After driving through Glenwood Canyon and into the charming little city of Glenwood Springs nearly six years ago today, I knew this was a place I could call home.
And, by accepting a position in the sports department at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, call it home I did.
All these years later, with a new opportunity awaiting me at The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, I've been doing a whole lot of reflecting on all the characters I've covered and friendships I've forged in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.
I've been fortunate to work alongside some phenomenal colleagues who have become lifelong friends. And, of course, I've met some fantastic people outside of my work at the paper.
On the job, I've covered some amazing coaches and athletes throughout the years, collecting memories I'll carry with me for life.
I was fortunate enough to chronicle Glenwood Springs High School's run to a football state title in 2008, Grand Valley's 2007 boys basketball championship, track and field state titles for Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Coal Ridge, Rifle's run to the football state title game that ended just last month, and so many more captivating playoff runs in various prep sports.
I got to pen stories on New Castle's World Cup and Olympic skier, Alice McKennis, back when she was a teenager still fighting to make a name for herself.
And there were so many more in the outdoor sports and recreation world I've had the pleasure of meeting and writing about.
I hope the relationships I've forged working at the Post Independent will live on in some way as I leave this valley. I'm certainly not going far, and will no doubt bounce into many of you down the road somewhere on the Western Slope, which is geographically immense but somehow feels awfully tiny and tight-knit.
Thanks for allowing me to take a small part in your sports endeavors.
- Editor's note: Jeff Caspersen will be joining the sports desk at The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction. The staff of the Post Independent wishes him all the best for his sportswriting career.