by Jodi Peterson
Here in HCN's hometown of Paonia, Colo., the peaches and sweet corn are ripening, and we've been welcoming lots of visitors from around the West.
Longtime subscribers Phyllis Hasheider and Jim McKee of Longmont, Colo., stopped by on their way home after a drive on the San Juan Skyway, a scenic route that passes through mountain towns like Silverton, Telluride and Durango. Now retired, they used to work for IBM; today, both serve as volunteer naturalists for City of Boulder Parks and Open Space.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and his wife, Susan Daggett, residents of Denver, came through our headquarters with their daughters Anne, Halina and Carolina. The family attended Paonia's annual Cherry Days festival July 4 as part of a road trip that also included a two-day float down the Green River, a visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and a stay at an organic farm. Noting the recent infusion of young women into HCN's editorial staff, Bennet joked that his daughters ought to apply to work here -- particularly his youngest, Anne, who not only got down and dirty on her first Western river trip but then showed up at our office in a faux-fur pillbox hat, matching cape and gold lamé gloves. Seems like she'd fit right in.
Taking a break from weeding at Thistle Whistle farm in nearby Hotchkiss, Helen Katich brought her Denver visitors, Ellen Jaskol and Steve Katich, to Paonia for a tour. Helen first visited High Country News during college, with the INVST Community Studies Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Ellen, formerly a photojournalist with the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News, is a freelance photographer. Steve covered several small southern Colorado counties during former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm's campaign and continues to work in governmental relations.
Al Schroder, a 15-year subscriber, made his first visit to Paonia along with Joan Groff. They were traveling from Tucson, Ariz., to visit family in Pennsylvania, camping along the way. After a weekend enjoying the Fourth of July festivities with throngs of people in Silverton, Colo., Al and Joan were happy to be in quieter places like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison –– and our offices.
Dave Spildie, from Missoula, Mont., celebrated his retirement from the Forest Service with a road trip through Colorado. He stopped in Paonia on a visit to places and friends from the 14 years he lived in the state. A longtime subscriber -- 20 or 25 years, he's not sure -- Dave wishes everyone knew about High Country News. Hey, so do we!
A longtime HCN subscriber from Oracle, Ariz., Robert Vallier, came to say hello, and told us he once started his own local newspaper, The Oracle Oracle. The Oracle's days have passed, but he and his wife, Jeannette, still write periodically for the Turbo Diesel Register. A week and a half into a camping trip through Colorado, they stopped in Paonia with their traveling companion and next-door-neighbor, Chuck Bird. Chuck is also a writer, who enjoys creating science fiction stories for teens. The office wasn't quite what Robert had imagined. "It's nicer!" he said.
In our Aug. 19 feature story "Dinosaur Wars," a photo caption mistakenly referred to Chris Morrow of CK Preparations as "Rob Morrow." HCN regrets the error.