Authors Posts by Grand Gazette

Grand Gazette


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photo by Tara Walker
Alyssa Fawkes thanks the Board of County Commissioners for her internship at Tuesday’s meeting. photo by Tara Walker

by Tara Walker

photo by Tara Walker Alyssa Fawkes thanks the Board of County Commissioners for her internship at Tuesday’s meeting.
photo by Tara Walker
Alyssa Fawkes thanks the Board of County Commissioners for her internship
at Tuesday’s meeting.

The 2017 Grand County summer internship program has concluded. Six interns gave their final presentations before the Board of County Commissioners on August 15th. All students were thankful for the experience as they spoke about the practical hands on opportunities they had while interning in Grand County. Parents, coworkers and county commissioners applauded the students as they presented pictures, recounted memories and spoke of future goals.

Alyssa Fawkes was an intern with the Coroner’s Office this summer. Brenda Bock from Grand County Coroner, was appreciative of all the work that Alyssa did, “We are death investigators. She has great curiosity and has done very well. We feel honored to have had her.” Alyssa was excited with all she learned, although she promised she wouldn’t go into gory details during her presentation.

West Grand Graduate Gabby Willson was an intern with the CSU Extension Office this summer. Willson expressed her appreciation during her presentation, “I wanted to be involved in something new and exciting, and something that I knew would push me every day. This internship has equipped me with new skills that I can now take with me and apply to different programs at my college.” She had previously participated in 4h, so this was a great extension of her previous interests.

MPHS sophomore Avery Mutch interned with Animal Care and Control. “I’ve been volunteering at the animal shelter since I was about 10 so I was excited at the opportunity to intern. This experience taught me responsibility, and working with animals helps you take care of another life.” She beamed as she explained how she helped socialize animals and how good she felt when her charges were adopted.

Gina Manguso and Caitlin Davis were interns for Grand County EMS. Both interns explained in their presentations that they worked hard painting and organizing while learning more about EMS. Gina is currently a student with West Grand High, “It has helped me learn that you need to work with a team even when you don’t always agree with other people. This is my first job and having this experience will help me with my future. It was a great experience.”

Caitlin Davis will be a Junior at MPHS, “Grand County EMS is a great place to start learning with my future career. This is a great first step with a lot of fun learning experiences. I learned how to grow up and work in an adult environment. I want to go into the medical field and eventually be a physician’s assistant.”

Nelson Oxley gave the final presentation with Information Technology, “I chose the Grand County Summer Internship Program to help pay for my ski racing and learn more about the information technology field. I believe it will help me in the future to help support people with computer systems.” He was able to have a lot of hands on technical experience at offices and at the fair.

County Manager Lee Staab expressed that the internship program was a worthwhile venture for Grand County, “This is an investment in our future. We need to give young people the opportunity to learn about public service. This two-month experience will hopefully spark their interest in serving.

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Saturday, August 12 was busy for emergency responders in the Kremmling area. On Highway 9, a Chevrolet Equinox collided with a Silverado hauling a trailer. Then during the same time frame, there was a reported accident on the Trough Road while EMS were attending to a cowboy who was hurt in the arena at the Kremmling Fairgrounds.

State Trooper reports

Highway 9 accident – August 12

On Saturday, August 12, at approximately 4:11 p.m. the Colorado State Patrol responded to a two-vehicle crash on HWY 9 which resulted in death to one occupant and injuries to several others.

A 2015 Chevrolet Equinox was traveling northbound on Highway 9 near mile point 128. A 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 pulling a trailer was also traveling northbound, behind the Equinox. The Equinox slowed and drove on to the northbound shoulder. The Silverado drove into the southbound lane to give the Equinox ample space. The Equinox proceeded to make a U-turn into the southbound lanes. The front of the Silverado collided with the driver’s side of the Equinox.

The driver of the Equinox, Brandon Wilson, a 30 year old male of Denver was taken to Middle Park Medical Center with minor injuries. Upon release from the hospital Wilson was transported to the Grand County Jail and booked in on the following charges: DUI, Unsafe U-Turn at Intersection, Vehicular Homicide, 2 Counts of Vehicular Assault.

The Equinox was occupied by four passengers. Brian Ward, a 33 year old male of Denver died in the crash. Christopher Palamar, a 34 year old male of Denver was transported to Middle Park Medical Center with serious injuries. Jacob Meilach, a 35 year old male of Denver was transported to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center by air with serious injuries. Andrew Cline, a 31 year old male of Avon was transported to Middle Park Medical Center with moderate injuries.

The driver of the Silverado, Wyatt Vick, a 21 year old male of Hugo was transported to Middle Park Medical Center with minor injuries. His passengers, Garret Arnold, 21 year old male of Strasburg and Samantha Winterberg, a 19 year old female of Limon were transported to Middle Park Medical Center with minor injuries.

Rabbit Ears Pass – August 15

On Tuesday August 15, 2017, at approximately 2:12 PM, Troopers were dispatched to a single vehicle crash on Colorado Highway 40 near milepost 159 in Grand County, Colorado. This location is approximately 24 miles west of Kremmling, Colorado.

A silver 2002 Chevrolet K2500 Pickup driven by Jason Christensen 36 of White Rocks, UT, was traveling eastbound on Colorado Highway 40 near milepost 159. Christensen drove off the left side of the road at a high rate of speed for an unknown reason.

The Colorado Department of Transportation had paving equipment parked on the wide paved shoulder. CDOT asphalt paving roller was parked on the far edge of the pull out. The silver 2002 Chevrolet collided head on with the parked paving roller. The driver and only occupant Jason Christensen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Assisting Agencies: Grand County SO, Kremmling Fire, Grand County EMS, CDOT, and Grand County Coroner.

Tabernash – August 16

On Wednesday August 16, 2017, at approximately 01:15 AM, Troopers were dispatched to a single vehicle rollover crash on Colorado Highway 40 near milepost 219 in Grand County, Colorado. This location is approximately 7 miles east of Granby, Colorado.

A blue 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Levii Norwood 27 of Wheat Ridge, CO, was traveling eastbound on Colorado Highway 40 near milepost 219. Norwood lost control skidded off the left side of the road and rolled multiple times. The Tahoe came to final rest on its driver side. Norwood was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected during the crash. The driver and only occupant Levii Norwood was pronounced dead at the scene. Assisting Agencies: Grand County SO, East Grand Fire, Grand County EMS, CDOT, and Grand County Coroner. —————————

The crashes are currently under investigation by the Colorado State Patrol.

The Colorado State Patrol would like to remind drivers to always wear seatbelts, and don’t drink and drive

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Chalice Dozier captured this unique photo of the partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014. Monday’s solar eclipse will not be a total eclipse, but will peak at 11:44 a.m. The moon will start moving across the sun around 10:30 a.m.

Information provided by Mike Wilson

There will be a total solar eclipse this Monday, August 21. The maximum will be at 11:44 a.m., but the fun will begin earlier. Those lucky enough to be outside should start looking as early as 10:30 AM. which will be when one can seee the first kiss of the moon starting to move across the sun. With 92% of the sun covered, this will be darkness at noon.

A reminder, humans do not have pain sensors at the back of their eye and should never look directly at the sun. At school, students will use ISO certified eclipse glasses. Even with the ISO certified eclipse glasses, they should avoid looking at length toward the sun until around 50% of the sun is covered.

Other things to notice during max darkness, Venus should be visible as a bright star on the right. Jupiter will just be rising in th east. A group of sunspots are just coming around the Sun’s equator. Each one of those is 3-5 times the size of the Earth. They should be visible using eclipse glasses.

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Trucks preparing to back over the $100 stake at the recent derby at the Garfield County fair. Locals Bud Carpenter was #193 and Chuck Martinson was #44. They were first and second. Both Carpenter and Martinson are expected to participate in Kremmling’s Demolition Derby this weekend.
Trucks preparing to back over the $100 stake at the recent derby at the Garfield County fair. Locals Bud Carpenter was #193 and Chuck Martinson was #44. They were first and second. Both Carpenter and Martinson are expected to participate in Kremmling’s Demolition Derby this weekend. photo by Holly Martinson

The popular Get-Smashed Demolition Derby this Saturday, August 20 at 7 p.m. at the Middle Park Fairgrounds in Kremmling. Gate fees are $15 or $25 for a pit pass, those under 3 get in free.

The theme car contest will start at 7 p.m., but people are highly encouraged to come earlier. Seating is limited, so arriving early will help you get seating for a better view of the action.

This year the National Anthem will be sung by 10-year-old, Grady Pickering the son of Eric and Leissa Pickering. Hunker Down will also be providing music, starting at 6 p.m.

There are several food vendors on site, and the Kremmling’s Chamber beer garden will once again encompass all the main grandstands (no alcohol will be permitted in the pit or outside of the grandstand area). The Chamber director will have a wide variety of beverages at the trailer – Budweiser, Bud Lite, Shock Top, wine and vodka lemonade.

The added prize money is again set at $25,000 and top drivers from throughout the region, the state and out-of-state will provide four classes of smash ‘em up action.

Event promoters Will and Becca Jones will again ensure that the event will be well run with plenty of action, and the Kremmling Preschool will be hosting the popular Bouncy Ball Bonanza in which participants can purchase chances to win half of the money raised through ticket sales.

The evening will be capped with a spectacular fireworks display provided by Fire Up the Sky.

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Butch Mahana Obituary
Butch Mahana Obituary

Beryl “Butch” Donney Mahana, age 77, went to hunt and fish in more bountiful fields and streams August 7, 2017. He was born Feb. 11, 1940, in Arapahoe county in Denver, Colorado, to Donald and Dorothy Mahana. Butch was the second of three children.

On June 20, 1959, he married the love of his life, Ollie Donetha Elkins. They had three children, Jeannine Jones, Shannon “Rusty” Cordova, and Kimberly “Porky” Mahana.

Butch drove trucks for 27 years with United Packing in Denver, Colorado. After the plant closed, he went into business for himself, driving long hauls across the country. Sometimes his daughters would get to go on the hauls, where they learned valuable lessons on packing a month’s worth of clothes for a “weekend trip.”
Eventually, Butch and his family moved to Kremmling, Colorado where he opened a gas station and auto mechanic shop.

Butch retired from running the auto mechanic shop after suffering a heart attack in 2000. But that did not stop him from tinkering in his shed to make new and inspired items, such as the centerpieces for his granddaughter Sheridan’s wedding or steel knives with elk-antler handles.
Always an avid fan of the outdoors, Butch and his family spent their free time hunting, fishing and camping. The passion he had for the open sky of Colorado was passed on to all of his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren.

On several occasions, Butch journeyed to the frozen north to try his hand at hunting caribou and fishing for salmon. At one point he and his granddaughter, Mercella, traveled to Alaska during a three-month vacation. There Butch and Mercella spent time with his grandson Shane Jones and his wife, Leesa.

A few years later, Butch went for one last trip to Alaska to see Shane and Leesa, accompanied this time by his family, Jeannine, Duane, Shannon, and two of his great-grandchildren, Bruce and Cirenda Cordova.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his older sister Sue Erickson, his wife of 40 years Ollie Donetha Mahana, and his daughter Kimberly Mahana.

Butch is survived by his sister Rita (Robert) Kirby, and daughters Jeannine (Duane) Jones, Shannon (Jose) Cordova; grandchildren Henry (Amy) Cordova, Shane (Leesa) Jones, Sheridan (Brad) Myer, Bud (Lucas) Cordova, and Mercella Cordova; and three great-grandchildren, Bruce and Cirenda Cordova and Penny Myer.
Services will take place August 17, 2017 at the Kremmling Community Church in Kremmling, Colorado at 11:00 a.m.

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by Tara Walker

U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. Joel Scott of the 994 Engineer Company gave a presentation at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on August 1 to explain the unique partnership between the 994 Engineer company and YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch in Grand County.

The Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program gives soldiers an opportunity to assist nonprofit organizations with building projects. Soldiers started rotations in Grand County on June 11 and the last rotation ends this week. Over 140 soldiers worked on multiple YMCA building projects in 2 week rotations with 30 to 35 soldiers working at a time.

Scott explained, “Innovative Readiness Training allows reserve units to do construction work in the community while getting excellent training. The community gets free labor and soldiers get the opportunity to reach out to the community and give a positive presence. Start to finish, it’s Army engineers working for the YMCA.”

The Board of County Commissioners is happy with this partnership for Grand County. While RTI is currently working with YMCA in Grand County, other nonprofit organizations can apply for future partnership opportunities. Grand County Manager Lee Staab supports IRT as well, “I participated in the program many years ago, when I was on active duty. This is a great opportunity for the soldiers to interface with the public in Grand county and show them that the Army conducts other business that benefits the citizens of the USA”.

The next time you visit YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch, you will see quality projects that were completed by dedicated, knowledgeable and hardworking soldiers. The 994 Engineer Company completed work on a staff bathhouse renovation, built both a small and large shade structure, as well as a small and large storage shed.

The soldiers leave behind a legacy for future families to enjoy at Snow Mountain Ranch and have gained valuable training and memories. Lt. Scott smiled as he explained what he enjoyed most about the experience, “The environment was the best part of this experience. I am not a Colorado native and being in the mountains is wonderful. It’s a great opportunity for our soldiers that don’t get a chance to be in the mountains. The community has been great to us, shown great support and thanked us.”

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New to this year’s fair line-up is Corgi racing on Saturday, August 12. The Corgi racing will be during the horse races at 1 pm. For more information, call Shea Meeks 970-531-6876. (Above) Kain Palmer shows the speed needed in Saturday’s races.
New to this year’s fair line-up is Corgi racing on Saturday, August 12. The Corgi racing will be during the horse races at 1 pm. For more information, call Shea Meeks 970-531-6876. (Above) Kain Palmer shows the speed needed in Saturday’s races.

The 101st annual Middle Park Fair and Rodeo is well underway and picking up pace as it heads into the weekend.

Thursday marks the end of the hard work for many of the 4-Hers as they head into the showring with their livestock projects. The 4-H swine show begins at 8 a.m. followed by the 4-H Sheep Show and Goat Show at 11 a.m. and the 4-H Beef Show at 3 p.m. The livestock judges will begin each of the shows by judging the showmanship skills of each of the 4-Hers as they handle their animals in the showring. Later the judges will judge each animal and choose the champions.

Later on Thursday night, the popular junior rodeo returns this year for rodeo competitors younger than 18 years old. The evening is free for spectators and will feature the young cowgirls and cowboys running their horses through barrel and pole patterns, roping, goat tying, mutton bustin’ and riding bulls.

Thursday is the opening of the Exhibit Hall where there is something for everyone from quilting, photographs, art work, cakes, canning, gardening and more. Be sure to take time to visit.

On Friday, gate admission begins between noon and 5 p.m. Gate admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. The day begins with Ranch Horse Versatility at 9 am in the morning in the big arena. Spectators can enjoy watching the ageold tools of cowboys as they use their horses to cut and sort cattle from the herd, rope and demonstrate their horses agility and control. At 10 a.m. the top 4-H showman from swine, sheep, goats, beef and horse, meet in the beef showring with their animals. Each showman then has the opportunity to compete for the overall showman as they rotate through each species.

At 11:30 a.m., the popular youth show for those under the age of 8 begins. They bring their favorite pets that range from – ferrets, ponies, chickens, bottle calves, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and walk them in front of the grandstands. The Middle Park Fair and Rodeo royalty is usually on hand to assist with interviews! Then at noon the 4-H llama and alpaca show begins. The llamas and alpacas are shown on halter, dressed in costumes and asked to complete obstacle courses.

At 5 p.m. potential 4-H sale buyers and past buyers are invited to a steak pre-sale dinner with live music and all the fixens. At 7 p.m. the 4-H sale begins and culminates the year for the 4-Hers as their livestock projects are sold in a live auction.

At 9 p.m. the community dance, begins in the dance hal with Jesse Cornett and Tail Gate Rockstar Band, a country and western band.

Saturday morning begins with the kids games at 9-11 a.m.. The kids games are all free with admission and features carnival games from Boomblasters, dunk tanks, egg toss and more.

The day continues its momentum at 10 a.m. with the Commissioner Cookie Jar Contest and the Mayor’s Pie Contest. Contestants can enter their favorite recipes for the commissioners from Grand and Summit and the mayors from Grand County to judge The annual horseshoe tournament continues as does the 4-wheeler ranch rumpus which was introduced last year. Contestants bring their ATVs and show their horsemanship skills “on the back” of four wheels. Contestants will complete patterns and rope as they compete for the fastest time.

At 11 a.m. the archery tournament hosted by Archery Underground is set for the dance hall. New this year is the Rosie O’Hotto Salsa Showdown. Participants will enter their salsa and fair-goers will sample their fares to vote and determine the overall salsa.

At 11:30 a.m. children bring their favorite small pets dressed in an array of costumes. Cash prizes are awarded. At noon, the community is invited to attend a ceremony for Pioneers of the Year and Citizens of the Year.

This year, the 100th Centennial planning committee for fair is being honored as Citizens of the Year. The Committee members were – Sheilah Jones, Lurline Underbrink Currran, Mike Ritschard, Karla Hassler, Tara Sharpe, Pat Pryor, Peg Toft and Kim Cameron. Also being honored are Pioneers brothers Jim and Bob Chase and Lorene Linke. Those in memoriam being honored are John Murphy, Georgeann Pineda, Ken Wheatley and Tiny Gallagher.

Following the luncheon at 1 p.m. are the popular horse race matches and, a sure to be new favorite, corgi races. The races will be on the track in front of the grand stands.

At 3 pm, the entertainment continues with the mini-broncs and the wild pony races. In the mini-broncs, kids ride bucking ponies and then teams of three will compete against each other to see who can saddle and ride their wild pony first. At 5 pm, the Ranch Rodeo will begin. Teams of cowboys and cowgirls will once again demonstrate their skills as they rope, treat and trailer cattle in a timed event. On Sunday, the day begins with Cowboy Church Services at 9 a.m. At 10 a.m., the Walk Your Wool event begins with participants leading their wool animal in an outfit made from wool. Also at 10 a.m. is the Antique Tractor Races.

At 11 a.m., the famous charcoaled top round roasts with secret seasonings BBQ begins. It is $10 a plate with a drink and all the fixens. Additional meat can also be purchased for $7 a pound.

Also at 11 a.m., the big boys enter the arena. Work horse teams pulling a sled compete in a feed team race. The day finishes with the Colorado Professional Rodeo Association sanctioned rodeo at 1 p.m. The rodeo also offers a chance for the little ones to mutton bust. During the rodeo, the new Middle Park Fair and Rodeo royalty will be crowned. MPFR queen contestants are Briana Baker and Grace Johnson and princess contestants are Shiloh French and Hope Johnson.

For more information, visit www. and for fair photos visit Grand Gazette on Facebook.

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Wow, a lot can happen in one short week! I returned from vacation to find several BIG things had transpired while I was gone.

Let’s start with the exciting news, the newest restaurant in town, The Kitchen Table opened by Kum and Go. Their restaurant will be open 6 days a week, closed on Tuesdays. They have an extensive menu offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. My understanding is they opened to a packed house and even ran out of food the first day! We must have a bunch of hungry people in Kremmling!

Other exciting news is the much anticipated re-opening of The Middle Park Meat Company. After seeing some activity at the location, I stopped by to confirm that Mitch Lockhart is planning to re-open sometime in September. He doesn’t want to give a solid date as he wants to make sure that all of the renovations are done, and up to code, before they open the doors to the public.

Mitch also owns the Troublesome Meat Processing company, which gives him major street cred. Mitch mentioned that with the help of Harlan, (the former owner of the Middle Park Meat Company empire) he will be bringing back tried and true recipes from the past. He already got the bean recipe! Stay tuned for more info.

Walt and Maryann Van Lue are in the process of refurbishing the outside of the Hotel Eastin. You can see Walt in his crane everyday putting new beetle-kill siding on the front of the building. They also plan to paint the entire building and get new awnings. Maryann would not confirm the color, she would only tell me, “it’s a surprise, and it’s not going to be pink”. I wonder what color Zane Grey would pick?

Well I just received some more good news! Michelle Licha Oros, the welltraveled masseuse for the Joneses of Blue Valley Ranch is back in town. She will no longer be gallivanting around the world, but instead will be right here in Kremmling offering her services as a Certified Massage Therapist. Give her a call at 970-509-0348 to schedule an appointment.

Congratulations to our August Business of the Month, High Country Machine and Fabrication. Locals, Austin Sherman and Ryan Smith are the owner/ operators of the business that offers metal fabrication and machine shop certified welding as well as millwright services, trailer repair, and restoration. High Country Machine and Fabrication made the heavy duty tubes for the fireworks shot off at the 4th of July Fire up the Cliffs celebration. Thanks guys!

On the down side, there was a fire in the apartments attached to the Grand Old West restaurant. The good news is that nobody got hurt and the restaurant is still intact. We hope Mike and Shawn will be re-opening their doors soon!

The other devastating news was the death of a 27 year old cliff diver at Green Mountain Reservoir. My heart goes out to his family and friends. The once popular hotspot is now closed to any climbing, hanging out, jumping or diving.

If you have any new or exciting news about your business that you would like shared with our local community, please contact me at 970-724-3472.

Roadkill Supper update: Date:

Saturday, September 16th, 2017
Time: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Town Square
What: A fundraiser featuring delicious “wild game” dishes by local businesses and residents with live music, games, and a beer garden.
Recipients: Antlers for Orphans and the Mountain Family Center
Live Music:
Scott Stanten 4:00 – 6:30 and The Blue River Band 7:00 – 9 p.m.

Sponsor: Last Time ‘Round Thrift Shop (sponsoring live music by the Blue River Band), State Farm Insurance, the Grand Gazette, Triple V Designs, Grand Adventure Brew Company, Troublesome Meat Processing, the Middle Park Meat Company and Mountain Mamas.

If your business would like to be a sponsor or participate in the event, please let me know ASAP. I’m finalizing the poster today! You will also be able to hang a banner in Town Square and have a booth. Locals, if you would like to donate wild game or cook up a tasty dish, we would love to have you participate. There’s no charge for a booth.

We are also looking for local artisans that would like to display their wares in the park. The first 25 people get a FREE booth!

If you have brilliant ideas to make this a fun-filled event, please contact me at 970-724-3472. Someone suggested a costume contest where children and adults dress up like animals for prizes. I know there a lot of creative people in Kremmling and I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

Upcoming Events:

Friday Fests in Granby August 18, and September 1 from 2 pm – 7 pm. at Mountain Parks Electric 321 W. Agate Ave.

Come enjoy Granby’s version of a Farmer’s Market with fresh produce, artists, live music and much more! Admission is FREE. August 5th – 13th The Middle Park Fair and Rodeo It’s time to Cowgirl and Cowboy up for this Middle Park tradition. Come out and enjoy the animals, vendors, and various activities for a good ole’ country time! Pick up your Fair Book at the Kremmling Chamber.

August 19th – Get Smashed Demolition Derby MPFG 7 pm

Watch cars and trucks crash into each other with the last man standing winning the competition. Cheer for the best themed car and make sure to stick around for the fireworks! We are in the process of printing Kremmling, Demolition Derby, Get Smashed, T-shirts and hats through Mountain Mamas. You may want to buy yours before the event as I’m sure they will sell out!

August 20th – Colorado Headwaters Land Trust 2017 Annual Fundraiser at the B Lazy 2 Ranch (Engel Tent) in Fraser 2:30 – 5:30
Please join the CHLT at their familyfriendly annual celebration that includes dinner and drinks, live auction and paddle raiser, games and music. $60 for an adult, and $30 for a child (12 and under)

September 16th – Road Kill Supper 4 pm – 9 pm in Town Square Only in Kremmling.

Come sample “wild game” dishes and wash it down with an ice cold beer in Town Square. Vendors, live music, food, a beer garden, games and much more!

If you would like to help with the planning and organizing of this “new” event, please contact me at 970-724- 3472.

We’re looking for some delicious wild game dishes!

Calling all local businesses, Grand County Economic Development is once again offering a scholarship worth $1,500 to take part in the Jon Schallert Destination Bootcamp Training in Longmont, CO.,

September 12 -14, 2017.

This scholarship is available to 6 local businesses. 2 ½ days of training includes all training materials, breakfast and lunch. Dinners, lodging and travel expenses will be on your own. Must have less than 50 employees and less than $1 million in annual gross revenue to apply.

If you are interested, please contact the Chamber for more information!!!! The deadline to apply is August 15th Some local businesses that have attended include Gore Range Artisans Group, Flowers by Marcia, Ghostwood Interiors, Alpine Motor Sports, Los Amigos, Jilly’s, Adventures in Whitewater, Red Mountain RV Park, Muddy Creek Cabins, Wolford Campground, and more!!!!

I am taking names of people that would like to volunteer for the Middle Park Fair and Rodeo, Demolition Derby, and Roadkill Supper. You get FREE admission and a killer staff shirt!

Did you know August is National Thrift Shop month? Check out our local shop Last Time ‘Round for back to school items and more. A visitor this summer told me that it was “the best thrift store they had ever been in”, which I think speaks volumes for Monika Cary and her staff.

It has come to my attention that there has been a company soliciting people for some type of “local” community listing. This company is not doing it on behalf of the Chamber and I would be leery of it. Make sure to check out the fair this week. See you there!

Thanks & Happy Trails,

Shelly McManus Executive Director- KACOC

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photo by Kim Cameron
photo by Kim Cameron

Over the last two decades, David Schoenl has purposefully taken the longest meandering route between his destinations. He is a “county collector,” and has visited every county or its equivalent in the United States, for a total of 3,143 counties.

His travels to every county was completed in 22 years, 7 months, and 29 days, and came to its grand finale on the morning of August 5 at the pinnacle of Berthoud Pass as he crossed over from Clear Creek County to Grand County. His achievement was completed just three days shy of his 47th birthday.

Grand County was chosen as his final destination because of its name and because it offered family friendly hiking and touring for his mom, dad , aunt, uncle, sisters, brother, nieces, nephew and friends who joined him in celebrating. Schoenl officially began his first county count in his home state of New York in Onondaga County in 1994 after his fraternity brother and friend, Joel Deichmann, shared his own quest and invited him to join his travels.

Schoenl was working for State Farm in New York after graduating from the State University of New York at Geneseo and Deichmann was a graduate student in Cincinnati when they took their first road trip together from Syracuse to Cincinnati and down to Texas. Deichmann laughed, “There was a lot of nights where we slept in Walmart parking lots for three hours and drank cups of coffee to keep going. We didn’t have a lot of money.”

The duo would volunteer to help friends move across country if they could “zig zag” along the route, and when Schoenl relocated to Alabama and later Covington, Georgia, they were able to pick up even more counties.

“A lot of our travel was spontaneous,” said Schoenl who counted the counties when the county line was crossed.

They would then travel together when their schedules aligned but they also took many solo trips. Often they would travel with Rich Spoon, who was Joel’s boss and friend . He mentored Deichmann and actually inspired him to begin collecting counties.

Unfortunately, Spoon was unable to travel to all the counties. He died in 2008 due to heart complications. Both Schoenl and Deichmann are poignantly aware of Spoon’s influence and toasted him with a beer from Left Hand Brewing Company, a Longmont Colorado Brewery under the Grand County sign at the top of Berthoud Pass.Deichmann who made sure that Schoenl was properly attired in a Winter Park, Colorado shirt for all his photos said he had arrived in Grand County earlier and looked for a Grand County shirt but couldn’t find one, so he settled for the nearest town to the county line. Deichmann was returning the favor to Schoenl who had traveled to Alaska three years previously in 2014 to watch him cross over into his last county, East Aleutians Borough. Schoenl presented Deichmann with a sweatshirt from Sand Point, Alaska.

Over the years, Schoenl has kept track of the counties he has visited on a poster sized map. At one point, he had forgotten that he was in a county , but had received a citation from the local sheriff for speeding. Fortunately he got off with just a warning and it provided documentation he had been there.

“It was easy to collect the first ones, but then became harder as he headed west which required more planning,” said Schoenl. Many of the final states required travel by plane, boat and in Hawaii he had to ride a mule to Kalaupapa in Kalawao County.

At one time, Schoenl was a member of the Extra Miler Club, which was founded in 1973 to help track those collecting counties. He allowed his membership to lapse, so he won’t join the estimated 50 others who have completed the same voyage and registered, but friends and family marked his achievement with banners and a signed letter from Grand County Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene.

Schoenl now plans to travel to as many countries as he can and has already traveled to more than 30.