Gaylord Guenin, the ultimate ‘Woody Creature,’ passes on

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Gaylord up to his usual comedic antics.
Stephen Collector photo credit.

Gaylord Guenin — the longtime voice of Woody Creek and the co-author of a definitive book on pre-Paepcke Aspen history — died Sunday afternoon, according to multiple friends.

Guenin was a longtime writer and editor who happily retreated to Woody Creek and Lenado after he lost his comfort zone in Aspen.

Guenin was an instrumental character in the Mountain Gazette magazine in the 1970s and later wrote the “Letter From Woody Creek” column for The Aspen Times, writing from the perspective of “Woody Creatures.”

He also was a bartender and manager of the Woody Creek Tavern when it was the frequent haunt of Hunter S. Thompson.

“There was really nobody like him,” said longtime friend Frank Peters. “He was utterly irascible and quintessentially sweet.”

Guenin forever etched a place in Aspen history by co-authoring “Aspen: The Quiet Years” with Kathleen Daily. The 1994 book chronicled the rich heritage of Aspen life after the silver boom was long gone but before the post-World War II rebirth as a ski resort. Guenin and Daily interviewed scores of Aspen residents, most of them seniors, with family ties back to the mining era.

“That was a timeless piece of work,” said Guenin’s longtime friend, George Stranahan, who founded the Mountain Gazette in Aspen with Guenin at the helm in the 1970s. “He was a really good writer-editor.”

Friends helped Guenin move to the Woody Creek trailer park from Lenado two years ago while he was dealing with various ailments. Stranahan said Guenin passed peacefully. “It was just old age,” he said. Guenin was in his 80s.

Guenin was regularly encountered outside his cabin by anyone who passed through Lenado during the warm-weather months. Peters said Guenin trained his dogs to chase motorcycles that went by. Guenin smoke Pall Mall cigarettes though he once stopped because he feared his dogs would suffer from secondhand smoke.

He was a keen observer of life in Woody Creek-Lenado and frequently wrote in his column about developments that affected the area as well as Aspen politics.

“Over the years I have made a concerted effort to disassociate myself from Aspen, which is less than seven miles from my beloved Woody Creek,” he wrote in an April 2009 column. “That was the problem — I slowly discovered I enjoyed Woody Creek and its easy, rural character more than the endless energy of Aspen.”

Guenin was a key figure in helping Stranahan and others establish the Woody Creek Tavern in 1980. In a 2005 article in The Aspen Times, he recalled that people were reluctant to visit the watering hole in the early days.

“When this place first started, people were afraid to come in. It had a rough reputation,” Guenin said in the 2005 article. “We still had the working cattle ranches around here, so we had the cowboys (coming to the tavern). It was dark and it was out of the way. The people in town and families weren’t comfortable.”

He worked there in various capacities for 10 years, then took a leave of absence to write the book. He wrote in a column that he found he couldn’t return to the tavern, at least not as a worker.

Former Aspen Times editor and publisher Loren Jenkins recruited Guenin to write a column for the paper.

“He represented the old Aspen that doesn’t exist anymore,” Jenkins said.

Guenin told it like he saw it and didn’t care about ruffling the establishment’s feathers — be it Aspen Skiing Co., the county commissioners or neighbors in Woody Creek. His columns had a decidedly liberal bent. One from 2004 was titled, “Global warming: A hoax that is happening.”

Guenin was always game for conversation, quick with a smile and, as Stranahan said, “a gentle person.”

Former Aspen Times editor Andy Stone said he didn’t know Guenin as well as a lot of people but has a definitive memory of him.

“He had a legendary status,” he said.

Leaked Documents Reveal the Trump Administration’s Plan to Sell off Our Public Lands ~ Mother Jones



This story was originally published by The HuffPost.

President Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have repeatedly said they oppose selling off federal lands.

“I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do,” Trump told Field & Stream magazine in January 2016. He re-emphasized this in a subsequent interview with the Outdoor Sportsman Group: “We’re not looking to sell off land.”


It was over this very issue that Zinke—a former Montana congressman—resigned as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2016. And in a speech one day after arriving at his new post, Zinke promised Interior staffers: “You can hear it from my lips. We will not sell or transfer public land.”

But a leaked White House infrastructure plan has many conservation groups concerned that Trump and Zinke could soon be singing a different tune: that of the Republican Party, whose platform calls for transferring control of federal lands to states.


The draft plan, which Politico and Axios obtained this week, includes this line: “Disposition of Federal Real Property: would establish through executive order the authority to allow for the disposal of Federal assets to improve the overall allocation of economic resources in infrastructure investment.”


To be clear, the document is a draft plan—one Paul Teller, a special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, told Politico this week does not reflect the final proposal. Nonetheless, it is easy to see how one might read “disposal” to mean that the government will look to sell off, trade or transfer federal assets, including land, to help pay for crumbling bridges and highways.


White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters declined to say whether this “disposal” would include federal lands. “We are not going to comment on the contents of a leaked document but look forward to presenting our plan in the near future,” she wrote in an email to HuffPost.

Politico reported Wednesday that Trump could release his long-anticipated infrastructure plan in as little as two weeks. If it takes aim at public land, Zinke will almost certainly face the brunt of public outrage. After all, it was Zinke who said last month, “No one loves public land more than I. You can love it as much, but you can’t love it any more.”


Fearing a looming about-face, conservation groups sent a shot across the administration’s bow this week.


“It raises suspicions from everybody that cares about public lands,” Brad Brooks, public lands campaign director at The Wilderness Society, told HuffPost. “And if they are proposing to sell off public lands, the American public is not going to stand for D.C. politicians trying to steal our land.”


Brooks added that Zinke needs to explain—one way or another—what’s going on. To his knowledge, there is no precedent for public land being disposed of via executive order.

Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, said in a statement that the draft infrastructure plan is the latest example of Zinke saying one thing and doing another.


“This plan calls for the disposal of federal lands, it’s right there in black and white,” she said. “The secretary owes the American public an honest answer: Will he continue to be complicit in President Trump’s attempts to sell off our public lands?”

~~~  CONTINUE  ~~~

Trump’s Efforts to Oust Mueller Show the ‘Cancer’ on This Presidency By HARRY LITMAN ~ JAN. 26, 2018

26litmanWeb-master768.jpgDonald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, last January. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Thursday’s report in The Times that President Trump ordered the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June, only to back off after the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, threatened to resign, is explosive on many levels.

On the surface, the revelation is one more piece of damning evidence in the now-overwhelming case of obstruction of justice that Mr. Mueller has assembled. The core of the case — the Feb. 14 meeting in which Mr. Trump asked the director of the F.B.I., James Comey, to drop the investigation against the national security adviser, Michael Flynn; Mr. Trump’s subsequent sacking of Mr. Comey; and Mr. Trump’s serial lies about Mr. Comey’s firing — has long been solid. And Mr. Mueller has added significant pieces of circumstantial evidence, such as Mr. Trump’s apparent knowledge that Mr. Flynn had lied to the F.B.I. when he buttonholed Mr. Comey.

Thursday’s revelation seals the deal. The president’s attempted ouster of Mr. Mueller seems plainly to have been intended to squelch Mr. Mueller’s investigation. Moreover, Mr. Trump’s attempts to conceal the obvious with a rank, virtually comical explanation provide additional evidence of guilty intent. Mr. Mueller, the president argued, could not serve because, years before, he had resigned his membership at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia because of a dispute over fees; or he needed to be fired because he had worked at the law firm that previously represented Mr. Trump’s son-in law, Jared Kushner. Why strain to concoct such feeble rationales unless the truth is indefensible?

Then there is the provocative point that Mr. Trump’s efforts were parried by the threat to resign of his own White House counsel, Mr. McGahn. White House counsels are not in the habit of bucking their bosses that way; it’s an extraordinarily rare event. Mr. McGahn obviously feared at least a political firestorm; yet if that was all he feared, one would expect him to have saluted and carried out the president’s orders. Concerns about politics aren’t a hallmark of Mr. McGahn’s tenure, to say the least. The threat to resign carries with it the possible implication that he saw more: a crime, even a continuing conspiracy, that he wanted to distance both Mr. Trump and himself from.

~~~  FINISH  ~~~

‘Just Another Control Day’–Text & Photos by Jonathan Thompson–Silverton Standard–January 14, 2005

The Rōbert [Cholo] Report (pron: Rō'bear Re'por)

The radio chattered with the “heads up” signal, and a few seconds later we heard the boom of the gun, and then the eerie sounding whistle of the bullet piercing the air.  Then the second report of the charge exploding somewhere up in the cloud obscured ridge.  We chatted nonchalantly–all of us had watched expectantly as round after round was lobbed into the paths near town with no result.  Surely the first shot wouldn’t do anything here.

And then we saw it:  the pristine white snow all the way across the starting zone appeared to be cracking like ice.  I lifted my camera to my eye and started pushing the button over and over again as the huge slabs of snow succumbed to gravity and began moving down the mountain, then turning into a great white cloud, and then into a 100-foot high locomotive.  It kept gathering speed, kept growing…

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VIEW TO THE WEST | Drought Happens by Peter Shelton

The Rōbert [Cholo] Report (pron: Rō'bear Re'por)

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Two weeks ago I listened in on an “open media call” regarding Colorado’s continuing drought.

It was hosted by Western Resource Advocates, an environmental law and policy nonprofit founded in 1989, with headquarters in Boulder and offices across the Southwest. As it happened, the call coincided with announcements by two Front Range cities, Louisville and Lafayette, that they were initiating water restrictions in their communities.

Bart Miller, WRA’s water program director made an intriguing comparison between the years 2002-2003 and our present drought situation.

“Two-thousand-two was probably the driest year in [Colorado] history,” he said. “But in 2003, the state was saved by the largest snowstorm in Colorado history.”

 VIEW TO THE WEST Drought Happens

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Playing Risk: Dick Dorworth Meditates On How We Mitigate The Dangers Of The Wild

The Rōbert [Cholo] Report (pron: Rō'bear Re'por)




Like many older people I find in recent years that I learn more from those younger than from my peers. I recently gained a new sliver of insight into the matter of risk tolerance from my youngest son, Jason, who lives in Santa Cruz, California and is an avid surfer. Several years ago I heard about Mavericks, the famous, big, dangerous wave an hour north of Santa Cruz. I asked Jason if he knew about and had been to Mavericks. “I don’t do that kind of thing, Dad,” he replied. As a parent I was understandably relieved. Last year the fine biographical film “Chasing Mavericks,” about two Mavericks icons, was released. It is, in my view, a superior film about the human quality of risk tolerance and much more. After I saw it I asked Jason if he had seen it. He knows…

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The San Juan Avalanche Project by Don Bachman-Silverton Mountain Journal–February 2001—Reposted because it’s such an important story in San Juan Mountain history–J.R.

The Rōbert [Cholo] Report (pron: Rō'bear Re'por)

In early May of 1971, I was detailed to Silverton by the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR),University of Colorado with a purchase order and instructions to locate a house of suitable size to base an office and living quarters for an avalanche research project.

That night I stopped at the Grand Imperial to listen in on a busy town of 850 people supported by the employment of two large mines, the Sunnyside and Idarado.  I wasn’t long on the bar stool before two fellows got up from a table and sandwiched me, right and left with the admonition from the big one on the right of  “We don’t allow no #$%&*! hippies in here”.  Well, I was fresh from the hippie-cowboy wars of Gunnison County, so not too concerned.  My hair and beard weren’t really that long and I was a bit older and sober, and after all…

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New insights into the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge & North American Winter Dipole

The Rōbert [Cholo] Report (pron: Rō'bear Re'por)

A timely example: Persistent Western ridge, Eastern trough next 2+ weeks

In the coming days, a remarkably persistent weather pattern will begin to develop across North America and adjacent ocean regions. Characterized by strong high pressure near the West Coast and low pressure over the Eastern Seaboard, this “quasi-stationary,” high-amplitude atmospheric wave pattern will essentially become locked in place for at least the next 2 weeks. Patterns like this have a tendency to become self-reinforcing, lasting for much longer than more typical transient weather patterns and leading to prolonged stretches of unusual weather. This particular event will be no exception: California (and much of the West Coast) will almost certainly experience an extended, multi-week warm and dry spell, while much of the East Coast shivers through repeated blasts of cold, Arctic air.

~~~  READ ON  ~~~

From Mountain Weather Master Joe Ramey

Here is another emergence of…

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