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Know the West

Buddy, can ya spare a subscription?


An HCN subscriber who owns an energy corporation in California got in touch with us earlier this summer. He wanted to do more than renew his subscription, he said — he wanted to send seven-month gift subscriptions anonymously to 20 former readers who had not renewed because of personal hardship (job losses, etc.). A huge, heartfelt "thank you!" to our unnamed benefactor, both from our staff and from those readers who received this generous and unexpected gift.


Mircalla Wozniak
and Michael Alexander from San Francisco, Calif., dropped by our Paonia offices in August on a road trip through Colorado. Michael grew up in nearby Montrose, and the two were heading toward Rocky Mountain National Park to meet up with his parents. Their goal is to get in one hike a day before returning to work; Mircalla is a political consultant and Michael works in financial services.

Dean and Judy Ericson found their way to HCN's digs after nearly missing the turn-off for Paonia — it's easy to do, they said. The Denverites were making a day-trip from their second home in the nearby ski resort town of Vail, a natural fit for Dean, who serves as president of the International Skiing History Association.

Quarter-century subscribers Gwendolyn Ellen and her son, Marshall Knoderbane, of Corvallis, Ore., took time out of their camping and "hot-springs jumping" tour of the West to drop in for a visit. Gwen works on conservation biological control projects at Oregon State University, and Marshall, a "roving biologist," is traveling around the country studying birds. The two planned to pick peaches and visit nearby Black Canyon National Park. Also here for Paonia's famed white peaches was subscriber Craig Boice, an energy consultant who splits his time between New York and Crested Butte, Colo.

During a journey north from their Albuquerque, N.M., home, subscribers Mary Beath and Kit French stopped by. The couple had just visited the Sawatch Range outside of Leadville, and planned to check out the Grand Mesa — touted as the largest flat-topped mountain in the world — before swinging down to the Paradox Valley, which, with its inklings of a new uranium boom, provides the setting for writer Mary's first novel. Kit, meanwhile, has worked for Indian Health Services at Acoma Pueblo, N.M., for the last six years. "I came out here to join this woman," he grinned, "from the 'West' of Massachusetts."

Also from Albuquerque, retired Los Alamos National Laboratory employee Jim Bunch dropped by while on a tour of local wineries inspired by our recent cover story, "From Corn to Cabernet."

Reader Laura Davis and her mother Margaret Davis of Fort Collins, Colo., came in for a visit while driving through western Colorado. Margaret, whose father was "a newspaper man," said that when traveling through small towns, she likes to find the local paper and read the letters to the editor to get a feel for the community (no word on what she thought of Paonia). Laura, a lawyer, passed through here last summer on a bike tour from Leadville to Cimarron, but skipped the HCN tour then in order to hasten to the nearby Black Canyon.

Due to an editing error, a sentence in the article "Empty Nest" in the Oct. 12 issue incorrectly implied that California condors currently nest in the Columbia River Gorge. We regret the error.