Valley Voice March 2023

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March 2023 . Issue 12.3 a member managed llc FREE Steamboat Springs Hayden Oak Creek Yampa www.valleyvoicecolorado.com
Craig Kennedy and Don Godshaw on Flying Z - Photo by Andy Kennedy
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 . Tread of Pioneer Museum . Ski Haus . Steamboat Creates at the Depot . Steamboat Trading Co. . KenProperBooks.com See Page 12 OPEN DAILY Recreational & Medical Dispensary 1755 Lincoln Avenue Steamboat Springs 970-870-2941 GoldenLeaf.co Follow us! Steamboat’sONLYMountain Village Dispensary Open Daily: 8:00 am - 9:50 pm ConsumeHowYouLike.Feel How You Want. 3150 Ingles Lane | mybillo.com | 970.879.4420 imerP.mu F l o w e r . Edibles.Pre-Rolls . Concentrates&V a pe s . T o piac sl . ...eromdnasDBCAwardWinning! The “LOCAL’S” choice for Personalized Health Care Saint Patty’s goods in stock! We have hats, earrings, mugs and more. Oak Creek Cardboard Classic 2023
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New City Hall & Fire Station

Page 4

Benefits of Public-Private Partnerships Page 5

Bringing Airport Data in for a Landing Page 6

Affordable Housing Comes to Hayden Page 7

What Constitutes an Emergency?

Prarie Fires: A Love-Hate History

The Poet's Bucket List

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Page 8

Page 9

Sandhill Cranes Returning to the Valley Page 10

It Ain't Over til it's Over Page 11

The Adversaries' Saloon Debate

Ken

Add Gas or Water?

A Matter of Perspective

Beers in the Spirit of Braveheart

My Ranching Life in Colorado

The Naked Truth

SPACE AND TIME

Your Monthly Message

Comics

Rants...

Who tailgates in a whiteout? Apparently some people do…

We should rename this town “Renovation Springs.” It’s scary driving on the Craig/ Steamboat Autobahn, morning, noon or night…

Witnessing a five point turn around just to go the wrong way in the Central Park parking lot… Squall driving is impossible…

Are you kidding me right now? You have a bike park here?...

Forcing every business to invest in recycle bins...

Raves...

Spotting a local plate and waving to them like you lost your family…

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Watching the neighbors walk their entire little farm down the county road…

Watching our wild kingdom from your kitchen window…

Supporting our local liquor stores…

When your favorite mechanic can get you in for repairs...

WinterWonderGrass…

The proposed mental health co-responder program...

Say What?...

"Steamboat Springs reminds me of a chocolate bunny. It looks good, tastes good but hallow on the inside."

"This winter my husband has snorted so much champagne powder he was admitted into the Betty Ford Clinic."

"From lack of sun exposure, my skin is now the color of Wedgewood china and albinos are calling me a show off."

If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.

3 March 2023 Valley Voice
Contents
Advertise in the in the Valley Voice! Contact: Matt Scharf at mattscharf1@gmail.com 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: mattscharf1@gmail.com Send in your submissions by March 20th! for the April 2023 edition! Send to: mattscharf1@gmail.com

New City Hall & Fire Station Moves from Design to Construction

City Hall is moving, and plans are underway to shift from the design/planning phase to abatement and construction of the new City Hall & Downtown Fire Station project in the coming weeks.

“The anticipation is building as staff moves out of the current facility and makes plans to continue municipal services for the next 18 to 24 months during construction,” commented Deputy City Manager Tom Leeson. “This project is long overdue and will serve our community for decades to come.”

The new Fire Station & City Hall project will transform a two-block section of downtown into a civic campus which will serve the community for generations. Located on 10th Street, between Oak & Lincoln, the downtown Fire Station and City Hall will redefine municipal services, bringing modern technologies and efficiencies, as well as an out door civic plaza for the benefit of citizens across the city.

The new downtown fire station will sit on the corner of 10th and Oak Streets, at the current location of city hall. The two-level fire station features drive through access from bays providing flexibility of apparatus placement and response capabilities. A mezzanine training and storage area, along with a hose dry tower connects to the apparatus bay.

The new city hall building will be positioned at the corner of 10th and Lincoln Ave. The three-story design features public restrooms and public meeting space as well as incorporates department adjacencies for improved efficiency, collaboration, and citizen service.

The downtown project plans will create a city/civic campus along 10th St, which would close 10th from Oak to the alley. The alley and 10th St between Lincoln and the

which is needed for the apparatus bays and a more direct egress access.

The following schedule is currently planned for the next two months. Of course, weather and supply chain constraints could impact the schedule.

March 8

Adjacent Property Owners meet the team leading the construction portion of the project. This will provide businesses and residents immediately adjacent to the site insights on the project and connections with key individuals overseeing the project.

Week of March 13

Final items will be removed from City Hall and the abatement process will begin. The entire process should last roughly four weeks. A perimeter fence will be placed around City Hall to restrict access. This will eliminate parking behind City Hall, as well as the row of parking directly in front of City Hall. The row of parking in front of Centennial Hall, 10th Street, as well as the 10th Street public parking lot will remain open.

Beginning on Monday, March 13, all City Hall services will have been relocated to Centennial Hall and the Elkins House. All remaining City Hall furniture will be given away for free to the community. The city will be hosting several community giveaway days this week once staff has fully moved out of City Hall. Additional details will be shared prior to the giveaway days.

Week of April 17

Construction mobilization will begin. A perimeter fence will be installed around both properties (existing City Hall and 10th Street parking lot) restricting access. At this point, 10th Street from the alley to Oak Street will be permanently closed, as will the 10th Street public parking lot. The alley from 10th Street to the Nordic Lodge property will also be closed. The row of parking on 10th Street immediately adjacent to the 10th Street parking lot will be closed; however, the row of parking on the other side of 10th Street will remain open (alongside the Conoco

A temporary City Hall has been established across the street in the foyer of Centennial Hall (124 10th Street). Upon entering the building, the front desk will greet citizens. Centennial Hall will house the City & Deputy City Manager offices, Municipal Court, Finance, Planning, Human Resources as well as temporary office spaces for remote employees. City Clerk and Facilities will be in the adjacent Elkins House. During construction, several employees will be working remotely, but available via phone and email during regularly scheduled hours.

Over the process, project information and materials are on EngageSteamboat.net.

4 March 2023 Valley Voice
City of Steamboat Springs
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The Benefit of Public-Private Partnerships

I started this work last session with the introduction and passage of HB22-1304, which created a grant fund to strategically allocate $178 million from the federal coronavirus recovery funds towards affordable housing development across the state - the largest investment in housing in a single-year in the state’s history. Rather than have the state initiate or even plan housing development, this program lends a helping hand to local governments, nonprofits, and private developers with existing proposals to create or maintain transformational affordable housing. By providing critical gap funding to these initiatives, this bill has and will enable the creation of workforce housing that will dramatically benefit our workers, local economies, and community at large. In this way, I believe HB22-1304 is a great example of the public and private sector working together for public benefit.

Recognizing the success of HB22-1304, I just introduced another bipartisan-supported bill that gives the state unprecedented authority to aid housing development projects. My SB23-001 allows the state to sell its own land assets for local workforce housing and child care center developments. In order to facilitate these transactions, SB23-001 authorizes the Public-Private Partnership office within the Department of Personnel to act as a “broker” to purchase, transfer, exchange, sell, or lease state-owned land assets. By removing the burden of finding affordable and available buildable land – often the biggest hurdle for developers – this initiative has the potential to spur a number of workforce housing projects across the state.

Our mountain and rural communities thrive when we work together. Lacking the resources of the big city, we must all collaborate to solve our most pressing challenges. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and I am confident that this type of problem solving can help us address one of our biggest current challenges - high cost of living. In order to ensure that our communities are places where all can live, work, and thrive, we must pull together the best of our business community, local and state governments, and nonprofit organizations. As your state senator, I am seeking opportunities to expand support for public-private partnerships.

By incentivizing state and local governments to collaborate with private industries, public-private partnerships can build a pathway for and expedite publicly beneficial projects that neither sector could accomplish on its own. We’re seeing public private partnerships work statewide and here in Routt County and there’s more to come.

We all know that our region and state faces significant housing challenges. Far too many teachers, police officers, nurses, tourism workers, and many more in Routt County are unable to find affordable housing in or near their place of work. As a result, many workers have had to either make significant financial sacrifices to remain in their community or make the difficult choice to move elsewhere. Insufficient workforce housing has, in turn, exacerbated workforce shortages across the region, affecting our local businesses and economic growth. We’ve seen worker shortages in almost every essential industry from health care to education, and even in our post offices. That is why I have prioritized legislation that promotes public private partnerships to increase access to affordable housing.

Even though these bills and respective programs are just taking off, I’ve seen enough enthusiasm and early investment among communities and local governments across Northwest Colorado to feel confident that publicprivate initiatives will benefit our region of the state. In Eagle County, SB23-001 would facilitate the development of workforce housing on land currently occupied by CDOT in Dowd Junction. SB23-001 would also pave the way for Routt County, in partnership with the city of Steamboat Springs and CDOT, to develop a childcare facility and workforce housing for snowplow drivers on another state-owned property. By facilitating the development of affordable housing as well as a child care center, Routt County’s partnership demonstrates that SB23-001 has the potential to also strengthen and expand infrastructure for essential industries. This gives me hope that public-private partnerships could address a number of the challenges and opportunities our employers and workers are facing across our region.

Good news: SB23-001 has already passed its first committee hearing with bipartisan support and we’ll keep working until it reaches the Governor’s desk.

If you have any ideas or questions around public private partnerships, SB23-001, affordable housing development, or anything else, I would love to hear from you. I invite you to attend upcoming in-person and virtual town hall meetings, as well as to contact me directly at SenatorDylanRoberts@gmail.com or on my cell: 970-846-3054.

5 March 2023 Valley Voice State Senator/ District 8
970 .879 .5717 2620 S. Copper Frontage Steamboat Springs, CO Help the Environment! Reuse any plastic laundry container with a re ll of quality, eco-friendly laundry detergent. 198 East Lincoln Ave. Hayden, Colorado www.wildgoosegranary.com All our baked goods are made here at the Granary! Be Local ! Yummy! 970-276-4250 Eat Local!
Dylan Roberts is the State Senator for Clear Creek, Eagle, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit Counties.

Bringing Airport Data in for a Landing

Over the next few months in this column, I am turning my attention to commercial air service in the Yampa Valley. To do this I have collected a multitude of economic data available mainly from Bureau of Transportation Statistic (BTS). The amount of data available from BTS can seem overwhelming at times. For an economic/number geek such as me, it is like being 10 years old and being turned loose in a toy store.

I like BTS data because it meets the two most important data criteria that make it useful. Those two criteria are:

A. The data is a time-series. This simply means is that using essentially the same methodology data is collected over time.

B. The data allows for comparability. This means, again using the same methodology, comparisons can be made to other “like” communities.

For the purpose of examining air transport, I will be focusing in on those airports on the western slope of Colorado and those servicing mountain communities. This results in a short list of six airports.

Aspen | Durango | Eagle/Vail | Gunnison/ Crested Butte | Hayden/ Steamboat Springs and Montrose.

The first area of focus is an obvious one. How many flights did each airport have and how many passengers got on those flights in any given year? This data although readily available needs to be separated into flights that depart (originate) from the airport vs. flights that arrive. This essentially is the two heads of the same coin. (One side is going and the other side is coming.)

I have looked at data 2012 thru 2022. One note to be aware of with the 2022 data it is based on 11 months of data. As of the date of this column December 2022 data is not yet available.

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Table T-100

In any given year Aspen has the largest number of departing flights. On average Aspen had over a 30% share of the total number of flights out of the six mountain airports.

Number of Flights

Flights Originating from Airport

Flights Originating from Airport

Passengers

Passengers Departing from Airport

Passengers Departing from Airport

During the 11 months of available data for 2022 slightly over 1 million passengers have departed from the six mountain airports. In comparison Denver International had about 30 million departing passengers .

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Table T-100 Once again Aspen leads the way. However, its total share of passengers is lower than its share of total flights.

One reason for this is because of the physical characteristics of the Aspen airport results in only a limited number of aircraft types that can fly into it.

The Aspen runway is 8,000 feet at the altitude of 7,820 feet. Most commercial operations use Bombardier CRJ700. The seating capacity of this regional jet can vary depending on the configuration chosen by the airline, but typically it can seat between 63 and 78 passengers. This simply results in a high number of flights but not as many passengers per flight.

During the winter months, the Aspen airport can accommodate an Airbus-319 and Boing 737. Again depending on the seating configurations of the airline the capacties are:

• Airbus-319 has a passenger Seating for 124 to 156

• Boing 737-series 700 and 800 have passenger seating for 126 to 189

In the winter, the air has a greater density at 7,800 feet of elevation because it is cold. Simply put, the greater the air density equates to more lift and thus larger aircraft.

NextMonthWherearealltheseflightsgoingandhowfullarethey?

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

6 March 2023 Valley Voice
Go Figure
7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000
2012 5,005 3,972 2,100 603 1,785 1,713 2013 4,434 3,564 1,878 587 1,411 1,706 2014 4,505 3,849 1,879 620 1,533 1,785 2015 4,774 4,002 1,910 673 1,512 1,881 2016 5,031 4,134 1,932 653 1,719 2,181 2017 5,155 3,814 1,969 628 1,588 2,400 2018 6,408 3,798 2,317 786 1,822 2,644 2019 6,065 4,225 2,291 787 1,731 2,987 2020 4,299 2,725 1,883 670 1,550 2,089 2021 5,480 4,370 2,848 903 2,463 3,058 2022 5,758 3,565 2,440 903 2,221 2,703 Aspen (ASE) Durango (DRO) Eagle (EGE) Gunnison (GUC) Hayden Montrose
350,000 300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000
2012 214,179 186,512 167,366 30,959 99,803 74,684 2013 204,159 192,636 165,238 30,400 91,356 83,588 2014 217,097 193,618 163,539 31,150 92,038 90,101 2015 233,373 186,790 156,124 34,395 93,664 102,472 2016 254,148 187,791 162,918 34,975 107,111 116,260 2017 244,428 186,912 153,500 32,234 96,344 122,854 2018 283,525 188,992 171,959 36,076 99,767 133,163 2019 307,154 195,150 190,554 36,081 105,518 157,675 2020 183,562 99,439 142,912 28,540 87,750 100,877 2021 247,678 200,211 201,305 38,756 150,085 187,977 2022 271,628 167,758 190,889 46,991 176,956 210,906 Aspen (ASE) Durango (DRO) Eagle (EGE) Gunnison (GUC) Hayden Montrose
7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000
of Flights 2012 5,005 3,972 2,100 603 1,785 1,713 2013 4,434 3,564 1,878 587 1,411 1,706 2014 4,505 3,849 1,879 620 1,533 1,785 2015 4,774 4,002 1,910 673 1,512 1,881 2016 5,031 4,134 1,932 653 1,719 2,181 2017 5,155 3,814 1,969 628 1,588 2,400 2018 6,408 3,798 2,317 786 1,822 2,644 2019 6,065 4,225 2,291 787 1,731 2,987 2020 4,299 2,725 1,883 670 1,550 2,089 2021 5,480 4,370 2,848 903 2,463 3,058 2022 5,758 3,565 2,440 903 2,221 2,703 Aspen (ASE) Durango (DRO) Eagle (EGE) Gunnison (GUC) Hayden Montrose
Number
350,000 300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000
2012 214,179 186,512 167,366 30,959 99,803 74,684 2013 204,159 192,636 165,238 30,400 91,356 83,588 2014 217,097 193,618 163,539 31,150 92,038 90,101 2015 233,373 186,790 156,124 34,395 93,664 102,472 2016 254,148 187,791 162,918 34,975 107,111 116,260 2017 244,428 186,912 153,500 32,234 96,344 122,854 2018 283,525 188,992 171,959 36,076 99,767 133,163 2019 307,154 195,150 190,554 36,081 105,518 157,675 2020 183,562 99,439 142,912 28,540 87,750 100,877 2021 247,678 200,211 201,305 38,756 150,085 187,977 2022 271,628 167,758 190,889 46,991 176,956 210,906 Aspen (ASE) Durango (DRO) Eagle (EGE) Gunnison (GUC) Hayden Montrose Living the dream in Steamboat Springs...
Passengers

Affordable Housing Comes to Hayden

What Constitutes an Emergency?

HAYDEN – On January 27, an ice-storm closed down the Hayden Airport that serves Steamboat Springs and surrounding areas. The terminal was filled with tourists who had, we hope, enjoyed a winter vacation in the 'Boat. But now these travelers were filled with confusion and apprehension when informed that all flights were canceled and they would have to make their own accommodations in getting back to Steamboat for the night.

HAYDEN—An affordable housing project has a way to go in getting planning development and town council approvals. The outlines are clear: 109 - one and two-bedroom rental apartments are in the pipeline.

The project called Main Street Apartments got started in December with the purchase of 3.22 acres of the old middle school grounds and football field for over one million dollars. Hayden School District voters approved the construction of a k-12 education complex, while town voters approved the acquisition of the old middle/high school complex for a town community center. The old middle school was in the worst shape and was torn down in 2020.

Main Street Apartments will lie between the community center and the old Babson Carpenter technical education building which is now a designated bus barn.

The proposed complex will have a two-story - 13 unit structure that faces Highway 40. It will include four commercial spaces on the ground floor. There will also be two apartment units on the ground floor and 11 on the second. Further back into the property will be a total of four, threestory apartment buildings. Each building will include 24 rental apartments, mixed with one-bedroom units and twobedroom units. All apartments are designed to be affordable to the local workforce. All told, there will be 61 - one-bedroom units and 48 - two-bedroom units with 181-slot parking lot. All buildings are walk-ups with no elevator service.

Traffic access to the complex will be via Washington Street (south of the community center). Residents would be driving in via Third Street, then turning onto Washington and continuing into the parking lot.

Main Street Apartment residents will be within walking distance of downtown business amenities. A bit further to the west is the town post office, bank and a restaurant. To the south is the k-12 education complex and Dry Creek playground, also within walking distance.

Main Street Apartments is held by investors Joe Armstrong of The Group in Steamboat, as well as a Wisconsin party. A Hayden Planning Commission on Feb. 23rd got an earful from neighbors of the Main Street Apartments project, particularly about the traffic flow plan.

Neighbors complained that Washington Street dead ends at the project, and that a block of Third Street and Washington Street would see increased vehicular traffic, incoming or outgoing. Accordingly, the planning board tabled the Main Street Apartments proposed plan until March 23, to revisit and reevaluate the traffic plan.

The vans that had taken them to the airport were all gone. The rental cars were all turned in. Frantic phone calls to hotels and motels revealed that some rooms were still available, but most establishments were totally booked.

Some people on a tight budget couldn't afford a $75 van ride back to Steamboat. Meanwhile, the storm raged and made Highway 40 look like a dangerous and risky drive back.

And then there was an announcement that the terminal would close at 10 p.m. People who refused to leave the terminal risked a fine and possibly an arrest for trespassing and a night in jail. Does that constitute an emergency? We know these things because Ronald C. Thompson, of Longview, Florida, wrote a blistering letter to the editor, which was published Feb. 7 in the Steamboat Pilot. “In what world is this policy acceptable?” he asked.

Fortunately, not all vehicles had been turned in and airport employees pulled together and organized a collective caravan that returned everyone to town.

As it turns out, nobody died or froze to death, but this could happen again constituting an emergency. What could the terminal managers, van drivers, hotel managers, police, Chamber of Commerce leaders, Red Cross, Lift Up and other charitable organizations do? Could we collectively have done better?

I hope we will see some good arise from this miserable event that could have turned out much, much worse. I hope we can see some leadership from local governments, the airport, Chambers, hotels, transportation companies, law enforcement, local charities and churches. We need to get our heads together and figure out how to handle similar events in the future.

For an example:

We should open the terminal conference room or the Hayden Community Center to stranded visitors and provide them with cots, yoga mats, space blankets and food/hot drinks. Open the restaurant for breakfast. Invite the Craig hotels to participate. They usually have plenty of rooms to send vans up to the airport. The Steamboat hotels/motels could reserve a few rooms for emergencies. We could open up those lush conference rooms to stranded visitors who just want to be warm and safe.

This is not rocket science. It is called taking care of visitors in the best sense of the word, which the airport employees did. God bless them.

7 March 2023 Valley Voice Hayden Happenings
Renderings provided by River Valley Architects

Prarie Fires: A Dramatic Love-Hate History

With tension growing between Utes and Whites during the summer of 1879, Colorow and a few followers stopped at Albert and Lou Smart’s home in Hayden. (Smarts were the founders of Hayden.) After terrifying Lou and her three children, they rode a short distance up valley where they stopped and “set-out fire” (started a grass fire).

Often the afternoon wind blows up valley and the fire raced through the grass. In the evening the wind changes and the fire burned south. At sunrise the wind again changed, driving the fire down valley toward Hayden and the homes of Smart and Thompson. The husbands being away, Eliza Thompson and Lou were left to defend their homes and save the children. Eliza had five and Lou had three. The women and children worked hard and fast to move everything to safety near the river. By late in the afternoon a raging fire headed directly at them. Lou was sure all was lost. The wind following its daily pattern once again changed and blew up the valley taking the fire with it until it crossed the river and burned toward Pilot Knob. Later that summer a second fire threatened Hayden. This time Lou’s husband Albert was home and other men were nearby. Quickly the fire was controlled and forced to the river where it died.

Founder of the RockyMountainNewsand enthusiastic promoter of developing northwestern Colorado, William Byers was returning to Hot Sulphur Springs in the summer of 1877 when he visited Ute Chief Colorow’s camp south of Steamboat Springs. The entire Mesa was ablaze. Byers asked Colorow why he had set the fires. The answer was simple and direct: “To make grass for the horses.” Two years later James B. Thompson was traveling north along the White River Indian Agency Road between White River and Rawlins, Wyoming, when he stopped to camp. All the grass was burned off the usual camping area. He asked a Ute why they had set the fires. The Indian’s answer was the same. “Make grass for the horses.” Arriving at the western edge of Gore Pass in 1862, Lt. Berthoud and his railroad-wagon road survey discovered a beautiful meadow of grass – some so tall and thick horses had difficulty walking through it. For the next two decades Egeria Park, the area from Toponas to Oak Creek, held a magical image. The Indians kept the sage brush and buck brush away with fire. When Charley Baggs staked his ranch on the Little Snake River in the early 1870s, it was a sea of grass.

On the 29th of September in 1879, Major Thornburgh, leading his force of two calvary companies, a detachment of foot soldiers, and a large supply train pulled by oxen, started across Milk Creek setting off the Battle at Milk Creek and the Ute War of 1879. Thornburgh was killed early in the battle and the leading companies were forced to withdraw to the circling wagons.

Using fire as a weapon of war, the Ute quickly set grass fires burning toward the circling troops. Attempting to start backfires the army received heavy losses. The backfire failed and burned the ox train. The Ute were beaten off and the troops pinned down. Indian Agent Meeker and all white men at the Agency were killed, the three women and three children were taken hostage. On October 5th, a relief column arrived and the Ute were forced to retreat. As they went, they set fires depriving the army of grass for their horses.

In the mid-1930s David Morgan was interviewed as part of a New Deal project. Morgan first came to the Yampa Valley and Little Snake River in the early 1870s delivering supplies to the White River Indian Agency. Morgan

told the interviewer, “Enormous change occurred over the years.” Sagebrush and buck brush had replaced the vast grassland.

One of the most dramatic legends of prairie fire occurred during the Great Prairie Fire of 1762-63. Young Sioux were racing for the river as their village burned. The fire over took them. Covering themselves with their blankets, they fell on the ground. The fire burned over them, but miraculously the boys survived with only their right hip burned. Their survival awed other Indians. Soon they and their people were called Sican-zhu, the “people with burned hips.” The French traders called them “Brule” a major Lakota–Sioux sub-tribe.

Early pioneers were often awed by prairie fires. Accompanying an inexperienced party of men across the great plains in 1833, John Irving had camped for the night. Sparks from a camp fire escaped setting the grass afire. “In an instant fifty little fires shot their forked tongues in the air,” he wrote. The men were astounded as the “wind hurled the burning grass into the air. The fire grew and swept across the prairie . . . leap succeeded leap.” Fortunately, the fire moved away and left them safe. In the morning Irving wrote “the sun had set upon a prairie still clothed in its natural garb of herbage. It rose upon a scene of desolation.”

Another party was camping for the night when the air became thick with smoke. They climbed a nearby hill where “a spectacle presented itself to us most grand that can well be conceived. The fire was about four miles away and across the horizon.” The party narrowly escaped by successfully setting a back fire; however, the observer thought the approaching fire was “magnificent.”

Paul Wilhelm, 1820's, wrote, “it was truly horrifying but at the same time a magnificent sight as we drifted along in the middle of the river and watched the banks of the giant Missouri as it appeared for miles in a sea of flames. At night the spectacle defied description.”

Often prairie fires were huge. The XIT Ranch (the largest privately owned ranch in American history) stretched along the Texas-New Mexico border and contained more than three million acres. In 1894, a fire blew out of New Mexico with a twenty-mile front south of Farwell. The XIT section that burned was twenty miles wide and sixty miles long. The fire burned much more in New Mexico.

In 1895, a fire started near the Arkansas River in Colorado-Kansas burned south, jumped the Cimarron River, crossed the Oklahoma Panhandle, burned all the grass on 470,000 acres of the Buffalo Springs division of the XIT, and burned deep into the Texas Panhandle.

In 1864, the Cheyenne Indians attacked Julesburg, Colorado, and raided several stagecoach stations. The Commander of the Nebraska District, General Mitchell, sent troops in pursuit but failed to catch the raiders. In frustration, he ordered all military posts, ranches, and stage stations to set fires from Fort Kearney to Denver. According to Eugene F. Ware who was stationed at Fort Cottonwood (later Fort McPherson), on the evening of January 27, 1865, fires were set along the entire 300-mile front.

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

8 March 2023 Valley Voice
Bonnifield Files

Three days later the massive fire crossed the Arkansas River and continued into the Texas Panhandle. Despite the reported size of the fire, it had little or no impact on the Cheyenne. For them it was just another fire that would make good grass for the ponies. The size and pattern of the fire are not well documented although Ware’s report of the fire is recorded.

Following the Civil War, thousands of homesteaders rushed onto the Great Plains – the Sod House Frontier. On the treeless plains, homestead houses were built with sod. To build a roof, poles were laid and straw placed atop, making a thatched roof – easily fired. Many pioneer families lost their lives while “seeking shelter in sod houses.” Most homesteaders soon “starved out” and returned east. For those who remained, prairie fires were always a concern. Referring to the fires’ frequency, speed, and destruction, the phrase “Like a Prairie Fire” became common usage and was widely understood.

Vera Williams, a child in 1900, lived with her sister, mother, and father in an old sod-house in the Nebraska sand hills. Many years later, Vera recalled a neighbor telling Papa, “We haven’t had a fire close to here for a long time, but that doesn’t mean we won’t. You’d better finish that firebreak.” Papa didn’t. (It was common for homesteaders to plow a fire line around the farmstead.)

A few weeks later a fire broke out and ranchers from far and near hurried to fight the fire with wet gunny sacks. Men would string out with gunny sacks dipped in a barrel of water and move along the flank of the fire beating it out. Back fires were also often used. Papa rushed to the fire line, and late that evening he returned home. This was repeated for several days. As he prepared to leave one morning mama said, “I have a cold spot in the pit of my stomach, and every time you start out again, that cold spot travels all over me. We won’t have any protection if a fire heads this way.” Papa in white faced rage wheeled on Mama. “There isn’t a fire within twenty miles of this ranch. . . . If you want it turned (fire break), you’ll have to turn it yourself.” Mama was very much aware of the stories of families roasted in their homestead sod houses.

Mama caught two horses -- one old and almost blind and the other untrained to work. She plowed a big and wide firebreak around all the buildings. The fire wasn’t twenty miles away, and it was approaching fast. Next, she took the two children, who were clinging to each other, to the windmill and filled tubs of water and hauled them to the house and placed them in the center of the floor. Blankets were stripped from the beds, soaked, and draped over the children. Mama’s fire line held and the fire burned around them before moving on. Verna recalled, “we had a can of tomatoes for supper to celebrate.”

March 2, 1904, was very cold and the wind strong in Sherman County Nebraska when a large prairie fire raced across the plains. Men with wet sacks rushed to control it. It was so cold that several hands were frozen to the sacks, and faces were frozen on the side away from the fire. Eventually it burned a strip four miles wide and twelve miles long, destroying several buildings, hay and straw stacks, fences, farm wagons, and equipment. No lives were lost.

In 1886, Russell Seymour, his wife and two children were awakened by the roar of a deadly fire. Russell hurried to build back fires without success. He and the family were trapped and appeared doomed when a violent hail storm charged over the fire killing it.

A large fire in 1903 threatened Eleanor Penny’s home. Her father and nine children, even the small ones and the women and girls fought the fire. Neighbors soon arrived and saved the farmstead and livestock. After the fire was controlled, Eleanor’s mother and girls cooked potatoes, fried pork, made gravy and biscuits for the neighboring firefighters. When the fire was completely out and the livestock safe, about 10 p.m., the family sat down to a supper of pancakes and syrup.

One 1879 pioneer commented, “The country was new and there were wide stretches of unbroken prairie . . . fires were frequent, often several were in view at one time.” There are hundreds of personal accounts without any accurate accounting of the number of human deaths or serious injuries; however, it was high especially among women and children. The long skirts and long hair of women, who sought safety inside sod houses, often cost them their lives. The suffering and death of animals, domestic and wild, was horrendous. One account tells of jack rabbits running with their hair on fire. Others described the painful sound of dying animals.

Deadly prairie fires are not confined to the pioneering days of the American West. Prairie states report hundreds, often thousands, of grass fires each year. All of them have dramatic and often tragic stories.

On March 6, 2017, the Northwest Complex Fire erupted with multiple fires in the same region. The area burned by the complex was over 600,000 acres. That season more than two million total acres burned on the south-central Great Plains. The most famous fire of the complex is the Starbuck Fire.

On the “Dry Line,” where extreme weather hangs out, near Slapout, Oklahoma, a power line broke during a ferocious wind storm at the Mocane oil field. Charlie Starbuck and his volunteer fire crew was called. Arriving at the fire, it was clear their three trucks were not enough. The wind was high with gusts reaching near one hundred miles per hour. This fire was on the run. Help was called in, and Texas County, Oklahoma, responded immediately. But they were miles away and this fire was not waiting.

At Ashland, Kansas, fifty miles away, Millie Fudge, Clark County’s head of emergency management got the call. Soon she was heading south with three units. As she approached Englewood, Kansas, she learned the fire was approaching her faster than she was approaching the fire, and the fire was about to flank her.

The Englewood firemen advised her to return to Ashland and make a stand. Seeing the Ashland units race away, the Englewood firemen realized they were all alone. No help was coming. Englewood’s fire chief Bernnie Smith’s problems only worsened. A fire truck ran over a hydrant and broke it. The broken hydrant drained the town water tank.

The electric power was off and he could not pump water from the wells. His wife was about to die of a smoke induced asthma attack. His daughter was desperately seeking medical help for her mother. Both were out there somewhere in the fire. Different fires kept blocking their path. After several attempts in Oklahoma and Texas the women finally found help at Liberal, Kansas.

Driving with both windows open to feel the same heat the men in the back felt, Starbuck suddenly saw and felt flames race through the cab. They were surrounded and about to be overrun. With hoses working, they raced to safety. “I’m amazed” Starbuck said, “we didn’t end up going to a lot of firefighters’ funerals.” He was close to attending his own.

At Ashland, a battle royal was in the making. Mike Harden, a farmer, began disc plowing a fire line around the town. He remained at it until he was ploughing grass fire. He could do no more. Driven by the wind, burning tumble weeds and grass filled the air. The air was literally on fire.

Firemen saved Garth Gardiner’s home while theirs burned. A four-hundred-acre green wheat field at the edge of town helped stop the fire from entering Ashland; however, everyone was evacuated. Flames raced across the road ahead of the last to go.

Seven people lost their lives that day, millions of dollars in property was damaged, and the number of animals that died was enormous. The scars, both human and physical, remain. But there was no shortage of heroes who gave all they had to give. The prairies remain the domain of the prairie fire.

Poetry

The Poet's Bucket List

A poet might have a bucket list, Things to do before the final storm, Affirming life while he (or she) still exists, A perfect verse meeting every norm.

Critics cheer this universal aim, Past sages have had their turn, With missives' lofty aesthetic claim, A truth inscription for the poet's urn.

Ages hence would sing the verse, So inspired from the subtle muse, A creative spirit shared, but not perverse, Such envy a mind might so choose.

O’er flowing the bucket of adulatory praise, With ethereal words that know no end, The bucket kicked me into a daze, But, perfection I might suspend.

Enshrine the verse with laurels, Am I helped with such pearls?

9 March 2023 Valley Voice
"Thefireovertookthem.Coveringthemselveswiththeirblankets,theyfellontheground. Thefireburnedoverthem,butmiraculouslytheboyssurvivedwithonlytheirrighthipburned."

Migrating North: Sandhill Cranes Returning to the Yampa Valley

Rocky Mountain Greater Sandhill Cranes, an iconic bird of Northwest Colorado, start their northern migration in February towards the Yampa Valley. These birds winter in New Mexico and Arizona where there is plenty of food while the Yampa Valley is covered in a thick blanket of snow. Cranes will spend several weeks or even a month or two migrating north before they reach the Yampa Valley in March.

Cranes usually migrate during the day, flying up and over the tall Rocky Mountains to reach their breeding grounds further north. Cranes follow invisible sky trails carved out by their ancestors over thousands and thousands of years. They use visual cues based on landmarks, such as rivers, mountain ranges, and valleys to guide their route. Cranes can travel 500 miles in a single day during migration but will often stop along their migration path to rest and feed.

To save energy, cranes will try to fly on clear days, preferably with a tailwind.

Cranes are family-oriented birds. They stay together with their family even during migration when their colts (young cranes) are less than a year old. Migrating with their parents may be how young cranes learn the migration route and important places to stop along the way. Often, several family groups and other cranes will join together during migration to form large, flying flocks.

Along their northern migration, Sandhill Cranes stop to rest and feed at specific areas known as stopover sites. Stopover sites are typically areas with wetlands and agricultural fields where cranes can find food and areas with shallow water where cranes can roost. An important stopover site in the Rocky Mountains is the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado. The wide valley, agricultural fields, and wetlands provide the habitat cranes need to refuel for the rest of their journey north. Cranes may spend several weeks here resting and eating.

About 20,000 cranes, almost the entire Rocky Mountain population, will stop in the San Luis Valley during migration.

After leaving the San Luis Valley, our Yampa Valley Cranes will fly up and over the mountains to reach the Yampa Valley. Typically, cranes arrive in the valley between late February and late March, even though the valley is still covered in snow. Once cranes arrive in the valley, they search for food in wetlands and low-lying areas created by melting snow. The large groups seen during migration break up and pairs and family groups will start spreading out to areas where they want to nest.

The Yampa Valley is the southern part of the breeding range for the Rocky Mountain Greater Sandhill Cranes. Some cranes that stop in the Yampa Valley during migration may continue further north to their summer home. It may seem that cranes arrive in the Yampa Valley so early in the spring, but they need to arrive early so they have time to prepare for nesting. Cranes, like other birds, typically go back to the same area each year to nest. After parents arrive near their nesting areas with their colts, the parents will send the colts off so they can prepare for another nesting season. As the snow continues to melt, cranes feed, rest, and prepare for nesting that can begin as soon as April. Sandhill Cranes will spend the rest of the spring, summer, and fall in the Yampa Valley before migrating back south to their winter home.

As cranes arrive in the Yampa Valley, some of them may appear gray and some rust-colored. Along migration or after they have reached the Yampa Valley, Sandhill Cranes will paint their feathers with mud to turn them rustcolored. Cranes find special iron-rich mud, pick up the mud with their beak, and paint it onto their feathers. This rustcolored mud helps the cranes become camouflaged during the nesting season.

Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition (CCCC) celebrates the return of Sandhill Cranes to the Yampa Valley during Greater Sandhill Crane Week, March 1-8. This is the start of the First Crane Sighting Contest, Coloring Contest, and Photo Contest. As cranes arrive in the Yampa Valley, report your sighting of cranes to CCCC with a photo or video for the chance to win a prize in our First Crane Sighting Contest. New this year, CCCC is hosting a fundraiser on March 31, 2023 to celebrate the return of Sandhill Cranes to the valley. Enjoy tapas inspired from areas along the migration path of our cranes with live music by Steamboat Folk. Starting in April, tune into our livestream Crane Nest Camera that will be back for a third season. Through this live camera, you can watch a pair of Sandhill Cranes on their nesting journey. Also, save the date for our 12th annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival that will occur Aug 31 – Sept 1, 2023. The festival features expert speakers, guided crane-viewings, bird walks, workshops, and more. Information about all these events and more are on our website: coloradocranes.org.

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

10 March 2023 Valley Voice
Craniacs
OdeToSpring–SandhillCranesarriveintheYampaValley inspring.PhotobyKathySimpson.

It Ain't Over til it's Over

Since 2017, the discussion of an outdoor performing arts facility - “the amphitheater” - has been in the news. At first, there was a proposal to build a unique and controversial venue on City property in the Spring Creek Park. Then, Steamboat Creates put together a panel to discuss locations for an amphitheater. In October 2021, Piknik Theatre announced a pending partnership with the Steamboat School District to collaborate in the construction of an outdoor learning and performance facility on the Strawberry Park school campus.

Eureka!!!!! At last a solution had been found to fill a void in both school educational and performing arts programming and community performing arts infrastructure. By early 2022, an architect firm, acoustical engineer, and general contractor began designing and planning for Steamboat’s first amphitheater. In June, the Steamboat School District signed a 20 year lease for a small area adjacent to the elementary school. All that remained was finding the funding to actually build the $1 million project.

It took a while to build momentum, with private donations slowly trickling in. Occidental College alum Alex Berger contributed the first sizable gift of over $10,000. Then the State of Colorado offered a $125,000 grant. Now, over the ensuing 9 months, there are grants from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Yampa Valley Electric Association, The Gates, Boettcher, El Pomar Foundations, and numerous private donations led by Russ and Shine Atha, Karolynn Lestrud, Don and Jo Anne Moss, Twin Landfill, and Pam and Steve Williams. And at last a new championship team, new to the community, have emerged: the Branham

RenderingprovidedbyBrianA.Majeski-Urban|RuralDesign

Arts and cultural communities are renowned throughout the world for the intrinsic and humanistic value they bring to residents; and also the extrinsic, economic benefit derived from cultural tourism and education (again, look to Creede). You can’t put a stop watch or a finish line to arts and culture. Any one of any age and ability can still participate and enjoy the life changing experience that is performance art. Students who engage in performing arts are more likely to be “successful” by any measure, and especially those who are economically or socially disadvantaged and underserved. According to all kinds of studies, if there was one single thing that would improve the quality of life in a community, investment in the arts would be very high on the list.

Yet here we stand, with the promised land of a dedicated public performing arts facilitythe first of its kind - just on the horizon; and still hundreds of thousands of dollars short.

family, who are familiar with Piknik Theatre as audience members, are announcing their move to Steamboat with a $100,000 donation to the amphitheater project. Victory is within our grasp!

Well, not so fast. Despite all the best efforts and intentions of the Piknik Theatre faithful (noted above), Steamboat Springs still falls short of matching the arts and cultural bar set by other Colorado communities including Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Aspen, and even Creede (whose Creede Repertory Theater is one of the most critically acclaimed professional theatre companies in the nation). Steamboat calls itself “Ski Town” and “Bike Town” and “Dog Town” for a reason. Anyone who moved here for the arts and culture came from a very deprived community indeed.

If you want to know what a community values, follow the money. In 2023, the animal shelter has a $300,000 annual budget; the bike trail maintenance endowment is over $1 million; and we all know the hundreds of millions of dollars that have poured into Howelsen Hill and the Steamboat Ski Area. The Piknik Theatre budget for 2022 was just under $65,000 and we hired our first part-time employee, Vivienne Luthin, the artistic and education director. So I’m not expecting that Steamboat Springs will provide the kind of support Creede and Mineral County provide to the largest employer and economic activityperforming arts - which is Creede Rep.

But imagine what our community would look like if the performing arts had even a fraction of the financial support we give dogs and recreation.

The clock is ticking and in just a few days, the general contractor for the Strawberry Park Amphitheater will need to know the construction schedule or cancel the project and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in committed funding. According to the language of the lease, work cannot begin until all the money is committed. The State of Colorado is even offering 25 percent tax credits(!) for donations and still the crickets reverberate throughout the valley.

Piknik Theatre has sought to build community through the performing arts, and we will, somewhere. The opportunity in Steamboat seemed like a dream come true: a partnership with the school district to enhance student education, arts and cultural benefits for local and guest performing arts organizations, and economic diversity to support local businesses. It seems like we’re at a crucial turning point in our development as a community. Will we continue down the road toward being “Aspen without the culture;” or is there an opportunity, led by this small jewel of a performance space, to create a community of performing artists who work collaboratively to raise the tide for all our creative boats?

It ain’t over til it’s over; and those of us committed to building sustainable performing arts organizations and venues will hang on until there are no more windmills left to joust or dreams to dream. But the hour is late. This is your community and if you want to see it thrive in a balanced recreational and cultural environment for you, your kids, and their children, please call 970-355-9403 or email pikniktheatre@gmail.com.

11 March 2023 Valley Voice
Piknik Theatre

The Adversaries’ Saloon Debate

February 25, 1915

“Hey, let’s play some darts at the Carrie Nation tonight,” du Bois suggested.

The Carrie Nation Saloon remained my second favorite pub. August Durbin allowed a few women into his establishment. They were “married” women who winked that their husbands were not in town and occasionally the girls, my friends, came from Ollie Patterson’s boarding house. I saw the business arrangement. It was not a gentlemen’s club like the pubs back home, but the ladies, were fun to talk to with their bold conversations. Du Bois wasted good money a couple of times, on women, but said he felt so hollow the next day. I accomplished the same thing in the bath or alone in the woods and did not spend a dime. True confession, my excitement usually included a thought of Corina.

It was the middle of the week and quiet at the saloon. August Durbin entertained a few fellows with a joke as we entered. When the laughing subsided, I said, “Well its official, Governor George Alfred Carlson will sign the Prohibition Bill. Colorado will be dry January 1.”

Gus replied, “I read that too. That’s progress for you.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Run this place until midnight on New Year’s Eve. After that I don’t know. Maybe move to California, I’ve got a brother there.”

“I read the voters in Hawaii overwhelming defeated Prohibition in a 1910 special election. We could go there,” du Bois said.

“Snow wouldn’t be as deep,” I joked.

“It’s something to think about.” Du Bois grabbed the darts and pointed at the board, “Let’s play a game.”

I lost the game to his hot hand. Another fellow stood up and challenged, “I’ll give it a try.”

The odd man out, I sat in the back of the Carrie Nation reading a book by the lamp. We took pleasure in a couple of pints of August’s dark ale. Du Bois and the other man played a close game of darts. Frank Bergman bowed his Stradivarius violin. His large, stained, and calloused blacksmith fingers nimbly danced on the strings. August stood behind the bar smiling and tapped his fingers on the countertop. Absent mindedly he would wipe with his left hand the already clean bar top with a towel. Suddenly, the front door burst open and in roared JJ with his two mates fresh from whoring down the road. “Whiskey for my friends,” he shouted.

Gus glanced uncertainly at me, we nodded briefly, my view moved to du Bois, who acknowledged and took a step toward the big guy, Dim.

I locked in on JJ. I cannot emphasize enough the brevity of that moment and the instantaneous team formed.

August put three glasses on the bar and started to fill them with Sunny Brook. “No, whiskey for everyone,” he shouted again. Frank kept playing his violin and du Bois’s opponent raised his hand to order.

“No thanks, I have sufficient,” I said.

“Me too,” Du Bois added.

JJ poured the shot down it one gulp, slammed the glass on the bar and demanded, “Another one.”

The second shot disappeared as quickly as the first. “So, you won’t drink with me limey?”

I said nothing. The dart game paused. Du Bois’s picked up an empty beer mug. His challenger grasped his whiskey and quickly walked back to the board. Palpable tension filled the air. JJ walked up and said, “What are you reading?”

“Horace,” I acknowledged.

“Figures, a fool reading an ancient Roman poet to be intellectual?”

“I read dead authors. It’s the closest I’ve come to time travel, and I don’t want to be here.”

“Afraid to debate a lawyer?” He said with a look resembling the Devil himself.

“No.”

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

12 March 2023 Valley Voice
Victims
Love
of

“Don’t think, just do,” he quoted.

“Whatever advice you give, be short,” was my returned quote. His mind explored his pickled archives. During the pause I added, “Mate, are you a smart feller or a fart smeller?”

He glared and took a step toward me. “Make a good use of the present.” He turned towards his friends and continued, “That’s what I’m doing.”

“Fidelity is the Sister of Justice,” I shouted.

“What do you mean by that?” he scowled back at me. “Why aren’t you home with your pregnant wife?”

The music stopped. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw August reach under the bar. Du Bois stood behind me, unfilled weapon in hand. JJ roared, “Waste my precious seed? I want to give it to the world!” His friends chuckled nervously.

I stood up and stuck my face within an inch of his and barked, “You’re a moron for not appreciating what you have.”

“Why you foreign son of a...”

August thrust his bat between us and pried us apart. “Gentlemen, your glasses are empty. I suggest you both sit down right now, and I’ll fill ‘em,” he calmly pushed us farther apart with large, muscular arms.

JJ threw a gold piece on the bar and stormed out the door saying, “I’m not drinking here.”

I stood my ground. JJ’s friends, Jack and Dim slowly also walked out the door. August placed a glass of ale next to my textbook and said, “It’s a delicate situation; my conscience says to tell you what I’ve heard. A friend in need is a friend indeed. The other night he boasted loud enough for all to hear that he beat her because she wouldn’t do her wifely duty. She hates him, Julius. I say, good for her. Then he had the gall to declare, he never really beat her before, just smacked her around nice like. She’d scream a little and he’d close the drapes. It’s probably a bunch of bull since he’s traveling so much and not in town. Nonetheless Julius, you need to pay attention to what you are doing. That man will come after you and he is dangerous. She’ll cast him out soon enough after the deal is done.”

I glared at my mug of beer.

“Perhaps you should follow Napoleon’s maxim,” du Bois suggested.

“And what would that be?” I hissed.

“Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself.”

Add Gas or Water?

There are many ways to teach and share information. I attended a class where the lecture style teaching method covered immense amounts of information in a short time. No one remembered anything except the barest of details. This simply reaffirmed for me that it is better to cover a few things very well, as opposed to covering a great deal of material very poorly. The instructors own confirmation bias told them that they were doing a good job, but in reality it was a wasted effort. Sure, they mentioned tons of things, but so what? Just because you say something and flash a screenshot doesn’t mean anyone learned it. The information didn’t stick beyond the end of the class. Teaching is like throwing mud at a wall – a teacher should want as much as possible to stick, so please use better teaching skills.

We all explore and discover many things in our lives. I would bet the best learning for you was when expectations, explanations and guidance cemented it all together. “I learn by experience” is stated by those who either don’t know how to learn or haven’t received real guidance. The school of hard knocks is simply receiving a big hit and learning little. Sink or swim is always sink. That may have had a big impact but, what you thought you learned was different and smaller than the intended lesson. Note that there is discovery and then there is the more advanced form of guided discovery. Learning “how” to learn is a skill set most of us were never taught and yet that tool will help us grow much faster with better effects. Having a good teacher to guide you will bring you far greater rewards.

Finding that guide can be a challenge. Those that claim to be great teachers rarely are. 20 years of experience might well turn out to be 1 year of experience 20 times. Great achievements and much bombastic fanfare is not indicative of great leadership skill. Most often the great guides teach more humbly, share more deeply, listen more intently, talk less and care about you as a person.

An example: I work with small children in the winter sports club just beginning their life’s journey. Their life skill sets are new and untested. They don’t always have the best of training, probably much like you and me. Emotional and mental skill training has just begun.

Physically they are developing very rapidly. Since their worlds are changing so quickly their balance goes off and sometimes they get annoyed with each other. Typically they are annoyed with themselves but take it out on others as they have no other real coping tools.

One way I use to help is add a new life tool is to ask them if they are trying to make their lives easier or harder. That starts things rolling and more recently I included a new metaphor. I ask if they are adding gasoline or water to the situation. It’s a very visual metaphor that emphasizes their participation and the results they will receive. It’s a powerful way to get them to pause and reflect.

It has been a neat way to teach reflection, pausing before action, thinking about consequences and considering its actions. It is great to be in a group and say, “Pause."

What will this situation look like if we added energy, like gasoline, to this situation?” “What would it look like if we added water and cooled things off?” “With water or gasoline, you can make the fire bigger or you can put it out. The choice is up to you.” Take a second and then say, “un-pause” and step away. Most often they learn very fast and rarely add fuel to the fire. Saying: “Pause” has a great effect and you can see the wheels turning in their brains learning to think.

One thing to watch is that our brains take about seven seconds or more to process and think of a truthful response. Instant responses simply mean that a person had already developed an answer long before you asked the question. A trained heuristic was in their intuition, whether they knew it or not. Fast answers are a reaction. Yes/ No questions really don’t tell you very much either. There are reasons why police, therapists and teachers ask open ended questions.

We are all teachers, so make the mud stick. Know your target and build your goals. Be open to learning and know you must start from where you are now, not your past or future. Change the game faster than they can change the rules. The map is not the path nor does the mile post show the effort you just used. The compass does not tell you where to go, it just gives you indications of where you are.

13 March 2023 Valley Voice
Mensan Musings
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A Matter of Perspective

I was perplexed. They were so obvious to me; the pattern of surface hoar knocked over by little feet, the meandering trail. Why could they not see the obvious?

Sunshine! Oh, glorious sunshine. On a beautiful day after weeks (and weeks and weeks…) of gray and snow we were having a week of sun and the world was celebrating

per|spec|tive. noun. 1a: a mental view or prospect 1b: a visible scene. 2a: the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed. 2b: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance. 3: the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions.

I suggested that we change our perspective, and we got down on our knees to look at the snow from a mouse’s point of view. The oohs and aahs I heard confirmed that they had “seen the light!” From above, the lighting and angle of view made it extremely difficult to pick out the tiny nuances the mouse left behind. But at snow level, the lighting highlighted the small indents on the crust and it also brought into focus the magical surface hoar that the mouse wound its way through. Remember hoar frost? This is the butterfly wing crystals forming on top of snowpack or along branches and grasses after a warm day and cold still night. From above the crystals were barely perceptible. What the mouse must have enjoyed that morning (if indeed a mouse can enjoy such a thing) would have been a world of little butterfly winged crystals refracting light like a prism creating a pretty crazy dance floor of light. We enjoyed the show immensely and also found where the mouse had left a trail of knocked over hoar frost crystals. What fun to change your

This got me to thinking about other ways I change my perspective and change my experience. Time spent in the alpine tundra is the absolute highlight of my summer. I usually arrive back home with a wind-blown complexion from the incessant winds above treeline. But the alpine plants have the right idea. They are tiny, prostrate and often very dense. I love to flatten out on my stomach (taking care to not damage the tundra plants) with a nice patch of moss campion or alpine phlox just in front. Everything changes. The wind is gone, replaced by a hush, bumblebees, flies and other pollinators flit just over the flower tops in the no-wind zone. I can stay for a good half hour just watching this tiny world unfold, a world I would never see from above. And the aromas at this level are intoxicating!

Another change of perspective happens for me in aspen forests. Any season will do but fall and spring are the most dramatic. Of course, we are all awed by the beauty of aspen; the glowing trunks leading up to patches of chartreuse in spring, gold in fall and that Colorado blue sky farther behind. Sigh, peace ensues. Now lie down on your back, arms stretched out to the side and close your eyes.

Their presence is still there somehow, a warm friendly kind of envelopment. But also, the sweetness of the earth surrounds you with aspen enriched soil. And the busyness of birds talking and flying, leaves chattering, chipmunks scampering – it is a pretty amazing experience. Then open your eyes to the white trunks soaring to the heavens and leaves waving hello with a soft shh shh shh. It’s almost like being in a living tunnel of light and sound. And all because you changed your perspective.

Have you ever created a sound map? Give it a try right now in your own home. Stand in the middle of your living room and listen to your surroundings. Now close your eyes and carefully turn a few turns and, with your eyes still closed, listen again. Do you know which way you are facing now by listening to the sounds? Can you home in on the road to the south or the dog barking to the southwest? This is a great exercise to do every time you set up camp. I sit and listen from the door of my tent to orient myself to the sounds around me. When I get up in the night I know where the stream is and where the sounds bounce off the mountain behind me. The perspective of sound is one we do not immerse ourselves in nearly enough. Not only is it a way to immerse yourself in your surroundings, but it can also be a life saver. By knowing which direction the road is, hearing a car pass by might lead you in the right direction if you are turned around. Listening for the bells of sheep in the high country says you’d better keep your dog close by, and homing in on where they are you can avoid meeting them and their guard dogs. Following a thunderstorm by listening for it, often when you cannot see it, could help keep you dry and safe. The perspective sound gives us offers a new way of experiencing our world and I find it connects us even more.

This month try out a new perspective!

I’ll see (or hear) you on the trails.

14 March 2023 Valley Voice
'Boat Almanac
For those who live here and for those who wish they did.
Photo by Karen
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Beers in the Spirit of Braveheart

Sexism and violence

Scottish ales have a history of sexism and violence worth exploring, with two examples of fact and lore best illustrating this point.

According to Archaeologyscotland.org, brewing beer has been practiced in Scotland since the Neolithic period, about 5,000 years ago. These early tribes of Celts and Picts left pottery shards containing cereal residues used for mashing grains and fermentation found at dig sites, and the production was small scale with the theory that the brewing was for families or small villages, not for distribution or export. It was also determined that responsibilities were performed by the lady of the house, who added brewing to her daily tasks of cooking and minding the children. In 1509, Aberdeen had over 150 brewers – all women; and this compares with figures for London which show that of 290 brewers, around 40% were men, according to Wikipedia.com.

Tried in trinity

Three domestic examples of Scottish-style ales (only ales brewed in Scotland are true Scottish ales, domestics here are Scottish-style) were chosen for evaluation; ODells’ 90 Shilling from Fort Collins, CO, Oskar Blues’ Old Chub Scotch ale from Longmont, CO, and Founders’ Dirty Bastard from Grand Rapids, MI.

The ODells 90 Shilling pours a clear amber with a creamy white head. There is good caramel malt and hops are very subtle. This beer is on the low side of ABV (Alcohol by Volume at 5.3%) and technically it is not a 90 shilling (what determines a Wee Heavy), but more of an 80 or 70 shilling. Although it is a bit thin for traditional Scottish-style ales, it is a spot on match for those who enjoy England’s Bass ale in color and in taste.

It’s March and one of the favorite dates is March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, where everyone is Irish for the day. Celebrators can feast on corned beef, cabbage and soda bread. But what to wash it down with? Obviously, a good Irish stout like Guinness comes to mind, but some folks might be put off by the heavy, sometimes bitter taste. So what to do?

Why not look at Ireland’s neighbor for some refreshment? Scotland has been professionally brewing their own brand of dark, sweeter malty ales for over 300 years and are an interesting alternative to the stouts and porters brewed in England and Ireland.

With a rich history, Scottish ales have their own tale to tell, complete with stories of courage-inducing properties when the beer was consumed before battle and additional violent and sexist lore. A story that has alcohol, sex and violence? Indeed! Read on to discover style differences, some past history of note, and a review of three domestic Scottish-style ales locally available.

Which are ye?

There are two general styles of Scottish ales; the wee heavy and the shilling ales. Wee heavies are named so as their alcohol content is quite high, at about 8%. These are bold, malty beers and colors range from garnet to deep brown. The wee refers to how they were served in smaller glasses and the heavy comes from the alcohol content. In contrast, shilling ales were taxed according to their alcohol content and are available in 60-,70-, and 80-shilling grades with the higher the shilling grade reflecting the greater alcohol content.

Historians, according to Scottishbrewing.com, saw a steady decline in female brewers over the next 200 years as brewing and exporting was becoming profitable and therefore attractive as an occupation to men who subsequently moved in, pushing women out of the trade. Women, alewives or brewsters as they were called, lost their dominance of brewing beer in Scotland through centralization, commercialization and regulation of the beer making industry. Women’s History scholar Judith Bennett wrote, “Brewsters were, in a sense, disabled by many institutions.”

Fueling the testosterone fire was ancient lore. Around 1600 AD, according to Folklorescotland.com, the verbal Legend of Heather Ale (a cold climate plant used to flavor Scottish ales before hops) was started as an Irish King who, having defeated a Pict tribe, wanted the secret recipe for Heather Ale. The brew was rumored to turn the drinker into a fierce warrior in battle.

As the story goes, only two Pict prisoners, a father and son, survived the slaughter. Upon the king’s demands for the recipe for Heather Ale, the father told the raiding king that he would tell him the recipe if the king killed his son, for he believed his son would surely kill him if he were to disclose this sacred secret to an outsider. The king then killed the son and upon doing so the father laughed, and although saddened by the loss of his son, he knew had had beaten the king. He stated he had never intended to share the recipe, but his son may have and thus, to ensure its secrecy, he had to die. Upon the disclosure of his deception, the father threw himself from a cliff and died on the rocks below, the secret dying with him.

As heather is plentiful in Scotland, drinkers later preferred hops added to their beer and one of the first main crops cultivated in the new colony of America were hops to be used for export. Scotland was a major importer of the American product, mostly grown in New York, and in turn, Scotland exported much of its finished product to slake the thirst of the Young Colonials.

Next is Oskar Blues’ Old Chub, a self-identified Scotch ale. Again, it should be a Scottish-style ale as it also does not contain any scotch liquor. This is a big beer with a nice brown mahogany color, sustainable off-white head and beefy 8%ABV. There’s very slight smoke (peat) in the nose and taste. It received a 95 rating from RateBeer.com and is a beer Coloradans can be proud of.

The final entry is for Founders Dirty Bastard (8.5%ABV), a world-class beer which offers all the characteristics of Scottish exports; malty, chewy and the garnet color is a marvel to observe. RateBeer.com gave it a 96 and the beer is a must try.

Conclusion

The deep history of Scottish and Scottish-style ales are worth considering while we still remain in the relentless clutch of this year’s winter. Full-bodied, mellow and deeply sippable, these beers can reward the hardiest of shovelers, off-piste enthusiasts and winter warriors with a tasty brew that can melt the frost off the drinker and allow for the emergence of an internal alpenglow.

-SeanDerningisABeerFairyandoffersbeer/brewery reviewsandvideosatBeerfairytales.com

15 March 2023 Valley Voice Suds Central
905 Weiss Drive - across HWY 40 from the Holiday Inn 879.5929
Blackandtar-tan;ODells90Shilling,OskarBluesOld Chub,FoundersDirtyBastard

My Ranching Life in Colorado

Tony was full of life. He was a workaholic and a kind man.

I received my citizenship in 1955. My son-in-law (Steve’s Mom and Dad) George, and Georgia Raftopoulos, were my witnesses. After the court hearing, we went high into the mountains and had a celebration. It was a very simple and delicious picnic. We had a card table for all the food. We all were simple people living our lives. There was nothing fancy about it, which is so different than today.

While I was growing up, I always dreamed of going somewhere else. It was a feeling deep inside me. What I did not realize was how hard it really would be to leave everything you knew in your life and replace it with the unfamiliar and unknown. I didn't know any English at that point in my life, but I did know the life I was entering was at the side of my husband with sheep ranching.

The Greek immigrants who started raising sheep in the early 1900s had no idea what being a “rancher” or what a “ranch” was. They were just looking for a place to raise their livestock. This was also the case with my immigrant father-in-law, Harry Peroulis, who started with just a little bit of money, but worked very hard. Harry applied for and received a land grant of 640 acres located in Routt County in 1940, by the authority of the 1916 Homestead EntryStock Raising Act. There, Harry built his summer ranch off of a road bisecting a county road and started teaching his three young sons the sheep ranching life. He purchased more land from the John Dunckley and Kenneth Carrol ranches. Harry ranched until, at the age of 56, in 1946, he died of a heart attack on a nearby county road where his truck had broken down. Andy and his brothers were all teenagers and their sister barely nine years old when they lost their dad. It was a devastating loss for his family.

Before Harry Sr. received the land grant, he ranched in northwestern Colorado outside of Craig, Colorado. One story I remember hearing is that there were visitors on horses who rode in front of their sheep camp almost daily. This was in the early 1930s. They would see the three boys playing outside the tent and would be very friendly to the family. One day, these men rode by and asked where Tony was. My mother-in-law, Stella said that Tony was sick and inside the tent with a fever. One of the guys got off his horse and asked to see Tony. When this man saw how sick he was, he told Stella to cut certain grasses and boil water and put the grasses into the water and then bathe Tony in the water. In those days, a stranger’s kindness meant just that they were kind and helpful.

My worst first heartbreak was the day Tony died on the first of October 1957 on Gore Pass where he rolled his truck down a steep embankment. I only had known Tony for about two and a half years before he died. I was heartbroken. Tony was a unique individual and I will always remember his kindness to me.

All the Greek women made the food. No one ever had to ask them to make anything to bring to a party or to a Church event. They just did it. Today you have to ask people to bring meals and dishes. All the older women then, like Mrs. Papoulas, Mrs. Kourlis, Mrs. Raftopoulos, Mrs. Charchalis, and others were all wonderful and loving people. They also loved to cook and were excellent at it. These women were all born in different parts of Greece and they were lifelong friends to each other and to me. I don’t think my grandchildren will ever meet people like this in their lives.

Poor Otto got sick with cancer about nine years ago. He did not want to see a doctor or go to town. He wanted to die at his cabin. Unfortunately, Routt County picked up Otto and took him to a Yampa hotel. Otto died two days later in that hotel. Otto’s cabin was quickly demolished and the wood was sold. It was a historic property here in Routt County. Our history is leaving us, one acre at a time.

After Tony died in the fall of 1958, we bought grazing land for our sheep and moved into the cabin that Andy’s brother Tony and sister-in-law, Marie had shared. After Tony tragically died, Andy and our young daughters lived in that cabin for many summers. I could not have been happier in those days. I felt like I was reborn. Now I had my house in Craig for the winters and my summer ranch in Routt County with no running water.

While we were living in the cabin and before we purchased our current ranch, we had an older neighbor who lived by himself up the road. His name was Otto. Once there was a knock on our door and opening it, I saw Otto. I got a little scared because I had never met him. He was a weathered older man and kept to himself. He lived with his horse and wanted to be left alone most of the time.

At our first tiny ranch we brought our little girls here every summer. There was an outhouse, reminding me of my young years in Lemnos, with no electricity or running water. We used a nearby spring for our cooking, bathing, laundry, and outside watering needs. Andy taught the girls how to siphon creek water with a hose into buckets. They would then bring those buckets to the cabin and fill the water barrels we had outside. Because the cabin was built in a place with no trees, the girls found tree saplings and brought them to the cabin with Andy to plant around the cabin. The girls brought the water from the stream and watered the trees every day. Those trees are huge fullgrown trees today and provide much needed shade in the summer months. After we moved to our larger Ranch below Dunkley Peak, we remodeled our first cabin.

Andy had graduated from high school in Craig and a lot of his high school friends married and continued to live in Craig and ranched. Ranchers’ wives were around my age, and we all got together as well. Through the years, we all got together for dinners and barbeques. It was great fun. In particular, Tom Peterson was a really good friend. I remember Andy being very upset when Tom died and named a pasture on the lambing ground. He named it Peterson Pasture in his honor.

16 March 2023 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those who wish they did. A Greek Immigrant's Life
OriginalHarryPeroulisSr.Ranch. OurFirstRanchinRouttCounty MybeautifulgirlsandIonmybirthday.

The Naked Truth

In my heart I knew that to experience a cold plunge into a mountain lake had to be a good thing. It sure felt good! The years passed by and as a young adult I found myself living and traveling on a small cruising sailboat. Any occasional nudity was the by-product of bathing on a regular basis - usually when I was anchored in a private cove and sometimes alone in the open ocean. I’d often put my laundry in a mesh bag and towed it overboard for an hour or two before bringing it on board to be rinsed in the next tropical rain shower. My nudity during this laundry process lacked an audience - other than a few seagulls who seem to enjoy the sight.

The following day, we rented a car and headed to the orchard. Following our friend’s directions we eventually drove up to a 15-foot tall gate on the edge of a very large orange orchard. We pushed the button on the unmarked post and it slowly opened.

I interpret the term “adventure” broadly. Adventure is the theme of my novel which will likely be published when my end is near - a good reason to procrastinate. True adventure usually requires an element of risk, an edge that cannot be stepped over. I explore this subject in all my stories. My storyline this month is “nudity.” Here in America we do have an issue concerning nudity, while most Europeans do not share this taboo (except the English, of course). But, like any adventure, nudity does have its risks. The Valley Voice could publish your nude image on the front cover, taken at last year’s Rainbow Gathering. The headline might read “Ten thousand hippies run naked through the forest.” My editor, Matt, might sketch a great cartoon to enhance the story. And then a “friend” would send a copy to your adult, more conservative, friends and family! And that’s just the beginning!

I was raised by somewhat modest parents in a fishing village on the Columbia River where nudity was never really discussed, maybe it’s because in that coastal Oregon climate we wore lots of clothes, mostly rain gear. I never thought about nudity until I had a camp counselor who sneaked about a dozen of my fellow campers down to the lake after “lights out.” We stripped down, taking off everything, and jumped in the freezing waters of the Mount St. Helens lake. That dive was my first great adventure and the beginning of my private journey into the world “skinny dipping.” All that was fine and nobody saw me. I took that as a victimless crime but my puritanical guilt seemed to stay with me.

Back in Steamboat Springs I experienced a new level of “nudity” at the Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Even with my history of private nudity (I still make no claim to being a nudist), I found that nudity, in the daylight with real people around to be a whole different experience. In those days, before a plowed road or admission fee, the Hot Springs offered a great adventure. Oh God, I thought I was confident with my clothes off, but as I skied down to the water’s edge and casually waved to a few folks already in the hot pools, I realized I was out of my league. I remember every milli-second that afternoon of taking off my skis, then my parka, then sweater and turtleneck. I was sure everyone was staring at me! I hung my clothes on my ski poles and ventured towards the steaming water. People were quieting talking and not staring at me. I have learned not to believe everything you think. The warm water was heavenly, the blue skies, cool air and friendly people made for a perfect day. I left with a bit less fear about nudity in public. It just seems that sometimes the appropriate dress was none at all!

Another year had passed by and I’m now back in the islands. I had an addition to Tumbleweed’s crew, my partner and wife, Gigi, who had never been on a sailing cruise, or on a nine-month cruise aboard a floating space of 24 feet. My beloved Gigi is not an extrovert or a “nudist” by anyone’s judgement, but in my enclosed photo there is just no place for a bathing suit. I took this shot from Tumbleweed’s cockpit just after she returned from a morning jog (fully clothed) and traditional swim. Clothing on the boat was skimpy, at best and private space onboard was very limited. Our first voyage was nine months of sailing the Bahamas. We sailed without engine, electronics, or defined itinerary. Upon our return to the Florida coast at West Palm Beach, we experienced an understandable “culture shock.” We tied up to a marina and began to prepare Tumbleweed to be left alone while we returned to life back in Steamboat. We recognized the crew of another boat that had made landfall the previous week. When we asked where they’d been, they said they’d been camping and we inquired more to find out the details. It turns out that they had a membership to a “camping resort” several miles inland within a fruit orchard and we could stay a few days as their guest. “Oh, that would be perfect!” We were then informed that the resort was actually a nudist colony. Hmm, we thought that would be OK, we’d been almost naked for the last nine months.

A whole world, unbeknownst to us, opened up. It was a real nudist colony! We slowly drove in following the signs to the office. We passed by people mowing their lawns, riding tandem bicycles, and playing tennis, and dining at a cafe - all nude! We checked at the office (nude receptionist, of course) and preceded to the campground. The “fairly” private campsite was very nice and on the edge of a little lake with complimentary paddle boats (two days earlier we were offshore in the Atlantic Ocean amongst ten-foot seas with no land in sight) Such an interesting contrast. An older man (most people here were older) walked over to our modest camp and welcomed us to the colony. He recommended the restaurant “happy hour,” but we opted to relax around the camp and check out the paddle boat which looked like a large plastic swan. It was a peaceful evening. The next morning, Gigi made her usual sunrise jog. I have a photo of her running through the orchard with nothing on but running shoes. Gigi is much more advanced in her evolution of nudity. I felt a bit self-conscience and stayed close to the camp. Public nudity was a whole lot different than diving into a quiet (and very private) island cove.

It was actually a very nice campground. We braved the nudity of the morning bakery and soon headed back to our home on the water. All was well.

Oh, the years keep flying by. We are now well into our 70’s and we might feel comfortable running around naked if we were as tan and fit while living on Tumbleweed. I confess that these days Gigi and still find enough privacy in our peaceful corner of NW Colorado to occasionally bathe in a mountain lake, free of the wet and cold clothing hanging from our aging bodies. In our minds we are diving off the deck of Tumbleweed into a clear tropical lagoon. Aren’t memories wonderful!

So let’s put our inhibitions aside, just once in a while, and feel young again. We’ll see you up at the hot springs!

17 March 2023 Valley Voice Adventure... A Guide to Life's Challenges
Hayden Steamboat Springs Walden Meeker

Your Monthly Message

Aries March 21 - April 19

You will find after coming down with the flu, a good friend will come to your rescue and nurse you back to health. They will selflessly buy you medication, tissues and soup. At one point you will have a pretty uncomfortable experience with some unidentified bodily fluid on their shoe. When you are feeling better, you will return the favor by buying them a discounted “Congrats Graduate 2021” pen cup from the Dollar Store.

Taurus April 20 - May 20

This month you will find an apartment for rent: A cozy studio in a downtown neighborhood. It states; seventy-five square feet of breezy space with plenty of natural windows for sunlight and street sounds. WIFI included on the NW corner of the building during regular business hours. Cold in the winter, hot in the summer, natural insulation on heavy snow years. Rodent infestation is not a problem when the house is stocked with open jars of peanut butter. A real steal for the valley! NS/NP, $500.00 application fee and credit check required. Certified DNA and family genealogy paperwork is a plus for serious applicants. $3,500.00 a month, utilities not included.

Poetry

SPACE AND TIME

Gemini May 20 - June 20

You will flip the pages of a thick book, skimming the words with your finger. The book is still confusing and boring, but you continue to slowly nod with a furrowed brow and protruded bottom lip. With enough motivation and time, you may begin to appreciate the novel and enlighten yourself with the written word but hopefully you will convince the hot librarian that you are super deep and literate before that happens.

Cancer June 21 - July 22

You will find yourself on a blind date from one of the many online dating apps you joined. The only thing you have in common with this person is that they happen to be one of your friends, friends, ex-boyfriends, friends, second cousins. They think it being such a small world is not a coincidence and after their 7th shot of fireball whiskey feel it necessary to remind you of your kismet at the loudest, most obnoxious level possible. As the night goes on, they lean in and plant a slimy wet kiss on your lips. Even though you are absolutely revolted, you think eff it, you’re too old to be choosy and maybe they will buy you breakfast in the morning.

Leo July 23 - August 23

Unfortunately, you will be sending off mean letters this month...

Dear Rural Cleaning and Restoration LLC: You did an unsatisfactory job of cleaning out the manger. There was animal crap all over the floor, unidentified herbs mixed in with the hay and worst of all, we found a twin. Hopefully they took the right one, but we may never know now. You will be reported to the BBB and should expect terrible online reviews.

Virgo August 23 - September 22

You will hear people describe the loyalty and dedication you have to your friends like Sam Wise from Lord of the Rings. You know, one of the short hairy dudes from that movie? You know it was actually a good book but no one cares about that. It has an evil ring and some fantasy creatures. The little guy gets forced into a quest way out of his wheelhouse.

Libra September 23 - October 23

The military created the sound of Bjork, negative ASMR and loud chewing in an autotuned mix as a specialized defense weapon to control the public during riots and mass hysteria. Supposedly after it’s deployed, people beg for tear gas as an alternative to the sound. Good luck this month.

Scorpio October 24 - November 21

You really want to become more sociable and work on being an extravert. You convince yourself to go to a public place and start a conversation with a stranger. After you have talked to a person or two, you realize that it wasn’t that hard to connect with people. You also recognize that you hate everyone and there is a reason you have been and continue to be an introvert.

Sagittarius November 22 - December 21

This month you find out your neighbor is a doomsday prepper and has been storing food and supplies in their basement for years. They are always paranoid and often judge you for not planning for the end of times. However, all of this will change when you bid on and win a military grade tank on eBay. Now you just feel bad for them because now you can just run everything over and somehow that seems better than cans of beans.

Capricorn December 22 - January 19

Vegans will try to convince you that there isn’t a difference between humans and animals. We are all living, breathing creatures that deserve to live happy peaceful lives. On the other hand, animals don't print little flowers on their toilet paper to make themselves feel better about pooping.

Aquarius January 20 - February 18

This month during the observation of lent, you and your friends agree to abstain from gambling in any form. No scratch tickets, no lotto tickets and no trips to the track. You will take their money to one wager that you will last the forty days.

Pisces February 19 - March 20

You will realize the term “butter them up,” is often used to indicate that a person is being flattering because they are trying to gain something from someone and their compliments aren’t necessarily sincere. The origin of the term dates back to ancient India, when citizens would remain in their Gods’ good graces as well as pray for favors after lobbing butter balls at their Gods’ statues because butter had value, hence literally buttering them up. Unknown to most historians, this also corresponds with the origin of “butterface.” Be on the lookout.

18 March 2023 Valley Voice
those who live here and for those who
For
wish they did.
Where does “God / Goddess” reside It’s in my Heart Looking into a baby’s eyes Smiling innocently In an elder’s sweet gaze Before leaving in peace The Angels stand close To remind me We are not
Even
War
Yet,
alone
if I feel that way
is not the answer Earth is crying Beautiful souls left
they are in a better place Filled with the Divine
Yepelloscopes
19 March 2023 Valley Voice
Snow Totals
Jealous
Visitors Not Paying Attention
Madness
March
20 March 2023 For those who live here and for those who wish they did. 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 mattscharf1@gmail.com Promote Your Business in the Valley Voice! Huge Selection! 3162 Elk River Road Steamboat Springs, Colorado Buddy’s Hobby Hut Track! Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:00pm Thursday - Saturday: 10am - 11pm Sunday - Wednesday: 10am - 10pm 970-879-7355 Yummy Beer! Beer, Wine and Spirits! Huge Selection! 970-871-8500 | www.zirkel.us #PoweredByLocals Offering ZIRKEL Wireless High-Speed Internet, Blast Ultimate WiFi 6, and ZIRKEL Phone. © Copyright 2021 ZIRKEL. Serving Northwest Colorado since 2001!
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