A flood of visitors

by Jodi Peterson and Sarah Gilman

Monsoon season struck Paonia with a vengeance in the muggy final days of July. Beyond window-rattling thunder and heart-stopping lightning, the storms have brought deluges of rain, sending irrigation ditches flooding over their banks and washing out roads and driveways. Our flood of summer visitors through HQ has continued unabated, as well.

High Country News subscribers Dan and Theresa Weisbeck and their family paid us a visit while on vacation. The couple went to high school prom together in Greeley, Colo. They now live in Los Angeles, Calif., with their sons Ian, 14, Nathan, who is three minutes older than his twin brother, and Cormack, a toddler whom his parents say is the most rambunctious of the Weisbeck clan.

Longtime readers Johnnie and Natalie Montecallo stopped by after a circular camping trip through Colorado. When the couple finish reading HCN, they "recycle” by passing old issues to kids and tribal family members. Johnnie is a probation officer who works with youth near the couple's home in Aurora, Colo. Originally from Guam, he goes back to visit family as often as he can. Natalie, a member of the Tubatulabal Tribe, teaches high school. Her tribe, which is seeking federal recognition, has its homeland along the Kern River in the Sierra Nevada, east of Bakersville, Calif.

Karyn and Colin Warren stopped by during a three-week ramble around the mountain West. Subscribers for so long they've lost track, the couple was escaping the summer heat of home in Mesquite, Nev. Colin, who plays Native American-style flute, treated our little town to his music before he and Karyn headed to a bluegrass festival in Dolores, Colo. You can enjoy his tunes at www.elyani.net.

Longtime subscribers Dave Van Manen and his wife, Helene, who calls herself "Grandmother Wolverine,” also came by. The Beulah, Colo., couple runs the nonprofit Mountain Park Environmental Center. Dave just finished a leg of the Colorado Trail, which he is hiking to raise money for programs that take kids on nature trips, and was touring the Western Slope before returning to work.

Staunch HCN supporter Linda Frick came to see us after dropping her daughter off at a camp near Jackson Hole, Wyo., while on a road trip through the West. She and her family summer in Bend, Ore., and winter in Chadds Ford, Penn. "The kids love the West,” says Linda, "but we go back East to see family.”

Rubbing elbows with killer bees (and an award!)
If thunderstorms and expeditions to Paonia aren't enough to keep you entertained, some HCN contributors have new books out. In Endangered: Biodiversity on the Brink, Mitch Tobin draws from seven years of on-the-ground reporting in the fast-growing Southwest to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the Endangered Species Act. Steven J. Lyons' The 1,000-Year Flood: Destruction, Loss, Rescue, and Redemption along the Mississippi River uses human stories and the plight of Cedar City, Iowa, to chronicle the Midwest's devastating floods of 2008. From rabble-rousing Mountain Gazette Editor M. John Fayhee, there's also Bottoms Up, a greatest-hits collection of his work from that magazine, wherein, we are told, we may "rub elbows with jaguars, armed Border Patrol agents, killer bees, inebriated rural rednecks, bubba Southern sheriffs, Miss America candidates, skeptical Tarahumara Indians, (and) unidentifiable animal parts/food items housed in jars on dusty back bars.”

Debra Utacia Krol's HCN piece "Cultural blight” about sudden oak death and its impacts on California's coastal tribes took first place for Best Environmental Story in the monthly/bimonthly category at the Native American Journalists Association Media Awards in July. Congrats, Deb!

Correction
The July 19 article "How to Return a Pot” incorrectly stated that Colorado's Crow Canyon Archaeological Center holds amnesty periods for the public to anonymously return artifacts found on public lands. Crow Canyon does not accept artifacts from the public at any time. We regret the error.

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