We've had several summer visitors here at our headquarters in Paonia, Colo. From Reno, Nev., came subscriber Robert M. Martin, better known as Tobe, on a motorcycle trip to a medicine wheel site near Red Lodge, Wyo. Describing himself as a loyal fan of HCN, he added that he'd been a cab driver for 13 years and that the magazine got him through "a lot of boring nights." Maybe we need a new slogan: "HCN: Much more fun than a casino run!"
Debi and Bryan Waters left Vermont in October last year for a cycling trip around the country. When they got to New Mexico, they started flipping through a friend's back issues of High Country News. They meandered north through Ridgway, Colo., then through Delta, and when they got to Paonia, they saw our sign. Ding-ding-ding! We gave them a copy of our brand-new Travel Issue, and in return, they shared great stories from the road. You can follow them at thrubike.net. Safe journey!
Parched subscribers Anna Marie Robb and Joe Robb from Boulder, Colo., stopped by in June for a tour and a welcome glass (or two) of water. On this visit –– their second in eight years –– they brought longtime friends and new HCN readers Bill and Sue Silfvast from California's Napa Valley region. Come back any time; the agua's on us! Assuming, of course, that we have any water left. …
During her first visit to the North Fork Valley, longtime subscriber Sandy Righter, a retired teacher from Denver, came by "to see where the magic happens." Writers Chris Solomon and Kate Siber also checked out HCN headquarters and talked shop with Associate Editor Sarah Gilman. Chris, a freelancer from Seattle whose credits include Outside Magazine, The New York Times and Scientific American -- not to mention High Country News –– was passing through on travel assignment. Kate, who lives in Durango, writes for National Parks, National Geographic Traveler and Outside. Sarah sent them off with recommendations for hiking or wine tasting. Or perhaps both; around here, at least, we think they go together.
The Persellin brothers stormed through on their 20th annual family hiking trip. Mark Persellin, from San Antonio, Texas, brought his son, Josh. James Persellin, from Tucson, came with his son, Chris. Nick Persellin flew in from Corpus Christi, Texas, accompanied by friends Tony Scuch and Joel Guerra. The group had just spent four days in the mountains near Paonia and were headed to Moab for more camping. The Persellins bought subscriptions, grabbed a few books from our free shelf and wandered over to Louie's for some sandwiches. Forge -- and forage -- bravely onward, men!
Former HCN intern Lisa Song (winter 2010) and fellow reporter Elizabeth McGowan just wrote The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of. The e-book, produced by InsideClimateNews.org, investigates the 2010 Enbridge pipeline spill of 1 million gallons of diluted bitumen ("dilbit") into Michigan's Kalamazoo River. The proposed -- and very controversial -- Keystone XL pipeline would carry more than 800,000 barrels of highly corrosive dilbit per day, from Canada to the Gulf Coast; many worry that a similar spill could contaminate the massive Ogallala Aquifer.
Note: the opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of High Country News, its board or staff. If you'd like to share an opinion piece of your own, please write Betsy Marston at firstname.lastname@example.org.