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for people who care about the West

Autumn calls, and visitors keep rolling in

Eclipse seekers stop by, and we begin a new tree-saving initiative.


Mornings are getting chillier as August fades into September, and we’ve started to spy the first changing leaves dotting the aspens in the mountains above Paonia, home of High Country News. Happily for us, the sun and the moon conspired to bring plenty of visitors to our door. In the days after the solar eclipse in August, which was 87 percent total here, several folks stopped by on their way home after watching the celestial spectacle.

Joan and Matthew Symonds from Farmington, New Mexico, visited after viewing the eclipse in Riverton, Wyoming. The experience, they said, was indescribable; Joan noted that she saw the moss roses shut when the sky went dark. Matthew has been an HCN subscriber for 30 years, and he appreciates that we cover a lot of stories “otherwise missed by everyone.”

Subscriber Dan Groth of Durango, Colorado, also dropped in on his way home; he watched the eclipse with his brother and his family in Laramie Peak, Wyoming. Robi Mulford and Ian Swift from Los Alamos, New Mexico, came in post-eclipse after finding a nice quiet spot down a farm road — also in Wyoming. Robi works at a medical clinic where HCN is the “only coffee-table reading,” so she reads it at work quite happily! She renewed her own subscription while she was here, so now she’ll be able to read us at home, too.

Three-year subscriber Jane Mahon and her friend Abby Dix also stopped by for a visit. Jane, from Corrales, New Mexico, is considering moving to Paonia after some prodding from Abby, who lives nearby in the Telluride area. Wilbur Flachman, from Westminster, Colorado, toured the office in late August. As a veteran of the industry — 50 years in publishing — Wilbur wanted to see what the inside of our operation looks like. We hope it meets your standards, Wilbur!

Tim and Kate Willink visited the Western Slope from Denver for the hiking, the peaches and the local gin. Our staff enjoyed a nerdy chat with Tim and Kate about net metering, which we covered in a feature story in our Aug. 21 issue. Janna Treisman, a retired teacher from Washington and a longtime subscriber, came by for her second visit in two years. She thanked the staff for “keeping her sane.” Thanks for coming back by, Janna! It’s visitors like you who keep us sane.

We’re clearly big fans of the pages you’re currently holding, but we also hold dear the trees they came from. That’s why, starting in October, we’ll be participating in “PrintReleaf,” a program that plants trees to offset the paper we use to print HCN. About 80 trees will be planted for each issue, totaling about 1,760 trees per year. Now that’s a forest we’d like to see!