From the heart
In February, my heart got broken so I had a stent put in it! Once more, I played “Beat The Reaper” and won. I want to thank and praise ALL the medical and staff people at Roaring Fork Family Practice and, especially, Valley View Hospital.
In what was obviously a stressful situation, I was treated with kindness and empathy by everyone I encountered at the hospital. I spent two nights in the Acute Care Ward and had the stent put in on Saturday — a pretty fascinating process, I might add. I had more nurses, doctors and staff help me than I can name. Every one of them exhibited their humanity and caring. I still can’t believe that they had just been through two years of THE PLAGUE and all the people-insanity of it, and were like it never happened!
The experience has warmed the cockles of my heart in more ways than one!
For eons, animals and people gracefully walked ancient trails through the Crystal Valley. Until the 1860s, when Colorado became a territory of the United States, the Crystal Valley was pristine habitat for a rich variety of flora and fauna, including humans. Nuche [the Ute] traveled the game trails over undivided, unowned land. Europeans churned the trails into wagon tracks. By 1881, when the original people were moved off the land, local governments of the new state of Colorado invested heavily in infrastructure and the Nuche paths evolved into graded highways. Always, there was a gracious route for man and animal to walk, along the entire valley, over McClure, “The Lowest Pass,” west out of the Central Rockies.
But today, that is not possible. Fences abound, circling private and public property. Highway 133, driveways, rivers, ditches and cliff topography box the valley in. It is impossible to traverse graciously on foot, or even at all in places. The 7 Oaks Bridge is where safe human foot traffic comes to a halt.
The first portion of the trail was a gift to humanity, first proposed and rough platted in 1992, then in 2003 with a $50,000 study for an alignment, entirely on public lands. The closing up of passage through the valley, long obvious, made it vital for beast and man that flow be restored or turn cancerous… In 2012, the first 5.3-mile segment was built by Garfield County, Pitkin County and Carbondale. It is possible that before 2025, construction could start on the top seven-mile section.
The Redstone to McClure section is the perfect next part of the project. Once completed, it will afford a perch to look ahead with a solid goal to reach behind.
Bears Gulch has a clean route, above the highway where the cliffs and river make it difficult to follow 133. Bears Gulch, aka Bunker Hill above Hays Creek Falls, offers a low impact, lovely route on the old Rock Creek Wagon Road, built by James Bogan. It will enhance the ability of wildlife and people to move upstream. The alternative, along the river, is prohibitively expensive and ecologically destructive. You can help by letting your support for the trail be known to the Forest Service, Pitkin County commissioners and Crystal Caucus members.
The problem with the proposed Redstone to McClure Pass trail, and the entire trail as a whole, is that no wildlife studies have been conducted to get baseline statistics on population numbers, breakdown by gender and age, etc. So, the experts and officials are all speculating the impacts instead of following science. There was a very timely article in The Aspen Times on Thurs., Feb. 24 titled “Study highlights recreational trail impacts to wildlife habitat.” The study quantifies the elk habitat loss and compression in 120,000 acres east of Steamboat Springs. Organizers of the study say it was initiated after the Roaring Fork Valley and the Eagle Valley elk herds experienced a 50% reduction from 1999 to 2015. The study shows a significant loss and fragmentation of elk habitat. The full study can be found on the Keep Routt Wild website, under the “Experts & Studies” tab, then “Wildlife Studies.”
I’m watching wind blow snow off the peaks of Mount Sopris and wondering, does anyone in our blissful valley know what’s really happening to our Canadian neighbors? The only picture I see being painted of the truckers is that they’re disruptive right-wingers who must be stopped by the suspension of all “rule-of-law.” Canadians… really? Freezing bank accounts and killing pets… really? What’s going on here?
Now the extreme measures have been lifted and the truckers are gone, but it’s unsettling. And, what’s more, if you haven’t noticed, now even our most reliable, more liberal news sources seem to be in lock-step, all singing the same tunes. Co-opted might be the word. To find some truth behind why Trudeau and other world leaders suddenly seem so over-the-top authoritarian, you’ll have to take a deep dive below the constant flow of the mainstream.
Lots of eye-popping, jaw-dropping, well-sourced, sci-fi-spy intrigue lurking down there. Like, for instance, how Canada’s dear prime minister is linked to the World Economic Forum which runs an elite training program for global leaders. Riveting stuff in the alternative sphere and discernment is certainly warranted, but please, open your eyes to what’s happening to our friends up north! Being informed about ALL sides of important current events, I believe, is the duty of all good citizens on Planet Earth.
When you imagine a government that works, what is it? When you imagine the ideal person to represent you and everyone in your community, who are they? What would make you believe that your government actually cares about our collective wellbeing?
For me, the person I imagine, and in whom I put my wholehearted trust, is Elizabeth Velasco. Elizabeth is running for HD57, a newly redrawn district from Parachute to Aspen.
I see myself in Elizabeth: a woman in her 30s, building a life and career in the Roaring Fork Valley. Someone who grew up in the area, and knows it like the back of her hand. Someone for whom family is a top priority. Someone who, like me, cares about the wellbeing of everyone, not just some.
I trust Elizabeth Velasco. She’s not a career politician, vying for power and reputation. Elizabeth is a regular person, with incredible drive and skill and resourcefulness, who is deeply connected to diverse groups in our district. She knows our struggles personally and professionally: housing, wages, commutes, healthcare costs, drought, fire.
I trust that Elizabeth will prioritize people over profits, people over the special interests that dilute policy solutions so that we, the people, don’t get what we need and deserve. She will fight for the bold solutions required to address our dire social, economic and climate crises at the state level. Elizabeth will represent voices that have never been at the state capitol before. Those voices deserve to have Elizabeth Velasco as HD57’s representative. We all do.
Join me to support her! Visit elizabethforcolorado.com. ¡Juntos podemos! Stronger together!
Bright, bitter cold day
A brisk breeze stinging my face
Makes me feel alive