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ROAD-TRIPPING? Electric vehicle growth is expected to continue to rise across the U.S. There are also plans to install thousands of additional charging stations across the country. With the infrastructure in place, people will soon be able to drive electric from coast to coast with plenty of options to plug in along the way. Let’s ride. –Advanced Energy


Volume 51

Number 09

September 2020 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer cgloe@coloradocountrylife.org Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant kcoleman@coloradocountrylife.org ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative advertising@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-902-7276 National Advertising Representative, American MainStreet Publications 611 S. Congress Street, Suite 504, Austin, TX 78704 | 800-626-1181 Advertising Standards: Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216-1731. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. ©Copyright 2020, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-455-4111 coloradocountrylife.coop | facebook.com/COCountryLife Pinterest.com/COCountryLife | Instagram.com/cocountrylife Twitter.com/COCountryLife | YouTube.com/COCountryLife1 Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual. SUBSCRIBERS Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. Cost of subscription for members of participating electric cooperatives is $4.44 per year (37 cents per month), paid from equity accruing to the member. For nonmembers, a subscription is $9 per year in-state/$15 out-of-state.









COCountryLife pinned: Gluten-sensitive or simply cutting carbs? Give this palate-pleasing Irish Soda Bread recipe a try. Get the recipe on the CCL Pinterest page.





Colorado Rural Electric Association posted:


On the




Youth Leadership Camp, usually held in mid-July near Steamboat Springs, was canceled this summer. However, students still had the opportunity to hear from keynote speak Craig Zablocki during a virtual webinar.

POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216


“Fall Sunset” by Cindy Schafer, a member of San Isabel Electric Association.



James Skeen of Loveland works with his llamas. Photo by Chris Coleman.

Monthly Contest Enter for your chance to win one of two dogs collar (size S/M or M/L) from Leashes by Liz. Read more about this Colorado company in Discoveries on page 30. For official rules and how to enter, visit Contests at coloradocountrylife.coop.


INSTAGRAM PIC of the month cocountrylife posted: Watching the sun set on July and an evening storm in Brighton. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE SEPTEMBER 2020




New ways to meet the ever-changing needs of consumer-members BY KENT SINGER



’m sitting on my back patio on yet another beautiful Colorado morning intermittently throwing a Frisbee to our border collie Ella, contemplating the subject of this column. Ella loves to catch the Frisbee, but rather than dropping it at my feet where I can reach it, she often drops it just out of my reach so I have to get up, take a couple of steps, bend over, throw it again and sit back down. Until, of course, like any advanced hominid, I figured out that I can use a branch of the forsythia bush my wife just trimmed to reach over and drag the Frisbee over to me without leaving my chair or iced tea. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In its simplest terms, this old maxim just means that when humans have needed to find ways to survive and even improve their lives over the millennia, they invented better ways of doing things: From the spear to the wheel to microprocessors to Twitter, invention has generally improved our lives. (I’m not so sure about Twitter.) For Colorado’s electric cooperatives, the necessity we face as modern electric utilities is the desire of many of our consumer-members for a new approach to electricity delivery. Whether it’s new ways to communicate with the co-op, new services that improve consumer-members’ lives, new thinking about power generation and delivery, or just a new attitude about customer satisfaction, all of these demands have led us to invent, engineer and innovate like never before.



This innovation is happening at all three levels of the traditional power delivery system: generation, transmission and distribution. At the generation level, co-ops (and other utilities) are rapidly transitioning from coal-fired power plants to renewable resources backed up by natural gas plants. This is the result of not only policy decisions by the Colorado legislature, but also decisions made by utilities, including electric co-ops, based on the significant decline in the costs of wind and solar power over the last several years. Regarding transmission, we continue to advocate for the creation of a regional electricity market (also called a “regional transmission organization” or RTO) that would pool the transmission assets of multiple utilities in the Rocky Mountain West and enable the more efficient exchange of power across multiple states. Co-ops and other utilities would benefit from the creation of such a market and would be able to integrate higher percentages of renewable energy from a wider array of resources than is currently possible. And while innovation at the generation and transmission levels is ongoing, the real action today is at the distribution level. Electric co-ops are developing and deploying new products and services at a dizzying rate. Mountain Parks Electric in Granby and Yampa Valley Electric Association in Steamboat Springs have adopted “Electrify Everything” programs


that encourage consumer-members to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by switching to electric vehicles and using electric heat pumps instead of propane. Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs was an early supporter of the community solar garden model, and today community solar gardens have blossomed in many electric co-op service territories. Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, United Power and Intermountain REA have integrated large-scale solar arrays into their power supply mix, and IREA also recently completed a parking structure covered with solar panels. These are just a few examples of the transformative thinking and doing that is propelling Colorado’s electric co-ops into their role as 21st century electric utilities. But rest assured that this evolving approach is also paired with the traditional values of the cooperative movement: a commitment to the communities that the co-ops serve and a desire to improve the lives of the consumer-members at the end of the line. 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.



Magazine covers: Not all concepts work




on’t you love the llamas on the cover? Photographers Chris and Kylee Coleman did a way better job of bringing our cover concept to fruition than I did years ago with alpacas. I could picture the cover in my head exactly as I wanted it. I had a pen of young alpacas and I had my adorable 3-year-old son, Zach. I could just see the cover featuring him with his chubby little hands out, feeding the baby alpacas. Didn’t turn out quite that way. I failed to consider that I was putting my young son, who had been raised in the suburbs, in the middle of a bunch of farm animals he’d never seen before. They were babies, but they were taller than him and evidently quite scary.

He was ok as MONA NEELEY long as I was with him. I’d get him positioned with an alpaca. (They actually cooperated well.) Then I’d move back to take the photo, but it was almost as if there was an elastic band attaching my son to my leg. As soon as I stepped away, there he was, arms around my leg staring back at the alpacas, which he called “pockets.” I never did get the shot, just an adventure with my son. The Colemans did much better with llamas. 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.



Photo Contes t Read full rules and enter online at



Aviatrix keeps her age a secret

I enjoyed your story on Marvel [Crosson] (August ’20), but I’m a little confused. In the beginning, you place her in 1917 as 13 years old, but she died in 1929 at 29 years old. Dick Mumma, Falcon Mountain View Electric consumer-member

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was a note from one of our eagle-eyed readers about this discrepancy in the story. And it was not a typo, as I first suspected. The confusion stems from historical records. Turns out that they don’t agree. Marvel was born in either 1900 or 1904, depending on the record being reviewed. She died in 1929; she was either 25 or 29 years old. Again, records don’t agree. I apologize that we didn’t clarify the situation before publishing the August story.

Too much wasted energy

I was saddened to see yet another way to encourage people to waste fossil fuels and drive “overland” into the backcountry (July ’20). There seems to be not much difference between car camping and overlanding except that overlanding means more people not willing to hike and, perhaps, driving places it is best that vehicles not go. I wonder why Americans are obsessed with motorized vehicles and not good old-fashioned, healthy, hear-the-birds walking? Name Withheld by Request

Bird watchers paradise

I enjoyed “Just Passing Through” (Outdoors, July ’20) . We are at 5,450 feet in elevation and it’s interesting to see some of the differences in bird behavior. We rarely see the mountain tanager, but the mountain bluebirds exhibit the same behavio r. B u llo ck ’s orioles and the lazuli buntings are permanent summer residents, raising young every year. The last few years we have seen a blue grosbeak; it stays longer each year and this year it looks like it may be around for the summer. Bruce Spence, Masonville Poudre Valley REA consumer-member

SEND US YOUR LETTERS Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or mneeley@ coloradocountrylife.org. Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE SEPTEMBER 2020








WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE CENTENNIAL STATE? This is your last chance to vote for your favorite: Cross Country Ski Trail: Colorado-Made Wine (red): Colorado-Made Wine (white): Bed & Breakfast: Burrito: Colorado-Made Jam/Jelly: Country Store: Coffee Shop: Golf Course:




n difficult times like these, it’s more important than ever to ensure the money we spend yields the results we need. Make your manufactured home more energy efficient with one of these tips. Some are quick, easy and cheap, but others may require more money than you want to spend. Choose the approach that works best for your home and budget.

Another fairly simple fix is to insulate the first several feet of the hot water pipe where it exits the tank. If there is room around your water heater, you could also wrap the tank with an insulation jacket, which can be purchased from a home supply store for about $20. If the water heater uses gas or propane, be careful not to restrict the air needed for combustion or install insulation too close to the exhaust flue.

1. Furnace It doesn’t cost anything to lower your thermostat in the winter. Clean or replace the furnace air filter as often as recommended. Manufactured homes that are heated with an electric or propane furnace can likely reap dramatic savings on heating costs by installing a heat pump. Ductless heat pumps are efficient and eliminate the problem of leaky furnace ducts. If you don’t have the budget to make this an out-of-pocket investment now, you may qualify for a loan. It’s quite possible that your energy savings would cover the loan payment.

2. Water heater One simple way to lower costs is to lower your water heater’s thermostat. Make sure it’s set to medium: between 120 and 140 degrees.

3. Ducts Leaky furnace ducts are often a major source of energy loss. A simple first step is to make sure all supply and return registers are open and not covered by furniture or rugs. Closed registers can really take a toll on a heating and cooling system. You could also save energy by sealing the ducts at the floor registers. The biggest leaks, however, are likely under your manufactured home and could require the services of a contractor to locate and seal. Check with your local electric co-op to see if it can recommend local contractors who can provide this service. With these simple steps, you can look forward to a cozier and less-costly winter. Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen are from Collaborative Efficiency, which partners with electric co-ops to develop energy efficiency programs.

Setting your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit will save energy and keep the water at a safe temperature. Photo Credit: Scott Akerman

Mail entries to: Colorado Country Life magazine 5400 Washington Street, Denver CO 80216

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to learn more about how you can save on your home energy costs. Look under the energy tab.







appy 75th Anniversar y to White River Electric and to our membership. We are proud to celebrate 75 years of dedication and service to our membership and our community. Many things have changed in 75 years; our total membership has increased from a few hundred to 2,000, our annual electric demand has risen from under 500 kilowatts to over 100,000 kW and we have grown from seven to 29 employees. In 1945, a dozen eggs were 55 cents and you could buy a 1939 Ford Deluxe Sedan for $959. Gratefully, while some things have changed, the most important things have not. White River Electric is still focused on providing our membership with safe and reliable electricity and personalized customer service. Your calls are not only answered in person, but you probably know the voice on the other end of the line. Never in a million years did we contemplate our 75th annual celebration would be virtual. While this may not be ideal, the board determined to err on the side of caution as we kept the health and safety of our membership at the forefront of our decision. My guess is that in 1945 the founding WREA Board of Directors could not have conceived of a virtual annual meeting, let alone online bill pay! Adaptability may not be a part of our written mission statement, but it is what electric cooperatives have done throughout our history. We will adapt and focus on

the positives; remembering that it is a privilege to celebrate with you all no matter the venue. In that spirit, we are pleased to invite you to join us on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, at 1 p.m. to attend our first ever virtual annual meeting. A link to the annual meeting presentation will be available on that date by visiting our website at www.wrea.org. The annual meeting video will be 10-15 minutes in length and will remain on our website so you can also watch as your schedule allows. The WREA Annual Meeting is an essential function and important tradition for us. Our bylaws state that our annual meeting shall take place in September and shall include the election of directors. This year’s online meeting will be a condensed version of our normal agenda including a financial report and the election of two directors from the Town of Meeker District. As allowed by our bylaws and Colorado cooperative law, the election will consist solely of mail-in or hand delivered ballots. The appointed election clerks and judges will oversee the election and the ballots will be counted on September 9, 2020. Results will be posted in the normal fashion; on the front door of the WREA office, at www. wrea.org and on the WREA Facebook page after the ballots are counted. In January, our wholesale power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission announced that it would close Colowyo Coal Mine and the Craig Station power

plant by 2030. These difficult decisions were driven by state regulation and a shift in the cost of regional generation. As a member of Tri-State, White River Electric struggled with these announcements as we recognized the personal nature of these impacts. White River Electric is committed to remain a voice for our region as we work with Tri-State and other community leaders to support our economy and our membership during this transition. When I adjourned last year’s annual meeting, I couldn’t imagine the changes that would come to our valley over the subsequent 12 months. I want to thank WREA’s management team and staff for their hard work and perseverance in the last year. Regional wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic, decline in electric loads and the board’s directive to cut costs in order to keep rates stable but maintain reliability and customer service were met with the “can do” spirit that defines this organization. Thank you to our membership for your continued support and your patience as we navigate the complicated changes facing our industry, including a shift in generation resources. White River Electric’s success reflects the support we receive from our membership and our outstanding staff. On behalf of the WREA Board of Directors, we wish you health and good fortune in the year to come.




Celebrating 75 YEARS Together BY ALAN MICHALEWICZ,



ongratulations to White River Electric and our membership on your 75th anniversary. Things rarely go according to plan, but it goes without saying that no one could have planned for the events of 2020. We hope this finds you healthy and weathering these complicated times. As a nation and a community, we are slowly finding our new normal. As a company we continue to focus on our priorities which include serving our membership safe and reliable electricity with the highest degree of customer service. During the onset of the pandemic, our front office was temporarily closed to the public but thanks to technology we remained fully staffed and operational. We appreciate our members support and patience as we adapted to more online and phone services. To help support our members, we accelerated the scheduled capital credit payments from August to April so that members could receive WREA capital credit dollars as soon as possible. In August, payments representing Tri-State G&T‘s capital credits were issued as well. With the health, safety and wellbeing of our membership in mind, the WREA Board of Directors decided to pivot from an in-person annual meeting to our first ever virtual annual meeting. The good news is that it will be the shortest annual meeting in history, but the bad news is we will all miss the Lion’s Club lunch. Tradition, comradery with members and the youth presentations will be also be missed but don’t worry, we won’t forgo member gifts. Following the virtual annual meeting, WREA will draw names for boxes of meat purchased from the RBC livestock sale and all members can claim their membership gift — a camp chair with the WREA 75th anniversary logo — at designated pick-up times. Pick up details were sent in the annual meeting notice



and are available on the WREA website. Our members participation in the annual meeting is critical to our success and we hope that you participate by mailing in your ballot for the election of two Town of Meeker directors and join us for the online presentation on September 9. The 75th anniversary has us walking down memory lane with a look back into the WREA archives. WREA’s Articles of Incorporation were signed on November 5, 1945, just two months after the official end of World War II. Our 11 founding board members were ready to move beyond the war years to a more prosperous chapter which included electrifying the White River Valley. Over the next 10 years WREA expanded service into Powell Park, Strawberry and up the valley along County Road 8. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7037 in 1935 establishing the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). That order led the way for the newly formed WREA to buy existing generation and distribution facilities from the Town of Meeker, which were previously owned by Meeker Power & Light. WREA’s first loan in the amount of $410,000 (equal to about $5.6 million dollars today) was used to buy existing assets and fund the expansion of services within town and into the rural areas. White River Electric originally included the town of Rangely but less than a year after incorporation, WREA sold the Rangely assets to Rangely Power & Light for $27,000. Our founding members’ pioneering and western spirit lives on at White River Electric today. Beyond COVID-19, 2020 is proving itself to be a challenging year. Regional fires have recently impacted our system with the loss of several miles of transmission and distribution lines. We want to thank our members for


their patience and our neighbors at Yampa Valley Electric Association who, without hesitation, joined our rebuilding efforts. As you know, in January Tri-State Generation & Transmission made announcements regarding the future of regional electric generation. Regulatory pressures drove the decisions to close Colowyo Coal Mine and the Craig Station Power Plant over the next 10 years and we recognize the difficult impact this will have on our communities, friends and family. White River Electric will continue to work with Rio Blanco County, the Town of Meeker and Tri-State to support our members and community during this transition. WREA FINANCES, AUDIT & RATES: Our 2020 finances look different from those in 1945 but our board of directors’ conservative approach remains the same. WREA has worked hard to control costs through efficiencies and is pleased to announce there will not be a rate increase in 2020. Rate stability remains a key priority. The independent auditing firm of Jackson Thornton & Co. PC completed last year’s financial audit. The audit, which is reviewed and approved by the board, confirmed no irregularities or material weaknesses in the internal control structure or operations of the company. WREA continues to meet its financial targets and retains a strong equity position at 72% of total assets. WREA’s 2019 operating margins equaled $1,043,426; WREA’s operating revenue equaled $62,747,528; and the total utility plant equaled $44,364,833. WREA SAFETY & RELIABILITY: Safety is our priority and more than a motto.

YOUR CO-OP NEWS WREA has gone two years without a losttime accident and WREA’s safety program now includes reasonable COVID-19 protocols for employees and members while continuing to focus on electric and cyber safety. Reliability remains at 99%, which reflects the hard work and dedication of our operational team and line crews. Thank you to our crews for all that they do to keep the lights on. MEMBER SERVICES & OUR COMMUNITY: WREA conducts a member survey every two years and over 300 members participated this year. The survey results show member satisfaction at 90% and that rate stability is a priority. Member surveys are a great way for WREA to hear directly from the members but please don’t wait for the next survey to share your opinions. We welcome comments, good and bad, and use that information to continually improve our organization. Through this year’s challenges we have grown stronger as a community and a company. Our small-town values, support for one another in times of challenge and the ability to “socially distance” in our scenic valley reminds us how fortunate we are to call Meeker home. THANK YOU TO OUR MEMBERS, OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS & OUR EMPLOYEES: We won’t even dare “plan” for next year’s annual meeting, but we hope it will be back in person at the Fairfield Center. There is no company that I would rather represent and no community I would rather be in during times of challenge than White River Electric and Meeker. Our board of directors has been steadfast in its commitment to our members and has gone the extra mile to ensure we get the job done and keep the lights on. Thank you to our board and our employees; this team is what makes White River Electric an exceptional organization. We wish you all the very best, including good health, in the coming year.

WHITE RIVER ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC. Virtual Annual Meeting of the Membership and Director Election

September 9, 2020 12:00 pm

Director election voting closes. All mail-in or hand delivered ballots must be received by noon.

1:00 p.m.

Virtual annual meeting begins at www.wrea.org/annual-meeting





5 Years of Service

Congratulations to the following individuals for achieving milestones in their years of service to our cooperative.

Kimberly Dungan Employee – 5 years

Richard R. Welle Director – 5 years





Hal W. Pearce

Mark A. Rogers

Richard R. Welle

Richard L. Parr

Ronald K. Hilkey

Stan Wyatt

William H. Jordan

Thank you for your service to the community! FINANCIALS: ASSETS & OPERATING REVENUES TWO YEAR COMPARISON Assets




Year Incorporated

Total utility plant



Power supplier

Accumulated depreciation





Total revenue sales

$62,747,528 $53,480,244 810,036,600

Net utility plant

1945 Tri-State Generation & Transmission

Other property and investments



Total cost of wholesale power

Currents assets



Total kWh sold

Deferred debits



Maximum kW demand




Average cost/500 kWh



Average cost per kWh




Property tax paid

Margins and equities



Number of employees

Long-term debt



Total payroll

Current liabilities



Total utility plant




Total assets as of December 31, 2019




Miles of line

Equities & Liabilities


$262,854 29 $6,111,183


Meters Served 3,391 Operating Report






Cost of Power



Operating Expenses









Other Expenses







Interest Income



Non-operating margins









TOTAL EXPENSES Operating Margins

Patronage Capital Credits Extraordinary item TOTAL MARGINS




Purchased Power 86.67%

Operations & Maintenance 5.07% Administration & General 4.97% Consumer Accounting 0.90% Depreciation 1.78% Long Term Interest 0.61%





When it comes to beneficial bread, the secret is in the dough BY AMY HIGGINS


Palate-pleasing, healthy, grain-free recipes


Enter our September contest for a chance to win three autographed cookbooks written by Elana Amsterdam and a bag of almond flour in a beautifully-designed bag. Click on Contests at coloradocountrylife.coop for details on how to enter.

hether you’re gluten-sensitive or simply cutting carbs, it can be challenging finding grain-free recipes that not only accommodate your diet, but are also palate-pleasing. And bread? Forget about it, right? On the contrary, Boulder denizen and blogger Elana Amsterdam — who also has celiac disease — started creating recipes years ago that support diets that are gluten-free, reduced-carb, paleo and more. Best of all, they taste great. Amsterdam is a cookbook author, wellness expert, researcher and entrepreneur — to list a few accolades — and her bread recipes are flavorful, filling and delicious. In addition, she has a slew of recipes for several other diets, and shares recipes for desserts, pastries, soups and more on her blog Elana’s Pantry: at elanaspantry.com. Be sure to check them out, but first try baking this beauty below.

Low-Carb Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal) 2 tablespoons egg white protein powder 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 4 large eggs 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon vanilla stevia 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced 1 tablespoon lemon zest 8 ounces zucchini

FACT GLUTEN’S IMPACT ON AMERICANS Beyond Celiac, an organization that advocates for enhanced research for treatments, diagnoses and a cure for celiac-disease patients, reports that 18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity.



In a food processor, combine almond flour, protein powder, salt and baking soda. Pulse in eggs, maple syrup, stevia, rosemary, and lemon zest. Remove s-blade, replacing with grater attachment. On a scale, weigh out 8 ounces of zucchini. Push zucchini through food processor to grate over batter. Stir in zucchini by hand. Transfer batter to a greased 9-by-5 inch loaf dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. Cool for 1 hour, then serve.

Looking for another great lowcarb bread recipe? Try Elana’s Pantry Keto Cornbread . Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.

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Redistricting Commissions Seek Applicants


n 2021, two new redistricting commissions will redraw Colorado’s U.S. congressional and state legislative districts. Redistricting takes place after each decennial Census and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court. Theoretically, redistricting is simple. The process is designed to equalize the population of Colorado’s seven (soon to be eight) congressional districts, 35 Colorado Senate districts and 65 Colorado House districts. In practice, redistricting is political. When one party controls the process, it seeks to pack as many of the opposing party’s voters into as few districts as possible in order to make the rest of the districts more favorable to its own candidates. This is called gerrymandering. In 2018, Colorado voters, wary of gerrymandering, passed Amendments Y and Z to the state constitution, creating two politically-balanced commissions to redraw districts using neutral criteria, such as minimizing splits to cities, counties and communities of interest. One commission redraws congressional districts and the

other redraws state legislative districts. Each commission will consist of four Republicans, four Democrats and four unaffiliated voters. These new commissions only work if fair-minded Coloradans of all political stripes apply for the commissions. Applications for the Legislative Redistricting Commission and the Congressional Redistricting Commission are available on the Colorado legislature’s website at https://redistricting.colorado.gov. In early 2021, there will be a random selection of 300 Republicans, 300 Democrats and 450 unaffiliated applicants. Then, a panel of retired judges — no more than one of any given party — will vet the applications and narrow the field to 50 Republicans, 50 Democrats and 50 unaffiliated applicants. A random selection of two Republicans, two Democrats and two unaffiliated voters will then begin the process of composing the 12-member commission. The application deadline is November 10 and rural applicants are encouraged.

LISTEN IN FOR THE CO-OP POINT OF VIEW Enjoy podcasts? Searching for something to listen to? Try streaming the electric cooperative podcasts at electric.coop/podcast. In August’s 30-minute program, representatives of the national co-op trade association, a local electric co-op and the U.S. Forest Service talk about how partnerships among co-ops and regulatory agencies can help mitigate wildfire risks. Previous topics for the podcasts include engaging co-op consumer-members in the 2020 elections, how co-ops work together when storms cause system damage, communicating in times of crisis, changing expectations for co-ops, battery storage and new technology, and more important topics from across electric co-op country.



Help Promote a Business You Love Colorado Country Life is sponsoring a first-ever Best of Colorado contest. This is a great opportunity to nominate a favorite local business, product or venue and get it some great publicity while we are in this challenging business climate. Simply visit www.coloradocountrylife. coop/best-of-2020-nominations and fill out the form. Make nominations in at least four categories and you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of three $100 gift cards. Then watch for the Best of Colorado to be announced in the January issue of the magazine.


Electric Co-ops Focus on Electricity’s Benefits Electric cooperatives have long been advocates of energy efficiency and cost savings for their consumer-members. That continues today as promotions for beneficial electrification come to the forefront. Beneficial electrification is the deployment of electric-powered devices where at least one of the following goals is met without adversely impacting the others: consumer savings, reduced pollution, grid resiliency, improved products and quality of life. Last year a national Beneficial Electrification League (BEL) was formed. Colorado’s co-op power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, is a leading member of the league, as well as the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Tri-State, along with CREA, which represents Colorado’s electric cooperatives, helped create BEL-CO, the first BEL state chapter. Then Tri-State expanded two of its key staff positions in late 2019 to focus on beneficial electrification. Matt Fitzgibbon went from relationship manager to beneficial electrification manager, and Shaun Mann Tuyuri is now senior manager of beneficial electrification and research and development at Tri-State. The title change has “helped us be more effective communicators of beneficial electrification,” said Fitzgibbon, as he noted that the power supplier’s energy efficiency program has always had an “underlying [goal] of beneficial electrification. “Before in R&D, we were already doing that work in technology development, such as demonstrating heat pumps that work in extreme cold,” Mann Tuyuri said. Now there is “business innovation and how to drive consumer adoption of beneficial electrification.” “Beneficial electrification is extremely important, especially as we move forward with plans for more renewable energy and a cleaner grid,” Fitzgibbon said.




S ale

Don’t buy cheaply made, off-brand charging cubes and cables. They can be potential fire hazards, cause electrocution, or damage the device. Throw away charger blocks and cords that are worn or damaged and make sure they are not hot when charging devices.


Only charge devices on a hard, flat, noncombustible surface to allow for adequate ventilation.

Do not touch any electronic devices that are charging when you are wet or standing in water.

Learn more at

Cathy Cash is a staff writer at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE SEPTEMBER 2020



PETS THAT MAKE YOU PET STORY CONTEST WINNERS Pets are priceless. They’re our confidants, comrades and comforters — and the feeling is mutual. Known for nuzzling their humans for a touch, treat or trek around town, pets bring joy even in the most difficult times. When we asked for entries to our 2020 Pet Story Contest, we weren’t surprised to receive a flood of fantastic narratives about our readers’ pet pals. Some told of animals that saved the day, while others noted their flippant behavior. All of the stories reported the myriad personalities of your pets. While every entry evoked emotion, the following stories brought about particular responses that declared them the winners. We hope you love them as much as we do. The first place story was written by James Skeen of Loveland about an elk-llama stampede. Second place went to Margaret Schwab of Westminster and her intuitive Lab-golden retriever. The third place story was written by Debbie Wilson of Cotopaxi about a crime-solving cat. This issue also includes a few runners-up and there are more at www.coloradocountrylife.coop.



By James Skeen, Loveland Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association


f all the ways I imagined I might die one day, I never conceived of dying in an elk-llama stampede, but as the elk and my llamas careened toward each other, the impossible was looking possible. In 2008, following a grueling mountain hike, I told my friend Brian I was going get some llamas to backpack with. My friend smirked and asked, “What do you know about llamas?” “Nothing,” I said, “but I’ll learn.” Now, for 11 years I’ve owned, trained and loved my llamas; they are backpacking buddies, protectors, friends, garden fertilizers (llama poop is great) and bike riding pals. When I got my first llamas and wanted to accelerate their conditioning, I started taking them on bike rides. Me on a bike with two llamas running behind me is a bit of a spectacle, but my neighbors got used to the routine. That routine almost ended catastrophically one day. Coming over the rise of the dirt road with my llamas Kona and Star trailing my bike, I could see 18 bull elk in my pasture. With visual enjoyment, I continued pedaling toward my house.

James Skeen laughs as he recalls the time his llamas almost tangled with some elk.



COVER STORY I’m not sure who began sprinting first: the elk or my llamas. Either way, they started speeding toward each other on a collision course. My llamas, which had been lazily running behind me, were now pulling me at Mach speed. Likewise, the elk were tearing toward the road as if their lives depended on crossing before we passed. My 9th grade geometry skills calculated the possibility of collision and it wasn’t looking good! Just as it appeared that impact was imminent, my llamas pulled up. Eighteen hell-bent elk passed just feet in front of us. I never imagined I might face my fate in an elk-llama stampede, but 20 years ago I never would’ve imagined having six wonderful llamas as pets.


By Margaret Schwab, Westminster Sangre de Cristo Electric Association


ears back I spent a year undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma. Gracie, my Lab-golden retriever mix, was 6 years old at the time and quite energetic, except when I went for a blood draw or chemo. After a procedure she would meet me differently. Normally she was exuberant and bouncy, but as I exited the facility she was happy yet subdued, gently walking inches away from my leg and matching my slow pace. One day I became concerned with Gracie as she was drooling profusely and wouldn’t leave my side. I called a friend at work to come help me take Gracie to the vet. When my friend noticed my flushed face and perspiration, she said she was taking me to the emergency room, not Gracie, and I was immediately admitted. While at the hospital we had a neighbor check on Gracie — no drooling at all. She was fine and resting peacefully at home. Evidently she was trying all day long to let me know something was wrong with me. Gracie turned 12 years old in July and she still gives me daily “pet scans.” What an amazing companion!

3RD PLACE WINNER Pooh the cat has gone from stray to home protector.


By Debbie Wilson, Cotopaxi Sangre de Cristo Electric Association


he town we lived in was quiet with nice wide streets and houses with huge backyards. Crime was nonexistent, and kids and pets ran freely. We were lucky to live next door to the Connelly family and their cat named Pooh. Pooh was a calico with four white paws — a stray that was adopted by the Connellys.

Pooh was incredibly smart with a wide vocabulary of mews to communicate with us humans. He had a great life and we all felt lucky to know him. We did not realize just how lucky until late one summer day when we invited the Connelly family over for a late lunch at our house. We just finished eating when Pooh came running flat out to where we were gathered in the backyard. He was mewing frantically. He started running back toward his house and stopping, looking back at us. It was obvious he wanted us to follow him, so we did, more out of curiosity than fear. Rounding the corner, we saw a truck parked in the Connellys’ driveway. As we headed toward their front door, a man ran out and jumped in the truck. He gunned it down the driveway and tore out into the street, almost hitting us in his haste to get away. We barely managed to call 911 and were afraid to go in the house, so we remained outside until the police arrived. Inside, the police found garbage bags containing items to be stolen. Pooh the cat stopped a robbery and was rewarded with much affection as well as gourmet cat food and all the treats he could ever want.


Gracie, a Lab-golden retriever mix, helps keep her owner, Margaret Schwab of Westminster, healthy. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE SEPTEMBER 2020



MISADVENTURES OF LEAVING LOMA By Denise Copple, Loma Grand Valley Power


ur cat Diva was a kitten under the age of 1 when she had an eventful experience that probably cost her some of her cat lives. We live in the rural Colorado city of Loma and my husband commutes daily to Orchard Mesa for work; this is an approximate 20-mile, one-way trip. He went to work that morning but left midday to go to the nearby grocery store to pick up something for a potluck at work. He came out of the grocery store and saw a kitten resembling ours walking a short distance from his truck.


RUNNERUP Leo, a German shepherd, came to the rescue of owner Sweetie Marbury when a bear got too close.

He is not a cat fan, so he thought about getting in his truck and leaving. His guilty conscience got the best of him though and he called out, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty. Here, Diva.” The kitten immediately responded by coming toward him. My husband scooped her up and brought her home. The reality of her adventure is that Diva got up underneath his Ford F350 truck and rode the 20 miles to his work. She probably was so traumatized that she did not get out from under the truck until he left work. At that point, she probably said enough is enough and had her second ride for the day … inside the cab of the truck this time. If she could only talk and tell us of her tale. Today, Diva is a healthy cat of 13 years and we love her and her diva-like attitude. She doesn’t venture far from home these days.

LEO THE WARRIOR ON WEST SECOND By Sweetie Marbury, Durango La Plata Electric Association

I Diva sticks close to home after taking a ride in the engine compartment of a pickup.



t was 11:30 p.m. on a cool summer night in Durango. The old apple tree was blooming but there was no peace in the still air — the summer brought bears every night into the alley behind my house. Leo, my coal-black German shepherd, was always on guard duty. I kept pots and pans

on the deck to bang at the bears as they haughtily strolled past my fence. But on this night, all would change in a heartbeat. I heard the crash and saw a black streak dashing out the doggy door. I ran and picked up the pots and pans and began yelling at the invader. In a flash, a 600-pound male bear was in the yard and Leo was attacking him. Towering more than 8 feet tall, the intruder stood up to get a better view of Leo the Warrior. He swung at Leo and then came down on all four of his massive legs — Leo was in pursuit. The bear was now coming directly at me, but Leo, my faithful protector, would have none of it. Leo growled and howled deeply, loudly and threateningly, and then darted up the stone steps, charging the bear repeatedly. The bear roared powerfully; I screamed emphatically. Leo put himself between the bear and me, and then drove the trespasser through the crumpled fence and out of the yard. I didn’t sleep that night and neither did Leo. At attention on the deck, my warrior awaited the next attack; protecting his home was his duty. Leo, my gentle giant, kept watch as the stars turned into blue sky.

COVER STORY PANDORA SAVES THE TURTLE By Don Small, Fraser Mountain Parks Electric


veryone knows that Labradors like to retrieve, and our 9-year-old dog, Pandora, who looks and acts like a black Labrador even though she’s a mix, is no different. She loves to play fetch and can hold three lacrosse balls in her mouth at once. She even runs down the driveway and gets the newspaper for us every morning, which we appreciate, especially when it’s raining. We have a small stone pond outside our front door. Among the many inhabitants is a water turtle, named Shelly by our granddaughter, that swims over to me when I wave to it and feed it. Pandora is always curious and likes to watch me feed Shelly. “Pandora, that’s a turtle,” I’ve said to her many times. The pond has a slow leak, and from time to time I have to add water to it. One day last summer, I accidentally left the hose running in the basin when I went to bed. The next morning I realized the pond was overflowing its walls, releasing Shelly into the yard. My wife and I walked around the property searching for her, looking in the flower beds and the grass. Eventually my wife gave up and I was about to do the same when, on a lark, I said to Pandora, “Go find the turtle, Pandora!” She ran off and I continued to search. Suddenly I turned around and found Pandora standing proudly next to me, gently holding the turtle upside down in her mouth. Shelly was none the worse for her big adventure and quickly returned to perching on her favorite spot in the pond. Of course we gave Pandora some treats as a reward for rescuing Shelly. That day we learned her retrieving skills went far beyond balls and newspapers. She is amazing.

Pandora, a black Lab, proved she can find more than tennis balls when she fetches a pet turtle.


RUNNERUP Carrie Eskew with mama Shine and baby Jam. Photo by Lane Eskew.


By Lane Eskew, Fort Collins Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association


’m not a doctor or a nurse, but here I knelt next to a struggling mother donkey who depended on me to save her life. Shine, a miniature donkey, had a sweet disposition throughout her pregnancy — she never changed behavior like many other pregnant donkeys do. She was overdue and in the same sweet and stoic mood, so my family had to monitor her closely for any signs of labor. Finally, one clear dawn morning, we saw the telltale white “water balloon” (amniotic sac) emerging from Shine. But we also should’ve seen the baby’s front feet in the sac; it was empty. This was a bad sign. Shine had no strength left to stand, so she laid down in exhaustion. I had read about having to manually deliver a foal in an emergency, so my daughter quickly called our vet. He coached me through the process and told me to reach in and pull the front hooves out. “What?! With these big hands?” I questioned. The vet assured me that my hands were no bigger than the foal that was trying to come out, so I boldly went for it. The front legs were jammed and turned, hindering the baby from emerging. When Shine went into another contraction, I maneuvered the tiny hooves in the right direction and soon the baby slid out. He twitched with life a couple of times as I wiped his face and he took his first breath. Life prevailed! Shine looked back at her newborn, and her shiny brown eyes widened with loving surprise as she leaned back and smelled the foal — and they immediately bonded. Today, the little jack and mama are as healthy as ever. After our experience, it wasn’t difficult to name the new boy: Jam!

Read more stories online at coloradocountrylife.coop. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE SEPTEMBER 2020



The Little Blue Logo that Changed Efficiency Standards BY PAUL WESSLUND


he little blue (and sometimes black) logo with the star inside that you see on all sorts of appliances and electronics has changed the way we view savings through more efficient products. The Energy Star® program claims credit for reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and for saving Americans $30 billion in energy costs. Analysts credit Energy Star with innovating the energy industry, as manufacturers set goals of making more energy-efficient products than their competitors. What the Energy Star logo does is make it easy to know whether a product you’re thinking about buying is more energy efficient than other models. Essentially the program looks at the average energy use of each type of product and awards the Energy Star rating to top performers based on different criteria — a refrigerator needs to be 9% more energy efficient than the minimum efficiency standard; a computer needs to use 25% less electricity than conventional models and include a power-saving mode option when it’s not being used. So, if the appliance or electronic device you purchase includes the Energy Star logo, you know it’s among the most energy-efficient products available. That simplicity is



The Environmental Protection Agency uses several specifications to determine if products such as dishwashers meet the Energy Star standard.

the secret to the success of the program that is run by the federal Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The program’s effectiveness comes from a complex process of making sure the Energy Star logo is accurate and trusted — and the numbers show it is trusted. Americans bought more than 300 million Energy Starrated products in 2017 alone, and an Energy Star study found that three-fourths of U.S. households say the Energy Star label influences their purchases.

Today, more than 500 certified labs in 25 countries around the world test nearly than 2,000 products a year — along with surprise inspections — to manage a list of 60,000 product models. Energy Star runs seminars on how to meet its standards. Those standards require that televisions must use

3 watts or less when switched off; lightbulbs must use two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent bulbs; Energy Star home furnaces must be between 4% and 15% more efficient than standard furnaces. Energy Star tests also require quality standards in addition to energy efficiency. In general, products must have popular features, such as internet connectivity for smart televisions. Lightbulbs must last up to 15 times longer and produce 70% to 90% less heat than conventional bulbs. In 2018, Energy Star tested 1,792 models, disqualifying 59 of them. Of the 858 different kinds of lighting and fans tested that year, 51 were disqualified. Of the 35 televisions tested, two were disqualified. Energy Star caught on because it has something for everybody — ways for consumers to save money; ways for businesses to promote their efficient products; online calculators for those wanting deep dives into finding the ideal energy use; and for the rest of us, a simple little logo that tells us we’re buying one of the most energy-efficient products available. Paul Wesslund writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.


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AUTUMN AMBIENCE WITH COLORFUL UNDERTONES Keep color in your garden until winter freeze sets in BY VICKI SPENCER



eptember’s cooler evenings are refreshing after a hot summer, both for us and our gardens. It’s a good time to walk around your garden to see where you might add some seasonal color. As long as the soil remains warm, the roots of many transplants will take hold and they will grow until the ground freezes. A special bonus of adding plants in the fall — at least in normal years — is that garden centers offer bargains to reduce their inventories. Not only can you find lovely annuals, but spring-blooming bulbs, perennials, trees and shrubs may also go on sale. The question is: What can you plant to add fall color?

Sedum Autumn Joy (stonecrop)

Sedum is a favorite border plant and rock garden staple. Different varieties bloom in different seasons. Sedum Autumn Joy (stonecrop) has thick leaves with clusters of red flowers that appear in late summer. It flourishes in sun and partial shade and requires little moisture. Unlike other perennials, it doesn’t require deadheading. The flower heads provide great interest during



the winter, but you should remove any accumulated debris to discourage damaging insects staying over the winter. You can pair Sedum Autumn Joy — which typically grows 18 inches — with flowering shrubs, roses and other perennials like coneflowers, crotons and celosia. It’s best to plant coneflowers in the spring, but if you find transplants, they will bloom in the fall. Crotons also bloom during the fall, and their vein patterns are striking on their fall-colored leaves. Both require well-drained soil and six hours of sunlight to continue blooming until the first frost. Celosia adds great fall color with its red, orange or yellow flowers. Varieties grow from 6 inches to 3 feet tall, so chose one depending upon placement in your garden. Celosia thrives in full to partial shade but is hearty enough to handle cooler temperatures. Its spike-shaped blooms contrast nicely with sedum and coneflowers. Chrysanthemums, or mums, also offer wonderful fall color, but should not be paired with sedum because of different water requirements. While both plants enjoy full sun and well-drained soil, chrysanthemums’ shallow roots require more water. Fall-blooming chrysanthemums are particularly eye-catching when other flowers begin to fade away. Plant varieties that grow only a few inches tall along borders and taller versions further back. Although it’s fun to add fall flowers

Chrysanthemums (or mums)

to your garden, pinks and purples from nonedible, leafy vegetables are also stunning. It’s difficult to describe the dramatic effect of ornamental kale with green leaves wrapped around purple leaves, which, in turn, embrace pinkish-white centers. Ornamental cabbage is similarly striking with its green and purple leaves. Both ornamentals grow best in full sun and welldrained soil, but hold up well in cooler fall temperatures. Keeping with this color scheme, you could add purple, pink and blue asters. Regardless of your color preferences, there are many options available to create a garden that remains colorful throughout the fall. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

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


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

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

France’s Weight Loss Breakthrough

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

Double Blind Clinical Results

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

How It Works

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

Approved By Top Doctors

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

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

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

110% Money Back Guarantee

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

How To Get OxiTrim

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



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Remembering a canine sidekick that seemed to know everything BY DENNIS SMITH OUTDOORS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG


WINNERS August 2020 Kyleigh Lawler, Steamboat Springs Glenn Whiteside, Monument Sharon Beagles, Durango

ENTER TO WIN Visit our Contests page at coloradocountrylife.coop to enter the latest Colorado Country Life contest.


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Smith’s dog Bailey.


y some incredibly serendipitous twist of fate, the first hunting dog the boys and I ever owned turned out to be one of those uniquely talented, once-in-a-lifetime retrievers every duck hunter dreams about. He was a remarkably gifted black Lab we named Moses, whose eagerness to please and innate ability to find and retrieve downed waterfowl under the most extremely challenging conditions bordered on the supernatural. We bought him as a pup from an old farmer on the west side of Loveland who told us straight up, “This here pup ain’t gonna be no cutesy-pie show dog or field trial champ. He’ll be a feisty, big-boned rascal with webbed feet, lungs like a race horse and a heart to match. He’s got a lot of Newfie in his blood and he was bred to hunt. Period. He’s only 8 weeks old but he probably already knows more about duck huntin’ than the three of you put together. You can teach him to sit, stay and come if you like, but when it comes to fetchin’ ducks just stay the hell out of his way. Learn to trust his instincts; he’ll know exactly what to do and how to do it.” The old farmer’s words proved to be astoundingly prophetic. In time, we learned Moses could tell when ducks were on the horizon long before we could see them; that he would brave blinding snowstorms, sleet, rain, howling winds and icy whitecaps to make a retrieval and love every minute of it; and that he could swim underwater in pursuit of diving ducks if that’s what it took to bring home the prize. Moses has been gone for over three decades now, but the boys and I still talk about him. In fact, not a waterfowl season goes by that we don’t find ourselves dredging up our favorite memories of “Ol’ Mo,” as we sometimes called him: “Remember the time Ol’ Mo retrieved his first goose? Damned thing was twice as big as he was, but it didn’t scare him none. How ‘bout the time we saw him dive underwater to retrieve a bufflehead in that vicious November storm on Simpson Ponds and then lost sight of him in the swirling snow?” We were horrifyingly certain he had drowned in the raging whitecaps, but then he showed up back at the blind 20 minutes later, dumped the duck at our feet and stood there looking at us like we owed him money. We were properly stunned — and thankful beyond measure that he actually survived. Moses, of course, was unfazed by it all. Recently, three more Labs have come into our lives. Sisters from the same litter, they share the natural Labrador instinct to hunt, but one of them, Bailey, is so excessively intense, driven and crazy to retrieve that we sometimes wonder if she could be related to Ol’ Mo. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.


Cruising To Victory

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Please accept my order for the “Cruising To Victory Denver Broncos Woody Wagon” tribute as described in this announcement. *Add a total of $14.99 for shipping & service, and sales tax; see HamiltonCollection.com. All orders are subject to product availability and credit approval. Limited to 95 casting days. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for shipment after your initial payment.

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

970-759-3455 or 970-565-1256 Stop feeding prairie dogs. We’ll rent hunting rights from you.

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


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


Want to work from home? Tired of the scams?

We are a legitimate work from home company Call Carrie 303-579-4207

Live Healthy Retire Younger www.LiveHealthyRetireYounger.com

Bob’s Clock Shop

Clocks of all kinds repaired Watch Batteries 970-247-7729 ClockRepairAndRestoration.comDurango


for minerals and oil/gas interests, producing and non-producing.



I want to purchase mineral and other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201


Protective Sleeves: 100% Guaranteed

America’s Barn Builders

Proud supporter of our military.

Serving the Entire State of Colorado

Business For Sale


Advertise in MarketPlace and everyone will know your BUSINESS. Contact Kris Wendtland for information 303-902-7276 coloradocountrylife.coop



• Prevents Cuts & Scratches • Durable Soft Leather • Adjustable Air-Flow

armchaps.com • 651-492-4830

Stay Home


and take our Factory and Model Home Tours online. See for yourself - a better way to build with our offsite construction system. Better, Faster, More Efficient, More Enjoyable

Watch our Tour Online & Follow Us on Facebook @heritagehomesofne

1320 E 7th Street, Wayne, NE 402-375-4770 | hhofne.com





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COMMUNITY EVENTS Due to COVID-19, some of these events may be canceled, modified or rescheduled. Please contact the host of the events if you have any questions.

September 2020 Throughout September Canon City

Daily Train Rides Royal Gorge Route Railroad royalgorgeroute.com

Throughout September Online

Denver Botanic Garden’s Fall Plant & Bulb Sale botanicgardens.org

Now Through November 28 Pueblo “Difficult History: Owning the Western Myth” Exhibition Sangre de Cristo Arts Center 719-295-7200 • sdc-arts.org

Saturdays Through September 12 Aspen

Drive-In Movie Night Aspen Snowmass’ Buttermilk Parking Lot • Advance Reservations Required aspensnowmass.com

Wednesdays Throughout September Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s Facebook Live

“Night Skies of Fort Collins” Presentations • fcmod.org • facebook. com/FOCOMOD

Thursday Through Sunday Until September 13 Dillon High Alpine Adventure Aerial Adventure Park at Arapahoe Basin • Advance Reservations Required arapahoebasin.com

Thursdays Through September 24 Snowmass Brews, Bands & Bingo Snowmass Base Village and Snowmass Mall 5-7 pm • gosnowmass.com/events

Saturdays Through September 26 Copper “Retro Reels” Drive-In Movie Copper Mountain’s Center Village Parking Lot Advance Reservations Required coppercolorado.com

Friday-Sunday Through September 27 Winter Park

Guided Cirque Hike Winter Park Resort Advance Reservations Required winterparkresort.com

September 5 Kremmling

“Walk for Life” 5K Run and Family Walk Middle Park Fair & Rodeo Grounds 970-887-3617 pregnancyresourceconnection.org

September 9 Pueblo

Sensory Friendly Morning Sangre de Cristo Arts Center Advance Reservations Required 10 am-12 pm • sdc-arts.org

September 12-13 Castle Rock

Artfest Downtown Castle Rock 303-688-4597 • castlerock.org

September 12 Colorado Springs

“Be Bear Aware!” Presentation and Hike Bear Creek Nature Center Prepaid Registration Required 9:30-10:45 am • elpasoco.com

September 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27 Golden “Day Out With Thomas™” Train Ride Colorado Railroad Museum Advance Tickets Required 866-468-7630 dayoutwiththomas.com

September 12 New Raymer

Friends of Raymer Car Show Downtown New Raymer 10 am • friendsofraymer.com

September 15 Virtual

SEND CALENDAR ITEMS 2 MONTHS IN ADVANCE Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303455-2807; or email calendar@ coloradocountrylife.org. Please send name of event, date, time, venue, brief description, phone number, a photo, if you have one, and email and/or website for more information. September 26 Fruita

“So, Just What is a Democracy Anyway?” Virtual Lecture 7 pm • h-co.org/democracy-lectures

National Alpaca Farm Days Open House 2034 J Road 10 am-3 pm • 970-858-8866

September 18 Durango

September 26-November 1 Loveland and Online

“Colors of the West” Artist Reception Sorrel Sky Gallery 5-7 pm • sorrelsky.com

September 19 Colorado Springs

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day Fox Run Regional Park Preregistration Required 9-11 am • 719-520-6977

September 25-27 Breckenridge

oktober-FEAST Various Restaurants Advance Reservations Required gobreck.com

Governor’s Art Show Loveland Museum governorsartshow.org

September 26 Nationwide

National Public Lands Day Free Admission National Parks Nationwide nps.gov

September 30 Fountain

First Aid, CPR and AED Classes Fountain Creek Nature Center Preregistration Required 6-7:30 pm • 719-520-6977

SMART START: Savvy tips to kick off a new school year Returning to learning may bring more new experiences this fall than anyone ever imagined. Regardless of the learning environment, here are two quick tips that can make it easier on the whole family to restart curriculum.


Don’t Overlook Organization

Staying organized during school season is a goal for many families, and one of the best ways to do so is with an option like ClosetMaid Mini 6 Cube Organizers, which are refreshed versions of old favorites. Use these organizers — also available in matching offset designs — on flat surfaces or mounted on the wall to store, organize and display any number of small items. Find more solutions for the school year at closetmaid.com.



#2 Make Lunchtime Easy

You can make lunchtime fun, flavorful and easy for your little learner with Sabra Singles, a plant-based snack perfect for kids. Pair with classics like carrots, cucumbers, tortilla chips or pretzels. They’re available in varieties like classic and roasted red pepper hummus and allow kids to help themselves and make lunchtime a cinch. Find more inspiration at sabra.com.




On Memorial Day Surrender to my shadow, and I’ll run my fingers through the smoke of your passage: two wraiths in the midnight quiet.

My birthday is 9/11, so my sons

Under pale disguises, the moon tricks our lips into almost touching; our eyes speaking volumes across this cold stone that ripples gently with your name …

Judy-Suzanne Sadler, Cortez Empire Electric consumer-member

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


always try to make it extra special. Their dad took both boys shopping and my 10-year-old knew exactly what he wanted. They went to Zales, bought it and then took me out for dinner. Our 5-year-old was so excited about the present that he couldn’t wait any longer. At the end of dinner he blurted out, “We got you a necklace, Mommy!” His older brother was quite indignant and chastised, “No! It’s a surprise — you’re not supposed to tell!” Then, trying to figure out how to recover the situation, my elder son looked at me and smirked, “But you don’t know how many pictures it holds!” Val Crockett, Pagosa Springs

I had just planted a brand-new

lavender plant in my large backyard only to discover the following morning that my dog, a large hound, had scraped at the earth around it and deposited, with great precision, a single, very large poop precisely on top of it. When I rang my daughter and told her, she said, “Oh, he was just trying to make ‘poo’ pourri!” Susan H. Merl, Pueblo West

I was visiting my 98-year-old

brother in the nursing home when an aide walked by and said, “Hello, mister.” My brother asked if she called him “stupid” and I told him she said “mister.” He then whispered, “Oh, I was afraid they found out!” Terry Wallace, Springfield Grand Valley Power consumer-member Leona Koti enjoys her copy of CCL while visiting the San Juan River Scenic Overlook at Pagosa Springs.

Sangre de Cristo consumer-member Christina King visits Hagerman Tunnel near Turquoise Lake.


Mountain View Electric consumer-member Chris Rosenblad reads Colorado Country Life while undergoing her first chemo treatment.

WINNER: Pamela Flowers of Pagosa Springs, a La Plata Electric Association consumer-member, enjoys her copy of CCL under the Colorado sun.

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

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year we will draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person will receive $200. Send your 2020 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@coloradocountrylife. org. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check.




It’s All About Our Pets Discover the local go-to item for your four-legged friend

Walk this Way

Alleviate Animal Ailments It’s agony when anxiety, disease and old age pain our pets. But CBDs (cannabinoids) are gaining ground with humans and animals alike and, when made properly, can help ease several ailments. Wheat Ridge-based Suzie’s CBD treats is passionate about its oils and treats for canines, felines and equines, and assures customers that each product is organic, human grade and full spectrum, meaning they contain all the naturally occurring parts of the plant. And pets love them. For more information, call 720-576-8151 or visit suziespettreats.com.

Doggie Delicacies Picky pooches like Max, Colorado Country Life’s Production Manager Cassi Gloe’s pup, chooses Smart Cookie Bakery treats every time. The Golden-based company offers its customers handcrafted treats made “using real ingredients, in a real kitchen by real people.” Ingredients like duck, rabbit, carrots, blueberries and barley are baked to perfection and ready to get your doggy drooling. For more information, call 720-466-9878 or visit smartcookietreats.com.



Leashes by Liz hand makes leashes, collars and harnesses using durable paracord sourced in the United States. The Strasburgbased company offers its braided accessories in sizes from extra small to extra large and in a wide range of colors. It details them with sturdy links, snaps or clips. The products are mold and mildew resistant, chew resistant and sealed with more than 1,000 degrees of heat to prevent breakdown. For more information, visit leashesbyliz.com.

Figures for Your Imagination Joan Cabarrus began creating customized sculptures of pets in 2018. “I wanted to help people who are grieving from pet loss,” the Golden resident says. The sculptures look like miniature versions of the pets and include special details such as a favorite toy or treat — and can even include a hidden urn, at the customer’s request. Since the onset of COVID-19, Cabarrus began focusing on writing book tutorials to help her and others find creative ways to stay busy at home. Find out more about Cabarrus’ books and sculptures at jfcrn.com.


10 Masks per Pack


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20 Gallon, 135 PSI Oil-Lube Air Compressor


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3/8" x 14 ft., Grade 43 Towing Chain $ 99

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Pricing, promotions, and availability may vary by location and at www.harborfreight.com and are subject to change without notice. We reserve the right to limit quantities. “Compare to” advertised price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. Although we make every effort to assure that our prices and products are advertised as accurately as possible, we are only human and in the event an error is made, we reserve the right to correct it.

By 2024 we’re bringing over 1 gigawatt of wind and solar resources online, meaning 50% of the energy our cooperative family consumes will come from renewables.

Projects coming online by 2024 Niyol Wind | 200 MW Logan and Washington Counties, CO

Dolores Canyon Solar | 110 MW Dolores County, CO

Crossing Trails Wind | 104 MW Kit Carson County, CO

Axial Basin Solar | 145 MW Moffat County, CO

Spanish Peaks II Solar | 40 MW Las Animas County, CO

Escalante Solar | 200 MW McKinley County, NM

Coyote Gulch Solar | 120 MW La Plata County, CO

Spanish Peaks Solar | 100 MW Las Animas County, CO

To learn about how we are increasing clean energy, visit www.tristate.coop/responsibleenergyplan

Profile for American MainStreet Publications

Colorado Country Life September 2020 White River  

Colorado Country Life September 2020 White River

Colorado Country Life September 2020 White River  

Colorado Country Life September 2020 White River

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