SPUDS … They’re due. My 30-plus varieties ought to be in the ground by the time you read this … Used to be 59 varieties. But, after raising all kinds of potatoes for the past 20 years or so, I’ve decided to focus on the variety that’s been the best producer, rain or shine, my Survival Red. So I’m growing a marketable crop for the fall. Instead of 2-5 pounds of each heirloom oddity, I’m trading experimental station diversity for full-on production of my favorite spud. I still plan to test a few unusual species that seem to thrive on Wright’s Mesa, at 7,000 feet, with hot, cold, dry and rain-sodden weather … I actually could have planted a week or two earlier. In fact, I did with a couple beds. But wouldn’t you know it – this year I’m not content with my regular rototilling and planting regimens, but decide it’s the season to build raised beds with lumber I’ve been saving (“hoarding” my oldest son would say) for going on 30 years (OK, maybe there was some hoarding to it). I made two lovely beds before I realized that I’m leaving for California this coming weekend, and I won’t be back until mid-June (late for potatoes in my microclimate). Suddenly everything’s been on back-burner except getting the potatoes in. So if I missed your phone call or email, forgive me. My focus is tubercentric this time of year … Meanwhile, I have lots of leftover seed-potatoes. If you’re interested, come to the Norwood Spring Farmer’s Market on Saturday, June 7 between 10 a.m. and noon at the Livery next door to the Fire Department, north of main street, and there will be free Cloud Acre spud seed for the taking.
WASATCH TRAIL … It’s interesting how fast the County was able to prevent folks from blocking National Forest access to one of Bear Creek’s premiere hiking routes (kudos to Becky King, Steve Zwick, and the testimony of Dave Foley and Andy Gulliford – among others), and how long it’s taken the same County to contest National Forest access to Lone Cone by the easily accessible Western route (is it eight years and we haven’t been able to even file a condemnation suit in court?), thanks in no small part for the last several years to federal bureaucrats that can’t seem to find time to certify the second survey the County had to pay for. It’s maddening. No wonder citizens believe government doesn’t work.
SLICK ROCK … Seems like preserving access is one of the main jobs of the Board of County Commissioners these days. There’s a recent landowner in the West End who’s closed off a County right-of-way access to Summit Canyon. Dolores County Commissioners spoke of it at their meeting in May and asked the BLM’s Connie Clementson about the grazing allotment in that region. The Dove Creek Press reports “Clementson said that the BLM does consider it an important access road because there is no other way into the allotment acreage.” So far the landowner has been unresponsive to County assertions of its access rights.
PETER SHELTON … Ah, lovely to see Peter back on the Watch’s op-ed page, but sad to think of him leaving the Silvery San Juans. Maybe he’ll grace us with an occasional column from California, if only to give us the Tellurider ex-pat perspective.
I’M A BELIEVER …Gosh, how many years is it now, that we’ve all been enjoying Sean McNamara’s Doghouse? Whether it’s falling off camp chairs or bicycling in the backcountry, Sean’s stories never fail to entertain.
RICO … Next time you’re roaring through this scenic mining camp to our south, check out the new General Store on the main drag. Lots of curios and gift items, coffee and treats, necessities and luxuries. Recommended.
THE TALKING GOURD
Everyday is an Odyseey
and I Love It
Everyday is an odyssey. Today I threw up
in downtown Gallup, New Mexico. I held up
traffic and projected. It was horrible, and
squirming like a worm in the passenger seat
I slowly came back to me with Goodtimes driving
the van east on the eastern strip, late at night
on the rez road, looking for a dark gate, fumbling
with a lock under cell phone light… drive past Harriet’s—
she left the light on, knows your coming, has a shotgun,
go through another gate up the hill keep going keep going
keep going turn right past the pond – it was dark dark,
keep going keep going another gate like a cowboy poem
in the wind almost to Crown Pointe, to the house of Zoe,
doctor of veterinary science, teacher, poet. We sat drinking
on her desert-wracked wood porch—under the native sky.
She said, Fuck that Christian shit, I read Tolkien
from a Navajo perspective and I love it.
Then she howled like the moon at her neighbor coyote.
Lithic Press, Fruita