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charitable donor?

Having recently turned 11, Jadyn Petree is the youngest person to hold a lifetime free membership to the Rifle Heritage Center, and she earned it.

Jadyn, who counts history as one of her favorite subjects in school, presented volunteers at the heritage center, formerly know as the Rifle Creek Museum, with $1,136 that she raised parking cars during the week of the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo in August.

It was her second attempt at raising funds for the heritage center this summer after learning of financial hurdles — which have been a topic of discussion at City Hall in recent months — facing the center.

A lemonade stand organized by Jadyn and some friends earlier this summer only generated $4.

“They were happy and they were thankful,” Jadyn said in recalling the day she donated the money.

The reaction from heritage center volunteers was a bit more dramatic, said Betty Waldron, a Rifle Heritage Center board member.

“Absolutely astounding,” she said of Jadyn’s efforts. “When they told me what the amount was I almost fell to the floor.”

The center does receive larger charitable contributions from foundations and other organizations, but $1,136 is toward the higher end in terms of donations from a single person, according to Waldron. The fact that it came from somebody who was only 10 years old at the time of the actual fundraising is all the more amazing, she added.

Starbucks or trip to the museum?

It was mid-June when Jadyn and some friends went out for lunch. After eating some pizza, they asked Jadyn’s mother, Shawna Petree, if they could go to Starbucks. She said yes, but then they asked if they could go to the heritage center.

Shawna gave them an ultimatum: Starbucks or the museum.

They chose the heritage center.

“They all decided they’d rather go to the museum than go to Starbucks … and I was like that is something to be commended, for kids that age to be like ‘no we want to go to the museum and not go to Starbucks,’” Shawna said.

For Shawna, it was her first-ever visit to the center, located on the corner of East Avenue and Fourth Street in downtown Rifle.

Jadyn had already visited it several times for school field trips.

History is among her favorite subjects in school. While she cannot point to one particular era or specific subject as being her favorite, Jadyn enjoyed learning about local history in the third grade.

She was especially fond of the book “Rifle Shots” — which the heritage center refers to as “generally the first resource to be consulted for historical or genealogical information.”

“First we read it in social studies class then I got it for my birthday I liked it so much,” Jadyn said. “And I pretty much read all of it in two days.”

Financial woes

When Jadyn and crew arrived at the heritage center back in June, she learned the center was facing some financial difficulties.

Earlier that month, heritage center board members met with Rifle City Council to discuss a continued lease of the building, which is owned by the city. However, the conversation turned toward improvements needed in the building, which was built in 1952 and served at Rifle’s second City Hall.

There was the issue of a functional heating system, which the building currently lacks. That forces the museum to close for the winter. An estimate to replace the boiler came in around $57,000, board members told council in June. An estimate for plumbing repairs ranged from $1,250 and $4,150.

Council members, some of whom expressed concerns about triggering renovation requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other worries regarding unseen costs, did not have much of an appetite for investing money into the building.

The heritage center board members did not leave the meeting feeling optimistic, said Waldron, whose husband, Cecil, attended the meeting with council. Such was the climate when Jadyn visited the center later that month.

She did not want the museum to cease to exist, and she started plotting possible fundraising efforts.

Positive feeling

After the failed lemonade stand, Jadyn approached her grandparents, who own the empty lot across from the Garfield County Fairgrounds, and asked if she could park cars during the fair to raise money for the heritage center.

Her grandparents, who regularly let groups such as the local Boy Scout troop use the lot to raise money during fair week, said yes.

For hours at a time during days with large events, Jadyn was out in the parking lot handling the business side of things with help from a couple of friends. Mom and dad physically parked the cars, but Jadyn did all the talking and money handling.

“I was super proud and she was a trooper,” Shawna said of her daughter.

While Jadyn, who hopes to one day be a doctor some day, was determined, she admitted she never expected to raise as much money as she did.

Her sizable donation was not the only good bit of news for the heritage center in August. City officials were invited to tour the center several weeks ago, and several members of council were impressed enough to bring up the idea of exploring possible smaller improvements to the building during the budget process in October.

“I think the thing that was encouraging for me was I envisioned it would be so crowded in there that it wouldn’t make any sense anyway, but I didn’t find that at all,” Councilor Ed Green said at council’s Aug. 17 meeting.

The feeling among museum volunteers is trending more positive than it was in June.

“We feel like they at least see that what we have is of value, where as before we got the impression that they just thought we had a pile of junk over there,” Waldron said. “And now they realize we are doing our best to preserve and promote Rifle’s history.”

Editor column: Don’t forget the sunscreen

It feels like this space has covered pretty serious subject matter, which is admittedly an abnormality, the past couple of weeks.

Yes, there is a slight variance in the degree of seriousness — forgetting the sunscreen is not quite on par with keeping a scorecard of dead classmates from high school — but they’re both pretty serious considering the ground normally covered here.

(Update: Days after publishing the column titled “Death knocks again” another high school classmate died. I had not talked to him in years, but based on my experiences with him in high school, the fact he was still alive was more of a surprise than his actual death.)

With all the heavy stuff, I didn’t even get to write much about my vacation, which already feels like an eternity ago, or preview the visit my younger brother and father made this past weekend, which feels like it was much more than just a few days ago.

People, it’s now September.

We are two-thirds of the way through 2016. It’s starting to get chilly at night. Pretty soon the Christmas decorations will start going up, if they haven’t already, and I’ll have to write another curmudgeonly column about it.

My two-year anniversary of moving to Colorado passed in the last month, as well as the one-year mark since Sam and I first met (not our actual dating anniversary, so I’m not in the doghouse … I think).

Two significant milestones that didn’t even register on the “this-happened” radar. Seriously, where has the time gone?

In an email to other staff members a month ago, my boss, while noting that it was already August, said pointing to the passage of time with such bemusement made him feel old.

I have to agree with him there. Just writing these words makes me feel like I should shut down the old computer and go watch “The Price is Right.”

Pretty soon I’ll be wandering the pharmaceutical section of City Market searching for the right remedy for my crippling joint pain.

(Note: I frequently encounter people who, by most metrics, qualify as old — one who shares my last name was here this past weekend — and who make me feel lazy with all their involvement in the community. I kid with the game show and arthritis references, I kid.)

Jokes aside, there is a sense of panic when dwelling on how fast it feels like we’re flipping through the calendar. It’s not quite the “quarter-life crisis” I wrote about back in January, but there is a little bit of that at play.

Am I going to be sitting here 10 years from now writing about the fact we’re almost through 2026?

I already know the answer to that question is “no.” Perhaps it has always been — I’ll defer to more seasoned professionals — but this industry increasingly feels like it’s suited for transients. Those who advance typically do so by moving and moving a lot. And I have certain aspirations.

For the time being, though, I don’t want to think about the scenery that far down the road, because it feels like the last 10 miles have been a sprint — a feeling I’ll attribute to work, traveling, more work and being constantly surrounded by people for nearly the past two months.

In the last 50 days, Sam and I have had about 10 without a house-guest or being house-guests ourselves (hear me out before writing me off as a complete recluse).

We had an intern — a great kid — stay with us for a little more than a month this summer.

In the nine days leading up to our trip to Cincinnati, seven were with Sam’s family members — truly great people — also staying at the house.

Then it was back home for six days — I love my family and friends, but you already knew that. Then back to Colorado where my father and brother showed up for a weekend visit last Friday, and Sam’s dad — an awesome guy and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met — arrived for a four-day visit this past Sunday.

As I attempted to say with some disgustingly poor punctuation (those dashes), we have some great people in our lives and my No. 1 regret is not having been able to spend more time with them while they were here or while we were there.

But some oxygen is needed. There’s a certain amount of pressure being around family. You either want to make sure they like you, that is if it’s your significant other’s family, or you feel the constant need to wring the most out of your limited time when it’s your family.

And even if it’s someone as friendly and low-key as the young man who crashed in our guest room for a month, you still don’t act 100 percent the same in your own home when you have a guest.

So, this Labor Day weekend I don’t foresee any big plans, such as that trip to Durango or camping adventure in Rifle Mountain Park, coming to fruition. Instead, I see plenty of sleep, a small amount of cleaning and some reading … or watching Netflix, whichever feels like less work.

Of course, I’ll probably be kicking myself for that decision when it’s threatening snow a month from now, but I’ll take it as it comes. It will be here soon enough.

Ryan Hoffman is busy watching “Murder She Wrote” reruns, but you can reach him at 970-685-2103 or at rhoffman@citizentelegram.com.

Preschool on Wheels receives $7,500 grant

Kum & Go Convenience Stores recently awarded a $7,500 grant to the Preschool on Wheels program to support its ongoing efforts to improve kindergarten readiness for low-income children in western Garfield County.

According to a press release, the grant and matching support from several community partners will help ensure that Preschool on Wheels can continue to serve 120 students per year, providing them with the basic academic and developmental tools needed to be successful students.

“Kum & Go has seven convenience stores within our program’s service corridor and we are excited to be one of the many important programs the company supports in the community,” Logan Hood, Aspen Community Foundation’s Preschool on Wheels program manager, said.

‘Local’ is key for first Rifle Farm to Table Dinner

Organizers of an inaugural dinner featuring local food and drink are hoping it will grow into a recurring event that, if successful, could help make the Rifle Farmers Market more self sustaining.

Tickets for the inaugural Rifle Farm to Table Dinner, planned for Sept. 10, are on sale through Friday, Sept. 2. So far, sales have been slower than hoped for in this first year of hosting such an event, said Cathleen Anthony, farmers market manager and assistant to the Greater Rifle Improvement Team.

As of Wednesday morning, 27 of the 100 available tickets had been sold at the market, although a good number of people have expressed interest, Anthony added.

Tickets are $55 for one person or $100 for a couple, and they can be purchased at the Rifle Farmers Market, as well as at Miller’s Dry Goods and the Whistle Pig Coffee Stop & Cafe in downtown Rifle.

Proceeds, if there are any in the first year, will go to the future continuation of the Rifle Farmers Market, which has relied heavily on grant funding in the past, according to Anthony.

The idea for the farm to table event started earlier this year after Hannah Klausman, a member of the farmers market board, saw an article about a similar event in Tennessee that raised a substantial amount of money.

“The thing that got me on this guy is they raised $10,000. … I saw that and I thought ah ha,” Klausman said.

The hope, Anthony continued, is to build the dinner into an annual event with enough support to not only break even, which admittedly might be a challenge in the first year, but to generate enough money to help make the farmers market more sustainable.

“It is the inaugural event, so this year we are just hoping to get it off the ground and get people excited about it,” Anthony said. “I think the draw is local food.”

The dinner, which is being hosted at the Bookcliffs Arts Center, will feature four courses of locally sourced food, as well as beer from Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company. Grand River Health is donating beef purchased at the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo, and Rifle Farmers Market vendors were asked for produce donations. Six vendors committed to making donations, and in exchange they will receive two free tickets and an opportunity to speak about their contribution when it is served, Anthony said.

Sarah Naef, executive chef for Grand River Health nutritional services, and Elissa Nye, catering manager at the Whistle Pig, are preparing the meals.

“I instantly jumped on board because I think it’s a good idea and I want to see more things like it in Rifle,” Nye said.

The final menu is still being set, but Nye said the appetizers will likely consist of donated produce and some sort of dip, such as humus.

Goat cheese donated by Avalanche Cheese Company, of Basalt, also will likely be worked into the appetizers.

A traditional caprese salad will follow the appetizer course, with a main course consisting of the beef donated by Grand River.

Dessert will be prepared by the Whistle Pig’s Andrea Matthews.

“We really are trying our hardest to make it as local as we can,” Nye said. “We have a lot of good resources here.”

Anyone who has questions about the event can send an email to riflefarmersmarket@gmail.com or call 970-665-6496.

First Fridays event catching on in Rifle

Friday is almost always art day somewhere, with art walks in different are cities and towns.

Rifle and Carbondale share the traditional first Friday slot, while Glenwood Springs and Basalt have second Friday and Silt celebrates on the last Friday.

Wearing various hats, George Cutting is involved in several, and is committed to making them thrive. He operates the Crack in the Wall Gallery in Silt and is a member of Cooper Corner in Glenwood.

“My philosophy is make your community strong and your businesses in that community will thrive,” he said.

So, when he was appointed president of Rifle’s Bookcliffs Art Center two years ago, he pushed for a monthly community event devoted to art.

“I wanted to involve the arts center in the community and involve the community in the arts,” he explained.

He wasn’t too concerned with competing with Carbondale’s already well-established First Friday event.

“First Friday is an accepted evening all over the country to do art receptions, and I think we’re distant enough that we’re not … taking away from Carbondale’s energy,” he said. “It’s really working. Rifle is now a happening First Friday. All the businesses come together for a common goal to get people out. The restaurants are all packed, Miller Dry Goods is staying open late, Blush Salon is staying open late.”

More of those businesses are also integrating local art in their own spaces in an effort to be part of the event and engage people with something new. The library is often involved as well, though this week the new display is in Silt, not Rifle.

The openings themselves take place from 5 to 7 p.m. This round, the Bookcliffs will feature local photographer Amber Nicole Norton. With the final show in Rifle’s Hilltop Summer Concert Series slated for Thursday, it also marks the shift from outdoor to indoor events, though a local musician may be there to brighten up the October First Friday

Catered hors d’oeuvres will be provided, but all events at Bookcliffs are alcohol free, both because the venue is less walkable and to be family friendly.

“If we don’t keep our kids excited in the community they grew up in, they’re going to all leave,” Cutting noted.

Midland Arts downtown also stays open late with refreshments. The gallery has six partners and draws from 50 local artists. In the long run they’re hoping to have a featured artist each month. The newest consignment artist is Ava Lanes of Parachute, a photographer with a distinct printing style.

“I’ve started to take my own and others photographs and put them on other mediums,” she explained. “There’s so many people that are good with digital photography, why not expand?”

Lanes, who runs her photography, printing and framing business via heritagegalleryandframe.com, has experimented with canvas, acrylic and resin and is particularly fond of metal.

“The clarity and resonance just pops,” she said. “It almost looks like it’s backlit.”

Of course, as important as artists are to an art walk, the most important ingredient is the community.

“It’s the people showing a desire to get out and see what’s going on that makes it work,” Cutting observed.

Rifle man dies in crash on I-70

A 22-year-old Rifle resident died in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 70 near Silt this past weekend.

Matthew Day was driving a 2007 Toyota pickup eastbound on I-70 near mile-marker 97 when the truck went off the right shoulder around 8 a.m., Colorado State Patrol reported later that day.

Day attempted to steer back onto the roadway, but went across the lanes of traffic and into the median. The vehicle began to roll in the median and Day, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected.

Day was declared dead on scene.

The passenger, a 25-year-old male from Glenwood Springs, was checked for minor injuries but was not hospitalized.

At the time, Colorado State Patrol said alcohol was being investigated as a possible factor. According to Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire, an autopsy performed Monday revealed Day had a blood alcohol content of .014 percent, well below the legal drinking limit. It also determined the presence of THC, the psychoactive constituent in marijuana. However, the level of THC is yet to be determined and its presence does not mean he was impaired at the time, Glassmire said.

Larry Gene Carlson (Feb. 21, 1934-Aug. 25, 2016)

Larry Gene Carlson was born February 21, 1934, to Laurence and Crystle Carlson in Sioux City, Iowa. He went home to be with His Lord August 25, 2016, surrounded by family and friends. Larry was raised in Wakefield, Nebraska, and graduated from Wakefield High School. He married Sally Ann Miller in 1962 and they had a son, Paul Warren the following year. They moved to Glenwood Springs in June of 1964 where their daughter, Laura Jean was born in 1966. He was a successful contractor and real estate agent. He is survived by Sally, his wife of 53 years, son, Paul and his wife Maura; granddaughter Kiley and her husband, Luke Hall along with great grandson, Masen and sibling-to-be; and grandson Kevin and his wife, Taylor and great granddaughter, Brindle, as well as many nieces, nephews and friends. Larry was predeceased by his parents, his daughter Laura Wahl and his son-in-law Dale. Contributions can be made in Larry’s memory to New Hope Church, Youth for Christ, or Hospice of the Valley. Services will be held at a later date.

Food column: Summer may be cooling off but tomatoes are still hot

The summer is almost over, but one thing I must say I’m still enjoying and have enjoyed all season is tomatoes. There are so many kinds around, so it’s nice to make each one stand out depending on its flavor, texture and sweetness. A bare tomato has such complex textures in my mouth. If you ever get a chance, quarter a ripe Roma tomato and start by eating the seeds. You get a caviar like texture in your mouth, you can taste each seed separately, and you get baby explosions of tart. But there’s nothing like a cherry tomato ripe from the sun that just bursts into your mouth with lots of flavor. I love them just the way they are, but here are some other great ways of using your tomatoes for the rest of the season.

Spicy Tomato Salsa

2 cups Roma tomatoes, small dice

4 chile de arbol, whole

2 scallions, chopped

1 cup cilantro, chopped

3 garlic cloves, whole

1 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to season

Set tomatoes aside. Place remaining ingredients in a blender for two minutes until well-blended. Place in a bowl with the diced tomatoes and season.

Caprese Skewers

12 cherry or pear tomatoes

12 basil leaves

12 fresh mozzarella mini balls

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

pinch smoked sea salt

Assemble skewers: Use tomatoes first, fold basil leaves and place on top, and follow with a mozzarella ball.

Mix garlic and extra virgin olive oil with cracked black pepper. Drizzle on top of the skewers, then sprinkle smoked sea salt over the top.

Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio

1 heirloom tomato, cut very thinly across

5 kalamata olives, slivered

¼ cup cucumber, small dice

1 small shallot, minced

1 cup shaved arugula

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fennel seed, toasted

Place heirloom tomato slices at the bottom of a platter, spreading them so they are not stacked on each other but covering the platter. Sprinkle cucumber, shallot, olives and arugula equally on top. Drizzle the red wine vinegar and let it sit for five minutes. Add the olive oil and shaved Parmesan on top. Crack some pepper or even chili flakes on top.

Tomato Watermelon Salad

3 Roma tomatoes, large dice

3 cups seedless watermelon, large dice

¼ cup red onions, sliced

½ cup lime juice

3 tablespoons feta cheese

1/8 cup cilantro, basil, parsley or tarragon, chopped

Place the lime juice over the red onions and set aside for 15 minutes. In a bowl combine the watermelon, tomatoes and feta cheese with your herb of choice. Add the lime onion mixture to the bowl and mix well.

Susie Jimenez was the runner-up from season 7 of “Food Network Star” and owns a local catering company. She can be reached at susiespiceitup@gmail.com.

The waning days of summer at Colby Farms

Suddenly it feels like fall in Peach Valley after a hot and dusty summer when the rain almost never came. Recently, gales have heralded the farmers markets where I sell honey.

Thursday the New Castle Community Market got off to a brisk start before a roll of thunder announced a bout of rain. Shoppers huddled under the shelter of my canopy and sampled honey on fingertips. One fellow told me he’d just driven in from Grand Junction and assured me more foul weather was on its way. I ignored his warning.

As on other recent market days, the shower passed as quickly as a refreshing daydream. Music drifted across the park from the gazebo stage, where my dear old friend Laurie Dameron from Boulder played her guitar and sang jazzy tunes.

Then the wind howled and sighed in the upper branches of the tall trees, pushing them into a slow motion dance. Cinder blocks cinched my tent to the ground, but I grabbed onto the struts and braced for the onslaught.

When it came, chaos ensued. All my neighbors scrambled to hang onto their trembling tents as they counted down to liftoff. Tarps tore loose from their moorings and flapped noisily, a confetti of paper fliers littered the park, my canopy tore loose from a corner and let the rain spill in. I hoped my heavy glass honey jars would hold down the wind-whipped tablecloth, and not the other way around. From the corner of my eye I saw the aromatherapy tent next to mine had crumpled.

Then the rain came in sheets and waves. As the other vendors folded up their tents, I left mine standing while I packed. At least it was keeping me sort of dry. At that moment Ed strode up to help.

Afterward Noreen threw my soaking hoodie into the dryer at her hair salon while I shivered. Maud’s and Hogback Pizza were mobbed, so I told Ed we’d have a home-cooked meal.

A salad of cucumber and dill from my garden with local onions and garlic and a dab of sour cream complemented a fabulous hot dish made with cauliflower I’d bought at the market from Laura Kolecki’s garden in Silt. Simmered with cumin, mustard and fennel seeds, a little turmeric and a can of stewed tomatoes, Ed said it was the best meal I’d ever made. Laurie, who at first was sorry I wasn’t cooking meat, told me I should open a restaurant.

I just bought fresh local produce, grew a garden and followed the recipes.

In the last episode of our adventures at Colby Farm, I managed a cliffhanger. By the time I ran out of my allotted column inches, the fate of the runaway steer Buttercup remained unresolved. I had more good stories to tell than room to tell them in.

After discovering a defect in Ed’s sturdy electric fence and escaping along the ditch bank, for a week Buttercup took up residence two doors down on the Nepps’ big unfenced lot. By day he ranged among the sagebrush and cactus up a draw in the Hogback or grazed on Greg and Leslie’s lush green lawn. He liked to sleep under an apricot tree next to the ditch. The Nepps started calling him Norman.

Meanwhile Ed paid the bovine regular visits, bringing treats and enticements. “I’m on a campaign to gain his confidence,” Ed said over his shoulder as he headed out the door with a bucket of range cake.

In the end it was Dolores at Hy-Way Feed who solved our problem. She agreed to trailer her halter-trained steer to Buttercup. Greg was blocking his path to the Hogback when Dolores and Jem emerged from the sage. Buttercup swung his huge head around in surprise, touched muzzles with Jem, mooed, and meekly followed him, Ed and Dolores down the county road to home.

“They were both bawling as they parted,” Ed remembers.

It plagued him to know Buttercup, a herd animal, was lonely. Colby Farm livestock may be doomed, but Ed wants their days here to be happy ones.

He called Nanci Limbach to see if she had any more cattle she could sell us. “They’ve moved onto the range,” said Nanci. “The only steer I had left walked himself up the hill to the butcher yesterday. They’ll shoot him tomorrow. The same thing happened last year.”

A call came from Dolores wondering if Ed wanted to buy Jem. She wanted more than twice what he’d paid for Buttercup. Ed wondered if he could get him for less.

On the phone, Dolores explained she was asking $700 plus the cost of feed. Ed split the difference and made an offer. “You can have him for $100 less than that,” she said, matching the figure Ed originally had in mind.

“Dolores, you’re breaking the rules. You’re supposed to ask for more, not less,” he yelped. “I won’t give you a penny less than I said.”

Jem, a mix of Angus and the Bavarian Gelbvieh, is black as night and daintier than Buttercup. They seem content sharing the pasture, except when Ed brings range cake and Buttercup uses his horns to shove Jem, who has no horns, out of the way.  

“I thought he was lonely,” Ed laments,”but Buttercup is a bully.”

Marilyn Gleason writes Eating Local monthly for the PI’s Good Taste page.

Canyon rockfall work nearing completion

Rockfall mitigation work in Glenwood Canyon is wrapping up as crews complete the last of four rockfall barrier fences during the next week.

The project, which is in response to a major rockfall that closed Interstate 70 for nearly a full week in February, was initially planned to finish prior to Sept. 1, but crews are now expected to work until Sept. 6.

However, that will only mean one additional day of work since crews will not be working Friday through Monday during Labor Day weekend.

Additionally, both lanes of westbound traffic near mile marker 125 west of Hanging Lake Tunnel will be open during the holiday weekend. Traffic has been limited to one lane in the area, with the other lane being used for equipment staging. A one-lane closure might be necessary on Tuesday after the holiday weekend.

Repair and mitigation work has been ongoing — off and on — since the February slide, which resulted in the longest closure in the history of the interstate through the canyon.

The permanent rockfall mitigation project, which includes the barrier fences, started in May. Two alternating crews of about eight people have been working seven days a week for the majority of the project.

It has been a labor-intensive, physically demanding project, said Lee Barger, transportation team leader for SGM, a Glenwood Springs firm working on the project. At the same time, it’s also rewarding to get to work in such a scenic location and to work on a project that’s important to the community, with I-70 being a high impact corridor.

“This is a group of hardworking guys (who are) working on steep terrain,” which Barger compared to a double-black diamond ski slope.

Crews from Yenter Companies, which is based in Arvada and has an office in Grand Junction, have hiked up each day — navigating unstable talus fields where rocks can easily turn over under foot and which become slick after the late summer rains.

The crews have tied off ropes to help them climb up the steep terrain, which becomes a hand-and-knees scramble in many places.

“There was nothing easy about this project,” said Jonny MacFarlane, a Yenter foreman.

The last barrier fence to be completed is the highest, which project manager Jim Stepisnik said is about 300 feet up the northern canyon wall. All the heavy poles and materials have been placed with the help of a helicopter and crane, though much of the equipment had to be hiked in on foot.

The fences are strategically placed with a boulder’s trajectory in mind, said MacFarlane. The engineers looked at the terrain and projected where a rock would likely bounce and where it would come into contact with the ground.

Now crews are in the final stages of putting all the pieces together — stretching the lengths of ring net fencing and anchoring the fences to concrete bases.

In total the project used about 100 cubic feet of concrete, said MacFarlane. Digging the holes and pouring the concrete for the anchors was one of the more difficult parts of the project; crews ran a concrete hose up the rocky hillside, he said.

MacFarlane said he recently worked on a similar project in Minturn. Yenter also does a lot of rock scaling projects, a recent one being in Monarch Pass.

“We do get amazing views like this often,” said MacFarlane.

Glenwood Canyon already has about 40 rockfall fences in place, but this project is taking advantage of the latest technology developed by a Swiss company. These are the first 5,000 kilojoule fences to be installed in America, said Barger.

When the fences catch a rock the mechanism is akin to a fishing net enveloping its catch, he said.

“It’s an incredible design and we’re fortunate to be on the forefront of this technology.”