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Features

  • Lake Powell is magnificent: The blue-green reservoir is more than 100,000 square miles in size, boasts inflows from the Colorado, Escalante and San Juan rivers, straddles the border between Arizona and Utah, and offers a serene spot to all who visit its shores.

    For Conifer resident Sarah Thomas, whose goal was to swim the length of the lake, it represented an exciting challenge but one that turned out to be unexpectedly daunting.

  • In a final nod to National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, local residents came out in droves Saturday to raise funds for the Mountain Peace Shelter via the organization’s first Fill the Bag event — a nod to the Fill the Boot campaign when firefighters raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

  • Soccer is a kick. But who’s to say soccer can’t also be spooky, when the season suits?

    Evergreen’s Bergen Valley Elementary hosted the fourth annual Rocky Mountain Spook-out 3-versus-3 soccer tournament Sunday.

  • Imagine that you don’t know how to use a smart phone. Or are unsure how to “Google” something on the Internet. Or you can’t open Microsoft Word to type this sentence.

    Some people reading this don’t have to imagine.

    A fair portion of seniors, both in Evergreen and nationwide, never learned those computer skills, and are now at a disadvantage in the workforce because of it.

    However, Evergreen Christian Outreach is working to change that.

  • Once upon a time, people found a mystical forest near their town. No matter what they threw into the forest — beer cans, televisions, couches, animal carcasses — it all magically disappeared. The forest seemed to swallow everything the townspeople dumped there.

    To their chagrin, local residents have found the magical portal where all this trash has spewed out — at various turnouts along Squaw Pass Road. And, on Oct. 26, they gathered to clean up these illegal dumping sites.

  • If smiles and chatter were any indication, trick-or-treating at Elk Run Assisted Living on Friday night was beyond successful.

    Kids in costumes — superheroes, movie characters, animals and more — moved through the building, greeting residents with familiar words: “trick or treat,” “thank you” and “happy Halloween.”

  • By Andrea Tritschler, for the Courier

    Hands reached for the brilliantly colored and intricately designed bowls in wild excitement to find the perfect one. A large number of the 600 hand-painted, ceramic bowls went home with guests at the eighth annual Mountain Bowls Project, a fund-raising event for the Mountain Resource Center.

    On Oct. 18, the fund-raiser brought community members together for lunch and dinner with something special to take home. Each guest chose one of the bowls, which had been donated by the community.

  • By Andrea Tritschler, For the Courier

    Tucked away on the side of Pleasant Park Road is a small, old cemetery, so much a part of the landscape it often goes unnoticed.

    But on Saturday, the Conifer Historical Society made Kemp Cemetery the star of its show, with a tour that highlighted why.

  • Storytellers use all sorts of devices to convey their tales — visual aids, sound effects, lighting and shadows. But few storytellers actually become the story themselves.

    For biographical actors R.D. and Barb Melfi of Pine, this is the essence of their work — not merely acting the role, but living it.

    The Melfis have portrayed William “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Annie Oakley, as well as other historical figures, across the country at schools, festivals, shows and conventions, and in movies and commercials.

  • Every fall, families across the mountain area welcome their old friend Jack — Jack O. Lantern, that is.

    Of course, to find Jack, many trek to their local pumpkin patch to pick out exactly what he will look like this year. Among rows of pumpkins and gourds, visitors young and old decide: taller or smaller; more round or more flat; yellow, orange, red or white.

    Many Evergreen residents, such as Jamie Brand and her children Gus, 9, and Anna, 7, have visited or will visit JP Total’s Pumpkin Patch as part of their annual fall tradition.

  • A bin filled with two dozen clothes hangers sat on a table outside the Conifer King Soopers on Sunday, a sign that Susannah’s Hope is making a difference.

    The empty hangers signified that two dozen coats had been given away to people who needed or wanted them.

    Susannah’s Hope is the pet project of Mary Black that has turned into a ministry at Risen Lord Lutheran Church in Conifer. Black’s goal is simple: keep people warm.

  • Neal Hurley looks less like a patient and more like a young up-and-comer in his slacks, dress shoes and button-down. The 36-year-old spends his days putting his computer engineering degree to work at Guaranty Bank and Trust in Denver, and makes time for his girlfriend, Angie. Autumn is one of his favorite times of the year — the changing foliage makes for great photographs.

  • Artists find inspiration everywhere, even their own backyard.

    Last week, Jeffco Open Space parks hosted more than 25 professional painters from Colorado and other states as part of the first ever In Plein Sight — an outdoor “plein air” event and art sale organized by PLAN Jeffco.

    Organizers said the idea came from one of the participating artists, who had done a plein air painting event in Douglas County parks, and suggested that PLAN Jeffco and Jeffco Open Space could host one as well.

  • A cornucopia of vegetables and fruits adorned two tables at the Buffalo Park Community Garden on Saturday as part of the youth farmers market.

    Cabbage, zucchini, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, green beans, apples, pears and plums were among the items for sale, and a steady stream of shoppers snapped them up. Several agreed they got quality produce at affordable prices.

    Teachers and students from Wilmot Elementary and Evergreen High School work at the farmers market at the community garden, which is in front of Wilmot.

  • At 810 feet, 8 and 3/8 inches, the world’s longest picnic table could seat a theoretical family of more than 800 people. A person sitting at one end would have to spend more than three minutes walking 300 steps to see her relatives at the other.

    And this theoretical family was, briefly, a reality as the Evergreen community came together to celebrate the Guinness Book of World Records’ confirmed longest picnic table ever.

  • By Kevin M. Smith, For the Courier 

    Live music, hula-hooping, children’s games and local artists filled Kittredge Community Park for eight hours Saturday for the annual Kittredge Canyonfest. 

    The event, hosted by the Kittredge Civic Association, has been a fall staple of the community for nearly 30 years, according to co-organizer Brenna Witt.

  • It wasn’t a typical Tuesday night crowd that started drifting onto the deck at Cactus Jack’s about 5 p.m. Sept. 13.

    On average the guests probably had a decade or two on the creek-side saloon’s customary clientele, and most of them rolled in on Subarus and Acuras instead of Harleys and Hondas. But if they wore more Lacoste than Levi Strauss, they’d come for a live jam just the same.

  • Today’s high school freshmen weren’t yet born on Sept. 11, 2001. The youngsters climbed anyway.

    Many who attended Sunday weren’t in New York, Washington or Pennsylvania on that horrific day, and don’t know anyone who was. And still they climbed.

    Some participants weren’t firefighters and didn’t have any connection to first responders. And yet they climbed as well.

  • Each pot of chili told a different story. Some were old family recipes. Some were experiments with new recipes. Some had a kick that made eyes water; others evinced a sweeter side. There were pots of green and red; pork, beef, chicken and vegetarian. Each batch as diverse as the individuals who made and served it.

    Saturday’s Big Chili Cook-off at Buchanan Park drew thousands of people to spend the day outside listening to music, eating chili, and supporting six mountain area fire departments.

  • By Kevin M. Smith, For the Courier

    Jeffco resident Mike Foster wrote the novel “This Above All” in a “fury of inspiration.”

    That was 18 years ago. He published the book this summer.

    Foster had experience writing research-based, nonfiction books and working with publishers. But he came up empty shopping around for a publisher to print this novel.