The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
2012 September
living here is Summer. For those of us living in
the Rocky Mountain West, Summer is when all as-
pects of life seem to be firing on all cylinders, with
the exception, I suppose, of you wretched souls
who torture yourselves with "sports" like skiiing,
snowboarding and snowshoeing.
The older I get, the more appreciation I have
for the calm warm summer days and cool clear
nights. Maybe I put too much stock in weather...
wearing my heart upon my barometer, so to
speak. Being a relatively amiable person, I can
find some joyful elements in pretty much any
season. My major dysfunction, though, is that
Positively Karen
place to think, plan, and dream. Occasionally the
I tend to govern my subconscious by what's to
Her name was Bina, Bina Sanderson. I came upon
silence was broken by the cry of a red tail hawk,
come rather than what's going on now. So, here
the graves while hiking near Cochetopa Dome
eagle or some other low flying wing flapper.
I sit in a beautiful time of year (summer) with an
one summer. Her name chiseled in a slab of
It was on the Cochetopa that I saw the bear come
even more beautiful time of year (the perfection
marble was easy to read. Her husband's chiseled
walking out and across the meadow late one sum-
that is autumn) just ahead, yet my subconscious
in natural rock was to weathered to decipher.
mer afternoon. I did not move from the boulder I
is already wrapped up in an afghan complaining
They had been laid to rest side by side in a sage,
was perched on. In fact I hardly dared breathe. My
about how his knees ache in the cold weather.
wild flower strewn field. An elderly cowboy liv-
first thought was "he is bigger than any bear in the
(There was a time in life when I never even knew
ing in a small log ranch house up the road from
Denver Zoo!" Sun beams caught in his cinnamon
my subconscious self HAD knees!) I would like
the site told me what little he knew about the
coat appeared as gem stones glittering with each
to note that this doesn't happen in the dead of
couple. His father had told him the Sandersons
step he took. Crossing the meadow he disappeared
winter. My subconscious isn't enjoying serene
were traveling through in a covered wagon when
into pines long reaching fingers and was gone as
strolls through irises and frolicking on fresh
an early winter snow storm blew in. Deciding
quietly as he'd come.
gentle shoots of grass. It's still wrapped up in that
to wait the winter out, they hastily established a
Cochetopa is a Ute Indian word meaning "Pass of
blasted afghan! So, I'm not a visionary forward-
shelter of sorts, a dug out in a nearby hillside. The
the Buffalo". A gentle pass where animals crossed
thinking sort of person... I'm just self-destructive.
following spring a rancher on horseback looking
the Continental Divide millenniums ago. Paleo
Once in a while, though, when I step outside
for stray cows found them. The time was 1880's.
Man following game crossed approx. 8000 years
(without a jacket) and smell the freshly cut grass,
For several years I would gingerly slip through
ago making them the first human inhabitants of the
I am fully able to enjoy summer. If that doesn't
barb wire, come late spring, to visit the graves and
Cochetopa Gunnison Basin.
work, I'll visit the local farmers' market and enjoy
bring flowers to Bina.
The period immediately preceding the coming of
a freshly harvested tomato. I don't know if you're
The earth up there is mostly populated by bear,
first man was the Ice Age Summer about 16,000
aware of it, but tomatoes, apricots, beans, and
cougar, coyote, elk, deer, badger, and various
years ago. Glaciers melted and receded. Large
squash from our area just taste better. Further,
other animals. To this day very very few people
mammals such as mastodon, mammoth, camel,
in my humble opinion, there's nowhere else on
reside or walk that country. It is a place of solitude
giant sloths, cheetah, bison and horses roamed the
Planet Earth that grows cantaloupes as delicious
I frequented when desiring to be alone. It was a
Cochetopa Gunnison country then but. . . that is a
as Rocky Ford, Colorado, peaches as perfect as
road leading to the past to be ex-
Palisade, Colorado, watermelons as wonderful
plored at another time.
as Green River, Utah and sweet corn as fantastic
Morning mist rises, winds of
as Olathe, Colorado. Just for the sake of proving
change blowing
regional superiority, throw in the Hatch, New
two leggeds walking across
Mexico chiles, Dove Creek, Colorado pinto beans
Buffalo Pass
and San Luis Valley potatoes.
Little bird in berry bush
This isn't meant to sound as seedy and pervy as
commences singing
it might come across, but another reason I enjoy
Earth trembles.
summer is because you get to see... uh... more of
people than you would otherwise. I enjoy wear-
(Karen Schafer lives and writes in
ing shorts, not only because they allow me to feel
cooler and more free, but because, quite honestly,
Kelly's World
I have freakishly muscular legs for a 38-year-old
nerdy white guy. Other people have other physi-
cal gifts and in the summer, we can, more liber-
Living at 6200 feet in elevation in
ally, "accentuate the positive". Plus, when I'm in a
Colorado has its pleasant times.
group of people wearing shorts and t-shirts, I just
Knowing that we're just taller
feel less stressed out and more at ease than when
than most places elsewhere in the
I'm with people stuffed into shirts, ties and pro-
United States is one of them. It's
fessional dress pant-suits (no disrespect intended
rather like being six-feet-one-inch
to the Secretary of State).
tall... nothing special, but taller
I think we, the people, need to give up on New
than most people, and in certain
Year's resolutions and, instead, take up summer
contexts, I feel like an absolute gi-
resolutions. I think they'd be more successful and
ant. Another pleasant element to
their overall tone would be (continued pg 6 >>)