Spring in the Colorado Mountains

By Maryann Gaug

Spring frees the creek to once again jump, gurgle and sing as it wends its way along the trail. © Maryann Gaug

Early April and I am already seeing changes along my favorite hiking trail near my house. No, the wildflowers are not yet blooming. At 9,000 feet elevation they’re still snuggled under at least a foot of snow, gathering nutrients to burst forth in another month or two. In this country May showers bring June flowers. April embodies a battle between Winter and Spring.

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Sherry Zurey Dies

Sherry Zurey with husband Frank and granddaughter Emily Harrington
Sherry Zurey with husband Frank and granddaughter Emily – all award winners in 2011 RMOWP Photo Contest

Longtime RMOWP member Sherry Zurey, 78, of Golden, Colorado, died January 6th. We all remember Sherry’s lovely smile, cheerful willingness to pitch in whenever and wherever needed, and of course the scrumptious cookies she brought to conferences. She also served on the RMOWP board of directors and won several awards for her photography. She’ll be missed, but with happy memories.

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National Park Service – 2021 Free Admission Days

Want to visit a national park, monument, or other National Park Service property this year and don’t have a pass? Choose the right day and admission is free. 

Continuing a long-established tradition, the park service begins the year with free admission to all National Park Service properties on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18. Then, there will be free admission on Saturday, April 17, the first day of National Park Week. 

August gets two admission-free days this year, on August 4 for the one-year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act; and on Wednesday, August 25, for the National Park Service’s 105th birthday.

There is also free admission on Saturday, September 25, for National Public Lands Day, and Thursday, November 11, Veterans Day.

There are 422 National Park Service properties nationwide, with at least one site in each state, and entrance fees ranging from free to $35 for the more popular parks. Park service officials said they hope that the fee-free days will encourage everyone to spend time in the parks.

The Great Chile War

Hatch, NM logo. chile.
This says it all! (Logo for Hatch, NM)

New Mexico and Colorado usually get along just fine. In fact, the two states share ownership of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, which runs between Chama, New Mexico, and Antonito, Colorado, and which many of the attendees of the Alamosa conference enjoyed riding.

However, a rivalry has developed over who has the best chile (or chili).

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Laines Thrown out of New Mexico State Park!

By Don Laine

Tired of northern New Mexico’s cold and windy spring weather, on March 11 Barb and I, and our wonder-dog Zoe, headed south in Thor, our 24-foot motor home. Since our plan was to spend at least three or four weeks in New Mexico’s southern (and warmer) state parks, our first stop was at state park headquarters in Santa Fe to buy an annual camping pass. With pass in hand, we headed down to Brantley Lake State Park, just north of Carlsbad. 

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Autumn Splendor

Text & photos by Maryann Gaug ©2020

Dallas Divide, Colorado, fall color
Autumn Splendor at Dallas Divide © Maryann Gaug

After a summer of hanging close to home, Rover, my camper van, begged me to take it camping somewhere, anywhere. Perhaps my restless spirit grew more restless as the aspen on the hills near my house started to change. With kids back in school, the campgrounds wouldn’t be quite as full and insane as during the Covid-19 summer. Time to look for gold in them thar’ hills!

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The Round Barns of Indiana

Text & photos by John T. Hanou

“Generally speaking, our farms are utterly devoid of anything like artistic features. There being no indication of original thought or beauty, much less actual practical utility.”
Benton Steele: Father of “the ideal circular barn”

Menno S. Yoder's 1908 Brown Swiss Dairy Twelve-Sided Barn, Shipshewana, IN. John T. Hanou
Menno S. Yoder’s 1908 Brown Swiss Dairy Twelve-Sided Barn, Shipshewana, Indiana. © John T. Hanou, 2018

New Year’s Day, 1985, was a typical winter day in Indiana—cold, wet, and overcast—but the roads were clear. Days like this are wonderful because of the solitude, and in my opinion, these days are the best times to take photographs. On this particular day, a photo excursion took me to Jackson County in southern Indiana. Heading over a small rise on a country road a beautiful white round barn came into view. I stopped, photographed it, and proceeded down the road.

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