Culture

The Middle Distance
6:03 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

The Middle Distance 10.3.14: Goodnight Garden

Credit by Benjamin Vierling, bvierling.com

Goodnight garden.

Goodnight tomato vines, gnarly and black, pulled and piled to rot. Goodnight mutilated squash, shriveled eggplant and peppers and beans. It was great while it lasted.

Goodnight lonely beds, stripped and turned, tossed and raked. Quiet now, isn’t it, after all that nourishing? Just relax and let me feed you. I promise a feast of manure and leaves and compost. Your work is done. For now.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun September 28, 2014

OJO CALIENTE MAKES THE WORLD GO AWAY

The hotel at Ojo Caliente reflects the architectural style of New Mexico
PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

In the arid, cactus-strewn hills of northern New Mexico lies Ojo Caliente, an isolated hot springs resort where the rest of the world fades away.

From Colorado Springs, head south on I-25 to Walsenburg, then take U.S. Highway 160 west to Alamosa. From here, catch Highway 285 south through Antonito into New Mexico. At the “town” of Ojo Caliente, follow the sign (turn right to get to the resort). The sign’s easy to miss, so watch for it!  Allow about five hours for the drive, depending on traffic.

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The Middle Distance
4:43 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

The Middle Distance 9.26.14: Into Late September Shadows

"Myron Stratton Home" -- PPLD Image 013-4804.jpg
Credit Stewarts Commercial Photographers

It’s the day before the September equinox. Black clouds pile up to the north of Denver and a stiff breeze whips the tablecloths on the patio of a streetside sandwich shop. Diners clutch their newspapers and napkins, and their eyes dart across the busy street toward the approaching storm.

High school students on lunch break wander the sidewalks, deep in a dream of themselves.

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The Big Something
1:33 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Creek Week to Raise Awareness of Regional Flood and Drainage Issues

The first annual Creek Week begins tomorrow with Colorado Springs Sustainability Conference. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with Allison Plute, Fountain Creek Watershed Project Manager, and Larry Small, Executive Director of the Fountain Creek  Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District about the weeklong cleanup and its many related events.

Click HERE for a complete list of Creek Week events.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Highway of Legends Yields Fall Colors, Local History

Spanish Peaks
Credit Photo taken from Bing

It's not too late to do a fall color drive in Colorado. In fact, sometimes the late colors can be the best of the season.

Even if the show is pretty much over for the aspens in the mountains, you still may see bright golds, oranges and even tinges of red if you head south to the Cuchara Valley.

Take Interstate 25 south from Pueblo. In Walsenburg, head west on U.S. 160, then south on Colorado Highway 12 toward the towns of La Veta and Cuchara.

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The Middle Distance
4:24 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The Middle Distance 9.20.14: A Grand Market?

When my son died in the summer of 2007, his brother was scheduled to head off to Budapest, Hungary that fall to study math. The idea of him, so far away and on his own in a foreign place so shortly after this family trauma, caused both of his parents enough anxiety that, even though we had been divorced for many years, we decided to make a family visit to Budapest that October.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Dinosaur National Monument: Bones, Art and a Pioneer Woman

A small section of dino bones at the quarry in Dinosaur National Monument.
PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

Dinosaurs left tracks all over Colorado, but nowhere is the fascination with these prehistoric beasts so evident as in the northwestern part of the state, home to Dinosaur National Monument.
    About 90 miles north of Grand Junction, you'll pass through the town of Rangely just after you hook up with Colorado Highway 64 west. If you need gas or a meal, get it here. It might be a while before you get another chance.
   The town of Dinosaur, about another 19 miles away, has a Colorado Welcome Center with lots of information on the monument.

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The Middle Distance
5:44 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

The Middle Distance 9.12.14: How Well You Walk Through Fire

“Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are.” In his posthumous collection, What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire, poet Charles Bukowski encapsulated an all too familiar manifesto for growing old.

What nearly kills us strengthens us. What we lose brings into clear focus what we have. Clichés for living through the middle distance that, like all clichés, have become worn and ubiquitous because they are true.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun September 7, 2014

DENVER’S GREAT OUTDOORS

Bison at Rocky Mt. Arsenal

Not many major cities can boast about having two bison herds, a national wildlife refuge, a dinosaur dig, a world-class outdoor amphitheater, and an expansive botanic gardens – all within the metro area.

Add a river where you can go whitewater rafting amid skyscrapers, more than 850 miles of hiking and biking trails, about 200 urban and nearby mountain parks, and you have a city tailored for those who love to be outdoors.

That city, not surprisingly, would be Denver.

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The Middle Distance
5:44 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

The Middle Distance 9.5.14: My People's Words

The most memorable exchange in the movie Sling Blade is between Karl, a mentally challenged man just released from the state mental hospital, and Frank, a young boy who’s his new friend.

Frank says: “I like the way you talk.”

“I like the way you talk,” says Karl.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Colorado Wine Country Comes of Age

Credit Photo by Rick DuVal

The rising sun casts a golden net over the vineyards of the Grand Valley, on Colorado’s Western Slope. The grapes seem to bask in the early morning glow as it burns off the mist and shares its warmth. If grapes had faces, they’d be smiling.

This is Colorado wine country.

Twenty-five years ago, most people never heard of it. But in recent years, Colorado wines have been holding their own in prestigious competitions, a sign that the industry is maturing.

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The Middle Distance
6:44 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.29.14: Legacy

It’s not unusual out here in the Middle Distance to begin wondering what we will leave behind when we’re gone. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but if middle age has taught me anything it’s that lives can end gracefully and naturally with time for reflection, or they can end suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving black holes in their wake.

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The Middle Distance
6:44 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.29.14: Legacy

It’s not unusual out here in the Middle Distance to begin wondering what we will leave behind when we’re gone. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but if middle age has taught me anything it’s that lives can end gracefully and naturally with time for reflection, or they can end suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving black holes in their wake.

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Colorado tTraveler
6:00 am
Sun August 24, 2014

East Germany: Behind the Berlin Wall

The Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol of peace in Germany, and is lighted at night.
Credit Photo by Rick DuVal

Some anniversaries are truly worth celebrating. When the Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago, we saw rubble remaining from World War II and ugly gray concrete buildings erected by the Communist regime. That was 1989.

A year later, East and West Germany were officially reunified. Today, East Germany has blossomed into an inviting destination of modern hotels, fine restaurants and restored historic attractions.

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The Middle Distance
4:52 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.22.14: The Long, Slow Crawl of Baseball

When we were kids, the long, slow crawl of baseball colored our summer afternoons. Red clay dirt. Freshly drawn baselines of powdered white chalk. Little League Cardinals in red and white; Orioles in orange Pirates in green. Fingers stained by Pixi-Stix from the concession stand.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Pueblo: City of Unexpected Treasures

PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

If you haven’t been to the Colorado State Fair, then you probably also haven’t visited Pueblo much, either.

You should … do both, I mean.

Pueblo may be the most overlooked and underestimated destination in the state.

The fair is the perfect excuse to go to the Steel City. It runs from Aug. 22 to Labor Day, Sept. 1, and includes a carnival, live concerts by famous artists, Western culture, a rodeo and all the trappings. And don’t miss out on the alarmingly unhealthy but tasty fair food!

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The Middle Distance
5:12 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.15.14: How Much Is Enough?

 

This mid-August morning, the cool air already begins to hint at fall. The light is soft and gray. The only sound is the crunch of gravel as I walk down the alley, green bucket in hand, to the garden I tend, about a block away from where I now live.

Until just a month ago, I lived in the tall house that shades the garden. Now I’m a daily visitor there, slipping through the back gate while everyone in the house is still sleeping, a venture that makes me feel secretive, like a kid spying on her parents. 

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Riding the Rails in Colorado

PHOTOS by Rick DuVal

Few sounds evoke Colorado’s history more than the mournful call of a train whistle echoing through a canyon.

It was by train that many settlers and miners came here, and commerce got its foothold on the state. It was by train that schoolteachers, preachers and families traveled to create such communities as Georgetown, Durango, Silverton – even Denver and Colorado Springs.

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The Middle Distance
8:05 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

The Middle Distance, 8.8.14: The Soundtrack of Their Lives

If aging is letting go of adulthood and entering a whole new phase of life, a visit from an adult child can bring that reality into focus. Last week my daughter and her husband visited, and I experienced another in a long series of identity tweaks out here in the middle distance. I hadn’t yet let go of the mothering role I served with my kids for nearly 40 years, organizing their days and meals together, deciding what we would eat and when. As I watched my daughter, her brother and their significant others arrange their days and their meals, I felt part of myself quietly floating away.

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Culture
6:00 am
Sun August 3, 2014

LITTLETON: Still a little town

Credit Photo from communityexpert.com

Once upon a time, there was a little town southwest of Denver that served as the hub for a farming community. Founded by a surveyor-turned-entrepreneur, Richard Little, he named it for himself: Littleton.

The town grew. Denver grew. Eventually their boundaries merged. But Littleton has retained its own unique personality despite its becoming what is commonly thought of as a Denver suburb.

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The Middle Distance
4:00 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.1.14: Unlike Any Other

    

Why is this day unlike any other?  

I get up, as usual, brew one strong cup of coffee, grab a bucket and scissors and walk through the half-lighted dawn, down the alley to the garden where I cut flowers, pick herbs, weed a little and check the progress of the squash and tomatoes. Cool nights and wet days have slowed the development of their fruits. Their leaves and vines reach skyward for the sun they crave.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Colorado’s Best Beaches

Photos Courtesy of Colorado State Parks.

Summer’s end already looms near. How can that be? But it’s true – some kids go back to school in less than a month.

Sooo ….

Have you been to the beach yet?

Even though Colorado is a landlocked state, plenty of Rocky Mountain lakes and reservoirs offer miles of shoreline for swimming, playing or just relaxing by a sparkling body of water.

Right here in Colorado Springs, we have Prospect Lake with a roped-off swim beach and lots of sand for building castles. They even supply the buckets. And if you’re unsure of your swim skills, there’s a lifeguard on duty.

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The Big Something
5:02 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Springs Native and Marketplace Reporter's First Documentary

Colorado Springs native, and Marketplace Education Correspondent Amy Scott is in the process of finishing her first documentary called Oyler

The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with her about the story.

Click HERE to check out Scott's Marketplace multi-media pieces on Oyler.

Watch the trailer below:

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The Middle Distance
2:24 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.25.14: A Happy Tune

Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence in "The King and I"
Credit Wikipedia

Ours was a show tunes kind of house, at the height of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s great musicals. And though we lived in a small Kentucky town where the idea of seeing a musical theater production onstage wasn’t even a distant dream, from the year I was born until I turned 11, films were made of Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music, and on television we saw the musical Cinderella. Between these and soundtrack releases on LP, we learned the melody and lyrics to most every song in every show.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun July 20, 2014

The North Rim – Across the Great Divide

PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

The Grand Canyon has a split personality.

Your experience at one of America’s most iconic sights may well depend on which Grand Canyon you choose.

The popular South Rim bustles with activity, with 45 million visitors a year vying for parking spots, rooms at lodges, tables in restaurants and even a place in line at the gift shop check-out.

There’s a town, Tusayan, just outside the park, with still more lodging and dining options. The South Rim is accessible most of the year.

Then there’s the North Rim.

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The Middle Distance
4:36 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.18.14: Our Houses, Ourselves

 

I’ve moved recently and have survived to tell the tale. Here are a few moving tips that might make your transition from old home to new home a little less difficult. 

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Culture
4:34 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Opera Theatre of The Rockies Tackles a Broadway Classic

Opera Theatre of the Rockies will present three performances of the acclaimed Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I, July 25th-27th at Armstrong Theater. Complete with sets and costumes from the Broadway/Asia tour, a 25-piece orchestra from the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and a cast full of Front Range talent, it is sure to be both a world-class production and an impressive display of regional culture.

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The Big Something
12:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

What Does Hegel Have to Do With The Motorcycle Helmet?

Alex Ilyasova, Organizer of the 4th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference

The 4th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference will take place beginning tomorrow, July 17 through Saturday. Conference organizer and UCCS Professor Alex Ilysova spoke with The Big Something’s Noel Black about the kinds of films and lectures the average motorcycle enthusiast can expect.

Click HERE for more information and to register.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun July 13, 2014

South Park City: The Old West Town That Never Was

Credit Photos Rick DuVal

Step off the boardwalks onto the dusty streets of South Park City, and you step back in time. Is it too much, then, to ask that a pair of gunslingers appear for a shoot-out?

Well, probably.

This isn’t a Western ghost town – though you could fool some folks. It’s a museum in the old mining town of Fairplay.

And it’s nothing like the adult cartoon series on TV. No snarky little kids, crude language or dark humor. Just history that practically comes alive before you.

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The Big Something
4:30 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Hear, Here! heads to Nationals: An Interview with Susan Peiffer and Mallory

Credit Greggory Dikes

Local poetry slam team from Hear, Here! will head to the national slam competition from August 5th. We spoke with curator Susan Peiffer and Mallary McHenry about slam poetry, the Colorado Springs style and their campaign to raise money to get to nationals.

Click HERE to buy a limited edition t-shirt that will contribute Hear, Here!'s travel and expenses.

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