As I write I’m bracing for an early blast of winter with up to eight inches of snow predicted for Winter Park by the time the ink has dried (or freezes) on this newspaper. My mobile dwelling is uninhabitable at temperatures below freezing so I’m hunkering down at a friend’s condo in Fraser. The place is like a ski condo museum … old school. I’m thankful for that roof and truly feel for anyone caught living outdoors in icy conditions like these.
Ready or not here it comes and it looks like Grand County will live up to its reputation as a good place to freeze your buns off. I’m not ready but when there’s no choice you adapt. Just a couple of days ago I was paddling across Williams Fork Reservoir in the sun and the wind and choppy waves while my rescue dog, “Chooch” paced restlessly up and down and in-between on the board … building fortitude one paddle stroke at a time. When we woke before sunrise on the edge of the reservoir the water bowl was frozen solid. I had to chip it out before we hit the road.
I had a real busy September moving out of Redstone and shuffling stuff and trying to get stuff done and stuff like that. But I certainly noticed the stunning scenic splendor that draped Colorado this fall. The fall colors were very fine this year. I had the good fortune to walk to mountaintops, harvest wild raspberries, play a few board games and rest my head next to rushing rivers and a lovely lady.
According to NOAA, “The average temperature for September across the contiguous U.S. was 68.5 degrees F (3.7 degrees above the 20th-century average), which ties with 2015 as the second warmest September on record.”
That’s troubling news but it sure has been nice.
The creativity on tap around here continues to surprise me. From the volunteer announcers on KFFR to the local and regional musicians, the muralists and the stand up paddle boarders, Grand Valley is downright artsy and funky full time.
I’m glad to see the volunteer spirit is alive and well in Fraser as I was able to help build a stage at KFFR using all donated materials and all volunteer labor. Materials were donated by Rocky Mountain Catastrophe (RMC), Denis Moynihan and a secret, unnamed benefactor. The design came from local structural engineer and DJ John Cevaal and construction was led by finish carpenter, local musician and DJ Mike Michaelis with help from John Cevaal, DJ Doug Kennard, DJ Dave Hemphill, Charles Murphy and little old me.
Talented construction workers are maxed out right now days so the fact that these heroes stepped in with mad skills was above and beyond the call of duty. Plus, any time I run a saw and a nail gun without serious injury I feel high. Good to have sober, adult supervision … thanks, Mike!
My psyche has been pitching from raw joy to shoe gazing moods lately so I try to do what any good musician would do … write and record music. It’s been a time of loss and shifting bedrock but I’m hoping to settle into a nice groove again. Music is often the place I go to indulge in the deliciousness of depression. I went as far as to work with PJ Olsson at Eagle Wind Sound Studio in Winter Park. After toiling on most of my recordings in my home studio, recording a session at Eagle Wind is heady and dazzling. It’s a place to explore your emotional and sonic potential. Thanks, PJ!
So the winds of change are puffing. I’m going to let them blow me down the road and head south and east for the month of November. First I have to go say goodbye to my mom at a memorial near some tide pools near Half Moon Bay where she used to volunteer to run tours for kids. I’ve hired a woman bagpipe player to blow mournful music from the Hebrides as we gather to remember mom’s strength and roots. Then it’s the road for me and Chooch. Texas. Looziana. And maybe even Florida to some senior nude beach where I can feel young again.
Steve Skinner wishes you well. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.