UP BEAR CREEK | Mountainfilm Brings the Right Stuff to Telluride
by Art Goodtimes
05.26.13 - 03:00 am

WAY OF THE MTN … Dolores and Ed LaChapelle were both presenters at various times at Telluride Mountainfilm over the years. Both have passed on, but the wonderful tradition of movies that speak to adventure and mountain life – ecological, athletic, and spiritual – continues on… One of the original Mountainfilm founders, my friend and publisher Lito Tejada-Flores, will be in attendance this year. David Holbrooke and crew continue our start-of-the-summer gathering which Rick Silverman helped foster and expand. I’ve been honored to emcee for many years now, lately at the Mason’s. But this year a wedding of a close friend pulls me away over Memorial Day weekend. A hearty “Excelsior!” to all filmgoers, as I will miss this year’s festivities … Dolores called her philosophical bent, Deep Ecology, and the path she recommended in books like Deep Powder Snow and Sacred Land Sacred Sex Rapture of the Deep, she called the “Way of the Mountain” … Mountainfilm, Shroomfest, and Talking Gourds Poetry Club are three local examples of events that Dolores felt could help lead us back to developing a deeper relationship with the natural world … I say, spend a few days in the spectacular backdrop of Telluride’s box canyon watching bouncelight cinema about the mountain way of life, and the rest of the year in the alpine wilds themselves.

 

WAITING FOR RAIN … The clouds come in gusts. Always bringing winds, but lately, seldom moisture. I’ve got my fields at Cloud Acre in better shape than ever, thanks to help from my gardener friend, Steve McHugh. Together we’ve turned one at-rest potato field into Indian blue corn and Anasazi beans … I’m reshaping raised beds and experimenting with glass bottle sides to raised rows. Already (impatient) I’ve planted the first of my Survival Reds in this year’s spud patch (I use a four-year rotation) – earlier than most years. But with a full-on drought in progress, I’m hoping not to get another hard frost before summer (dangerous thoughts, I know).

 

MONTROSE COUNTY … Some of us have long lamented the actions of the current Montrose County Commissioners on multiple fronts. We’ve certainly questioned the wisdom of their spending large taxpayer sums on quixotic water schemes – like trying to condemn a reservoir near Norwood in San Miguel County and failing to do due diligence. Which meant Montrose County had to withdraw their plans and settle a lawsuit out of court with San Miguel County and affected area ranchers (Zadra and the Skalla Brothers) brought for trying to ramrod their water project through without even contacting the affected parties …Thanks to this and other ham-handed moves, the Montrose County Commissioners have managed to destroy relationships with many local elected officials in the region. Now a new audit report shows just how slipshod their management style is … The only thing I’m sad about is the almost guaranteed attempt the commissioners will make to roll Brian Wilson under the bus, and blame everything on him – instead of coming to terms with their own lack of oversight and poor management skills.

 

CAFÉ XO … San Francisco dreaming … Of all the trendy coffeehouses and coffee mills (big, barn-like structures, where the lines stretch to the door, and sweaty waitrons pour cup after cup of filtered java), my fav San Fran purveyor of the tasty bean was an Italian coffeehouse way out at the end of the Church Street line, on the Planet Drum cusp between Noe Valley and Glen Park. The Orange Mocha Breve was divine. The service friendly and relaxed. The owner even gave us a complimentary cookie when we came back a second time. And one of the busboys overheard us, lost as I usually am, and offered directions with a smile … Café XO, 1799 Church St.& 30th St … Highly recommended.

 

CONGRATS … To Mavis Bennett (former Telluride realtor, Town Councilperson, and KOTO memoirist) – her Monitor Magazine celebrates its 10-year anniversary with its summer issue, due out May 24. As she explained in an email, “I am amazed how the time has flown by and how fortunate I've been to get to interview so many fascinating people. Certainly the money isn't great, but I quit being a realtor in Telluride in 1986, so it mustn't be that important to me!”

 

OHV BYPASS PUSH … The Off-Highway Vehicle community is diverse and includes many groups and voices. Some of them have been good partners, but some have opposed county initiatives … Take Ken Emory’s Western Slope 4-Wheelers group. They’ve helped San Miguel and San Juan counties and supported efforts to get us a grant from the State Parks & Wildlife OHV Fund to help pay for our Alpine Ranger program … And then take COHVCO – the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition Organization. At hearings before the State Parks & Wildlife Commission in Denver recently, COHVCO was the only group testifying against the special rules for alpine county road OHV driving that San Miguel, San Juan, Hinsdale and Ouray have imposed – and arguing those rules (driver’s licenses and insurance) were against state law and disqualified the four counties from state OHV funds … Having been denied state funds three years running now, without any resolution in sight (unless we simply disallow all OHV use on our county roads), attempts by Ken’s group and others to gain groundswell support for a Marshall Basin bypass OHV route through Idarado land in San Miguel County are clearly dead on arrival. When one user-group bites the hand that feeds it, they can hardly expect more goodies … After opening alpine county roads to OHV use (an entirely discretionary decision on the part of the county), only to have members of that community prevent taxpayers from gaining state funds to help us provide an educational ranger program in the high country, I wouldn’t support a Marshall Creek bypass OHV route, even if Idarado was willing to let it happen.

 

THE TALKING GOURD

 

After Rain

 

It is enough to see

the beauty of light

flowing out from inside

a hundred raindrops

caught on thin lines of wire

fence around a planted tree,

each drop evenly spaced

like pearls on a necklace,

silvery-clear as tears.

 

For this exodus of light

one gray day in April

we did not even hope.

 

-Beth Paulson

Ouray

 

 

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