HCN takes a break


Note: This Dear Friends is part of a special HCN magazine issue devoted to travel in the West.

In mid-March, as the last of the scanty winter snow melts here in Paonia, Colo., the HCN crew will be taking one of our four annual publishing breaks. Look for the next issue to hit your mailbox, inbox or mobile device around April 15. In the meantime, be sure to visit hcn.org for news, op-eds and other Web-only content. And good luck with filing those taxes!

A snowy encounter
While skate skiing on nearby Grand Mesa, HCN business manager Denise Massart-Isaacson met two skiers who turned out to be longtime subscribers Cindy Dunbar and Kevin Deighan. Cindy and Kevin, residents of Durango, Colo., were taking a Western Slope ski vacation. After hitting the Paonia coffee shop later that day, they planned on heading to the resort town of Crested Butte.

Muckers, Wardens and Criminals, oh my!

Our Feb. 4 version of "Heard around the West" described some unusual athletic team names at Western high schools, prompting many readers to drop us notes. Micky Pillers of New Meadows, Idaho, wrote us about the origin of the Tonopah Muckers. "Tonopah, Nev., is a tenacious remnant of an early 1900s mining town. In mining, a 'mucker' shovels waste rock into mining cars and buckets. Due to the nature of the work, muckers were often the strongest, toughest, hardest guys around." Greg Scott of Nogales, Ariz., wrote, "Thanks for the shout-out to the Yuma Union High School Criminals. My grandfather attended Yuma High in the old Territorial Prison from 1910 to 1914, the only four years the prison was used as a school. My mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, brother, sister and recent NFL Hall of Fame addition Curly Culp were all Criminals. I was saved from being a lifelong criminal myself when my family moved to Tucson." From Florence, Mont., reader David Parsons mused, "It would be interesting to see the Powell County Wardens (Deer Lodge, Mont.) challenge the Yuma Criminals. Another interesting name from Montana belongs to the Hot Springs Savage Heat. Hopefully neither the Wardens nor the Criminals would be packing heat in a challenge match, but it might be best not to invite the Savage Heat."


In our March 4 issue, you may have noticed that a pie chart describing the causes of death among cougars collared for a study on Colorado's Front Range lacked a legend, due to a computer glitch. So here it is again (see image above), in all its glory, complete with an actual explanation.

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