Colorado Country Life November 2020 Poudre Valley

Page 1










Volume 51

Number 11


“Autumn Day at Rampart Reservoir” by Adrian Veghte, a consumer-member of Mountain View Electric Association.















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


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

Colorado Country Life posted: For #EnergyEfficiency Day we’re sharing these ways to conserve and save money here: https://www.tristategt. org/3-energy-conservation-tips-you-cant-afford-miss

On the

Cover NOVEMBER 2020


Monthly Contest



Want a free book? You could win one of the books featured in this month’s magazine (pages 12-14 and 22) as well as additional titles featured exclusively on our website. Visit and click on the Contests tab to find out how to enter.


Books by Colorado authors printed by Colorado publishers on Colorado subjects are featured in this year’s book reviews. Illustration by Geoff Tice.

Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: Happy National Farmer’s Day! Colorado’s rural electric cooperatives are grateful to our local farmers who help to keep our bellies full of nourishing food!



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

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




Poudre Valley REA PO Box 272550 Fort Collins, CO 80527

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair Steven Anderson Larimer County

Director Thaine Michie Larimer County

Vice Chair Rick Johnson Larimer County

Director Jan Peterson Larimer County

Secretary James Fender Larimer County

Director Jack Schneider Weld County

Director Bryan Ehrlich Larimer County

Director Ronald Sutherland Boulder County

Director Peter Hyland Weld County


t’s hard to believe we are nearing the end of 2020. This year, in particular, I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for; my family, my health and the great people I get to work alongside. And while our purpose is to provide safe and reliable energy to you, the consumer-members we serve, our “why” is what truly drives us to be a catalyst for good in our local community. Lorem ipsum Part of being this catalyst is doing all we can to keep electricity affordable. I’m very pleased and proud to formally announce we will not be raising rates in 2021 - putting us at five straight

years without a rate increase. In these uncertain times, we hope this news is something that gives you a sense of stableness and assurance. Speaking of being proud, I wanted to share with you that our cooperative is also a leader in the region when it comes to keeping the cost of electricity down as shown in the illustration. Our ability to keep rates affordable and stable starts with the leadership and sound strategic direction from your Board of Directors and is carried out each day by our dedicated employee team. Our rate stabilization efforts are not stopping at 2021. We are committed to do everything we can to keep costs down now and in the future. We are continually looking for applications of technology and process that we can streamline to allow us to do more with less.


We have also worked with our power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, to move the needle in becoming more efficient and implement an aggressive rate reduction process that should result in lower wholesale power rates by 2023. This is especially important to the members of PVREA as 80% of our expenses are paid to Tri-State for wholesale power. What this means is we are putting money back into your pockets with no foreseeable increases in the years to come. As I reflect on the year and o% o% o% prepare to give 2014 I2015am2016 thanks filled with gratitude towards our members, communities and employees. It’s been a unique and challenging year, but together we have rallied to meet those challenges, proving just how strong our community is in Northern Colorado. In closing, serving our members is at the heart and soul of who we are as an organization. After all, that’s what being a cooperative is all about. If there’s anything we can do to help you, whether providing energy-saving advice to help lower your monthly bill or discussing payment plan options during these difficult times, please reach out to us at 800-432-1012 or And from all of us at PVREA, Happy Thanksgiving!






CCL Readers Send Fan Mail

Thank you for two fascinating articles (August ’20). The story on Marvel Crosson was especially interesting to me, as she was from my Logan County. Then I turn the page to another excellent article on women’s right to vote in Colorado. Both articles were informative and enjoyable. Helen Duncan, Crook Highline Electric consumer-member Reading the letters in the August issue, I had to wonder if it was “pile on the editor month?” I appreciate the myriad articles that showcase our state and region, our people, our diversity, our different lifestyles. I like the recipes. (On a low-carb diet, I am always looking for fruit and veggie fare.) Vicki Felmlee, Grand Junction Grand Valley Power consumer-member



Best. Issue. Ever. (September ’20) John Shupe, Cuchara San Isabel Electric consumermember

Great Woman of Flight

I was sorry to hear of Emily Warner’s passing. (From the Editor, August ’20). She was my first flight instructor. She worked at Clinton Aviation at Denver’s Stapleton airport. I will never forget the day I flew solo. She called my brother, who was a pilot also; he was there when I landed. Very thoughtful of her. I accumulated over 3,000 hours of flight time and became an air traffic controller for 25 years. Over the years, I ran into her at airports — she remembered me. She will be missed. Donald Anderson, Oak Creek Yampa Valley Electric consumer-member


Thankful for the kindness of strangers BY MONA NEELEY



s I write this in early October, my husband and I have just returned from a motorcycle trip to view Colorado’s autumn splendor. It’s a trip that almost didn’t happen. I got sick our first day out. We were coming down Kenosha Pass into South Park when I got really lightheaded and nauseated — neither of which works well on the back of a Harley-Davidson Road King. My husband pulled off the road and I got violently sick by the side of Highway 285. An older couple stopped to check on us, offering a package of wipes and their assistance. Another passerby gave me a bottle of juice she had. And then there was Jody,


Photo Contes t




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.


Read full rules and enter online at

Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or mneeley@ Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length.

a woman driving to Telluride, who MONA NEELEY turned around to help. I couldn’t shake the dizziness and, with it, I couldn’t sit on the back of the bike. Jody offered to drive me to Fairplay while my husband rode the bike. Once there, we got a room. I drank lots of water and rested as it seemed my problem was a combination of elevation and dehydration. The next morning I was ready to go, but only thanks to the kindness of strangers.



PVREA’s Response to the Cameron Peak Fire


he Cameron Peak fire began August 13 in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. A combination of high winds, rugged terrain and critically dry fuels create uncertain fire conditions with lasting growth. This unprecedented fire has burned over 200,000 acres and is the largest in Colorado’s history. Many of our members, employees, families and friends have been affected by evacuations or structure loss. Our hearts go out to all of those who have been impacted. And while the fire rages, our line crews are working to protect what they can, and rebuild infrastructure as needed. Thank you to all the first responders for their continued work to keep our community safe and to our linemen and contractors who are working to finish the repairs to our system. And a special thank you to all our members who have been impacted for their patience and support. This has certainly been a year full of surprises. But no matter what, we worked together to overcome the many challenges we faced. As we look forward, we remain committed to our northern Colorado communities and the members we serve. Together we will power on.

As an electric cooperative, our top priority is always to provide reliable, affordable energy to you, the members we serve. Because we are a co-op, our mission is to enrich the lives of our members and serve the long-term interests of our local community. We know you’re counting on us.

Check out the activity on the next page for our mini-members! Take a picture of the completed activity with your kiddo, post on social media and tag @PoudreValleyREA, or send your photo to for a chance to win a $10 credit to your account!





Honoring Our Veterans

ovember 11 is Veterans Day. We honor the men and women who have served to protect our country and our freedom. The commitment and sacrafice from these individuals does not go unnoticed and we express our gratitude this month and every month and encourage our readers to do the same. At a national level, we are proud to be among several electric co-ops across the country to support the “Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country” program, a nationwide initiative aimed at employing and honoring veterans, military service members, and their spouses and encourage all to express gratitude to those who have worn a uniform. We also want to say a special thanks to PVREA members who have served and PVREA employees who are veterans. Our employees that are veterans are: Craig Harney, Jim Hottinger, Lennie Jordan, Ben Ludington, Frank Pedersen, Mike Kroells, Tom Bullock, Kyle Norden, and Matt Truelove.

PVREA Board of Directors Election Information


VREA’s Annual Meeting and election for the Board of Directors is being held on April 17, 2021. Any member in good standing that meets the Bylaw qualifications may petition to run for the Board of Directors. There are three director positions up for election in 2021: two in Larimer County and one in Weld County. To run for the Board of Directors, submit a candidate packet and petition. More information is online at • • • • • •


Candidate packets and petitions available after noon on December 17, 2020 Petition packets due at noon, March 3, 2021 Ballots mailed March 18, 2021 Mail balloting closes 11:00 a.m., April 16, 2021 Ballots tabulated April 16 & 17, 2021 On-site balloting April 17, 2021


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PVREA Donates to Local Organizations


ver the last five years, PVREA has organized the NoCo Gives Back Food Drive with many orgranizations across our service territory to give back to those in need in the communities we live in. We recognize the importance of supporting our communities, now more than ever, and didn’t want to let this year’s support slip under the rug. This year, rather than the food drive, PVREA gave $2000 each to the Weld Food Bank, Food Bank of Larimer County and Boulder Food Rescue. We are proud to continue our partnerships with local organizations that prioritize concern and support for the community. These organizations are in need of volunteers on a regular basis and if you are interested, we encourage you to visit each of their websites or give them a call to arrange time to volunteer.

Boulder Food Rescue

Food Bank for Larimer County

Weld Food Bank

November 2020

Happy Thanksgiving! Our office will be closed November 26 and 27 for the holiday.

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month

Keep cold air out to save energy. Seal air leaks around pipes and any gaps around chimneys and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Source:



How to Breathe Easy About Your Home’s Air Quality AND



lthough some speculate that sealing a home too tight can lead to air quality issues, the truth is the average home loses about half its air volume every hour, so it can be sealed considerably — often at a low cost — and still have more than enough healthy air. Pollutants are the main cause of poor indoor air quality, and the most dangerous pollutant is carbon monoxide. It can come from furnaces, water heaters or stoves that burn natural gas, propane or wood. The problem usually occurs in devices that are old, in need of repair or installed or operated in a manner that prevents clear, unobstructed supply and exhaust of combustion air. How do you ensure healthy indoor air as you increase your home’s energy efficiency? The first strategy, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is to eliminate or reduce the source of pollution, and the first pollutant to eliminate is carbon monoxide. If you have a combustion furnace, it should be inspected and serviced regularly by a professional. If you have any combustion appliances, it is critical that carbon monoxide detectors are installed. If you live in an area with radon, which you can determine by checking out the EPA’s radon map, keep it out of your home because it is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon tests are inexpensive, and your local health authorities can provide more information. If radon levels are too high, hire a professional to install

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Well sealed windows will prevent condensation buildup and help reduce your home’s energy cost.

a system that will divert radon gas to the outside of your home. The second strategy is ventilation. Your home probably has more than enough natural ventilation from outside air leaking into the home. If you suspect this isn’t adequate, the best way to know for sure is to hire an energy auditor to do a blower door test. The third and final strategy is to clean the air. The easiest step is to simply change your furnace filter at least once every three months and keep your furnace supply and return air registers free of obstructions. If any rooms do not have an air return, keep the doors open. We hope these suggestions will be helpful as you seal air leaks in your home while also enjoying fresh, healthy indoor air. This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen of Collaborative Efficiency.


Energy Efficiency Ways to Save Spending more time in the kitchen during the holiday season? Here’s one way to be more energy efficient: Unplug small kitchen appliances, like toaster ovens and microwaves, when not in use. You could save $10 to $20 per year. Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy




FROMAGE FOR FOODIES Creamy, dreamy cheeses you can make from scratch BY AMY HIGGINS

Want to try cheese making? Enter our November contest for your chance to win a copy of Tiny Goat, Big Cheese and a virtual cheese making class with Briar Gate Farm’s The Art of Cheese. Visit coloradocountrylife. coop and click on the Contests tab to find out how to enter.



Get a taste of the joy of cheese making.


ate Johnson, founder, owner and lead cheese making instructor at Briar Gate Farm in Longmont, recently added cookbook author to her resume. The cookbook, Tiny Goat, Big Cheese: A Farmto-Table Hobby to Career Odyssey, can help you make delectable cheeses such as chèvre, ricotta, feta, cottage cheese and more from the comfort of your own kitchen. In the book she also offers handy tips for goat keeping and cheese making. Before COVID-19, the award-winning cheese maker offered on-site cheese making classes at the Farm where she raises her Nubian and Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. She has since moved to a virtual platform. Check out the variety of upcoming classes at theartofcheese. com and get a taste of cheese making. In the meantime, give this recipe from her blog a go.

Lemony Baked Ricotta with Herbs Part I: Make your Handmade Artisan Ricotta

(You can opt to substitute homemade ricotta with store-bought. For store-bought ricotta, skip to Part II.)


zest of 1 lemon 1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbs* 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

baguette slices

1/4 teaspoon baking soda


2-3 cups fresh, warm ricotta

1 gallon whole milk (cow, goat or sheep milk will work) 3 tablespoons butter

STRAIGHT FROM KATE “This is a delicious appetizer recipe that you can make using store-bought ricotta or, better yet, make your own fresh ricotta. It’s so easy!”

Part II:

Add lemon zest to your warm ricotta and stir. Add 1 teaspoon of your favorite dried herb blend and mix into the lemony ricotta. Put 2 tablespoons of good olive oil in an oven-proof skillet or baking dish and swirl around to coat the dish. Spoon your ricotta mixture into the dish. Drizzle the top with a little more olive oil and sprinkle on remaining herbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned. Serve with lightly toasted baguette slices.

Heat milk in a heavy pot (double-clad stainless steel or enameled cast iron work well) to 185 degrees, stirring regularly to keep from scalding. Once milk is at 185 degrees, remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Stir for a couple of minutes. You should see curds begin to develop and eventually the milk they are floating in will look somewhat clear with a yellowish tinge. *“I like HerbSalt produced by Gayle’s If you don’t get this clear separation Salts out of Boulder, but you can use between the curds and whey, keep any blend of herbs you like. If your heating up to about 200 degrees and, blend doesn’t contain salt, add a pinch if needed, add another teaspoon or of nice sea salt to bring up the flavor.” two of vinegar. Ladle the curds into a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Drain for 1 minute. Add butter and baking soda; stir to blend.


Mystery of the Missing Train Car

National Recognition for Colorado Country Life


olorado Country Life magazine won three national awards in the recent National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Statewide Editors Association’s Willies Awards. Competing with 32 other electric cooperative statewide magazines, CCL won one first place award and two awards of merit. The magazine earned a first place gold award in the “Best Feature Communicating a Cooperative Principle” category with its May story by Amy Higgins titled “Co-ops Come Together During COVID-19.”

Written at the beginning of the pandemic, the story captured how Colorado’s electric co-ops adapted quickly to the new situation while continuing to meet their consumermembers’ needs. CCL Production Manager/Designer Cassi Gloe won an award of merit in the “Best Cover” category for her April cover design. Editor/Publisher Mona Neeley won an award of merit in the “Best Column” category for her December From the Editor column titled “Christmas Lights on a Cold, Dark Night.”



lectric cooperatives received $6 million in a cooperative agreement between the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop the co-ops’ groundbreaking cybersecurity tool know as Essence. The tool uses sophisticated, real-time anomaly detection to identify and warn of possible network breaches. The DOE funds will be used for a three-year development, deployment and testing of advanced technology at 55 electric co-ops across the country. This next step, Essence 2.0, will enable the utility industry to share characteristics of an incident to help detect whether or not a large, coordinated cyberattack is being attempted. “The DOE award will allow us to continue to advance the platform’s usefulness for industry and strengthen our capabilities for protecting our nation’s power grid,” said Doug Lambert of NRECA’s grid solutions department.

Do you have the missing train car on your back 40? In the aftermath of World War II, the United States gathered resources to send to its European allies. The “American Friendship Train” traveled to depots across the United States collecting relief items, such as food, clothing and children’s toys, that were then shipped to France, Italy and England. In response to America’s generosity, France sent a gift-filled decorative train car for each of the 48 states in existence at the time, plus one train car to be shared between Hawaii and Washington, D.C. The train cars were part of what was affectionately known as the “Merci Train,” an homage to the French word for “thank you.” Of the 49 Merci Train cars sent to the United States in 1949, only 43 remain today. Six cars were either scrapped or burned or are simply missing. Colorado’s Merci Train car is missing. The Colorado Railroad Museum hopes that a Colorado Country Life reader can help. The museum has reason to believe that this special train car ended up on a Colorado ranch that belongs to an American legionnaire. The missing car is approximately 20 feet long, 8 feet wide and about 8 feet tall. The wheels may still be intact, or it could just be the boxcar alone. It’s possible that the boxcar was repurposed into a storage shed or a chicken coop. Can you help solve this mystery? Contact the Colorado Railroad Museum at 720-247-5159 if you know anything about Colorado’s Merci Train car.






REVIEWED BY JULIE SIMPSON Looking for a way to bring some excitement to your life? Look no further than this collection of nail-biting, page-turning, can’tput-it-down mysteries from Colorado authors. From the shores of Nantucket to the vineyards of Oregon, travel with these investigators, sleuths and searchers as they uncover the clues and bring the bad guys to justice. Family secrets will be learned, victims

First Tracks

By Catherine O’Connell Ski patroller Greta Westerlind remembers the roar, the panic and the crushing snow of the avalanche that put her in the hospital. What she can’t remember is why she was on that dangerous part of the mountain in the first place, or why her friend Warren was with her. He is dead, and she is crippled by amnesia and guilt. Maybe her confidence in her skiing skill spurred her to make a fatal choice. But when a suspicious furnace malfunction almost kills her again, then someone tries to set her cabin on fire, Greta realizes she and Warren may be the targets in a murder plot. But why?



will be avenged and disaster will be averted. More importantly, through all these reads, you will be left guessing until the last chapter. In addition to mysteries, we also have a great selection of romance, thrillers, young adult and nonfiction titles for you to discover here and on our website at Happy reading!

From the slopes of Aspen, Colorado, to the famed ski resorts of the Alps, follow Greta through this harrowing mystery of false identities, love and murder.

Death on Tuckernuck By Francine Mathews

A Category 3 hurricane is bearing down on Nantucket, throwing the usually sleepy off-season seaside community into chaos. As a part of their job as caretakers, Dionis Mather and her father must evacuate all residents off the private island of Tuckernuck, whether they want to go or not. When she returns one last time to the island, Dionis finds herself trapped, not just by the storm, but by a suspicious person who shouldn’t be there either. Detective Meredith Folger is supposed to be getting married this weekend, but between the storm and a wrecked private yacht with two gunshot victims aboard, it looks like

her party might be postponed. Despite her personal worries and the raging storm, Merry has to find the murderer wherever he’s holed up against the weather … before he kills again. A well-written mystery set in unique circumstances, Death on Tuckernuck is the latest engaging Merry Folger thriller by Colorado author Francine Mathews.

Her Perfect Life

By Rebecca Taylor Author Clare Collins seemed to have the perfect life: fame, lots of money and a loving husband. So when she is found dead by her own hand, everyone is asking: Why would someone with everything commit suicide? No one is more confused than Clare’s sister, Eileen. She always envied the charmed

COVER STORY life her sister led, a life that looked perfect compared to her own mess. Why would Clare throw it all away? Eileen travels to Clare’s house and learns about the sister she never really knew. Clare’s last novel might hold the key to unlocking the secret burden she carried, the heavy truth that led her to put a bullet in her own heart. With Her Perfect Life, Colorado author Rebecca Taylor has crafted a thoroughly entertaining page-turner that examines the destructive power of our own false narratives.

Killing Godiva’s Horse By J. M. Mitchell

New Mexico, Montana, Washington, D.C. and Kenya. What do these places have in common? The clash between environmentalists, corporate business interests and politicians, with park ranger Jack Chastain in the middle of it all. After a devastating loss in Montana, Jack finds himself again trying to make peace in the middle of a war over public land. This time he must negotiate among a deadbeat rancher, a two-faced politician and the people trying to preserve the presence of wild horses in the national park. After he’s reprimanded for his efforts, Jack travels to Kenya to try to help a fellow ranger continue the research of a murdered scientist. What he learns about poaching in Kenya might just be the key he needs to solve the conflict in New Mexico. But will the tables be turned on him in a repeat of what happened in Montana? This dense, well-researched environmental mystery thriller comes out of Colorado author J. M. Mitchell’s own experiences during a long career in the National Park Service.

Virtues of Strangers


If you have any association with life in a small, rural town, then you’ll enjoy the Jemma Series by Colorado author Sharon McAnear. In book six, Virtues of Strangers, Jemma is married to the love of her life with kids and another one on the way. But when her handsome husband spends more time at work than with her and hires a gorgeous new assistant, will their picture-perfect life implode? While Chillaton, Texas, gossips about Jemma and Chase, a small town postmistress also investigates the odd affairs of her recently deceased husband. Was he a boring old fisherman or a secret Mafia member? And what is his connection to the strange old woman who recently moved to town? A unique blend of mystery and love story, this novel about small-town life draws on the memories of the author’s own grandmother.

What if there was a way to capture a memory, turn it into a computer program and then send it back into the brain so a person could experience it, in real time, all over again? That’s the technology that Helena Smith wants to develop, motivated by her own mother’s slow decline into the oblivion of Alzheimer’s. But Helena cannot anticipate the connection her invention makes between memory and the actual fabric of time, or the endlessly twisting and inevitably destructive complications that result. Neither can she untangle the webs that tie her in every timeline to Barry Sutton, an ordinary New York City cop, or the egomaniacal machinations of Marcus Slade. Maybe she can find a way to close the Pandora’s box she opened. Or maybe she should just live her life the best she can before the world ends. In his craziest, most mind-bending story yet, Colorado author Blake Crouch has created yet another stunning science fiction thriller with Recursion.

By Sharon McAnear

Denver City Justice By J.v.L. Bell

Mi l lie and D om Drouillard are finally married and ready to settle into marital bliss, tired of the drama that used to follow them wherever they went. But when the infamous blackmailer Widow Ferris is found dead with an icicle through her heart, the people of Denver City start pointing fingers — at Dom. Millie finds that being a wife enhances her penchant for sleuthing as she seeks answers that will prove her husband is innocent of murder. But all men have secrets. If she digs deep enough, will the man she loves turn out to be a secret scoundrel? Colorado author J.v.L. Bell has crafted another classic whodunit rich with both history and humor.

By Blake Crouch


By John A. Daly What would a group of possible cult-followers want with a long-empty, retired nuclear missile site on the eastern plains of Colorado? For Sean Coleman there has never been anything remotely threatening or dangerous about his solo existence as the caretaker of this rarely visited museum and records archive. He’s drifted through his days and filled his nights with booze. But once his solitude is interrupted by a mysterious group with guns and the members force their way into the missile site with vague references to a specific timeline, COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2020


COVER STORY he realizes he has to find his own way out of their mad plan. What was once a slow day on the plains west of Greeley becomes a fight for survival. The missile silo setting for this fourth book in the Sean Coleman Thriller series by Greeley author John A. Daly actually exists in rural Weld County.


The Dog Who Took Me Up a Mountain By Rick Crandall and Joseph Cosgriff

All pet owners love their dogs, but every once in a while a special pet comes along that not only makes a life better, but also actually changes it forever. For author Rick Crandall, that special dog was an


By Harper McDavid A smart mouth gets the fiery Avery McAndrews in trouble when her insolence offends the son of a Mexican cartel leader. Follow her desperate race across Mexico, one step ahead of a return to captivity, in this book by Denver resident and author Harper McDavid.

Boulder Girl, Remember Me When the Moon Hangs Low By Cynthia L. Clark

Unrelenting suspense is interwoven with a love story in this first novel by Colorado author Cynthia Clark. A pretty Boulderite editor hires an unscrupulous locksmith to change the locks at her home after a divorce. The locksmith suffers from delusions and jealousy that keep the reader turning the pages to find out what he’ll do next.

Mesa Verde Victim By Scott Graham

Fast-paced and filled with deadly double-dealings, this sixth book in Durango



Australian terrier named Emme. Emme didn’t let her show dog status or short legs keep her from climbing Colorado’s 14ers. For Rick, hiking with Emme brought a newfound passion and better physical health in the aftermath of a divorce and financial loss. She may have been small, but Emme’s extraordinary life had a big impact on Rick and others who knew her.

Colorado’s Carlino Brothers: A Bootlegging Empire By Sam Carlino

Think that all the brutal, moonshine-running, bullets-spraying Mafia action only

author Scott Graham’s National Park Mystery Series includes accusations of murder and a mystery that dates back to the late 1800s. This quick read shares insights into local lore and southwester n C olorado’s historical significance.

happened in New York and Chicago? Think again. Colorado had its own family of gangsters who controlled the alcohol black market during Prohibition: the Carlinos. Written by the grandson of one of the infamous Carlino brothers, this record of a wild and dangerous time in Colorado history is a well-researched true story that reads like a novel. Sam Carlino traces his family from Italy to Colorado and then to its eventual hasty departure to California. For an exciting, informative glimpse into Colorado history, complete with fascinating family photos, read this book.

Lewis, a gorgeous, famous football star, walks into her bar, everything changes. This thoroughly entertaining romance is written by an actual Colorado NFL wife.

Stolen Heart The Legend of Carl Draco By Gary Reilly

This novel mixes contemporary magical realism with the rich tradition of American tall tales to create an entertaining, well-written and utterly unique story that appeals to a variety of readers. This is the 13th posthumously published manuscript of the late author Gary Reilly, who grew up in Colorado.


By Alexa Martin Brynn Sterling built a successful downtown Denver bar, has a close group of girlfriends — including the wives of many Mustangs football players — and enjoys a close relationship with her dad. But when Maxwell

By K.L. McKee The instant Abby Stewart agrees to pretend to be her boss’s fianćee for two weeks, she deeply regrets it. But the promise she made her dying mother to pay off her con-artist father’s debt continues to hang over her head, and the money her boss offers for the charade would really help. A feel-good story about family and forgiveness, Stolen Heart takes place within the familiar landscape of the Rocky Mountains.

MORE BOOK REVIEWS ONLINE Read more extensive reviews of these books and others at




olorado’s electric cooperatives have a reputation of staying on top of innovation and energy efficiency, and while heat pumps aren’t new to the beneficial electricity market, their advancements are. Cold-climate, air source heat pump (ccASHP) is one of the latest innovations in beneficial electrification. These products can reduce air pollution and energy costs by switching from direct fossil fuels, like propane or natural gas, to electric resources that emit less carbon emissions. “Overall, [ccASHPs] emit less carbon per unit of heat than burning fossil fuels,” explains Tri-State Generation and Transmission Relationship Manager Peter Rusin. “As [Tri-State] implements its Responsible Energy Plan, over the next four years and over the next 10, that gap is only going to grow compared to propane and natural gas — that’s going to be much better for the environment.”

Rebates available on new coldclimate, air source heat pumps Unlike the heat pumps of years past, today’s heat pumps include variable speed, or inverter, technology that allows them to operate over a wider range of temperatures. “So, instead of going down to 40 or 35 degrees where that heat pump is working before you need a backup, now we’re seeing systems get down to negative 13, negative 20,” Rusin explains. He says this variable speed technology can either eliminate or reduce the need for a backup because of the unit’s ability to carry temperatures much deeper into the extremely cold range, meaning it’s possible that it can be used as a primary heat source. Granby-based Mountain Parks Electric, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Xergy Consulting recently conducted a pilot study of three homes in

Pump Up the Innovation Colorado’s electric co-ops continue working on advancements in energy

the Fraser area in which the homes were outfitted with ccASHPs. The study showed that one 2-ton ccASHP unit reduced total

commercial applications and it seems it’s going to continue to evolve and grow.” However, the upfront cost of a few grand

annual heating costs by approximately 30%. (Visit to read the complete findings.) These ccASHPs are not only friendlier to the environment, but they are also more cost effective than a propane furnace or resistance baseboard system and safer to operate seeing as you’re essentially eliminating ignitable vapors in your home. “Any time you burn a fossil fuel, you can create carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons — all these things that really impact your indoor air quality,” says Mike Frailey, relationship manager at Tri-State. “Switching to an air source heat pump eliminates that [emission] from your propane or natural gas furnace. There’s a reduction in the CO2 emissions from an exhaust standpoint, too, such as a chimney.” Frailey and Rusin share that they’re also seeing commercial interest in ccASHPs. For example, they’re working with a school in Wyoming that is interested in adding 55-tons of heat pump technology to replace a steam boiler system, and state rebates and educated resources could help them cut costs. Frailey adds, “In that specific application, it’s going to be a mix of split systems for some smaller rooms and then they’re doing three 8½-ton packaged rooftop units, so there are

or more might be a drawback for some. To relieve Colorado’s electric cooperative consumer-members of the cost burden, Tri-State offers a $450 rebate per ton for a new ccASHP and some of Colorado’s electric cooperatives offer rebates of their own. MPE, for example, offers a rebate of $500 per ton, which could mean $3,000 or more off the consumer’s bottom line when combined with Tri-State’s rebate. Several Colorado towns are some of the coldest in the nation during the winter, but innovation in the energy sector and a commitment to provide electric co-op consumer-members the safest, most reliable service at the lowest cost possible is at the forefront of every co-op in the state. Products such as ccASHPs can keep Coloradans safe and comfortable during some of the coldest times. To learn more about ccASHPs, contact your local cooperative. They can assist you in finding knowledgeable contractors to get the job done correctly, rebates to help your bottom line and information on how to stay comfortable in the dead of winter — they are the trusted resources. Amy Higgins is an award-winning writer who has been writing for Colorado Country Life for nearly a decade, staying up to date on the latest innovations and changes in the electric co-op industry. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2020



Make Mulching Work for Your Garden




hen my daughter wanted me to buy a house near her in Arkansas, she found a cute, little bungalow on a mountainside with a miniature hardwood forest in the backyard. Since I live in Denver, I suggested she hire someone to mow the lawn. At the time, she didn’t think it would be necessary. The lawn area appeared to be so small, she suggested her husband could do it. That was what she thought in January when the yard was covered with a thick layer of leaves. Fast forward to spring when my son-in-law and grandsons relentlessly raked for days. Little did my daughter know, the lawn was so large it took an entire day to mow after removing the leaves. Most Coloradans don’t have forests in their yards, but it is important to know what to do with autumn leaves when they begin to fall — allowing them to pile up can damage your lawn. Dense layers of leaves can invite pests and diseases and cause serious problems like snow mold and brown patch, so they should be removed. At the same time, leaving some leaves on the grass can be beneficial since they add nutrients to the soil and feed a number of microbes during decomposition. Growing up along the Front Range, I remember many people raking leaves into piles and letting all the neighborhood kids jump into them for fun, and then they would rake leaves into piles again for bagging. Today, people don’t seem to have time, so they hire



lawn-care workers or use blowers. I prefer raking myself because it’s good exercise, strangely relaxing and quiet, unlike blowers. Either way, leaves still need to be bagged and hauled away, unless you use them for mulch. It’s easy to mulch leaves with a mulching mower. If you wait until the leaves dry out — but before they become too dense — you can walk slowly while mowing and let the mulched leaves add to the organic matter in your grass. In the fall, I typically mow every couple weeks even though the grass is no longer growing, just to mulch the leaves. If the leaves are too thick, I still use my mulching mower, but attach the bag to collect the leaves and then spread the bagged mulch in my garden. I found that about 4 to 6 inches of mulch to be sufficient for perennials. I also spread mulch around the base of shrubs. This protects them from the cold, adds nutrients as the leaves break down over the winter and provides nesting hideaways for bees and butterflies. (Leaves that don’t break down should be removed in the spring or worked into the soil.) I also add mulch to my vegetable garden and work it into the soil after the last harvest. Finally, I use leftovers to start my winter compost pile. I know my garden appreciates the added organic matter from leaves because I always have beautiful flowers and a bountiful vegetable harvest without adding fertilizer. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

Tip 1: Allowing leaves to pile up can damage your lawn by inviting pests and diseases and cause serious problems like snow mold and brown patch. Tip 2: Apply about 4 to 6 inches of mulched leaves to perennials. Tip 3: Spread mulched leaves around the base of shrubs to help protect them from the cold and add nutrients to the soil. Tip 4: Leaves that don’t break down should be removed in the spring or worked into the soil. Tip 5: Apply mulched leaves to your vegetable garden and work it into the soil after the last harvest. Tip 6: Add any extra leaves to your compost pile.

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



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he dawn came up cold and gray from behind Rams Horn Mountain and brought with it a spitting mist of rain and little flakes of snow. It was mid-September, but it felt more like winter than autumn. Official sunrise was still 35 minutes away, but even in the gloomy morning light we could see clusters of elk scattered across the moraine. My daughter-in-law Kristy and I had been parked in a gravel turnout on the Fern Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park listening to the wildlife serenade of whistles, grunts, mews, roars and bugling elk since 5:15 a.m. We had come to photograph the elk rut and it looked like we were gonna have a good day. I started doing a lot of my “elk hunting” with a camera instead of a bow or rifle several years ago, not because I lost my love for the hunt — or the meat (I haven’t) — but because I never tire of watching wildlife, and photographing elk gave me another excuse to be out there among the wild creatures. It soon became clear that with a camera you could hunt more often and in more places without the fees, time restraints and other regulatory restrictions imposed by a seasonal big-game hunting license, assuming you were even able to draw one in the first place — just because you apply for an elk tag is no guarantee you’ll be awarded one. I’ve also come to appreciate that you can shoot as many big bulls as you can find with a camera, and that it’s far easier to haul a

700-pound bull elk out of the woods on a memory card than it is to pack one out on your back. Having said that, I confess to doing a lot of my elk hunting in Rocky Mountain National Park where, at the peak of the rut, it’s possible to see as many as a dozen big bulls and scores of cows, yearlings and calves a day, not to mention mule deer bucks, the occasional bull moose, a herd of bighorn sheep, a whole guidebook full of ground squirrels, pikas, marmots, magpies, hawks and God-knows how many different kinds of songbirds. I love being in elk country any time of year, but even more so in autumn when the aspen groves, alpine meadows, willows and creek bottoms are blazing with fall color. Having grazed on lush mountain grasses all summer long, the big-game herds are fat, sleek and healthy. They’re as handsome now as they’ll ever be and can make for some really nice photos, but being able to share them with family and friends is the ultimate reward. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up at Click on Outdoors.


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.

November 2020 Select Dates in Nov. and Dec. Golden The Polar Express™ Train Ride Colorado Railroad Museum

Through December 31 Virtual

Support Local Makers Holiday Shopping

November 5 Fort Collins

Northern Colorado Astronomical Society Meeting Fort Collins Museum of Discovery 6:15-8 pm •

November 6 Colorado Springs

The Black Jacket Symphony Presents Led Zeppelin IV Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts 8 pm •

November 6 Carbondale

“Dia de Los Muertos” First Friday Downtown Main Street 5-9 pm •

November 20-21 Stoneham November 7 Pueblo

Discovery Trail Community Bike Ride Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center’s River Campus Deck 8 am •

November 7 Rangely

Special Olympics’ Polar Plunge Kenny Reservoir 11 am-3 pm •

November 7 Virtual

November 16 Virtual

Holiday Show Primitive Junk Market 970-522-6858

Pikes Peak YMCA’s Turkey Trot 5K

November 26 Durango

November 21-22 Cortez

Fall Bazaar St. Margaret Mary Church Hall 970-564-1468

November 21 Grand Junction

Loveland Habitat for Humanity’s Builder’s Ball Fundraiser 5:30-7pm •

November 14 Buena Vista

November 19 Virtual


History Colorado Center’s “Justice & Democracy” Presentation 1 and 7 pm •

November 28 Colorado Springs

Beaver Moon Walk Bear Creek Nature Center Advance Registration Required 4:30-6 pm

Downtown Tree Lighting Main Street 5-7 pm •

Gingerbread House Bazaar Buena Vista Community Center 9 am-3 pm •

Turkey Trot Running Race Fort Lewis College 10 am-12 pm

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


READER POETRY Beat the Drum Slowly

Under a Roof of Gold

For Those Who Have Passed

Beat the drum slowly, I need to keep up; Though the long trail is winding And the stoney road rough.

Soaking in gold the way dry earth soaks in unexpected rain

Light falls on the pew Of the church I know. Grief numbs the heart. I break the bread of sorrow In the quiet realm of those Lost, Of those close, Of those far away. Silence is the only comfort. We have come to know The sunken kingdom of mourning. We are left with countless names. We have become the lost pilgrims Of memory crossing The waters of Galilee.

Beat the drum slowly, Slow down the pace; I want to be counted As part of the race. My body is weak But my spirit is strong; My goal is in sight, But the way is so long. So, beat the drum slowly, Let me walk close behind, So I might find the rhythm For my peace of mind. Fawn Lovecchio, Ignacio La Plata Electric Association consumer-member

the outline of the ridge clear the distant tundra furry Letting autumn transition my life in new directions the drive over Weston Pass reminding me how much I love the open space how much I crave a life beyond city limits A world of tomorrows sounds its call Linda Keller, Denver Sangre de Cristo Electric Association consumer-member

Burt Baldwin, Bayfield La Plata Electric Association consumer-member

DO YOU WRITE POETRY? Send us your best work; we’d love to read it. Submit your poetry via email to: or by mail to: Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2020



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

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

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800-733-8122 Gun Store — Very fine Colorado retail gun operation for sale. Supports & promotes local gun enthusiasts with ammunition, targets, protective gear, classes, indoor small arms training simulator, plus new & used pistols, rifles, & shotguns. Currently operated by employees who are experienced hunters, shooters, & instructors. Public range nearby. All offers will be considered. Store is exceptionally successful. Contact


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READER PARTICIPATION is the backbone of CCL magazine.

SEND US YOUR: Original Poetry Photos with the Magazine Letters to the Editor Community Events

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Michael M. Toler, who has a vacation home in Buena Vista, delights in his catch of a 5-pound rainbow trout while fishing in September 2019.

Several years ago, I was an infantry

K.C. Electric Association consumer-member Francesca Mousel enjoys CCL at home in Cheyenne Wells. Mike Tallent and his granddaughter Brianna prepare to fish in Summit Reservoir near Mancos. Mike is a consumer-member of Empire Electric Association.

Nate Frazee reads CCL in between plays in Pagosa Springs. He and his family are consumer-members of La Plata Electric.

Empire Electric Association consumer-member Peter Magienlnicki and his kids take CCL to the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

major in the Army and getting dressed in my camouflage and boots uniform. I was an inspector general at the time and wore only a more formal uniform: Class A “greens.” I had been in the Army for 15 years by then, with three sons. We lived on post at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, surrounded by soldiers every morning running past our quarters singing in formations. I was wearing the field uniform to inspect training ranges that day. My youngest son, Jeffrey, 6, looked at me in an odd way that morning and asked, “Daddy, are you going to join the Army today?” I laughed but realized, since he was born, I had only been in office-type jobs, exclusively wearing what appeared to him as a green suit. I answered, “Yes, Jeff, I am joining the Army today.” Michael M. Toler, New Windsor, New York

I was sitting in the recliner when

my tough Marine husband walked in the room. He grabbed a pen and started to draw on my big toe. He set the pen down and I looked at my toe and asked, “A truck?” “A ‘toe’ truck,” he said. Merrin Sampson, Akron

I took my 5-year-old grandson into

Walmart’s new auto-flush restroom. When we went to leave and the waste didn’t flush, Henry exclaimed, “I think it needs batteries!” Bill Blomstrom, Yuma

Mountain View Electric consumer-member Teresa Dower takes CCL on her favorite hike.

WINNER: Lee Roberts visits Hovenweep National Monument with CCL. Lee is a consumer-member of Poudre Valley REA.

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, your name and address to info@coloradocountrylife. org. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Monday, November 16. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year we will draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person will receive $200. Send your 2019 stories 2020 stories to to Colorado Colorado Country Country Life, Life, 5400 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2020



Books for Younger Readers Exciting titles — from picture books to books for teenagers

There’s Something About Sweetie Sweetie Nair is smart, sassy and a star athlete. But, according to her parents, she is fat and that makes her doubt herself. Ashish Patel’s girlfriend dumps him, and despite his handsome face, he can’t seem to get his confidence back when it comes to girls. In a weak moment, he begrudgingly lets his parents arrange a meeting with Sweetie. There is some chemistry, but can the two young people overcome the voices telling them who they “should” be? It’s an uplifting story about love and loving yourself by Colorado author Sandhya Menon.

Perfect for young chapter book readers who love horses, this book is a follow-up to this Cortez author’s first book Cowgirls Don’t Quit.

This ballpark-mystery chapter book takes young readers on an adventure during a Colorado Rockies home opener.

4 What’s This Tail Saying?

By Lisa Tawn Bergren

This Colorado author shares 45 easy-to-understand Bible stories, just for young ones. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2020

Adelaide Ru Fitzhugh thinks Scotland bites. She wants to go to Disney World, but instead her dad accepts a teaching job near Loch Ness for the entire summer. That means she has to live in a creepy old monastery for three whole months. But she makes new friends, finds herself pulled into the world of those chasing Nessie the monster, and encounters danger and excitement, both real and imagined. Nessie Quest is especially perfect for middle school-aged girls. Colorado author Melissa Savage adds emotional depth and good parental conversations to an otherwise lighthearted story.

By David A. Kelly

2 God Gave Us the Bible


The pranks, the laughs, the stares, the jokes. Maisie Fernandez is tired of her weight being the center of attention wherever she goes in this book by Colorado author Donna Cooner. Why can’t anyone, including herself, see beyond her size? Then she gets an idea: create a social media profile as a pretty, skinny girl and get the most popular boy in school to fall for her. But the lying gets complicated and Maisie begins to see that all those kids she hated for hating her are just as insecure as she is. But is it too late to overcome her own hate, forgive the others and find a way to love herself?

3 The Colorado Curveball

1 The Free Horse

By Susan Carpenter Noble

Nessie Quest

By Donna Cooner

By Sandhya Menon

More Colorado Kids Books We Recommend


By Melissa Savage

5 The Tiny Giant

By Barbara Ciletti Illustrated by Cathy Morrison Children can see, through illustrations by a Colorado artist, how a tiny acorn grows into a mighty oak.


By Carolyn Combs Illustrated by Cathy Morrison


Kids can find out what animal tails are saying when they swish, shake and splash in this colorful picture book, illustrated by a Colorado artist.






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