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Know the West

Spring’s skipped issue, and corrections

Raven wordplay: Corvus, Corvax and Corax.


The daffodils are bright and the apricot tree behind the High Country News office in Paonia has burst into bloom. Spring is here — we think — so we’ll be taking one of our quarterly publishing breaks and skipping an issue. Look for another issue May 1.

As the days slowly lengthen, our visitors are returning like the robins on the back patio. In the first days of March, a group of friends who’d met on the Appalachian Trail stopped by. Gary and Kiki, who live in the North Fork Valley, and visiting friends Awesome and Possum (those are trail names, per AT tradition) had a story to share: The day before their visit, they’d rescued a man who’d broken the top of his femur in Dominguez Canyon, west of town — carrying him more than a mile to the parking lot. His hip was replaced that evening. Our readers are real American heroes.

Melissa Muñoz and Katja Nasr picked up some of the latest issues as well as information about a BLM development plan for the valley where High Country News is based.
Brooke Warren/HCN
Melissa Muñoz and Katja Nasr also came by. Melissa used to volunteer with public health campaigns in Denver and now lives in Paonia, where she works on environmental issues on the Western Slope. It has been an “eye-opener,” seeing how hydraulic fracturing could impact a place like the North Fork Valley, she says. Katja, who has been an environmentalist since the 1960s, protested at Rocky Flats, the infamous former nuclear weapons facility near Denver. Thanks for sharing your stories with us!

Father-son duo Pete and Riley Gang of Petaluma, California, stopped by on a sunny day in mid-March. Riley was on the road for a ski trip through the Western U.S. and Whistler and Banff in Canada, for about two months, taking advantage of this year’s awesome snowpack. His dad flew out to join him for two weeks, and the pair made time to visit us in Paonia. They appreciate HCN’s mix of environmental news and politics, Pete says. “We enjoy the honest news of the West,” Riley adds. Enjoy the sun and the snow, you two!

Some news on an old friend: Storyteller and desert-reveler Katie Lee’s folk opera will be performed in Cottonwood, Arizona, this May. Katie originally wrote Maude, Billy & Mr. ‘D’ years ago, based on a story by author Helen Eustis. The story, which details a journey of love and death in the West, will be produced with fellow Arizona folksingers.

Lastly, a few corrections from the travel issue (HCN, 3/6/17). In her essay “An expedition through the Edgelands,” Diane Sylvain wrote that certain ravens introduced themselves as “Corvus” and “Corvax.” The writer is well aware that the correct word is “Corax” without the “v,” but believes that the raven in question was either croaking with an accent or perhaps just having her on. In any case, she apologizes for the error, which the ravens, naturally, find hilarious. In  “Cowboys with surfboards,” there was an error on crop succession near Hanalei, Hawaii. The taro field did not take the place of an older sugarcane plantation; rather it was once a rice plantation, with sugarcane growing on the hill above.