Valley Voice October 2021

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October 2021 . Issue 10.10


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October 2021

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Valley Voice

October 2021

Contents October Valley Voice

Page 4

Ever Wonder How Your City Works?

Page 4

Middle Class in Routt County

Page 6

No Fest? No Problem

Page 7

Little Snake River Valley: Part I

Page 8

It's Still Magic

Page 9

Why?oming... Cheyenne on the Edge

Page 10

Shopping Cart Racing

Page 11

By Mattt Scharf

By Winnie DelliQuadri By Scott L. Ford

By Sean Derning

By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield By Fran Conlon

By Sarah White-Crane By Fran Conlon

Publisher/Art Director: Matt Scharf Sales: VV Assistant:

Boo! Page 12 By Karen Vail

Shakespeare in a Ski Town?

Page 13

Hearts without Tethers

Page 14

By Stuart Handloff

Eric Kemper

By Angie Gamble

Burning Man Page 14

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

By Fran Conlon

Orion Page 14 By Joan Remy

How are you today?

Page 14

Big Developments in Hayden

Page 15

The Beast in 215

Page 16

By Ann Ross

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

By Brodie Farquhar By Aimee Kimmey

Yin and Yang Page 17 By Wolf Bennett

Official Fine Print

Your Monthly Message By Chelsea Yepello

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

Page 18

Comics Page 19

If you are interested in advertising your business in the Valley Voice, please contact Matt Scharf at or 970-846-3801 (We are the most affordable in town!)

The views and opinions expressed reflect the views and opinions of the authors and may not necessarily reflect the views and opinion of the editor, staff or advertisers in Steamboat Springs’s Valley Voice.


Rants... The light pollution the new school puts out into the night sky on US40… Twenty Mile Park (RCR33) closed for better part of a summer for 3 new culverts … To hear some of the obnoxious reasons to allow VRBOs, B&Bs or any short term rental… The agony waiting for your cat to return home from its unapproved gallivanting trip… Businesses that suffer from the lack of help… Getting a one star review... Border Patrol with whips…

Raves... The glorious fall colors right outside your door… To think we will have snow under our feet real soon!... The wonderful tradition of Hayden’s Ride the Cog… The possibility of restricting VRBOs, B&Bs or any short term rental… The very short elation you get when you finally find a place to live… Making a funny joke that even you don’t get…

Say What?... Him: “What’s the W mean?” Me: “You might need eye glasses, that’s a V,V.” “Where can I buy a used bathing suit for cheap?” “I didn’t see that cow because it was so dusky.” “Insomnia sharpens your math skills because you spend all night calculating how much sleep you’ll get if you’re able to fall asleep right now.” “I’m at a place in my life when errands are starting to count as going out.”

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But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner. — Evan Peters


October 2021

October Valley Voice By Matt Scharf Another Huge Thank You! I can’t say it enough on how grateful I am to all the advertisers and contributors that support the Valley Voice. It is truly a local effort month after month for almost ten years right here in Routt County. We all know that print media is somewhat waning, but the Valley Voice continues to exist on the streets of Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Oak Creek, Yampa and beyond. About this month’s cover… With pumpkins for a Halloween theme seems apropos for October. The photo illustration also reminds us to wear masks when appropriate. So to be extra safe, get vaccinated, wear the mask even if you are a pumpkin head. Some people refuse to wear a mask or get vaccinated to protect their “freedoms.” If it helps to get over this pandemic faster, we all need to work together and bring back where we were for the sake of the economy. Get people back to work. Get kids back in school safely, etc. Enough about that. Halloween… I’ve never been a big fan of the holiday. I remember growing up as kid in New Mexico; we would have to walk many miles between houses for those delicious treats. Living on the outskirts of Santa Fe, we had vast expanses in the 60s and 70s. I also remember it always being cold on Halloween with a good amount of snow on the ground. We usually dressed up like skiers to stay warm with our goggles, hats and wind shirts only to bring home a candy bar and a popcorn ball dripped in some sort of red sweet sauce. One big haul were cookies with red toothpaste for a topping. Sounds good? Maybe they thought a little cleaning was in order while munching on a three inch diameter cookie cake. I do remember some Halloween parties in the 80s that were somewhat painful traipsing around in some stupid idea. But with a couple of beers in the gullet, things got a little wild. Here I am in my "Birdman" costume. I made it out of foam core and it was in pieces by the end of the night! Be safe out there, and have fun!

Valley Voice

City 101

Ever Wonder How Your City Works? Winnie DelliQuadri/ City 101 Program Manager/ Special Projects/ Intergovernmental Services Manager

December 1, 2021 Welcome, Home Rule Charter, City Council, City Attorney, City Manager & Municipal Judge January 5, 2022 Planning & Parks & Rec: Winter Ops January 26, 2022 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM Finance & Police February 16, 2022 Public Works: Engineering, Water, Wastewater March 16, 2022 Deputy City Manager: Clerk, Communications, Facilities, IGS, IT & GIS April 13, 2022 Fire & Airport

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a police officer or firefighter in our city? How about what it takes to pilot a snowplow or Steamboat Springs Transit bus? What factors go into planning for future community growth? Or what it takes to manage an airport, ski area or vast array of open space; all while keeping the financial sheet balanced? The answers to these questions along with many others are shared during the City of Steamboat Springs’ community engagement program, City 101, now in its seventh year. Bringing together city employees and community members, the leadership program delivers in-depth insights into city operations, straight from the individuals responsible for them, day-in and day-out.

Halloween Birdman; circa 1988 For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

During City 101, participants hear directly from the different divisions on what it takes to provide a high level of service to citizens in our constantly changing mountain community. As part of the program, participants will understand how many employees and departments go about fulfilling the demanding aspects of their duties serving the community. Not only do you hear from city staff, but you are thrown literally into the fire with active demonstrations. Here’s your chance to make your way out of a smoke-filled building (simulated training smoke) as a firefighter. Feel the weight of 70 lbs of protective bunker gear and the force of water gushing through the firehose as you dowse a potential fire.

Valley Voice


October 2021

and its programs and services. After the sessions, citizens are more engaged and actively interacting with their city government; that’s what the program is all about. The goal of City 101 is to: • Create a shared understanding of the city’s mission and purpose. • Increase the understanding of the city and its operations. • Enhance the ability to serve as ambassadors for the city.

Most of us simply flush the toilet and never give another thought to where it goes. Now you’ll see and smell how the Wastewater Treatment Plant deals with everything that flows in and what it takes to return the water to river. With growth on many citizen’s minds, see what goes into planning infrastructure improvements across the city or how to balance residential and commercial development within our code. Balancing the budget at home might seem like a huge issue, but how about when it’s millions of dollars spread across different funds, some highly restricted in their use. Here’s your chance to make the hard choices on what to fund and what services may have to be decreased or eliminated due to your decision. City 101 has become a key leadership program and a vital community resource for understanding city government

Keep Halloween treats out of reachespecially chocolate, raisins, and xylitol. Make sure you pet's costume fits and that your pet is accustomed to it before Halloween.

A mix of city staff along with community members are selected each year to learn more about the city and its operations through field trips, forums, interactive activities, and live demonstrations. Sessions take place on select Wednesdays between December and May, typically from 8:30am to 3:30pm.

City 101 allows you to ride along with police officers during their shift, pilot a snowplow or SST bus through an obstacle course like how driers navigate in the real world daily. Take the controls of a Howelsen Hill snowcat or the Ice Complex’s Zamboni and harness the power of these commanding machines while you put down the perfect finish on snow and ice.

Halloween is on its way! Here are ways to avoid making a scary ER visit with your pet:

Not everyone loves spooky trick-or-treaters, so make a safe hiding space for your pets.

One program participant wrote, “Thank you for orchestrating a superlative Civics 101 course, it was the perfect antidote to the trend toward citizen apathy and disengagement as well as distrust of government. I fell in love with my local government and the people who staff it.” City 101 goes inside your municipal government and provides a dynamic look at what each department organizes to keep the community humming along regardless of if faced with 30 feet of powder snow during the winter or managing river health, construction projects or an influx of visitors during the summer.

If your pet gets a Halloween scare, we are here for you 24/7! 102 Anglers Drive


City governments operate differently from private businesses for a variety of reasons. This program brings you to the frontlines to understand the rules and restrictions city staff operate under in their effort to provide superior services to the community we all call home – Steamboat Springs.




The City of Steamboat Springs was founded over a century ago and like each generation before, we will face challenges and opportunities, continue to strive to evolve and shape our future, and work to protect the community characteristics that we all love about the Yampa Valley. City 101 arms you with valuable information on your government so we can work together on making our community the best it can be for all of us. I hope you’ll consider joining us for this exciting and interactive program. Applications can be found at and are due Nov. 3, 2021.









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When you look at a city, it's like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it. — Hugh Newell Jacobsen


October 2021

Valley Voice

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Go Figure

The Status of the Middle Class in Routt County By Scott L. Ford

Do you consider yourself middle class? When asked this question about 85% of American households would define themselves as middle class. Although the term middle-class is frequently used, it is one of those terms that is rarely defined. This is because it has both a social and economic aspect making it hard to define using just quantitative data. To get a working definition of middle class I dusted off one of my economic textbooks of the past. It defines middle class families as follows: Middle class families tend to own their own home (although with a mortgage), own a car (although with a loan or lease), send their kids to college (although with student loans or scholarships), are saving for retirement, and have enough disposable savings to afford certain luxuries like dining out and vacations. The concept of middle class is relatively new in our nation’s history. The middle class did not exist in the numbers it does today prior to World War II. The birth of the middle class, in some respects, has been linked to federal funding and support through programs such as the G.I. Bill, which offered funds for education and the start of businesses created by veterans who were discharged. The combination of incentives and salary increases helped elevate working class citizens into the newly forming middle class.


Number of Households

Median Household Income

Middle Class Income Low Range

Middle Class Income High Range

% of Households in Middle Class Range

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

10,146 9,929 9,833 9,647 9,573 9,431 9,437 9,478 9,552 9,603

$ 74,547 $ 64,230 $ 65,041 $ 62,002 $ 61,095 $ 64,963 $ 63,505 $ 67,472 $ 74,273 $ 77,443

$ 44,728 $ 38,538 $ 39,025 $ 37,201 $ 36,657 $ 38,978 $ 38,103 $ 40,483 $ 44,564 $ 46,466

$ 149,094 $ 128,460 $ 130,082 $ 124,004 $ 122,190 $ 129,926 $ 127,010 $ 134,944 $ 148,546 $ 154,886

62% 70% 66% 56% 53% 57% 55% 52% 56% 59%


Percentage of Middle Class Households 2010 to 2019 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% % Middle Class

2010 2011 70%

62% I am the beneficiary of the opportunities the G.I. Bill afforded my father after he was discharged from the Army Air Corp in 1945. After some schooling he became an electrician, joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW-Local 68) and started earning enough to move from being a farm labor (prior to the war) to a tradesman earning a solid middle class income. I am very aware that my parents’ middle class life benefited me, and subsequently my children.

One of the challenges is how to define middle class. There are two main ways of doing this and both involve using income ranges. The first methodology developed by the Pew Research Council uses percentages of Median Household Income. It defines middle-class as those household with incomes between 60% to 200% of median household income. The other method uses the distribution of household income by quintiles. I am going to explore both of these methods using the 2019 Census Bureau American Community Survey data specifically for Routt County. We do not need to guess whether the middle class has been growing or shrinking over the past ten years. I believe we can measure it.

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

2012 66%

2013 56%

2014 53%

2015 2016 57% 55%

2017 2018 52% 56%

2019 59%

Using the Pew Research Council’s method above are the middle-class income ranges from 2010 to 2019. I invite you to join me on this data journey. A dose of data reality is often helpful. Without question the trend shows a slow but steady decline in the percentage of middle class households in Routt County over the past 10 years. This decline, however, is not as dramatic as some think it has been. There is some statistical hazard in simply averaging percentages. I try to avoid this when possible. However, in this situation with the number of Routt County households being relatively stable I can get away with averaging. Using the PEW approach about 52% of households nationally are classified as middle class. In Routt County 59% of households are middle class. This simply means that on the surface the percentage of middle class in Routt County is better than that nationally. Surprised? Next month – Defining the middle class in Routt County using the distribution of household income by quintiles.

Valley Voice

October 2021


The Beer Fairy

No Fest? No Problem By Sean Derning

Made after a historic recipe from the early 19th century, beers meeting these criteria are designated Oktoberfest beers although the name denotes two distinct beer styles: a traditional richer Märzen lager and a paler Festbier Vienna-style lager that is now more commonly served at Oktoberfest itself, according to The nose is similar to freshly baked whole wheat bread, with the slightly darker malts pushing the aroma to the forefront. To the taste, hops are downplayed, allowing the malts to dominate with their sweetness and the yeast can finish dry or wet on the palate. A Beer Fairy dove into the lore of the festival’s history and picked a few good examples of the special beers celebrated here without having to travel to Munich to get a taste of authentic German gemutlichkiet, or hospitality.

The Best of the 'Fests (F to R); O'Dells, Breckenridge and 4 Noses Perhaps the most celebrated month for beer drinking in the world occurs in September/October when Oktoberfest, the annual festival in Munich, Germany and the largest folk festival in the world, allows patrons to immerse themselves in German culture and a sea of suds. Yet for the second year in a row, Munich government organizers have again pulled the plug on the event due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and turning the traditional into a super spreader event. If the world can’t make its annual pilgrimage to the Mecca of Malt Beverages, then what to do? Well, German culture may suffer, but there is still the anchor of the event; the once a year Oktoberfest beers crafted by brewers, both foreign and domestic. A special copper colored beer brewed once a year for this occasion defines Oktoberfest beers.

History and tradition The Oktoberfest festival originated on October 12, 1810, in Munich, Germany in celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen (or to her friends, Teri). The opening of the modern festival features much pomp and circumstance with a parade and tapping of the first keg. “At exactly 12:00 clock, the lord mayor opens the first beer barrel in the Schottenhammel tent. Every year, visitors eagerly await to see how many hammer strokes the mayor needs to use before tapping the first keg. Bets are even made. The best mayoral performance in the festival’s history are two strokes to tap the keg, according to The Mayor then gives the first litre of beer to the MinisterPresident of the State of Bavaria. With the initial pass of the stein and the Bavarian exclamation, "O'zapft is!" (It has been tapped!) the Oktoberfest is declared open. Twelve gunshots are then fired on the stairway of

Ruhmeshalle. This is the signal for the other restaurateurs to start with the serving of beer. Then in the other tents, the first barrels are tapped and beer is served to the visitors. By the numbers Oktoberfest draws more than six million people each year, many of them tourists. In 2015, the festival officially served 7.3 million litres (62,000 US bbl) of beer; for perspective, that is enough to fill nearly three (2.9) Olympicsize swimming pools, according to The six main Munich breweries represented include Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten, with all showcasing their special Oktoberfest offerings. Oktoberfest beer review

So where does this leave an American thirsting for a taste of this fabled fall festival? Beer drinkers can either make the choice to drink the easily commercially available imported Oktoberfest beers from Munich, such as Hofbrau, Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner or Spaten. Based on tried and true recipes that are 400 or so years old, these beers are guaranteed to satisfy yet can be a bit pricey. Why not push the envelope and try something a little closer to home? A Beer Fairy chose three Colorado Oktoberfest-style beers and reviewed them while basking in the early fall sun. Breckenridge Brewery’s Oktoberfest, O’Dell’s Oktoberfest and 4 Noses Oktoberfest were all sampled. Each stayed true to style with nice biscuity toasted malt aromas in the nose, a nice copper color and a refreshing drinkability that doesn’t dominate by tasting too heavy. Perhaps the best value was the Breckenridge Brewery’s Oktoberfest, which was found on sale locally for $7.50 a six pack. A nice introduction into domestic Oktoberfest styles, the beer features a deeper, fuller depth of taste than lighter summer lagers or pilsners. O’Dell’s and 4 Noses’ Oktoberfests are a bit more complex than the Breckenridge and offer almost identical toffee aromas, rich tastes with the malt dominating and finishing very crisp. O’Dell’s was slightly more carbonated but both of these beers are fine domestic representations of their European counterparts. Conclusion So the party must go on even if a pesky virus tries to throw a wrench into the works of history and tradition. Oktoberfest celebrations are a fine way to welcome in the changing seasons, but if that option is not available, consider grabbing a six pack of this special brew, find a scenic spot and sit back to watch the area’s autumnal spendor explode with its rich color palate of golden mountainside veins of aspen trees, bluebird days and the earthy smell of fallen leaves. Prost! -Sean Derning is A Beer Fairy and offers beer and brewery Youtube critiques at

The rich are those who play to win. The middle class plays not to lose. — Robert Kiyosaki


October 2021

Valley Voice

Bonnifield Files

Little Snake River Valley: Part I By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield

T h I e e m s h n m

B i h The Little Snake River heads in the Sierra Madre Mountains along the Colorado-Wyoming line. After a brief run north from Three Forks, the stream turns west and a little southwest where it joins the Yampa River near Dinosaur Monument. It is the second largest tributary of the Yampa; however, it is a deceptive stream. Through Wyoming it meanders with countless oxbow curves as if resisting what’s ahead. Crossing into Colorado west of Baggs, the river banks widen and the water begins sinking into the sandy semidesert soil. The story of the past or present is little known; yet, it has a rich and enduring tale to tell. The most traveled trail for the Ute from Browns (Hole) Park to the North Platte River, North Park, and Middle Park was along the Little Snake River and over Battle Mountain. During its heyday, Mountain Men, native Americans, and American sightseers met at Grand Encampment to trade, race horses, write treaties, and socialize. Recently returning to Fort Bridger from a horse stealing trip to California in 1841, Henry Frapp led a party of men, women, and children on a hunting trip into northwestern Colorado. They happened upon a Sioux hunting camp near the Yampa River and, after getting them drunk, stole their horses and headed northeast. Careless in their travels, Frapp’s hunters soon allowed the Sioux to catch up with them. In a two-day battle, Frapp was killed. Although the exact location of the battle is not agreed on, Battle Mountain is named for the fight. Jim Baker, destined to become a famous mountain man, was also at the fight. He traveled far and wide through his years, but the Little Snake River Valley always held a special place for him. In later years, he returned to the Little Snake River Valley and built a fort/home where he and his two wives lived.

One of the first recorded mountain men to enter the Little Snake River Valley was Ceran St. Vrain. It requires a greater understanding of the English language than I have, but Savery Creek and the town of Savery are a corruption of St. Vrain – at least I’ve been told. Along the highway between Baggs and Crescent Junction stands a lone marker lost in the vast sage brush. Tracks leading east and west tell of stagecoaches, wagons trains, trail herds of cattle, horses, and sheep, and Indian Wars. This was the Overland Trail – the route of pioneers. On March 2, 1861, the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company signed a million-dollar contract to deliver mail to the west coast. In late 1861 and 1862, the Shoshones and Bannocks began raiding the stage stations along the Oregon Trail. The new owner of the Overland Stage Company employed Major John Kerr to locate a shorter route over Bridger Pass into Little Snake River basin. Denver and Salt Lake City agreed to finance construction of stage stations and Fort Halleck was constructed to protect the new road. In 1863, a band of Ute rode into Fort Halleck and soon realized it was woefully undermanned. The Ute rode to Elk Mountain Station and drove off the horses. The raids continued. In August, a wagon train of men, women, and children stopped at Muddy Creek near Sulphur Springs to fill water barrels. The Ute surprised them; however, Major R. A. Morse’s command was nearby and they rode hard into battle. The Ute were quickly driven off; however, 29 men, women, and children were killed or wounded. At Sage Creek, the agent and his family were killed and the horses driven off. Following the arrival of the lst Colorado Cavalry

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

J under Major Edward Wynkoop and a unit from Kansas, c the Overland Trail became safe to travel, although sporadicv raids continued for the next two years. h o No settlements or extensive mining, only a small smatter- U ing of farm land existed in northwestern Colorado or the n Little Snake River Basin in 1868 when the Ute signed the T treaty establishing the reservation. Chief Ouray and his d large following benefitted immensely, but the Ute associ- R ated with the White River and Denver agencies suffered an enormous loss in territory – all of Summit, Eagle, Grand, O Jackson, Routt, and Moffat counties in Colorado and the b entire Little Snake River basin in Wyoming. Rio Blanco a and Garfield counties, Colorado, were in the reservation. M Moffat, Routt and Eagle counties were out of the reserva- t tion, although the White River Ute continued to hunt in d these areas. The Grand River Ute refused to honor the f treaty and Governor McCook established the Denver a Agency for them. a r Discovery of gold and silver in the San Juan Mountains H resulted in extreme tension until Ouray and his followers c in 1874 agreed to cede the San Juan Mountains. While s treaty negotiations were progressing and tension was S at the breaking point, Chief Douglas led his followers t north from White River toward Rawlins. As they neared f Pine Grove Meadows, a group of white men seeking to c start an Indian war fired on the peaceful Ute. Instead of m returning the fire, Chief Douglas and his followers quickly s took shelter and returned to White River. Despite Denver C newspapers’ attempt to bring public opinion to a boil, the p Ute’s cool headed response averted a serious incident and a probably a full scale war. The Ute completely understood n that peace was absolutely necessary. m

Valley Voice

October 2021


It's Still Magic

(Even If You Know How It's Done) By Fran Conlon All say they've seen it once before, And think they know how it's done, Well, I don't want to be a bore. But look again just for fun, Gold, red, blue colors give a thrill, The brief pause before the rising sun. The scattered pioneers of the Little Snake River region had an honest and understanding attitude toward the Ute. In Colorado during the spring and summer of 1879, many erroneous claims were directed toward the Ute. In an effort to get a true picture of what was happening, Commander at Fort Steele, Major Thornburgh, sent letters to several leading Wyoming men. W. M. Braner responded, “I heard of no reports of hostilities, and, in fact, I know that none was committed, as I have seen nearly all the ranchmen in 100 miles of us . . . ”

The story of the Battle at Milk Creek and the Meeker Massacre is outside the current topic; however, to supply the troops that occupied White River Agency the army built a small fort and bridged the Little Snake River at the Baggs Crossing. The government also bridged the Yampa River. The supply depot became the core for the birth of Baggs, although Baggs ranch headquarters was nearby. (Bill Stocks of Dixon has done extensive research on the military post. Much of his work is available at the Little Snake River Museum.)

B. T. Ryan wrote, “I [don’t] think they [started] any fires, or interfered with the settlers in any way whilst here, and I have had a good place to know.”

In the summer of 1862, suffering from gold fever, Joseph Hahns and two unnamed prospectors crossed the Park Range and found gold on the headwater of the Little Snake River and Elk River. The season was short and the trio returned to Georgetown before getting a good look at the ground. Following the Civil War interlude in 1866 and again in 1867, Hahns led prospectors to the mountain named in his honor. Late in the season promising goldbearing sand was discovered. Hahns and William Doyle decided to spend the winter and George Way was to go to Georgetown for winter supplies. Way never returned. Hahns died while he and Doyle were attempting to reach civilization in the late spring.

J. M. Hugus stated, “I have traveled all through the country referred to . . . and am satisfied that had any violence been committed by the Indians, I should have heard of it.” Despite the thoughts and feeling of the men of the Little Snake River country, in September 1879, the Ute War erupted. Major Thornburgh was on a hunting trip near Battle Lake with his brother Congressman Jacob M. Thornburgh and other dignitaries when he received orders to march his command from Fort Steele to the White River Agency. On the morning of September 29, 1879, Major Thornburgh broke his promise to the Ute and started his command across Milk Creek. The Ute responded with a full attack. Major Thornburgh was killed and the command forced to fall back and establish a defense position. Following a day of hard fighting, under the cover of darkness, a small force of men set out to warn the settlers and summons a strong relief force. The lead scout Joe Rank, who had already spent the day in battle, began one of the longest rescue rides in American history – 175 miles in 27 hours. He rode down Morapos Creek to Hulett and Torrence cow camp on Bear River, up Fortification Creek to Lt. Price’s supply camp, next to Frank Harrah’s ranch on Little Snake River. Here George Fuhr was dispatched to alert the settlers on the Little Snake River. Mounting his third fresh horse, Rankin rode to Sulphur Springs for another change of horses, and finally on to Rawlins where the message for help was sent to military headquarters. Soon special trains were rolling, horses and wagons assembled. Colonel Wesley Merritt’s relief force was determined to prevent another Little Big Horn disaster. The relief force arrived in time to save the entrapped military force but not in time to save the agency buildings or the lives of the male employees.


Little is recorded of prospecting for a few years, but Hahns’ discovery was not totally forgotten. Responding to pressure from railroads and Colorado business interests, the United States Geological Survey in the early 1870s instructed Ferdinand V. Hayden to assembly teams and survey western Colorado. As part of the survey, F. M. Endlich studied Hahns Peak and Bears Ears. His report set in motion a minor rush to the Hahns Peak region. Many prospectors were “grubb staked” by Kansas Pacific and Union Pacific railroad promoters. Caught in the excitement, John V. Farwell, the Chicago merchant prince, purchased several claims on International Ridge, also known as String Ridge or Bug Town. Little gold was actually mined and flumes transferring water from upper Elk River for the hydraulic system burned during the wild fires of 1879. He opened a wagon road from Laramie to Hahns Peak and began promoting a railroad. Cutting his losses, he sold to Robert McIntosh. McIntosh extended the flumes to Poverty Bar and became a dynamic force in the history of the Little Snake River.

Across the waters departs night's chill, Now beams fan out; light will explore, Within, without a peace so still. New life, a new day are at my door, Old sleep makes things seem routine, The ethereal light lets the silence roar. Light zephyrs wear a fresh new seam, Airy the touch of faith and fay, Be alert my soul for fresh air's theme. I pass through to the bright new day, It is magic with no admission to pay. ('Neath the show it is still spectacular, Reach out and touch the light oracular.)


Steamboat Springs Walden


Thanks to Bill Stocks and the Little Snake River Museum in Savory Wyoming. (Next month: McIntosh, railroads, mining booms, and sheep ranching.)

Every man should pull a boat over a mountain once in his life. — Werner Herzog


October 2021

Valley Voice

Neighbors to the North

Why?oming... Cheyenne on the Edge By Sarah White-Crane, Local Mountain Harpie

Our nearby neighbors to the north don’t really have the greatest reputation, and not for nothing. When pondering places to visit, Wyoming doesn’t often make my list, despite such close proximity. With drastically conflicting cannabis laws, and a long felt tension regarding attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ folks, not to mention those progressive liberal SJW (social justice warrior) types, (this writer happens to be some of all of the above), crossing that border usually isn't risked. If you had told me that I would be willingly and excitedly driving to Cheyenne this summer, well, after laughing at the improbability, I’d say that it would have to be something pretty amazing to get me north…. As a queer female musician from the Yampa Valley, the last show I got to see before Pandemica was Ani DiFranco at Strings. Epic. I totally fell for LP when working at KFMU and a few years later saw LP in 2019. I have had tix to LP’s 2020 show, moved twice now to 2022, (Thanks Pandemica). Both of these prolific queer musicians, performers, singer/songwriters have inspired this musician and songwriter so much that I have a tattoo about both on my forearm. I believe them to both be Bob Dylan’s of my time. So, do I love LP enough to risk Pandemica Wyoming to see them?? You’re damn right I do. SO, WHAT found out that your favorite performer you have patiently been waiting through Pandemica to see was headlining a free show in Cheyenne in a few weeks? Would you go? I mean, a shorter drive to Denver, but it’s still the wild wild west. Cheyenne Edge Fest!

Ironically, a few weeks before learning about the upcoming Edge Fest music festival, I participated in an email campaign to WY reps regarding a bar in Cheyenne selling hateful homophobic shirts, some celebrating the murder of Matthew Shepard. I'm old enough to remember when Matthew was murdered for just being himself. He was deserted not far from the Colorado border. Wyoming hasn't seemed to have any interest in diversity, at least in my experience. Wyoming is one of the last of five states to not have ANY anti-discrimination legislation passed at all (at time of writing), despite ongoing attempts. So I was emailing WY reps asking to make WY a safer place for all kinds of people by finally passing legislation to help keep not just visitors safe, but most importantly the folks who live there. Within a few weeks I was planning a trip there. Yup. Funny how life works sometimes. I said it would take something pretty amazing to get me to head north. Well, LP is that amazing. LP defies our norms in an original and aesthetically intriguing way. I’ve seen many comments on their YouTube vids about how LP gets many to question their own sexuality. In fact, I dare you to check out an LP vid and not be a lil captivated! LP prefers they/them pronouns, yet is totally ok with being seen as a “garden variety” lesbian or just a queer person. They don't spend the energy to push back against her/she pronouns used in the media and by fans, instead putting their energy into the music. LP elevates androgyny as art form with performances that are anything but hetnorm. Even with a hundred guesses, I wouldn't have picked WY as a place where LP would be headlining. Shocked doesn't begin to describe how I felt when I saw Cheyenne pop up on LP’s tour page!! Cheyenne? Edge Fest 2021!!! In Western Cheyenne, the annual music festival Edge Fest has racked up quite a roster of diverse performers during the six festivals they have had so far. In the now renovated old industrial district part of the West End of Cheyenne, Dave Teubner, CEO of Warehouse Twenty One has a passion for making sure that this special part of Cheyenne is thriving with love and healing once again. It’s the site of the first original industrial site in Cheyenne that once manufactured all sorts of things, and helped with the creation and expansion of the front range of CO and WY. Old brick buildings long forgotten and abandoned have been brought back to life in the West End.

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

A beautiful open air venue, big stage, (second only to the Frontier Days stage, yeehaw!), a nice amphitheater shaped with seating for audience, lawns, food trucks, and vendors, and a killer line up! I even learned that in 2019 when I couldn’t afford Bishop Briggs Red Rocks tix, I could have seen her for free that year at Edge Fest. I had no idea. Cheyenne wasn't even on my radar. Dave continually expressed how he works to infuse Edge Fest with love, light, passion, and inclusivity for all. Many of the Edge Fest Team come to Steamboat regularly, and some also own property here. They hope that awareness of the work they are doing in Cheyenne will encourage more of us Coloradoans to pay attention to Edge Fest! Dave spoke to the widening diversity in the community of Cheyenne, and how they want Cheyenne to be a safe place for everyone. They have donated to Matthew Shepard Memorial Foundation, and don't have any plans to tone it down when it comes to the diversity of the performers they choose, and the stereotypes they wish to challenge. With the West End coming back to life, businesses are eager to sponsor, which all leads to affording the performers they want. Dave has been an LP fan for a while (minus the tattoo) and is very proud they were able to book LP for Edge Fest. There was a rabid crowd for opening act Tai Verdes, an artist who blew up through TikTok during Pandemica. I was impressed by all the people there singing along with every word. I thought he and his band were damn groovy. I met up with people who had flown from both coasts just to see LP, so some rabid LP fans were there too... I admit once LP took the stage, this reporter wasnt interviewing anyone or paying attention to anything except the performance until after the show... Got to say, LP has #MoreSwaggerThanJagger, mainly writes songs on ukulele, has a Stevie Nicks sort of sexy low growl, and then BAM! These high notes take you flying! LP was trained as an opera singer when young. They are also a self-proclaimed whistling addict, and a talented whistler! LP is a living breathing paradox of a human who has literally written thousands of songs throughout their career, many for huge artists. In 2012 LP became the first female Martin Guitar Ambassador. LP has navigated the music industry for decades and finally has carved out a place where they can release the music they want to. The newest album Churches drops December 8th. I personally find LP to be fascinating, as well as an inspiration to so many around this planet. LP is popular in many countries that are not friendly to LGBTQIA+ people, and through their own IamLP app they have united a global fan base that is truly planet spanning. I am grateful to LP and team, as well as to Edge Fest for giving me that special surprise opportunity to see my favorite artist this summer! WESTERN HOSPITALITY We pride ourselves, often through our Western Hospitality, on how the Yampa Valley is an inclusive and a safe place for everyone to visit or live. I fully admit to have been peering at Wyoming from atop my Colorado high horse.

Valley Voice

Maybe from that height there are blind spots I’ve overlooked, both about Wyoming, and the Yampa Valley. Learning that Wyoming’s state motto is The Equality State is usually amusing. Learning they were the first state to give women the right to vote, impressive! Then, the rest of the story. There just were not enough men in WY to be included in voting, so giving women the right to vote was actually done to facilitate men’s inclusion. Sounds about right. Wyoming’s refusal for decades to pass any anti-discrimination legislation doesn’t line up with what one might think The Equality State means. Yet, there is an official LGBTQIA+ organization in Cheyenne. While we do have one at the college for students, and a sort of Facebook group, we do not have any official LGBTQIA+ organization in Steamboat. We do not have coordinated Pride celebrations or events, and have no real visibility in the valley. We don't have a float in the 4th of July Parade, despite there being plenty of LGBTQIA+ folks in this valley. Maybe we could do something about that?? Seriously. Think of the children! The ones with highest rates of suicide and sexual assault that is. Positive visibility and support is crucial. So as I am climb down from my Colorado high horse, I have to give props to Edge Fest, Dave Teubner, and the city of Cheyenne for their devotion to bringing diverse artists to perform in Cheyenne. I look forward to future Edge Fests, as no doubt there will be amazing performers. My view of Cheyenne is different than before I went. Although I still want to see some anti-discrimination legislation successfully passed by our northern neighbors. SOON. My view of the Yampa Valley looks a lil different too, as I see what we still have left to do to make Steamboat and surrounding areas proudly safe spaces for all kinds of people. If we tweak our Western Hospitality paradigm we perpetuate just a bit, we will find the world is wide enough for all of us, and it takes all kinds of people to create the strength found in the diversity needed for a healthy community, society, country, and planet. I’m looking forward to seeing LP in Denver next year (VIP tix baby!) I'm dreaming of seeing LP at Strings someday!! I am hoping to see organizing in the Yampa Valley, and how we can come together to create an official LGBTQIA+ Organization for our valley. And, I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the Post-Pandemica 4th of July Parade where I hope to be on a Pride float, included and celebrated as part of our special brand of Western Hospitality Love!

October 2021

America's "Pass" times

Shopping Cart Racing By Fran Conlon


Help the Environment! Reuse any plastic laundry container with a refill of quality, eco-friendly laundry detergent .

The popularity of electric bikes and skateboards may soon spill over to the shopping cart for the avid shopper. Electric sit-down carts already exist for the handicapped, however, the future-view sees a quiet motorized cart for the shopper, presently deprived for so long from watching the real Daytona Race and other motorized races. “Virtual” races lack the real sounds and sights. In store shopping-cart racing may be the next trend. Race times and course tracks in designated aisles can be noted. Since this is a grocery store, some items must be purchased in the electric-cart “race,” in order to demonstrate shopping proficiency. Tomato soup and sliced bread are “must have” items. Electric store carts and their operation seem practical, although novice drivers will need training and monitoring. Probably the electric-skateboarders will quickly gain proficiency, and that will bring along a new generation of electric-cart shoppers. The “One-Way Only” signs can be reinstalled to direct traffic patterns. The start and finish line can be at Starbucks, as it is now for orthodox, slow shoppers. Winners of the electric shopping division will get free frappe.

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Success in this area can be expanded, and the image of being merely a “big box” store will be transformed into big time, electric-motorized consumer. That's a true winner. I want to be one of the first successful shoppers on the aisle to have the joy, for the speed, and the status of the electric-motorized shopping cart. I might even give up tea for the frappe. There will, of course, be the need for careful monitoring of the electric cart, so they don't entirely disappear from the store. Even now there is an old-fashion push cart on the local Route 40. How it got over the pot-holes and by the massive tractor trailers is a mystery.

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In Wyoming, the beauty of our mountains is matched only by the grit of our people. — Liz Cheney


October 2021

Valley Voice

'Boat Almanac

Boo! By Karen Vail

OK, now that we have that out of the way, we will now dive into scarier things…spit on your plants, beetles rearing their larva in nice balls of dead meat, and spiders “howling” in the night (or not). Happy month of spooks, frights, and delights. Nature has some of each to offer. Yep, someone just spit all over your plants and it is GROSS! How could they do that? That frothy mass you see is hiding a small insect. Spittlebugs (love the name!) are nymphs of true bugs known as froghoppers in the family Cercopidae. They are close cousins to leaf hoppers. Some froghoppers bear a passing resemblance to tiny frogs and, yes, they hop! The nymphs covered in slime are usually pale yellow, green, or tan, wingless and soft bodied and are plant suckers, like the adults. They produce the foam from fluid – mostly plant sap – excreted from the anus. Nearby glands produce a viscous substance that is mixed with the sap, air is drawn into a cavity in their abdomen and expelled forcefully into the fluid. The resulting foam is like egg whites. Nymphs typically face head down on a plant stalk where the bubbly foam flows over them. The spittle part is not harmful to plants, but the feeding from the nymphs may damage plants. A good spray with a garden hose will dislodge them. An interesting side note about adult froghoppers: a froghopper can leap into the air as high as a flea, but it weighs 60 times more.

The velocity upon takeoff is more than thirteen feet per second, an effort requiring exertion more than 400 times its body weight! (, Spittlebugs and Froghoppers) The next is a heartwarming tale of parental love involving recently dead meat. Burying beetles (Nicrophorous spp. in the Carrion Beetle Family, Silphidae) have an awesome way of rearing their young. Both sexes are involved in most species and begins with a dead body of some small unfortunate animal. Adults are acutely sensitive to the odors of early decay and the first beetle to the carcass – male or female- will guard it and wait for a mate (how amorous!). As the mate arrives the pair will bury the carcass in a few hours. Once the body has been covered they will strip all skin, fur and/or feather and gather the flesh into a pear-shaped mass. The flesh is chewed and covered in salivary and anal secretions to preserve it from decay. In the ball of flesh a cavity is dug out and eggs laid forming a cozy nursery.

Scruffy Butt aka Peppa atop Big Agnes Peak Photo by Karen Vail

After the eggs hatch one of the parents (usually the female) produces a stridulation “call” that attracts the young to a depression on top of the food ball (stridulation – I had to look this up – is a sound caused by rubbing body parts together). Once the young are gathered the parents (usually the female) feed them regurgitated liquids (this is getting better and better!) until they can feed directly on the tasty ball of carrion. Such a heartwarming tale of parental care! (“Colorado Insect of Interest, Burying Beetles”

How about howling spiders? OK, they don’t really “howl”, but their name, wolf spiders, certainly envisions a hairy, howling, eight-legged spooky thing! The “wolf” came from a biologists a long time ago who thought these big hairy things hunted in packs so named the family Lycosidae, Greek ”lycosa” for wolf. This is very misleading as these spiders are solitary, although they do pounce on their prey. Yes, these are ambush hunters. They don’t build webs, but feed on insects or other ground dwelling arthropods and can run very fast. Matt Nelson at the University of British Columbia actually put wolf spiders on a treadmill to determine the “Relationship Between Escape Speed and Flight Distance…” (Journal of Arachnology April 2005). (No, I can’t make this stuff up!). Hunting spiders have multiple big eyes (the better to hunt you with!). Wolf spiders have eight eyes with four in a row on the bottom, two large eyes above, and two medium sized eyes on the top and sides of its head. The first time I saw a wolf spider was in the basement of our house in a crawl space when I was a wee young tyke. I was fascinated! This thing was not scared of me at all and was HUGE (to a wee young un, everything was huge). Here in Colorado the largest wolf spider is Hogna carolinensis with a body length of one inch and a leg span of almost three inches. ( At the ends of their legs are three tiny hooks (tarsus) to help them grip and hold when running and climbing. They create a short silk-lined burrow for protected naps, emerging for tasty snacks. If they are backed into a corner they can bite with their fangs, but the venom is mild and will usually only swell and hurt a bit. ( Even those vehemently agoraphobic can only be impressed in how females raise their young. They carefully swaddle their eggs in a soft ball of silk and carry the delicate sac around under their abdomen as they scurry around. After the eggs hatch the babies crawl onto moms back like a hundred or so eight legged opossums, hitching a ride for about a month before they move off on their own. The hatchlings often climb to a high point, point their abdomen to the sky, throw out a line of silk which, if a breeze happens by, will “balloon” them to a far away place. See, not so scary at all!! Have a Spooktacular month! See you on the trails!

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

Valley Voice

October 2021


Piknik Theatre

Shakespeare in a Ski Town? By Stuart Handloff

A few of you readers, no doubt, had the opportunity to see the recent Piknik Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet at St. Paul’s within the past few days. But most of you - and the majority of those in the Steamboat community - did not. According to most statistics, it’s only about 15 percent of any given population that have attended a live theatre event in any given year. Can you imagine our region if only about 15 percent of the population went outdoors to recreate in any form, including hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, boating, biking or hiking? Unthinkable. To quote a comment I heard a while ago: “We’re Ski Town/ Bike Town/Dog Town USA, not Theatre Town!” Where’s the value in supporting and promoting performing arts in a community when such a small number of people actually attend live events?

Certainly, it’s a question most everyone in the arts has been asking since the pandemic closed most theatres in the spring of 2020. We ask ourselves why we continue to prance around in other people’s clothes acting out words from 400 years ago, especially when we’re putting our health and our lives at risk? I can assure you it’s not for the money or the fame, neither of which is in great supply. Several days into our rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet I asked our cast why they were in this spot continuing to hammer away at the words and actions which frame one of Shakespeare's most beloved tragedies. Almost everyone looked around the circle and referenced the group bonding during the creative process. We perform in order to work together to create a story that has timeless meaning. You hear similar thoughts from champion relay teams. Winning an individual event is rewarding but winning with

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your teammates is inspirational. Classical musicians can support their art through teaching and solo work but ask any of them if they would prefer to perform in a symphony orchestra and that choice would win every time. But what’s the value for an audience? There’s nothing that can match a story told in real time, unfolding in front of your eyes. Theatre is an ephemeral art; actors perform the show in THAT moment. No two performances are ever alike. Video recording is about as exciting as watching a production on Zoom and we all know how unexciting that option is after nearly two years. The immediacy and exuberance of being there and experiencing live theatre is unforgettable. I’m always reminded of a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that took place several years ago in the Yampa River Botanic Park. Just a few minutes before the final scene - a ham-handed interpretation of Pyramus and Thisbe by the bumbling tradesmen of Athens - the heavens opened up with thunder, lightning, and driving rain. Many in the audience fled to their vehicles but a number of them clustered under the large umbrella in the center of The Green at the park (in hindsight maybe not the best choice in a thunderstorm). After the cast scurried about collecting costumes and props under the cover of the umbrella, we realized we were soaking wet already, so why not finish the last scene of the show? It was a priceless moment - fitting for an admission free show - and the audience and members to this day recall the moment with smiling faces. “I was THERE when we performed/ witnessed Midsummer in the rainstorm!!” Theatre performances can’t be hung on walls (sometimes to the scorn of visual artists) but live in our memories acquiring new richness over time. I’ve often quoted my mentor at the New Zealand National Drama School, Christian Penny:

“Theatre exists in the coming together to share air, the ritual of real life, ephemeral and transitory, with the very real possibility that something totally transforming will reveal itself." That image never gets old for me or loses anything in the repetition. And for all of you who never or rarely attend a live performance? Be assured your community is richer for the experience, nonetheless. Skiing, biking, and outdoor activities give us a recreational vibe that’s marketable and physically rewarding. But there needs to be a flip side, an artistic side, for all those kids who aren’t Olympic caliber athletes and all those adults whose athletic days are fading or behind them altogether. There needs to be a cultural string that reverberates throughout a community that all can be felt whether anyone buys a ticket or not. The sharing of air - even within the parameters of COVID precautions - changes the environment for everyone for the better. The ritual of storytelling has continued since we reared up and started walking on our hind legs; and it will continue until we descend once again into primordial climate-changed soup. The culture of storytelling must be taught to our children and nurtured in our communities in the hope that it will give us the humanity to transcend ignorance and hatred. Theatre teeters on the brink in this region, threatened by the market forces of capitalism on one hand and the pandemic on the other. We’re fortunate local, regional, and national governments have had the wisdom to offer a helping hand to theatre companies of all sizes. It’s all that’s kept us afloat. However, more important than the money is the need for recognition that, whether for an audience of one or one thousand, the art of the storyteller must not be silenced.

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Sometimes I put on a ski mask and dress in old clothes, go out on the streets and beg for quarters. — Mike Tyson


October 2021

Valley Voice

Poetry Page

Hearts without Tethers By Angie Gamble

I don't want to be a teacher, I want to teach So that people can be blessed with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. I don't want to be a poet, I want to write words to inspire thoughts and ideas to put life in such a dazzling, beautiful, witty way that people will be called back to the core I don't want to be a songwriter, I want to write songs to remind us of times gone by and to make a way for people to stand at the ancient crossroads and remember that that which has healed before can heal again. I don't want to be a musician, I want to play music, to call the music on the far reaches of current experience into the now in a way where heaven and earth can meet and new things spring forth. I don't want to be a singer, I want to make melody to call heaven down with the notes and my voice to uplift the heart to make the beautiful choice I don't want to be a doctor, I want to care for people to provide tools and aides for people to grasp the ethereal nature of body and soul wrapped in one upon this earth. I don't want to be a preacher, I want to inspire and love people into hearing the real for inspiration walks hand and hand with the authentic and the true. I don't want to be a lawyer, I want to help bring justice in the earth to help the mistreated and lift up the law of love upon whose wings are light and freedom. I don't want to be a world changer, I want to change the world to think and act wholly for the other To gain your life you must lose it. To find your way you must choose to. Come to your knees and choose only to please. The standards of hope and of love They are ready to be seized Is it about you or the other, you must decide For to gain the treasure you must win the prize Of love gone wild and free, always wholly for the other. That wild blessing assuredly will descend When it sees a heart without a tether Oh that Greek mind. When did it turn knowing into a God and understanding into the goal These were only meant to be blessings, never the end. Come back come back you matters of the heart Come back come back life found again Oh the question of our age, We must decide To know if our ways, Will stand the test of time For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

Burning Man

How Are You Today?

Perchance he'll go to Burning Man, Finding tribes of peace, not war, Across the playa of desert sand, Ghost shirts of 60s might understand, 'Tho no one remains to watch the store.

Today soon will come Christmas

By Fran Conlon

Steady on the hope: a utopian plan, With eye cast upward for bright Star, Or into the sea for wet Aquaman, To challenge a dystopian nefarious fan, The Golden Age may yet be far. A friend's new plan is fun to view, But will it my inner spirit renew? (What to do with an aged hippie? Get him a cup: a senior sippy.)

By Ann Ross

Today one day closer to next year Today will you smile prance and sing? Today are you not able? Today let’s make it stable Somedays are diamonds Somedays gray stones Somedays turkey roast Somedays the bones Somedays cold wind chills the nose Somedays prance and dance with warm toes Today one hot toddy Today no more for the body Today smile and giggle again Today laugh till you fall on the floor Today ease past the pain of being poor Today not able to sit all alone Today try calls on the iPhone Today focus on what you want

ORION By Joan Remy It hurts sometimes I decided to stay On Earth The devils can’t take my soul The grand illusion To control I play the game Soaring with Eagles Running deep with Wolves Standing in the Light I’m so in love with Life

Today try your very best Today a quiet walk in woods Today read different kind of books Today go for the new WOW look Somedays are diamonds Somedays toss out the stones Today smile with whip cream pumpkin pie Today try the kitchen it may be a surprise Today football on TV and with buttery popcorn Today go easy on the beer or wine Today you win and with who? Today make a face in mirror Today laugh giggle and scream if you wish Somedays the holidays is not as you dream Today new kind of day is born Today it’s up to you Someday will be a good Christmas and a happy New Year

Valley Voice

October 2021


Hayden Happenings

Big Developments on Horizon for Hayden By Brodie Farquhar

Late summer saw two announcements from major businesses that could dramatically shape the future of Hayden. Excel Energy announced that it wants to preserve one or more steam turbines at its Hayden Generation Station, past the 2028 date when it no longer burns coal to produce electric power. Rather than shut the entire facility down, Excel is proposing to create a massive energy storage facility, that can store excess renewable energy in a tank of molten salt, which can release that energy into a steam turbine whenever winds calm down or the sun doesn’t shine at night. Molten salt can retain heat energy for hours, and the Excel plan could generate 150 megawatts of electric energy for 10 hours before the molten salt tank lost too much heat to run a steam turbine. Excel officials emphasized it is a pilot program, that could be ramped up with more and bigger salt tanks, for a longer lasting energy source. Essentially, a giant battery to backup solar and wind energy in northwest Colorado. There are similar salt tank energy storage projects planned in Germany and North Carolina. State Representative Dylan Roberts is working on a bill that would allow Excel Energy to build this experimental project, without billing customers.

Trees cradling the moon. 6:39am

Secondly, an industrial hemp company based in Vancouver has teamed up with a water rich mining company, to design and build a complex near Hayden. This would raise hemp crops using irrigation water. It would then harvest and convert the hemp into a range of building materials. It’s possible to use those materials to build affordable housing in Hayden. Global Hemp Group is under contract to buy 664 acres to the south and southwest of Hayden, adding it to an already purchased 210 acres in and around Hayden. Planning is underway to design a warehouse, showroom and model homes. A manufacturing facility that would strip the fibers off hemp plants (a process called decortication) and convert fibers into hempcrete, particle board and insulation. Western Sierra Resource Corporation, a precious metals mining firm from Nevada, has acquired regional water rights to grow large volumes of hemp, then use those water rights to supply household water to as many as 2,969 affordable homes. The idea is to demonstrate proof of concept about reliability and affordability of hemp construction materials, then build demo model homes and ultimately affordable homes for the many workers pushed out of the Steamboat housing market by rising prices.

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Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. — Robert Frost


October 2021

Valley Voice

Tales from the Front Desk



The Beast in 215 By Aimee Kimmey

Dragging the cleaning cart, she backs away, eyeing the door handle. It sinks down agonizingly slowly. Rosie's heart slams in her chest, whatever's in there is coming out. The handle gradually slides to vertical until the latch CLICKS loudly in the empty hall, and the door pops open. Rosie shrinks behind the cleaning cart. A shadowy crack grows as the door swings in. Huge, gleaming teeth emerge from the darkness. Beady eyes pierce through her as a massive beast, black as death, steps out of 215. Long claws scratch on the carpet, pointed, razor sharp, ears zone in on her like rifle sights. It's a Doberman Pinscher nearly as big as the cart. An ominous rumble simmers up from the thing, its lips pull back revealing even more of its large teeth. Light glints on the spikes on its collar. The story you are about to read is true... more or less. Saturday. 10:05 am. Room 215.

Rosie shrieks! She shoves the cart at the beast. It barks sharply, but falls back into the darkness of 215. Rosie quickly grabs the door and slams it shut.

SCRATCH, SCRATCH, SCRATCH... The sound creeps unpleasantly down Rosie's spine as she pushes the cleaning cart toward room 215. It grows louder, more distinct, as she approaches.

Huffing and shaking she pushes the cart quickly away from 215, it definitely does not need to be cleaned today!

The long lever door handle juggles and twitches. Something is trying to get out of 215! Rosie draws in a sharp breath, watching it move... She forces out a nervous giggle, I mean it's probably just her imagination, right? Hand shaking only a bit, she taps her universal key card on the door. "House keep-" A booming series of barks thunder at her! Rosie staggers back, 215 doesn't really need to be cleaned today! Does it?

A few hours later, Rosie closes the door on another clean room when an ominous rumble fills the air behind her. Her blood runs cold, she turns slowly. The beast squares off in the middle of the hall, teeth gleaming, eyes burrowing into her. "Oh hell no!" She snatches a clean towel off the cart to snap it at the beast, "Go on! SHOO!" The creature barks fiercely! But turns on its stubby tail to skitter off back up the stairs. Heart thudding in her chest, Rosie follows it, shaking her towel, shouting "Git! Git! Git!"

“I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.” - Frank Sinatra

She chases the beast all the way back into 215 and bangs the door shut behind it. Huffing, heart crashing against her rib cage, Rosie leans on the door. Scratch, scratch, scratch... The door handle twitches under her hand. She falls back, shouting "No! STOP IT!" A guest from 214 pokes her head quizzically out of her room. Rosie chuckles sheepishly, "Oh, heh, sorry, it's a... a dog..." The guest frowns, and disappears back into her room. Rosie lets out a long breath. She shakes herself and takes her towel back down to the cleaning cart. By the end of her shift, Rosie is exhausted. She's spent the afternoon jumping at every scratch, and staring at every shadow. On her way to the time clock she pauses at the front desk to visit the clerk. As she's recounting her misadventures, the clerk's eyes suddenly go wide and the color drains from her face. Rosie freezes, falling silent. A deep, growling rumble fills the lobby. As if summoned by her words, the beast has found her. Its lips curl up, revealing the long, sharp, teeth. "What do you want from me?!" Rosie shouts. The monster rumbles louder, and lets out a piercing bark. Then it flops down onto the floor. Rosie and the clerk watch aghast as the creature rolls onto its back revealing its belly to them. They exchange a skeptical look, "Seriously?" Rosie asks. The clerk shrugs. Tentatively, Rosie steps toward the creature. Slowly kneeling she reaches for its belly. As she carefully rubs, the beast starts to... grunt with joy. Astounded, Rosie looks over at the clerk. The clerk shrugs again. A woman's voice breaks their reverie, "Oscar!" The woman from 215 races into the lobby, dripping wet and wrapped in a towel. "Oscar - There you are, bad dog!" She pauses to look at Rosie and the clerk, "I'm so sorry, he's fiendishly clever with doors!" Rosie stops scratching Oscar's belly, he whines at her just a bit. "Oh he likes you." His mother explains. "C'mon rotten dog, leave these nice ladies alone!" Oscar jumps up and skitters off toward the stairs. His mother looks back over her shoulder before following him, "Sorry!" Rosie laughs, "No problem."

On the corner of US40 and Hilltop Pkwy

New Hours: Mon. thru Sat: 10 am - 9 pm Sunday: 11:30 am - 7:30 pm


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


Valley Voice

October 2021


Mensan Musings

Yin and Yang By Wolf Bennett

Over thirty five hundred years ago the concept of Yin and Yang came into being pretty much as we know it today. It describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complimentary and actually need each other. It is commonly portrayed as two equal drops of water of black and white but really it is a spectrum or a rainbow of possibilities blending opposite energies. Literally “bright/ dark” or “positive/negative,” also commonly used are “male/female,” “cold/hot,” “passive/ active,” “sun/moon” types of dichotomies. The main theme behind Yin/Yang is that all things in the natural world are interconnected. To be interdependent gives rise to support and unite each other which gives balance to life.

Historically when humans did not value things other than themselves or their own viewpoints, disharmony and ruin befell the entire culture. This lopsided dichotomy is happening between a number of sources today. Conservative/ Liberal, White/Color, Hawks/Doves, Denial/Possibilities, Wealth/Poverty and more. When one point of view has total power then it has the tendency to try to crush others but to no avail as there will always be another point of view. This does not bode well for anyone, nor for the planet. When religions and cultures see only themselves as correct, then all suffer (witch burning, 30 years’ war, Rwanda, Taliban, Native American genocide). When one race sees itself as superior we end up with slavery, xenophobia, white supremacy, historical blindness and revolution. Sadly it destroys itself in the process. The destruction of the entire system occurs because there really is no division except the one imposed by a single viewpoint. Seeing one sex as superior will result in the repression of the other and loss for both. We strive for the “union” of the two sexes with celebrations. One end of the measuring stick is never more important than the other so why not try to find that balance and teamwork that brings joy to both sides?

The person who thinks there is a simple solution to a complex problem is a fool. Virtually all problems are multifaceted and not given to simplistic solutions so we must “sort” things out and look for answers. Each Yin relies on the other Yang in every way or both will fail. We all have problems. We deal daily with issues, conundrums, dilemmas, scrapes, run-ins, tiffs, confrontations, complaints, protests. We have so many words to describe our problems; it is rather striking how few words we have to describe how our problems might come to an end. To work in “union” is to ensure greater success for all. To blindly ignore or insult those we disagree with will result in loss of communication, to “commune,” that is essential for everyone. Yin and Yang is not a pie in the sky concept. They are at least twice as old as virtually every western concept and culture. It isn’t just a drawing of two drops of water spiraling. It can lead us to greater outcomes but like a delightful swing dance it requires trust, honesty, reaching out and helping those with whom we dance. The trick is to reach out, hold on, trust and blend the energy.

Furniture - Art - Antiques Lighting - Home Decor - Gifts

With a deeper look we see that all opposites are inextricably linked and swirl in a never ending spiral dance. To find true balance we must study the other side and understand its strengths and weaknesses to then find our own. Only then can we come to find balance in our own lives. We can measure our strength by the strength of our opposition. It is easy to disclaim the other side and ridicule those things we do not grasp. We have not taken the time nor spent the energy to understand our own weaknesses. That can be frustrating but to ignore the links will leave us with many awful problems. Imagine a swing dance without a partner to balance the energy. Balance really is fun but it takes practice, honesty and trust. Black and white are not so much opposites as they are merely ends of a spectrum full of color. Love/hate, fear/ peace, strength/weakness, wisdom/stupidity are all not opposing entities but really are balance points that give us opportunities to learn. The word solution becomes our principle metaphorical recourse when dealing with a problem. We stir a conflict around until it is out of sight and blends with other things in the pot and we end with a middle ground that has many variations and provides a “solution” that blends both the hard and the soft.

New Winter Hours!

109 East Main St Oak Creek, Colorado 80467 970-736-1104

I think there's a yin and a yang to everything. — Chris Claremont


October 2021

Valley Voice

Yepelloscopes Columbine in the Flat Tops! Photo by Karen Vail

Your Monthly Message By Chelsea Yepello Aries

March 21 - April 19

You know what your boss is saying is important and they are going to expect an intelligent response when they stop talking. The issue is the two sides of your brain is having a civil war, one side is attempting to listen and comprehend the conversation and the other half really wants to show them your best impression of what a human/jackalope hybrid would sound like.


April 20 - May 20

You refuse to let it go until someone explains the inaccuracy in octo meaning eight, but October is the 10th month. Then why Tuesday is so special that it gets to be the third day of the calendar week but the second day of a traditional work week.


May 20 - June 20

This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the Seasonal Purge. At the sound of the siren, all weather; including snow, high heats, wind, hail and freezing rains will be legal for 31 days. All emergency meteorologist services will be suspended until further notice. This month, we'll see the good and evil in everyone. The earth thanks you for your participation and may God have mercy upon your plants.


June 21 - July 22

Your friends took all the good last-minute Halloween costumes and are going to the party dressed as a sexy doctor, a sexy vampire, a sexy pirate, a sexy cat and a sexy witch. Although you may get credit for thinking outside of the box, your costume will not be received well when you come to the party dressed as a sexy holocaust survivor.


July 23 - August 23

You set up a tinder account with the anticipation that you are going to become a womanizing playboy, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a booty slaying lady-killer. Unfortunately, your plan will be derailed when you continue to only match with people who you think would make good friends and that kind of reminds you of your mom.




October 24 - November 21

You will become a subject of controversy and debate with your attempt to be added into the Guinness Book of World Records as the most spontaneous person in the world when you scientifically find a fool proof way to spontaneously combust.


November 22 - December 21

Traditionally, you were supposed to use peeled grapes for the bowl of eyeballs in your spooky Halloween party décor, but on the other hand, the stray cats that were keeping you up at night are a lot less frisky now.


December 22 - January 19

The possibility of you surviving an apocalyptic zombie outbreak doesn’t have anything to do with prepping or how proficient you get with using household objects as weapons, in the end it will only matter which movie was right when depicting how fast the zombies can run and if they know how to use doorknobs.


January 20 - February 18

You never expected this the be a reoccurring part of your life, but after gaining some notoriety on some of the lesser known social media sites, you find yourself being stopped on the street and asked to autograph packages of hotdogs more than you’re comfortable with.


February 19 - March 20

You will always be your worst critic, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else isn’t trying to take that title from you.

August 23 - September 22

You will find yourself at the courthouse, getting an annulment from the two people you married over the weekend. They seem to be nice enough people, but at the time of your vows, you were under the impression that you were engaging in a taboo unity of you and a horse, not a mutual polyamorous triad marriage between you and two people in a horse costume.

September 23 - October 23

It will be a painful realization when you thought you would grow up to be one of those cool adults that gives full size candy bars to the trick or treaters, but it turns out that for financial and moral reasons, you are actually the adult that gives out pennies and old packs of soy sauce.

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

Valley Voice

October 2021



October 2021

Valley Voice

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