience. She was successfully crowned the Desperado Club Queen 4 years ago, but even before then Morgan knew one day she wanted to become the Larimer County Fair and Rodeo Queen. Morgan recalled when the Larimer County Fair and Rodeo Queen and the Lady-in-Waiting attended her 8th birthday party, making quite the impression.

“On that day they gave me a sash, I had a crown, I sure felt like a rodeo queen. From that day I knew that I was going to be wearing this beautiful crown. And here I am.”

To achieve what she wanted Morgan had to get creative. “We grew up in a neighborhood and we didn’t think it was possible,” she said. “How are we going to have livestock in a little backyard?” she asked. Through 4-H, Morgan found out that you can lease and board your horses at other facilities, allowing her to follow her passions and eventually led her to find Pepper. “You can grow up in a neighborhood and still ride horses and own livestock. Anything is possible.”

WESTERN HERITAGE Morgan shared what the sport of rodeo and the life it represents means to her, and how she gets to share that passion with the community who supports her. “Knowing that this younger generation coming up isn’t getting to grow up like how I grew up in learning all these life skills makes me sad,” Morgan commented after a youth event she attended. “I want to help promote that and spread the word about 4-H, FFA, and the sport of rodeo in general.” Laughing, Morgan answered a question she says she gets all the time. “As a rodeo queen I always get asked what’s my favorite rodeo event, and I’d have to say it’s the saddle bronc riders.” As the first actual event of rodeo, Morgan said it reminds her of what our past Western heritage was like and how that history is still alive today. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JULY 2022



MEET MORGAN CROUSE — continued from pg. 7


“Our community definitely keeps this program running. We appreciate the many ways they find to support me, and in turn I support them.”

phones 24-7 or shopping and all that fun stuff. There are still people out here that are helping others.” We’re proud to support Morgan by telling her story and donating to her scholarship fund. You can also help support her by attending her events and donating to the Larimer County Queen’s Scholarship Program.

She’s attended numerous events, including our Fall Fest last year and plans to visit with us at our booth at the Larimer County Fair this August. She attends BBQs, parades, rodeos, and other community events to meet with members of the community and share her passion for rodeo and our Western heritage. “I do a lot of community service throughout my program,” she said. “It makes me feel so good knowing that there are still people in our community that want to help each other. It’s not all about social media or being on our

EVENTS Thursday, July 14 & 21: Roping & Coloring with the Queen – Windsor Summer Concert Series Saturday, July 30: Kickoff for the Larimer County Fair and PRCA Rodeo Parade Friday, August 5: Western Skies Queen’s BBQ Friday, August 5–9: Larimer County Fair Sunday, August 7–9: PRCA Rodeo

You can see more Faces, Places, & Voices of Poudre Valley REA on our YouTube page.

Larimer County Fair


PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE TO RECEIVE $3 OFF. Present coupon at the OCR Box Office, located inside the Budweiser Events Center. RODEO DATES: Sunday 8/7, Monday 8/8, & Tuesday 8/9






In the wake of the historic Cameron Peak Fire of 2020, which burned over 208,000 acres, PVREA & CPRW are restoring land by planting native ponderosa pine seedlings. Connect with the land, get your hands dirty, and help heal the watershed!





8:00AM – 4:00PM

(includes drive time – aprox. 1.5 hr each way)

TRANSPORTATION - PVREA will provide transportation to the planting site. Please indicate your pick-up location preference when you register.

CPRW WILL PROVIDE - Gloves, tools, hard hats, other safety equipment, tree seedlings PVREA WILL PROVIDE - Shuttles form PVREA headquarters and/or from Ted’s Place, lunch

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING - Sunscreen, layers,

Family-friendly! Kids 12+ are welcome to join if accompanied by an adult. Tree planting requires bending over, squatting, digging and other physical activity, all of which will occur outside and within a burned area. Please be prepared for this type of work.


hat, sturdy shoes/boots, lots of water, snacks

COME JOIN US THIS SUMMER Thursdays 6:30: Windsor Summer Concert Series at Boardwalk Park

Thursday, July 14 & 21: Roping & Coloring with the Queen – Windsor Summer Concert Series

July 15: NoCo Unify Golf

August 8: CASA Golf Classic

August 5–7: Larimer County Fair

August 20: Severance Days

August 7–9: PRCA Rodeo

Follow us on social to get details and information. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JULY 2022



Ways to Beat the Heat and $ave Off-Peak

We’ve already seen some hot days this year. To help you use energy wisely which can help reduce your monthly PVREA electric bill, here are some tips! Smart thermostats — like a Nest and Ecobee thermostat — may automatically conserve energy and use it more efficiently. Through a few simple settings, you can control when your home or business is cooled. Don’t waste energy cooling a home you aren’t in while at work. Or automatically cool your home before everyone else, when demand for energy is low. You can get even more benefits from your smart thermostat by signing up for our Power Peak Rewards program. When everyone cranks up their AC at the same time, demand for energy is high. To lower that demand, and costs, smart thermostats can automatically adjust your home’s temperature to decrease the run-time of your AC.

We save on demand. You save on your bill. It’s that easy. Details for Power Peak Rewards online at

SUMMER ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS • Fans are a great way to stay cool. Be sure they turn off when you leave the room — like by using motion sensor switches. • Clean your filters and perform other seasonal maintenance to keep your AC running in tip-top shape. • Close the shades and curtains to keep the sun’s warmth out of your home. • Add weather stripping to your doors and windows to keep the cool in. • Make sure your fridge or freezer is always full (even with jugs of water) so there’s less air space to keep cool. • Unplug electronics that aren’t in use. Some still draw power, even when not turned on!


» Monday, July 4


JULY 2022



When streaming content, use the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching. Avoid streaming on game consoles, which use 10 times more power than a tablet or laptop. Streaming content with Energy Star ® rated electronics will use 25% to 30% less energy than standard equipment. Source: Dept. of Energy



FREEDOM. TO BE YOU. If you think oxygen therapy means slowing down, it’s time for a welcome breath of fresh air. Introducing the Inogen One family of portable oxygen systems. With no need for bulky tanks, each concentrator is designed to keep you active via Inogen’s Intelligent Delivery Technology.® Hours of quiet and consistent oxygen flow on a long-lasting battery charge enabling freedom of movement, whether at home or on the road. Every Inogen One meets FAA requirements for travel ensuring the freedom to be you. • No heavy oxygen tanks • Ultra quiet operation

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Classic Cuisine, Modern Menu A Red Rocks restaurant’s unique flavors featured in new cookbook BY AMY HIGGINS


19th century food trends meet diverse 21st century palates


estled alongside a rousing red rock formation in Morrison, The Fort Restaurant serves fare that is reminiscent of foods served at Bent’s Old Fort where fur traders would congregate and nosh on buffalo, elk and quail — the restaurant is literally a full-scale replica of the Colorado landmark. The restaurant opened in 1963 and continues its long-standing motto of “New Foods of the Old West,” catering to 19th century food trends and combining them with diverse 21st century palates in mind. You can bring flavors from The Fort home with the cookbook The Fort Restaurant Cookbook: New Foods of the Old West from the Landmark Colorado Restaurant by Holly Arnold Kinney, daughter of the restaurant’s founders. Start with this ice cream recipe to serve your family and friends a piece of the iconic restaurant’s menu.

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream Mud Pie 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1 3/4 cup Oreo cookie crumbs 1 cup tart dried cherries 2 cups cherry liqueur 1/4 cup coffee liqueur 1/2 gallon Mexican chocolate ice cream 1/3 gallon coffee ice cream 2 cups toffee pieces Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix melted butter and Oreo crumbs in a bowl until fully incorporated. In a 9-inch spring-form pan, spread mixture evenly and press into the bottom. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes to set the crust. Set aside to cool. Soak cherries in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain the water. Marinate cherries in cherry liqueur for another 30 minutes, then drain the liqueur.

Holly’s Advice “To make the best mud pie, you need the BEST ice cream! Magill’s Creamery in Colorado is the best, and they make this special Mexican chocolate ice cream for The Fort. Each summer, we hold a culinary competition for our cooks, and this recipe was awarded first place and put on the menu in 2013. It has become one of our most popular desserts!”



Drizzle the cooled crust with coffee liqueur and add the drained cherries evenly over the bottom. Take ice cream out of the freezer and let soften at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the softened Mexican chocolate ice cream and coffee ice cream in a medium bowl in a stand mixer using the bread paddle. Mix on medium speed until both ice creams are well blended (about 5 minutes). Immediately spread the ice cream mixture over the cherries and top with toffee chunks. Wrap pie with plastic film and freeze for up to 3 hours. Remove from freezer 20 minutes before serving and let stand, at room temperature to allow the “pie” to soften before cutting. Recipe excerpted from The Fort Restaurant Cookbook.





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JOIN THE JOURNEY TO BRING LIGHT A small village in central Guatemala will gain electricity in mid-August, thanks to a team of 16 lineworkers from Colorado and Oklahoma electric co-ops. Electric co-op consumer-members, employees, directors and others are invited to join these lineworkers in bringing not only electricity, but also clean water and student supplies to the village of La Montanita de la Virgen, Guatemala. (Learn at the end of this article how you can help.) CREA, the trade association for Colorado’s electric cooperatives, is partnering with NRECA International, the philanthropic arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the Oklahoma Association of Electric

Cooperatives to bring electricity to another remote area of a developing country. This is CREA’s third time sponsoring an international team, having sponsored teams in 2018 and 2019 before COVID-19 shut down the projects. Representing Colorado are: Chet Stickler of Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs, who will lead the Colorado team; Zeb Birch, Grand Valley Power in Grand Junction; Chris Kling, United Power in Brighton; and Clayton Shonk, White River Electric in Meeker. Serving as an alternate to complete the team if one of the others can’t make the trip is Nathaniel Pennell of Mountain View Electric in Limon and Falcon. The team, which leaves the United States

July 31, will bring electricity to 72 homes, a school, a church and a health center. You can help the team also give the gift of clean water to each family and school supplies to each child. For only $35, you can provide a water filter and a pack filled with school supplies and kid-friendly items for those in this small village. Visit current-causes/ to donate to the project via PayPal. Or send a check made out to CEEI (CREA’s nonprofit entity) to 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216. Mention Guatemala on the memo line of the check. We can all work together to bring light to a Guatemalan village.

Electricity Passes Gas! In 2020, more American households used electricity to heat their homes than used natural gas, according to a survey of residential energy use done by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. With 69 million households using electricity and only 58 million households using gas, this was the first time electricity exceeded natural gas for heating in the 40 years EIA has been doing the survey.





P United States President Fast Tracks Transformers, Grid Components Domestic production of transformers and other electric grid components have been in short supply. In June, President Joe Biden granted emergency authority to the Department of Energy to suspend its efficiency rules on transformer manufacturers to allow increased production of these important products. Biden signed orders allowing DOE to use the Defense Production Act to help manufacturers increase their output of transformers. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which has been bringing concerns about the supply chain to lawmakers’ attention, praised the president for this move. “The Biden administration’s use of the Defense Production Act to shorten lead times for supplies of electric transformers is a much-needed step to support reliability and resilience,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson in a statement.

reventing criminal activities in rural counties is the focus of the Ranch Watch program. Designed by retired Rio Blanco County Sheriff Phil Stubblefield in 1994, the program protects land and livestock owners, small businesses and rural residents. Signage warning criminals that the Ranch Watch program is in place are a big part of the program. The trademarked Ranch Watch “handcuffs with eyes” logo sends a visual message that the area is under the watchful eye of neighbors, community members and the local sheriff ’s department. Reminding would-be trespassers that others are watching has proven to be a deterrent to criminal activity. Beyond the signage, the program includes: • An identification program for tack and equipment • Ranch GPS coordinates for emergency medical fly-in • A sheriff ’s webpage with information on fence, trespassing and livestock laws • Training for sheriff ’s deputies in livestock/equipment theft investigation and prevention Anyone interested in the Ranch Watch program should contact your local sheriff ’s department to start the program or receive permission for your organization to start the program in your county. For information, contact Ranch Watch at

POWER USE TO RISE AS ECONOMY GROWS New records in power use in the United States were forecast in 2022 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in its June Short-term Energy Outlook. Power demand is projected to rise to 4,010 billion kilowatt-hours during this year and then climb to 4,019 billion kWh in 2023. Those numbers are up significantly from 3,930 billion kWh just last year in 2021. Previously, the all-time high recorded was 4,003 billion kWh in 2018. The largest growth is projected in the industry sector. Residential power use is expected to hold steady. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JULY 2022



5th Generation Builds

rides to thrill Small Town Spin on BIG Fun BY SUZIE ROMIG

Summer carnivals in Colorado wouldn’t be complete without a Wisdom Ride.

COVER STORY s the fifth-generation owner of a family-run business that helps people have fun, Jared Davis is one of those fortunate people who wakes up in the mornings loving his job.

did not generate the same passion for him, Davis began working full time at the family business at age 20. Davis acquired the company in 2018 from his uncle, Victor Wisdom, who retired from overseeing the operations with his wife, Mai, and his sister Carol Wisdom-Silvey. “I wake up every morning loving what I’m doing because I’m working with our customers who are the best in the world. They are all family-oriented,” said Davis, 35, whose wife, Rachele, serves as vice president at Wisdom Rides.

Jared Davis, president of Wisdom Rides.

“This is my childhood. I grew up with my grandfather introducing me to the business, and that’s where my passion comes from,” said Davis, president of Wisdom Rides of America, located in the small town of Merino. Wisdom Rides has manufactured kiddie, family and thrill rides in northeastern Colorado since 1969 and remains one of the leaders in the industry for rides for amusement parks, carnivals and family entertainment centers. Starting in fourth grade as a helper for his grandfather, Jerry Wisdom, the first task for young Davis was changing lightbulbs in rides. Davis grew up working after school at Wisdom Rides. He’s worked many positions in the company through the years. After leaving for a few years to try other jobs that

This is my childhood. I grew up with my grandfather introducing me to the business, and that’s where my passion comes from.” ­— Jared Davis, president of Wisdom Rides of America

Rachele Davis, vice president of Wisdom Rides.

A FAMILY BUSINESS The origins of the amusement ride company date back more than a century to circa 1908 when previous generations of the family operated a traveling carnival business. Through the decades, the family improved on the time and labor needed to take down and set up rides, and Jerry Wisdom later turned those innovations for moving trailer-mounted carnival rides into the successful company in Logan County. Now, at the 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Merino — population 281 and located 12 miles southeast of Sterling — employees manufacture 45 rides made of steel, aluminum and fiberglass. Wisdom Rides also partners with other engineering and design firms and is expanding its product line to 158 unique items, Davis said. The oldest ride still in production at the Merino facility is the long-time thriller

Gravitron, which has been upgraded and re-themed but still uses centrifugal force to float passengers off the floor for a feeling of weightlessness. The bestseller is the family ride, the Tornado, where passengers can spin the cars themselves while the ride cars lift and tilt. The company’s newest ride, introduced to the market in February, is a 65-foot-tall Ferris wheel with a price tag of $550,000, Davis said. The mid-sized Ferris wheel can be disassembled and racked in 90 minutes by two employees, compared to comparable products that takes four people five hours to rack and be ready for travel. “It’s the first thing in the industry that people have been excited about in probably 20 years. It’s new and innovative. It’s addressing every key concern our customers have for labor shortages,” Davis said. Wisdom Rides also builds smaller 35-foot Ferris wheels that are popular for purchase by party rental companies. Two workers can set up the ride in 45 minutes. The company designs and builds portable and permanent rides, repairs and refurbishes older rides, and has branched out to build agricultural equipment such as a new haystacker. “Through COVID, we did a massive diversification. It was based off of survival,” Davis said. “Basically, when everybody else says no, we say yes, typically, and get the job done. What we do is very customized.” Just as the company ownership has stayed within the family, employees at Wisdom enjoy the family atmosphere, and some stay with the company for decades. One employee recently retired after 46 years, and Mark Tonsing, accounts receivable manager, has worked there 42 years. “I came out here for a summertime job,” Tonsing said. “They needed somebody to do some costing on some rides. I had just completed my associates degree in accounting and administration, and I never left.” COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JULY 2022


COVER STORY “It’s always been a fun job. I’ve always enjoyed it,” Tonsing said. “I’ve grown up here. I don’t know if I could ever work for anybody else because I don’t know how to work for anybody except for family. They’ve been a family to me forever. We’ve all attended each other’s weddings and funerals. If somebody needed help, we’ve always pitched in.” Calling himself a jack of all trades on the office side of duties at Wisdom Rides, Tonsing started working for the current owner’s grandparents, Jerry and Elaine Wisdom, whom he called “two of the nicest people you could ever meet.” Jerry Wisdom, who died in 2003, was a former college football player who was

Mark Tonsing, accounts receivable manager, has worked at Wisdom Rides for 42 years.

“It’s always been a fun job. I’ve always enjoyed it. I’ve grown up here. I don’t know if could ever work for anybody else because I don’t know how to work for anybody except for family. They’ve been a family to me forever. We’ve all attended each other’s weddings and funerals. If somebody needed help, we’ve always pitched in.”

­ Mark Tonsing, — accounts receivable manager of Wisdom Rides of America



known as a big man with a big heart. A city park in Sterling was named for him, and he was also posthumously honored with an Outdoor Amusement Business Association “Industry Pioneer Award” in 2011. “I will never forget that man, how he stood by us and helped us through some difficult times. He was a true gentleman in every aspect of business,” Fred McDaniel of McDaniel Brothers Shows in New Jersey said of Jerry Wisdom. McDaniel has worked in the amusement business for 37 years, owns six rides made by Wisdom and has a 65-foot Ferris wheel currently on order. McDaniel said it has been a pleasure to work with three generations of Wisdom Rides owners, including Jerry Wisdom, Victor Wisdom and Jared Davis, calling them “down-to-earth and goodhearted people.” “They are a top-notch family and great people to work with,” McDaniel said. “Jared is coming up with a lot of great ideas. He is continuing in the family tradition of being easy to work with and standing behind their work.” Through the years, Wisdom Rides has built a wide variety of other original products for various companies such as displays for trade shows, custom advertising displays for major brands, and interactive street signs, Davis said. “Anything that’s challenging; I’m not keen on run-of-the-mill jobs,” Davis said. “I want something that’s challenging and interesting for our staff and our production.” MULTI-TALENTED STAFF The staff at Wisdom Rides is filled with multi-talented employees including artists. To create a new design for an amusement ride’s display, an original mold is carved by hand out of wood or foam, and then a fiberglass mold is made. Then sheets of plastic are heated and laid on top of the three-dimensional fiberglass mold and placed in

a vacuum tank that sucks the air out from between the fiberglass and plastic. The busy, well-equipped and well-organized manufacturing floor usually has up to eight rides in production. Customers normally order a year in advance, and the rides require six to eight months to manufacture. The crunch times for Wisdom Rides are winter and spring when employees are working toward completing and shipping orders before June 1, when carnival season goes into full swing. On a Friday afternoon tour around the large manufacturing facility, the workplace is much quieter than normal because most of the employees usually take Friday afternoons off after working a long week. A team from Wisdom is getting ready to fly to Nigeria the next day for an installation. A Silverstreak Ride with a Music Express theme is almost ready to be shipped to St. Thomas. However, most of the company’s customers are in the U.S. and Europe. The company, located on a 15-acre campus, makes most of the ride mechanisms but orders in tires, axles, electronic components, motors and gear boxes. Supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic have been Davis’ biggest headaches. Items with electronic sensors or that require computer chips have been a struggle to get. Prices for steel, aluminum and hydraulic components have also increased dramatically. Davis walks through the building wearing a white ball cap with a big red M on the front representing the town of Merino, for which he has served as mayor and a volunteer firefighter. The manufacturing space reminds guests of a series of interconnected airplane hangars, including some with ceilings up to 35 feet to accommodate the large rides. Davis points out specialized manufacturing equipment ranging from a plasma cutter that can slice through 3-inch steel to an 80,000-pound press break machine that can bend metal.

COVER STORY Even though it is Friday afternoon and supposed to be slower at the office, Davis excuses himself from the conversation to get back to work. He has a short line of people standing outside his office door waiting for his amusement expertise. Employee shortages are plaguing Wisdom Rides, like they are for much of Colorado. Currently at 40 to 50 employees, Davis said he would love to double its workforce, including more workers in fabrication, assembly, electrical, administration, purchasing and warehousing. The company trains employees for jobs, and employees who work there usually live in Merino, Sterling, Fort Morgan and Brush.

Tonsing, who stays away from the spinning rides now that he is in his 60s, said most of the employees have a love of carnival rides. Testing the products is one fun perk of the job. Employees on their travels often seek out carnivals in the field to watch their work in

action and see the smiling faces of people on the rides. As Tonsing noted, “Everybody likes to watch people enjoy themselves.” Suzie Romig is a freelance writer from Steamboat Springs with 30 years of experience exploring the state of Colorado and elsewhere.

DEDICATED TO FUN Currently, the company’s business is about 70% portable amusement rides, 10% park or non-portable rides and 20% ride refurbishments. Even though Davis is decidedly and openly non-corporate, his business plan for next year is ambitious and could double and diversify production, depending on supply chain issues. The fifth-generation business owner said the best part of his job is seeing the completed rides being appreciated by the public: “Seeing the end of the process, the product being enjoyed, that’s the best part for me.” The names of the rides made by Wisdom sound like pure fun, with thrills and maybe a little queasiness added in the mix. Some of the rides include Spinning Coaster, Frog Hopper, Sizzler, Dive Bomber, Dragstrip, Raiders, Renegade, Squadron, Viper, Whirlwind, Windsurfer and Y Factor. The company owner won’t divulge his personal favorite amusement ride. “I love them all. I do not have a favorite; I really don’t. I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each product,” Davis said. Work on a new ride continues inside a warehouse in the small town of Merino in northeastern Colorado.




Supply Chain Challenges Electric Supply Co-ops Provide Solutions





eeping essential parts flowing is getting more challenging and expensive for Colorado’s distribution cooperatives pursuing their seasonal workplans or rebuilding their systems after major outages. But logistics and supply co-ops in Colorado and across the United States are finding creative solutions to help control costs and meet demand, even as they warn that stability in the supply chain could be many months away. “The supply chain supporting the electric utility industry has been put to the test over the past 24 months due to an array of events,” Brighton-based Western United Electric Supply CEO Greg Mordini said. WUE, owned by electric cooperatives, serves co-ops in the states of Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. WUE is one of nine members of the Electric Utility Distribution Association. EUDA members are noting shortages of key items such as transformers, conductors, sectionalized three-phase cabinets used on distribution systems and meter sockets required to install new service. Fort Morgan-based electric cooperative Morgan County Rural Electric Association has been feeling the increasing impacts of supply chain issues. “Two of the most challenging products to get are currently meter sockets and transformers, many of which are over a year



The supply chain supporting the electric utility industry has been put to the test over the past 24 months due to an array of events.” — Western United Electric Supply CEO Greg Mordini out on delivery,” MCREA Manager of Member Services Rob Baranowski said. “Also, some of the materials used to connect lines and equipment, and also secure lines to poles have become completely unavailable.” The current transformer shortage is perpetuated by inadequate global manufacturing capacity and stalled delivery of raw materials. Mordini noted that steel used in transformer cores has limited annual production. Overhead and underground conductor producers initially had product available but were unable to ship due to shortages in wood and the reels they use to transport the supplies. “Furthermore, the February 2021 freeze and power grid failure in Texas paralyzed the plastics market and triggered a global shortage,” Mordini said.


Two of the most challenging products to get are currently meter sockets and transformers, many of which are over a year out on delivery.” — MCREA Manager of Member Services Rob Baranowski However, proactive measures by WUE have helped provide its member cooperatives with good equipment and supply levels during these challenging times. Beginning in early 2020, WUE made a conscious effort to increase inventory and, even with the supply chain disruptions, has grown inventory by 55% as of this past February. Distribution co-ops planned ahead, too. MCREA’s pole yard is currently fully stocked. “Just as WUE has increased inventory over the last year and a half, MCREA has been ordering ahead and increasing inventory ever since shortages were first noticed,” Baranowski reported. “This keeps the co-op’s material inventory up and the co-op remains ready to meet any rebuilding demands.” Across the country, other EUDA members responded similarly to the way WUE did to supply challenges by broadening their vendor bases, turning to more manufacturers and encouraging others to expand their product lines. “We are getting letters

from manufacturers and their representatives about lead time extensions, price increases, shipping delays and production curtailments,” said Bret Curry, manager of sales for Little Rockbased Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. AECI is another member of EUDA noting spot shortages of key items such as transformers, fiberglass cross arms and threephase cabinets and meter sockets. “You wouldn't think that something so simple as a piece of bent metal with a socket to hold a meter would be that difficult [to locate], but there is definitely a shortage of those,” Curry said. “Challenges to this industry right now certainly give opportunities for those that are creative to get in the game.” WUE chose to curtail sales to new customers and reserve material for its historical customer base. “Many of our manufacturing partners have followed suit, working only with established clients,” Mordini said. “This has led to a normalization in our market, not due to production increases or decreased demand, but rather manufacturers and distributors being focused on their core business partners.” Current supply chain problems across the electric industry as a whole are the worst many industry veterans have seen in their careers. They compare them to temporary disruptions from previous major weather events that produced widespread damage across multiple regions. Despite these challenges, creative solutions and product substitutions can help electric distribution co-ops maintain, build

Despite challenges, the yard at WUE in Brighton is filled with inventory for its member electric co-ops.

A WUE employee unloads recently delivered products in the co-op’s warehouse.




A WUE truck picks up a trailer filled with spools of conductor bound for a co-op.

and expand their systems, Baranowski said, “For projects where meter socket orders would create delays, crews now often install underground wire to a ground-mounted meter pedestal.” He explained that’s not the only thing the co-op has recently modified. “We have also received requests for design changes allowing co-op consumer-members to buy their own transformer.” While EUDA members don’t think supply and delivery challenges will last forever, most agree that is for the foreseeable future, continued planning may help co-op’s limit disruptions to their members. “MCREA consumer-members have remained understanding during these supply-chain challenges,” Baranowski

said. “Our engineering department communicates directly with members requesting new services about expected project time frames, current delays and potential material substitutions.” “Western United’s strong partnership with manufacturers throughout the industry and our commitment to placing the highest priority on our membership ensures we are in the best position to support our cooperative members throughout this challenging period,” Mordini concluded. Derrill Holly writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association. Kylee Coleman is the editorial assistant for Colorado Country Life magazine and writes about Colorado electric co-op news for CREA.

JOIN THE JOURNEY Give the gift of clean water + a backpack to Guatemalan families and children! Adults and children in the isolated mountainous village of La Montanita de la Virgen in Guatemala are currently in the dark. The village has never had access to electricity before, but its story will soon change. The ColoradoOklahoma Energy Trails team returns this August to Guatemala to bring power to this village. Show your support and help the local families by making a donation today.

To give online: Visit To send a check: Make it payable to Colorado Electric Educational Institute with School Supplies on the memo line and mail it to CREA/Guatemala 5400 Washington St. Denver, CO 80216

Colorado’s electric cooperatives established the 501(c)3 not-for-profit, CEEI, to support causes like this. All contributions are tax-deductible. Visit to learn more. This project was made possible by NRECA International, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, whose mission is to increase individual and community access to electricity in all parts of the world.




Take the Sting Out of Gardening Keep bugs from bugging you this summer BY VICKI SPENCER



n all my years gardening, I never had an insect bite until last summer. Actually, I was walking around admiring the roses when I decided to scoop up some leaves that collected at the base of one bush. Suddenly, I felt a sharp sting. Assuming I had been pricked by a thorn, I didn’t think much of it, other than I should have known better than to tend roses with my bare hands. Within a short time, my hand was throbbing with pain; it started to swell; and the redness around the wound was spreading toward my wrist. Home remedies didn’t help. It was time to call the doctor. Apparently, it was an insect bite. The symptoms subsided after a week of antibiotics, but the pain lasted much longer and I had difficulty bending my knuckles for months. This taught me a valuable lesson. Insects and spiders can be beneficial to gardens, but they also pose risks to us, so it is better to take precautions than to try to eliminate them altogether. Begin by learning what you might encounter and then making a habit of surveying the yard for potential dangers before gardening. Look high and low. Ants help aerate the soil, pollinate flowers, distribute seeds and get rid of caterpillars, but they might sting if you disturb their nests. Bees, a favorite pollinator, may nest in the soil while hornets and wasps build nests on a wide variety of structures. Like ants, they don’t tend to bother you unless they feel threatened. If you have a known allergy, keep your epinephrine injection kit handy. If you aren’t aware of an allergy but have an unexpected reaction, seek immediate medical attention.

Spiders benefit the garden by eliminating moths, thrips and cucumber beetles, but they might bite if threatened. Garden spiders, as their name suggests, are found in gardens. They are not aggressive and their bites are harmless. By contrast, the bite of hobo spiders, which are typically found under rocks or in other dark places, might cause headaches, lesions or blisters. Yellow sac spiders are poisonous. Their bites can cause lesions and require immediate medical attention. These distinctions are why it’s important to become familiar with the spiders commonly found in Colorado. Ticks are an insect not considered beneficial to gardens. Their habitat is in higher elevation woody and grassy areas where they can feed on mammals and rodents. We don’t normally encounter ticks in large cities, but they can be found under leaves and around stone walls and woodpiles. Like the common mosquito, they carry diseases that can kill, paralyze or seriously infect people and animals. One of your best defenses is to wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Wear a hat and gardening gloves and then spray insect repellent on your clothing and exposed skin. While DEET used to be popular, many people now prefer natural repellents. You can find different options at the store or make your own from crushed parsley and apple cider vinegar or a combination of lemon and eucalyptus oil. These tips should help keep bugs from bugging you during this gardening season. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.


Read previous gardening columns at Click on Gardening under Living in Colorado. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JULY 2022


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othing says summer to me like fireworks, hot dogs and sittin’ by the crick dangling a bobber and a worm under an old cane pole. Of course, that was back in the day when cane poles were about all a 10-year-old could afford, and crick-sittin’ was highly regarded summertime fun. That also took place back East where we had more than our fair share of “cricks.” There was a whole lot more to crick-sittin’ than just lying in the grass waiting for a bluegill to make your bobber bounce, though. There were snakes and frogs to catch, trees to climb, tin cans to shoot with our BB guns, and a hundred other things guaranteed to keep a bunch of boys busy ’til sundown, after which we’d switch to chasing fireflies or choosing up sides for a game of Ringolevio (Ringolevio is much more fun when played in the dark). Some nights we’d light a kerosene lantern or build a small, stick fire and pull an all-nighter on the crick for bullheads, carp or catfish. But mostly, it was the bluegills, perch and crappies that defined our summer fishing adventures. Cane poles have all but disappeared from modern tackle shops, and we don’t have many warm-water creeks in Colorado, so crick-sittin’ isn’t very popular here, but bluegills are as much fun today as they ever were and can be found in just about every farm pond, irrigation reservoir or abandoned gravel pit in the state. They may be stunted, though; sunfish are prolific spawners and their numbers need to be kept in check. They’ll lay eggs all summer long if the water temperature stays in the 67-to-80-degree range. Bigger fish will eat bluegill fry (newborn bluegill) and thin them out, so look for a lake or pond with bass, crappies or catfish in it, and you’ll likely find some big bluegills in there, too. An average bluegill is about 6 to 8 inches long and a “nice” one will tape 8 or 9 inches. Anything over 10 inches is considered big. I’ve heard there are some nice ones in Boyd Lake in Loveland and Horsetooth Reservoir near Fort Collins. I’m also told Pueblo Reservoir and the Sawhill Ponds near Boulder hold some big ones. Bluegills usually colonize in shallow water near weed beds or docks where they are easily seen (and caught), but the big ones will almost always be found in deep water. You can catch them using use small jigs or spoons on ultra-light spinning gear or a fly rod rigged with a sink tip line and weighted flies to get down deep. You could also dangle a worm beneath a bobber and a cane pole — if you can find one. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

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Once in a lifetime, a product comes along that truly moves people. Introducing the future of battery-powered personal transportation . . . The Zinger. Throughout the ages, there have been many important advances in mobility. Canes, walkers, rollators, and scooters were created to help people with mobility issues get around and retain their independence. Lately, however, there haven’t been any new improvements to these existing products or developments in this field. Until now. Recently, an innovative design engineer who’s developed one of the world’s most popular products created a completely new breakthrough . . . a personal electric vehicle. It’s called the Zinger, and there is nothing out there quite like it.

“What my wife especially loves is it gives her back feelings of safety and independence which has given a real boost to her confidence and happiness! Thank You!” –Kent C., California The first thing you’ll notice about the Zinger is its unique look. It doesn’t look like a scooter. Its sleek, lightweight yet durable frame is made with aircraft grade aluminum so it weighs only 47.2 lbs. It features one-touch folding and unfolding – when folded it can be wheeled around like a suitcase and fits easily into a backseat or trunk. Then, there are the steering levers. They enable the Zinger to move forward, backward, turn on a dime and even pull right up to a table or desk.

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Grand Lake Selected as a preferred destination for weekend visitors or for people searching for their next waterside residence, Grand Lake was ranked No. 4 on Boatline’s list of the best lake towns in the United States. Grand Lake, a picturesque waterfront haven in the mountains, features just as much to do on land as it does in the water.

Much-to-do downtown If you’re visiting Grand Lake in the heat of the summer but you’re hesitant to play in the 65-degree water, there is no shortage of other activities. Stay outdoors and have fun with go-karts, mini golf, horseback riding and ATV tours. Are indoor activities more your speed? Enjoy strolling along the charming downtown boardwalk. There, you’ll find locally-owned gift shops, clothing boutiques, jewelers, lots of dining options and several shops where you can cool off with an ice cream cone.




The main attraction Located just one block from the muchto-see, much-to-do downtown, the public beach at the lake is a main attraction. This time of year, visitors swim, boat, paddle, fish, sunbathe and picnic along its shores. You’ll see pontoon boats, sailboats, fishing boats, pedal boats and sport boats all cutting through the blue waters of the lake, surrounded by stunning views of the sky-reaching hills of lush green forest. It’s also the perfect place for kayaking and canoeing, and there’s ample opportunity for stand-up paddleboarding either on your own or by way of a tour.

Grand Lake is a glorious and can’t-miss summer destination for Coloradans and out-ofstate visitors alike. For more information about Grand Lake and to plan your next trip, visit


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READER POETRY Out of Control I have a horse Cody is her name She taught me much To her I’ll blame She likes to do her own thing Out in the pasture we rode Headed to the barn we did go I did not give her the lead Cody merely took it from me

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Like a flash of lighting We did fly Never touching the ground What a high! My heart beating fast Exhilaration I did feel So out of control it was surreal! Tried so hard to pull back on the reins Only to feel the grounds’ rocks Once again What a thrill at the time I could have been killed That wasn’t God’s time or plan For I lived to tell the story once again A valuable lesson Of which Cody gets the blame A mare out of control is a VERY DANGEROUS thing! Horses and people are much the same. Renee Budde, Lakewood COLORADO!

Western Rain Trumpeting droplets Across the mesa. The plowing storm rambles Toward tomorrow. Golden crowned clouds gliding Over the summit. Seeds sown in the wetted green. A mare dances Across the windswept meadow. Suddenly, the heavens open To a deeper blue. Then, the stars!

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On the 4th of July, we were at a

Genevieve Babyak takes her copy of CCL on a cruise in Cozumel, Mexico. Babyak is a Poudre Valley REA consumer-member. WINNER: A 3-year-old boy’s dream come true! Brooks Hunter meets “Railroad Dave” while he visits the Moffat Railroad Museum in Granby. Hunter is from Wellington, a Poudre Valley REA consumermember.

family barbecue where our niece had just gotten a new trampoline and the kids were jumping on it. We overheard them talking to each other as they were bouncing up and down. Our nephew was getting frustrated from being shocked repeatedly and so he sat down to remove his socks. While doing so, he said, “I wish God didn’t invent static electricity.” Then our niece replied, “He didn’t. Benjamin Franklin did.” S.R., Pueblo San Isabel Electric consumer-member

My 7–year-old plays an online

William and Chris Power visit Nevada Northern Railway Museum in Ely, Nevada. The Powers are consumer-members of Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.

game with her aunt for a couple hours every Sunday. On the last Sunday of June, they were logging off and her aunt told her she’d play with her again next weekend. My daughter started crying and I asked her, “What’s wrong?” She said, “There are no more weekends!” I hadn’t switched the calendar to July yet, so she thought that was the last weekend there was. Lauren Rains, Ramah Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member

My daughter was having a visit

Laura Lucero, a Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member, stands with her copy of CCL at the Brownwood Paddock Square at the Villages in Florida.

Cathy Jones visits Paniau Cove on the Big Island of Hawaii. Jones is a consumer-member of Gunnison County Electric Association.

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 submit it on our Reader Engagement page at coloradocountrylife. coop. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Friday, July 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at

with her 3-year-old twin grandsons. She was using Skype on her phone. The grandkids’ phone accidentally fell on the floor and the boys ran to pick it up. They were very concerned looking at the phone, asking, “Grammy, are you ok?” thinking she had literally fallen down. There’s still compassion in this world. Genevieve Haponenko, Pueblo West San Isabel Electric consumer-member

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. Go to our Reader Engagement page at to submit your funny story. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JULY 2022



Create a Haven at Home Make your backyard your favorite place to get away from it all A Page-Turning Package

Charming Chimes

Settle into your backyard and get lost in the pages of a gripping novel. When you order your book through Sweet Reads Box, you get the added bonus of a tasty treat and re f re s h m e n t alongside fun, theme-based souvenirs to help you escape the world around you. Previous themes include “Black Cake Book Box,” “The Maid Book Box” and “The Music of Bees Book Box.” Try it for one month, three months, six months or a year. Information at

Absorb the beauty of your backyard while soaking up the delicate jangle of Fettle & Fire’s hanging chimes. The Longmont-based company is run by Lindsey Bricker, who took her love of pottery to open a full-time business at her studio on Kimbark Street in 2019. Today, her colorful clay trinkets create an inviting environment for spaces of all sorts. Bricker recommends at least two strands to get the most out of your chimes. More information at

Photo provided by Sweet Reads Box.

Flock Around the Fire If you want a backyard gathering around a tranquil fire but don’t want the burning bouquet on your clothing, try a gel fuel option. Based in Colorado Springs, Baby Fire Pits offers smokeless, odorless and non-toxic fire pits that are not only warming but also make attractive centerpieces with their intricate copper and steel design elements. Colorado-centric designs include “Spruce Forest” and “Rocky Mountain Black Bear” so you can further express your Centennial State pride. More information at

Putt Your Skills to the Test Have a friendly competition with your comrades with a round of Shuffle Golf — a fun, interactive game that combines shuffleboard and miniature golf for nonstop entertainment. Challenging, yet simple to learn, the Centennial-based company has received a variety of accolades, including by ABC News Tonight and Denver 7 News. What’s more, the company’s founder, Jeff Storey, donated 100 games to the National Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic and plans to donate many more by year’s end. Information at




Flash Sale

This is a Flash Sale, and that means it won’t last! You only have 31 days to get this discount & special financing, and there are limited appointments available!

Sale ends July 31st!

SAVE $395 on every window1

EXTRA 3% DISCOUNT when you pay for your whole project with cash or check1



SAVE $975 on every patio door1


Money Down


for 1 year




Call for your FREE Window & Door Diagnosis 1 Subject to availability, on a total purchase of 3 or more. To qualify for discount offer, initial contact for an appointment must be made and documented on or before 7/31/22 with the purchase then occurring on or before 8/10/22. 3% cash discount for payment in full by cash or check applied at time of sale. 2No payments and deferred interest for 12 months available from third-party lenders to well qualified buyers on approved credit only. No Finance Charges will be assessed if promo balance is paid in full in 12 months. Products are marketed, sold and installed (but not manufactured) by Renewal by Andersen retailers, which are independently owned and operated under Window Warmth, LLC d/b/a Renewal by Andersen of Colorado. See complete information and entity identification at ©2022 Andersen Corporation. ©2022 Lead Surge LLC. All rights reserved.

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