Sunday evening, and glory be, we're having sunshine. I'm eager to get out and enjoy the fall colors. A lot of trees have already lost their leaves.
I was surprised to learn Sunday that Bill and Patti Ragan left this last weekend for their winter home in Arizona. Danny Ragan and some friends from Kansas City were here to enjoy the fall color, so Bill and Patti took advantage of the company to help them pack up in a hurry and leave.
Marsy and I dropped into the Steamboat Lake Outfitters dining room to eat dinner Saturday evening, and we were glad to get in on the farewell dinner for Ken Brinks, who is leaving his position as head of the State Park Department over by Steamboat Lake. He will be moving to Denver because his elderly parents need him. His wife and baby are already there. He will be leaving Oct. 10. It was fun to share the supper and to visit with friends.
While mentioning Steamboat Lake Outfitters, I want to tell you that the restaurant has a new manager, Trish Burns. She has lived here before and we're glad to have her back.
David Sandelin's grandfather came to the Elk River Valley in 1901. David is still there, the oldest person on the river. Diane Sandelin was here last week to visit.
Dennis and Eleanor Hobbard, my relatives from Boulder, were here last week. Denis and my Bill loaded a lot of firewood, then the last evening, they showed us pictures of their recent trip up Machu Picchu mountain in Peru.
Howard Thomas and his wife, whose cabin is on Cottonwood next to Ragan's, have been here a long time. Some of their kids have just bought the place, but Howard and his wife will still come back for the summers.
I've been re-reading Thelma Stevenson's book "Historic Hahn's Peak." It says: "the decline of Hahn's Peak began in 1912. Its demise as a mining camp was directly attributable to a combination of extreme winters and the high cost of gold extraction. After the mining slump, the town continued as a ranching country. It was once the site of a bitter range war between cattle and sheep men. In winter, supplies and mail were brought in on snowshoes or sleds. In summer, a Pony Express carried the mail from Steamboat. A stage connection could be made to Rawlins, Wyo., fare $15."
I've been putting together a book - stories of all of Hahn's Peak. In the old book "Historic Guide to Routt County," published in 1979, is a good story about the Master Key Mine, operated until 1936. Manager Tom Kleckner, who dyed his whiskers red, is said to have driven his wife from the cabin at the mine down to the town of Columbine with a butcher knife because she could not locate the gold for him.
One more time I'll talk to you. I will be closing the shop the last part of this week.