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High Tech Gold Rush: A GeoCaching Journey

One hundred and fifty years ago, miners by the thousands flocked to the Arkansas Valley in search of minerals and gem stones.  They had to endure heavy snow, mud slides, incredibly cold temperatures with little shelter, and no way to navigate other than the rise and fall of the sun.  Today, you can re-trace the steps of those early settlers, without all the heartache, with a fun, high-tech way of treasure hunting.

On May 1, 2017, Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center in conjunction with  Chaffee County Visitors Bureau will be kicking off a year-long GeoCaching Journey, in which participants can win prizes.  To participate, it is as simple as downloading an app to your smart phone, or by using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device.  You can search for hidden treasure stashed in “caches”, or treasure boxes.

This is the Chamber’s 2nd kickoff event, which has brought many people to the Buena Vista area in search of hidden treasure.  The caches are hidden in some of the most scenic and historically significant spots in and around Buena Vista and Chaffee County.   You might find something on the Barbara Whipple Trail, Trout Creek Pass, Ruby Mountain, St. Elmo Ghost Town, Clear Creek Resevoir, as well as Cottonwood Lake.

You won’t need to bring your stubborn old mule to carry your prospectin’ gear, the family sedan will get you to within a few steps of each cache, and there is no digging required.  Make your plans to saddle up the Chevy, load the family – young and old – and head on out to find some hidden treasure!

Visit the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center website to find more information on this GeoCaching Journey:  Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center Link

by Erin Godonis & Renee Graner

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Buena Vista, Colorado, USA, Present-Day Image, Courtesy of Baby Doe Studios

2017 Spring/Summer Schedule of Events – Buena Vista, Colorado, USA

If you are planning a trip to Buena Vista, Colorado any time in the near future, you’ll appreciate a Spring/Summer Schedule of Events.  Naturally, there will be more to add, so please check the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center website for additions or updates:  BV Chamber Website

They can also give you location, directions and even contact info.  If they don’t have, they’ll find it for you!  Call them at 719-395-6612.

WordPress Buena Vista Schedule of Events – Spring 2017

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Rustic Deer Head

I’ve been a crafter most of my adult life, however, I am not typically a craft blogger.  Having said that, I had to share this simple and easy rustic deer head I made for my work office.  I had picked up the paper mache deer head at Hobby Lobby half price and the the picture frame at a 2nd hand store for just$2.00.   With just a few supplies and a couple of hours, I created a beautifully framed rustic deer head.

My plan was to match the color of the frame to the antlers, or paint the antlers to match the frame.  I was going to cut a piece of plywood to glue the head to,  and reuse the mat.  However, once I got it all apart, I discovered that the mat was attached to the picture.  Since it was mounted on a fairly heavy backboard, I thought it would work well to support the light weight paper mache deer head.

I painted over the picture in white parchment (so the original image wouldn’t show thru the burlap), which matched the white in the mat.  I also painted the head of the deer with the same color.   Once the paint dried, I used mod podge to glue on a piece of burlap that was cut to the opening of the mat.

For the antlers, I found a gold that was close in color to the frame.  Once it dried, it was a little too gold, so I made a whitewash out of the white parchment paint and white washed the gold.  They matched perfectly.

Next, it was time to glue it onto the burlap.  Because the back of the paper mache head was not completely flat, I needed a glue that would fill in the recessed areas as well as fill in between the weave of the burlap for a better hold.  I used E6000 glue, which can be purchased at Wal Mart.

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I used rubber bands overnight to hold it tight and in place while the glue dried, and voila!  I have a beautiful rustic deer head to hang on my wall!

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No Guts, No Glory: No Risk, No Reward

The year was 1949 in Leadville, Colorado.  Two rapscallion friends, Tom Schroeder and Mugs Ossman, conspired to create a  new and unusual racing event, which was to take place during their winter Crystal Carnival. One suggestion was to up the ante by combining the pedestrian sport of skiing with a galloping horse.   They met at the Ossman ranch for a trial run in knee deep snow, and Ski Joring in Leadville was born (Leadville breaks it up into two words, not one).

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What is Ski Joring?  It is a competition where a horse and rider pull a skier at a fast pace through a course that has gates, jumps, and rings.  The skier is timed through the course where penalties are assessed by missing gates or jumps and by missing or dropping any of the rings (2 seconds per ring).  Teams are made up by a random draw before the start of the race, competing for a cash prize.    Ski Joring in Leadville is always the first full weekend in March.

It’s unclear where skijoring originated, however, it is believed that it began as a means of winter travel.   It has evolved into a competitive sport and was even a demonstration sport in the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland.   Skijoring today can be found in a couple of small mountain towns, after all they can’t practice this in Texas!  It is a melding of two cultures, the redneck cowboy and the outdoor, high altitude athlete.

Leadville begins their 2 day prep by gathering fresh snow by the dump truck load.  One hundred and twenty to be exact!  They create a track right down Harrison Ave, or Highway 24 on the map, which is the length of 2 1/2 football fields.   The course consists of a couple of jumps and the capture of 6 hanging rings with a jousting stick.     It might sound easy, but the skier is being pulled 35-40 mph behind a 1000 pound horse and a lot can go wrong in the 16-18 second run.

Why would a skier and/or cowboy do this?  Because it is an adrenaline junkies sport, of course!

LEADVILLE SKI JORING 2017

Wash Park Band

We were in Denver last weekend for a birthday party at the Hoffbrau Bar & Grill off of Wadsworth.   Birthday parties are always fun, but the “icing on the cake” was the live band.  Their rendition of every single song they sang was a rock’n delight!  It was interesting to look at the cross section of attendees, a very eclectic mix of ages….all having a great time rock’n to the beat!

The bass was beating so hard I could feel it in my chest all the way down to my toes!

 

I would love to see this band perform at Buena Vista’s Gold Rush Days.  They would be an awesome addition to such a great hometown celebration!

#BVRocks #LoveBV

 

 

What’s in a Name

Change is inevitable.  We know it.  We often don’t like it. You can’t always stop it.  Buena Vista has been going through major changes ever since I moved here 16 years ago.  Before the name Buena Vista was decided upon for this little mountain town, it had a couple of different names.  I know of two, Mahonville and Cottonwood.  I’m sure the buzz created by choosing a new name caused great anxiety for the locals, especially the Mahons.

If you are Spanish speaking, or even have minimal knowledge of Spanish, you will most assuredly cringe at the correct pronunciation of the name.  You would, however, be mis-pronouncing it if you use proper Spanish.

Alsina Dearheimer, a local, whose first language was German, who did not speak Spanish, chose the name Buena Vista.  The emphasis is on the “u”.  It took me a few years to embrace the correct pronunciation.  You can always tell the locals from the tourists…you can also tell when a local is firmly entrenched in this community as they embrace and love the correct pronunciation.

I had the opportunity to be interviewed by John Duesler, Jr.,  of Emerging Sports TV regarding life in  Buena Vista, or BV as the locals call it, last summer.  John was hired on behalf of CBS sports to provide an endorsing promo of our little town.  I had the honor of taking him and his cameraman by horseback (with a pack horse, of course) to the bluff overlooking BV.  My voice is the first one heard on promo:  Built by a force of nature.  That pretty much sums it all up….literally and figuratively!

Come visit us some time!