Colorado Country Life November 2022

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ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR BETTER BUILDINGS Whether your home or business, the buildings you enter daily consist of several layers that create one building envelope, or shell. The envelope begins with the foundation in the ground and ends with the roof, and includes everything in between such as walls, windows and doors. To save energy and maintain comfort, an envelope should limit the transfer of heat in or out of the building. Improve your building envelope by applying weatherization best practices.

+ AIR SEAL CRACKS AND HOLES Caulking and weatherstripping are cost-efficient air-sealing techniques that help maintain a comfortable temperature in your space. Air-seal gaps around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and other wall or ceiling penetrations to reduce drafts. Weatherstripping around the interior of door frames and window sashes will also limit drafts in these areas and improve the energy efficiency of your home.

+ ENSURE ADEQUATE INSULATION One of the best ways to reduce your energy bills and increase the comfort of your home is by ensuring adequate and effective insulation in your home. The Department of Energy recommends that a home have 12 to 16 inches of attic insulation. However, not all insulation has the same effectiveness for energy efficiency, and as insulation ages that effectiveness declines. There are also several methods for insulation depending on where you live and the part of your home you are insulating (walls, crawlspace, attic, etc.) so it’s best to contact a local certified contractor. Check your local building codes for requirements.

+ RESEARCH INCOME-QUALIFED PROGRAMS Some income-qualified programs provide air sealing and insulation, along with making sure your home is safe, if you have combustion appliances like a gas furnace or water heater. Certain programs even cover up to 80% of the median area income and provide these improvements at no cost to the homeowner and in many cases renters as well.

To learn more about income-qualified programs, rebates, and incentives for energy-efficient upgrades, contact your local co-op or public power district. Visit us at


Volume 53

Number 11

November 2022 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant ADVERTISING | 720-407-0711 National Advertising Representative, American MainStreet Publications 611 S. Congress Street, Suite 504, Austin, TX 78704 | 800-626-1181 Advertising Standards: Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216-1731. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. ©Copyright 2022, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 | 303-455-4111 | | | Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual. SUBSCRIBERS Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. Cost of subscription for members of participating electric cooperatives is 22.5 cents per month, paid from equity accruing to the member. For nonmembers, a subscription is $10 per year in-state/$16 out-of-state. POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216

“Mt. Garfield Under the First Snow” by Amanda Bizer, a Grand Valley Power consumer-member.




On the NOVEMBER 2022


Cover Colorado author and Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member Nhi Aronheim poses with her book Soles of a Survivor at her home in Englewood. Photo by Kylee Coleman.

Colorado Rural Electric Assoc. posted: Thanks to former #FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee for sitting down with Colorado Rural Electric Assn. Executive Kent Singer to talk about the electricity industry and Neil’s time at FERC.

Have a great photo you want to share? Enter the 2023 photo contest for a chance to win cash prizes and have your photo on the cover of the magazine. For official rules and how to enter, visit coloradocountrylife. coop/2023photocontest


Monthly Contest Nominate your favorite library to receive books and you’ll have a chance to win a book box from Sweet Reads. For official rules and to enter, click on Monthly Contests at

FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Country Life posted: In honor of the great country music star Loretta Lynn, who passed away [this October], here’s a look back at her fan club and its Colorado roots in Wild Horse on the eastern plains: COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2022



IRA Provides Direct Pay

Government provisions benefit co-op consumer-members BY KENT SINGER



olorado’s electric cooperatives are

To that end, wholesale suppliers that are

primarily distribution utilities that

not for profit, such as Tri-State G&T, have

purchase electricity from whole-

usually relied on private developers to build

sale providers and then resell the power

the wind and solar facilities that are needed

to their end-use consumer-members. In

to provide the power. The private developers

Under the direct pay provisions of the

other words, for the most part, your local

then own the wind and solar farms and sell

IRA, electric co-ops are eligible for reim-

electric cooperative does not own the large

the output of those facilities to the wholesale

bursement of up to 25% of the total costs

power plants and transmission lines needed

suppliers through power purchase agree-

of any project. This is a true game-changer

to supply power. Instead, it purchases the

ments or PPAs.

for electric co-ops that may have been on


majority of its bulk power from wholesalers

Since the developers are for-profit

the fence about whether and when to move

and then distributes that electricity to indi-

businesses, they have been able to take

forward with a battery storage or other new

vidual homes and businesses via its local

advantage of federal tax credits to help the

energy technology project. Since co-ops

co-op-owned distribution system.

business case for their projects. (By “busi-

are always looking out for their consum-

In Colorado, with one exception, the

ness case,” I mean profits.) Through federal

er-members’ interests, they only pursue

electric co-ops either purchase power at

laws intended to incentivize the develop-

projects that further their goal of providing

wholesale rates from Tri-State G&T (also

ment of renewable energy projects, private

reliable and affordable power.

a co-op) or Public Service Company of

developers have had an advantage over

While some may argue that the IRA

Colorado (an investor-owned utility). The

nonprofit utilities including generation and

is not good public policy and question

one exception is Delta-Montrose Electric

transmission associations.

whether it will in fact reduce inflation, it

Association, which buys power from a

However, with the recent enactment of

nevertheless provides support to elec-

the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), this is

tric co-ops and enables them to pursue

This model of providing electricity

changing. One of the key provisions of the

advanced energy solutions in a way that

services, sometimes referred to as “central

IRA is a so-called “direct pay” program that

limits the impacts on consumer-members.

station” power, has enabled Colorado elec-

provides incentives to nonprofit compa-

Since Colorado policymakers have already

tricity consumers to enjoy reliable and

nies (such as electric co-ops) to develop

determined that significant reductions of

affordable electricity for decades. However,

renewable energy facilities. Through the

greenhouse gas emissions from the power

this traditional model is rapidly changing in

work of our national trade association,

sector are necessary, this federal legislation

Colorado and around the country.

NRECA, a provision was included in the

will help Colorado’s electric co-ops more

With the recent emphasis on gener-

IRA that authorizes direct payments to

affordably make this energy transition.

ating electricity from carbon-free resources,

electric co-ops that deploy non-carbon

Colorado’s electric co-ops are rapidly

many co-ops are adding renewable energy

emitting power sources such as nuclear and

deploying new technologies and infrastruc-

from resources such as wind and solar.

renewable energy. It also authorizes these

ture that will enable the energy transition

While the co-ops produce some of this

payments for battery storage and other new

that will take place over the next eight years.

renewable energy locally on their distribu-

energy technologies.

The direct pay provisions of the IRA will

power marketing company.

tion systems, they primarily rely on their

With the adoption of the IRA, electric

wholesale suppliers to acquire the large

co-ops can now take advantage of financial

amounts of renewable energy needed to

incentives to own and operate renewable

serve their consumer-members.

energy facilities instead of purchasing the output of those facilities from other entities.



help co-ops do this important work. Kent Singer is the executive director of CREA and offers a statewide perspective on issues affecting electric cooperatives. CREA is the trade association for 21 Colorado electric distribution co-ops and one power supply co-op.

LETTERS Know Your Noxious Weeds

FROM THE EDITOR Pass the pumpkin pie




hank you to all the readers who shared their pumpkin pie MONA NEELEY recipes with us for this month’s Recipes page. We enjoyed every one of them and selecting a winner was a challenge. It should be noted that I did NOT participate in baking any of the submitted recipes. I don’t have a good track record with pumpkin pies (well, with the one pumpkin pie I tried). My mom made pumpkin pies when I was growing up. We grew pumpkins, so her pies were made from scratch, not from canned puree. And they were always delicious. So, my first year off at college, I decided I would make a pumpkin pie with a small jack o’ lantern left over from Halloween. I cut it up, peeled it and cooked the pumpkin down to create a puree. I stirred in the eggs, spices and other ingredients and poured it into the pie shell I’d already baked. In the oven it went to bake…and bake…and bake. It never set up. It never got past pumpkin soup. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I learned that baking pumpkin pies is not my thing. I’m thinking my luck may change with the recipe on page 12. 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.





Enter for the chance to WIN prize money and have your photo featured in a 2023 issue of Colorado Country Life.



+ + +

2 02 3 P H OTO CO N T EST





2nd Place

50 100


3rd Place



It was interesting to see “common mullein” in the photo of the Gardens of Spring Creek in Fort Collins. (Gardening August ’22) They are a List C species on the Colorado Noxious Weed List. They can produce over 250,000 seeds per plant. Donn Hume, Monument Mountain View Electric consumer-member EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, local governments may decide whether to require management of List C weed species. The goal with List C weeds is not to stop the continued spread, but to provide additional education, research and biological control resources to those jurisdictions that do choose to require management.

Problems with EVs

Two full pages in the last issue praising electric vehicles. There’s not enough infrastructure nor generating capabilities to charge Gov. Jared Polis’ EVs and supply people’s daily needs. People are realizing it takes three plus hours to charge an EV. Think of every community plugging in their EVs every evening. It would take a completely new grid of electric transmission to handle that along with new service panels in every home. Our entire supply system is by semi-truck that cannot be replaced with electric vehicles for long hauls. Vincent Mautina, Black Forest Mountain View Electric consumer-member

Working with Wind Power

Regarding wind turbines and their blades, I read that in Europe they paint one of the three blades black. Then birds can “see” the blades and avoid them, reducing injuries and worse. Wind power is important; it would be good to pursue ways for them to co-exist within our ecosystems. Rebecca Yarbrough, Walsenburg San Isabel Electric consumer-member

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

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


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

Go to for the entry form, official rules and entry samples. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2022




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Reducing the financial burden of a festive holiday season BY MIR ANDA BOUTELLE


he holidays are a magical time, but it’s also the most expensive time of year for many of us. Along with the expense of gifts, meals, and travel comes colder weather and darker nights that lead to more electricity use and higher bills. You can reduce the financial burden of the most wonderful time of the year by implementing efficiency tips to use less energy at home and lower your monthly bills.

Cooking efficiency


DON’T MISS Each year the THIS GREAT CREA ENERGY EVENT! INNOVATIONS SUMMIT gets bigger, the crowds more excited to hear engaging, cutting-edge speakers.




Whether you are making holiday treats or a feast, here are a few tips to help lower energy use in the kitchen: Use the oven light to check food. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by up to 25 degrees, according to the Department of Energy. When possible, make use of a slow cooker, microwave oven, toaster oven or warming plate, which use less energy than a conventional oven and stovetop. According to the DOE, a toaster oven can use up to half the energy of the average electric stove over the same cooking time. Let hot food cool to room temperature before placing it inside the refrigerator. This ensures that you don’t increase the temperature inside your refrigerator and cause it to use more energy to cool down. You can also take some of the stress and expense out of your holiday cooking by asking guests to bring a dish.

Most gatherings happen in the center of the home, so save energy by turning the thermostat down in areas you are not using.

Holiday lighting This year, make the switch to LEDs for all your holiday lighting: • LED holiday lights consume 70% less energy than conventional incandescent light strands. For example, it costs 27 cents to light a 6-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days with LEDs compared to $10 for incandescent lights. • Pick up a few light timers so you don’t have to remember to unplug your lights every evening. You can also choose to upgrade to smart holiday lights that offer a wide range of app-controlled options, including time, colors, music and modes. Lower your energy bills this holiday season with these simple efficiency tips. Happy Holidays! Miranda Boutelle, the director of operations and customer engagement at Efficiency Services Group in Oregon, writes on energy-efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

LEARN MORE ONLINE For tips for more holiday efficiency tips, visit and click on Energy Tips under the Energy Efficiency tab.


Co untd ow n to

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Subject to availability, on a total purchase of 3 or more. To qualify for discount offer, initial contact for an appointment must be made and documented on or before 11/25/22 with the purchase then occurring on or before 12/5/22. 2No payments and deferred interest for 12 months available from third-party lenders to well qualified buyers on approved credit only. No Finance Charges will be assessed if promo balance is paid in full in 12 months. Products are marketed, sold and installed (but not manufactured) by Renewal by Andersen retailers, which are independently owned and operated under Window Warmth, LLC d/b/a Renewal by Andersen of Colorado. See complete information and entity identification at ©2022 Andersen Corporation. ©2022 Lead Surge LLC. All rights reserved. 1

RECIPES Pumpkin Pie Squares For the crust: 1 cup flour, sifted 1/2 cup brown sugar

PRIZE-WINNING PUMPKIN PIE Introducing our favorite contest recipe submission

1/2 cup quick oatmeal 1/2 cup butter For the filling: 2 cups pumpkin 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk 2 eggs 3/4 cup sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/4 teaspoon cloves For the topping: 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter Instructions: To make the crust: Mix all crust ingredients with fork until crumbly. Press mixture into buttered 13-by-9-inch cake pan and bake in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.

To make the filling: Combine filling ingredients and beat well. Pour on top of crust and bake in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.

To make the topping: Mix together topping ingredients with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle topping mixture over pumpkin and bake in 325-degree oven for 20 minutes, making sure middle is set. Serve with whipped cream.

If you’re looking for another great dessert to enjoy this Thanksgiving, try Kristie Salvador’s Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust. Get the recipe at






eople have preferences when it comes to pumpkin pie — many crave creamy, some want a little crunch, and others would rather slide their slice to the side. (If you’re the latter, don’t fret. There are loads of various pie recipes at Just search for “pie.”) Colorado Country Life invited readers to submit their best pumpkin pie recipes and received some stellar submissions, but Ramona Phipps of Sterling gets the crown. The Highline




Most popular pie in Colorado.

“I love this pie.”

“I could eat this entire pie in one setting. Delicious!”

— Denby

— Ben from Thornton

— Jesse from Aurora



Download for free! To get more pumpkin pie recipes submitted by CCL readers, visit pumpkinrecipes.

Electric Association consumer-member presented CCL with her Pumpkin Pie Squares recipe and we gobbled them up. These gems offer a heavenly combination of crunchy and creamy and are sure to be a showstopper at your Thanksgiving feast.


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Learn About Innovations in Energy


hat’s ahead for the electric industry as it transitions from traditional fuels to generate electricity? What’s going to replace coal and gas? How is the grid going to change? What’s happening with electric vehicles? Is hydrogen a possible future fuel source? The day-long CREA Energy Innovations Summit focuses on the challenges facing today’s electric industry and possible solutions. From 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, November 7, Summit attendees will listen to myriad speakers and panels talk through the future of the electric industry at the Westin Westminster Hotel. Registration is open at to anyone interested in today’s electric industry. Among the many professionals who will share their expertise is Rob Chapman,

senior vice president of energy delivery and customer solutions at the Electric Power Research Institute. He will discuss what is needed to enable reliability and resiliency in a net-zero energy economy during the lunch hour. Experts from General Atomics, Forge Nano, Think Microgrid, the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, the Geothermal Exchange Organization and several electric co-ops and other utilities will share technologies, research and more. During the morning and afternoon sessions, others will discuss electric vehicle developments, microgrids, hydrogen, battery storage, geothermal energy, small modular reactors and more. A variety of vendors will also share innovative products between sessions.

Co-op Leader Appointed to DOE Advisory Group Louis Finkel, senior vice president of government relations for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, was appointed to the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm in September. The committee “will provide significant value to the DOE in helping define a strategy on long-range planning and priorities for the modernization of the nation’s electricity delivery infrastructure,” Granholm said. Electric co-ops will have a part in defining that strategy through Finkel and NRECA. NRECA is the national trade association for 900 electric distribution and transmission cooperatives across the country.




Summer’s Heat Drives Up Electricity Use A scorching summer and more economic activity caused a big jump in electricity consumption across the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. And that was before the late August heat wave pushed consumption even higher. In its August 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook, EIA predicted electricity consumption to rise by 2.4% this year over 2021. However, sales are expected to decline by 0.3% in 2023, according to the forecast. Higher consumption of natural gas is helping meet this year’s higher demand for electricity. The U.S. consumed more natural gas this summer than the previous five-year average, the report said.

Colorado Adds EV Corridors


n eight-state collective made up of Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico is working to build electric-vehicle-friendly corridors through the idyllic landscapes of the Mountain West. The plan for electric vehicle corridors throughout the Mountain West, known as ChargeWest, was put in motion around seven years ago when politicians and environmental activists came together with a vision of working together to ensure charging capabilities for residents and visitors traveling through states. “The Intermountain West is becoming one of the most visited places in the United States,” said Tammie Bostick, ChargeWest project lead. “We want the modern traveler to experience the same highways and byways of our Western heritage with today's new electric fuel horsepower.” The ChargeWest project is only adding to what is already a growing network of electric vehicle corridors throughout the U.S. According to the ChargeWest website, there are currently 1,559 charging stations in Colorado.

Sign Up for Newsletter on Co-op Innovation Interested in what new projects, studies and products Colorado’s electric co-ops are working on as they transition with today’s evolving energy industry? Visit newsletter-signup/ to sign up for CREA’s Energy Innovations Newsletter. Each month, you’ll receive a digital newsletter focused on the various programs and products being utilized and developed at local electric co-ops. You’ll learn about the latest solar farms, new EV charging stations, what’s happening with battery storage, how co-ops are becoming more efficient and how co-ops in Colorado are moving to using more renewable energy.

Co-op Works Together When Hurricane Ian Hits


housands of electric co-op consumer-members in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, as well as co-op employees, were affected by Hurricane Ian, which wreaked havoc in the southeast in late September. Crews from electric co-ops in other states were already on standby before the storm hit. They immediately went to work restoring electricity as soon as Ian passed. While the areas hit by the hurricane still have a long way to go before life returns to normal, 1,300 co-op lineworkers and support personnel from 11 states were part of the initial restoration efforts. Within a week of the devastation, one co-op that had 50,000 consumer-members without power had 90% of its meters back up.

The co-op in the hard-hit Fort Myers, Florida, area lost power to 99% of its 219,000 members. Over 40% of that power was restored within five days, thanks to personnel from other co-ops. The Florida Electric Cooperative Association, which represents 17 of the state’s co-ops, has established a fund to help co-op employees who are among those who must replace and repair their homes and property after the storm. Many of these co-op employees worked 16-hour days to help their co-ops restore service while having no homes to go home to themselves. Donations can be sent to FECA Disaster Relief Fund, 2916 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32301, attention Jeff Banka.


ABOUT RISING ENERGY COSTS? Energy Outreach Colorado has programs to help pay past due energy bills and lower your yearly energy costs. Visit 866-432-8435 or call 1-8 to get help today.







mazing stories of survival, grit and determination lead this year’s list of favorite books reviewed for you by Colorado Country Life. Books featured include true stories of fleeing Vietnam as a refugee, the



determination to have a child way before in vitro fertilization was common, the grit to work through PTSD using martial arts and a journey to find mental and spiritual wellbeing for a family. And there’s more. The list also includes light-hearted, easy

stories, historical novels, dark mysteries, an apocalyptic fantasy, biographies and more — all with a Colorado connection. You’ll also find expanded reviews of the books on these pages and reviews of additional books online at

COVER STORY Soles of a Survivor By Nhi Aronheim

This true story by Nhi Aronheim is one of survival, pure determination and grit. At age 5, she went into the Vietnamese markets to sell goods so her family could have a little food. Her small home featured a hole in the floor over a river as the toilet, and her family was in constant fear of the frequent raids by government officials who took what little Nhi’s family had accumulated. In desperation for a better life, Nhi’s mother sent 12-year-old Nhi with a group of adults she did not know through a treacherous jungle to escape Vietnam. Her harrowing journey continued in Thailand, before she eventually made it to the United States as a refugee. Each step of the way was fraught with trials. Once in the U.S., life was better but still not what Nhi’s mother had hoped for her child. Nhi wondered if she would ever have the life she dreamed. Now, many years later, Nhi, a Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member with a home in Winter Park, chronicles her incredible story and how she is finally in a place she only imagined in her dreams so long ago. She shares the depths of her soul as she recounts her life, her loves, her losses and the many lessons she learned along the way.


By Ellen Weir Casey The mother of Colorado’s first test tube baby had no idea her agonizing fouryear infertility journey would lead to such a momentous result. She was determined that she and her husband would have a child. But Ellen Weir Casey never imagined that her daughter would be born after in vitro fertilization.

In 1982, she had only heard of three other women in the world who had given birth following IVF. The new technology was virtually unpublished, and it was also still a time when infertility was a silent burden. Unstoppable is the story of a young woman who finds herself in unprecedented territory but who is unwilling to stop at the roadblocks she encounters. Both about science and unbending courage, this memoir is a must read for those experiencing infertility (and their extended families) but also for anyone interested in the incredible scientific advances and the bravery of a woman in crisis.

The Reluctant Ninja By Cheryl L. Ilov

By her mid-40s, Cheryl L. Ilovis a seasoned athlete, well-versed in ballet dance, and a capable physical therapist. But aspects of her personal life are a struggle after a traumatic event triggers PTSD and threatens to ruin her life. Her longtime acupuncturist keeps mentioning martial arts and how it has transformed his life and many others. But Cheryl ignores his pleas to give it a try — why would she ever want to learn how to fight someone? She prefers the strong but graceful movements of ballet. But as her PTSD worsens and her attempts to combat it fail, Cheryl gives in and views a class. She is horrified but she returns. In this remarkable true story, Cheryl offers an incredible look into the world of martial arts, from her first moments on the mat at her Colorado dojo, through struggle and triumph, fear and perseverance, to her retirement from her formal training at age 61.

Uphill Both Ways: Hiking Toward Happiness on the Colorado Trail By Andrea Lani

Andrea Lani’s life in Maine started to feel unbearable. She wakes every morning hurrying to get the kids off to school, rushing to her uninspiring job, coming home to wrangle the kids to do homework, go to activities and get to bed—then she does it all over again while living in a locale that was far from her beloved Rockies. Her mantra becomes “I hate my life,” and she knows something needs to change. So, she does what all mothers in her situation would do, right? She decides to take her family on a nearly 500-mile backpacking trip through the Colorado wilderness. In Uphill Both Ways, Andrea uses her memoir to bring the reader on a nearly day-by-day journey of not only the physical aspect of her family’s trip, but also her emotional, mental and spiritual journey. Andrea weaves the experience with her memories of her and her husband’s first journey down the trail 20 years prior as well as interesting history of the area, trail information and the practicalities of how one hikes with teenage boys having only the items on their backs.

MYSTERIES Angels in the Wind By Manuel Ramos

When 17-year-old Matias Montoya goes missing from his eastern Colorado hometown, private investigator Gus Corral knows he needs to help look for his cousin. Mat has disappeared temporarily in the past when he needed to get out of town, but he was never gone this long. So, ignoring the lingering effects of his own recent head injury from a private investigator case gone wrong, Gus leaves Denver COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2022


COVER STORY in hopes of not only finding Mat but also resetting his own life. But Gus’ troubled past and the small-town preference for privacy leave Gus wondering if he’ll ever find Mat. Could the disappearance be connected with a disagreement with his own father, a run-in with the local con man, racial divides in the town or even a devastating breakup with a girlfriend? Or perhaps something even more troubling? Become immersed in Gus’ detective work woven into an intriguing mystery by award-winning Denverite Manuel Ramos, who keeps the Mile High Noir series alive in this newest installment, Angels in the Wind.

Canyonlands Carnage By Scott Graham

Archaeologist Chuck Bender never imagined he’d have to deal with a possible murderer when he signed up for a white water rafting expedition. It had been years since he traversed any rapids — and he hated to leave his new family — but the pull of the water and excitement of the ride convinced him. Plus, he and his brother-in-law, Clarence Ortega, hope to further talks among politicians, businesspeople and field experts regarding the use of the ever-dwindling water in the Southwest. The group in eight boats enjoy the scenery and adventures of the river until things began to go wrong only three days into the trip when there is a murder. With six previous national park mysteries under his belt, Durango author Scott Graham knocks another one out of the park with this captivating tale that weaves a fictional plot with the real conflicts over water allocation.



Red Rabbit on the Run

Murder at Buckskin Joe

Tiffany Morrow knew what was real and what was only a hideous figment of her imagination — at least she thought she could decipher that now. After what was an unimaginably terrifying experience in the Amazon jungle when she was not on her medications, Tiffany found a way to cope with the glowing demon horses in her mind. Just as important, though, she also managed to remember significant information she had discovered before she was kidnapped for sex trafficking. Now the problem is knowing who to trust — if anyone. From one moment to the next, Red Rabbit on the Run is full of nonstop action, a good dose of romance, and unforeseeable plot twists. This is the third book in the Anonymous Series by Colorado Springs author Jodi Bowersox.

Life in 1865 Colorado Territory is certainly not easy but Millie would surely choose her simple, quiet cabin over the crude and rambunctious mining town known as Buckskin Joe. It seems ever since she and her family left Idaho Springs to help her husband’s supposedly innocent uncle clear his name, trouble has followed them. This engaging story has everything — mystery, suspense, humor, romance, duels to the death, a trained bear who plays tricks on locals, plenty of well-researched Colorado mining history — to keep the pages turning.

By Jodi Bowersox

Death Can Be Habit-Forming By Sheri Cobb South

John Pickett’s advertisement for his private inquiry business has gone unanswered for many weeks now, so he accepts the best work he can at the only place that will hire him: an importing firm where he is a junior clerk. But when his wife Julia shows up with a potential client, John quits on the spot. The client wants John to investigate an opium rehab center and extract a young woman who is supposedly being held against her will. But that’s just the beginning. The John Pickett Mystery series, which is set in the Regency era in England, is an edge-of-your-seat who-done-it written by Loveland resident Sheri Cobb South.

By J.v.L Bell


By Leah Lee Taking the mark on the back of the hand seemed like a no-brainer for most people in order to receive protection and provisions from the new global leader and his government. Yet a group of people felt the mark is not right, demonic in fact, and refuse the symbol and, with it, the security of the government and leader. Labeled the “unmarked,” they become outcasts and, as tensions grow, begin to be hunted by the one the group called the AntiChrist. A dramatic apocalyptic fantasy, Leah Lee’s The Mark is a must-read for those fascinated by end-times theories. Woven around a small remnant of unmarked Christians, this novel by a Colorado-based author brings to life characters and the dilemmas that occur when faced with such life-threatening situations.

COVER STORY Little Souls

By Sandra Dallas The setting of Colorado in 1918 seems eerily similar to 2020. Churches and restaurants are closed, public gatherings are prohibited and people are dying from a deadly epidemic — the Spanish influenza. In Colorado author Sandra Dallas’ latest work of fiction, she creates a touching story of two sisters struggling to survive during such a difficult period in history. Lutie is an advertising designer at a Denver women’s store whose fiancé has gone overseas to serve in WWI. Helen is a nurse who encounters the worst of the flu victims every day. The sisters support each other during such a fearful time, but it becomes increasingly difficult as the epidemic continues and people literally drop dead on their neighborhood streets. This heart-wrenching tale is a saga not to be missed and lives up to Dallas’ previous award-winning works. She was recently inducted into the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame, and lives in Denver and Georgetown.

Love You, Love Your Hair, Hope You Win By Valerie Abney

The fictional West Highland Place is the kind of street that is not just a place to live but a true community of people who care about each other. “A funky old neighborhood just northwest of downtown Denver,” writes the larger-than-life central character Harry, who moved there in the late 1970s and has cherished every moment. Written as a collection of his memories, the stories tell Harry’s and his neighbor’s stories, describing the special time and place and the people. Through the good, the bad,

the ugly, the differences, the similarities — it all is woven together to create a one-of-akind place. A surprising piece of fiction that works itself into your heart, Love You, Love Your Hair, Hope You Win walks a beautiful line between the imaginative and the historical. Author Valerie Abney acknowledges that “there was a neighborhood; there was an amazing man…the names, careers, backgrounds have been changed but not the love.”

Denver Noir

Edited by Cynthia Swanson In the newest edition of a long-standing, award-winning anthology series, editor Cynthia Swanson oversees a collection of Mile High tales written in the traditional dark, bleak style of the noir genre. Each short story is set within Denver and provides a unique contrast of shady crime with its mature themes and language imposed against such an incredible backdrop. The collection is divided into three parts, beginning with The Longest, Wickedest Street, a nod to Playboy’s description of Colfax Avenue and its 26 latitudinal miles that stretch from Aurora to Golden. Part two, titled 5,280’, delves deeper into the underside of the city and part three — Things to Do in Denver When You’re Young — ventures into coming-of-age noir.

Woman of Light

By Kali Fajardo-Anstine Luz “Little Light” Lopez appears to be a typical Chicano woman struggling to make her way in a harsh 1930s Denver, which is not particularly sympathetic to women or anyone other than the Anglo elite. While Luz works as a common laundress with her cousin Lizette and lives with her brother

Diego and aunt Maria Josie, she also has an incredible and unique gift as a tea reader, using her visions to show others their path. When Luz’s brother Diego — a snake charmer — is injured and further threatened by a white mob, he is forced to leave town, making his family’s day-to-day existence even more dire. Amidst this chaos, Luz’s visions grow more personal, unearthing stories of her Indigenous family’s past, all the way back to the Lost Territory. Struggling with her own drama of love, secrets, finances and even hunger, she wrestles with a way to understand the treasured story of her ancestors that seems to be taking shape. Originally from Denver, author Kali Fajardo-Anstine has been honored with the Denver Mayor’s Global Impact Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture.


By Blake Crouch Logan Ramsay’s day began like so many others: He kisses his wife and daughter goodbye and hops on the hyperloop to travel from D.C. to his next assignment. Today, he is in Denver with the Gene Protection Agency, apprehending a suspect and carrying out a raid on another unauthorized and therefore illegal biogenetics lab. It all seemed routine, until it isn’t. In a thrilling, tense tale that is part sci-fi and part dystopian future, New York Times bestselling author Blake Crouch offers another fast-paced novel that delves into what makes the heart of humanity tick.



COVER STORY Any Other Family By Eleanor Brown

The explanation of how this family came to be is not simple. It’s unique, it’s complex and it’s beautiful — and full of challenges. Especially when you bring the three adoptive families — linked forever through their children’s biological parents — together in Aspen for their first, two-week family vacation. Planned by the ever-organized and Pinterest-perfect mom Tabitha, the trip is meant as a way for the family to create that large, close-knit group she has always longed for. Of course, single-mom Ginger, who appreciates her own space, is skeptical that anything good will come from two weeks together. And Elizabeth, mom of baby Violet, is simply exhausted and so weary of feeling less-than in nearly every way possible. But the women know their children need this time with their biological siblings, so reluctantly they arrive in Aspen to a beautiful vacation home and brace for the time together. New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Brown, a Coloradan and adoptive mother, weaves this heartwarming tale that can speak to all families as it approaches issues that are common regardless of a family’s origin.

outpouring of love spurred Wookie’s partner-in-everything, Laura Lieff, to begin writing his biography with much help from family and friends who knew the various aspects of the real Wookie. Follow Wookie’s life journey, his ups and downs, his good moments and bad, his perseverance and his love for others in this unique look at his life. It is a wonderful story of a local kid who became a legend and who continues to impact everyone he meets.


By Lindsey Vonn

Inspiring Words for Sky and Space The dream of a 9-year-old girl may often Women: Advice from Historic and seem lofty and just that — a dream. But Contemporary Trailblazers when Lindsey Vonn told her dad she wanted to ski in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, he didn’t brush her off or laugh. Instead he saw her sincerity, believed in her talent and created a strategic plan for the next eight years of her skiing career. Although it wasn’t always an easy path, she became a legend and impacted the sport in myriad ways. In her fascinating memoir, Lindsey chronicles her strategies, her triumphs and her inner life from its beginnings in Minnesota to her 2019 retirement with the title of Most Decorated Female Skier of all Time.

Wookie Is Not His Real Name

Tell Me Everything

When Brian Fleming, known as Wookie by most people, had his season pass taken away by Vail Resorts in March 2014 for organizing an unauthorized event on Forest Service Land, the community rallied around him and sent him lift tickets so he could continue to snowboard. This

In 2007, a landmark sexual assault case concerning a college football program in Colorado was settled for millions of dollars, paving the way for additional future rulings. Erika Krouse was the key private investigator behind the case, breaking it open with her uncanny ability to get people to voluntarily open up to her.

By Laura Lieff



In Tell Me Everything, Erika shares her experience with the case, which quickly becomes all-consuming, as she embarks on a personal mission for acknowledgment and justice for sexual assaults. As Erika struggles with her own haunting past, she is driven to success for herself and these women, especially as the case gains nationwide attention and takes on historic civic rights issues.

By Erika Krouse

by Penny Rafferty Hamilton

Nominated for the National Indie Excellence Awards, this powerful book by Mountain Parks Electric consumer-memb er Penny Hamilton, is filled with amazing stories of brave women aviators and crew members. Some famous, some not, many of these women have Colorado ties. They were groundbreaking leaders in an industry that did not readily welcome them. Their stories have been collected in easy-to-read vignettes that include practical career and life tips as well as a look back at what it was like for women in the aviation industry not that long ago. It is a good read for those who are interested in these early aviation pioneers as well as the next generation of girls ready to start careers in air and space. Jennifer Nelson, once the editorial assistant at CCL, loves nothing more than curling up with a good book. She treasures sharing her love of reading with her children in their Texas home.


Planting Solace During Hopelessness WWII Japanese internees garden for culture and comfort BY VICKI SPENCER



magine being uprooted suddenly from your home and relocated to an unfamiliar, distant location without any idea of what the future may hold. How would you react? Where would you find comfort? Author Bonnie J. Clark suggests that archaeological research can contribute to our understanding of how people of Japanese ancestry, forced to leave their homes for the Amache incarceration camp during World War II, found solace in gardening. At its peak, Amache housed over 7,000 people — two-thirds were American citizens — in a barracks-style camp surrounded by barbed-wire fencing and guard towers. Located on a square mile of sandy, livestock grazing land near Granada, Colorado, it was an inhospitable environment for most of the inmates who came from productive agricultural areas along the West Coast. Consequently, these internees immediately used their varied skills to build a town. Since blowing sand was a pervasive annoyance, barracks were uninviting as residences and wartime meals were short on fresh vegetables customary to the Japanese diet, it is no surprise that internees were enthusiastic about planting gardens. Most impressive is how the people joined together to transform forced incarceration into a tolerable situation.

In her recent book, Finding Solace in the Soil, Clark explains how she used historical records, interviews and pedestrian surveys to map locations of Amache’s gardens. Then she used other archaeological techniques to provide insight into the transformation of the land. Soil samples revealed visible pieces of plants and stems, and chemical analysis in the laboratory revealed that eroded soil was amended by bringing rich soil from the Arkansas River. Although people dug up trees and shrubs from along the riverbed, other trees were purchased from local nurseries. Shade trees lined the barrack streets to break up the intense summer heat, and vegetable gardens were planted outside barrack doors for protection and easy access. Entryways and public gardens were designed according to traditional Japanese principles honoring the natural world. One strolling garden beautified the bleak military barracks with an artificial hill and figure-eight-shaped lake adorned with rounded stones from the Arkansas River. These features were joined by a curved wooden bridge. Concrete from pouring the barrack foundations was used to create “standing stones” that were placed in the lake with plants to create islands.

The Hirano family in their Block 8F garden. Photo cartesy of George Hirano.

Photographs reveal creative use of materials available during wartime rationing. Homemade birdhouses were attached to hand-carved wood posts with scraps of tin cans. Other yard art provided a bit of whimsy (just as they do today). You can learn more about the gardens by visiting the Amache National Historic Site, also known as the Granada Relocation Center, which is stewarded and maintained by the Amache Preservation Society. The site consists of a cemetery, a monument, building foundations, landscaping and interpretive panels. No reservations are necessary for this open site. Since southeastern Colorado’s high plains are subject to extreme summer heat, fall or early winter might be a good time to visit as long as there isn’t any snow. Check the website for current conditions as rattlesnakes may be present and require precautions. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Read previous gardening columns at Click on Gardening under Living in Colorado. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2022



The Significance of Adequate Resources Supply, demand, clean energy, the electric grid … and coffee cravings




upply and demand. It’s not a new concept. It’s our collective way as a society of finding balance for goods and services, such as that piping hot cup of joe from your favorite java drive-thru on a subzero Colorado morning. They supply the steaming paper cup full of roasted, ground, filtered and brewed beans. And most mornings, let’s face it: we demand (and sometimes need) the caffeination. Finding equilibrium is always a goal when it comes to supply and demand. The larger coffee chains presumably work to source just the right amount of beans to keep the coffee flowing. If they receive an abundance of beans for seasonal pumpkin spice lattes, the company’s supply gets out of whack; the beans may perish before they get used or there’s a risk of not having adequate storage space for the supply. Through a network of landowners, growers, vendors, importers-exporters, roasters and more, coffee chains source coffee beans to fulfill their supply and meet their demand — the strategy for future needs and sales is likely on point. But if just one of these links in the supply chain breaks, it could throw off the whole operation and then the opposite happens: not enough beans. What then? You can forget that Friday date with your standing order of a grande,



hot Americano with cream. What’s assumed in this example, is that your coffee chain has the adequate resources — beans — to maintain its role in our caffeine cravings.

SUPPLY, DEMAND AND THE GRID This coffee supply-demand example is admittedly elementary. Is it that straightforward when it comes to our electricity supply and the grid of the future? Short answer: No. So what does “supply and demand” have to do with your electric cooperative? Clearly, the electric grid and electricity distribution are much more complex and important than a fondness for a Friday cup of coffee. “At every moment, electric utilities and grid operators match the supply of power to the load demands of consumers, but there are many other dynamics to consider,” Tri-State G&T CEO Duane Highley said. “Utilities need to be flexible with generation resources so that they can reliably serve loads.” Electricity is seemingly simple and predictable at this point, right? We flip a switch and hit a button on the remote — the lights turn on and the TV powers up. That’s the reliability we’ve come to expect and depend on. We don’t give it much thought because, even with significant changes to the grid and

technological advancements over the last 70 to 80 years, Colorado’s electric cooperatives have done a remarkable job at keeping our time in the dark at a minimum. But there is so much more behind-thescenes action that powers your life.

DEMANDS OF EVOLVING ENERGY ALTERNATIVES Colorado is in the midst of a clean energy transition. In 2019, the state legislature passed laws that set Colorado’s decarbonization goals. The state is moving away from coal-generated electricity and there is a major shift happening both in Colorado and across the country. What may not be readily apparent to many consumers is, with these decarbonization efforts and the shift from fossil fuel energy sources, demand for electricity will grow — and continue to do so. Consider, for example, charging your electric vehicle at home, using an air-source heat pump for home heating, or cooking on an electric induction cooktop. This surge of electricity use has led to increased consumer concern about the adequacy of electric resources to meet demand. Consumers are using more electricity, yet coal power plants are closing and being replaced with variable energy resources, such as wind and solar. Even with these changes, outstanding

ENERGY CONNECTIONS reliability remains a core competency and primary goal of Colorado’s electric cooperatives and Tri-State G&T, the power supplier that serves the majority of the state’s electric cooperatives. “The first job for Colorado’s electric co-ops is to keep power flowing to co-op consumer-members day and night, in good weather and bad,” CREA Executive Director Kent Singer wrote in a June 2022 column in Colorado Country Life magazine. “The energy transition that’s happening in Colorado adds yet another layer of complexity to the task of providing reliable, affordable electric service.” The question your electric co-op is asking itself is: How will we maintain the reliability we are so good at providing if there’s a less-consistent supply from potentially variable generation resources such as wind and solar?

RESOURCE ADEQUACY EXPLAINED “Resource adequacy” is defined as the ability to provide reliable electric service at times of high demand or having enough capacity to meet customer needs under any scenario. This means not only having sufficient supply to meet expected energy requirements, but also a reserve margin to account for potential situations that might impact the availability of resources. For example, more power might be needed when a long cold spell requires more heat for homes and businesses. Situations like this not only affect our ability to light our kitchen, cook a meal and run the dishwasher at the end of the day, they also have the potential to impact the overall resiliency of the grid. That said, “resource adequacy” is closely tied to “grid resilience.” “Grid resilience is not a new term for the utility industry as it’s what we strive for at Tri-State every day,” Highley stated. “But the way we approach grid resilience is changing. “As we transition to cleaner energy,” Highley continued, “Tri-State recognizes the

importance of establishing a regional transmission organization (RTO) in the West to access a larger pool of generation resources that enhances system resiliency. And we’ve been promoting timely participation in RTOs for years in order to meet the state’s and our members’ clean energy goals.” The resource mix that utilities rely on to serve customer load includes increasing amounts of variable generation, such as wind, solar and emerging technologies. “Maintaining and enhancing the resilience of the grid requires continuous forecasting, planning, monitoring, testing and coordination,” Tri-State’s Vice President Planning and Analytics Lisa Tiffin said. “A changing resource mix, with increased renewable energy resources, adds new complexities that utilities are demonstrating can be well-managed to ensure reliability.” With the increased use of wind and solar resources, emerging battery storage technology also has a role in resource adequacy. “When the output of renewable resources exceeds the immediate need for power, excess energy can be saved in batteries to provide power during periods of high demand or when there is decreased output from renewable resources,” Tiffin explained. “Battery storage has limitations due to efficiency, storage and charging hours and is not a single solution to resource adequacy and a resilient grid but is part of the overall solution in a transitioning grid.”

RELIABLY POWERING THE CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION “Electric co-ops understand that electricity is the lifeblood of the West, and that electric system reliability is our first priority,” Highley said. “As a cooperative power

supplier, Tri-State has risen to meet the challenges of resource adequacy and grid resiliency for decades, delivering reliable power to our members. “As we move through our clean energy transition, our commitment to reliability is unwavering,” he continued. “Ensuring proper resource adequacy and grid resiliency helps ensure reliability, and we are working with our member co-ops, grid operators, stakeholders and regulators so that we can always keep the lights on.” Just as our favorite coffee drive-thru needs the right amount of beans to keep its business booming and to keep us energized, Colorado’s electric distribution network needs the right amount and the right resources of power generation to produce the supply consumers have come to rely on and trust. Through innovation, employing forward-thinking leaders, and setting and exceeding their own clean energy goals, Colorado’s electric co-ops are finding ways to keep resource adequacy, reliability and resiliency at the forefront of the conversation regarding Colorado’s clean energy transition. Not only that, your electric co-op is doing a remarkable job powering your way of life. As Singer said, “Electric co-ops are confident that they can meet this challenge like they have met every other challenge for the past 80 years.” Kylee Coleman researches and writes about topics affecting Colorado’s electric cooperatives and how your electric co-op innovatively approaches a rapidly changing industry.



By Craig N. Johnson, Director of Government Relations and General Counsel and Timothy M. Coleman, Manager of Legislative Affairs

August 2022

READ THE REPORT For a deeper look into resource adequacy in Colorado and an analysis of potential legislation, visit




The “Simple” Life A humble way of life comes to light




couple of years ago, I spent a weekend camping with my oldest son and one of his army buddies in the Zirkel Wilderness Area outside the little town of Clark, Colorado, a wee bit north of Steamboat Springs. They were bowhunting for elk; I was tagging along as an associate campfire philosopher and part-time camp cook. Anyway, Dave and his buddy, Hal, are both former army aviators who hadn’t seen each other since they’d flown combat missions in Somalia after that ugly 1993 helicopter incident in Mogadishu. I naturally thought they’d be talking about their African experiences around the campfire at night. But they didn’t. Instead, our conversations centered on camping and how it has changed over the years. You could probably attribute that topic to the pair of Basque shepherds who had set up camp nearby. They pitched a large, well-traveled, canvas wall tent outfitted with a wood burning stove, folding cots and a small table. A couple of camp coolers and a clothesline strung between two trees completed their setup. Two horses were hobbled in a pocket meadow close by. Each morning after coffee, they’d round up their horses, saddle them and, with one of their Great Pyrenees guard dogs, leave camp to drive the flocks to the next pasture. (We learned later two others stayed with the flock at night to fend off predators.) Late in the day, they’d return, hobble the horses, rustle up dinner and sit by the fire petting the dogs, drinking a beer and chatting away in Portuguese or



whatever language Basques speak. It seemed a hard but simple and solid life with just the necessities — and none of the frills and their attendant burdens. We, on the other hand, were staying in an air-conditioned, aluminum-bodied camper furnished with big comfy beds, a thermostatically-controlled propane heating system, hot and cold running water, and the same electrical appliances you’d find in a modern home: refrigerator, gas range, flush toilet and color TV. Comfortable and convenient, no doubt, but it all cost a bunch of money to purchase, license, insure, maintain and power, and a big fancy truck to tow. I remember waking early one morning and seeing their camp in the little clearing across the way. Soft, pinkish rays of sun sifted through the mist while puffs of gray smoke drifted lazily from their tent chimney. It seemed so simple, almost primitive, and yet so cozy. The weird thing is… I felt kind of jealous. 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 under Living in Colorado.






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Crowning Achievements

On December 5, 2021, Hailey Frederiksen of Wellington representing the Centennial State as Miss Rodeo Colorado, was crowned Miss Rodeo America 2022. The daughter of Trevin and Megan Frederiksen grew up on her family’s ranch, in Poudre Valley REA’s territory, where she loved riding horses. While Hailey is a beauty, there’s more to her than what’s on the surface. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in animal sciences with a minor in agricultural business and plans to earn her a masters in agricultural communications. A skilled horseback rider who is sharpening her skills in barrel racing, breakaway roping and team roping, she’s an #agvocate who embraces our country’s rich agriculture and rodeo communities.

About the Pageant Miss Rodeo America dates back to 1955 in Casper, Wyoming. Today the pageant is held in Las Vegas in conjunction with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s annual convention and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Contestants are judged on personality, appearance and horsemanship. “They’re looking for a girl who will represent this industry as a whole,” Hailey says. “They’re looking for that unique individual — someone to be themselves and be genuinely passionate about what they represent.”

More Than Meets the Eye In 2009, 12-year-old Hailey won her first rodeo queen title, and that’s when she “got bit by the rodeo queen bug and never turned back.” Aspiring rodeo pageant queens should know that just being the “prettiest” pageant contestant won’t earn the coveted crown. “Simply be yourself,” Hailey advises. “That was the biggest feedback that I received when I tried out for Colorado my first year and didn’t win because they didn’t know who I (really) was.”


A Constant #agvocate During her time as Miss Rodeo America, Hailey has traveled all over the United States promoting the Western way of life at rodeos, schools and civic group meetings. After she welcomes the newest Miss Rodeo America winner in December, Hailey will start a new chapter in her life: working for The Cowboy Channel.

Ashley Baller will represent Colorado at the 2023 Miss Rodeo Pageant, November 27 – December 4. Learn more at




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along this posted Hay Gulch Road, between an unknown distance left to travel and the whimsical right turn where the journey began, easing themselves from pavement to gravel, pursued by nothing but billowing dust, the two of them sat quietly mountain vistas draping the horizon, new-mown hayfields drying in the sun. The road had to go somewhere and they owned the remainder of the day.

Are you a poet? Do you write poetry?

Heart Massage

Awe … To massage another’s heart Requires trust and time Tender loving care And gentle hands If you plan to go there

Submit your best works to our Reader Engagement page at or send via email to

It is not to be treated lightly The massage of the heart But with privilege and respect Not knowing where it’s been It could be rather tender and bruised deep within

We love to hear from our readers!

When the proper attention Is given to the heart It will blossom with love And the ability to impart

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

Maps at this point—pointless. The need to know without the patience to find out. That is the benefit and beauty Of massaging another one’s heart David Feela, Cortez Empire Electric Association consumer-member Renee Budde, Lakewood

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Randy Marks at the summit of Medicine Bow Peak, September 2022, with his wife Paula (photographer).


Daughters of Vicki Tussey, Delta-Montrose Electric Association consumer-members, pose with their copy of Colorado Country Life while visiting Greenland.

The little girl put down her copy

of Snow White. She asked, “Mommy, do all fairy tales start with ‘once upon a time?’” Her mother replied, “No, some are written by politicians which start with ‘once I am elected.’” Penny Hamilton, Granby Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member

Don and Marge Tracy, consumer-members of Mountain View Electric Association, take their copy of CCL on a 10-day cruise to Canada and New England to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Tracy Loftsgard and Nan Austin, along with Mountain Park Electric consumer-members Jenny Krieg and Toni Leuthold hold their CCL while hiking on the 155-mile Great Southwest Walk passing through Cape Nelson State Park near Portland, Australia.

It was dark and cold when I met

my 4-year-old son at the barn door after his riding lesson last week. He was so excited to tell me they practiced “emergency discounts” at his lesson. (It was dismounts.) Just in time for holiday shopping! Rebecca Sundhagen, Falcon Mountain View Electric Association consumer-member

Our daughter was about 4 years

WINNER: Daryl and Annette Bowin, consumermembers of Y-W Electric Association, pose with their copy of CCL in Passau, Germany. The magazine traveled through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary on a Viking River Cruise.

old and we were shopping in a furniture store. Suddenly she was on her hands and knees looking beneath pieces of furniture. When we asked what she was looking for, she said, “I smell bunnies!” We laughed, realizing the room displayed cedar chests and we used cedar chips to line our lop-eared rabbit cages. Jill Wilson, Trinidad San Isabel Electric Association consumer-member

Dorothy and Charles Turner of Pueblo, stand in front of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. They are consumer-members of San Isabel Electric.

Take Your Photo with Your Magazine and Win! It’s easy to win with Colorado Country Life. Simply take a photo of someone (or a selfie!) with the magazine and submit it on our Reader Engagement page at coloradocountrylife. coop. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Tuesday, November 15. 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 the published funny stories, and that person will receive $200. Go to our Reader Engagement page at coloradocountrylife. coop to submit your funny story. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE NOVEMBER 2022



Books for Kids

Find entertaining Colorado stories in these pages Bats, Bandits & Buggies

Half a Saddle Off

In Bats, Bandits & Buggies, 13-year-old Ruby is quite unimpressed with her new life in the big town of Colorado Springs in 1898 after moving from her home in Cripple Creek. While making the most of her new home, she quickly encounters all kinds of roadblocks and mischief as she attempts to train her donkey, Maude, and begin her summer business of driving the townspeople through town in a donkey-pulled buggy. Author Nancy Oswald weaves her sixth Ruby and Maude Adventure into a fun, enchanting and suspenseful tale, perfect for young and old readers alike. Keep up with Ruby’s escapades by finding this book at or at local retailers.

Meghan Callahan had been riding Western with her cherished horse, Freckles, for almost a year and a half, so when her trainer recommended training on an English saddle too, Meghan was very skeptical. Half a Saddle Off is a lovely tale of a young girl and her friends as they navigate finding their way and maturing into young women. The story is a fictional compilation of author Susan Carpenter Noble’s own riding experiences along with those of her students. Woven throughout is her beautiful love and knowledge of horsemanship and the lessons learned in training that coincide with important life skills. Readers of all ages will want to pick up this book either at or at a local bookstore.

By Nancy Oswald

By Susan Carpenter Noble

More Colorado Kids Books We Recommend 1 Everybody Loves Grace: A True Story of Grace’s Adventure to Pennsylvania By Katy McQuaid

Don’t wait to check items off your bucket list — go for it now!

2 Alone

4 Pigture Perfect

6 Lucy the Duct Tape Warrior

By Jenny Goebel

Grace “gets the picture” that her pet pig Bernard has a talent of making sick people feel better. Could he be a therapy animal?

5 Tulip’s Disappearing Act

By Megan E. Freeman

Lucy finds out her school is changing its dress code policy. How can she follow the rules without changing her rambunctious ways?

7 Nana the Great Comes to Visit

By Virginia K. White

She woke up to an abandoned town. How will she survive?

By Samantha K. Riggi Illustrated by Todd Myzia

By Lisa Tawn Bergren

A friendly troll who can “almost” disappear has a series of fun adventures.

Nana the Great is sensationally spunky, and the grandkids love it when she visits. How awesome is she? Read to find out!

3 God’s Perfectly Awesome Idea By Claudia S. West

A story about God creating the universe, rooted in the Old Testament.

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Read more extensive reviews of these books and others at