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BAREFOOT FUN on Colorado Water







At Tri-State

Our cooperative approach to a clean grid starts now. Learn how we’re transforming with our Responsible Energy Plan.

Number 08

Volume 50

August 2019 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 2019, 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 AUGUST 2019


“Simple Pleasures” by Karen Mason, a consumer-member of Grand Valley Power.








PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK COCountryLife pinned: Mexican spaghetti squash casserole is a tasty alternative to a taco night fiesta. It’s cheesy and creamy but the jalapeño gives it a kick.









FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association shared: San Isabel Electric sent 4 educators to Tri-State G&T’s NEED Project for free energy curriculum ideas and hands-on lessons to use in their classrooms. #TeachersNEEDLearningToo

BAREFOOT FUN on Colorado Water







A paddle boarder takes his SUP through some whitewater. Photo courtesy of Badfish SUP.

Monthly Contest Enter for your chance to win a Nite Ize Runoff Waterproof Wallet. Read about the company on page 30 of the magazine.

For official rules and how to enter, visit our contest page at

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month colorado_electric_cooperatives posted: Sometimes there’s no one out in some of our great open spaces but the #ruralelectric co-ops. #electriccoops are the only ones willing to bring much needed electricity to so many sparsely populated areas. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019




This summer, I’ve been everywhere, man … BY KENT SINGER



ou may have heard the Johnny Cash version of the country music classic “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Australian singer Geoff Mack. Although the song was written in 1959 and different versions have been recorded by many artists, Cash’s rendition from his 1996 “Unchained” album (backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) is the most famous.

staff at our member electric co-ops, but I also get to meet the consumer-members served by those local co-ops. The best way to understand the issues facing rural Colorado and the consumer-members of our state’s 22 electric co-ops is to attend these annual meetings and hear what’s on people’s minds. In addition to providing a meal and entertainment,

A typical co-op annual meeting.

The song is sort of a travelogue, listing all the towns the narrator’s hitchhiking adventures have taken him to in a tongue-twisting set of lyrics. The song originally referred to cities in Australia but was modified for an American audience when it was first recorded by Lucky Starr in 1962. Colorado gets a shout-out in the fourth verse: “I’ve been to Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado, Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, El Dorado … “I’ve been everywhere, man.” I think of this song every summer since summertime is annual meeting time for Colorado’s electric co-ops. As the executive director of the co-ops’ statewide trade association, my job includes attending the co-op annual meetings. It’s one of the best parts of the job. I travel the state to meet with not only the board of directors and



each of the co-ops sets aside time to take questions and hear the concerns of their consumer-members. This is one of the important distinguishing features between electric co-ops and other types of utilities. Co-ops are owned by the consumers they serve and their governing boards are also comprised of residents of the local community. If a consumer has a question about a bill or any other aspect of the co-op’s business practices, he or she can speak directly to the co-op directors or management and get an answer. At the annual meetings I have attended so far this year, the Q&A periods were extensive with excellent discussions about energy policy, power supply, operational issues and other matters of concern to the co-op’s consumer-members. In every case, the co-op board and management

responded to KENT SINGER the questions with detailed answers or assurances to follow up if further research was necessary. While important business is conducted at these co-op annual meetings, one of the most gratifying features of every meeting is the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” As hard as it is to believe, these American traditions seem to have fallen into disfavor in some circles. I’m glad to report that’s not the case in Colorado’s electric co-op country where every annual meeting opened with the pledge and anthem. In every corner of our great state (electric co-ops serve over 70% of Colorado’s landmass), the electric co-op program is thriving and co-op consumer-members are proud to be associated with their local electric utility. Electric co-op consumer-members appreciate the personal service, the commitment to making their communities a better place and the forward-thinking attitude of their electric co-ops. So, with apologies to Geoff Mack and the late, great Johnny Cash: “I’ve been to Alamosa, Broomfield, Buena Vista, Durango, Fort Morgan, Granby, Hotchkiss, Lamar, Loveland, Monument, Ridgway, Sedalia, Steamboat Springs, Wray … “I’ve been everywhere, man, crossed the deserts bare, man, I’ve breathed the mountain air, man, I’ve been everywhere.” Kent Singer is the executive director of the Colorado Rural Electric Association and offers a statewide perspective on issues affecting electric cooperatives. CREA is the trade association for your electric co-op, the 21 other electric co-ops in Colorado and its power supply co-op.


FROM THE EDITOR Conversations while traveling




y husband and I have been exploring parts of Colorado and the West on his motorcycle this summer. We’ve viewed beautiful vistas of uninterrupted plains, wound through canyons alongside tumbling rivers, climbed over mountain passes and traveled all kinds of less-traveled roads. The views along the way were breathtaking and awe-inspiring. I have the photos to prove it. But some of my favorite memories are of the people we met along the way. On one trip we talked with four German guys, also on motorcycles, at a small motel where we stayed. They were on an extended trip, riding their motorcycles from Mexico to Alaska, and they had great stories to tell. Then there was the Minnesota couple sitting next to us over the chutes at the nightly rodeo in Cody, Wyoming. It was their first rodeo and we had a good time chatting as we explained the rules and just exactly what was happening in the arena. We also met some friendly Coloradans when we took a break from the road in Walden. Tired of riding and needing to

walk, we meanMONA NEELEY dered over to the beautiful, historic Jackson County courthouse. Thanks to a knowledgeable woman in the county clerk’s office, we learned some of the area’s history as we viewed historic photos. Another night at a small bar and grill, we talked with two college students on a road trip from Iowa to California and back again. We shared stories of what we’d seen, where we’d been and where we were all going. And then there was the couple we met playing a rousing game of Scrabble® while waiting for a dinner table one night. They were from New Jersey and experiencing the West for the first time. It was fun to hear their observations and to share some insights with them. All of these conversations with new people in new places added to the summer’s adventures and to our experiences. You never know who you’ll meet as you explore the West. 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.


Are Co-ops Planning Ahead?

I read a book by William R. Forstchen dealing with what America would be like after an electromagnetic pulse attack. It deals with people living without electricity and the resulting chaos after this strike destroys our unprotected electrical grid nationwide. My question is whether or not this could happen. We had our heads buried in the sand before World War II and the Twin Towers fell. I would like to think we learned something. Carl Ray Yampa Valley Electric consumer-member EDITOR’S NOTE: Your local electric co-op, working with co-ops and other utilities across the country, has been part of an intensive investigation regarding a possible EMP attack. Read more about the study at

Road Maintenance and EVs

There have been recent articles about the fees EV owners do and do not pay for maintaining roads. I believe EV owners do pay a $50 fee. However, I also believe that only $30 of that fee is for road maintenance and the other $20 goes to Charge Ahead Colorado to install charging stations for EVs. In Colorado, drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles pay a state fuel tax of 22 cents and a federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents for a total of 40.4 cents per gallon. I calculate that I purchased about 640 gallons of fuel last year, so I paid $260 in road maintenance tax compared to the $30 that an EV owner paid. J. David Houghton, Colorado City San Isabel Electric Association consumer-member

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

In response to last month’s letter about the wind turbines, I would invite the writer to visit Jackson County and see the oil well sites and pumpjacks all over the county or Craig with its power plant. At least wind turbines are rather pretty and graceful and don’t emit noxious fumes or destroy the roads up here in the way hundreds of oil trucks are. Helen Williams, Walden Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member


Enjoying the wide open spaces of the West.

Editor Mona Neeley at 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or at Letters may be edited for length. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019




Tips for using indoor fans to reduce air-conditioning BY JAMES DULLEY

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roper ventilation, both from outdoors and within your house, can make you feel cooler and reduce your air-conditioning. The room air temperature in your home actually is not most important — the cooling sensation on your skin is. Human nature being what it is, people often incorrectly perceive comfort level by the temperature setting. Moving air feels many degrees cooler than still air at the same temperature, allowing you to set the air conditioner thermostat a few degrees higher. This is partially due to the fact that more heat is transferred from your skin to moving air. Also, as air flows over your skin, moisture evaporates even if you are not noticeably sweating, and this feels cooler. There are two types of ventilation. One is moving indoor air throughout your house with the windows closed. In addition to making you feel cooler, it can balance room temperatures and actually lower the temperature in some rooms and raise it in others. The other type of ventilation is bringing in outdoor air at times and shutting off the central air-conditioning. (Find out more at Click on Energy Tips.) Both have their places and can be effective. Installing a ceiling paddle fan is what is commonly thought of as indoor ventilation

and it does work well. Run the ceiling fan on medium or high speed with the air blowing down to create a direct breeze on your skin. During the winter, reverse the blade rotation and run it on low speed. This gently circulates the warm air around the room without creating a chilly breeze. Select the proper-size ceiling fan or you will just waste electricity and gain little comfort. A sizing rule of thumb for a lowercost four- or five-blade fan is (room size versus diameter of blades): • Up to 75 square feet: 36 inches • 75 to 144 square feet: 36 to 42 inches • 144 to 225 square feet: 44 to 50 inches • 225 to 400 square feet: 50 to 54 inches Small personal fans can be extremely effective to create a breeze directly on you while you sit in a chair or work at one location. If you purchase a small fan, select one that can also be used as a zoning space heater during winter. James Dulley writes utility bill cutting and general moneysaving magazine articles and writes nationally syndicated $ensible Home and Cut Your Utility Bills columns for 200 newspapers and magazines..

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit to find out how to stay cool this summer while saving on your energy costs. Look under the Energy tab.




MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box Y Akron, CO 80720-0570 STREET ADDRESS 250 Main Avenue Akron, CO 80720

ph 970-345-2291 tf 800-660-2291 fax 970-345-2154 web

Y-W Electric Association, Inc. is dedicated to providing highquality, reliable electric service and related products to our members at competitive prices. Our members deserve and shall receive quality service unexcelled in our industry. We are committed to maintaining an environment where the Board of Directors and employees can perform at maximum potential to benefit our Y-W community.



t’s a new school year and kids of all ages can be collected remotely, it enhances our are getting ready for a fresh year of system’s efficiency, helps control costs and learning. From kindergarten-age through improves work processes. college-age, students attend school to gain Similar to AMR, there is another knowledge about a broad variety of subjects technology called advanced metering infraand learn new skills that will prepare them for structure (AMI). This is an integrated system the future. In a similar vein, we at Y-W Electric of smart meters, communications networks Association, Inc,. are continually learning in and data management systems that enables order to advance technology that improves two-way communication between utilities electric service, reliability, safety and our envi- and consumers. In the event of an outage, ronmental responsibility, which enhances the AMI helps to distinguish between events that quality of life for the consumer-members we impact a single home or multiple outages. serve in our local communities. This is critical because resolving each issue is Y-W Electric Association keeps abreast an extremely different process. The two-way of industry trends because the energy communication is integral to AMI because sector is rapidly changing. Innovations in it provides a means to verify that power has technology and energy types are fueling been restored after an outage. However, one demand for more options. On the consumer of the biggest benefits from improved techfront, people are looking for more ways to nologies, especially for outages caused by manage their energy use with smart technol- extreme weather, is pinpointing the outage ogies. Consumers expect more convenient location, which helps to reduce risks for payment methods, whether through auto- crews out on the road during severe weather matic bill pay, online or in person. Our events. In addition to providing essential billing representatives are the best resource information during major outages, Y-W for finding the bill pay solution that will be Electric Association analyzes AMI data for the most convenient for any of our members. anomalies including faults, damaged meters We’re working to help sift through the or energy theft. Detecting these problems options for our consumer-members in ways early helps the cooperative save money and that benefit the greater community. At the improve reliability for the whole community. same time, we never lose sight of the top Whether it’s examining energy options priority: providing safe, reliable, affordable or exploring how emerging technologies and environmentally friendly electricity. can better serve our members, for Y-W Technology improves operational effi- Electric Association, Inc., our “school year” ciency. For example, automated meter is never over. We will continue to learn from reading (AMR) is the technology of auto- our consumer-members about their priormatically collecting energy consumption ities for the future, and we will continue data and transferring it from the electric to study and research the issues so we can meter to the co-op. Because this information better serve you, now and in the future. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019



Four Life Hacks to Beat the Summer Heat BY ABBY BERRY

Adding spearmint essential oil to products like body wash and lotion gives you an instant cooling effect.


s summer temperatures rise, there’s no need to let the heat get you down. There are several ways you can keep cool this summer without wreaking havoc on your home’s air conditioner. Use these four simple life hacks to beat the summer heat: • Make aloe vera cubes. Whether you’re nursing a sunburn or just wanting to cool off, aloe vera cubes will offer some relief. Simply fill an ice tray with aloe vera gel, freeze it and then place the cubes on your body’s pulse points, like the neck and wrists, for a quick cooling sensation. • Try a cooling pillow. If you’re willing to spend a little, a cooling pillow can help you feel more comfortable on summer nights.

A Tip for Electric Tools Always unplug your power tools before servicing or cleaning them. Ensure that they are turned off before you disconnect them to prevent accidental starting.

[Wayne & Dawn Florian, 340600301]



Prices range from $27 (like Plixio Pillows) to $180 (like the Technogel Pillow), so you can determine how much you’re willing to spend. • Just add mint. Menthol makes our bodies feel cool, so by adding spearmint essential oil to products like body wash and lotion, you can get an instant cooling effect. Essential oils can be purchased at most drugstores or online. • Spend a few bucks on a handheld fan mister. Sure, you may feel a little silly carrying around a tiny fan, but you’ll be more comfortable than everyone else — and they’ll probably ask to borrow it. You can typically find these at big box stores like Walmart or Target, or you can order one online. There are additional ways to keep you and your home cool this summer: • Close blinds and curtains during the day and open them during the evening when the temperatures are cooler. • Use ceiling fans and portable fans to stay comfortable. But remember, fans cool people, not rooms. • Use appliances that put out heat, like clothes dryers and dishwashers, during the evening to minimize indoor heat during the day when temperatures are higher. Don’t let the heat get in the way of summer fun. Use these tips to keep cool and enjoy the rest of the season. [Randy Schoenecker, 342801800] Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

August 2019

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month Routinely replace or clean your air conditioner’s filter. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15%. Source:


Myths and Misconceptions About Power Lines


ave you ever wondered why a bird can sit on a live wire or what you should do if a power line is on the ground? Here are some questions and answers to some common misconceptions concerning power lines, birds on a wire and other conundrums: Q: What do I do if I see a downed power line? A: Vacate the area and call 911 to report it. Do not return to the area until you are given the go-ahead by authorities. Q: Can I tell from looking or listening if a downed power line is still live? A: Absolutely not. Although it’s possible you could see or hear signs that the power line is live, a live wire may not spark or arc and it may not make any noise at all. Q: Where might downed power lines be? A: A downed power line might be in the street, ditch or field after a bad storm

Claim Your Credit Each month Y-W Electric offers consumer-members a chance to earn a $20 credit on their next electric bill. If you recognize your name and account number in this magazine, call 800-6602291 and ask for your credit. It couldn’t be easier. Get acquainted with your account number, read your Colorado Country Life magazine and pick up the phone. That’s all the energy you’ll need to claim your energy bucks. You must claim your credit during the month in which your name appears in the magazine. (Check the date on the front cover.) Consumers claiming $20 from the June issue: • Darlene Fadenrecht • C. John & Marcelyn Patterson Joint Revocable Trust • David & Abbey Kendall • Mark Sievers • Paul & Joyce Davis

or car accident. It could also be lurking in floodwater or under debris, trees or other objects after a severe storm. Once a line is on the ground, it is not automatically dead, even if the power is off in your area. There’s a good chance the line is still energized, which not only means you should not touch it, it also means the surrounding ground and any metal objects nearby could be energized and extremely dangerous, even deadly. Q: Why might a power line be down or damaged? A: A car accident may cause a line to be hanging down or on the ground; severe weather could damage a pole or line; or, in some cases, it’s caused by another unforeseeable reason, such as a storm-damaged tree or a hungry squirrel. Q: Why can a bird sit on a power line and not be hurt? Doesn’t that mean the line is insulated? A: No. Lines are sometimes coated for protection against the elements but are still deadly on contact. A bird or other critter can sit on a power line because there is no path to ground. If the animal comes in contact with the utility pole or other grounded source, it will be electrocuted, just as a person would be under the same circumstances.

Q: Do different kinds of utility lines look different? A: Perhaps, but for the most part, the nonutility professional cannot know what kind of line it is and what it carries — electricity, phone service, cable television and so on — just by looking. You also can’t tell how much voltage it is carrying by its appearance. Q: What if my car comes in contact with a downed power line? A: Do not get out and do not try to drive over it. Call 911 and wait for utility personnel to de-energize the line. If you smell gas or if there is a fire, exit your car with a solid jump, landing on both feet (but don’t touch the car at the same time) and do not walk, but rather shuffle away without lifting your feet. Q: Can I help someone who is in an accident involving a downed power line? A: No. Do not go near the scene and warn others not to do so. Although our first instinct is often to help, a person running near an energized area could get electrocuted. Contact Y-W Electric at 970-345-2291 with any questions about downed lines. For more information about electrical safety, visit [Manuel A. Roasales, 1141802305]




Billing Corner On Time Bill Paying Each year, Y-W Electric must write off the balances left unpaid by consumers disconnecting their services. While this amount is not an exceptionally large amount, the cost to the cooperative is a burden carried by all consumer-owners. This cost has been lowered by doing three things. The first, to do a better job collecting amounts due. Secondly, to administer a more consistent deposit procedure. The third, to educate our members so that they realize that paying the electric bill is as important as paying the mortgage. Many times, paying your bills is a simple matter of priorities. Obviously, shelter is the number one priority for most people. Next would be heat,

lights, food and basic clothing. We at Y-W Electric think your electric bill payment should be taken as seriously as your mortgage or rent payment. Paying on time helps our cash flow, and helps the cooperative run as efficiently as possible, plus it helps to keep rates as low as possible. When you pay late or don’t pay at all, you affect the rest of the Y-W consumers. We have an average of 750 consumers each month that receive delinquent notices. Over 1200 notices are printed. The cost of these notices and the postage required is a cost to the cooperative that is paid by all consumers. Sometimes, it is simply a mail delay; however, over 100 consumers each month require another contact. This is by telephone, direct lineman contact, or door tag. Our collection employees treat everyone with respect while they impress upon the member-consumer that payment is

needed to prevent disconnection. Y-W Electric has over 3,700 consumermembers, with over 8,500 meter locations. At least 80% pay on time. We truly appreciate those consumers who treat their electric bill with the seriousness it deserves. We hope that those consumers who wait for that extra nudge to pay their bill will come to understand that a late bill payment is a cost that affects the amount everyone has to pay for electric service. By paying on time, every consumer avoids the possibility of a contact charge, or even an after hours charge for re-connection. If you need help with your bills, please call the billing department. Payment options are available, including budget plans and automatic bank payment plans. Help us keep our costs at a minimum so everyone will benefit being a member of Y-W Electric Association. [Sammy L Jones, 1140326102]

Remember: Grain Bins Have Clearance Requirements


o stay safe, many farming tasks require looking up and around for power lines in situations like operating large equipment with antennas or when using long implements. Another safety issue farmers should keep in mind related to power lines is grain bin location. The National Electrical Safety Code addresses grain bins and their proximity to power lines with extremely specific requirements. The code does so to decrease the chances of farming equipment and machinery coming in contact with a live electrical line and because utility lines have clearance requirements. If you are planning on building a new grain bin or remodeling around an area that already has one, contact us at Y-W Electric at 970-345-2291. We can help with specific code requirements. The taller the grain bin, the farther it must be placed from a power



line. Not only is placing a grain bin too close to a power line extremely dangerous, it will most likely need to be relocated due to one or more code violations, and usually at the owner’s expense. Remember, calling your electric co-op before installing a new grain bin or making changes around an existing one is free. Moving one is costly, it interrupts your farming schedule and is just an all-around hassle. NESC specifies both horizontal and vertical distance requirements, so don’t leave a bin’s location to chance. For example, a grain bin that is 30 feet high must be at least 93 feet from a power line, and all bins must have an 18-foot minimum vertical clearance from the highest point of the bin’s filling port. There are also distance requirements for all sides of bins. In addition, changes to the ground, such as landscaping and filling, and drainage

work can affect clearance heights. Even if you are not getting a new grain bin or making changes around an existing one, remember to always maintain adequate clearance when using a portable auger, conveyor or elevator to fill you grain bin or when moving machinery or farming equipment anywhere on your farm. Contact with a power line could be deadly. For more information about electrical safety, visit SAFETY NOTE: If your machinery or vehicle does come in contact with a power line, do not get out of the cab. Call 911 and the dispatched utility will de-energize the power so that you can safely exit your tractor or vehicle. [Steve & Maxine Reynolds, 3015007702]


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DO YOU HAVE A GREAT RECIPE? If you have a recipe you want us to try, send it our way to

This sometimes overlooked produce generates delicious results BY AMY HIGGINS


A surprisingly perfect vegetable for a variety of dishes.


y this time every year, garden vines are producing scads of squash. If your garden doesn’t include these gems, the plants have a considerable yield, so chances are your friends and neighbors are delivering them by the armful to your doorstep. Garden vegetables (well, technically fruits) like zucchini and butternut squash are ideal ingredients for all types of savory dishes, but, because of its hard shell and more intensive prep time, the curious spaghetti squash doesn’t seem to get the same amount of attention. However, with its flavor, crunch and consistency, spaghetti squash is surprisingly perfect for a variety of dishes. If you’re not convinced, try this recipe and the ones on our website, and tell us what you think.

Spaghetti Squash Primavera 1 spaghetti squash

1/2 zucchini, chopped

3 hot Italian sausages

1/2 bell pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup white onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cube chicken bouillon

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Carefully slice spaghetti squash lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and surrounding strands with a large spoon. Pour about 1 inch of water in a large, microwave-safe baking dish and place spaghetti squash halves in the dish, cut-side down. Place squash in microwave and cook 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Remove squash from microwave and let cool 5 minutes. Use a fork to scrape the insides of the spaghetti squash and place in a large bowl. Save shells. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove casings from Italian sausages and cut into cubes. Place in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until browned all the way through. Remove from pan, leaving behind the juices. Pour the olive oil onto the pan and let it warm. Cook white onion in the juices until nearly translucent. Mix in garlic with onion for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper and basil; cook 10 minutes. Add red pepper and chicken bouillon; cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. WANT TO BAKE INSTEAD OF MICROWAVE? If you prefer baking your spaghetti squash remember it takes more time, but is easy to do. Cut the squash in half, scrape out the innards, coat the squash in oil and place the halves on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Bake in 400-degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the spaghetti-like strands pull from the shell easily.



Mix together the squash, sausage and vegetable mixture. Add mozzarella and blend. Evenly distribute the mixture into spaghetti squash shells and bake Grab some squash in preheated oven for 10 to 15 from the garden and try minutes, or until the edges of the Turkey Meatballs and shells are slightly browned and the Spaghetti Squash cheese is bubbly. Muffins. Get the recipe at


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Easy-to-use remote for massage, heat, recline and lift And there’s more! The overstuffed, oversized biscuit style back and unique seat design will cradle you in comfort. Generously filled, wide armrests provide enhanced arm support when sitting or reclining. The high and low heat settings along with the multiple massage settings, can provide a soothing relaxation you might get at a spa – just imagine getting all that in a lift chair! It even has a battery backup in case of a power outage. Shipping charge includes white glove delivery. Professionals will deliver the chair to the exact spot in your home where you want it, unpack it, inspect it, test it, position it, and even carry the packaging away! You get your choice of bonded stain and water repellent leather or plush microfiber in a variety of colors to fit any decor. Call now!

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© 2019 firstSTREET for Boomers and Beyond, Inc. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019


Sit up, lie down — and anywhere in between!



CO-OP YOUTH TOUR EXPLORES WASHINGTON, D.C. Denver-based sessions on Colorado government and how electric co-ops work on Thursday, June 13 introduced this year’s Washington D.C. Youth Tour students to a week of traveling and exploring history, government and the electric industry. The 60 students and chaperones from Colorado and Wyoming headed for Washington, D.C., June 14. They joined more than 2,000 other Youth Tour participants sponsored by electric co-ops across the country for team building and leadership programs, while also touring as a two-state group through the memorials and museums that fill D.C. Youth Tour students pose with the magazine in the U.S. Capitol.

More Renewables Coming for Colorado Co-ops Eighteen of Colorado’s electric cooperatives

Previous Tri-State RFPs have resulted in

resources. Tri-State’s member systems also

have more renewable energy coming their

power purchase contracts for 656 megawatts

have 139 megawatts of member renewable

direction, thanks to their power supplier,

of utility-scale wind and solar resources.

energy projects that are in place or under

Tri-State Generation and Transmission

The G&T is the leading solar generation

development. In 2018, Tri-State’s PPAs for

Association. Tri-State, the co-op G&T,

and transmission cooperative in the United

wind, solar and small hydropower exceeded

issued its sixth request for proposals (RFP)

States. As renewable energy prices have

the association’s purchases of renewable

for renewable energy resources in June.

decreased, Tri-State is accelerating the pace

hydropower from the Western Area Power

In this RFP, Tri-State will consider

of its renewable additions. The association’s


proposals for solar projects where Tri-State

weighted average cost of all wind and solar

Earlier in 2019, Tri-State announced two

would own and operate the project after

power purchase agreements (PPA) is now

new PPAs from a 2018 renewable energy

investment tax credits have been captured.

less than half of what it was in 2009.

RFP that saw developers bidding on more

“Steady investment in renewables from

In total, Tri-State and its members have

than 100 projects. The 100-megawatt Spanish

Tri-State and our members means one of

enough renewable resources to power the

Peaks Solar and the 104-megawatt Crossing

every three electrons consumed in our asso-

equivalent needs of more than 570,000

Trails Wind projects will increase Tri-State’s

ciation comes from emissions-free renewable

rural homes. In addition to the associa-

wind and solar resources by 45%.

resources,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State

tion’s wind and solar projects, Tri-State has

Tri-State’s addition of renewable

chief executive officer.

PPAs for 27 megawatts of small hydropower

resources, as well as the availability of low-cost market power, has reduced the association’s use of coal. “With competitive electricity markets and our renewable energy contracts, Tri-State is dispatching coal resources less, has closed one coal unit and will retire two other coal units,” said Brad Nebergall, Tri-State senior vice president of energy management. Tri-State expects to make decisions on any new projects by the end of 2019.

The Twin Buttes II wind farm in southeast Colorado already supplies renewable wind energy to Colorado cooperatives.



Co-op Magazine Plants Trees to Offset Printed Pages For just over a year, Colorado Country Life has been planting trees to offset the trees used to make the paper this magazine is printed on. For nearly 70 years, Colorado Country Life and its predecessors have been sent to electric cooperative members to keep them up to date on everything going on at the local co-op. Each issue contains information about services, director elections, member meetings, employees and programs available to you, the co-op consumer-members. By working with other electric co-ops to publish the magazine, your co-op sends you all of this information for only 37 cents a month, less than the cost of a first-class stamp. Besides being an economical way to communicate with consumer-members, CCL is also the best way to get information Discover the Unexpected to electric co-op PLUS consumer-members. Surveys show that more than 80 percent of those receiving the magazine read the magazine. That is higher readership than emails, digital newsletters, bill stuffers and other means of communication. CCL has now planted more than 4,300 trees, including 1,000 since January. These trees are being planted on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota through Denver-based PrintReleaf. PrintReleaf partners with a variety of paper consumers as a certification system that offers a sustainability program to facilitate global reforestation. The company planted over 1.1 million trees since it started. CCL plants about 330 trees each month. JUNE 2019








Going the Extra Mile

Electric cooperatives maintain more miles of power lines per consumer than other types of electric utilities. Even though they serve fewer consumers and acquire less revenue, electric co-ops always go the extra mile to power the communities they serve.

1 mile of power lines

Electric Co-ops Other Electric Utilities

Consumers served per mile: 8 Revenue: $19,000

Consumers served per mile: 32 Revenue: $79,000

Sources: EIA, 2017 data. Includes revenue and consumer averages per mile of line.

Energy Use Hits Record High Energy consumption in the United States hit a record high in 2018, surpassing the previous record set more than a decade earlier, according to recent findings published by the Energy Information Administration. Energy use increased 3.6% from 2017, the largest annual increase since 2010, with coal, natural gas and petroleum providing 80% of that total. Consumption reached 101.2 quadrillion Btu (British thermal units or quads). This passed the previous record of 101.0 quads set in 2007. (About 3,400 Btus equal 1 kilowatt-hour.) The United States also produced a record amount of energy from various sources in 2018, although consumption was about 4% higher than production. That was true, even though energy imports dropped while energy exports increased. In the United States, renewable solar and wind energy production did reach a record high, climbing 4% relative to 2017. Combined, solar and wind now provide more energy nationwide than renewable hydropower. Coal consumption decreased for the fifth straight year. The growth in energy consumption is largely due to the growing U.S. economy. More goods, more exports, more travel and more services mean more fuel and electricity is being demanded. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019


COVER STORY You can even SUP on Colorado’s white water rapids. Photo courtesy of Badfish SUP.

Barefoot Fun on Colorado Water BY MALIA DURBANO






growing industry is bringing barefoot fun to those wet and wonderful places in Colorado where outdoor fun includes water sports. Stand-up paddle boarding, often referred to as SUP, is a young but maturing sport sweeping Colorado and beyond. An easyto-learn water activity, SUP purports to be something anybody and everybody can do, like riding a bike. Here in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is already well-known for the accessibility of its rivers and lakes. Now, with paddle boards, more people can enjoy the water. A few prominent Colorado manufacturers of stand-up paddle boards and accessories located in electric co-op territory are making waves, providing new and innovative equipment to support the sport. “Colorado is in the forefront of the sport because residents are early adopters of new things — especially outdoor activities,” says Mike Harvey of Badfish SUP in Salida. He and the representatives of the other SUP manufacturers agree that the “culture in the state is one of health, fitness and outdoor adventure.” Zack Hughes, board designer and partner in Badfish SUP, explains the sport’s appeal. “Masses of people are trying SUP because the skill set is simple. Some people are intimidated by sitting in a kayak. They’re afraid of flipping and going under the water. But standing up on a board, looking down into the water, provides a different perspective. You can see more of what’s under there and it’s a more comfortable position for the body.”

Johnny Lombino of SOL Paddle Boards in Telluride agrees. “Instead of the focus and concentration needed as you speed down a moving river in a kayak, you move at your own pace — or not at all — as you take in the beautiful 360-degree view,” he says. “The quick learning curve with a wide stance on a stable board with controlled movement makes it appealing to a lot of people. The low-impact sport is great for folks with minor injuries and can even help with rehab. It just requires balance and some core strength, then helps strengthen muscles in the arms, shoulders, back and abs as you pull yourself across the water.”

IN THE BEGINNING … Stories abound on how, when and where paddle boarding actually started. People have been standing in floating objects and propelling themselves across the water for centuries. But looking back, it was all in boats. There was a breakthrough in 1912 in Australia when a vessel called a surfski was introduced. It was a closed hull that didn’t catch water and was easy to stand on. More recent history, agreed on by surf culture experts, proposes that the sport started in the U.S. in Hawaii and was documented in the 1939 movie, “Blue Horizon.” The famous Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku rode a surfski with a two-bladed kayak paddle. The surfski was

a gift from a traveling surf lifesaving team from Australia. Other Hawaiians credited with perpetuating the sport include John Zapotocky and John “Pops” Ah Choy, who copied Kahanamoku around 1955 but started using a single-sided paddle. Laird Hamilton, another famous Hawaiian surfer, and his buddy, Dave Kalama, were the first to be seen in 1996 using short outrigger canoe paddles while standing up on long boards during an Oxbow photo shoot on Maui — some claim that this was the birth of modern SUP. Hawaiian surfer Rick Thomas is often credited with bringing the sport to the mainland United States in 2000. How it became a worldwide phenomenon depends on who you ask. As all sports naturally evolve, not every modification is documented. As the sport matures, modifications to board designs, paddles and ancillary equipment occur every year.

STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING EVOLVES Stand-up paddle boarding and stand-up paddle surfing are obvious offshoots of surfing. But in traditional surfing, the rider sits on the board until a wave comes, then stands up and is propelled by the wave. With SUP, the rider stands on the board and uses a paddle to propel the board through the water. Initially, the boards were hard and made of foam core, but many riders now prefer the inflatable boards.

Two paddle boarders at Eleven Mile State Park. SUP makes Colorado’s lakes and rivers accessible to many people. Photo courtesy of Badfish SUP. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019



SUP racers at the start of FIBArk race in Salida. Photo courtesy of Badfish SUP.

Many riders, including Peter Hall, founder of Hala Gear in Steamboat Springs, have surfing or kayaking backgrounds. “SUP is really like a melding of the two sports,” he says. “People can play in white water, go down river or surf in hydraulic waves.” Charlie MacArthur of Aspen Kayak and SUP was one of the first early adopters of the sport and the first to SUP in the rapids in the early 2000s. Having grown up surfing in Hawaii, MacArthur says, “Being a thousand miles from the ocean, surfing a river was a no brainer.” He adapted some old windsurfing boards and started teaching SUP in 2004. “It was harder because the boards were narrow, only about 24 inches wide, and we were using rudimentary long canoe or modified raft and kayak paddles.” He knew if this sport was going to take off, they would need better equipment. MacArthur and a friend, pro surfer and shaper Dave Parmenter, came up with the first SUP for the river in 2008 and the possibilities expanded. The lighter and thicker hard board, called the C MAC ATB (all terrain board) caught on. When Harvey, who is now a partner at Badfish, first tried the new sport, he thought it was dumb. “It was just an oversized long board and it was hard to stay connected to it in the river. We were trying to run rivers on ocean boards.” Great minds that like to play in the



water think alike. So, around the same time, Harvey’s Arkansas River guiding buddy Hughes was tinkering with experimental designs for surfboards in his garage. Also wanting to surf river waves, Harvey and Hughes teamed up to create a hybrid with more volume and shaped differently. “We wanted something that would be like kayaking on our feet!” Harvey says. They strategized to build boards for inland paddle boarding and formed Badfish when they settled in Salida to raise their families. Hughes’ designs progressed quickly as they kept redefining what was possible in the river. They were also motivated by a desire to run out to the river and have some fun at lunchtime or after work. Hall, a surfer and kayaker, also wanted a new toy for playing in the rivers. He went down Brown Canyon in the Arkansas River in 2011 on a cheap, Chinese inflatable board that couldn’t do what he wanted it to do. He started Hala Gear to provide a tool to explore wild places. “I want people to get hooked. It will mean that more people then care about our wild places.” Hala is definitely an innovator in board designs and currently has three patents pending. It has pushed the sport to new levels, especially in downriver racing. Shawn Rodine of Rocky Mountain Paddle Board invites people to demo boards from his shops right on the water at Bear Creek Lake

Park in Lakewood, Boulder Reservoir and Union Reservoir in Longmont, noting that the appeal is so universal because of the fun factor. “People are really learning just how much you can do on a board,” Rodine says. “Athletes from other disciplines realize that SUP is a great way to cross train. Being on the unstable surface forces you to use muscles you don’t otherwise use. It works everything at once. You’re working on balance, core strength, cardio, upper body and strengthening the small stabilizer muscles in your legs all at the same time. “Even a downward dog is more challenging on an unstable surface and utilizes more muscles. Feeling the wind in your face, seeing the birds fly overhead and connecting with nature really adds to the yoga experience.” In 2009, Javier Placer of SUP Colorado first tried the sport. “SUP provides a new way for people to interact with the water,” he says. “As I saw myself getting older, I knew that this was an activity that could challenge me and keep me fit. I decide the intensity of the activity.”

MORE RIDERS TRY SUP The industry here really hit its stride in 2011 when three Colorado companies began designing and manufacturing the boards. This coincides with a huge influx of new riders across the United States. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, nearly 1.2 million people, or 60% of all riders, tried SUP for the first time in 2011. This is up 18% from 2010. There are so many ways to enjoy the sport that this is no surprise. Variations include flat water paddling, recreational, fitness and sight-seeing, as well as racing on lakes, large rivers or canals; surfing river or ocean waves; paddling in river rapids (whitewater SUP); fishing; and even practicing yoga. But one of its biggest draws is for those who were previously unable to participate in

COVER STORY water sports for various reasons, including injuries and disabilities. Lombino from SOL loves the sport because it brings so much happiness to people who have never been able to get on the water. Nationally, the largest demographic gravitating this sport are 35- to 44-year-old men and women, followed by 25- to 34-year-olds. The vast majority of boards now are inflatable — this technology has greatly contributed to its popularity. They are easy to fold up, put in a bag or backpack and carry out to the lake or river. There is no need for a roof rack, a trailer or even a car. Just throw on your backpack, jump on your bike and head out. “It just makes more sense, Lombino says.” They’re more durable, transportable and you can bash them on the rocks and nothing happens.” The Colorado manufacturers distribute boards around the country and the world but agree that most of their sales come from Colorado, followed by the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast respectively. Paddle board enthusiasts, like Rodine, own a board for each activity. He confesses to owning four, but for the average person who just wants a fun hobby, they can find a great all-around board like the one made by Hala. “The UKA inflatable board will be adequate for racing, surfing and fitness,” Rodine says. Each company has something that sets it apart. SOL Paddle Boards specializes in brightly colored boards that “scream fun and excitement,” according to Lombino. “You can see our boards from a half-mile away.” Also contributing to the sport, Recreation, Engineering and Planning in Boulder is a leader in white water park and river wave design. The company is responsible for 80% of all white water parks in North America, says president Gary Lacy. “All our designs are as unique as the rivers we work with and the communities they flow through.” The Colorado Parks and Recreation Association website contains vast resources

for finding places to paddle in Colorado’s beautiful rivers, lakes and reservoirs. And what is the experience like? “SUP is the closest we’ll ever come to walking on water,” says Amy Jordan, who rents and sells boards at four scenic locations in northern Colorado, even for those with disabilities. Manufacturers like On It Ability Boards created special boards for special clients. Extra wide boards that hold wheelchairs allow more people to enjoy the peace and tranquility of being on the water. Ann Marie Meighan, executive director for Adaptive Sports in Durango, says, “The military veterans that we take out on the San Juan River love it. It’s like meditation on water. The boards are very stable and, of course, location selection is really important.” As MacArthur notes, with this wet and wonderful sport, “New people are literally jumping on board every day.” Malia Durbano is a freelance writer who lived and worked for years in Durango. She has fond memories of southwestern Colorado and its outdoor activities.

Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Paddleboard and Bearded Bros. Media.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Check the website at for places to paddle board. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019



Racing for the Top Retrofitted Porsche takes on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb as an EV BY AMY HIGGINS



lectric vehicles are multiplying on our neighborhood streets and highways, but they’re also generating more interest in a less likely arena: racing venues. When we think of car racing, we think of the growl of the engine, and the lingering scent of gasoline and oil. However, many of today’s race car drivers and their fans are becoming more accepting of change. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a time-honored competition that was established in 1916. Dubbed the “Race to the Clouds,” this 100-plus years race course goes up the iconic 14er, taking competitors through 156 twists and turns with treacherous cliffs marked with behemoth boulders and towering trees, climbing 14,115 feet to the finish line. This race isn’t for amateurs. While many EVs have entered this climb over the decades, none were as cutting edge as one of this year’s exhibition vehicles: a 1973 Porsche 911 RSR EV. On June 30, it was the first former Pikes Peak competitor and winning car (the car won the vintage division in 2015) that turned heads with its internal combustion conversion to EV using California’s Zero Motorcycles’ EV powertrain. The vehicle was driven by Winding Road Adventures (WRA) Racing’s Chris Lennon of Monument. Colorado’s electric cooperatives showed



their support for this progressive venture with a sponsorship of the vehicle. “The electric co-ops are excited to be part of this project which delved further into electric vehicles and what their potential is,” said Colorado Rural Electric Association Executive Director Kent Singer.

Devotees and the debut “We all call this ‘Hell Week,’” Lennon said in the week previous to the race. The WRA crew was busy testing the Porsche every morning at first light that week, before the tourists made their presence known. “We test on a different part of the mountain every day this week to find out how the car is working and try to get it in tip-top shape for the race.” In the months prior to the race, the WRA crew was diligently transforming the Porsche into the handsome EV it is today. “We literally updated everything as part of the EV conversion,” Lennon explained. “From the chassis itself — we beefed it up — we put a whole new suspension on it, the weight distribution in the car is different, new brakes, new wheels. It’s literally like a brand-new car.” The Porsche made its initial appearance at the PPIHC Fan Fest in downtown Colorado Springs on June 28, where tens of

A cutting-edge EV competes in the “Race to the Clouds.”

thousands of fans met the racers displaying their race cars. Right next to Lennon and the Porsche was a Honda EV that was driven by Katy Endicott in 1994, giving race fans a comparative taste of what a state-of-the-art EV looked like 25 years ago. Counting down the hours to the actual race, WRA knew Lennon and the Porsche were ready to make their debut at their first PPIHC. “It going to be a great adventure either way,” Lennon said. “I’ve learned over the years — over the six years I’ve run previously — that there’s been bad weather almost every year. But that’s out of our control and we just kind of deal with it.”

Setting the pace Call it kismet or simply Colorado — June 30 brought in storm clouds, rain pelted the pavement and Lennon wasn’t surprised. “The weather is always a factor there,” he reiterated. “What made it a little more unusual was the fact that there was lightning up there. After that, they stopped sending cars to the summit and the rest of us went to Glen Cove, which is as far as they could send us safely.” PPIHC officials examined and calculated partial runs and full runs to decide who was the fastest in the race. In the end, Lennon and the modified Porsche made it

INDUSTRY to the podium with a third place finish in the exhibition division. “We think we could have gotten second place if we could have gone to the summit, but you never know until you do it,” Lennon said. He was impressed with the Porsche’s performance, “because the second place car had a lot more power than we did. It was the internal combustion technology with the Dodge Hellcat with a massive amount of power, and we had electric.” Lennon liked the immediate availability of power the EV provided and was impressed with the powertrain, noting that it seemed to like the cooler temperature. When he reached the modified finish line, the Porsche still had about 50% charge remaining. Even during the race, Lennon was discovering the particulars of the vehicle. “It took a little quick learning on my part, because we were doing it in the rain where maybe having all that power right away wasn’t the most controllable thing, but I was a quick study, I think,” he explained. “There was one point past one of the big spectator areas at the ski area where I came around the corner — I tried to be as gentle as I could on the accelerator, but the car got really sideways and even through my helmet I could hear people screaming outside. I think it was a fan favorite

Colorado’s Electric Cooperatives sponsor the 1973 Porsche 911-converted EV at its debut in the PPIHC.

that I went sideways in front of all of them. It was definitely not intentional though.” Already committed to the 2020 PPIHC, the WRA engineers will be reviewing the data from this year’s race to ensure they’re even more prepared to hit the hill once again.

A global influence WRA wasn’t certain how the Porsche EV would perform at PPIHC, so landing a spot on the podium was the icing on the cake. “There’s no question we went in the right direction going EV this year — we got a

terrific result,” Lennon said. “Again, with this being the first year of a two-year effort, we expect to learn a ton from this and come back even better next year.” As an internationally loved event — one of the top four or five races in the world, Lennon said — PPIHC is an ideal platform to show off classic cars that are modified with modern technologies. “I suspect we’re not going to be the last ones to do this,” he said. “I would have also thought that the racing world would be the last to really embrace this because they’re more traditional car people,” Lennon said. “I think that community is one of the tougher ones to win over with EV.” Fans of the PPIHC may breathe in a little less gasoline and hear a little less growl at future races as more EVs make it to the scene and race their way to the clouds. Amy Higgins is a longtime freelance writer for Colorado Country Life. She’s wise to the ways of the electric cooperatives’ diverse communities and is enthusiastic about engaging the CCL readership by reporting the latest innovations in energy.

Winding Road Adventures’ crew tests the EV Porsche every morning the week before the race. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019



CULTIVATE WITH CONTEMPORARY CONTRAPTIONS Attention-grabbing gardening gadgets at stores and online BY VICKI SPENCER



s a child I looked forward to Saturday afternoons when my dad would say, “Who wants to go to the lumber yard?” We would pile into our old ’49 Mercury and drive to the Hugh M. Woods hardware store where I would tag along as my dad searched for supplies to complete his latest project. I still enjoy perusing store aisles for the latest gardening gadgets, and now I can peruse internet aisles, too. This year, I was delighted to find a variety of raised garden bed frames that can be assembled with minimal effort — no experience or expensive tools required. Just decide how large you want the bed and go online to find the frame of your choice. Greenes Fence Company has several cedar frames with tool-free dovetail assembly. You simply slide boards into corner joints to form the frame and attach caps for a finished look. Or you might like the modern industrial look of EarthMark’s different colored corrugated metal frames, which come with a lining. Once you build your raised bed, you might want to give your wrists relief from the repetitive motions of planting and weeding. Radius Garden has a natural grip trowel with ergonomic grip that gives more leverage with less stress on your wrist. Gardener’s Supply Company is my go-to source for many gardening needs. If bending and squatting is difficult, it has



a tractor scoot with side basket, which might just be the ticket. It has a comfortable, adjustable swivel seat and pneumatic tires to travel across rough terrain. The side basket makes it easier to plant or weed without standing up. This year, I decided to buy its A-frame cucumber trellis, which allows planting rows on both sides. The cucumber vines grow up and over the trellis, and you can plant something small, like radishes, underneath. I also like its new large tomato tower. Last year my tomato plants grew so tall and dense that my cone-shape towers were inadequate. Staples are sold separately to anchor them to the ground. These items were attractive to me because the hinges fold flat for compact storage.

Mason bee house. Photo courtesy of Gardener’s Supply Company,

STIHL’s iMow robotic mowers make lawn work relaxing. Photo provided by STIHL® USA.

nest and breed. They are decorative and perfect for hanging in pollinator gardens. Another way to find new gardening innovations is to attend your local home and garden show. This year I was fascinated by STIHL’s iMow robotic mowers. The sales rep told us robotic mowers have been available in Europe for years, but recently made their way to the States. The dealer installs the mower by mapping the mowing area, laying down perimeter wires, positioning the docking station and programming the mowing requirements. Then you simply relax while the robot mows according to schedule and docks itself to recharge. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

Vertex cage. Photo courtesy of Gardener’s Supply Company,

Other fun items from Gardener’s Supply are plant and row markers in wood or metal and mason bee houses. These bamboo structures provide a place for small mason bees, which do not sting, to

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


2020 PHOTO CONTEST SIMPLY COLORADO Contest now open, enter today!

4 CATEGORIES • NEW THIS YEAR CCL COVER CONTEST Categories are: • Landscapes Year Round • Outdoor Activities • Wildlife • Sunrise, Sunset

Contest rules:

• Photographer must be a member of a Colorado electric co-op. • Photographer may enter up to 2 photos per category. • If people appear in the photo, it is the photographer’s responsibility to have the subject’s permission to enter his or her image in the contest. • Photos must have been taken by you. • Photographer may win only one first-place prize. • ONLY first and second place photos in each category will be published in the magazine. Third place photos will appear only on the website and will still earn an award. Only one award will be given for the cover contest. • By entering the contest, photographers give Colorado Country Life permission to publish the winning images in print and digital publications, to social media and on websites. • Read the full list of official rules and requirements and enter online at

And NEW THIS YEAR: CCL Cover Contest Deadline: December 15, 2019 Winners will be published in April 2020

Send entries to: Photo Contest, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or enter online at

Title for entry (to appear if published) Name


Address City



Colorado electric co-op you are a member of Email

Please check the appropriate category for your photo: ☐ Landscapes ☐ Outdoor Activities ☐ Wildlife ☐ Sunrise, Sunset

☐ Cover of CCL

TERMS & CONDITIONS: By entering the contest, photographers automatically give Colorado Country Life permission to publish the winning images in print and digital publications, social media and on websites. Contact information (email, phone, address) collected will be used to contact the winners and inform you of other contests and activities sponsored by Colorado Country Life.

Prizes: 1st place – $175 • 2nd place – $75 • 3rd place – $50 • Cover winner – $175 COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019



The Dog Days of Summer Are “Sirius” Time to ready yourself for the coming hunting season BY DENNIS SMITH



or the longest time I honestly believed the oppressively hot days of July and August were called “the dog days of summer” because they were so unbearably hot and sultry, they weren’t fit for a dog. Then, a while back, I found out that was a bunch of hooey. The term “dog days” actually refers to the 20 days before and the 20 days after Sirius, the Dog Star, aligns with the sun on July 23 of every year. Sirius, it just so happens, is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, which is known to astrologers and stargazers as the Greater Dog. It is so bright, in fact, the ancient Romans believed the heat it generated, when added to the heat of the already intense summer sun, created the 40-day stretch of obnoxiously hot weather we’ve come to know as the dog days of summer. According to the stars, dog days officially end on August 12 — right about the time Colorado’s bow hunters are gearing up for the big-game seasons. For example, the archery pronghorn (antelope) buck season opens August 15, three days after the end of dog days. Taking a mature male pronghorn with a bow is no walk in the park. These animals are spookier than a cave full of bats and can run like the wind for miles on end, which they do at the first sign of danger. They live on the treeless, open plains where they can see predators and hunters approaching for miles, and their vision is equal to that of a human equipped with an eight-power binocular, so sneaking up on one is next to impossible. It can be done, but many anteA bull elk bugling in early autumn. lope hunters prefer to hide near a prairie stock tank or natural water hole and wait for a buck to come to them, a technique known as “sitting water.” It can mean long hot hours in the sun. Archery elk and deer hunters have it a little cooler but not much. Their seasons open the first of September and they usually hunt at much higher elevations, often right at or Learn more at: just below tree line. Spot-and-stalk methods, and creeping quietly through known elk country are common tactics, but early fall is prime time for bugling elk. Cow calls and elk bugles are used to lure rutting bulls into bow range. Knowledge of animal behavior and habitat are crucial, and scouting elk country well before the season opens is critical. Some of my bow-hunting buddies are in the high country right now setting trail cameras and searching for elk wallows, rubbed trees and bedding areas. We may be right smack in the middle of dog days, but if hunters want to increase their chances for success this fall, they can’t start too soon. Sometimes it’s wise to pay attention to the stars, even if it means working up a sweat. MISS AN ISSUE?

Learn more at:



Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

Catch up at Click on Outdoors under Living in Colorado.

Join Electric Co-ops in Raising Money for Those in Need


olorado’s electric cooperatives are raising money for two different projects and both address the needs of others in our society who can use a hand. One fundraiser addresses needs in a small, primitive Guatemalan village. The other assists those in Colorado who can’t pay their heating bills. Thank you to everyone who responded already. Colorado’s electric co-ops have already raised enough money to purchase 5-gallon water filters for each Guatemalan family in the village of Sillab, Guatemala, where our Colorado-Oklahoma international team will bring electricity later this month. As a final project, we added a backpack and laptop fund. The team and its supporters are raising money to purchase one laptop and printer for the village school and a backpack filled with notebooks, pencils (plus a sharpener and eraser), pens and crayons for each student in the school.

To donate any amount, visit current-causes or mail a check made out to CEEI (with School Supplies on the memo line) to CREA/School Supplies, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216. To donate to our other project, raising money for Energy Outreach Colorado, visit Colorado’s electric cooperatives are some of the sponsors for the September 13-15 Pedal the Plains bike tour of eastern Colorado. The co-op bike team is riding to raise money to help those who struggle to pay their heating bills. Support the team members as they ride from Lamar to Holly to Springfield to Lamar by visiting the website listed above and using PayPal, or make out a check to CEEI (with PTP on the memo line) and mail it to 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216. Funds raised will be donated to EOC, which is a statewide organization dedicated to helping Coloradans afford home energy since 1989.

Backpack & Laptop Fund for Guatemalan Kids $20

backpack, notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, sharpener and eraser


laptop + printer fund

Help sponsor the team and raise money for Energy Outreach Colorado. Send your check to: CEEI/PTP, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 For more information on joining our team and to make an online donation, visit

JOIN COLORADO’S ELECTRIC CO-OPS’ INTERNATIONAL TEAM ON ITS MISSION TO BLESS THE KIDS IN SILLAB, GUATEMALA! To give online, visit: To send a check: Make it payable to Colorado Electric Educational Institute (CEEI) with School Supplies on the memo line. Mail it to: Colorado Rural Electric Association/School Supplies, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216.

Will you be a part of this mission by sponsoring a backpack and laptop for $60? COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019



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MARCH 2019

Capturing Colorado at Play 2019 PHOTO







12 22








Reader Poetry Tom’s Poem

It’s as if we walk in someone else’s shoes, Distinct, and different than yesterday. Growing old, blessed are we. Celebrate. Be happy, embrace life. Love yourself kindly. One never sees what one actually looks like, We only see with our imagined pride. No longer handsome you, or beautiful me. Gone — the physical beauty … Gained, knowledge, wisdom Both currently swing at our side. Prominent, for all to see, The new handsome you, the new beautiful me. The days passed swift. Yesterday’s gone. Now, a more radiant essence illuminates from deep within. Embellish the journey, we both did take. Growing old with you, my gifted fate. Through surviving, accept lovingly, The changes. If blessed, The final season never waits. THE END


Your wings seem to carry you beyond yourself, beyond your curiosity as you peek into my kitchen window. Your beak open, your wings beckoning, letting you peer in. Then before you can decide to stay, they veer and take you away. Time seems to carry us, letting us alight for a while, not nearly long enough. Impressions, feelings, wishing, then like you dear hummingbird, we, too, are whirred away.

Judith A. Clarke, Bayfield La Plata Electric consumer-member

Pat Maslowski, Drake Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association consumer-member

The Greenhorn

Still Life

Climbing to a high mountain lake Worth the tiring effort Despite fractured ribs aching. Pain makes you stop! Takes breath away from normality Makes you listen — to body, mind, heart. Hearing the ebb and flow Of waterfall’s sibilant splash And the sharp wind’s blow. Huddling near trees While friends continue upward, I must wait, listening eases my pain. Carol Fortino, Beulah San Isabel Electric consumer-member

As the great blue heron lands every small thing turns perfectly still. Its great blue shadow send shivers across the pond. It wades to the depth of its spindly legs then transforms itself into silence. Wings tucked, neck extended, narrow head with a yellow beak. As the sun tilts, in the silt a small thing blinks. David Feela, Cortez Empire Electric Association consumer-member

The Lineman

What are their thoughts, these hardy souls tangled in knots on top of poles, sweating it out in a blend of blue doing a job few would do? What are their thoughts, this gallant crew who risk their lives the long day through, in summer heat and winter snow, taking orders from afar and below? What are their thoughts, these men of brawn who joke and swear or hum a song, who know their distance well could be a rubber glove from eternity? What are their thoughts at the close of day, as they scramble down and put hooks away; do they thank God for the heart skipped beat to feel the earth again beneath their feet? What are their thoughts as they head home longing once more to greet their own? Surely they must feel some delight, knowing they helped turn darkness into light. Lynette M. O’Keane, Pueblo West San Isabel Electric Association consumer-member

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




4th Friday Art Walk Various La Veta Locations 5-8 pm • 719-742-3453

August 23 La Veta

August 15–18 Routt County Fair August 15-18. At the Routt County Fairgrounds, Hayden Celebrating its 105th year, you won’t want to miss the Routt County Fair. With live music, a demolition derby, a barn dance, demonstrations, inflatables, animal shows, food and drink, and more, there’s something everyone in your family will enjoy. For more information, call 970-276-3068 or visit

August 2019 Thursdays Dolores

Behind the Scenes Curation Tour Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Visitor Center & Museum • Reservations encouraged 2 pm • 970-882-5622

August 8-11 Frisco

Summit Seniors Annual Rummage Sale • Summit County Community and Senior Center 970-688-2940

August 10 Colorado Springs

Native American Intertribal Powwow • Norris Penrose Event Center • 10 am-6 pm • 719-559-0525

August 10 Denver

Low-Sensory Evening Denver Botanic Gardens 5:30-7:30 pm •

August 10 Denver

Wanderlust 108 Festival Great Lawn Park

August 10 Durango

Durango Botanical Society Member Appreciation Party Durango Public Library 11 am-2 pm • 970-799-4817



August 10 Elbert

Photography Show Opening Reception La Veta Gallery on Main 5-8 pm • 719-742-3666

August 23-25 Longmont

Yesteryear Farm Show Dougherty Museum

August 24 Durango

Hogs 4 Paws Adoption Event Durango Harley-Davidson

August 24 Frederick

HI-TEST Motor Show and Fundraiser 24501 N Elbert Road

Women’s Ride and World Record Parade Attempt High Country Harley-Davidson 8 am •

August 10-11 Loveland

August 24 Lake City

Sculpture in the Park Benson Sculpture Garden 970-663-2940

August 10 Walden

North Park Days Craft Fair Main Street 970-723-4600

August 17 Colorado Springs

Open Space Hike Pre-registration required Jones Park 9 am •

August 17 Mancos

Grand Summer Nights Downtown Mancos 4-8 pm

Lake City Alpine 50 Downtown Lake City/Alpine Loop

August 24 Limon

Hub City Classic Car and Motorcycle Show Downtown Limon

August 24 Wellington

4U Scholarship Ranch Rodeo Fundraiser • McGraw Arena 7 pm • 970-889-1960

August 24 Westcliffe

Airfest and Fly-In Silverwest Airport 7 am •

Men’s Fly Fishing Adventure Preregistration Required Begins at Mountain Light Lodge

August 29-September 1 Hayden and Steamboat Springs Yampa Valley Crane Festival Various Locations 970-276-1933 •

August 29-September 1 Westcliffe

Quilt and Fiber Arts Shows and Sales Various Westcliffe Locations 10 am-5 pm

August 31-September 1 Copper

Copper Country Music Festival Copper Mountain Resort

August 31 Kremmling

Walk for Life 5K Run and Family Walk Middle Park Fairgrounds

September 2019 September 4-8 Meeker

Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials Various Meeker Locations

September 6 Buena Vista

B.V. Wine Share Wine Share 6-7:30 pm • 719-395-4884

September 7 Colorado City

VFC Barn Dance Fundraiser Hatchet Ranch Events

September 7-8 Colorado Springs

Rose Show The Peel House

August 21 La Veta

Try-ART-Fecta: Batik, Jewelry, Pottery Various La Veta Locations 719-989-8630

August 25-31 Pagosa Springs


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



FUNNY STORIES We were attending our 16-year-old

granddaughter’s high school band concert along with her parents, her other set of grandparents and her 6-year-old brother. When the last performance in the concert concluded the band director announced that all the other band students could be dismissed but the seniors needed to stay. About that time grandpa got up to leave and the 6 year old quipped, “Papa, you can’t leave now. He said all the seniors had to stay!” Laurie Klein, Weldona

Our adorable 5-year-old grand-

Steve Moody and friends take May’s CCL about the El Camino de Santiago trek along as they begin the same journey across Spain. Steve is a consumermember of Mountain View Electric Association. Nancie Laree Biery and Kenneth Arnold stand with a copy of CCL in front of the Thames River in England. Nancie’s parents, Simon and Bernice Aguirre, were long-time members of SIEA. Simon was a lineman for San Isabel Electric Association.

daughter, Daisy, came to spend the day with us recently. I had a couple little surprises for her, including a lollipop. Because it was unusual, she asked where I got it. I told her that Brad, our UPS man, often gives us bubble gum or suckers and that he’s really nice to us. Daisy looked up at me and said, “It’s probably because you’re old.” Laurie Arnett, Cortez

Our son came home from kinder-

garten one day and kept following me around the house, shaking his head back and forth, but not saying a word. I asked him if something was wrong. He said, “I have something in my ear.” I got the flashlight to look in his ear and found a small bit of dirt and wax. I carefully removed this tiny ball and placed it in my hand and asked, “Could you really feel that in your ear?” His reply: “Yes, it fell out once but I put it back. I thought it was my brain!” Wanda Durbin, Peyton

Jerry and Sharon Tinianow hold CCL in front of the world’s largest wooden shoe in the village of Enter in the Netherlands. They are consumer-members of Gunnison County Electric Association.

When my son was 4 years old, my

Miller and Bode, sons of Evan and Alison Fust, take CCL to Mount Rushmore this summer. They are consumer-members of Highline Electric Association.

WINNER: Leatha B. Hansz visits Israel and takes a bit of Colorado with her. She is a consumermember of Mountain View 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 email the photo and your name and address to info@ We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Thursday, August 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. This month’s winner is Leatha Hansz. She posed with Colorado Country Life in Israel. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at

parents came to visit our family. My father was a big man with a very hairy chest. He went to a bedroom to change his shirt and my son followed him. When he took off his shirt and my son saw his hairy chest, my son said, “My daddy has a sweater like that!” Laurie E. Hall, Durango

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 2019 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2019



Gear Up for the Great Outdoors Photo by Gretchen Powers @gpowersfilm

Explore the Outdoors

Sugar and Spice

Boulder-based Nite Ize is always adding to its product line, making it tough to choose just one thing for outdoor activities. With its bundled kits, you don’t have to pick just one. The Adventurer Kit, for example, is brimming with products to assist you as you wander the Colorado outdoors, such as a tie-down system, dual carabiner, phone mount, LED flying disc, rechargeable headlamp and more. Find out what else is new at Nite Ize at

Striving to share the message that it’s good to be different, Grand Junction-based SugarSky offers a diverse collection of attractive headbands, bandanas, swimsuits, blanket towels and more — some of which are made with fabrics made from 79% recycled water bottles. The company offers an array of prints and patterns, such as “Blue Faded Tree Line,” “Crazy Cacti,” “American Flag” and “Colorado Flag.” Find out more at

Pursue a New View Don’t forget to protect your eyes when exploring the outdoors. Colorado Springs-based Epoch Eyewear manufactures slick sunglasses that can protect your peepers from debris and UVA and UVB. Choose your frame color and lens color, and you’re set to see the sights in style. Prices range from $19.95 to $200. Epoch Eyewear is veteran owned and operated. For more information, call 844-239-6252 or visit

Don’t Bug Out! Protect yourself from annoying bugs with all-natural products from one of these companies: • Good Smelling Bug Spray from Gypsum-based Dream Colorado, 970-306-9034, • Bug Bite Salve from Boulder-based Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply, 303-443-8878, • DecoShield® Lantern or GoClip® from Rescue!®, an international company, 800-666-6676, • Make your own: Mix together 1 big bottle of cheap blue mouthwash, 3 cups Epsom salt and 3 (12-ounce) cans cheap beer until salt dissolves. Pour into a spray bottle and spray the entire area.

1 Nite Ize

Colorado Outdoor Products We Recommend

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2 SugarSky

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