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Home Explore Telluride Magazine Winter/Spring 2021-22

Telluride Magazine Winter/Spring 2021-22

Published by deb, 2021-11-24 16:45:11

Description: A Place to Live, Air Powder, Reconciliation & Resilience, Making Tracks, fiction by Anthony Doerr, and essays by Craig Childs and Maple Andrew Taylor


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STEVE CIECIUCH [Chet-chu] Ski Access / Superb Views / Near Gondola 202 Acres / Borders BLM / Sweeping Views 4 Beds / Ideal Location / Palymyra Views Lot 915, Larkspur Ln. Specie Point 267 Country Club Dr. Mountain Village $2,150,000 Specie Mesa $3,080,000 Mountain Village $3,995,000 122 Acres / Lew Hall Creek / Giant Views 3 Beds / 18.45 Acres / Wilson Views 320 Acres / Borders BLM / Live Water Point Ranch Parcels A1,A2,A3 1039 W. Anderson Rd. 2 Creek Ranch Specie Mesa $1,980,000 Wilson Mesa $1,750,000 Specie Mesa $1,380,000 Te l l u r i d e A r e a R e a l E s t a t e . c o m

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16 • WINTER/SPRING 2021–2022 DEPARTMENTS CONTENTS 19  WITHIN Reflections FEATURES 20 EVENTS 42 A PLACE TO LIVE The where and when Telluride contends with its housing crisis this season By D. Dion 24 LOCAL FLAVOR 52 AIR POWDER Just add water Speed riding, the dreamy combination of flight and skiing, arrives in the San Juans 26  MOUNTAIN HEALTH By Rob Story The mirror effect 56 RECONCILIATION AND 28  ASK JOCK Athletic advice from RESILIENCE our mountain guru The dark history of Native American 30 INSIDE ART boarding schools Roped In By Christina Callicott 68 SAN JUAN SCRIBES 60 M AKING TRACKS Books by local and Sustaining a running regimen regional authors in the winter By Sarah Lavender Smith 80 ENVIRONMENT Drying Up 74 H ISTORY: TELLURIDE 81435 A short history of Telluride’s post office 82 INNOVATION By Paul O’Rourke The magnificent moose 88 FICTION: THE MASTER’S CASTLE 84 NATURE NOTES By Anthony Doerr Wildfire catalyzes Illustrations by Stephanie Morgan Rogers forest changes ESSAYS 102 T ELLURIDE TURNS Colorado redistricting, 32 CONGA LINE Ah Haa’s new home, Chaos and the claves girl at the Vegan cooking, Fly Me to the Moon Saloon and BLM returns to DC By Maple Andrew Taylor 110  COLOR BY NUMBERS 36 THE WEIGHT OF SNOW Index of facts and figures Winter on Red Mountain Pass By Craig Childs 112 L AST LOOK Dream Big 38 A HAUNTING Photo by Mike Dawsy The ballad of Lizzie Dailey By Kierstin Bridger 46 ALTERNATIVE LIVING Unique housing situations By Matt Kroll 64 AN ODE TO SNOW Meditating on the magic of winter By Michelle Curry Wright WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

TELLURIDE REALTY, LLC Telluride’s local real estate company since 1970 STACY TICSAY JACK WESSON MARK SIMPSON brings her strong communication skills, integrity, work moved to Telluride in 1989. For 25 years, joined by is passionate about Real Estate. He has presided ethic and love for the Telluride region to every real his wife, Emily, he has managed the family businesses; over more than 100 transactions, bought and sold estate transaction. “I was getting displaced because real estate, architecture, and development. Jack’s many of his own properties, and understands the my landlord had to sell the building where I was renting, priorities lie not only with his work but also more complexity and uniqueness of each deal. He truly so I asked Stacy for help. I’m so glad I did, because importantly with his family, including three daughters. cares about his clients and will work hard to get them she found a way for me to stay in Telluride! She never In his spare time Jack volunteers and enjoys life in the best possible results, without sacrificing honesty pressured me to buy, but she gave me a few different Telluride. Jack has participated in over a decade of or integrity. “Mark was awesome in helping us find options and told me that I’d know when I was ready public service, including positions on town and county our dream home for a great price! He acted quickly to to become a homeowner. She ended up finding me boards, as well as provided pro bono architecture and make sure we got our offer in and helped us through my perfect home, which I didn’t think would happen real estate services for local non-profit organizations. each step of the closing process with calm clarity.” because Telluride is not cheap. I cannot recommend Away from the desk, Mark cherishes time with his Stacy enough—she’s absolutely wonderful and she young family and can be seen flying his paraglider really cares about the working class of Telluride.” thousands of feet above Telluride. MICHAEL SAFTLER SCOTT ELKINS STEVE TILTON has lived in Telluride since 1974. He has developed has over 20 years of experience in Telluride with Real has been buying, building, and selling properties in multiple subdivisions including the Promontories, Lazy Estate, Development, Building, and Renovating. His Telluride since 1985. As an experienced real estate Dog Ranch, and the High Noon Ranches. Michael current projects expand to the surrounding region of broker and professional builder, he can assist clients brings much experience, local knowledge and Ouray, Ridgway and Montrose. Scott specializes in with all aspects of the real estate process as well as enthusiasm to his career as a real estate professional. 1031’s and complex Opportunity Zone funds, as well guide them through the details of home ownership. “I chose Telluride Realty because of its impeccable as, Airbnb/short term income rentals. Scott enjoys To recharge, Steve can be found skiing, hiking, or reputation for integrity and for its long standing “Living the dream” here in Telluride and Southwest mountain biking in the mountains and deserts of the position in the community as the longest continuous Colorado with his family. southwest, or adventuring on his 1200GS….most often real estate brokerage in the town of Telluride since shared with his clients or kids in tow. 1970.” If you would like to conduct your real estate business with a 46 year, and counting, local, Michael is at your service. TELLURIDEREALTY.COM 109 EAST MAIN STREET #2 • TELLURIDE • 970.728.4000

18 • WINTER/SPRING 2021–2022 Magazine Telluride Magazine is produced by Telluride Publishing LLC, Contributors ANTHONY DOERR a locally owned and operated company. Anthony Doerr (“The Master’s Castle,” p. 90) is the author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the PUBLISHER Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times TELLURIDE PUBLISHING LLC bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, ~~~ and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for JENNY PAGE fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Born ~~~ and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr now lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons. EDITOR DEB DION KEES MATT KROLL ~~~ Matt Kroll (“Alternative Living,” p. 46) is a photographer CREATIVE DIRECTOR that has lived in the Telluride area for fifteen years. His KRISTAL FRANKLIN photography includes portraiture, fine art, and landscape. He’s lived in eleven different residences in those years; from ~~~ a tiny studio under a garage, to a house on Columbia that DISTRIBUTION is no longer there, to condos, to houses with roommates, TELLURIDE DELIVERS to a cabin on Wilson Mesa. He has a young daughter and intends to stay in the area for as long as the housing ~~~ situation will allow it. WEB ADMINISTRATOR SUSAN HAYSE ~~~ CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kierstin Bridger, Christina Callicott, Craig Childs, Martinique Davis, Deanna Drew, Anthony Doerr, Jen Parsons, Paul O’Rourke, Emily Shoff, Sarah Lavender Smith, Rob Story, Cece Taylor, Maple Andrew Taylor, Jonathan Thompson, Regan Tuttle, Lance Waring, Lorraine Weissman, Michelle Curry Wright ~~~ CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS & ILLUSTRATORS Mike Boruta, Mike Dawsy, Matt Kroll, Jenny Page, Austin Pedersen, Beth Price, Gary Ratcliff, Stephanie Morgan Rogers ~~~ WWW.TELLURIDEMAGAZINE.COM Telluride Publishing produces the San Juan Skyway Visitor Guide and Telluride Magazine. Current and past issues are available on our website.. © 2021 Telluride Publishing For editorial inquiries call 970.708.0060 or email [email protected] For advertising information call 970.729.0913 or email [email protected] The annual subscription rate is $15.95. Cover and contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. WINTER/SPRING 2021–2022 ROB STORY $4.95 | priceless in Telluride Rob Story (“Air Powder,” p. 52) began writing about A PLACE TO LIVE • AIR POWDER adventure sports and travel as an intern for Outside RECONCILIATION & RESILIENCE • MAKING TRACKS magazine in 1988. He’s the founding editor of Bike magazine and for many years was Senior Editor of Powder. ON THE COVER After moving to Telluride in 1998, he began freelance Reflections of a snowy Mount Wilson landscape. writing for a range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Photo by Gary Ratcliff, illustration by Kristal Franklin. Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Men’s Journal. He has won the Lowell Thomas Award for winter sports journalism and twice won the Northern Lights Award for Canadian Travel Journalism. He’s the author of the books Telluride Storys and Outside Adventure Travel: Mountain Biking. DIGITAL PARTNER WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

Within h Through the mirror of my mind/ Time after time/ I see reflections of you and me/ Reflections of/ The way life used to be —DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES Reflection Sometimes I am startled to glance in the mir- emotionally seek out equine therapy (Mountain Resilience,” p. 56), or to fantasize what it might ror and see this older version of me; I look Health, p. 26) partly because of the “mirror feel like to be one of the pilots who fly at high more like my mother than I do myself. And effect,” the healing that comes from seeing your- speed down a steep, rocky chute (“Air Powder,” I often get déjà vu seeing groups of younger peo- self objectively. The same thing happens with a p. 52). Maybe this is the purpose of story, of fic- ple skiing or hiking or dancing at a festival. They shared experience; the current housing crisis tion like Anthony Doerr’s award-winning piece in resemble my friends from another time and place. (“A Place to Live,” p. 42) is an age-old story that this issue (“The Master’s Castle,” p. 88) where It’s almost as if we’re all just an echo, a variation replays itself not just in this mountain town, he invites us to feel Basil Bebbington’s despair of the same theme. but in every desirable place. Sometimes even at unrequited love, and his desperation to pro- the characters in a story repeat: Paul O’Rourke tect his son from the harshness of the real world. Maple Andrew Taylor touches on this idea writes about the history of the local post office Basil returns his son’s superhero cape after his with his essay (“Conga Line,” p. 32). He imagines (“Telluride 81435,” p. 74) and it is a classic case mother insists he not wear it, because Basil the energy of a night at the Fly Me to the Moon of type casting; our modern postal worker heroes understands that it’s more than just a cape. That Saloon reverberating through history, a crescendo follow in a long line of dedicated and kind profes- the way we see ourselves in others, in real life or so big that is was felt by miners and working girls sionals determined to keep our remote outpost through a costume, or history, or fantasy, is an in this valley in a different era. Kierstin Bridger connected to the rest of the world. important part of our collective identity. (“A Haunting,” p. 38) also writes about a strange connection she feels to a woman she’s never It’s what makes us human, to see ourselves in We hope you enjoy this issue, met; someone who has a story that feels relevant others. To imagine what it was like for the Indig- Deb Dion Kees today—different context, familiar narrative. enous children who were taken from their fam- ilies and sent to boarding “schools” at the turn There’s something comforting about the of the twentieth century, (“Reconciliation and familiarity we feel with others. People struggling WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022 19

20 • EVENT CALENDAR GARY RATCLIFF WINTER • SPRING 2021–2022 Calendar of EventS THESE ARE SOME OF THE SIGNATURE EVENTS THIS WINTER AND SPRING IN TELLURIDE. HOLIDAYS Wintersing Concerts on December 10 & 12; Torchlight Parades on Christmas and New Year’s the Telluride Choral Society holds seasonal Eves are a tradition, with skiers descending Telluride Arts Holiday Bazaar on December 3–5 at concerts at the Christ Presbyterian Church. into Telluride and Mountain Village, carrying the Transfer Warehouse features fine crafts, artisan torches and forming a bright string of lights. jewelry, organic body products, gourmet food, Holiday Prelude on December 11 in Mountain ceramics, clothing, and more. Village is a celebration of the holidays with Holiday Concert Series on December 26–31 at Noel Night on December 8 is a Telluride tradition discount shopping and family activities including the Sheridan Opera House features a Warren Miller with holiday caroling, discounts, and cheer in train rides, sitting with Santa, ice skating, and movie, an evening with Jewel, a Led Zeppelin Telluride’s retail stores. There is also a ceremonial sledding. tribute band, and two nights of Yonder Mountain lighting of the Ski Tree at dusk. String Band. WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

Expanding Horizons Denver Air now flying Phoenix and Denver to Telluride (TEX) Phoenix – Telluride flights are back, and for the first time on a jet! Denver Air also offers daily, year-round service from Denver to Telluride. Enjoy ski country’s easiest air when you fly from PHX and DEN to TEX, just 10 minutes away from Telluride, Mountain Village and the slopes National travelers can connect with United’s global network and fly straight into TEX by booking at For local flights from DEN and PHX to TEX, book at

22 • EVENT CALENDAR WINTER • SPRING 2021–2022 Calendar of EventS FESTIVALS Telluride Town Parks & Recreation is home to LIBRARY the Hanley Pavilion Ice Rink from October 13, Telluride Fire Festival on December 3–5 features 2021–March 9, 2022, the outdoor ice rinks, the Wilkinson Public Library is a hub of activities fire installations, fire juggling, dancing, and other Nordic Center, and the Firecracker Hill for sledding. including programs like story time, cinema clubs, performances at the Palm Theatre, Wilkinson book discussions, fitness classes, workshops, gear Public Library, and the Pandora Mill. rentals, tech and legal clinics, and much, much ARTS more. Telluride Comedy Festival on February 17–20 is the 22nd annual event, welcoming premier Ah Haa School for the Arts hosts its annual winter CINEMA comics on stage at the Sheridan Opera House mixer on December 29; this year’s theme is Cup for improv, skits, standup comedy, and fun. of Love. The school also has a variety of classes, The Nugget Theatre features new movies, exhibits, and programs throughout the season. classic films, film festival picks, and more. Mountainfilm in Telluride on May 26–30 is a film festival that screens documentaries, and hosts symposiums, breakfast talks, and other events Telluride Arts hosts a monthly art walk event on MAGIC about mountain culture, the environment, and our the first Thursday of each month from 5–8 p.m. global community. at local galleries. Telluride Arts also operates the Ty Gallenbeck performs magic shows at the Peaks Transfer Warehouse, a unique outdoor venue for Hotel. Gallenbeck is a premier illusionist who has SPORTS concerts, meetings, and events. been performing his “Mind Blown” shows weekly in Telluride since 2016. Telluride Ski Resort is open from November 25, MUSIC 2021–April 3, 2022. THEATRE Telluride Nordic Association maintains the Sheridan Opera House is a gorgeous, historic trails at Priest Lake and Trout Lake; there are also venue for music concerts and theatre and other Telluride Young People’s Theater holds a trails on the Valley Floor, Mountain Village and staged events. middle school production of Bye, Bye Birdie on Topaten, and along the San Miguel River between Transfer Warehouse hosts music concerts with December 3–5 and a high school production Silverpick Road and Deep Creek. TNA also operates local and touring music acts and other events of Oklahoma! on February 4–6. the Nordic Center and rents Nordic, ice skating, in a refurbished old building without a roof. snowshoes and sledding gear. Telluride Theatre hosts various productions O’Bannon’s at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon throughout the year, including Burlesque shows features music acts and a spring-loaded dance floor on December 15–16 and March 23–26, an Adult in a below-ground setting. Holiday Burlesque/Variety Extravaganza December 17–19, and an original play “EPIC! An Odyssey,” on March 3–6 and March 10–13. WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

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24 • LOCAL FLAVOR JUST ADD WATER Pot brownie mix for homemade edibles The inspiration for Hot Box Brownie Mix, a By Emily Shoff and always had a few boxes on hand. “I thought to cannabis-infused, bake-at-home brownie like this for a while,” Jacobson reflects. “The pan- myself, this is crazy, why has no one ever combined mix, was much like the best recipes: fueled demic seemed like the right time to launch it, as these two things—the ease of a mix with the fun of by good ingredients and a step-by-step for- people were at home, gathering with only a few a baked edible?” mula. Step one was founder Stephanie Jacobson, friends, looking for a way to relax and have fun. who had worked in marketing for more than twen- That’s really what this is about: having something Sure enough, when Jacobson and Nash did ty-four years at IBM and was ready for a change. easy on hand that allows you to have a good time.” their market research, they discovered there was Step two was her love for baking and for occasion- surprisingly little competition. No other company ally letting loose and enjoying cannabis-infused It’s possible to buy pot brownies at a dispen- produced them in Colorado, while nationally, the treats with her friends. sary, but pre-made pot brownies can be dry or only thing close was a “bake in a cup” model in even moldy. And Jacobson and her friends knew California. Step three was joining forces with local busi- firsthand the challenge of making pot brownies nesswoman Toni Nash. Add a splash of the pan- from scratch. “Sometimes they were strong and Jacobson took a leave of absence from IBM demic and voilà, a company is born. “I had been sometimes they weren’t. The problem was you and started trying out different recipes in her talking with my husband about doing something never knew.” As a mom of four, she’d also experi- kitchen, exploring various chocolates and canna- enced the convenience of traditional brownie mix bis-infused oils, balancing taste with effect. When WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

WE’VE MADE IT EASY TO MEASURE reserve your table now YOUR EXACT DOSE SO YOU CAN FEEL COMFORTABLE, EVEN AS A NOVICE. WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022 25 WE TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT… NO MYSTERY BITE HERE. she finally produced one that she liked, she gave out sample kits to friends, who were all too willing to test out the mix and give their feedback. Jacobson and Nash wanted a product that was easy to get right (you only need to add water and a pan is included in the kit) and that would provide a consistent dosage (each batch has 100 mg designed to be cut into ten brownies). “There are many new consumers of cannabis now that the stigma is no longer a factor,” Jacobson explains. “We’ve made it easy to measure your exact dose so you can feel comfortable, even as a novice. We take the guesswork out…no mystery bite here.” After producing strong sales in four local shops, Jacobson and Nash launched the product statewide in June, to places such as Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, Durango, and Denver. “The response has been really positive,” Jacobson says. They already have designs for a s’more kit as well as several other pantry line items, including a gluten-free mix. “We’re looking into how we might expand it nationally.” Nash says that Hot Box Mix has already established a cult following. “Fans of Hot Box Mix buy it in bulk to keep on hand in their pantry so they have hot, fresh brownies, anytime they want to bring the fun, either camping or as a spiced-up dessert at a dinner party.” Jacobson and Nash are delighted by the company’s start so far. “The whole thing has been just what I’ve wanted. Something new and fun,” Jacobson says. After working for decades in the predominantly male cor- porate tech world, Jacobson is excited to be a female entrepre- neur with a female partner. She’s also proud to own a company that consists mostly of women. In addition to Toni, most of the company’s other support, everyone from their graphic designer and manufacturing operations leader to their photographer and baker are female. “Telluride is really making its mark on the cannabis industry, supporting several female-owned companies founded in the heart of these majestic mountains,” Jacobson says. “We are proud and honored to be a part of the cool innova- tion coming out of Telluride.” \\

26 • MOUNTAIN HEALTH THE MIRROR EFFECT Equine therapy for self-discovery By Regan Tuttle Buck Brannaman, a living legend mustangs from Utah and Nevada, equines among today’s cowboys, horse that likely avoided the kill pen and now get trainers, and amateur equestri- to “work” and maintain a life’s purpose. ans, once said, “The horse is a Even if they weren’t euthanized, they’d mirror to your soul.” Up on Iron Springs be standing in holding pens. “Most impor- Mesa outside of Telluride, Erin Cain is tantly, they are safe and free,” says Cain. inviting people to experience that idea. These particular horses, she says, can Cain founded a nonprofit called Grace help those that feel they’re unlovable make Reins, and through it, she welcomes any- a sort of breakthrough related to self-worth. one going through emotional or mental The mustangs can mirror second chances, hardship to come spend time with her purpose, and gratitude. “How can some of horses. No previous equine experience is these mustangs trust and love again after necessary at all—even people who are the roundups? The trauma and abuse?” she fearful of horses are welcome. asks. “But once they are regulated, they can On the eighty-five acres she and her trust again and feel safe. Same with people. husband Joe Crilly have, Cain doesn’t They can come back too.” teach riding lessons: she offers a means to Just the act of putting their hands on an self-discovery through groundwork. animal, brushing it, or being present can get She was certified nineteen years ago a person out of the fight-or-flight response as a PATH Therapeutic Riding Instructor and into the parasympathetic mode of the and Equine Specialist in mental health nervous system. It’s possible to have an emo- and learning. But she’s not a mental tional reset just by being with a horse. health professional. She’s a horsewoman A HORSE’S HEART RATE IS Anyone, she says, can benefit from the who knows that these animals can help HALF THAT OF A HUMAN’S; experience. People have the opportunity heal a person’s spirit. to look at their own patterns, the way they With Crilly—her partner in the program show up, and the energy they bring into and her support for the hard, behind-the- A PERSON’S NERVOUS SYSTEM RELAXES spaces. scenes work—they facilitate connection. NATURALLY AROUND HORSES. For Cain, it’s a privilege to do the They allow for a safe space for people to work of Grace Reins. She sees people have an experience. Often those who come leave the ranch feeling differently, and are surprised by what happens to them in the com- horses, and she’s seen them figure out why it can be they’re invited to take that memory with them and pany of the horses. It’s a matter of being present: important to regulate their energy and calm their reach for it again when needed. listening, maybe giving a horse a pat, having a quiet behavior in certain situations. Though Cain has been doing this type of work moment with the animals, being open. And, the horses respond to various people for years, her nonprofit outside of Telluride is new. A horse’s heart rate is half that of a human’s; a uniquely. Cain hesitates to reveal too much of It’s opening has been a bit delayed with COVID-re- person’s nervous system relaxes naturally around any particular horse’s personality with clients, lated protocols, but more people are learning horses. Cain says those who come to be with their because she sees their equines interact in differ- about what she’s doing. She knows others who herd at Grace Reins can choose to delve into their ent ways depending on the participant. She’s wit- could benefit from Grace Reins will come too. past trauma, if they wish. Or, they can make pos- nessed a more shy horse walk up to someone who She’s also got scholarships in the works—she itive affirmations to or about themselves. They’re truly needed approaching. Horses are nonjudg- doesn’t want to turn people away because of a lack invited to plan, hope, dream, find joy or peace, and mental, she says. “Maybe someone thinks they’re of money. Cain hopes anyone drawn to being with maybe forgiveness. old or invaluable or not good enough…the horse their mustangs for self-discovery will reach out Adults come. Those who are burdened with doesn’t see them in that way, or in any of the ways to her. “Horses allow us that space, the presence anxiety or depression, some newly divorced, others we judge ourselves and others. When someone has to feel safe to get in touch with what we’ve bur- who’ve been abused, and some who are veterans a positive experience with one of the horses, that ied and forgotten, the essence of our worth and with combat exposure and PTSD. Kids come too, can begin to shift their old story and impression of goodness,” she says. “They’re sentient beings, and with behavioral challenges and diagnoses of autism themselves—hence the mirror effect.” when we allow ourselves to be in that gentle space, or emotional trauma. Cain has seen children learn But, really…who is helping who in the Grace and see ourselves through their eyes, we can find to respect space and boundaries by being with the Reins therapeutic model? Cain’s horses are rescued ourselves again.” \\ WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

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28 • ASK JOCK ASK JOCK Frozen Feet Athletic Advice from Dear Jock, Our Local Mountain Guru Q As time goes by, I’ve noticed I’m more sensitive to the cold. I still Relationship Advice love to ski, but no matter how hard I push my toes go numb after a couple runs. I tried following my grandmother’s advice and sprinkled Dear Jock, hot pepper flakes in my socks. My feet weren’t any warmer, but my socks smelled spicy at the end of the day. Is there anything else I can do to get Q I’m determined to improve my skiing this winter so I can keep up more blood flowing to my feet? with my girlfriend. Here’s the problem: I’m from Mississippi; she grew up here. I fell while trying to follow her down Kant-Mak-M last win- —Tingling Toes ter, and in the time it took me to find my goggles…poof. She was gone. Dear Tingling, I hear it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill. So double-check my math—if I skied all day, I’d hit the mastery mark in roughly 1,250 days. A This is my cue to suggest a visit to a local boot fitter to check that your With about 125 days in a season, that means I’d need to ski all day every ski boots aren’t impinging your circulation. If there’s nothing a boot day for about a decade to become an expert. fitter can do, you may have to accept the sad truth that ski boots are plastic refrigerators in which you stuff your feet. The easy solution is a battery-pow- Is my relationship doomed, or is there a way to expedite the process ered boot heating system. of learning to ski? There are two options: The first is an electric insole in your boot blad- —Worried About my Love Life der with the wiring and battery pack retro-fitted to your ski boots. I know Dear Worried, a number of skiers who swear by the in-boot system. The downside is you must be careful not to damage the delicate wiring when removing the blad- A I’m afraid there’s no silver bullet to propel you from rookie to expert der from the boot. skier. There are, however, some strategies to help hasten the trans- formation: The other option is electric socks. Last year, my sweet bride gave me a 1) S top skiing with your girlfriend. It will make you both crazy and drive pair for Christmas. I’ve skied them perhaps a dozen chilly days, and they worked well. An advantage of socks is versatility because, unlike retro-fitted you apart. in-boot heaters, they can be paired with any footwear. 2) Take ski lessons. And find friends who ski well and ask to follow them. 3) Observe good skiers from the chair to build images in your mind for your There are also more holistic ways to improve your body’s response to cold. One is Tummo breathing, which is practiced by some Tibetan monks. body to replicate. Another is the Wim Hof Method espoused by a Dutchman of that name. Acu- 4) Immerse yourself in all the “how to ski” books and ski videos you can find. puncture and other forms of Chinese medicine can also increase your ability 5) Go Nordic skiing. Finding your balance on lightweight cross-country gear to withstand cold. translates to increased stability on alpine gear. Keep your inner fire burning, 6) T reat your body to quality nutrition and rest. Meditate to hone your focus — Jock and practice yoga for additional mobility. The Need for Speed Even if you follow all this advice, it will still take longer than you’d wish to become an expert skier. And there’s a good chance you’ll never be able to Dear Jock, truly keep up with your girlfriend. You may want to discuss this possibility with her to see if it is a deal breaker. Q I was on the valley floor, gliding along on my skate skis, listening Good luck, to a “Planet Money” podcast and feeling pretty good for a mid- dle-aged athlete. Then a gentleman about my age passed me like I was — Jock standing still. He moved like a snow leopard—graceful, smooth, and powerful. I tried to pick up my pace, but he left me hunched over my poles and gasping for air. Next time I see him, I vowed I would keep up. How do I ski faster? —Seeking Speed Dear Seeker, A Don’t feel badly. Telluride is chockablock with ex-Olympians, near-Olympians, and silver-haired badasses. You had a close encoun- ter with one. It happens all the time. Eventually, you’ll get used to it. To be brutally honest, you may never catch up. But if you want to try, you’ll have to ditch the nerdy financial podcast. Crank some head-banging heavy metal in your headphones. You need motivation, not education! You’ll need to ski with intensity four or five times a week making every pole plant and heartbeat count. And every day before you go out, you’ll want to wax your skis to match the conditions. Nordic skiing is a combination of aerobic capacity, proper wax, and tech- nical efficiency. The best tip I ever got was that you have to “ski smooth to ski fast.” To improve your technique, and ski more smoothly, contact the Telluride Nordic Center to arrange a lesson with one of their PSIA-certified instructors. And then there is an alternate path. You could decide to let go of your ego, ski at your own pace, and not worry about anybody else. Striving for excellence is a noble goal, but comparison is the root of all unhappiness. See you on the track, — Jock WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022


30 • INSIDE ART ROPED IN Local athlete finds new artistic outlet By Emily Shoff If someone had told Laura Vallo five years admitting that she’s “done a few too many ago that she would have a list 100-people ‘Starry Nights.’” deep for her rugs made from recycled climbing rope, she never would have Some clients wanted their old ropes to be transformed into their favorite images. believed them. “I have a degree in landscape “I had one woman who’d climbed all these architecture,” she says, amused. “I’m sup- amazing places with five different ropes. posed to be designing outdoor spaces.” She wanted those ropes to be something Like so many of us who live active lives she could still look at every day, to preserve in the mountains, Vallo’s detour into cre- those memories.” ating mountain skylines out of rope began Each piece presents its own challenge. with an accident. “I was the Bike Park’s For a Mount Baker silhouette, Vallo used first official ER visit,” she says, explaining bleached-out white climbing ropes from a how a crash in July 2019 led to three broken guiding company. By twisting them on the ribs and a shattered right hand. “I suddenly canvas, she was able to capture the mar- couldn’t do any of the things I love. Couldn’t bled whites of the glacier. “I was happy bike. Couldn’t climb. Couldn’t ski.” with the way that turned out,” she says. “I Vallo didn’t want to wallow in self-pity, wasn’t sure at first.” so she set about finding things she could When asked about whether they’re consid- do. The hand wasn’t going to be better any ered rugs or wall art, Vallo is indifferent, saying time soon (they had to do three reconstruc- it’s really up to the owner. Some use them as tive surgeries just to get the ligaments back welcome mats while others hang them. in line), but as soon as her ribs healed, she Production is a challenge, says the art- started running, ultimately training for and ist. The rope is made of nylon and releases completing a 50K in Gunnison. toxins into the air when it’s cut. “I’m mak- Yet, there was still something missing ing these inside my apartment, which is not for Vallo. She pined for the creativity and SHE NEEDED A GENTLER FORM ideal for me or my neighbors. I’d like to find rush of adrenaline sports like climbing and a ventilated studio or garage where I can biking. She started painting again. Paint- OF EXPRESSION, SOMETHING make them,” Vallo says. And supplies can be ing had always been a hobby for her, but SHE COULD DO WITH HER LEFT HAND scarce; for the most part, people now come when COVID struck, she decided to take it AS WELL AS HER RIGHT. to her with old ropes and yoga mats. “I went more seriously, setting a goal to complete to the doctor recently, and there was an old twenty-one paintings. rope just waiting for me in the examination However, the fine motor skills of paint- room.” And she has a hard time finding cer- ing proved to be too stressful for a hand that was Vallo had seen art in the past incorporating tain colors. “Red is nearly impossible.” constantly in and out of surgeries. She needed a climbing rope and decided to give it a try. Using her Even though her creative work is relegated to gentler form of expression, something she could rope and some donated rope from a friend as well as her downtime—when she’s not managing guest do with her left hand as well as her right. an old yoga mat, she constructed her first few pieces, services at the resort, and skiing, biking, or climb- About the same time, she started thinking using the mountains surrounding Telluride as inspi- ing—Vallo is still making time for her art. “I’ve about what to do with her old climbing rope. She ration. Then she posted her results on Facebook. always enjoyed sketching and painting mountains, taken a big fall on it prior to her bike accident and The posts went viral and within a few weeks especially when they’re covered in snow. Making the time had come to retire it. Yet, she hated the she had requests from across the country. “Peo- them 3-D presents an added challenge. I love thought of the rope going to a landfill. It had a lot ple wanted everything from their favorite moun- the way the exoskeleton of the mountains slowly of good memories attached to it. tains to Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night.’” She laughs, comes to life with every piece.” \\ WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

32 • ESSAY CONGA LINE Chaos and the claves girl at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon By Maple Andrew Taylor ONE OF THE BARTENDERS WAS STANDING ON THE BAR IN HIS SNEAKERS AND POINTING TO THE DOOR AND YELLING THAT IT WAS TIME TO GO, THAT WE NEEDED TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW. HIS FACE WAS CONTORTED, ANXIOUS, EVEN PANICKED, AS IF THERE WERE GRAVE DANGER INVOLVED, AN EMERGENCY LIKE A FIRE OR IMMINENT STRUCTURAL COLLAPSE. TRYING TO GENERATE SOME MOMENTUM, TRYING TO MAGICALLY SWEEP US OUT THE DOOR LEADING TO A TIGHT STAIRWAY ASCENDING NARROWLY UP AND OUT ONTO THE MAIN STREET OF TELLURIDE, HE GESTURED ANIMATEDLY WITH BOTH HANDS, LOOKING QUITE COMICAL AND WHOLLY INEFFECTIVE. The place was packed. The Latin band, which they had to stare at your lips and teeth and tongue most minor change in condition. It’s called the had about a dozen members, each specializing in to corroborate what it was they thought was com- “butterfly effect,” which comes from the proposi- a specific and particularly esoteric instrument, ing through to their ears. tion that a single butterfly can generate enough had played their last song almost a half hour ago, a wind, under the right circumstances, to change an long encore that bounced the Fly Me to the Moon Even though we had been cut off from drinks entire weather system. Saloon into a syncopated savagery that was surely about halfway into the band’s last, long song, we had close to exceeding the structural design limita- not budged. The bartender’s attempts to squeegee us As the band is rolling up wire and breaking down tions of the dance floor, despite it being designed towards the door with his body language have all the microphones, one of its members—of which there specifically for this type of activity. effect of tossing a match into a roaring campfire. He were many—starts tapping two pieces of polished had jumped up on the bar with the confidence of a wood together, the claves. She strikes slowly at first, When the band quit playing, the ensuing state trooper at a traffic stop, attempting to bend this like someone tapping a spoon on a champagne glass silence created a vacuum whereby sound came entire situation to his will. After all, he was a profes- to get the wedding party’s attention before propos- rushing in from the closest source: us. And the vol- sional and well-trained for this type of situation. But ing a toast, then, almost imperceptibly, begins to ume hit the aural equivalent of terminal velocity all at once he got down off the bar and simply gave tap out a simple rhythm. As the rhythm becomes a within minutes. To communicate with the person up, just quit, not unlike a volunteer security official recognizable groove, a repetitious beat, the volume right next to you, you had to yell and at the same at a college football game where ten thousand crazed of noise from the crowd begins to drop proportion- time carefully enunciate. For that person to hear, students suddenly storm the field from the bleachers. ally. A couple of band members join in with their funky little instruments, the guiro and shaker, a This was chaos. Chaos defined as a state of cabasa, then others of the band return to the stage, confusion lacking order, and further defined, at one by one, maracas and a small trumpet and a this particular time and place, as a milling, sitting, bamboo-looking flute, building on that backbeat of yelling, laughing, seriously buzzed throng of revel- the tapping claves. ers in this low ceilinged, rectangular dungeon of a bar, usually dimmed for the live music, but now Tah-tah, tah-tah, tah, tah exceedingly well lit. (Which is another very strong Ticka tah-tah, tah-tah, tah, tah hint that you are no longer welcome.) Chicka-chicka ts, chicka-chicka ts Bop-bop, do-be-do frap Mathematicians say that a complex system Dut-dut, bop-bop, do-be-do frap that lacks order somehow seeks and finds that Whoops and whistling, initially, then everyone is order. Further, and this seems hugely import- caught up in the beat and we get up from our tables ant at this particular time and place, a complex and begin to clap our hands and dance, and as the chaotic system is extremely sensitive to even the musicians hit their stride there is no more yelling and staring at the lips of the person next to you and no more angst from the paid hostages washing and putting away drinking glasses behind the bar. There’s just the happy dance of us souls given a reprieve, a reprieve that might last a while, a reprieve that, who knows, might last practically forever. WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

THIS WAS CHAOS. CHAOS DEFINED AS A STATE OF CONFUSION LACKING ORDER, AND FURTHER DEFINED, AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME AND PLACE, AS A MILLING, SITTING, YELLING, LAUGHING, SERIOUSLY BUZZED THRONG OF REVELERS IN THIS LOW CEILINGED, RECTANGULAR DUNGEON OF A BAR, USUALLY DIMMED FOR THE LIVE MUSIC, BUT NOW EXCEEDINGLY WELL LIT. Tah-tah, tah-tah, tah, tah warp of time, that explosion of revelry rattled the at a height where you can see things you couldn’t Ticka tah-tah, tah-tah, tah, tah windows of the Popcorn Alley Cribs over on East see before and you wonder, as that height begins to Chicka-chicka ts, chicka-chicka ts Pacific Avenue, waking the working ladies from lose its loft even as it rises, how you got so lucky to Bop-bop, do-be-do frap their well-earned rest and from their sweetest be at that place and time when those lights snapped Dut-dut, bop-bop, do-be-do frap and most impossible dreams, dreams that now on revealing a scene so chaotic, so lacking any sem- The girl with the claves dances down off the only come to them through a dark and hazy veil of blance of order, and then to chinka-chinka ts, chin- stage and out into the crowd and the other band sleep. Waking, too, the miners all the way up the ka-chink ts out that door and up those stairs and members slowly follow, single file, until the stage mountain there at the boardinghouse at Tomboy, out into the night adding another story to a place is cleared, and a conga line begins to form at the dreaming of something better, and yes, dreaming that echoes with them, as that night echoed with hips of the last band member, the trumpet player, of those working ladies, as with each turn of the the tapping of two pieces of wood that summoned and everyone grabs the hips of the person in front drill and each ring of the hammer, their dreams order from its exact opposite. of them and the claves girl weaves her way toward dip further below the far horizon. the front of the bar, and we are now a single organ- Energy spent, we found ourselves dispersed ism winding around the Fly Me to the Moon, an Perhaps this night was an echo from another into a soft and orderly calm. Dispersed, but wait- organism that has evolved to perform two primary conga line from another time. Another story from ing. Waiting for that next butterfly to dip down functions: dance and be happy. another time, a story that breaks like a wave when over a perfectly calm acre of ocean halfway around Then the claves girl takes a risk with this chain the driving pulse of it begins to drag along the the world and leave a catspaw that catches the of dancers she is leading like a fisherman pulling approaching shallows and it rises in a great line and tiniest puff of air, which causes those tracks to hard, but not too hard, to keep her great fish from it steepens in front and for a moment there is that multiply into an almost imperceptible pleating of breaking off. With the finest of touch, she shuffles angle of repose. Then the crest of the wave begins the surface and then the pleating of the very sea through that door and disappears up into the dim to bubble and whiten and just before it crashes itself, a pulse of energy destined to make landfall passage of the stairwell. The line she holds is taut, over itself, tiny rivulets cascade down the sheer, one thousand miles distant, and when it hits, there taut enough for beads of water to fly from it as she inward-curving wall of mirror-like water. And some- are two pieces of polished wood tumbling toward plays her fish. As she plays her claves. time right before this and sometime not too long the shore in the confused, chaotic backwash of In no more than two minutes the Fly Me to after, something so simple and yet so elementally foaming, crushing sea. the Moon is empty, except for the hostages behind profound grabs you and suddenly you find yourself the bar who are now free. Out in the street now Tumbling to the feet of the claves girl. \\ on this night, the conga line snakes its way across the street from sidewalk to sidewalk, picking up patrons from The Roma, The Senate, Floradora, Last Dollar, and the Sheridan, until there is an insanely long and windy chain of souls, lost in that rhythm, lost in that cool mountain air under those stars, and lost in all the possibility that brought us out on this night in the first place. Tah-tah, tah-tah, tah, tah Ticka tah-tah, tah-tah, tah, tah Chicka-chicka ts, chicka-chicka ts Bop-bop, do-be-do frap Dut-dut, bop-bop, do-be-do frap A roar of applause and shouts, like the cheer- ing at the grand finale of a fireworks display, rocked Colorado Avenue way up to the west past the Sheridan when the claves girl jumped up some steps and made one final series of taps, the band taking the cue and finishing clean and sharp. In a WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022 33

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36 • ESSAY MIKE BORUTA THE WEIGHT Snowof Winter on Red Mountain Pass By Craig Childs Choose your poison driving across the San Juan Mountains in the winter. It’s either Lizard Head Pass with long, open runs and snow-banked meadows, or, in a pinch, Norwood Hill and Dallas Divide, which have their share of dangers. Or maybe it’s the ragged, cantanker- ous one in the middle: Red Mountain Pass, best avoided in a storm. As long as no one’s in a hurry, and you’ve got good tires and chains, and a steady hand, nothing beats a half whiteout on Red Mountain Pass. The feeling of calm along with impending catastrophe is transfixing. Coming into the gorge on the Ouray side is like driving through a city of Gothic giants. Cutting fresh tracks on a slick highway with no guardrail and no shoulder, you won’t top five miles an hour. When you come across a stopped semi- truck with lights flashing and barely room to pass, or a crooked array of crashed cars, you’ll wish you’d taken Lizard Head. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), U.S. Route 550 over Red Mountain is the most avalanche-prone highway in the Lower 48. One hundred and sixty slide paths cross the highway in a twenty-mile stretch. That’s the real reason you don’t want to be there in a snowstorm. In the early 90s, I worked in Ouray churning out the venerable Ouray County Plaindealer. On a snow-slammed March night in 1992 we toasted a late-night completion of another newspaper, flats stacked up and ready to drive to Montrose to print in the morning. Three of us in a bar were raising our glasses when we saw the epileptic flashing of a snowplow on Rte. 550 through town, heading toward the pass. I don’t think any of us said anything. It was like watching a small boat sail into a hurricane. Cars were trapped in the snowshed tunnel five and a half miles from town and the plow was driv- ing up to bring them off the pass. The highway had

MIKE BORUTA been closed and we’d have thirty inches of snow- Danny dug out and climbed to the snowshed, got fall by midnight. This was the last run of the night. on the emergency phone, and called for help. Sixty slides hit the highway between Ouray I was in the Bon Ton Restaurant having din- and the pass that night. Cutting through one after ner with my co-reporter, winding down from a day the next, the plow reached the shed and turned of rumors and interviews, when someone raced to lead cars back down. One of its tire chains in and yelled that Danny was alive. He’d called snarled and the plow’s two occupants, CDOT from the snowshed saying he needed cigarettes, workers Eddie Imel and Danny Jaramillo, got that the pack in his pocket had gotten soaked. It out to fix the problem. At that moment, the East seemed like damn near everyone was in the Bon Ton that night. The place erupted, people head- THE NEXT DAY, I WENT UP BOXED INTO A TRUCK WITH ing for the door to get to their Jeeps and shovels. SEARCH AND RESCUE. THE PLOW WAS STILL UNDER The law stopped them at the edge of town. With avalanches going off everywhere, no way was this AND WE COULD HEAR ITS RUMBLE FROM A happening. This was CDOT jurisdiction. QUARTER MILE AWAY, ENGINE RUNNING, EXHAUST MELTED AROUND AN EXPOSED AND CROOKED PIPE. The next day, I went up boxed into a truck THE STORM HAD CLEARED, NOTHING BUT BLUE SKY with Search and Rescue. The plow was still under AND WHITE EARTH, THE TRENCH OF A HIGHWAY, AND and we could hear its rumble from a quarter mile WHAT COULD BE SEEN OF A HALF-TIPPED SNOWPLOW away, engine running, exhaust melted around an exposed and crooked pipe. The storm had cleared, THREE OR FOUR HOURS OF DIGGING AWAY. nothing but blue sky and white earth, the trench of a highway, and what could be seen of a half- Riverside Slide, starting more than three thou- tipped snowplow three or four hours of digging sand feet above the highway, let go and within away. Distant mountains boomed, basins swept by seconds pummeled the snowplow and the two angel wings of fresh avalanches. Search and Res- men. Crushed by the weight and impact, Eddie cue had to wait for the plows to clear the path. No lived only for a short while, enough to communi- one would be allowed to trek with shovels across cate with Danny who was buried with him. After this jumbled mess of slides. Eddie passed, Danny dug eighteen feet to the sur- face using a flashlight as a trowel. A crew from I’d like to tell you that when they got there the Silverton side had rescued people trapped in they found Eddie alive, but they didn’t. They found the shed, but they weren’t able to reach the plow his body trapped in the snow, buried inside an air under a slide that was continuing to run. The next pocket where the two of them had been trying to night, after almost twenty hours under the snow, fix a chain, just like Danny said. The only miracle from that storm was Danny surviving, and that no other cars were buried. Every pass around here has avalanches and signs that read NO STOPPING OR STANDING. You don’t want to hurry through, but on fierce win- ter nights, you don’t want to linger. I often stop at the snowshed on 550, or at the stone plaque nearby with Eddie’s name along with two other plow drivers killed by avalanches on this highway before him. In the winter while driving a storm, I’ll come out of the snowshed and look up. Spin- drift floats down the East Riverside Slide, dusting the windshield. I think of Eddie Imel and of the weight of snow. I hold my breath as the mountains hold theirs. \\ WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022 37

38 • ESSAY A Haunting The ballad of Lizzie Dailey By Kierstin Bridger ISEE HER IN FLASHES, LONG WAVES OF CHESTNUT HAIR TICKLING HER BACK, TALLER THAN MOST, DARK EYES— THOUGH SOMETIMES THEY APPEAR ALMOST GOLDEN WHEN SUNLIGHT THROUGH A LACED WINDOW CATCHES THEM. HER SKIN IS FAIR, HER FINGERS TAPERED; SHE IS AS FECKLESS AS AN ARISTOCRAT. SHE HIDES HER SMILE, WOR- RIED PERHAPS THAT HER TEETH MIGHT GIVE HER AWAY. BRIDGER, KIERSTIN.”NAUGHT,” COLD WAX AND OIL, 20”X30”, 2020 (PHOTO BY DAVE JOHNSON) Held Funeral- ment was in Lone Tree Cemetery. The funeral was The funeral of Lizzie Dailey who died the later held at 2:30 the body being followed to the cemetery by a large number of friends. part of last week from acute peritonitis was held from the Congregational Church Sunday afternoon. —Telluride Daily Journal The funeral sermon was preached by P. E. Anderson. Lee Worley was in charge of the funeral and intern- I have been haunted. and women who worked the min- But what does it mean to be ing town “sporting houses” of the haunted? Does it mean listening Old West around the turn of the to the San Miguel River whisper last century. secrets about a woman who died plying her trade in Telluride’s Lucky for me, as I was to Red Light District more than tell her tale to curious visitors, one hundred years ago? Does it Theresa Koenigsknecht of the mean reassembling a family tree Telluride Historical Museum laden with the dead limbs of her had recently discovered Eliz- relatives, buried long ago? How abeth Dailey’s plot, complete about the repeated scratching of with a nearly illegible head- her name, her aliases, in the cold stone, encrusted as it were with wax medium of oil painting after rusted orange- and olive-colored oil painting? If so, I’m guilty lichen. Theresa was able to piece of all these things and more. I together an outline of Lizzie’s have been amassing a virtual story with the help of old newspa- accounting of the mystery of Liz- per accounts, census records, and zie Dailey’s life since before the a deep and discerning historical pandemic began. knowledge of the practices of the day. She was able to cross refer- It started with an invitation ence articles and death notices to stand at her grave for Remem- from the Telluride Daily Journal brance Day. I was to read histor- which mention Lizzie three sepa- ical poetry from Demimonde, my rate times in the days and weeks book of poems in the voices of girls following her demise. BRIDGER, KIERSTIN. “TELL PACIFIC HELLO FOR ME,” COLD WAX AND OIL, 20”X20”, 2021 WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

July 9, 1915 charge of the body got into com- Died of peritonitis munication with her father J.W. Shingshang at Terre Haute Ind. Lizzie Daily, a woman of this morning and upon advice the red-light district died at her from him funeral will be held home on E. Pacific Ave. yester- here on Sunday afternoon at day afternoon about 5 o’clock the Congregational Church and after suffering for the past two internment will be in the Lone days from acute general peri- Tree Cemetery. tonitis. She went by the name of Louis Dickerson in Telluride —Telluride Daily Journal and nothing much was learned about her. Lee Worley who took It was rare for a member of We do know she was born Eliz- 7:12 PM the demimonde to be laid to rest abeth Shingshang in Paris, Illinois, under anything but an ephemeral and lost her mother when she was The moment your ski vacation started. grave marker—sometimes a stack fourteen. Paris is thirty miles across of rocks or a wooden tombstone the state border from Terre Haute, Find a home away from home marked a final resting place, but a town affectionately known at the on the doorsteps of Colorado’s most coveted slowly they faded or fell away. time as the Sin City of the Midwest. Lizzie was different. She had a I can’t help but wonder if maybe Liz- slopes at Fairmont Heritage Place, headstone. Hers was crude and zie got her start in Terre Haute, as it Franz Klammer Lodge. simple, not carved from granite or was famous for its gambling, bagnios marble but made of cheaper con- (houses of prostitution), drugs, and Located at the base of Telluride Ski Resort, crete. Theresa found a recording free-flowing liquor. Perhaps Lizzie the lodge is perfect for families wanting error which kept Lizzie hidden for was seduced by a promise, a spark, more than a hundred years. Cem- that lured her away from being a a private, residential stay etery records listed the gravesite substitute mother to a house full of with all the amenities of a luxury hotel as Bailey rather than Dailey, so younger siblings. If she was mixed the connection to the newspaper up in the vice of Terre Haute, per- such as a ski valet and our accounts was lost until recently. haps her brief marriage was a way private Himmel Spa. her father tried to get her back on At the time of her passing, Liz- the straight and narrow, a marriage FA I R M O N T. C O M zie was going by the name of Louise doomed before it began. Dickerson, as aliases were custom- WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022 39 ary for most women who worked the By the time Congress passed sporting district. Often the women the 1914 Harrison Act, which stated were fearful of being traced, either cocaine and heroin could be sold by former clients, hustlers, or their only with a prescription, people, not own families, and so a secret iden- just women in Lizzie’s position, were tity was essential to their survival. often already addicted to the previ- ously over-the-counter drugs. “Rem- Imagine you’ve just pulled into edies,” as they were often called, the Telluride Train Depot, a mar- were easily accessible from a corner ried woman, but you don’t want pharmacy; anyone who took them anyone to know. The first step is to could certainly become dependent. take another name. One newspaper article confirmed that her father, Narcotics use in the early part of one J. W. Shingshang, was notified the twentieth century was rampant about her death and paid for Liz- but beginning to become regulated. zie’s body to remain in Telluride The U.S. banned opium in 1905 after marked with a small, somber tablet the 1890 high tax on the substance and not be sent back to her home in failed to help widespread drug Terre Haute, Indiana. He ordered it abuse. Sadly, the full picture of opi- to bear only her married name and ates was not fully understood. Her- the date of her death: July 8, 1915. oin, for example, was introduced to transition many addicts away from Not many things were known opium and morphine. about why Lizzie Dailey, aka Lou- ise Dickerson, came to Colorado While researching the archive, and died so suddenly from a vague and just before drafting narrative “acute peritonitis” diagnosis. Mar- poem sketches portraying parlor riage records show that a mere house life and the opiate reveries of twenty months before her death, drug addled minds, I began painting Lizzie wed Ernest Dailey on Novem- abstracts in cold wax and oil while ber 3, 1913 in Terre Haute. How did meditating on Lizzie’s landscape; this newlywed die so far from home, reference points like the train in the clutches of prostitution no tracks she rode in on, and the news- less? There are so many gaps in her paper accounts of the Richard and story, so many unknowns. Pringle’s minstrel show which came

40 • ESSAY BRIDGER, KIERSTIN. “AKA LIZZIE DAILEY,” COLD WAX AND OIL, 6.5”X12”, 2021 she participated in to survive. She was a human being, capable of love, longing, and suffering. To be haunted to the Sherberg Theatre, now The Sheridan 1910-1920 census, when Telluride was under- is to tell a tale with compassion while not turning a Opera House, in April of 1915. It was my way into going rapid and massive change. Think of it— blind eye to blunt details of her vice and mysterious deep imagination, my way of calling her spirit horse-drawn carriages would go from ubiquity origins. Prostitution in the West is full of women who out of the ether. to rarity, we’d enter and exit the First World were never mentioned by name, who were utterly for- War, we’d experience the 1918 flu pandemic, gotten, women who lived and died in brutal circum- Slowly scenes began to take shape, come hair would bob, hem lines would drastically stances, women who had land stolen and bamboozled to life. I remember staring into the ponderosa lift, and the handsome boxer Jack Dempsey from them, and women whose ratio of melanin or near my home, wondering if the Southern Rio would fade in and out of our spot on the map. “blood quantum” determined their worth. Grande sold ready-made fricasseed chicken sandwiches like the sort I found in a 1905 Sex workers were integral to the min- The wildness contained in her story hooked me, volume of Family Receipts or if she had corn ing economy of the burgeoning West but the but I assure you, she backtalked on a regular basis, bread folded in a linen napkin in her silver women themselves were undervalued and steering me away from herself to include a wider cast, mesh purse for the journey to Telluride. rarely seen for their individuality. They have women and people who preceded her. Sometimes tell- been stereotyped and made into caricatures ing me I’d gotten it wrong; and that, though her death I also listened to songs composed and without much thought to their origin stories was tragic, she was waiting to be ushered into the new recorded for the phonograph in 1909, songs or their childhoods, their marriages, or their era—if only posthumously. Now we know her name. In she may have heard. One particularly stirring loves. Elizabeth Shingshang’s story was heart- writing what has become the Ballad of Lizzie Dailey, I song stayed with me. A cowboy song with an breaking, but in some ways, typical. Once hope I conjured her likeness while staying true to the eerie pitch, a woman singing yip ai adee ay employed in the “oldest profession,” women known facts. In doing so this inevitably means repre- ay…I could see the phonograph turn and soon generally did not live long. Suicide, murder, senting some of the harsh realities we fail to recognize I saw Lizzie with her head on a dirty rug, black overdose, strange maladies, and botched sur- concerning a darker side of the much-mythologized eye swelling, knowing she had to escape her geries were common causes of death. West that will continue to haunt. \\ marriage and lose herself into the Wild West. That felt like a haunting, envisioning scenes While I finished a series of Lizzie paintings BRIDGER, KIERSTIN.”LIZZIE’S KISS,” COLD WAX AND OIL, 8”X8”, 2021 that specific. I soon realized the trees that I began to write. I wrote poems born of obses- BRIDGER, KIERSTIN. “UNDER THE COVERS,” COLD WAX AND OIL, stood tall and redolent in my view were prob- sion, compassion, and the desire to both amplify 20”X30”, 2021 ably saplings when Lizzie walked along the and explore, to reconstruct and to hold space San Miguel. I went to work on her family tree for those like her. I thrilled at the opportunity to soon after, shocked to see how little of her was place Lizzie and Jack at the same place. Who is there. I learned her husband’s height, weight, to say their San Juan Mountain dusks and dawns and eye color from his draft card; I found her didn’t overlap? I figured that at least in poems I childhood address, her husband’s next wife’s could give Lizzie a shot at love. name, but there was no photograph of Lizzie and certainly no mention of her Telluride It’s not hard to sympathize with the plight demise. The secret of her death in Colorado of women of Lizzie’s era. Without the vote, must have gone to the grave with her father. without property rights, with no laws to pro- tect their physical selves in marriage, lack of When I began researching where she agency in politics, in government— especially came from, I was surprised to learn the Clab- for someone without access to money, educa- ber Baking Powder factory was located in tion, or family support—prostitution was a Terre Haute—at first, I thought maybe she kind of protection, a way to earn a living. I don’t was a factory girl, but then I learned about a want to gloss over the pain or their exploitation particularly gruesome and widely publicized but by allowing her to possess me, my capacity and photographed lynching she may have wit- for compassion grew and extended beyond the nessed as a girl; the timing was correct. It was subject of my poems. Who among us doesn’t sickening to think about the normality of such want to be better understood? We are all more a crime. It forced me to ruminate on all the than the facts of our biography. marginalized women and men the newspapers of the day erased by purposeful omission. I was You may have noticed I never call Lizzie a bewitched by a compulsion to not let history prostitute. Perhaps that’s semantic dithering, forget Lizzie; to make her more than the sum but in order to capture Lizzie as fully as pos- of a few clips from a now-defunct newspaper. sible I wanted to think of her more wholly, as a young woman, a daughter, a sister, someone Lizzie’s time in Telluride fell between the capable of love not just by the transactional sex WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022


42 • FEATURE A PLACE TOBy D. Dion LiveTelluride contends with its housing crisis We crammed so many ski bums into our exacerbated them. “Each housing crisis is similar— the tourism industry—without housing opportuni- condo in the winter of 1994 that one of there’s a lack of supply and high demand. In the 90s ties, it also became a challenge to hire new school us—my friend from Sweden—had to we had job growth rates that were high and limited teachers and other types of professional workers. sleep in the back of my truck in our cov- supply. And with gentrification, the free market This market change didn’t just affect renters, it ered parking spot. In the next place I rented, we supply is always going down. What happened with affected people poised to buy homes—families and hung a bed sheet around the recessed area behind COVID is that real estate values rose quickly, which young professionals ready to commit to Telluride the staircase and called it the “alcove room,” and combined with VRBO and AirbBnb seemed to fur- were suddenly priced out of their town. While this it was always occupied, even though it was barely ther reduce the supply of free market housing.” trend is helping bedroom communities like Nor- big enough for a single bed. This wood, Placerville, Ophir, and Rico was circa the era of Bus Village, ZOOMTOWN to flourish, it has been detrimen- an encampment of hearty people tal to Telluride. “We did economic living in vans and buses on private There was a nationwide migration from urban areas research about the importance of property up on Tomboy Road. There to rural areas and mountain towns like Telluride. In having people living here, how it ben- were also a lot of “woodsies” at 2020, real estate sales in San Miguel County were efits the community and employers,” that time, people who set up ban- up 47 percent over 2019, for a record-breaking says Levek. “Commuting dilutes the dit shacks in secret spots on public value of $1.16 billion. People were making a lifestyle community. Community is critical. land, often living there year-round. change; they realized they could work remotely, It’s what attracted me to this place; earn the same income, and live in a beautiful small the diversity. We are losing that, but Housing in Telluride has long community like Telluride with all the benefits of the if we lose it completely we’re in trou- been a precious commodity. Amy outdoors. Zoom meetings in the morning, skiing or ble just like anyplace else.” Levek, co-founder of the Trust for mountain biking in the afternoon. Michelle Haynes is the planning Community Housing, suggests that director for Mountain Village. She part of the problem is physical—a The supply of rental units and modest homes remembers her own journey: rent- narrow box canyon surrounded dwindled, and also became more expensive. This ing a ramshackle room, caretaking, by public and private land on resulted in a labor shortage: restaurants closed, finding a starter house in Norwood, three sides, and on the fourth, the shops and stores were understaffed. Some food ser- renting a nicer place in Telluride, sprawling Valley Floor, which has vice became takeout only, and Clark’s grocery story and finally buying a deed-restricted been preserved from development. resorted to self-checkout lanes. And it wasn’t just home close to town. She compared Other resort communities have JENNY PAGE it to the rungs of a ladder. “What space nearby for people to live: Vail has Edwards, Aspen has Carbondale. Telluride is I’ve observed is some of those ladder rungs are more geographically isolated. “We’re challenged missing. People can’t find a rental or buy a unit. by topography,” says Levek. “All mountain commu- I think it’s important for us to fill in those gaps.” nities, all resort towns are dealing with a shortage of housing; what’s different here is our valley and FINDING SOLUTIONS the lack of available land.” The good news? There is a massive amount of new While housing has always been an issue, the community housing being built, designed, and problem is more acute now. And more visible— planned. Telluride and San Miguel County are there are desperate social media posts every day building the Sunnyside development on the north from newcomers and locals who have been dis- side of the spur, with thirty rental units, which will placed, usually with photos and short résumés be completed early next summer—the region’s first about what makes them an ideal renter or room- net zero affordable housing project. The town is also mate, always with the disclaimer that they already in the design or planning phase for the downtown know the situation is dire, that this is a “long shot.” Voodoo Lounge site, Virginia Placer Phase 2A, and Lance McDonald, the program director for the soon the lot next to Clark’s Market, and the duplex Town of Telluride, says there are various factors down the street from Mendota and the lot next to that affect the rental market—and the pandemic it. And the town’s recently adopted Southwest Area WINTER/SPRING 2021-2022

Plan identified potential sites for 450-600 addi- AUSTIN PEDERSEN tional housing units, intercept parking, and other amenities. Lance McDonald points out that approx- imately 40 percent—40 percent!—of the town’s population already lives in deed-restricted housing. “Since the late 90s, there’s usually a project going on, sometimes two,” he says. “A lot has happened.” Mountain Village contains 50 percent of all the provided housing in the region. The town has more than 530 deed restricted units and also plans to construct Phase IV of the Village Court Apartments, two buildings with forty-two additional units. Before Mountain Village was incorporated as a town in 1995, it was a PUD (planned unit development) and as such, many of its lots were designated as deed restricted in the approval process. While Telluride has a sales tax, property tax, short term rental tax, and development mitigation fees to fund affordable housing construction, Mountain Village has a smaller revenue stream but available land, and continues to construct community housing and incentivize its development—even waiving fees on deed-restricted single family lots. “The opportunity to find this type of housing, the quality of life living in a standalone home, is unique in the region,” says Haynes. Telluride Ski Resort, the region’s largest employer and its economic driver, is redoubling its housing efforts. The company purchased the Rico Hotel, and bought, remediated, and reopened the Mountain View apartments (previously called Tellu- ride Apartments) which had been condemned with mold issues. The resort already operates dormito- ry-style housing at Big Billies and is also planning to build units in Ilium and working with the U.S. For- est Service on a land trade for space to create more housing. The resort’s owner and CEO Chuck Horning says he has looked at assessments of how much work- force housing is needed. “This is a very achievable number. Our top priority right now is housing,” he says. “Our goal is to get the housing built we need for the community.” To boot, there is a development proposal for a swath of land in the Lawson Hill neighborhood west of town that is wending its way through the approval process to create additional deed-re- stricted opportunities. None of this can happen quickly enough for the people who want to move to town to teach skiing and snowboarding this winter, the young artists or bartenders or chefs looking for an affordable room, or the people looking to find a forever home to start a family. But the commu- nity at large is making a concerted effort to make space available. Telluride greenlighted spots in the Town Park parking lot for RVs this winter, and voters capped the number of short-term rentals in hopes that some units would open up for resi- dents. Everyone who loves Telluride wants to make room—even if it’s just behind a bedsheet in the alcove of a stairway, until a permanent spot can be found. Most of the people working together to find solutions already have a home, but just want to build our community. “I think the region is doing pretty good at being forward thinking, but we have not been forward thinking enough,” says Levek. “It’s an extraordinary time. As a community we’ve always been able to rally and come up with solu- tions. I hope we continue to do that.” \\

photos by: Josh Johnson, Trevor Tondro / Thomas Hamel & Associates, Steve Mundinger / Robert Singer & Associates. SIMPLY THE BEST MOUNTAIN VILLAGE HAS TO OFFER. I 237 South Oak Street @ the Telluride Gondola

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46 • PHOTO ESSAY ALTERNATIVE LIVING Photo essay by Matt Kroll Home is where the heart is…and sometimes, there’s not room for much more. Housing in Telluride is hard to come by, so people here get creative: yurts, trailers, converted cargo containers, tree houses, cabins, tiny homes, and bunkhouses. Small spaces, big dreams.



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