SILVERTON … Several Colorado Park & Wildlife folks met the other day on the other side of the San Juans with a bunch of us commissioners from San Juan, Hinsdale, Ouray and San Miguel Counties … Everyone was very polite, and afterwards all agreed the discussion had been informative and “frank” … We were talking about OHVs (“off-highway vehicles,” defined in Colorado to mean unlicensed dirt bikes as well as 3-wheelers, 4-wheelers and various all-terrain vehicles that are registered but not licensed) … State Parks and Wildlife were two separate departments until Gov. Hickenlooper tapped ex-Forest Servicer Rick Cables to merge and reinvent the two agencies. CP&W is now the entity that registers OHVs in Colorado, collects a fee and then uses the money to fund trails all over the state … Strangely enough, this same agency that oversees OHVs doesn’t allow OHVs on state park lands (you have to love the sausage that state legislatures create) … The four alpine counties wanted to know why the Colorado Parks & Wildlife department refuses to fund our joint Ouray-Telluride Alpine Ranger program (or the Hinsdale-Ouray-Hinsdale Alpine Loop Ranger) … All the agency folks pointed at the Republican Attorney General’s interpretation of the state constitution. Basically, John Suthers believes that 10-year-olds (within visual supervision of a licensed adult driver) ought to be allowed to drive their own motorized sports machines on mountain jeep trails like Imogene and Black Bear, as the letter of the state law states. And no OHV driver should be required to have insurance, in case of an accident … Since our four alpine counties have imposed something different from state law, even if it’s just plain, good old common sense health & welfare, he’s agin’ it … So,the saga continues. For three years running, the state has refused to fund rangers in our four counties out of a state OHV fund pot specific for law enforcement because of our added safety requirements … Are state officials really that stupid? All it’s gonna take is one child’s death to make us all look like fools … Ahrrrrgh, government! Sometimes it makes no sense at all.
TELLURIQUE … Steve Treacy was one of those special Telluride characters you could always find on a Colorado Avenue bench, ready for a story, or a joke, or some wild idea. Like his Telluride Human Potential Institute. I may be the only person to like his idea on Facebook, but I know a lot of people heard about it … He loved to speak of “energy from the earth,” which is what the French word, “tellurique,” meant literally – a word Steve championed. He was, like so many of us, clearly captivated by the charm of this place, with its painted Victorians melding with the raw 14,000-foot mountains … I’m going to miss his energy from the earth. Bless him.
DRUMMING … Leslie Crane is organizing another drum circle with Rosario Carelli, a masterful teacher and a student of Baba Olatunji, who played in Telluride with the Grateful Dead for the Harmonic Convergence back in August of 1987. Check out Rosario’s website, <wearethedrum.com> … The drum date is Tuesday, Aug. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m., although the place is yet to be announced … All ages and experience welcome. Drums available. Contact Leslie for more info at 729-0385
PARTIES … Seems like my friends all had parties last week. But summer’s short in these climes. One has to seize the day … Happy birthdays to Marvin Schmidt+
(70) up on Wilson Mesa and Daniel Collins and Laurie Lundquist’s Katie (15) down there at Deep Creek … I thought the cocktails and finger food at the Fitz subdivision shindig were divine … I loved Harley Brooke-Hitchings’ timber round walkway, rustic bridge and spruce-fir forest at her annual Ophir fete … Hard to believe, but I met Bulgarians at two of the four gatherings I caught this week. A lovely couple, Nano and Vassi, with their son Max, and the sloe-eyed architect Alitza, who had us singing a wild Bulgarian barefoot-maiden song, in harmonies (of course, with multi-talented Sally Davis, Kim Epifano and Mike Stasiuk in town, no wonder – and don’t miss their Mudd Butt extravaganza this coming weekend) … Delightful to catch up with Mick and Cindy “Ida Mae” Obrand, lately of Laguna Beach, back in town for a week. We miss them … Made the wonderful acquaintance of Bob and Darlene Mann of Ridgway, and listened to the most terrifying (and humorous) caught-in-a-crossfire story I’ve ever heard … Remembered the Latin torture I used to inflict on the gracious Ian Fallenius as a Mountain School part-time teacher … Finally, kudos to gold ring donors Stan and Toni Abrams for their support of the Summer Dance series that brought the fast-paced contemporary ballet group Complexions to town.
THE TALKING GOURD
Hey, bro, pass the bowl
from pain’s inspection
& contemplate the divine
No more need
to bleed the system’s
for a future-ecstatic
& celebrate Dr. Anya
– Captain Barefoot