Dyer ends tenure as Rifle police chief | PostIndependent.com

Dyer ends tenure as Rifle police chief

Talk to law enforcement officials, both within the Rifle department and outside it, and they will say Rifle Police Chief John Dyer’s most noteworthy achievements as chief are directly related to his ability to become almost instantly ingrained in the community.

“He’s given us direction as far as, if the community wants it, that’s what they’re going to get,” Rifle Patrol Sgt. Kirk Wilson said of Dyer’s community-based approach to policing. “He preaches that. He wants to know what he can do for them and what he can do better.”

This week is Dyer’s last as Rifle’s police chief, a position he has held for almost exactly four years to the date. He is taking a job as the police chief with the department in Lake Stevens, Washington — a move that will bring him much closer to his daughters and grandchildren.

Patrol Sgt. Sam Stewart, a veteran law enforcement officer who has been with the Rifle department since 2001, will serve in an interim role until a new chief is hired, which is expected later this year.

When Dyer came to Rifle in 2012, he stepped into a position held by Daryl Meisner for nearly three decades. Coming to Rifle from Oak Harbor, Washington, which had a population in 2010 more than twice the size of Rifle, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Dyer remembers being told it would take years to assimilate into a small community.

That was not the case.

“He was just a part of the game in terms of the other police chiefs,” said Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, who worked with Dyer in several multijurisdictional law enforcement groups. “He just was very comfortable … like he’d been there for years.”

While many credit him for being able to quickly adjust to life in a new and smaller community, Dyer says it is the people in Rifle who made it possible.

While being recognized at the Aug. 17 City Council meeting, Dyer thanked City Manager Matt Sturgeon for his mentoring, as well as the council for its professionalism and civility. Lastly, he thanked the community for being so welcoming.

“I kind of joke coming to a small community from the outside where people say ‘well that’s going to be tough — small towns … it takes you 40 years (to fit in).’ And from day one I felt 100 percent welcomed and since then I’ve felt 100 percent supported by the community,” Dyer said at the meeting. “So this is easily going to be the highlight of my professional career and I … thank everybody for that.”

In the past, the chief has cited the blue decals that adorn vehicles throughout Rifle, and the broader region, as on example of the community’s support. The “blue line” decals are a sign of support for law enforcement that came about following the death of Mesa County Sheriff’s Deputy Derek Geer, who was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 8.

Dyer, who occasionally contributed a column to The Rifle Citizen Telegram, noted in July, after an attack in Dallas left five police officers dead, that he felt some doubt about whether he could recommend a career in law enforcement to a younger person. Recent interactions between the community and Rifle officers quelled that doubt.

“This past week has reminded me of a training officer I had 32 years ago, who told me I should never shake anyone’s hand while working, as I do not know if their motivation might be to hurt me,” Dyer wrote. “I believe I speak for everyone here when I say that the day I can’t shake the hand of a community member is the day I quit this profession, as it goes against everything we believe in. To any young person out there who wants a profession filled with service and sacrifice for the communities in which we are a part of, I wholeheartedly recommend a career in law enforcement.”

The chief did not hesitate when it came to engaging the community. Along with several law enforcement groups, including the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, Dyer previously served as president of the Rifle Rotary Club.

There is a lot that goes into the role of police chief, as Stewart said he is quickly learning in preparing for the interim responsibilities, but Dyer always had the community in mind.

“He’s able to make those connections between us and the community. That’s very valuable,” Stewart said.

In 2014, Dyer created the Rifle Public Safety Citizen Advisory Board, a group of residents who seek to enhance police-community relations, among other things.

One of the early pushes by the advisory board was a desire to see more community outreach — basically a presence in the community outside of service calls, recalled Jay Rickstrew, an advisory board member.

While tight budgets and limited resources can make that difficult to achieve, the department is highly visible in the community, which Rickstrew attributed to Dyer’s leadership.

“I think he leads by example,” he said. “If you look at everything he’s been involved in … I think you know he practices what he preaches, and that’s how it trickles down to the other officers on the street.”

Sturgeon said Dyer is leaving the department in a strong position.

“The police department, from top to bottom, is filled with highly competent, dedicated staff that are very capable of doing their jobs while we seek out the next chief of police,” Sturgeon wrote in an email. “I’m confident Chief Dyer is leaving the city in a safe and steady position as it relates to law enforcement within the city of Rifle.”

The city has retained Fred Rainguet, a private consultant who led the search that led to Dyer’s hiring, to lead the current search process.

In the meantime, Stewart will lead the department. He said he does not know if he will apply for the position once the process reaches that point.

Asked what he thinks an eventual search committee should look for when determining an ideal candidate to lead the department, Stewart gave a straightforward response.

“Find a good leader like John Dyer. That’s what you should do.”

New, more secure school entrances part of bond issue

Students and visitors to some Roaring Fork School District buildings were met with new security features on the first day of school Wednesday. The new measures are part of the $122 million bond issue that was approved by district voters last fall.

Several schools, including Sopris Elementary School in Glenwood Springs, and Crystal River Elementary and Roaring Fork High schools in Carbondale, have new visitor entry vestibules that will be in operation during the school day after students have arrived.

The controlled entries require daytime visitors to check in at a secure front office window before being allowed access into the school once stating the purpose of their visit.

A separate set of doors at the main entry and elsewhere in the school buildings will be unlocked when students are arriving and leaving before and after classes begin. Those doors will be locked during the remainder of the day.

Jeff Gatlin, chief operating officer for the school district, said the primary purpose of the controlled entries is so that school staff is aware of who is in the building and to ensure the safety of students, teachers and staff.

All district schools are scheduled for safety features and a variety of other improvements as part of the bond issue, in addition to the bigger-ticket items.

Major projects include a new $34 million K-8 school at the district-owned Eastbank site south of Glenwood Springs, $20 million toward the roughly $30 million overhaul of Glenwood Springs Elementary School, and $15 million to start a teacher housing program in Glenwood, Carbondale and Basalt.

The security features were not specifically earmarked within the bond issue, but are part of the general school and district facility improvements that are being paid for out of the bond funds.

The new Eastbank and GSES facilities that are now under construction will include similar security features, Gatlin said.

Additional security features, some of which are being paid for outside of the bond issue, include new exterior door monitors and cameras monitoring the new entryways, new building intercom systems and new phone systems, Gatlin said.

The safety vestibules are designed in such a way as to not be too imposing, he said. The architecture of each building will also determine the design of the secure entries, so not all of them will be the same, Gatlin said.

New Silt trustee hopes to continue beautification work in town

SILT — There was not one particular issue that drove Justin Brintnall to throw his name in the hat for a position on the Board of Trustees.

Rather, the father of three who worked for Dollar General and now works at Dish Network said he wanted to be a part of what he described as the town’s current positive trajectory.

“There’s nothing that I was like ‘I want to fix this.’ It was just more continuing (the work of the current board),” he said after Monday’s trustee meeting.

Brintnall, who was tapped to serve as a second alternate on the Silt Planning and Zoning Commission in July 2015, was appointed earlier this month to an open trustee seat vacated in July by Dylan Lewis. Lewis announced in late June that his family was moving to the Glenwood Springs area.

A resident of the Silt area for the past nine years, Brintnall will serve out the remainder of Lewis’ term, which expires in April 2018.

He was selected from a group of six people, which Mayor Rick Aluise described as one of the biggest and best applicant pools to apply for a single position.

Along with Brintnall, that pool included: Mark Anderson, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2014; Chris Classen, a former town employee of nine years who stated his support for efforts to bring a grocery store to Silt; Krista Cox, a resident of eight years who described herself as a 30-something-year-old woman and political outsider; Tela Robinson, a resident who grew up in Silt and cited her “extensive experience in business and project management;” and Paul Taylor, a former Silt police chief and town trustee who fell short in his bid for a seat on the board in the April election.

After interviewing the candidates at the Aug. 8 meeting, Trustee T.J. Tucker made a motion to appoint Taylor to the vacant seat, but the motion died due to lack of support. Mayor Pro-tem Bryan Fleming then made a motion to appoint Brintnall. The motion passed with trustees Keith Richel and Aron Diaz voting against the appointment.

“We had great applicants,” Aluise said Monday. “It was a very hard choice because they were very, very good applicants. (It was) probably the biggest … one of the best crews we’ve had apply for one position.”

The appointment seems to signal a continuing trend where a growing number of people are interested in serving on the board.

Four candidates applied for a vacant seat last October, which ultimately was filled with the appointment of Tucker. And in the most recent election in April, four candidates ran for three positions on the board.

Along with the increased interest, Aluise observed a potential shift in people’s motivation for getting involved with town government.

“It use to be that people would run because they were mad about something,” he said. “I think they’re running now because they’re excited to be part of … making the town look better and the beautification (work). It’s just a different type of a reason why they’re running now than in the past.”

Indeed, Brintnall on Monday pointed to recent work in Stoney Ridge Park, as well as the ongoing Main Street infrastructure improvements as some of the good work he hopes to continues as a trustee, which he said was a natural progression for him after serving on the planning commission.

“When I took the p and z role it was actually with the thought of at some point possibly stepping into (a trustee’s position),” he said, adding that he wanted to test the waters of town government at a lower level to see if he enjoyed it. “And I do, so (this is) the next step.”

New Silt trustee hopes to continue beautification work in town

SILT — There was not one particular issue that drove Justin Brintnall to throw his name in the hat for a position on the Board of Trustees.

Rather, the father of three who worked for Dollar General and now works at Dish Network said he wanted to be a part of what he described as the town’s current positive trajectory.

“There’s nothing that I was like ‘I want to fix this.’ It was just more continuing (the work of the current board),” he said after Monday’s trustee meeting.

Brintnall, who was tapped to serve as a second alternate on the Silt Planning and Zoning Commission in July 2015, was appointed earlier this month to an open trustee seat vacated in July by Dylan Lewis. Lewis announced in late June that his family was moving to the Glenwood Springs area.

A resident of the Silt area for the past nine years, Brintnall will serve out the remainder of Lewis’ term, which expires in April 2018.

He was selected from a group of six people, which Mayor Rick Aluise described as one of the biggest and best applicant pools to apply for a single position.

Along with Brintnall, that pool included: Mark Anderson, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2014; Chris Classen, a former town employee of nine years who stated his support for efforts to bring a grocery store to Silt; Krista Cox, a resident of eight years who described herself as a 30-something-year-old woman and political outsider; Tela Robinson, a resident who grew up in Silt and cited her “extensive experience in business and project management;” and Paul Taylor, a former Silt police chief and town trustee who fell short in his bid for a seat on the board in the April election.

After interviewing the candidates at the Aug. 8 meeting, Trustee T.J. Tucker made a motion to appoint Taylor to the vacant seat, but the motion died due to lack of support. Mayor Pro-tem Bryan Fleming then made a motion to appoint Brintnall. The motion passed with trustees Keith Richel and Aron Diaz voting against the appointment.

“We had great applicants,” Aluise said Monday. “It was a very hard choice because they were very, very good applicants. (It was) probably the biggest … one of the best crews we’ve had apply for one position.”

The appointment seems to signal a continuing trend where a growing number of people are interested in serving on the board.

Four candidates applied for a vacant seat last October, which ultimately was filled with the appointment of Tucker. And in the most recent election in April, four candidates ran for three positions on the board.

Along with the increased interest, Aluise observed a potential shift in people’s motivation for getting involved with town government.

“It use to be that people would run because they were mad about something,” he said. “I think they’re running now because they’re excited to be part of … making the town look better and the beautification (work). It’s just a different type of a reason why they’re running now than in the past.”

Indeed, Brintnall on Monday pointed to recent work in Stoney Ridge Park, as well as the ongoing Main Street infrastructure improvements as some of the good work he hopes to continues as a trustee, which he said was a natural progression for him after serving on the planning commission.

“When I took the p and z role it was actually with the thought of at some point possibly stepping into (a trustee’s position),” he said, adding that he wanted to test the waters of town government at a lower level to see if he enjoyed it. “And I do, so (this is) the next step.”

New, more secure school entrances part of bond issue

Students and visitors to some Roaring Fork School District buildings were met with new security features on the first day of school Wednesday. The new measures are part of the $122 million bond issue that was approved by district voters last fall.

Several schools, including Sopris Elementary School in Glenwood Springs, and Crystal River Elementary and Roaring Fork High schools in Carbondale, have new visitor entry vestibules that will be in operation during the school day after students have arrived.

The controlled entries require daytime visitors to check in at a secure front office window before being allowed access into the school once stating the purpose of their visit.

A separate set of doors at the main entry and elsewhere in the school buildings will be unlocked when students are arriving and leaving before and after classes begin. Those doors will be locked during the remainder of the day.

Jeff Gatlin, chief operating officer for the school district, said the primary purpose of the controlled entries is so that school staff is aware of who is in the building and to ensure the safety of students, teachers and staff.

All district schools are scheduled for safety features and a variety of other improvements as part of the bond issue, in addition to the bigger-ticket items.

Major projects include a new $34 million K-8 school at the district-owned Eastbank site south of Glenwood Springs, $20 million toward the roughly $30 million overhaul of Glenwood Springs Elementary School, and $15 million to start a teacher housing program in Glenwood, Carbondale and Basalt.

The security features were not specifically earmarked within the bond issue, but are part of the general school and district facility improvements that are being paid for out of the bond funds.

The new Eastbank and GSES facilities that are now under construction will include similar security features, Gatlin said.

Additional security features, some of which are being paid for outside of the bond issue, include new exterior door monitors and cameras monitoring the new entryways, new building intercom systems and new phone systems, Gatlin said.

The safety vestibules are designed in such a way as to not be too imposing, he said. The architecture of each building will also determine the design of the secure entries, so not all of them will be the same, Gatlin said.

Some women feel unsafe in Carbondale

Often sparsely attended, Tuesday evening’s trustees meeting in Carbondale was packed with women who came with a clear message: They don’t feel safe in town and local government isn’t moving fast enough to fix it.

A month has passed since the Carbondale Police Department announced that it’s investigating two recent assaults on women walking at night.

The most recent of these was a sexual assault, while the other was an “alleged assault” that wasn’t sexual in nature, Chief Gene Schilling said Wednesday.

The department had a couple people of interest in late July, but it’s been unable to verify whether they are connected to the assaults.

Schilling added that investigators at this point do not believe the two incidents involved the same assailant.

Since then talk of public safety has popped up at trustee meetings. But no solid steps have yet been taken, no earnest discussion has happened and the matter won’t be a legitimate agenda item until the board’s Sept. 20 work session.

Carbondale’s bike, pedestrian and trails commission will discuss lighting and public safety at its Sept. 12 meeting.

“I’m here because I’m under the impression that this isn’t being taken seriously by the town council,” said the mother of one of the victims.

She was one of a dozen women who appealed to the board Tuesday to take some quick action to bring back a sense of security in town.

“I moved here after being attacked in Chicago. Now I don’t feel safe walking home from the movie theater at night,” she said.

These kinds of crimes can happen anywhere, so safety is a perception, said Annemarie Zanca. “Carbondale needs to put forth an effort to make people feel safe.”

Pam Williams said she went so far as to buy pepper spray after hearing about the assaults. “Something has got to be done and needs to be done fast,” she said.

One option to improve public safety that’s been mentioned is adding lighting to certain parts of town, including Gianinetti Park and the Rio Grande Trail. The women also pushed for more police patrols at night.

However, any work on the Rio Grande will require a conversation with Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, noted Erica Sparhawk.

The mother of a victim balked at some trustees’ concern that lighting upgrades might be too costly. The board is now going into budget season and is weighing its priorities for 2017.

“I feel like the costs should not be an issue,” said Laurie Guevara-Stone. “You can’t put a price on our safety.”

Guevara-Stone said that years ago she was attacked at night in Carbondale, and she doesn’t feel safe walking at night anymore.

Assaults on women often go unreported, and many more than these two cases may have not come to light, said Trustee Katrina Byars.

Schilling said these are not ordinary crimes in Carbondale.

Since January 2014 the town has seen only two cases of assault that resemble these recent crimes – namely, that they involve perpetrators whom the victims didn’t know.

“It’s very disturbing that we had it happen at all,” the chief said.

Schilling is holding off on talking about increased public safety steps until his meeting with the town trustees.

In the meantime the Police Department is partnering with the Carbondale Recreation and Community Center to bring back a women’s self defense course.

“We patrol with what we have as much as we can,” Schilling said in response to the calls for more night patrols. The Police Department focuses on downtown but also sends officers into outlying areas as well, said the chief.

When the department is fully staffed (currently it has two officers in training) night patrols typically consist of three officers on weekdays and five on weekends.

“The process just takes time,” said Schilling. “If they said you can have more officers to patrol, and if I was lucky enough to hire a new officer today” it would still take months to get him or her trained and allocate equipment.

Roland McLean: Forgetting economic history

Too often we forget the lessons of history. The collapse of communism and socialism in the Soviet Empire, Greece’s economic mess and the collapse of Venezuela are ignored or forgotten.

Working in Venezuela, since 1978 I saw a once-prosperous nation with a strong middle class decline into poverty and hopelessness. Successive liberal regimes promised wealth redistribution and only delivered chaos. Historically Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world. I saw it descend into economic misery. At the same time, Chile followed Milton Friedman’s theories of free market capitalism to prosperity.

I was in Africa when Bono admitted that free market capitalism was what Africa needed. Africans often compare themselves to South Korea since both became independent at approximately the same time. While most of Africa has declined with experiments in communism or socialism, South Korea has flourished.

In Africa for decades, NGOs have given billions of dollars in charity with little result. Paul Theroux in “Dark Safari” describes perhaps well-intentioned but naïve aid workers taking the best housing, driving expensive Land Cruisers and sitting in coffee shops talking about their projects in Africa. I personally witnessed that in Ethiopia. Almost half the business pages of the phone book in Addis Abba are filled with NGOs but the country still wallows in poverty. Often these aid workers try to force European solutions on Africa, resulting in a new seemingly benevolent but patronizing colonization.

Steven Lyazi of Uganda writes: “environmental activists, Western powers and UN agencies dictate what issues are important – and use them to keep us poor and deprived: manmade climate change, no GMO foods, no DDT to prevent malaria, using wind and solar power and never building coal, natural gas or nuclear power plants. This is a criminal trick that denies us our basic rights to affordable energy, jobs and modern living standards.”

In the U.S., we have seen black communities devastated by the actions of government. Former African-American Congressman Allen West has stated that Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty was truly designed to keep blacks in America economically dependent on government and voting Democrat.

Whether intentional or not, the effect of the War on Poverty on black families was devastating. Black women received welfare payments based on how many children they had if a male were not present in the home. Illegitimate birth rates for blacks jumped from 14 percent before the program to 75 percent today. Why is this important? According to BlackDemographics.com, “While 23 percent of all black families live below the poverty level, only 8 percent of black married couple families live in poverty, which is considerably lower than the 37 percent of black families headed by single black women.”

President Johnson did state that his intention was to reduce the causes of poverty. Still, according to the Heritage Foundation, “In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs … Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson’s main goal of the reducing the causes of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely.”

Our country needs new solutions to the problem of poverty in the inner cities. The starting point must be law and order. Attracting industry and improving education has little chance of success without peace in the neighborhoods.

We need new ideas for education, including skill training. The overall economy must improve in order to bring good jobs. Reduce corporate taxes and give tax incentives in order to attract industry to the inner city. We should not allow unskilled immigrants into the country as long as the African-American unemployment rate remains high.

A liberal friend of mine suggested that solving the law and order problem and skill training at the same time could possibly be accomplished by reinstituting a form of the draft. Six months of national service would be required. Everyone at age 18, regardless of race, gender or immigration status would be required to go to some type of boot camp. After the boot camp, draftees could choose service in the military or other areas of the government: Forest Service, national parks, EPA, etc. Draftees would be paid comparably to the military, wear uniforms and be housed in barracks.

Hard cases such as gang members would be sent to special boot camps where I have no doubt that Marine drill Instructors would have a good chance of converting them to productive citizens.

For this to work, there could be no exceptions. Physically handicapped would need special boot camps. College students could be allowed to serve their six months of service in segments between terms.

We need to find creative solutions and not keep trying the same policy of throwing money at the problem. We have little to show for the $22 trillion spent so far.

Roland McLean, an Aspen Glen resident, is a University of Colorado graduate, Navy veteran and retiree after more than 30 years in international construction. His column appears on the fourth Thursday of each month. Reach him at rmackmc@gmail.com.

Dale Phayer Harris (April 9, 1949 – August 21, 2016)

Dale Phayer Harris passed away Sunday, August 21, 2016. Mr. Harris was born to Robert and Maxine Harris in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on April 9, 1949. Dale graduated Rifle High School in 1967. From 1968 to 1971, he completed an Apprentice Training Operation Engineer Course. On April 1, 1972 he married Elena Schultz in New Castle, Colorado. Dale spent many hours on all types of heavy equipment building all types of projects from tunnels, roads, and oil flats. His jobs took him all over Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming. One of his largest jobs was building the road for Glenwood Canyon. In the later years of Dale’s career, you could find him at work with his canine companion, Tuff E.

Mr. Harris was preceded in death by his father, Robert Harris and his brother Ronnie Harris.

Dale is survived by his wife of 44 year, Elena (Schultz) Harris of New Castle, Colorado; Sons, Nathan (Julie) Harris of Durango, Colorado, Jeremy Harris of Grand Junction, Colorado; Mother, Maxine Harris of New Castle, Colorado, sisters; Vicki (Rick) Day of Shell Knob, Missouri; Brenda (Andy) Gustafson of Craig, Colorado; grandchildren; Samantha Harris of Walden, Colorado; Dale “DJ” and Dillon Harris of Durango, Colorado; Logan and Aaron Harris of Grand Junction, Colorado. Also numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at the Rifle Funeral Home, 1400 Access Road, Rifle, Colorado on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm.

Vail Mountain opens selection of new trails

VAIL — The Meadows trail made its debut at the Vail Recreation District’s annual 5K and 10K at 10,000 Feet trail running race on Sunday.

The much-anticipated extension of the Radio Flyer mountain biking trail also officially opened over the weekend after undergoing work throughout the summer by Momentum Trail Concepts.

Running the new Meadows Loop on Sunday, Eagle resident Peter Dann said the Mid-Vail area trail will be an instant classic for trail runners.

“It’s new, so it’s still soft, and it’s curvy with some rolls to it,” he said. “It goes through the trees and gets kind of dark … That’s what trail running is about, the variety.”

Dann is also a mountain biker, and last year claimed world champion status as an age division competitor in the Xterra off-road triathlon championships in Hawaii. He said he was excited to hear about the new Radio Flyer opening.

“I’m going to do the Outlier race here on Vail Mountain in September, so I’ll probably come by a few times over the next couple weeks and ride it,” he said.

PTARMIGAN RIDGE EXTENDED, TOO

Vail Ski Patrol director Julie Rust said getting the Radio Flyer extension and the Meadows Loop open before the end of the season was a goal set by Vail Mountain this season. With Gondola One and the Eagle Bahn Gondolas running three days per week into October this year, there will be plenty of riding to enjoy for weeks to come. Gondola One runs every day until Sept. 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then will run the same hours Friday through Sunday only Sept. 9 to Oct. 2. The Eagle Bahn Gondola will run the same days with slightly longer hours, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We also extended the Ptarmigan Loop trail slightly to connect with Ridge Route and Grand Escape,” Rust said. “It connects all the trails at the top now. It’s a cool loop because it’s an unbelievable view of the original Back Bowls of Vail, it’s got this incredible view of Blue Sky Basin and Mt. of the Holy Cross and Beaver Creek, and then next thing you know you’re coming around the bend and looking at the Gore Range, so you get a little bit of everything.”

PACKING THE TRAIL

As a new trail is often soft, the Vail Rec District’s 5K and 10K at 10,000 Feet trail running race was a perfect way to pack it down, said Kip Tingle with the Vail Rec District.

“And it gives everyone a chance to check out the new trail and promote it a bit,” he said.

About 255 participants participated in the 10 Kat 10,000 Feet race.

Haley Brewster of Edwards, 13, ran it with her dad.

“It was fun, and really beautiful,” she said.

Andrew Graham arrived in Vail from Seattle on Saturday. He said he wanted to do the 10K at 10,000 Feet as a way of getting to know the mountain and the trails.

“Also I was curious what the change in elevation would do,” he said. “I’m used to running by the beach. I don’t know if it was the elevation as much as the elevation gain in the race, but it was tough. Good, though, it was a great experience.”

Fishing for trout: under no obligations to make sense

I read somewhere recently that the universe is under no obligation to make sense to us. This is doubly true when applied to trout fishing, don’t you think? In the course of a busy day in the fly shop, fly fishers from around the world (and from around the block) celebrate their successes with us, as well as their crises of fishing faith. Some days the trout do what they are expected to, but more often than not, they don’t. The same goes for insect hatches.

This doubly applies to an angler that fishes here a few days a year and expects the world from the insects and fish. Most of us can accept the randomness of hatches and fish behavior, others expect a certain hatch to happen at a certain time at a certain place, which can set that angler up for a frustrating day. We all should be thankful for what the river offers us on any given day, and the more you fish, the more gifts she will eventually bestow upon you.

We have all had one of those fishing days where everything clicks together easily, and when we go back to the scene of the crime the following day, absolutely nothing is working despite identical conditions. This is a teaching moment, to be sure. Deep breaths and a change in game plan is needed on these days. The tough days are down payments for the days you seemingly can’t miss!

The rivers here in the Roaring Fork Valley can spoil us rotten, given the prolific insect life and thousands of trout we enjoy. Whether you’ve fished here for a lifetime or it’s your first time, we should all come to the realization sooner or later that these waters can be tough once in a while. Trout can make us laugh one minute and cry the next, because they are under no obligation to make sense to anybody, right?