Colorado Country Life August 2022

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BLACK HISTORY AND BARBECUE PG 12 / COLORADO PUBLIC GARDENS PG 22 / COOL COLORADO STAYCATIONS PG 30

AUGUST 2022

a Peach of a Family an

INSIDE LOOK at TALBOTT FARMS


ELECTRIFY AND SAVE

IS AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) RIGHT FOR YOU? As EVs become more accessible, you may be considering adding an electric vehicle to save money on fuel and maintenance while reducing emissions. To save even more, check for federal and state incentives and ask your local electric utility when it’s cheapest to charge. + IS YOUR DAILY COMMUTE UNDER 330 MILES? Most of today’s electric vehicles have a driving range-per-charge between 50 to 330 miles. If your daily commute is under 250 miles per day, there is likely an EV model that will fit your needs.

+ DOES YOUR HOUSEHOLD HAVE MORE THAN ONE CAR? If you live in a household with more than one car, an EV likely represents a big opportunity for your family to use an EV for commuting. Use your current gas-powered vehicle when it is not convenient to use an EV.

+ DO YOU HAVE OFF-STREET PARKING AT YOUR HOME? All plug-in electric vehicles require charging. Charging can be done with a standard 120V outlet or you can have a 240V charger installed in your garage or driveway.

VISIT US AT www.tristate.coop/BE

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


Volume 53

Number 08

August 2022 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager cgloe@coloradocountrylife.org Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant kcoleman@coloradocountrylife.org ADVERTISING advertising@coloradocountrylife.org | 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 mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-455-4111 coloradocountrylife.coop | facebook.com/COCountryLife Pinterest.com/COCountryLife | Instagram.com/cocountrylife Twitter.com/COCountryLife | YouTube.com/COCountryLife1 Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual. SUBSCRIBERS Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. Cost of subscription for members of participating electric cooperatives is 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

“Psst — Want to Know a Secret” by Kevin Fettig, a consumer-member of Poudre Valley REA.

4 VIEWPOINT 5 LETTERS 6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT 7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS 12 RECIPES 14 NEWS CLIPS

16 COVER STORY A PEACH OF A FAMILY

20 ENERGY CONNECTIONS 22 GARDENING 24 OUTDOORS

FACEBOOK CHATTER

26 FOCUS ON 28 POETRY

On the AUGUST 2022

a Peach of a Family AN

INSIDE LOOK AT TALBOTT FARMS

Cover Nathan, Joseph, Trevor, Charlie, Bruce and Harry Talbott pause during peach harvest at Talbott Farms in Palisade.

coloradocountrylife.coop

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month colorado_electric_cooperatives posted: Colorado’s electric co-ops prep a team of #lineworkers to bring light to a village in #Guatemala.

28 MARKETPLACE 29 YOUR STORIES

Colorado Country Life posted: This young train enthusiast loved our December issue featuring the train museum in Granby. He took his magazine when he visited the museum this summer and that made us smile! Where will YOU take your copy of Colorado Country Life? Send us photos!

30 DISCOVERIES

Monthly Contest Enter for your chance to win a copy of Black Smoke by Adrian Miller. Read more about the book on page 12. For official rules and to enter, visit our Monthly Contests page at coloradocountrylife.coop.

LINKEDIN CONNECTIONS Colorado Rural Electric Assoc. posted: Electric cooperatives are meeting the challenge for reliability issues. Read about what is being done to withstand these concerns: https://Lnkd.in/gjqGyJaD COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

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VIEWPOINT

CONNECT WITH CO-OP LEADERS Consumer-members meet face-to-face at annual meetings BY KENT SINGER

O

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ne of the highlights of my work

Whether the anthem is sung by a soloist, a

as CREA’s executive director is

choir, a recording or the folks in attendance,

the opportunity to attend the

in one way or another, there is always a

annual meetings of many of CREA’s member

tribute to our great country at Colorado

electric cooperatives. I’ve been fortunate to

co-op annual meetings.

KENT SINGER

That doesn’t mean consumer-members think every decision made by the co-op is

attend about a dozen co-op annual meetings

The second common denominator at

perfect or that they don’t have questions or

so far this year in towns ranging from Kit

co-op annual meetings is the opportunity

suggestions. Far from it. At the meetings

Carson to Springfield to Cortez to Craig and

given to consumer-members of the co-op

I attended, many consumer-members

many points in between.

to pose questions to the co-op board and

had questions about programs or services

The resumption of face-to-face annual

staff regarding the operations of the co-op.

offered by their electric co-op, and they

meetings, a longstanding co-op tradition,

Think about that for a moment. As a

had definite opinions about how those

has been particularly gratifying after two

consumer-member of your electric co-op,

programs or services could be adjusted

years of mostly remote meetings brought

you have the right to attend the annual

and perhaps improved. But, in all cases, the

on by COVID-19 concerns. It’s been my

meeting of your electric utility and ask

questions were asked politely and in a spirit

pleasure to be a guest at these meetings

the CEO and/or the board president any

of cooperation.

and to chat with co-op directors and staff

question you want (politely, and related

These meetings show that the electric

members to learn what’s new at the co-op

to electric service, of course). You can

co-op business model and the cooperative

and to share what’s new at CREA. It’s also

ask about rates, services, facilities, co-op

principles are alive and well in Colorado.

been great to hear from co-op consumer-

policies, power supply; really, anything

The second cooperative principle,

members about what’s important to them

that you deem important about your

“democratic member control,” is proudly

and their communities.

electric service. And if the CEO or board

exercised by the consumer-members of

Electric co-op annual meetings are

president doesn’t have the answer for you

Colorado co-ops through board elections

truly celebrations of our diverse Colorado

at the meeting (which is rare), you can bet

and membership meetings.

communities. They provide a chance for

they will follow up with a phone call in a

friends and neighbors to say hello and

day or two.

In the end, Colorado co-op consumermembers know that their electric utility

share a meal; for high school students to be

Again, think about that. I live in Denver

is member-owned, member-controlled,

recognized as scholarship winners; and for

and receive electric service at my home

nonprofit and operated for the good of

the co-op leadership to provide an update

from an investor-owned utility. Since I’m

the local community. In these times of

on co-op operations. Who knows — you

not a shareholder, I’m not entitled to attend

uncertainty and unrest, it’s reassuring to

might also win a door prize!

the annual meeting of the utility. You can

know that there is at least one institution

And while each co-op has its own

bet that if I have a question about my bill or

that you can rely on to provide great service

unique annual meeting agenda, there are

service, I will not be able to reach the CEO

at a fair price: your local electric co-op.

two common denominators at co-op annual

or a board director for an answer. More

meetings. First, each meeting starts with

likely, my call will be directed to an out-of-

the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance

state call center, to be forever lost in digital

and the singing of the national anthem.

purgatory.

4

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

Kent Singer is the executive director of CREA and offers a statewide perspective on issues affecting electric cooperatives. CREA is the trade association for all of Colorado’s 22 electric distribution co-ops and one power supply co-op.


LETTERS

FROM THE EDITOR

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Cat tales from the road

BY MONA NEELEY

Power Plants for the Future

EDITOR

A

few weeks ago, it was summer road-trip time for my MONA NEELEY 92-year-old mom and me. We were off to visit her grandkids and great-grandkids. I expected an easy interstate drive through southern Minnesota, and it was, until we stopped for gas. That’s when we heard the first “meow.” It didn’t take long for me — and a quickly collected group of other folks — to determine that the meows were coming from inside the engine compartment of my rental car. We knew the cat was there, but it wouldn’t show itself, even when someone brought a can of tuna from their camper. Thankfully, there was an automotive shop a short distance from the gas station. When I shared the problem with them, at least four guys quickly began studying the engine. They decided the cat was up behind the fire wall. They put my car on the hoist, removed the skid plate and freed the cat. When I asked what I owed them, the guy behind the counter got a puzzled look and said, “We don’t really have a charge for cat removal.” 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.

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Cover

Why has no one pushed the idea of a cogeneration plant between Loveland and Fort Collins? That’s the generation of electricity that we need. It uses natural gas, which we have, to burn waste that we have to get rid of, to heat water that generates steam to turn turbines that make electricity. Nick Thompson, Loveland Poudre Valley REA consumer-member A May letter writer’s comment that “modern coal plants are clean and … reliable” may be true, but it misses the point for climate change. Burning any carbon-based fuel converts oxygen in the air into carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide is turning the earth into a greenhouse. The only way to stop this is to not burn carbon-based fuel. We have better uses for the complex organic molecules in fossil fuels anyway, and more efficient ways of generating electricity. George Rinker, Bellvue Poudre Valley REA consumer-member

Memories of Catching Catfish

I enjoyed Dennis Smith’s column on catfish. (May ’22). I’m a native of the Pikes Peak region and the only ONE fish I caught there MORE CAST were trout. I spent 30 years in the East B and Midwest and discovered other species. My biggest catfish thrill was getting one on a spinner quite close to the surface. This was in a wide part of the Millstone River (or maybe a tributary) in New Jersey. He put on a great fight and I was astonished when I landed a cat and not a largemouth bass. Al Hagedorn via email OUTDOORS

COULD BE DEADLY

Don’t become part of a tragic fishing story. Keep an eye on weather conditions and know when to call it a day.

SEEK SHELTER

If you see or hear signs of weather rolling in, stop and head to a four-sided building or hard-top car.

WAIT 30 MINUTES

Wait 30 minutes after you see or hear lightning before heading back outside.

REMEMBER

Always look up for overhead power lines before casting.

LIGHTNING FACTS 2006 - 2020:

The Cat’s Meow

The success of “perfumed” baits for catfish

BY DENNIS SMITH

| OUTDOORS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

ass, trout and walleyes probably command the majority of attention from local anglers, but the homely catfish is not without its share of loyal fans around here too. In fact, there

are more of them hereabouts than you might imagine. Even uppity fly fishermen and tournament pros on the bass and walleye circuits will, if you

pinch them hard enough, confess that a night of good old-fashioned, down-home, redneck-

style lawn-chair fishing for a stringer full of whiskerfish can be a barrel of laughs. Never mind that almost any catfish they catch will probably fight twice as hard and three times longer and taste better than all the others — except for the walleyes — to which they’ll run a very close second in the frying pan. Despite the popularity of the glamour species, clerks in the fishing department of any

western hook and bullet store will tell you there’s a continual demand for the specialized rods, reels and terminal tackle many prefer for cats: large, wide-gapped hooks, heavy sliding sinkers, glow-in-the-dark rod lights, and the tinkle bells some guys like to put on their rods to wake them up in case they fall asleep waiting for a bite. And then there’s the arcane assortment of commercially prepared catfish baits ranging

from gizzard shad marinated in anise, garlic or assorted fish oils to frozen suckers, anchovies,

Two-thirds of lightning deaths occurred during outdoors activities.

pickled crawdads, rancid blood baits and jars of stuff so horribly repugnant it would make a buzzard wretch. Nonetheless, catfish love them all and they sell like hotcakes, even if they don’t smell like them.

Catfish are notorious night hunters with small beady eyes; they locate the majority of

33%

Of those deaths, 33% happened during water-related activities.

44%

their food by smell. Plain old nightcrawlers are effective, too, but are more likely to attract non-target species like trout, carp and suckers. The boys and I like raw, fresh chicken liver — or rather the catfish do — so that’s what we use most often. It has just enough of that funky, farm boy charm about it to appeal to our

redneck side (and the catfish’s taste buds) without being so utterly distasteful as to keep us from skewering meaty gobs of it on our hooks. Even so, we always stash baby-wipes or hand

sanitizer and towels in our tackle bags to clean our hands with after we bait up so we can munch Cheetos, chips and miscellaneous snacks through the night without fear of contracting salmonella or some other nasty intestinal ailment.

Fishing accounted for most, or 44% of those water-related activities.

Source: National Lightning Safety Council

24

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

MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Outdoors.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE MAY 2022

CONTEST Our 2023 photo contest highlights the colors of Colorado’s beloved state flag: blue, red, gold and white. Do you have an amazing photo that undeniably focuses on the golden hue of autumn’s wafting leaves? Maybe a shot of wolves frolicking through an expansive, white, snow-filled meadow? Send us your entries! Just be sure your entry “speaks” blue, red, gold or white.

WINNERS Judges will select 3 winners from each category (blue, red, gold and white) along with a cover winner. Winners will receive prize money and their photo featured in a 2023 issue of Colorado Country Life.

TO ENTER Go to ColoradoCountryLife.coop for the entry form, official rules and entry samples.

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

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

5


ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

Ready, Set, (Your) Thermostat! BEST OF

Timing is Everything BY MIR ANDA BOUTELLE

HELP US FIND THE BEST OF COLORADO! WE’RE LOOKING FOR THE BEST: • Local beer • State park • Main street • Disc golf course • Hot springs • Made-in-Colorado product • Place for steak • Local museum

H

eating and cooling account for about half the energy used in a typical home. When used wisely, your thermostat can help reduce wasted energy and keep you comfortable.

Here’s some information on common operational misconceptions and best practices you can start today.

Misconceptions about thermostats A common misconception is that the more you turn your thermostat up or down, the faster your home’s temperature will change. Turning your thermostat down to 55 degrees to cool your home faster is like repeatedly pushing the elevator button and expecting it to come faster. It’s likely you will forget you adjusted it and waste energy by overheating or overcooling the home. Set your desired temperature for heating and cooling or program your thermostat so you don’t make extreme adjustments. Another misconception is that adjusting your home’s thermostat for while you are away doesn’t really save energy. But the larger the temperature variance between inside and outside, the more energy your system uses. Setting your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day can save up to 10% a year on your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Best practices

SCAN & ENTER NOW SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATIONS BY SEPTEMBER 12, 2022

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF THREE $100 GIFT CARDS Share your favorites at coloradocountrylife.coop/ bestof2022

6

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

Use these heating and cooling tips from the DOE to add efficiency and savings to your home: • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer when you are home and awake, and warmer at night or when away. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter when you are home and awake, and cooler at night or when you are away. • Upgrade to a programmable or smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature throughout the day and when you leave the house. • When on vacation, set your thermostat to 85 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter. • In the summer, fans allow you to set your thermostat about 4 degrees warmer without feeling it. Remember, fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave a room. 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 Use your thermostat to optimize energy efficiency and find a balance between comfort and affordability. To learn about the types of thermostats and the pros and cons of each, visit coloradocountrylife.coop and click on “Energy Tips” under the “Energy” tab.


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ccording to the Centers for Disease A Control and Prevention, more than 54 million Americans are suffering from joint discomfort.

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Deactivate 400 Agony-Causing Genes

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If you want genuine, long-lasting relief for joint discomfort, you must address inflammation. Too much inflammation will wreak havoc on joints, break down cartilage and 78% Better Relief Than cause unending discomfort. This is why so the Most Popular Joint Solution many natural joint relief solutions try to stop In another study, people suffering from one of the main inflammatory genes called discomfort took a formula containing Indian COX-2. Frankincense and another natural substance But the truth is, there are hundreds of ag- or a popular man-made joint solution every ony-causing genes like COX-2, 5-LOX, iNOS, day for 12 weeks. TNK, Interleukin 1,6,8 and many more—and The results? Stunning! At the end of the stopping just one of them won’t give you all study, 64% of those taking the Indian Frankthe relief you need. incense formula saw their joint discomfort go Doctors and scientists now confirm the from moderate or severe to mild or no dis“King of Oils”—Indian Frankincense—deac- comfort. Only 28% of those taking the plativates not one but 400 agony-causing genes. cebo got the relief they wanted. So Indian It does so by shutting down the inflammation Frankincense delivered relief at a 78% better command center called Nuclear Factor Kappa clip than the popular man-made formula. Beta. In addition, in a randomized, double blind, NK-Kappa B is like a switch that can turn placebo controlled study, patients suffering 400 inflammatory genes “on” or “off.” A from knee discomfort took Indian Frankstudy in Journal of Food Lipids reports that incense or a placebo daily for eight weeks. Indian Frankincense powerfully deactivates Then the groups switched and got the oppoNF-Kappa B. This journal adds that Indian site intervention. Every one of the patients Frankincense is “so powerful it shuts down taking Indian Frankincense got relief. That’s the pathway triggering aching joints.” a 100% success rate—numbers unseen by typical solutions. Relief That’s 10 Times Faster…

incense is safe for joint relief — so safe and natural you can take it every day. Because of clinically proven results like this, Dr. Sears has made Indian Frankincense the centerpiece of a new natural joint relief formula called Mobilify.

Great Results for Knees, Hips, Shoulders and Joints Joni D. says, “Mobilify really helps with soreness, stiffness and mild temporary pain. The day after taking it, I was completely back to normal—so fast.” Shirley M. adds, “Two week after taking Mobilify, I had no knee discomfort and could go up and down the staircase.” Larry M. says, “After a week and a half of taking Mobilify, the discomfort, stiffness and minor aches went away… it’s almost like being reborn.” And avid golfer Dennis H. says, “I can attest to Mobilify easing discomfort to enable me to pursue my golfing days. Definitely one pill that works for me out of the many I have tried.”

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RECIPES

WIN

Black History and Barbecue

A COPY

Sizzling stories of Black influence on one of America’s favorite cuisines BY AMY HIGGINS

| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

Visit our Monthly Contests page at coloradocountrylife.coop to find out how to win a copy of Black Smoke by Adrian Miller.

D

enver-born Adrian Miller — James Beard Book Award winner, former senior policy analyst for Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., certified Kansas City Barbeque Society barbecue judge, and “admitted ‘cuehead’” — admits that barbecue didn’t impact him that much until he learned about the Southern Foodways Alliance in 2002. Before then, he associated barbecue with family gatherings, social functions, special holidays and honest-togoodness really good food. Through life experiences and research, Miller recognized the scarcity of the recent recognition of African American influence in the barbecue business. “This is all so weird because before the 1990s, food media regularly and

Adrian Miller holds a plate of barbecue made from a recipe in his new cookbook. Photo by Paul Miller

overwhelmingly acknowledged Black barbecuers — so much so that, to this day, many people believe that African Americans invented barbecue,” Miller

says in his most recent book Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue. Miller extensively researched, interviewed experts and barbecue fans, and sampled legions of lip-smacking barbecue — an enviable side effect of the job — to bring Black Smoke to completion. Black Smoke is more than a cookbook. It’s an historical overview of African American history surrounding barbecue’s beginnings and is graced with 22 recipes developed by barbecue wizards from today and yesteryear. Miller says, “Black Smoke endeavors to reorient barbecue’s future in the United States to be much more like its past: delicious, diverse, fun, and appreciative of African American contributions.”

“Daddy” Bruce’s Barbecue Sauce Makes 4 cups

1 cup ketchup 1/2 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce [such as Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco] 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 2 cups vinegar (apple cider or white) 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon salt 1/2 tablespoon black pepper 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

A Celebrated Sauce “This is the sauce of “Daddy” Bruce Randolph Sr., a legendary barbecue man in Denver, who is profiled in chapter 7. This barbecue sauce (adapted from Linda Ruth Harvey, Jenny Von Hohenstraeten, and Mary Jo Fostina’s Colorado’s Gourmet Gold: Cookbook of Recipes from Popular Colorado Restaurants, published in 1980) is a hybrid between a standard eastern North Carolina sauce and a Deep South barbecue sauce.”

12

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

Heat ingredients in a medium saucepan to dissolve the sugar and then bottle. This sauce improves with time and shaking.

GET MORE ONLINE Try Old Arthur’s Pork Belly Burnt Ends recipe. Visit coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Recipes From BLACK SMOKE: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue by Adrian Miller. Copyright © 2021 by Adrian Miller. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www.uncpress.org. Photo courtesy of James Peterson


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NEWS CLIPS

Survey Says: Readers Read This Co-op Magazine

P

U.S. Cooperative Community Supports Ukrainian Cooperatives, Their Members Leaders of the U.S. cooperative community recently connected with COOP Ukraine during a meeting of the International Cooperative Alliance in Spain. COOP Ukraine represents various cooperatives of all types throughout the war-torn country. The recent meeting between Illia Gorokhovskyi, chair of COOP Ukraine Board of Directors, and his international counterparts included discussions of how co-ops in other parts of the world could continue to support Ukrainian co-ops. So far, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), which represents all cooperative businesses, has used donations to help meet the immediate needs of co-ops, including helping a co-op bakery that worked nonstop for 52 days, baking 4,000 loaves of bread in wood-burning ovens to feed its community while missiles fired overhead. Electric co-ops have been part of this endeavor since Ukraine was invaded. Last winter, within days of the first assault, electric co-ops committed donations to the project and the co-op bank, the Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), matched funds raised with another $15,000. “This is a great example of NCBA working to develop, advance and protect cooperative enterprises and to build a better world,” said CFC CEO Andrew Don in a press release.

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eople throughout Colorado still read Colorado Country Life, their electric co-op magazine. A recent survey conducted by the magazine in cooperation with MRI Simmons, a survey company out of New York, shows that 81.3% of the co-op consumer-members receiving the magazine read it on a regular basis. In an age when so much communication is digital, CCL staff is excited that the survey shows its readers look forward to the magazine and spend time reviewing the stories and news articles inside. In fact, according to the survey, almost half of those reading the magazine spend 30 minutes or more with the magazine each month. The survey results showed that readers appreciate the information on energy efficiency, as well as the news from their local electric co-op. Also popular with readers are the stories about Colorado people and places, Dennis Smith’s Outdoor column, Recipes, the Funny Stories in the back and Gardening, in that order. Readers appreciate receiving their copy of Colorado Country Life and 82.7% know it comes from their local electric co-op with another 16.8% “pretty sure” that it is sent by their electricity provider. And 94.8% trust the magazine. The survey also found that only a small percentage of readers have visited the magazine’s website at colo­radocountrylife. coop; 90.5% want to keep receiving their electric co-op news in print.


JOIN THE JOURNEY Give the gift of clean water or a backpack to Guatemalan families and children!

The Colorado-Oklahoma Energy Trails team returns to Guatemala this August to bring power to the village of La Montanita de la Virgen. Show your support and help the local families by making a donation today. To give online: Visit crea.coop/community-outreach/current-causes. 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. CREA established the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, CEEI, to support causes like this. All contributions are tax-deductible. This project was made possible by NRECA International, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, whose mission is to increase individual and community access to electricity in all parts of the world.

A Guatemalan school teacher shares a lesson despite the school having no electricity.

Donate Now to Guatemala Project There is still time to donate funds to send water filters to families and packs of goodies to children in a rural, central Guatemalan village. The water filters and backpacks will be distributed by lineworkers from electric co-ops in Colorado and Oklahoma. The lineworkers, working with NRECA International, the philanthropic arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, will build an electric system for the small village of La Montanita de la Virgen about three hours northeast of Guatemala City. The system will provide lights and power to 72 homes, a school, a church and a health center. Individuals, co-ops and other organizations are invited to support the team with monetary donations. For only $35, you can provide a water filter or a backpack filled with kid-friendly items for those in this small village. Visit crea.coop/community-outreach/ current-causes/ to donate to the project via PayPal. Or send a check made out to CEEI (CREA’s nonprofit entity), 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216. Please mention Guatemala on the memo line of the check. Join CREA and these lineworkers in bringing light to a Guatemalan village.

COLORADO’S ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES

JUNIOR LIVESTOCK SALE August 30 at 3:30 p.m.

In-person and online bidding available The Colorado State Fair is celebrating 150 YEARS OF FUN! Plan to visit the Colorado State Fair where you’ll find authentic livestock competitions, live music, and all the delicious fair food you love. Go to coloradostatefair.com to find the schedules for this year’s junior livestock sale, rodeo and concerts!

AUG. 26 - SEPT. 5 COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

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COVER STORY

photo by Chris Wellhausen

a Peach of a Family an

INSIDE LOOK at TALBOTT FARMS

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ou’ll have to excuse Charles Talbott if he’s allergic to peach fuzz. He’s been around it a long time. Still, it’s an odd ailment for the sales manager of Talbott Cider Co., a division of Talbott Farms in Palisade. He’s a part of the sixth generation working his family’s peach farm outside Grand Junction. He grew up planting, picking and packing peaches for the biggest player in a region known for peaches. Talbott produces 25% of Colorado’s peaches, shipping the succulent morsels to 34 states. That’s a lot of fuzz. On the floor of his cidery’s taproom, a seventh generation Talbott works on his immunity, his hair barely more than fuzz itself. At just 7 months old — about the lifespan of your average peach, from bloom to cobbler — Wade Talbott reaches into a crate and chomps his gums into the soft, meaty flesh of a Freestone, its juice dribbling down his chin. He’s already showing an interest in the family business. “He loves them — peaches were his first food,” says Mom, Hannah, Charles’ sister.

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“He’s already working in quality assurance.” Wade flashes a big grin behind the dribbling juice. Indeed, it’s a true family affair at the orchard. There are nine different Talbotts working there, even after the passing of longtime peach patriarch Harry Charles Talbott last March at age 87 — his service drew a Who’s Who of residents in the region. Charles’ father Bruce, president of the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, oversees the farm’s orchards and vineyards; Uncle Charlie serves as CFO and CEO; and Uncle Nathan handles production. The fourth sibling, David, branched off like a tree limb and is a local doctor, but runs his own vineyard. Charles’ brother Joseph is director of operations and Hannah is a supervisor. The family’s roots in farming are deeper than those of its peach trees. Charles’ great-great-grandfather Joseph Evan Yeager moved to the Grand Valley from Iowa in 1907, starting a legacy that now includes 350 acres of peaches, 160 acres of wine grapes

BY EUGENE BUCHANAN Background photo: A Talbott peach orchard, with Mt. Garfield in the background. Center: Charles Talbott (left), sales manager of Talbott Cider Co., and his father, Bruce, who oversees the orchards and vineyards, enjoy a Talbott’s cider. Left: Bruce with Charles, as a child. Right: Nathan, Joseph, Trevor, Charlie, Bruce and Harry Talbott.

and 40 of miscellaneous fruits, including pears, cherries, apples and “test varieties” such as the peacotum, a blend of peach, apricot and plum. Talbott Farms also picks, packs and sells peaches for another 32 growers in the area, who dovetail their services. One of these is Greg Morgan, who farms 5 acres nearby and is sitting next to me sampling Charles’ latest cider concoction. “I’m a small grower,” says the 30-year peach farmer. “I can’t afford the crew it takes to do things like spray, irrigate and pick. So, it’s a great relationship working with Talbott.” “We operate their fruit,” chimes in Charles. “Some people want us to handle everything, while others want to do everything except the actual selling.”


COVER STORY While Talbott also supplies grapes for a quarter of the state’s wine, it is with peaches where its true colors — and flavors — shine. “Talbott Farms is pretty darn good at what they do,” says Jeff Pieper, a pomologist, or fruit specialist, with the CSU Extension Office’s western region. “They’re the state’s biggest grower and are a model for production and product diversification. They’re pretty much the face of the industry.” And despite their quantity, they value quality even more. “We’re the highest-priced peach in the nation,” Nathan says proudly. “It’s quality. I’ve heard people who’ve eaten Georgia peaches their whole life come and say, ‘I’ve been getting screwed down in Georgia. These are way better.’” Indeed, the eastern side of the Grand Valley is the only region in Colorado able to sustain profitable peach production due to reliable irrigation water and warm temperatures, Pieper says. The western edge of DeBeque Canyon and Palisade and Orchard mesas are even better. “Topographical changes there create a microclimate that protects the trees during spring or fall frosts,” Pieper says, adding that area peaches can also ripen on the tree longer than fruit shipped from farther away. All this creates peaches that consumers with more discerning tastes than 7-month-old Wade cherish. “This area produces incredible-tasting fruit, to no credit to us,” Nathan says. “People who have never tasted one don’t know what they’re missing.”

FERMENTING A BUSINESS IN CIDER Charles grew up working the farm doing a bit of everything, alongside immigrants from as far away as Thailand, Russia and the Czech Republic. He joined the Army instead of going to college, which is where he serendipitously learned how to brew and vinify. In trouble at one point and forced to live with an officer, the higher-up took him under his wing and taught him the ropes. When Charles came back to the farm in 2015, he convinced his dad that they should add a cidery to their operations, using their leftover fruit. The idea blossomed, with its tasting room and cider division booming. Its bestselling libations, says Charles, include its Summer Sunset and Peach Habanero ciders (his favorite), followed by peach brandy and a peach wine spritzer. “Only 1% of family farms survive the third generation, but we’ve made it to the sixth,” he says. “But we have to keep adapting. This is one way to expand and diversify.” Charles is also part of a movement trying to build Palisade as a tourist attraction. He helped organize the town’s 10-year-old Palisade Bluegrass Festival, building a stage from apple crates at their taproom to host bands, comedy acts and more. “We’re trying to put Palisade on the map as a farming mountain town instead of a ski resort town,” he says.

Bruce (left) and Charles (right) give the writer a tour of their peach processing facility. Photo by Chris Wellhausen.

A QUICK TOUR After sampling various ciders, we head into the factory. Our first stop: the company’s new Aweta Hyper Spectral AI machine, which uses a sonagram “flasher” to pre-sort the peaches. “It takes 96 pictures of each fruit per second through its optic-sorter,” Bruce says, “assessing everything from size, ripeness and seed splits to blemishes and bruises.” Ones that make the cut get fed onto one conveyor for boxing and refrigerated storage, while processor-grade fruit goes elsewhere for cider, yogurt, wine, breweries and more. “It’s a pretty state-of-the-art scanner,” Nathan says, adding that they’re constantly working with Aweta engineers to tweak it. The peaches end up in one of three main areas. Number ones are perfect and traypacked into 16-pound or 20-pound boxes. Number twos are slightly off-grade, with a slight cosmetic issue, for buyers who want a discount (often canned or used for things like fundraisers). Number threes are process grade, perhaps with cuts, bruises or other blemishes, used for processing into brandy, puree, cider, juice, yogurt and more. Ones that are just plain ugly or too small (the machine’s sizer has 16 different settings), are discarded. But it’s the number ones they strive for, because that’s what Palisade has become known for. “The first time I had a real Palisade peach, I was like, “Oh. My. God!” says Juliann Adams, who runs the nearby Vines 79 winery and helps promote the region. She eats them plain, grilled, sliced over ice cream, in salsa, as cobbler, in salad

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

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COVER STORY

Fruit bins of fresh-picked peaches are pulled to the warehouse for sorting.

The family’s roots in farming are deeper than those of its peach trees. Charles’ greatgreat-grandfather Joseph Evan Yeager moved to the Grand Valley from Iowa in 1907, starting a legacy that now includes 350 acres of peaches, 160 acres of wine grapes and 40 of miscellaneous fruits, including pears, cherries, apples and “test varieties” such as the peacotum, a blend of peach, apricot and plum. Talbott Farms also picks, packs and sells peaches for another 32 growers in the area, who dovetail their services.

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and more. “I even eat them in a sandwich like the BLP — Bacon, Lettuce and Peach,” she says. Adams grew up eating Georgia peaches and says, “They don’t hold a torch to peaches from Palisade.” Even England’s Queen Elizabeth II, she adds, gets Palisade peaches delivered to her each year. The reason lies in the area’s growing conditions. Palisade’s 4,700-foot elevation has a high UV index, Charles says, and the area has long, warm days and cool, arid nights, “perfect for building sugars during the day and acid at night.” Combined with sunshine, nutrient-rich alluvial soils and water from the Colorado River, the result is what many call the best peaches on the planet. “The nutrients are drawn up by the trees’ roots and travel through every branch to the ripening fruit,” Charles says. “And they’re picked ‘tree ripe’ to ensure maximum flavor.” Which is where it can get tricky — a problem solved by “varietals.” A peach isn’t just a peach. From clingstones to freestones (in clingstones, the meat sticks to the pit; in freestones, it falls off), different varieties ripen at different times. In the olden days, everyone grew Elbertas, which they’d horseand-buggy down to the fruit co-op by the river to load onto train carts. The whole picking-to-shipping season would be over in three weeks. So, the Talbotts began experimenting with different varietals to spread out the workload, hiring workers for the entire season instead of one big push. About 10 varieties now make up 90% of the valley’s volume, Nathan says, all ripening at different times, sometimes just a week apart. And it all depends on the day the pit hardens. Come June, workers will cut into peaches on the tree daily; as soon as the pit is hard instead of soft, the countdown begins. “It’s game-on from that day forward,” Charles says. “The pits all harden at the same time, but from then on different varieties ripen at different times. It’s 45 days

from hardening for red havens and 65 days for O’Henrys.” The first to ripen are usually semi-clingstones such as red havens around mid-July, followed by red globes and suncrests — the king peach of Colorado, providing about 30% of the state’s total. Crest havens, angelus and August ladies follow, before the biggest peaches, O’Henrys and Victorias, close out the season. “I like the late-season peaches better,” Charles says. Talbott’s peach season now lasts from early July through the end of September, with only 24 hours from picking to truck. “We can pick them today and they’ll be on a shelf in Denver tomorrow afternoon,” Nathan says, adding the key is keeping their pulp temperature at 34 degrees at their refrigerated warehouse and during transport. “It’s a game of managing curveballs,” adds Nathan. “It’s 12 weeks of total chaos. I lost all of my hair in my early 20s.” The first step in getting them to market, of course, is the picking. To do this, after pruning and thinning — which used to be done by stilt-walkers, who once appeared in New York’s Macy’s Parade — pickers use ladders to fill 30-pound kangaroo pouchlike picking sacks. Then they’re sprayed with water and covered with a tarp to cool, after being emptied into half-ton fruit bins tractored four at a time to the warehouse for sorting by the Hyper Spectral machine. Then they’re weighed, with grower and field information recorded, before heading into cold storage for daily distribution. The farm turns out 150 tons on a big packing day, helping Colorado rank seventh on the country’s peach producer list, providing 4.3% of the nation’s $521 million, 617,000ton annual total (behind California, New Jersey, Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia and South Carolina). EYE ON THE WEATHER Still, Mother Nature calls the final shots. The main disadvantages of growing peaches in Colorado are a relatively short


COVER STORY

growing season and the dreaded frost — especially in spring. “Our bankers breathe a sigh of relief every May,” Nathan says. To that end, they keep a keen eye on the temperature. Get a freeze before the trees go dormant in fall, or after they’ve bloomed in spring, and the whole crop can be ruined, as it was in April 2020 when a late freeze destroyed 85% of the crop, the worst crop loss since 1999. And warm temperatures in February can awaken the buds too early, allowing them to succumb to potential frost later. In the old days, smokey, diesel-powered smudge pots kept the orchards warm when there was a freeze. Nowadays, propane-powered wind machines combat inversions by blowing hot air back down so cold air doesn’t settle on the trees. Each machine can cover up to 15 acres. Palisade’s location does the same thing, on a larger scale. When nearby Cedaredge hit 0 degrees in October 2020, Palisade only hit 10. “The eastern breeze through DeBeque Canyon brings warm air down,” Nathan says. “The cliffs heat up during the day, and at night, the breeze blows it right onto the orchards. It’s 10 degrees warmer than Grand Junction on any given night.” And that’s enough to save the crop. That makes the Talbotts’ seventh-generation quality assurance worker, the juice-dribbling, 7-month-old Wade, happy.

Only 1% of family farms survive the third generation, but we’ve made it to the sixth. But we have to keep adapting. This is one way to expand and diversify.” —Charles Talbott

Former reporter Eugene Buchanan explores the outdoors of Colorado and beyond from his home base in Steamboat Springs.

Top: During harvest season, work is never done. Center: Find Talbott Farms at 3801 F 1/4 Rd, Palisade. Bottom: The taproom’s bestselling flavors of cider are Summer Sunset and Peach Habanero.

photo by Chris We

llhausen

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ENERGY CONNECTIONS

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CHARGING AHEAD IN COLORADO Coaches, new funding, bring EVs, charging stations to rural areas BY LAURIE E. DICKSON

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ou may have heard the buzz about electric vehicles and charging stations in Colorado. Maybe you have seen charging stations at your corner store, the local electric co-op or your workplace. Charging stations and electric vehicles are becoming more common, popping up all around the state. There is an ongoing effort across Colorado to reduce emissions and provide options for clean transportation. In 2019, Colorado became the first state in the central U.S. to adopt Zero Emission Vehicle standards for cars and trucks, ensuring a reduction in harmful emissions and providing economic benefits for its citizens. Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order supporting a transition to zero emissions and accelerating the electrification of cars, buses, trucks and other vehicles with a goal of achieving 940,000 EVs on the road by 2030. What’s being done to increase the adoption of EVs and meet the goals in Colorado? One way is through the ReCharge Colorado program, started in 2014 through the Colorado Energy Office. The original goal was to encourage alternative and clean transportation. ReCharge Colorado has evolved to be the program that advances the adoption of EVs and installation of charging infrastructure across the state. “The state of Colorado has set ambitious goals for EVs,” says Matt Mines, senior program manager in transportation fuels and technology at the Colorado Energy Office. “ReCharge Colorado coaches provide a critical link to local communities to connect our EV programs with local needs,” he notes. “Direct education and outreach, such as that provided by the ReCharge coaches, are a crucial aspect to ensuring the benefits of transportation electrification are understood and materialize throughout the state."


ENERGY CONNECTIONS

There are five ReCharge regions in the state, each with a ReCharge coach who provides free, impartial advice; EV education; offers community workshops and grant writing assistance; promotes EV adoption through group buys; and supports auto dealerships with education and opportunities. Every county in the state is represented by a ReCharge coach. Coaches know their territories and can provide the best solutions for the communities where they serve. By working with Colorado communities, ReCharge coaches help create an ecosystem of broad support along with the education necessary for a successful transition to EVs. "Working as a ReCharge coach allows me to better get to know the communities where I live and play — and to talk to local business owners, employers, and property managers about how they can provide a public benefit in the form of EV charging stations,” says Sonja Meintsma, the ReCharge coach for Denver Metro Clean Cities and the Colorado Springs region. “As Colorado's EV ownership grows and we work toward reaching the statewide goal of getting 940,000 EVs on the road by 2030,

access to public chargers across the state, including in rural, underserved and high emission areas, will be essential. As a coach, I feel I am making a tangible impact on our state's ability to improve local air quality, reduce climate-altering emissions, and meet the needs of EV drivers in the state,” she adds. ReCharge coaches provide consultation for interested businesses and communities regarding the design and technical requirements needed to install charging stations. For example, is the location best suited for Level 2 charging stations or a faster DC Fast Charger? Is there electrical service available at the location and is it sufficient to power an EV charging station? It’s the job of the coaches to know the incentives, federal and state tax credits, as well as the utility member co-op rebates available in their territories that can offset costs. Kathy Woods, director of economic development for the city of Alamosa, comments, “I've had several opportunities to work with our ReCharge coach. From answering questions, to assessing feasibility, to celebrating with us upon completion of projects, the coach is right by your side and

very helpful. ReCharge coaches are great partners.” There is a concerted effort across the state’s ReCharge regions to increase the charging infrastructure along all major highways and byways. Electrifying Colorado’s Scenic Byways is a goal the ReCharge coaches work to attain. There are 26 Scenic and Historic Byways in the state. Electrified Byway designation guarantees that when you drive on our mountain highways, you can make the journey without worrying about the next charging station location. By now, we’ve all heard about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed in November 2021. The bill includes funding at the federal and state levels for EVs and the charging infrastructure needed to support EV deployment. State and local governments will benefit from $7.7 billion dedicated to the deployment of EVs and related infrastructure. The bill also dedicated $12.7 billion to the deployment of all types of clean vehicles and fueling infrastructure, including EVs and charging infrastructure and $10.3 billion for grid and battery-related investments. With gas prices soaring and funding support for investing in EV technology, it’s a great time to invest in the charging infrastructure that makes driving EVs everywhere in Colorado feasible. A ReCharge coach can recommend options for any local community or business and connect you to funding opportunities as you make the transition to zero emission vehicles and the new energy economy. Laurie Dickson is the executive director of the nonprofit, 4CORE (Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency) and the ReCharge coach for southern Colorado. Visit energyoffice.colorado.gov/zeroemission-vehicles/recharge-colorado to learn more about ReCharge Colorado.

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GARDENING

More Than a Walk in the Park Public gardens sprinkled across Colorado are worth the visit BY VICKI SPENCER

MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

B

ack in the ’50s, school started after Labor Day, so August was our last chance for a family vacation. My parents often worked parks and gardens into our itinerary. Schools start earlier these days, so it may be too late for a summer vacation, but there are public parks and gardens across the state suitable for day or weekend outings. Since many are designed with kids in mind, they can have fun exploring while you gather interesting ideas for garden bed designs, plant combinations and new introductions. For those in north-central Colorado, the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins (pictured above) and the High Plains Environmental Center in Loveland are great places to enjoy plants and nature. Not far from downtown Fort Collins, Spring Creek offers 12 acres of botanic gardens plus a butterfly house loved by children. August is a particularly busy time at the gardens with story times and other programs for youth, classes for adults, and Saturday strolls led by a garden ambassador who can highlight what’s new or unique in the gardens. Just to the south, Loveland’s High Plains Environment Center, which is open to the public every day, is an urban environmental

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park focused on the natural landscape and wildlife. Three miles of trails around two lakes allow park visitors to learn about native plants, which require less water and fertilizer than other plants, and get up close to butterflies and other pollinators, as well as migratory waterfowl and other wildlife. Interested in southwestern Colorado? Visit Durango Botanic Gardens. Beginning modestly with a Demonstration Garden, it has expanded to other intriguing areas. The Crevice and Wind Gardens are separate rock gardens that illustrate how different natural materials create different moods. Another contrast is created by the juxtaposition of the Miniature Tree Garden’s diminutive trees and conifers with the arboretum’s larger climate-adapted trees. Meander through the Literary Gardens for a distinctive experience in which several literary genres are interwoven with gardening traditions. Each of six sections contains an audio introduction, plant lists, “discover points” and books or poems for the genre. It’s interesting to learn about literary references to plants and how Indigenous, Hispanic and other cultures have influenced Colorado gardens. Interested in northwestern Colorado? Don’t miss the Yampa River Botanic Park

nestled in Steamboat Springs’ high-altitude valley. Although the park is only open from May through October, you still have time to visit the 6-acre property featuring Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Colorado blue spruce and other evergreens that thrive in the harsh, high-altitude climate. Wandering along curvy paths, you’ll pass graceful sculptures such as the Trumpeter Swan hovering above one of many ponds and delight in the variety of several dozen themed gardens. While it’s late in the season to see trillium blooming in the Hidden Garden or the lovely hues of the Blue Garden, you can return in the spring. When visiting Colorado’s parks and gardens, remember to take photos of your favorite ideas while collecting family memories along the way. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more. Photo courtesy of Gardens on Spring Creek / City of Fort Collins.

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


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t’s no secret I’m fond of brook trout. I’ve been drawn to them and the wild places they’re found ever since I was a kid. Interestingly, in the northeastern parts of the U.S. and Canada where they’re native, they can grow to exceptional size, but they seldom get much over a foot long here in the Rockies. They require cold, clean, highly oxygenated water to survive, which pretty much limits them to our high-altitude, pollution-free, backcountry creeks and lakes. One of my favorite brookie streams begins life as melting snow and a meandering web of ice trickles high on the eastern face of the Continental Divide in the Mummy Range. I haven’t actually been to its source, but I’ve been to places that look just like it on the map. I can visualize the pockets of algae-stained snow lingering in the shadows, the frigid fingers of snowmelt weeping from layers of ancient glacial rock, disappearing into carpets of poisongreen moss and decaying forest duff, then welling up again unexpectedly to trickle, dribble and drip persistently downhill through dark stands of spruce and fir to emerge, finally, as a legitimate, gurgling brook in a rock-studded gorge below. This is predominantly an alpine-to-sub-alpine environment in the neighborhood of about 10,000 or 12,000 feet above sea level. It’s hostile territory and cold enough most of the year that brook trout couldn’t actually survive here. Suitable food is scarce and winters are deadly. A thousand feet lower, though, it’s a different story. Here, at roughly the elevation where you start finding aspen groves, figworts, columbines and meadow grasses instead of wind-twisted pines and tundra flowers, is about where you’ll start finding brook trout. And the farther downstream you go — up to a point — the bigger they’ll get. That point is usually where the water warms enough that brown and rainbow trout find it comfortable and brook trout do not. And big, by the way, means 9 or 10 inches. Really big is 12 or 14. It’s that relatively small size that prevents many fly-fishermen from taking brookies too seriously, which is okay by me; solitude is precisely what makes brookie fishing so appealing. Oh, you’ll find some like-minded anglers on the brook trout streams, but nothing like the GORE-TEX hordes and drift-boat armadas you’ll see on our celebrity rivers. The only real drawback in all of this is that my favorite brook trout streams don’t even become fishable until late July or early August. On the other hand, it makes dog days tolerable. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022


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FOCUS ON CULTURE NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITION

Native American Dances Be enlightened by the customs of Cortez’s Native American tribes at the Cortez Cultural Center’s Native American Dances held annually during the summer months through August. Performed in the center’s outdoor amphitheater, guests get an eagle-eye view of various types of Native dances, each skillfully performed by Native American dancers bedecked in striking tribal regalia. Touted as one of the center’s most popular events, past visitors have shared their enjoyment of the rapturous resonance of various instruments and sacred chants. Topped with delicious, traditional fare, games and storytelling, guests are afforded the opportunity to partake in an intimate gathering with one of our nation’s beloved Native American communities.

Culture Talk Built in 1909 by Edwin and Mary Lamb, the Cortez Cultural Center is a striking historical structure that houses sundry local and Native American art displays, interpretive exhibits, and educational materials relating to the local archaeology and American Indian culture. This nonprofit organization prides itself in educating the surrounding community and visitors about cultural awareness, the area’s natural environment, the arts, and the history that makes Cortez the unique area it is.

Awe-Inspiring Area The Cortez Cultural Center was gifted Hawkins Preserve in the 1990s and has since obtained a conservation easement from the Montezuma Land Conservancy to protect the archaeological area from development. The scenic, 122-acre site dates back to around the year 900 and is a popular area for outdoor enthusiasts.

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WHERE TO WATCH THE DANCES COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

Native American Dances are held Monday through Saturday until August 24. The Cortez Cultural Center is located at 25 N. Market Street, Cortez. For information, call 970-565-1151 or visit cortezculturalcenter.org.


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READER POETRY

Buying anvils—blacksmith tools— cast iron (Griswold & Wagner). Old toys – colored pyrex – cowboy hats, boots, & spurs. Will come to you & we buy whole estates!

Home looks good

Home looks good When you’ve been on a journey Of any kind, of any distance Of any length, to any place. And so it was I came Home And opened my book of life To where I’d left it All those years ago Tagged with a bookmark that read: “This is the scary part.” Home — glancing back through the pages To remind me where I’d been A smile in knowing where I am now A wonder about the pages to come. Here in this moment Settled, content, Home Older, wiser Some hard lessons in my heart Forgiven by Blessed Love Still who I’ve always been And that’s good enough for me. Debie Schmitt, Cortez Empire Electric consumer-member

Still Life

Sweet perfume wafts in the wake of a breeze dancing among lilacs. A golden tanager among plum blossoms is sunlight dappled on velvet. The boulder watches with aplomb, having seen eons crawl by. Once volcanic, now petrified and cold, it sits immobile marveling at the dancer’s dexterity, wondering whether it arrived from conjuring or the medicine wheel of karma, and what that might reflect on the fortitude of stone. Elizabeth Fackler-Sinkóvitz, La Veta San Isabel Electric Association consumer-member

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Submit your best works to our Reader Engagement page at coloradocountrylife.coop or send via email to info@coloradocountrylife.org.

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We love to hear from our readers! Lounging Longhorn Photo by Teresa Dower, a Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

Visit our READER ENGAGEMENT PAGE to enter the monthly giveaway, share a funny story, submit a photo with the magazine, share your latest poem or recipe and send a letter to the editor.


YOUR STORIES

READERS’ PHOTOS

FUNNY STORIES

After the first day of kindergarten,

San Isabel Electric consumer-members Nancy and Dick Reding bring their CCL magazine on a recent trip to visit their daughter in Kauai, Hawaii.

my little great-granddaughters came to visit and I asked them how school was. One of the twins looked at me very sad and said, “It was good, but I feel so bad because our teacher didn’t pass. She is still in preschool, and it makes me really feel bad for her.” Susan Kern, Cheyenne Wells K.C. Electric Association consumer-member

Teacher asked little Tommy,

WINNER: Dillon Donaghy, son of Scott and Tracy Donaghy, takes a break with the magazine on the Colorado Trail. He hiked from Denver to Durango and is pictured on segment 11 near Leadville. What an impressive accomplishment! The Donaghys are consumer-members of Morgan County REA.

“How do you spell crocodile?” Tommy quickly responded, “K R O K O D I A L.” His teacher frowned. “No, that is wrong.” Tommy then told her, “Well, it may be wrong, but YOU asked me how I spell it!” Penny Hamilton, Granby Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member Mountain View Electric Association consumermembers Dan and Donna O’Bryant take CCL to Brussels, Belgium, to tour the Waterloo Battlefield Museum and the iconic Lion’s Mound Memorial with their 7-year-old grandson, David.

While working in the third-grade

class, a student came up from behind me, gave me a big hug and told me that I was so beautiful. As he was touching my hair he said, “Except your gray hair.” Then he bounced away. Ya got to love the honesty of a child. Lori Peek, Deer Trail Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member

Our son was just starting kinder-

Colleen Rodriguez, a consumer-member of Poudre Valley REA takes CCL to Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun, Mexico.

Terri Patrick, a San Isabel Electric consumermember, takes her cousin visiting from New Jersey and her copy of CCL to the Royal Gorge Bridge.

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 Monday, August 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/COCountryLife.

garten. Shortly after the semester started, he came home very excited. When we asked why, he said the class had a birthday party for his teacher. Since we just met her — a pretty, blueeyed blond — we asked him how old she was. He replied, “Either 28 or 82. I can’t remember which.” Ralph Murphy, Morrison CORE Electric Cooperative

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 the published funny stories, and that person will receive $200. Go to our Reader Engagement page at coloradocountrylife.coop to submit your funny story. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022

29


DISCOVERIES

Cool Colorado Staycations You don’t need to travel far for the best accommodations

Surf Hotel, Buena Vista

Lavishly Laid-Back

An Antique by the Peak

Surf Hotel in Buena Vista offers guests a combination of plush accommodations with humble intentions. The hotel watches over the Arkansas River, offering boarders a serene landscape and opportunities to kayak, paddleboard and river raft. Nosh at the on-site Wesley & Rose and enjoy free live music, or take a stroll through South Main Town Square for fun, food and shopping. Special events are held throughout the year at Surf Hotel’s The LAWN and Ivy Ballroom. More information at surfhotel.com.

Built in 1873, The Cliff House at Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs bestows guests with a classic reflection of days gone by, yet offers modern amenities such as spa tubs, fine dining, a fitness room, a garden patio with a fire pit, an outdoor event space and a full-service bar. Book a luxurious suite or a comfy guest room. Rich with decorative highlights of history, either way you can indulge in the historic yet contemporary ambiance. More information at thecliffhouse.com.

Bitty Homes, Big Fun Step into a stunning slice of paradise during your stay at a tiny house in Lyons. Nestled alongside the North Saint Vrain, Wee Casa is a tiny home hotel with numerous niceties and charming property nicknames, including “The Gnome Home” and “The Rocky Mountain High.” The property is near hiking and biking trails, water sports, festivals and Main Street, where guests can peruse art galleries, grub on great food and play some pinball. More information at weecasa.com.

Passage to Paradise The views at Gateway Canyons Resort will sweep you away. Located in Unaweep Canyon near Grand Junction, the scenery is flawless, and the resort gives visitors access to delicious dining, sensational spa services and the world-renowned Gateway Colorado Auto Museum. During your stay, you can visit the Palisade Ranch, a nearby winery, several national parks and much more. Guests can book their stay at an exquisite lodge suite, a guest room or a casita. More information at gatewaycanyons.com.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE AUGUST 2022


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