Vagabond visitors

  • Anna O’Neill (left) and Richelle Caya (right) happened upon High Country News by chance on a job-hunting quest through Colorado.

    Kimberly Hirai
  • Brandon Weil

Mark Winkler stopped by our western Colorado office while visiting his mother in nearby Montrose and touring the North Fork Valley. He's a homemaker and freelance writer in Redwood Valley, Calif. When he got to Paonia, he first dropped by KVNF, our local community radio station, which sent him to tour our local movie theater, which sent him on to us. Sort of like a pub crawl, minus the pub. He followed up with a post on our Facebook page ( "Your whole staff made me feel welcome from the moment I wandered in and the hospitality was appreciated. I look forward to reading the back issues and the Everett Ruess story." Traveling reader Brandon Weil also left a note on our Facebook page: "I enjoyed reading about wolves while flying on this Frontier (airlines) wolf!"

Former intern Francisco "Cisco" Tharp (winter '08) recently visited us during an epic journey in search of a used pickup. He hitchhiked to Paonia from Glenwood Springs, 70 miles and a mountain pass away, and caught a ride with three Guatemalan men who work for a local renewable-energy education program, Solar Energy International. "They offered me a Marlboro Red," said Cisco, "but their truck was leaking exhaust into the cab and I figured I was already breathing enough smoke." Once he got to town, a bit dizzy from the fumes, he found that the pickup he was after was more "mechanically challenged" than its owner had let on. So, instead of driving, the still-cheerful Cisco headed back to the highway to thumb another ride. Perhaps someday the Western Slope will have better public transit. ...

In search of winter jobs (preferably in a nice warm coffeeshop), self-described "professional vagabonds" Richelle Caya and Anna O'Neill were also hitchhiking to Glenwood Springs when they caught a ride with a Paonia resident who mentioned High Country News; they later came to visit us. The women left their home states of Minnesota and Washington for a trip through Colorado in search of the right place to satisfy their love for outdoor recreation and the West.

New Wyoming book
WordsWorth, a Wyoming publisher, is releasing On Sacred Ground: A Religious and Spiritual History of Wyoming by Warren Murphy. High Country News and its founder Tom Bell are both mentioned in the book, which examines how religion and spirituality helped shape the Equality State. "This is a history," writes Murphy, "that begins with Wyoming's first people and continues into the present day -- from mountain men and Chinese coal miners to Mormon settlers, missionaries and pioneers of the conservation movement inspired by the spirituality of Wyoming's wilderness."

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