Valley Voice April 2023

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April 2023 . Issue 12.4 a member managed llc FREE Steamboat Springs Hayden Oak Creek Yampa
2 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those who wish they did. 970-879-8185 2432 Lincoln Avenue Mon. - Thurs. 11am -9pm Fri. & Sat. - 10am -10pm Sundays 11am - 7pm Best Prices in Town! We have the coldest beer around! “We are on your way home on the right side of the road !” A new ctional novel about the early years in Steamboat Springs, Colorado Ken Proper’s novel Victims of Love is available at: . O the Beaten Path See Page 12 OPEN DAILY Recreational & Medical Dispensary 1755 Lincoln Avenue Steamboat Springs 970-870-2941 Follow us! F l o w e r . Edibles.Pre-Rolls . Concentrates&V a pe s . T o piac sl . nasDBC ! 970-879-5273 102 Anglers Drive Happy Pets! Happy People! Spring is around the corner which is a good thing! Heartworm disease season is also around the corner which is a bad thing! "Its heartworm season! Did you know that in addition to heartworms your pet can carry intestinal parasites that can be transmitted to other pets as well as people? Keep your whole family safe and healthy by getting your pet tested this spring. Call us! It's easy to test and treat your furry family member. The “LOCAL’S” choice for Personalized Health Care EASTER! Baskets, candy, gifts and more! We have all your spring planting goodies, too! Oak Creek, Colorado Monthly Magazine A Local Favorite! A community magazine promoting Routt County and its residents. Participate by submitting your stories, art, photography, poems and rants to... Valley Voice, LC P.O. Box 770743 Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80477 970.846.3801 Promote Your Business in the Valley Voice!

Publisher/Art Director: Matt Scharf


Valley Voice is published monthly and distributed on the last Wednesday of each month. Please address letters, questions, comments or concerns to: Valley Voice, LLC, P.O. Box 770743 or come by and see us at 1125 Lincoln Ave, Unit 2C, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. Or contact Matt Scharf: 970-846-3801

Website Subscription rate is $40 per year (12 issues). All content © 2021 Valley Voice, L.L.C. No portion of the contents of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission from the Valley Voice.

Official Fine Print

Advertisers assume full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their ads. In the event of error or omission in the advertisement, the publisher’s sole responsibility shall be to publish the advertisement at a later date. Advertisements and articles are accepted and published upon the representation that the author, agency and/or advertiser is authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. The author, agency, and/ or advertiser will indemnify and save Valley Voice, LLC harmless from all claims and legal action resulting from the contents of the articles or advertisements including claims or suits resulting from libel, defamation, plagiarism, rights to privacy and copyright infringements.

The views and opinions expressed reflect the views and opinions of the authors and may not necessarily reflect the views and opinion of the editor, staff or advertisers in Steamboat Springs’s Valley Voice. Direct all correspondence, articles, editorials or advertisements to the address below. The author’s signature and phone number must accompany letters to the editor. Names will be withheld upon request (at the discretion of the publisher).

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Thank you for your support!

Precision AATD Pilot Simulator


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Places to Go and Mostly on Time Page 5

Yampa Comprehensive Plan Draft Page 6

Trending in the Wrong Direction

Alright, Already, I'm Older Now

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Wildfires: Years of Waste and Tragedy Page 8

The Photographer's Bad Eye

Jeremy for King

Oak Creek Community Garden

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Living Well is Acting Well Page 11

Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire Page 12

It's April and English is Crazy

Flies. Love or Hate Them

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If It Gets Hot, Keep Your Wits About You Page 15

My Ranching Life in Colorado - Part II

Being Green


Your Monthly Message


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The Brown Ranch effect that threatens the vibe of the county without any regard to public opinion…

Raising the lot rent by 40% while not making any capital improvements in the past 20 years...

When you go on your shopping/ errand trips and realize you don’t recognize anybody anymore…

When personalities get in the way of good food…

Traffic accidents on our main thoroughfares because the gas pedal doesn’t match with the road conditions…

The fear of the great flood this mud season…


Sh*t Show stickers…

The great melt off in the Valley making visitors leave us with our town again…

The unbelievable deals at L&F Sports…

The realization of knowing you have one good neighbor… Surviving one of the deepest winters in Routt County and beyond…

The thought of seeing dirt again without driving to Brown’s Park…

Nobody is above the law...

Say What?...

"I was driving with some friends through the Eisenhower Tunnel and started to experience some pain in my wrists. I asked my doctor what the problem was and he said I was suffering from carpal carpool tunnel syndrome." – SD

3 April 2023 Valley Voice
Advertise in the in the Valley Voice! Contact: Matt Scharf at or 970-846-3801 Please send us your RANTS, RAVES and SAY WHATs! The Valley Voice wants to hear your thoughts as we struggle to find our center. Send to: By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it. — Eliezer Yudkowsky Send in your submissions by April 17th! for the May 2023 edition! Send to:

Precision AATD Pilot Simulator Takes Flight Locally

It’s time to kick the tires and light the fires! You are cleared for flight! The Steamboat Springs Airport (KSBS) is home to a new Precision Flight Controls CR-12 ProPanel Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) simulator.

The local airport, located three miles northwest of downtown, features the only flight simulator offered by a Fixed Base Operation in the Colorado Mountain Region.

“I couldn’t be more excited to see the simulator in action,” said Airport Manager and retired US Coast Guard pilot Stacie Fain. “This valuable piece of equipment differentiates our Airport and FBO apart from others and ensures pilots have access to vital training resources at their fingertips.”


Mon. thru Sat: 10 am - 9 pm

Sunday: 11:30 am - 7:30 pm

The PFC Simulator is an Advanced Aviation Training Device allowing pilots to log time while obtaining or maintaining instrument proficiency. It can also be used as an introduction to flight. The grant-sponsored simulator goal is more proficient instrument trained pilots on the Western Slope and safer flight operations across the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Over the past few months, airport staff installed the desktop flight training module, worked with the developer to calibrate software, and put the simulator unit to the test. Funded through a $35,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics and matching funds from the city, the new simulator sailed through the test flight shake-down period.

Two Civil Air Patrol cadets and several young future pilots were among the first to take the pilot seat in the new simulator during an open house last month. Now seasoned and never-ever pilots can grab the controls to hone or develop their skills.

Just like every pilot has to file a flight plan, simulator pilots will need to reserve flight time through the Flight Schedule Pro application. The simulator is available for $45/hour and charged through the Steamboat Springs Airport FBO Aviation Point-of-Sale system. Staff is available to share instructions on how the equipment operates and program functions during your training slot.

The CR-12 system is the most cost effective full-featured desktop advanced aviation training device on the market. With the ability to reconfigure the system for over 40 different aircraft, and the loggable time approved by the FAA, the CR-12 ProPanel AATD system provides real-life, hands-on training and education for pilots.

Steamboat Springs Airport/Bob Adams Field, located three miles northwest of downtown, acts as the aviation front door to the community and is a general aviation facility with over 10,000 operations per year.

Transient aircraft routinely utilize the facility for a wide variety of public, private, and commercial purposes, including medical flights, flight instruction, cargo operations, scenic tours, as well as a business and charter flights. In addition, military aircraft consistently stop in for fuel services during training flights or while in transit.

Now with the new pilot simulator, the Steamboat Springs Airport will be adding virtual operations to the flight pattern and providing an integral training resource for new and seasoned pilots across the region.

To learn more about the simulator program, reserve training time or understand costs, contact the Steamboat Springs Airport at 970.879.1204 or visit

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

4 April 2023 Valley Voice
City of Steamboat Springs
The Original Local’s Liquor Store On the corner of US40 and Hilltop Parkway

There Are a lot of Places to Go and Mostly on Time

As winter begins to loosen its grip on the Yampa Valley, I have turned my focus to the status of commercial air service in the Colorado mountain communities. Specifically using Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) I have been looking at the airports in Aspen-(ASE), Durango(DRO), Eagle-(EGE), Gunnison-(GUC), Hayden-(HDN) and Montrose-(MTJ). On a combined basis these six airports in 2022 had 18,726 outbound flights which carried 1,176,886 passengers. To put this number of passengers in context, this is about the same population as Austin, Texas. That is a lot of people.

The next installment in this series I will look at where all these flights are going and how often these flights leave at their scheduled time. In addition, if delayed the reasons.

Collectively these six Colorado mountain airports have non-stop flights to 21 airports nationally. All of the listed airports have non-stop flights to Dallas/Ft. Worth and Denver. Hayden alone serves the cities of Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Seattle. For many of the cities served, these flights closely align with the potential of destination skiers and the competition for market share amongst the mountain communities.

On Time Departures and If Delayed How Long in Minutes and the Primary Cause in 2022

The destination cities served by the Colorado mountain airports is important, however, equally important is reliability. For this data the focus will be on the percentage of flights that departed as scheduled. Of those flights that were delayed, the length of the delay and cause.

In 2022, about 80% of flights departed at the scheduled time. If delayed, the average delay lasted about 90 minutes. The reasons for the delay were about 50% caused by the carrier, about 30% due to the

On Time Departures and If Delayed How in Minutes and the Primary Cause

inbound flight arriving at Hayden late and about 20% due to weather and national air traffic system issues.

NextIssue: TheNittyGrittyofLoadFactorsandthecostdifferenceof flyingfromamountainairportvs.DenverInternational(DEN).

5 April 2023 Valley Voice You can't have a mid-life crisis in the airline industry because every day is a crisis. — Herb Kelleher Go Figure
City Served ASE DRO EGE GUC HDN MTJ Atlanta YES YES YES YES Austin YES YES YES Boston YES Chicago YES YES YES YES Dallas (DAL) YES YES YES Dallas (DFW) YES YES YES YES YES YES Denver YES YES YES YES YES YES Fort Lauderdale YES Houston YES YES YES YES Los Angles YES YES YES YES Miami YES Minneapolis YES Nashville YES New York (EWR) YES YES YES New York (JFK) YES New York (LGA) YES YES Phoenix YES YES YES YES San Diego YES San Francisco YES YES YES YES Seattle YES Washington DC YES YES TOTAL 9 3 13 4 16 12 Source: Flight Connections as of 2/17/2023 Note: Flights maybe seasonal and not daily DIRECT FLIGHTS CITIES SERVED BY AIRPORT
Percentage of Flights Departing on Time Average Delay in Minutes Before Actual Takeoff 66% 103 81% 104 76% 99 78% 112 ASE DRO EGE GUC City Served ASE DRO EGE GUC HDN MTJ Atlanta YES YES YES YES Austin YES YES YES Boston YES Chicago YES YES YES YES Dallas (DAL) YES YES YES Dallas (DFW) YES YES YES YES YES YES Denver YES YES YES YES YES YES Fort Lauderdale YES Houston YES YES YES YES Los Angles YES YES YES YES Miami YES Minneapolis YES Nashville YES New York (EWR) YES YES YES New York (JFK) YES New York (LGA) YES YES Phoenix YES YES YES YES San Diego YES San Francisco YES YES YES YES Seattle YES Washington DC YES YES TOTAL 9 3 13 4 16 12 Source: Flight Connections as of 2/17/2023 Note: Flights maybe seasonal and not daily DIRECT FLIGHTS CITIES SERVED BY AIRPORT
Percentage of Flights Departing on Time Average Delay in Minutes Before Actual Takeoff Percentage of Delayed Minutes Caused by Carrier Percentage of Delayed Minutes Caused by Late Arrival Percentage of Delayed Weather, National System or Security 66% 103 17% 6% 77% 81% 104 11% 5% 85% 76% 99 9% 3% 88% 78% 112 12% 5% 82% 78% 91 47% 31% 22% 78% 80 11% 4% 84% ASE DRO EGE GUC HDN MTJ
Deep snow on the top of Thunderhead/ Photo by Crash Sterne

Yampa Comprehensive Plan Draft

Historic Routt County is pleased that the Vision and Goals contained in Draft #1 of the Yampa Comprehensive Plan Update presented at the March 30th Open House support historic preservation. Yampa is fortunate to have several valuable historic buildings that attract visitors and contribute to Yampa’s character and identity. Restoring and revitalizing historic buildings to their full potential and leveraging infill development opportunities that complement Yampa’s historic resources will contribute to the economic vitality of the community and protect Yampa’s cultural and historic heritage.

Historic Routt County urges the Town of Yampa to create robust, focused policies dedicated to the preservation of critical historic resources. Policies and actions are imperative in guiding future decisions, and also communicate to current and future property owners that the community values and seeks to preserve structures that contribute to the cultural heritage of the town. Historic preservation policies can also establish a framework for infill and redevelopment and ensure that new structures complement historic development patterns and resources.

Redevelopment of the former Royal Hotel site is a wonderful opportunity to add vitality, activity and restore the scale and character of the town center, and it is imperative that the design of new buildings and site improvements in Yampa are sustainable and respect the existing character of the community.

One of the first principles of new design in a historic context is that the new buildings should be of their own time, respectful but not replicative. New structures – commercial, residential and/or mixed use - should be designed so that a person visiting Yampa would NOT think that the new structures are “old” and were constructed at the same time as the historic buildings. Historic preservation best practices and National Park Service standards state that new infill buildings in a historic town should not replicate but reinforce a “sense of place.”

Historic towns, such as Yampa, usually include buildings exhibiting many different architectural styles. Over time these buildings reflect the sense of the specific place due to the available materials, local craftsmanship and

regional character. New construction can best provide continuity through complimentary design rather than recreation or replication, which is important to creating and supporting the existing character of historic towns. New development should be influenced by historic structures and harmonize with the diversity of existing architectural character without trying to create a faux version of the past.

In drafting historic preservation policies for the Town of Yampa Comprehensive Plan Update, several topics should be considered:

• Neighborhood Context and Historic Development Patterns

• Historic, Current and Desired Street and Streetscape Character

• Local Architectural Character

Among the questions most applicable to historic towns with infill and redevelopment opportunities are the following:

• Neighborhood Context - History: Does the proposed design appropriately incorporate or respond to existing historic assets, or would it erode or compromise such assets?

• Street and Streetscape Character: Does the proposed development and site improvements support and strengthen the existing street edge, character, and maintenance regimes?

• Building Height: Does the height and form of proposed new buildings contribute positively to the street and existing, adjacent buildings as viewed from both near and far?

• Building Massing: Does the massing of the proposed new building respond to the context?

• Architectural Details: Do the architectural details and composition relate in a complementary way to the existing context?

• Building Facade: Does the building facade include a composition of architectural details that reflect Yampa’s local character?

• Materials: Would the building materials be attractive and appropriate to the scale and character of Yampa?

• Windows and Doors: Would the scale, proportions and articulation of the windows and building entrances be appropriate to Yampa, forming a positive relationship with the architectural character of the surrounding buildings?

• Roof: Has the roof edge, cornice or overhang been designed in an attractive, functional, or complimenting manner?

The current Draft Comprehensive Plan Update initiates a discussion regarding design guidelines for infill and redevelopment in Yampa. General policies and actions might be more appropriate for the Comprehensive Plan Update, as the specific design recommendations contained in the current draft may not be viable or desired in the upcoming years when some of these infill opportunities are being funded, designed, and constructed.

6 April 2023 Valley Voice
Historic Routt
For those who live here and for those who wish they did.
In front of the Royal Hotel. circa 1915 The Royal Hotel before it burned down on January 3, 2015

Basic building design parameters, such as lot coverage, building height, orientation, and placement (setbacks or build-to lines) can and should be adopted into the Town of Yampa’s zoning standards as soon as possible after the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan Update.

While detailed and specific design guidelines for infill and redevelopment should be generated for the Town of Yampa, general guidance should be provided in the Comprehensive Plan Update and address the following items:

• Building Heights should be consistent with the height of other buildings on the same block or the desired character if the site is unique or evolving.

• The Massing of new buildings should be generally consistent with surrounding buildings.

• Setbacks and/or Build-to-Lines along the sidewalk should reinforce the existing pedestrian character of Yampa’s town center.

• Building Facades should include design elements, such as bays, changes in wall plane or materials reflecting the historic development pattern, to maintain a welcoming pedestrian scale. Large expanses of blank mirrored, or opaque facades should be avoided on any street-facing building facade.

• Human scaled decorative details such as display windows, recessed doors/entrances, high-quality materials, colors, and lighting should be incorporated on the lower levels of the building to enhance the Pedestrian Experience and Interest at the Street Level. All street facing ground level facades should have architectural detailing, consistent with traditional storefront design to break up the overall scale of an extended, lengthy building facade.

Historic Routt County is excited by the potential opportunity to collaborate with the Town of Yampa and the Yampa community to draft policies and actions to ensure that the unique and historic character of Yampa is preserved and enhanced for all - including future generations.

Artificial Intelligence Trending in the Wrong Direction

What is up with this Artificial Intelligence (AI) baloney for artwork, articles and photography and how it’s the new thing? Yup, apparently you just download an app, punch in a couple phrases and poof you have something called art or a fresh new article. This goes against all things Valley Voice. As most of us know, the Valley Voice tries to foster creativity in Routt County by inviting local writers, artists and photographers to submit monthly to a very local publication. It has done a pretty good job showcasing the creative souls here that actually use a pen and paper and a brush to canvas, or even the people who know what an f-stop means.

It reminds me of the time when graphic design, writing, photography and even architecture was accomplished without a computer. It always started with a sketch, a rendering or a hand glued model. Graphic design production was called “paste-up.” In photography, you would develop your own film or in architecture you created hand drawn architectural sets until or around the late 1980s. Then the computers took over and everybody thought they were an instant creator without any degree in the subject. The competition grew large back then due to the availability of the computer and all its creative software. The computer “artists” would say “let’s try this button, or how about this filter.” It was very disturbing at the time and now it’s nauseating to see this AI rear its ugly head today. Go ahead and have fun with it, but to deem it art created by you? I have a problem with that. How do you take on this onslaught of fakeness? You can call it a digital creation from your app, but don’t call it yours. It’s not yours, nor is it yours to profit from, just because of your lack of budget, motivation or talent.

Most creatives know that it is difficult and rewarding to create by hand, with pure emotion and conviction. Craftsmanship was king back then and paying attention to detail was extremely important. Now with AI, you don’t even know the result until it spits it back in your face.

I know about this because I earned a degree in Graphic Design and Marketing from the Colorado Institute of Art in 1982. I was very fortunate to work in high end design firms before I even started art school. The biggest prerequisite was the ability to know how to draw. Every firm had a true artist or conceptual illustrator that could get an idea across. Photographers were hired on their merit and creativity. Writers of all topics were hired on their previous accomplishments. The Valley Voice provides a place for people to submit their work, as long as it is local and original. I try to make it a magazine everybody wants to pick up and read.

I’m definitely old school, but I also realize I could not get this magazine produced without some of today’s technology and sometimes that isn’t perfect. In fact, the very first issue of the Valley Voice had a typo on the cover. That was a big kick in the stomach! But hey, we are all human or at least most of us.

Alright, Already, I'm Older Now

Snow falls on my car in the high Rocky’s I return to a warm garage, feeling floppy! Snow melts then freezes on the garage floor Slip and slide, soon enough I’ll pay the price Sure, snow and ice can be nice But here’s my sage advice

Don’t despair, hop on down to Ace Hardware,

An ice chopper should suffice But don’t get cheapie, please believe me You’ll also need an Aqua-dozer squeegee

It’s quite simple, you must agree Daily chop, chip, and squee-gee, without rival It is the key to my survival.

Yet, with bluebird days and Champagne Powder Winter’s here and snow abounds Then, survival seems unsound Chop, chip, squeegee? The hell! I’d rather be in Fiji! Play’s the thing, let’s have a fling I want to hear the snowbirds sing! Alight, already I’m Older!

Damn rights, it’s getting colder The ice it did attack! I slipped hard on my back, Now it’s me, who’s getting preachy I vowed to chop, chip, and squeegee But escaped to hear the snowbirds sing No, now’s, no time to be comedic Get me quick to Steamboat Orthopedic Do I hear the MRI a ringing? X rays…cortisone…PT’s beginning! Hark! Now I hear the angels winging? Yeap, that’s my new old thing.

7 April 2023 Valley Voice Whatever good things we build end up building us. — Jim Rohn
Where the Royal Hotel once stood

Wildfires: The Years of Waste and Tragedy Part I of III

Wildfires, forest fires as they were once known, are global, and their path through modern history is often dramatic and tragic and all too often on a grand scale. For example: In 2003, wildfires in Portugal destroyed 10% of the forests and killed 18 people. The Kursha-2 Settlement in Russia in 1935 was destroyed by wildfire which killed 1,200 people and injured many more. In 2015, wildfires killed twenty-six Siberians, while in Spain eleven firefighters died in 2005.

Canada is another country that has experienced massive fires. A complex fire in 1919 along the Alberta-Saskatchewan line destroyed more than five million acres of timber, burned the village of Lac La Biche, and claimed 300 lives. In Ontario in 1911, the Great Porcupine Fire caused between 73 and 200 deaths. So many people simply could not be accounted for. Five years later the Great Matheson Fire had an official death toll of 223 people and destroyed several towns. At Cochrans, fire returned a second time after just five years. The 1950 Chinchega Fire in British Columbia and Alberta burned 3,500,000 plus acres becoming the largest (non-complex) wildfire in North America. The Manitoba Fires (plural), 1989, burned 8,105,000 acres, forced evacuation of 24,500 people, and assaulted 32 towns. That year, Manitoba alone suffered 1,147 separate fires.


The Photographer's Bad Eye

The photo captures an image fleeting by, A moment frozen, but full of light, A solid dot against the vast sky, From memory's vision, I wish were right.

Once captured on some film's roll, As a pause between youth and age, I doubt it has life steadily or whole, Nor the rich thought of a sage.

Yet, there's a message so fleeting, Holding a soul in that picture, Sky and earth are, indeed, meeting. 'Tho the spirit is more than this stricture.

Always the season in time and space, For right lighting to the scene, Revealing a warm smiling face, No shadow marring what is clean.

Once there was a flash and snap, Captured wide-eyed on mind's map.

The greatest disaster in terms of lives lost in the United Sates occurred in the Peshtigo fire in northeastern Wisconsin where between 1,500 and 2,500 people perished. The uncertainty of number is because mass graves are still being discovered. In addition to Peshtigo, sixteen more communities were destroyed, and more than a million acres burned. At the same time, separate fires roared out of control in Michigan, destroying the communities of Manistee and Holland. Human folly caused all the pain. Everything was booming around Peshtigo in the fall of 1871. Railroad construction promised easy transportation, sawmills were popping up everywhere, freshly cleared land was being plowed for farming. Newcomers were arriving daily and money flowed like water. Smoke from the burning “slash piles” and small forest fires set to clear land filled the air. No one was really worried because the dry spell would end when it rained, and the wind would die down.

But the wind did not stop, and the rain did not come. Slash piles started setting more forest fires and the fires became larger. Then they united. The men attempting to fight the fires had few tools and little knowledge about how to attack a fire. On October 8, the fire blew up into a raging fire storm - a tornado of fire whirled high in the air racing in excess of 100 miles per hour. Men, women, and children raced for safety, but there was no safety. The fire leaped ahead of the fleeing people blocking them no matter which way they turned. Railroad cars and houses were lifted into the air. Disaster reigned.

Yet, the human race which prides itself on its ability to reason can and does some stupid things. The 1871 fires did extensive damage in Wisconsin and Michigan. A decade later, 1881, in the Thumb of Michigan the same logging, railroad, and farmland practices were being used. The summer was dry and the wind high. Fires began to combine creating their own weather. A horrific firestorm ensued. The Great Thumb Fire (actually a complex of fires) took at least 300 lives and probably many more. Homes and communities were destroyed or badly damaged.

Over the next decade “saw timber” was harvested out in Wisconsin and the logging industry moved to Minnesota; however, the learning process was stationary. The summer of 1894 was dry, and fires were common as farmers cleared land, loggers burned slash piles, and small forest fires erupted. On September 1, 1894, a weather inversion moved across with high winds. Again, small fires combined, resulting in a fire storm. First, the towns of Mission Creek and Brook Park were destroyed before the fire headed into Hinckley with a wall of fire rolling and leaping. Debris rose hundreds of feet in the air, kegs of nails melted, and railroad car wheels welded to the rail from the heat. A train raced on flaming ties to save fleeing people. Others found safety in Skunk Lake, Yet 418 men, women and children lost their lives.

In the fall of 1918, more than fifty fires were burning in Minnesota’s Moose Lake, Cloquet, and Kettle River region of Minnesota. The sparks from a passing train started a fire; however, two men saw it and quickly put it out − so they thought. It smoldered a few days until the wind fanned it to life. Soon it became a raging firestorm.

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

Again, a train load of people raced to escape but all did not escape. The official count found 453 deaths, 52,000 injured, and 250,000 acres burned.

In the summer of 1879, Ute Indians set several fires in western Colorado. Superintendent of Farwell’s mines at Hahns Peak, J. B. Donaldson wrote, “the fire burned Sand Mountain, Hahns Peak Basin, and along the continental divide from the North Fork of Elk River to Service Creek.” The fire burned many of the flumes essential to the mining operation and bankrupt the company – killing the Hahns Peak gold boom. Early day photographs taken atop Rabbit Ears Pass do not have any trees in the background, suggesting they had burned at an earlier time.

Mildred L. McIntoch stated, “The blaze started near Mt. Welba, a high camel hump mountain separating the Bear River and Snake River watershed. . . . The fire raged at such terrific speed that it jumped Slater Creek, swept by Long Mountain, jumped Snake River, and up the side of Battle Mountain [and] over the divide between Snake River and Platte River.”

Numerous frontiersmen had a disregard for the forest. For example, Major John Wesley Powell’s campfire set the timber on fire and burned a large area. Mark Twain in Rough’en It tells of a fire carelessly set at Lake Tahoe burning thousands of acres.

In 1898, George B. Sudworth conducted an extensive survey of the White River and Battlement Mesa Forest Reserves. He found most forest fires of the ‘90s were caused by “neglected camp fires.” He also reported one fire was caused by a sawmill employee seeking revenge for wages that were not paid by the mill owners. Other fires were the result of sawmill men who set forest fires to later harvest dead timber that was well seasoned and lighter –high grade timber.

The lumber market was highly competitive and boards without knots commanded premium prices. Sudworth found that timber men were only taking the lower part of the tree – below the branches because branches cause knots. The waste of discarded branches and tree trunks provided ideal fuel for fires. A few prospectors did not hesitate to set fire to areas they wished to examine. Where the timber was thick, they simply burned it to see the ground.

The destruction of the national forest was rapid. Until railroads were built and suitable coalmines opened, Colorado smelters depended upon charcoal. Virtually all the trees in the Leadville region, over Tennessee Pass and Eagle River Park (Camp Hale), were cut and burned for charcoal. Again, the slash was burned resulting in forest fires. All the mines cut the nearby timber for constructing mine buildings, hoists, and mine timber. A mine near Telluride cut all the trees on the steep slope above the mine. In the winter a snow slide (avalanche) destroyed the mine’s buildings with human loss of life. Railroads with steam engines bellowing smoke and sparks and more sparks from slipping wheels on steel rails were notorious for starting large forest fires.

8 April 2023 Valley Voice
Bonnifield Files

When the American Revolution began in 1775, the western line of settlement was the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. A hundred and twenty-five years later (1900) the timber was gone in Pennsylvania, New York, and the Ohio Valley and it was rapidly being depleted in the old Northwest states. Under assault were the forests of the northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest, and California. Many American leaders feared the nation would run out of wood unless the national forests were protected.

President Harrison in 1892 set aside large tracts for forest reserves. The White River Forest Reserve is the second oldest in the U.S. behind Yellowstone. However, the legislation had no teeth and was impossible to administer. President McKinley enlarged the number of forest reserves and put some teeth in the law. Yet, it remained weak, and opposition was strong.

Issuing Presidential proclamations in 1905, Teddy Roosevelt established the Forest Service and set aside millions of acres. Among those created was the Park Range Forest Preserve encompassing 1,133,330 acres with headquarters in Kremmling. Two years later it was divided by establishing Routt National Forest with headquarters in Steamboat Springs.

The ink had hardly dried on Roosevelt’s proclamation before the anti-conservation forces attacked. Colorado Governor Buchtel called a Public Lands Convention in Denver. The credentials of all conservation delegates were rejected – assuring only anti-Forest Service people attended.

The most blistering attack was given by Colorado’s extremely powerful Senator Henry M. Teller. “It is said,” he declared, “we have depleted the forests . . . that may be true. . . . I can remember when there were great pine forests in the states of Pennsylvania and New York, and they have disappeared. The great lofty pines were cut down and put into lumber and went to build houses, to build cities and build towns. . . . I thank God that the trees are gone and in their place have come men and women, Christian men and women, liberty-loving men and libertyloving women. I do contend that we have a right to put them to the use that God Almighty intended they should be put, and the power of the government is a tyrannical power. All that [God] has done for this state it has done for us, and we are entitled. If we want to use all of the water of the state we are entitled to use it. If we want to use all the mineral wealth and we can get it out we are entitled to use it.”

Chief Forester, Gifford Pinchot replied. “The nation at large at the present rate of consumption has only about twenty years supply. A great famine is approaching with giant strides, and when it comes it is going to make every other famine . . . look so small we shall not remember.”

The line between the “standpat” people and the Progressives was clearly drawn. The survival of the forest service and conservation stood in the balance, and it wasn’t clear which side would win. Presidents Taft and Wilson were only lukewarm conservationists. Massive forest fires tilted the scales. But that is next month’s story.

New Music in Town Jeremy for King

“Good morning, the hopes of all mankind rest upon us.” With this radio special bulletin breaking through the static, Jeremy for King wastes no time in declaring what’s at stake as they kick into their eponymous debut album, offering a beautiful and thought-provoking blend of stringinfused Chamber Pop, New Americana, Indie Rock, and Indie Folk that proves that neither a pop sensibility nor a desire to seek deeper substance need compromise the other.

Being a fairly recent transplant to the Steamboat area from the west coast, front man and guitarist Jeremy Gates found his biggest obstacle in not already being

plugged in with local musicians. Together with his wife Megan Gates whose piano and vocals are key ingredients in the album and producer Austin Hilde, Jeremy used the power of modern technology to collaborate with other established musician friends around the country and even some as far as Great Britain to fill out the album’s sound.

In a video for a crowdfunding Kickstarter for the album which raised over $10,000 in its 30-day run, Jeremy divulged his view of the album as analogous to a four act play with each act broadening the scope. “Demons at Bay” kicks off the first act dealing with the internal battle: pride, selfishness, purpose, spirituality. The upbeat and catchy single “Cold Comfort” creates a transition to act two by putting that internal struggle into the realm of a relationship as one comes to terms with the fact that running away from the external is not a solve for the internal. The acts continue with a focus shift to navigating society and relations as a whole before wrapping up by offering a sense of the commonality of the human experience with “By and By” offering encouragement to anyone considering giving up to take a look around and reach out, recognizing those common struggles. The spoken word glimpses of conversations interspersed throughout help to drive this commonality home with a diverse assortment of voices offering common themes.

With their album now complete and available on all major streaming platforms, Jeremy for King offer a new voice to the Yampa Valley and prepare to amp up their schedule of live performances.

9 April 2023 Valley Voice
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. — Ferdinand Foch

Oak Creek Community Garden

Around 2010, several residents of Oak Creek, Colorado, among them; Cindie Anderson, Kim Brooks, Wendy Gustafson, Adam Harstein, Chloe Marcellus, Lynne Paschal, Mike Sellers all met to brain-storm about creating a community garden. Chloe and Lynne went to the Town Council to not only share their ideas, but to ask if they could use a site located on the west end of Nancy Crawford Street near 20 Mile Road. It wasn’t exactly empty, as it was used as a drop off place for unwanted items. The Council approved Lynne and Chloe’s request and cleared the area which would eventually “sprout a garden.” Volunteers started figuring out ways to raise some money for the project. In June, they set up a small booth in Decker Park at the annual Taste of South Routt event and provided massages in return for donations. Lynne took a Master Gardeners’ class offered by the County Extension Office. Karen Massey, the instructor, became very interested in helping develop a community garden in South Routt. Massey knew about a grant that specifically supported community garden upstarts. Photos of the plot, a map of the layout and the approximate cost of needed supplies were required. Then Massey completed the application and VOILA! The birth of the Oak Creek Community Garden began!

The South Routt Community was extremely enthusiastic about the project and a lot of volunteers pitched in with fine cleaning the area, building the plots, constructing the fence and planting a few trees and bushes. Roger Fedora built a splendid storage shed near the garden. He started with a shed that was donated by Zach and Rebecca. Rocky Wisecup, who is a town employee, put the shed on a front end loader and drove it backwards to its present location near the garden. Fedora and his friend Karl built the shed’s foundation, put on the siding, and added sliding barn doors. The town’s employees; Tom Holiday, Bob Redding, Rocky Wisecup and others were always willing to pitch in and offer their expertise. Mary Deppe handcrafted a lovely ceramic sunflower that adorns the shed. Mike Brennan built a wooden arbor at the north entrance of the garden. Before the garden was actually started, John Crawford was responsible for bringing the Coal Mining Bucket and having it placed at the far end of the plot.

It took lots of folks to move this heavy bucket. South Routt Nursery provided the soil for the garden beds. A small greenhouse was purchased by the town and installed near the garden with the help of Karl.

Getting people to actually sign up for a plot was more challenging. People wanted and appreciated a nice looking park-like spot for the community. However, most of the volunteers already had a garden at their home. Lynne and Mike Paschal signed up and gardened there for 5 years until they moved out of state. Wendy Gustafson and Chloe Marcellus were also some of the initial gardeners. Fortunately some of the older green-thumbers in the community signed on; Cindie and Royal Anderson, Mary Alice Page-Allen, the late Donna Wylie and Mary Kay and Ron Graver.

Initially, hoses had to be dragged from the nearby hockey rink for water. In 2011, the town built a water closet that was attached to the shed and installed a public water line. Roger up-cycled some former doors for the siding of the water closet. The caregivers weed-wacked, trimmed, watered, weeded, planted some flowers, produced fruits and vegetables and in general kept the garden productive and looking good. The produce was often shared with the LiftUp Program.

Signage was eventually installed. Later, during the pandemic Scott Kinney always seemed to be there giving the garden lots of attention. Through the years there’s been some gardener turnover which is only natural. Joe Hragyil is a current gardener and also a handyman. There are several young people who have stepped up to the plate. If you are interested in learning more about the current status, call the Oak Creek Town Hall at 970-736-2422 or contact Joy and John Hogan, Oak Creek residents.

Chairs are available in the garden if you’d like to sit for a spell and enjoy your cup of coffee, read or just be. If you have a dog simply use one of the chairs outside the fence. It’s a special space. May the OCCG keep on going and keep on growing!

10 April 2023 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those
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who wish they did.
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Living Well is Acting Well

As I’m poised to once again jump into the realm of educational theatre, teaching an acting class, I’ve got this nervous energy and the burning question: how do I begin? I’ll look out tomorrow and see a sea (well, probably only half a dozen) eager (well, more likely just anxious) faces hanging on every word. But what words can convey something so elemental as acting? My favorite acting text supposes that “we act constantly, not because we are purposely lying, but because we have no choice. Living well means acting well.” [Declan Donnellan. “The Actor and the Target”] Every waking moment, and probably in most of our dreams, we’re playing a role (teacher, student, partner, friend, lover, co-worker, and so on..). Even when we’re alone, we’re being our own audience, reflecting on how well we're performing at cleaning the house or fixing lunch.

I’ve done classes or workshops with individuals dealing with addictive behavior and what I see is exactly what Donnellan proposes. These folks are clearly NOT living well, because they’re addicted to one substance or another. They struggle with my acting workshops too, uncomfortable with vulnerability and trust exercises, unwilling to vocalize emotions, and becoming guarded or defensive even when attempting to tell simple stories of their lives. The success I’ve had with these groups underscores the value of “acting” class as more than just memorizing a few lines and giving them emotional depth. Giving these “students” some tools for acting well gives them some ability to avoid hiding behind the lack of these basic social skills through substance abuse. Learning to act well, or even competently, maybe means not needing to get high to fit into the social matrix of modern life.

I’ve suspected the same is true for those struggling with recovery from loss, whether it be the death of someone close, the loss of a relationship, or some other grief inducing event. There’s this myth that “time heals all wounds” but that’s an oversimplification. If you use the time to focus only on the hole that grief has opened in your life, the hole doesn’t just go away. Dr. Lois Tonkin, a New Zealand grief counselor who died in 2019, wrote that we don’t get over grief; we learn to build new life around it. If you imagine your grief as a rock that fills a glass jar, the way to recover from the loss is not to pretend the rock is getting smaller but to find a bigger jar to put it in. Accept the grief as part of your new life and expand what that life can be.

Which brings me back to my acting class. We’ll start off with some simple storytelling to learn names, then move into trust games and exercises. When I was a high school drama teacher, I once made a list of all the games I played with the students and it was over 100 (of course, that handwritten list is lost somewhere in a dusty file cabinet). Somewhere along the line, I’ll introduce text, written dramatic pieces (usually a Shakespearean sonnet because, when it comes to text, there’s nothing more meaningful and time-tested in the English language than Shakespeare). If the class is adventurous, we’ll make or create masks and use those as a vehicle for creating a character.

There’s a couple of simple paths for building a new life in the dramatic sense: you can work from the inside out, recalling memories or experiences like that expressed in a piece of text. David Mamet calls this imagining the “as-if” of the scene. For example, if you’re playing a scene that requires you to get out of taking a final exam, you could imagine it’s as if you desperately need to borrow your parent’s car for a hot date. While this works for some actors or wannabees, I think it’s a lot of work for the actor and not much for the audience. As a basically lazy artist, I believe it’s more important for the audience to do the work. What they feel is more important than what an actor feels or imagines.

So, I look to develop an outside in process that cares less about what the actor is experiencing and more about what the audience sees and imagines. Costumes, props (a cane or weird hat), or - my favorite - a mask can be easy and fun ways to create a new persona that communicates the strong desire without mining any personal emotional (or even traumatic) experience. Wear dark glasses and a cane and, of course, you’ll need to postpone the exam- you’re suddenly blind!!! And imagine the fun wandering around the stage, smacking the professor with the cane (by accident!?!?), getting to the edge of the stage and nearly falling off, or any other antics that communicate to the audience not just blindness but a character who’s hiding something. Two hundred audience members all watching the scene will come up with two hundred different explanations. They get to do the imagining while the actor just lurches around wearing sunglasses and a silly hat. Masks are especially great support for inexperienced actors because, well, it’s the MASK that’s performing stupid or silly stuff. It’s never me. My ego remains untouched while the mask gets to take the blame. And when I take it off, I’m back to being cool and reserved (behind yet another mask…).

Which brings me back to the pleasure and joy acting or teaching acting brings. To expand on Dr. Tonkin’s grief counseling approach or Declan Donnellan’s belief in the universality of performance, acting well give us the opportunity to build new life. It allows us to expand our imaginary universe with newly created characters and emotions. Plays and the players who perform in them, are playing at make-believe when they appear to be living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. A play is performed in the spirit of fun, even when the play is a tragedy. And fun is the foundation for anyone who’s in recovery mode, whether from grief or substance abuse.

[amphitheater funding update: the Education Fund Board meets April 12th, 5:30pm, in the school board meeting room at the district administration building on 7th Street. The Piknik Theatre grant application to the EFB requests $100,000 for the amphitheater. If granted, that funding will absolutely, positively guarantee construction of the project. Please attend the meeting, join via zoom, or email with your support]

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11 April 2023 Valley Voice The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. — Coretta Scott King
Piknik Theatre

Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire

April 15, 1915

My breakfast was brief, I almost ran to the station and then I bought a ticket. I constantly looked over my shoulder. I felt certain, JJ was not on yesterday’s train and with spy’s stealth, I surveyed the rail coach for him. There were few passengers. Satisfied with his absence, I finally sat, but did not relax until we had traveled well into the foothills. If Uncle Thomas finds out about this aborted trip to Denver, he will be more than peeved.

The weather was fine, I opened my novel, tried to read, could not concentrate, and closed it. I stared out the window wondering why I continue to do things against my better judgment. Then I heard the voice.

“Mon ami, Julius Brandon, what a pleasant surprise!”

My brain convulsed and shrieked, ‘How can this be a coincidence?’ With all the aplomb I could muster I replied, “Nellie, indeed, it is a pleasure. You look lovely.”

She noticed my unstable and shocked condition. “Julius you aren’t one apt to wheedle. Did you visit Corina and JJ showed up?” she joked.


She sat, “I tried to warn you, implored to go to Puerto Rico and you foolishly refused.”

“I know.”

“Did JJ see you? Did you fight?”


“Good to hear. A duel in a meadow with him and the 50 percent odds are not in your favor. He probably would just shoot you in the back. His hubris will catch up with him.”

“He’s a crook and a knave. I hate that profoundly arrogant rogue.”

“He is more than arrogant, Julius. He has gained huge power, has a false belief he is untouchable, and reality has slipped away from him.” She saw my novel, Dangerous Liaisons resting on my lap. “How handy are you with a sword?”

“I have fenced.”

“Hmm, perhaps not the best option either,” she pondered. “It’s just me and my Viscount de Valmont now.”

“I’m not your Viscount de Valmont nor anyone’s.”

“But you were in England with your conquests and now you are again because you’re in an impossible love. I’ll be like his courtesan, Emily, and maybe I’ll even change my name to play the part. You can write your correspondence on my back and bare bottom anytime.” She winked.

My head whipped around the coach looking for anyone listening. “Lower your voice.”

She smiled, “I’ll ensure you don’t take the sword thrust in remorse.”


“Oh sorry, you haven’t finished the story. Aren’t you going to ask me about Puerto Rico?”

Exasperated I asked, “How was Puerto Rico?”

“It was lovely, warm, tropical, and a dream come true. You should see the clothes the women wear. You’ll like them, and they’ll stiffen your resolve, so to speak.”

“Any man’s, I presume.”

“Indeed.” She started to lay her head on my shoulder, then changed her mind. Perhaps she wished to reduce the spectacle of a well-dressed woman of color traveling with an Englishman across western Colorado. I must say, I enjoyed the trip and conversation. She talked endlessly about the tropical island, the people, heritage, and customs. She planned to return in the fall. “Far better than Paris and the war.” Eventually, she tired and fell asleep. I finished my novel and again resolved to make my life shine, by doing the right things, evading my adversary, and avoiding my own sword.

The sky darkened when we arrived in Steamboat Springs. I hired a coach and joined the impromptu festivity for her return at Madame Ollie’s parlour. Cheers and jeers rained on us from the crowd. Most astonishingly, du Bois walked up to us greeting, “Bonsoir, Michelle Marte.”

“Anthony du Bois, what a surprise. The name is Nellie here.” She winked at me, “Or maybe Emily. Still smoking that hash?”

“One can’t find it here.”

“I should slap your face. You deserve it.”

“I see you’re acquainted.”

“Indeed Julius,” he smirked, “In Paris.”

The celebration surrounded us, and a good time was had by all. I was happy to be home and planned on staying out of trouble.

12 April 2023 Valley Voice For
here and for
those who wish they did.
Victims of Love
Hayden Steamboat Springs Walden Meeker

It's April and English is Crazy

(Thank you to Richard Lederer of Mensa)

Let’s see... the rule is I before E except after C, that’s weird.

Did you know there are no synonyms for synonym or thesaurus?

And it is completely true that there is no word in the English language that rhymes with orange.

So if a writer writes and a singer sings then why don’t grocers groce or hammers ham or ushers ush?

I know of a disgruntled worker but I’ve often wondered what a gruntled worker looks like?

If harmless actions are the opposite of harmful actions then why are shameful and shameless behaviors the same?

If uplift is the same as lift up, why are upset and set up opposites?

Aspen and pine are both singular and plural but trees and plants are not.

Why are impertinent and pertinent, canny and uncanny, famous and infamous neither opposites or are they the same?

Why do we call it a television set when you get only one?

In stadiums, why are all the seats called stands?

We park in a driveway, drive on a parkway and walk on a treadmill.

Why do we sail a sailboat but don’t motor a motorboat?

How can your nose run but your feet smell?

When we transport something by car it is called a shipment but on a ship it is called cargo?

On my bike I am called a cyclist but on my motorcycle I’m a biker?

We put cups in the dishwasher but plates in the cupboard. There is no other language where people recite at a play but play at a recital.

Why are ships that push other ships called tugboats?

Why would we watch a trailer for an upcoming movie?

Why is it called an apartment when they are all built together?

Buildings are already built and paintings are already painted.

If long pants are long and short pants are shorts why aren’t pants that are medium length called mediums?

During a one night stand who is standing?

And if operators are standing by then why are they sitting?

Why is the third hand on a clock called a second hand?

A woman can man a station but a man can’t woman a station, kings rule a kingdom but queens don’t rule a queendom, and a movement can be fathered but not mothered?

Why is the word abbreviation so long?

Or monosyllabic have 5 syllables?

And whose rather mean idea was it to include an “S” in the word lisp?

Why do I use a broker to invest my money?

The sun shone yesterday but I shined my shoes?

Why do we watch television but see a movie or get on television but in a movie?

If a slim chance and a fat chance, a caregiver and a caretaker, a bad licking and a good licking, quite a lot and quite a few are the same then why are a wise man and a wise guy, sharp speech and blunt speech the opposite?

If something is neither here nor there, then where is it?

And you cannot go back and forth because you must first go forth before you can go back.

If you sleep like a baby then do you wake up and cry every two hours?

You cannot follow me to the ends of the earth because, and project this loudly to the four corners of the earth, that for more than over 2500 hundred years we have known that the earth doesn’t have any ends.

Why would anyone heat hot water with a hot water heater?

We don’t put on shoes and socks because we put our socks on first.

My idea cannot fall between the cracks because then it would have fallen on the floor, perhaps it fell into the crack?

We cannot go out after dark because it really should be going out after light.

Technically you cannot be underground or underwater because you are obviously surrounded by water or ground.

If you have a good head on your shoulders then you don’t have a neck?

I didn’t get a haircut, I got them all cut.

Have you every wondered why six, seven, eight and nine can become sixty, seventy, eighty and ninety but two, three, four and five don’t become twoty, threety, fourty and fivety?

English is strange. Well, all languages are a little crazy. That is because language is invented by human beings. We are not done evolving and neither is our language. We are all fallible animals that think we’re smarter than we are and thus error prone. The Dunning/Kreuger effect is real. Our reach is farther than our grasp. As such, language reflects the creative and fearful asymmetry of the human race which isn’t a race at all. Remember that you can be completely logical and completely wrong at the same time.

Think well and have a Happy April.

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13 April 2023 Valley Voice
Mensan Musings
The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. — Mark Twain
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Doing something behind your back is far preferable to doing things in front of your back.
Giving an entertainer a hand really doesn’t work as you need two of them to make noise.

Flies. Love or Hate Them

It is mid-March and we have had several beautiful Colorado blue sky days (deep sigh). Hello red-wing blackbirds! And hello flies! Yes, I saw a couple of flies flitting about over the snow, a little dazed and confused. Crazy, huh? If I were a fly on the wall…

OK, you might not be a fan of flies, but keep reading. Dragonfly, butterfly, damselfly all include “fly” in their common name, but have nothing in common with true flies.

Thursday - Saturday: 10am - 11pm Sunday - Wednesday: 10am - 10pm

True flies are in a large and diverse order, Diptera, which means “two wings.” with over 150,000 known species (TheCatalogueofLife). Colorado has a fair share of flies including flower flies, (more than 200 species) robber flies, (about 160 species) gall midges and flies, (dozens) mosquitoes, (44 species) blow flies, (35 species) and the common house fly. (“GuidetoColoradoInsects,Cranshaw andKondratieff,WestcliffePublishers,c2006).Also included in this list are no-see-ums, midges and gnats. Scientists recently discovered a complete fossil of a gnat larva dating to around 247 million years old - older than the earliest dinosaurs. (“Fliesevolvedbeforedinosaurs –andsurvivedanapocalypticworldafterthePermian extinction”SarahKileyWatson,PopularScience,March 2023).Their classification as Diptera defines them not as what they have, but what they lack; compared with other insects with a pair of wings (four wings.) True flies have “two wings” (di – “two,” pteron – “wing.”) Take a close look under the wings of a fly, mosquito, gnat or any true fly and you will note a very small dumbbell-shaped structure, the haltere, which is basically a modification of the hind wing. These let the fly know where it is in space and allows it to keep its eyes on a target. Some flies, like the house fly, continue to oscillate the halteres when they are walking which keeps them revved up for a speedy escape when the fly swatter comes down. Halteres, for an unknown reason as of the 2015 study, also help certain flies walk along ceilings and windows. Scientists believe there are biosensors in the halteres enabling a unique agility. (“Halteres essentialforflightinallflies,areneededbysometoclimb walls”CaseWesternReserveUniversity,November2015) The fore wings are the larger wings we see and are used for flying. Most Dipterans use sponging mouthparts to lap juices from fruits, nectar, or fluids from animals. They also have piercing, biting parts to feed on the blood of their host. Like many other insects, true flies have compound eyes, and often unusually large ones for their body size. The aptly named big-headed fly has eyes that take up most of the space on their head. The fly’s eyes are comprised of many tiny sensors call ommatidia. These tiny lenses all work together allowing a fly to “sense” all around them offering excellent peripheral vision with fewer blind spots and a better range of focus across the many lenses. Compound eyes see well into the UV light range and can even use polarized light for navigation.

The downside is that they sacrifice depth of field and the ability to focus and perceive contrast. How successful are you are swatting a fly? Uh huh, thought so! The fly’s supersized compound eyes give them “slow-motion” vision. They can process images more than six times faster than humans can. This means that a moment in a fly world us several times slower than what we perceive. So, when you are ever so slowly lowering you hand over that fly, it saw you before you even noticed it was there! The fastest fly recorded is the killer fly, native to Europe, which catches other flies out of the air in less than a second. True flies undergo complete metamorphosis of four distinct stages. The egg hatches into a grub-like creature, the larva, often called a maggot. The larvae eats and eats, and occasionally it sheds its skin before it pupates, emerging as an adult fly.

If we think of where flies have been – garbage, rotting carcasses, dog poop – that’s disgusting! But that’s only a tiny part of a fly menu. It is important to remember the vital role of all Dipterans in food chains in nature. Both larvae and adults provide food for huge numbers of birds, other insects, mammals, fish and amphibians. Also, many flies are predators and parasitoids feeding and parasitizing the nasty bugs of agricultural and garden crops. As an adventurous, curious kid, I am sure you turned over dry cow pies to watch the dung beetles and various larvae going to town breaking down the organic matter. Many of those larvae were true flies and without these decomposers our world would be a very different place! Many true flies are important pollinators. Diptera living in the soil are important in soil food webs. Larvae of midges, black flies, and mosquitoes play an important role in aquatic systems by breaking down organic matter. Larvae of certain midges (Chironomusspp.)are known as bloodworms because of their bright red worm like bodies containing hemoglobin. These and rat-tailed maggots (Eristalisspp.)are used as indicators of polluted water or water low in oxygen. Other larvae are associated with clean water habitats.

True flies have also changed the course of history. Many of the primary diseases of humanity, including malaria, yellow fever and sleeping sickness, are transmitted by true flies. Malaria, transmitted by mosquitoes, is believed to have killed more humans than any other disease and is still a major cause of illness in many countries. The tetse flies’ assault on both humans and livestock is believed to have been the main obstacle to European colonization of North Africa ( . And then there is that pesky house fly walking over your salad or steak. House flies have nerves in their feet detecting the presence of certain chemicals in the food sending a message to the fly’s brain – this is good, dude! Unfortunately, it did not wash its feet between visits of cow dung and your food. Whoa boy! And to add to the yuck factor, house flies vomit on the food they want to eat! The vomit contains amylase, a chemical which breaks down starch. The digestive juices (vomit) quickly begin to digest the food into a liquid that the fly soaks and sucks up. A great article from CSU Extension, A Primer on Biting Flies from Colorado State University, provides good information on biting flies and ideas on avoiding them.

Alas, there is no more space to extoll the virtues of our adaptable, colorful and kind of yucky true flies. I can’t wait to see them as spring mud comes rolling in. Just remember to respect those muddy trails and be patient! Maybe see you on the slickrock trails!

14 April 2023 Valley Voice
'Boat Almanac
For those who live here and for those who wish they did.
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If It Gets Hot, Keep Your Wits About You

Style saved by a single beer saint

When hops became a main staple of beer recipes, wit beer suffered in popularity and was no longer offered after 1960, according to But Pierre Celis, a former Belgian milkman, revived the style by starting a small brewery in his shed, according to kegerator. com. Celis took very light pale malted barley and added some unmalted wheat to the recipe, added coriander and bitter orange peel and came up with a brew that was light in color, had a creamy texture due to the addition of some oats, had faint spice notes instead of aromatic hops and a bubbly effervescence similar to that of sparkling wines.

Celis’ efforts paid off and soon other breweries started up around Hoegaarden, using local recipes that had been tucked away for decades.

the Valencia orange peel is on the palate. The finish is dry but not crisp as few hops are used in the brewing process. At 5.4% alcohol, the beer only rated 28 points on ratebeer. com.

The next beer was Avery Brewing Co’s White Rascal wit. Again, it poured an aggressive white head, and the Curacao orange peel is in the nose. The color is the most visually appealing out of the bunch with a very sunny, cloudy yellow color and the taste is the richest out of the group. At 5.6% alcohol, it scored a 49 on

The final offering is Hoegaarden, the sole import represented in this review. But it had to be included. This beer is a fantastic example of the benchmark of Belgian wit brewing. The head poured into tiny bubbles and a light creamy china white head and stuck around for a solid three minutes. There was a kiss of citrus in the nose, more grapefruit than orange, and the color is a very pale yellow and mirrors the color of many sparkling wines.

But the taste is what makes the beer a worthy buy; at first sip, the beer fizzes on the tongue with tiny, tart explosions. It tastes a bit sour and then finishes with a dry sweetness. Fans of sparkling wine and its acidity will really enjoy this beer. This beer stands above the other beers in this competition and received a 81 on

At Wit’s End

Once upon a time in Belgium back in the late 1950s, a beer style died. The last Belgian wit-style brewery closed down and with it, so did the beer style of Belgian wit (or white) beers; beers made different by utilizing spices versus traditional hopping for a unique flavor profile. Yet due to the efforts of two brew masters, the style has been revived and offers light refreshment perfect for warmer months and sunny days that should have started to arrive in Steamboat four weeks ago, thank you very much!

This article will focus on a brief history of the rise, fall and revival of Belgian wit beers, discussion of what makes the style unique, and finishing off with a taste test of three commercially and locally available wit beers.

Wit Roots

Dating back to the 14th century, sustenance brewing was practiced in villages and monasteries in Belgium as brewing efforts were safer to drink than water. As demand and populations grew, wit beer grew in popularity and by the 1600s there were two dozen breweries in the central Belgian town of Hoegaarden, according to These locally made beers had not discovered the addition of hops as a flavoring agent and natural preservative but were given other spices or bitter herbs (called gruit) and plants such as coriander, heather or spruce tips were added to round out or bitter the flavor and reduce the sweetness of the malt.

Celis moved his brewery into an abandoned soda factory in 1978 and in 1985, the brewery was destroyed by fire. With little choice, Celis turned to major brewers and in two separate tries, one in Belgium and one in Austin, Texas, the efforts failed as the major breweries wanted to maximize profits and changed the recipe of the beer that were unacceptable to Celis. He moved back to Belgium and his daughter Christine relaunched the business around 2012, utilizing her father’s original recipe and the original brew master, according to

Wit beers have enjoyed a resurgence in America, most notably with the appearance of Blue Moon, a Belgian-style wheat beer brewed by the Blue Moon Brewing Company of Golden, CO. (aka Coors Brewing). This is confusing as Blue Moon has a dedicated brewery location in the RiNo District of Denver, according to

The Quest Test

Three wit beers were chosen for this month’s challenge; Blue Moon (Golden, CO), Avery Brewing Co’s White Rascal (Boulder, CO) and Inbev’s Hoegaarden (Hoegaarden, Belgium). As wit beers are a tiny segment of the beer market, it was necessary to test domestic offerings and imports to give a better scope of availability.

The first beer tested was Blue Moon, the mastermind of brew master Keith Villa. First brewed at The SandLot at Coors Field and offered in 1995, it is the largest selling wit beer in the country. The beer pours with a nice, aggressive white head with big bubbles and offers a cloudy, corn yellow color. It is a lighter bodied beer and the citrus from

With a brewing history lasting centuries, wit beers are just one of the styles of Belgians that are worth exploring. One of the biggest secrets among beer lovers are Belgian beers, not German, English or American, as their offerings are often world-class, uniquely location-specific and are at a pinnacle in the art of brewing.

Wit beers should be on your radar for the upcoming warmer summer months as it will offer a lighter options on refreshment to help beat the heat. A Beer Fairy is trying to be optimistic here, folks. The weather is bound to change, right?

15 April 2023 Valley Voice Time
Suds Central
flies like an arrow
but fruit flies like a banana.
Terry Wogan
905 Weiss Drive - across HWY 40 from the Holiday Inn 879.5929
BeersWit-OutBorders;Inbev’sHoegaarden,Avery’sWhite RascalandCoors’BlueMoonwitbeers.

My Ranching Life in Colorado - Part II

They pay attention to the weather and they would work with beautiful animals, and for me, the sheep never talked back! Stewarding land and animals has been fulfilling for us. I think Andy and I were happier than most because we have been in nature all our lives and away from the city and its problems.

Andy learned the phases of the moon most probably from his dad. He paid attention to the lunar cycles because it helped in predicting the weather for his livestock. People like my grandfather would read the moon and sometimes the stars too to predict the weather. I do not know anyone who does this today.

In the 1950’s through the 1990’s there were a lot of sheep and very few cows. There was a reason for the change. Even though cattle were the mainstay of northwestern Colorado during the latter half of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, their popularity waned around 1920.

A great fear of western Colorado cattle men was an invasion of sheep. By the 1860’s there were hundreds of thousands of head in the San Luis Valley throughout southern Colorado. The cattleman in the north considered themselves lucky that sheep had not moved onto their ranges. However, the inevitable was coming. The Meeker Heraldwrote on January 14, 1888, had warned that sheep were going to be brought in from Utah to use the White River grazing areas, but the scare never materialized.

The primary complaint that the cattlemen had about sheep was that they grazed to the roots, preventing cattle from getting enough grass, and not permitting the range to grow back.


The sheep wars that occurred between sheep ranchers and cattle ranchers in Routt County and later Rio Blanco County came in the early 1900’s to around 1920, when those wars ended with the Battle of Yellowjacket Pass. By the early 1920’s, coal mining, sheep ranching and oil drilling became more popular and prevalent than cattle ranching. The cattle industry suffered a lot of losses in Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. Back then, more sheep grazed the lands than did cattle. Today, sheep ranching in northwest Colorado, especially among our Greek American ranchers, has declined significantly.

Ranchers are really, truly good people. They were often looked down upon and I think still are. Ranchers have always been hardworking, honest and interested in their animals’ well-being and in land stewardship.

When Andy decided to start his own sheep business, we initially had one horse, a 1930’s sheep camp and 750 sheep. We first brought sheepherders from Greece to help herd the sheep on our grazing lands. These men were outfitted with a horse, a dog, and a sheep camp, where they would cook and sleep. I made sure I cooked enough food and baked enough bread for everyone, including the truckers, while they were lambing and shipping the sheep. We trailed our ewes before they had their babies on the highways from north of Baggs, Wyoming to the lambing ground about 12 miles northwest of Craig. Today, trailing sheep on highways is not allowed because truckers bitterly complained about not being able to meet their schedules; waiting for ranchers and their livestock on the highways. Andy and I took our daughters out with us to feed and tend the sheep. I felt it was important for them to know our ranching life and the work we accomplished. I felt an obligation to help my husband, but I also loved it. I never knew anything except that I wanted our daughters with us. Andy spent a lot of time with the girls. If Andy had to move a camp, the girls would go with him. He also taught the girls how to drive on these moves.

I love ranching but I do not expect everyone to like it. A lot of girls don’t like to live on a ranch, but I did and so did my girls. My grandson Andrew, a third- generation rancher, loves the ranching life, just like his parents, my daughter Toni and her husband. I was never bored because there was always an abundance of work to do. Some may think I am crazy for my love of animals and the ranch, but I am not. I felt that we were working for ourselves, instead of working for someone else. That felt good to me and as I said, our daughters loved it. They rode the horses they wanted and could hold newborn lambs and play in the streams and woods. I learned how to run a ranch, should anything have happened to Andy. We had a few close calls but we were very lucky. A couple of times, I was with Andy and the storms were terrible. Andy always knew how long a storm would last. We talked about our sheep and wondered how they were doing. One year, we heard on the radio that people need to have a bottle of bourbon, candles, matches and extra clothing with them if they travel in bad weather. So, I bought and brought all those things with us and loaded them in our pickup - just in case. We never used them, but I think at some point Andy put the bourbon to good use.

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

I remember on about the 10th of July, Andy wanted to start haying because the grasses would be more tender for the sheep. He was a picky rancher and wanted nothing but the best for our ewes. If it would rain, Andy would lose his mind because the hay would get so wet and much more difficult to harvest. Andy felt the hay would lose some vitamins and its pretty green color after it was turned once. If the hay had to be turned twice, especially after the rains, it was more work and not as pretty. After we sold our sheep, our son-in-law Cardenio (Bia’s husband) would irrigate the fields of hay and when ready, we hired a man to put it up and then sold it. Now, we harvest the hay during the second week in August.

When we took our hay up to the winter range north of Craig, the wind would usually be howling. If Bia and I were throwing the hay from the back of the pickup, I would look at the ewes’ faces as they waited to be fed. As they hungrily ate the hay, their faces would be looking up at us as if to say, “more, more.” In the last few years of our ranching, the sheep would come up to meet us in the truck because they knew we had food for them. People think sheep and cows are dumb animals. It is not true. We do not give animals enough credit.

One horse Andy had was very smart. Her name was Black Mare. One time at the Summer Ranch, we were riding up to the tent we had in the mountains nearby. The black deer flies were thick in the summer months, so we sprayed all the horses before mounting them. Andy told me to ride Black Mare, which was his favorite horse. I rode ahead of Andy. As we were riding, the flies started attacking Black Mare and the poor thing started rearing up in protest. I was so scared she would buck me that I started screaming and Andy heard my cries. All Andy did was say “Black Mare, stop,” and she did. That horse was an unbelievably smart animal and Andy treasured her.

16 April 2023 Valley Voice
A Greek Immigrant's Life
MyhusbandAndyPeroulisandhissheep. AndyandBlackMare.

My life was my family’s business and raising our daughters. As a family, we all went to our Summer Ranch together. Other women married to ranchers stayed in Craig and golfed and had lunch dates. That was not what I wanted in my life. Like my loving Dad on the small island of Lemnos, Greece where I was born, I wanted to be outside with the animals ranching and also raising my family.

To be a rancher, you cannot worry about being wet and cold and putting your hands into the mud and muck in the corrals and pastures. The priority is caring for your animals regardless of the effort required and discomfort you may experience. That is what we do, even if it is snowing and cold. Whether it was 55 degrees below zero in Baggs, Wyoming, or 90 degrees at the Stetson summer feeding grounds, we were always there feeding and tending the sheep. Ranchers and farmers provide our food. People do not realize how hard ranchers and farmers work. I believe every rancher and every farmer is a hero and heroine.

I would do it all again. I had the best life with my girls beside me, cooking, taking meals out to Andy and his herders, helping with the sheep, and talking with the herders. The girls grew up knowing the word “responsibility.” Stella was seven years old and got Bia ready so we could take lunch out to ranch hands. They were with their dad and became very close with him. Our family sheared the sheep, herded the sheep, and loaded for trucking. We docked the lambs, and lambed all the sheep-- all of us together. It was a family operation while the girls were young. That is why two of my girls, Toni, and Bia, chose the ranching life. I was happy that my girls chose the life that made them the happiest.

We missed a lot of weddings, engagements, baptisms, parties and Church because of our business. We could not go because of our work. Unless you embrace the ranching life and love it, you will be miserable. Of course, you do not lock yourself in the house because of the livestock. We went to the Las Vegas, Wool Growers Association conventions, and also traveled to Mexico, New York, Florida and frequently visited Denver. We lived the life we wanted. I tell my grandchildren that “whatever you do, if you don’t put all of your effort into your work, you won’t have a good life.”

Ranching is becoming an extinct way of life today. The family sells the family ranch because no one in the next generation is interested in working the ranch. Of course, it is hard, never-ending work, but its rewards are onehundred percent worth it. Ranching life is being lost a few ranches at a time. Corporations buy these large tracts of meadow land or prairies to make way for new developments for housing, commercial and industrial projects. It has been very sad for me to watch this change in northwest Colorado.

We worked off a handshake in a hay meadow in the past and not in a lawyer’s office in Craig or Steamboat Springs, where today, hundreds of pages of documents need to be signed. Back then, it was one signature on one piece of paper and the deal was done. I give the ranchers who have children and grandchildren ranching today and into the future a lot of credit.

Adventure... A Guide to Life's Challenges Being Green

Our personal adventures with plastic began years ago living on a small sailboat. Our family crossed big oceans to drop anchor in the lee of small islands.

Our sails, our ropes, a few dry-wall buckets, a hundred watertight bags and containers of all sorts were built with high quality plastic. Plastic products served us well for many years on board. I still have my rubber foul-weather suit that now looks tie-died from being submerged in mud for 9 days (another story). Ahh, there is nothing like good quality plastic.

While cruising along a 10-mile stretch of uninhabited Bahamian beach we once spotted what appeared to be a large glass ball rolling in the beach surf. We sailed around the island to anchor within a protected cove. With our two kids we made the hike to the windward beach. We spotted the ball, now stuck on the high tide line, nearly a mile away. The four of us ran with excitement, “glass floats” of this size were extremely rare. As we approached the ball we realized something was wrong. We kept running and soon knew the worst. We approached the ball and could now see it clearly. It was a two-foot diameter tar ball, now dripping oil in the hot sun leaving black pools on the beach. Glass floats are rare but now tar-balls are quite common on these windward shores. This is a bad sign!


Gigi and I are now in our 70’s, and not too old to maintain our “green” status that Kermit the Frog coined about 50 years ago. But with every trip to the grocery store, including Natural Grocers, we have no choice but to buy many items incased in “single use” plastic. Even organic eggs now come in plastic. Fresh greens are sold in a plastic box that we’re not even sure we can recycle? Drinking water is sold in single use plastic bottles - tourists buy them by the case. How did we ever live without the plastic? We believe it was easier back when we actually had a choice between paper or plastic. Yes, we have outlawed the plastic bag, but then introduced to the “single use” plastic container. You might recall that the “bag movement” was conceived during the 1989 Environment 2000 conference and only gained full acceptance 30 years later to meet the demands of a group of high school kids. Drinking water here in Steamboat is a no-brainer - ask any chemist. I like the bumper sticker “Bring back the tap” and we need to be grateful for Steamboat’s clean tap water. Plastic does have a great purpose in our daily lives.

The Sargasso Sea, is a circular body of water, trapped by the Gulf Stream, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Many old sailing ships have been fatally trapped within this windless sea which lies 1000 miles east of the Bahamas. Discarded plastic from north and south America also get trapped there, along with everything from candy bar wrappers to cargo containers, and it's the place where small bits of spilled oil begin their new life as a growing tar-ball. The myths of the infamous “Bermuda Triangle” created here were not super-natural - the myths were created by natural and unnatural causes. The sight of this mid-ocean waste pit is enough to change anyone’s buying habits. But you can’t get there from here and no boat will take you. As cheap single-use plastic continues to breakdown, from the moment of first use, we now find it in the seafood that we eat and flowing with our own bloodstreams.

Gigi and I live outdoors for much of the year and strive to live our wonderful days in the Yampa Valley with as little impact as possible. We walk and ride bikes for much of the year. We shop for groceries with a mindful eye for the environment and support environmentally concerned non-profits. We need to do more. Let’s save our use of precious fossil fuels to produce high quality plastic products that never wear out or end up in the ocean. I’m grateful for the plastic drywall bucket that literally bailed me out and maybe saved my life (“Shipwrecked” - October issue of the Valley Voice). That bucket could last a lifetime.

There is a lot we all can do, but I’d recommend that we find some high school kids to come back and tell us exactly what... I think they’re still around and these are the kids that care from their heart - not their pocket books.

17 April 2023 Valley Voice Pollution from oil and gas development, toxic runoff, and miles and miles of plastic trash foul the waters and threaten marine life. — Frances Beinecke

Yepelloscopes Your Monthly Message

Aries March 21 - April 19

The bad news is your mom was right, one day your face really will stick that way. The good news is that you will become a viral sensation for singing navel shanties while looking like a genuine pirate.

Taurus April 20 - May 20

Sometimes you wish you could just open their brain, lay out their mind and be able to decipher their thoughts and understand the words they haven’t been able to express. Darn it though, because when you attempted to see into their mind, it just ended up being a big gooey mess and now they can’t do math.

Gemini May 20 - June 20

You thought the world would end by nuclear war, an asteroid or possibly zombies but no. It ends when voles evolve into a super species and create tunnels under the ground that are so intricate, they collapse the planet’s crust. PETA just wanted to save the endangered Amargosa voles and never considered that maybe they were a dominant advanced species that are bent on destroying the world.

Cancer June 21 - July 22

Soon, you will be followed closely by a group of Satanists who are determined you are



I traveled through galaxies

To experience Earth

How shocking it is Yet beauty survives

Do I judge a homeless man

Or bring him a bowl of rice

To soothe his displacement

Maybe he is a teacher in disguise

Dirty, ragged clothes

With a soul that illuminates

All life connects

In the dark and the light

their superior leader. It all started after one of your wacky shenanigans accidentally blew up a near-by goat farm, thus sacrificing more goats than anyone, ever.

Leo July 23 - August 23

An interaction with a stranger will quickly go from light chit-chat to a spiraling, surreal, bloody rampage of all out mind-altering vengeance after expressing conflicting opinions about cereal actually being breakfast soup.

Virgo August 23 - September 22

You will be honored when Time Magazine nominates you as 334,517,796th most interesting person in the United States.

Libra September 23 - October 23

You always knew that you weren’t the best pet owner, but it becomes too real when 20 years later, you find the remains of your Tamagotchi being scavenged by your Gigapet in an old box in your garage.

Scorpio October 24 - November 21

When you meet your breathtaking, charismatic and successful online date for the first time, they sheepishly ask you if they were what you expected. You disappointedly explain that honestly, you were hoping that you were being catfished and they were actually a 52 year old creeper who had been sequestered to his cat

riddled singlewide trailer after getting fired from his janitor job for lingering a little too closely to the kiddies.


November 22 - December 21

Despite your best intentions, putting a bag over your spouse’s head, throwing them in the trunk of your car and driving them around for a few hours is simply not appropriate. That’s not what your couples therapist meant when they told you to work on the excitement and spark in your relationship.

Capricorn December 22 - January 19

You’ve heard of “Netflix and chill”, but nothing will ever be more effective than the classic “button down pajamas, a wholesome game of Twister and a six pack of peach wine coolers in your mom’s basement…and chill”

Aquarius January 20 - February 18

You only need two more punches on your Regrettable Drunken One-Night Stand punch card until you can redeem free pity sex and a small fountain drink.

Pisces February 19 - March 20

Confucius say; During this allergy season, those who sneeze without a tissue, take matters in their own hands.

18 April 2023 Valley Voice
For those who live here
for those who wish they did.
The Home Office

Easter Egg Hunt Gone Bad

Parking Drama

April is Poetry Month

19 April 2023 Valley Voice
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