The Estes Park Golden Mile

My friend, Tyler, and I have been talking about doing a golden mile drinking route sometime. He had planned to visit Colorado this summer, so I got to work on looking into it and decided Estes Park is suitable for a golden mile of twelve alcohol serving establishments. There are plenty of original eating and drinking places peppered on or near the main drag of Elkhorn Avenue. Tyler arrived August 6th and stayed until just this last Monday, the 25th. It took weeks of resourcing information from different mediums, but we planned and successfully executed the Estes Park Golden Mile.

Our idea of the golden mile sprang from “The World’s End” film starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Sadly we didn’t run into any dramatic hazards from their adventure but we did manage to meet some good people along the way. I will now list the official order of the EPGM.

# 1. Estes Park Brewery (It had to be #1. C’mon. Drafts)
# 2. Molly B’s (Micro bar. Bottles)
# 3. Grubsteak (Excellent bar area with natural lighting. Drafts)
# 4. Wapiti Pub (It feels like a basement bar. Drafts)
# 5. Wild Rose (Micro bar. Excellent sandwiches. Bottles)
# 6. Lonigans Pub (Dark old bar. Cozy. Drafts)
# 7. The Wheel Bar (A classic popular bar. Drafts)
# 8. Chelito’s (A top level micro bar overlooking Elkhorn Ave. Drafts)
# 9. Local’s (Micro bar. Good people and great food. Bottles)
#10. La Hacienda (Overlooks Virginia Dr. & Bond Park. Drafts)
#11. Ed’s Cantina (Once a dimly lit steak eatery. Now it’s trendy. Drafts)
#12. Cascades Whiskey Bar (The Stanley Hotel. A “World’s End” class bar.)

This golden mile order was executed Friday August 22, 2014. There is a handful of other notable establishments in the EP area, but they are not part of the EPGM because of distance. I would have possibly included places like Cable’s Pub, Taphouse, Tiki Bar, and even Aspen Lodge or Baldpate Inn if they had met distance requirements or opened when they said they would (Tiki Bar). But these places stand alone as unique as the others. I recommend checking them out.

We began preparation for this feat on the previous day by eating mineral and fiber rich meals with adequate carbohydrates. We also did not have a drop of alcohol that day. Tyler had already been here a couple weeks getting acclimated to the elevation. We had also been drinking a bit every day. This is important to train your body so you won’t get hammered too soon on the day of the golden mile. We also visited an ATM and withdrew the cash for twelve beers and plenty of food. It’s about a hundred dollars; small bills are preferable because you can just throw down and walk.

On the morning of the golden mile we got up early and had smoothies for breakfast. One smoothie consists of: many frozen blueberries, half a banana, 1 egg, 1 scp. Ruby Red powder, 1 scp. SuperGreens powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. camu camu powder, 1 tbsp. cocoa powder, local honey, then fill with unsweetened almond milk. The Magic Bullet blender and one of their standard containers was used for making this smoothie. Proportions match the container and preference.

Estes Park Discovery Map

This was a nearly perfect beginning for a day of drinking and walking. There is no actual pub guide / map, as I understand it, so this is what we had to work with. It’s kind of odd for a town with more bars than fingers and toes to not have a bar guide, but we made the Estes Park Discovery Map work. After dressing to the nines we grabbed our EPDM and markers then secured a ride to the first location; The Estes Park Brewery.

EPGM Beginning Photo

We arrived at 11:30, just before lunch, and walked right upstairs to the bar. We ordered two pints of the gold; this was our Best of the Rockies “go to” ale for the day. It’s an excellent golden ale on the lower end of bitterness. The rule of the golden mile is to order a pint draft anywhere you can. Otherwise, go with what they got.

The next stop was the Molly B. It’s a modest little bar with a bit of character. They only had bottles but we had another EPB beer. The actual bar area is tiny but it looks nice. The beers went down smooth and we chatted a little bit with the women that were working there. It’s almost like everyone working in Estes Park isn’t from Estes Park. Pleasantly odd.

By now we were getting a bit hungry, so we walked across the street and over the river to Grubsteak. They have a magnificent bar. We ordered a couple of pints of something quite good they had on tap. Seeing as how it’s also a damn fine eatery, we started thumbing through the menu. We intended to order fries and cheese sticks but after informing the bartender of our mission to craft a golden route through town, he proceeded to advise us in properly eating for the task. So we 86’d the frozen cheese sticks, and went with some scotch eggs he was nice enough to inform us about. All I can say is, “YES, HOT DAMN!”. The scotch eggs at Grubsteak are Legendary. Someone knows what they’re doing with those little devils. The small meal had renewed my faith toward the endeavor. We were ready to tackle the remaining establishments.

We walked on up to the Wapiti Pub. I was impressed with their environment. It’s a medium size bar and they seem to rotate the taps through a lot of different brews. We ordered a couple of Golds and that floated the keg, so she brought us those half pints at no charge. We sampled a citrusy beer and decided to go with two pints of that. It was quite busy in there for the time of day, but most of these establishments are original and Estes is a tourism hot spot. I enjoyed the Wapiti. Aside from the other patrons, it feels like a private basement bar.

The next stop was the Wild Rose, and by now we’ve worked up a strong appetite. The picnic food was pleasant at Grubsteak, but I think we were both in need of a meal by now. I ordered a club sandwich and washed it down with a water and a bottle of fine beer. I’m pretty sure Tyler ordered the Reuben, but the best one he’s had was at Local’s the previous day. The Wild Rose is pretty much a dining restaurant, but they have a micro bar, so they qualify.

We crossed the street and walked down to Lonigan’s Pub. If it’s good enough for a bear, it’s good enough for anyone. This bar just bleeds of history. Lonigan’s has that dim hometown pub atmosphere. I like it. It reminds me there are plenty of interesting places to discover. We threw back a couple pints of something and watched as horrific events flashed on televisions. We thought of including Kelli’s Lounge somewhere in the golden mile but everyone kept telling us to keep clear of that place. I guess it’s just for hipsters or young yuppies or something. So we accepted the professional advice and excluded Kelli’s Lounge from the golden mile. Besides, who wants to pay a cover just to have a drink? We didn’t.

Crossing over Moraine Avenue, we ventured down to The Wheel Bar. I can’t say enough about this bar. Every time I’ve visited, it’s been quite populated and last Friday was certainly no exception. I’m not sure but I think we ordered a couple pints of Gold. It didn’t matter, they were gone in short order. We might as well have been drinking acid, we had lead bellies by now. We were just over half way and there was no way we were stopping.

We walked out the south entrance and over the river and across the parking lot toward the Tiki Bar. They had a sign on the door that said they were opening at 5 p.m. They didn’t. It’s just like a small town family business to not open when they say. We gave them ample time, and I even phoned their numbers and left them a message. We eventually said to Hell with them and excluded them from the EPGM. We decided to replace them with Local’s Grill, and I’m glad we did, but I’ll get to that shortly. So we head back up and across Elkhorn Avenue to número ocho, Chelito’s. I like this place. I’ve eaten at Chelito’s thrice before and it’s always been fun. Climbing up to the third floor is a bit of a challenge after seven beers, but taking the elevator would have seemed cheap. We sat outside in the balcony area, but it had just rained earlier so we sat under the eaves of the building. The person tending to our table (I can’t recall now if it was a man or woman) brought out chips and salsa and we ordered our beers. I ordered a Negra Modelo and Tyler may have ordered a Dos Equis. I was feeling just right. I knew at this point, we were going to finish this endeavor. We paid in some form or another and I might have felt a little guilty about chomping on the chips without ordering food, but I think I tipped well.

It was a short walk to Local’s and we we’re doing very well with our time. We were seated in a booth and ordered a couple of their house bottle beer, with mugs. It’s basically the EPB Gold but they put their own label on it. We must have begun getting loud because we attracted the attention of the two young waitresses, Alyssa and Lindsay. I hope I’m spelling their names correctly because there are a few variations on both of their monikers. They were pretty and interested in what we were doing, so we told them about the golden mile we were designing. I don’t recall eating at Local’s that night, but we sampled their menu the previous week during the research phase. I gave them my card with this address, we paid and headed on down the road.

Número diez was La Hacienda. This restaurant & bar overlooks Virginia Dr., with possibly a view of Bond Park, but it was much more happening a place inside than on their balcony at this hour. We sat at a table in the center of the room in front of the bar, surrounded by conversing families and the clanging and scraping of utensils. It was a happy experience. We both ordered large drafts of Dos Equis Amber. I didn’t think it would be “tha big one” but when they arrived, I realized it was a 24 ounce mug of beer. Either way, it was a pleasing experience to slowly empty it. It assisted in making up for the missing 4 ounces from all those previous bottled beers. The sound of people eating in high spirits got me hungry again and I ordered a huge plate of rice. Tyler possibly ordered something that was most certainly dead. I mean, it may have been some sort of meat dish, but I can’t quite recall. The sky was now beginning to actually darken, so we got supercharged about nearing the finish and got up to pay. I attempted to speak in español with an employee about our quest and the golden mile, but I quickly realized he either didn’t care or I was a babbling fool. We exited stage left and proceeded onward.

The walk from La Hacienda to Ed’s Cantina is the second longest walk of the EPGM; the most taxing is the final walk up the hill to the Stanley Hotel. We enter the Cantina and are seated at a table in the bar area. The memory of this place is kind of a blur now, but I’m sure that has something to do with the neon glow lighting, and my contacts probably could have used some hydration. My vision may literally have been blurred. Certainly the eleventh pint I was about to drink had nothing to do with it (ha ha). I don’t know what I ordered but it was probably an IPA because I remember some bitterness, and I do like to try different IPA’s. I remember asking our waitress to help in the marking on the map of the Cantina’s location. I knew where it was but I was really just trying to make her a part of a minor ceremony. It was busy and there wasn’t much time to explain anything, so I abandoned plans for any further conversation. We were periodically marking up the discovery map throughout the day, and it often drew some attention; all good.

The combination of colors, lights and noise in Ed’s Cantina placed me into a haze of wonderment. I felt compelled to finish as early as possible. I called our ride (my parental units) and informed them we were beginning the walk up to the Stanley Hotel. It was just past 8 o’clock and we were going to finish early; we had done very well. I don’t remember crossing the street but we most likely didn’t use a crosswalk. However, I don’t recall much traffic at that time. We burned some time hiking up the street toward the Stanley. It was a majestic sight. It was glowing through its windows and well lit for all to see. It is truly a World’s End class bar. The Stanley Hotel portico is a ranch style entrance of white pillars and railings. The doors open into a foyer of select choices of beautifully finished species of wood. It’s big, but not too big. It’s more cozy than anything else. The Cascades Restaurant and Whiskey Bar is to the left. There are two ladies standing at a thin podium just outside the entrance of our final destination. A look inside tells me this is the most populated bar I’ve seen all day. Perhaps it is just the later hour. I feel like I kind of cheated my way inside because I informed the two ladies we were just wanting to go to the bar for drinks. But upon entering the area there is hardly a manner to even see a bartender, let alone talk to one. We turn around and see a low table that seems to have been recently cleared off. It’s the only empty four-seating table in the area near the bar that can be seen. We shuffle through some elbows and promptly sit down at it. Tyler stayed at the table while I headed out to the foyer to wait for the parental units. I sat back in a plush chair and soaked in the scenery. After some time, the parental units arrived at 8:50 and I ushered them to our table. Tyler and I ordered some pints of our final EPB labeled beer and I also requested a glass of this medium-priced fine whiskey our server recommended. I didn’t think it proper to enter a world class whiskey bar to order a simple beer. We had a good time.

EPGM Ending EPGM Table

Tyler and I did make it up to the fourth floor of the Stanley Hotel after leaving the whiskey bar and I’m pretty sure something weird is going on up there. On the third floor or so, I saw a warped mirror or something like an old mirror at the end of a hall, but it didn’t reflect people, so it may have been a clever painting. I don’t know, I was drunk. As we were leaving out the rear portico to the parking lot, I viewed a couple looking out over the lot from a balcony and talking. We somewhat yelled out to them about the weird happenings of the 4th floor and that the place was haunted. They waved. It was 10:08 p.m. when we climbed into the rover. That concludes the Estes Park Golden Mile. I hope you enjoyed my reporting of this quest, and perhaps you will plan to accomplish it someday.

Estes Park Golden Mile Map

That is what the discovery map looks like now. As you can see it’s a bit tattered by being handled by two drunks for a day. It has also acquired a couple more folds; it was absolutely necessary for the cause. It’s getting framed.

Now for some additional “day after” information. I can’t say enough about quality liquors. The alcohol really took effect upon returning to the cabin. So I drank enough water to drown a dog and repeatedly had to use the lavatory the rest of the night, but I didn’t get sick. At about 4:00 a.m. I awoke to several spinning sensations, so I fumbled my way to the kitchen to eat half a banana and imbibe more water. I rested in the lavatory a bit and went back upstairs to bed. Later that Saturday, I was pretty much useless so I continued sipping water and played some GTA V. Tyler seemed better off than me. I blame Canada.

-Jeremy Edward Dion

A Tahosa Vista Summer

I arrived at the cabin in June this summer. I love it here. There is always so much to do to keep me at peace. I am balanced here, very Zen. This summer my nephew, Nathan, and a friend of mine, Nick, accompanied me. Nick drove his Harley out and stayed for the first couple weeks. There was a snafu with the internet service provider and we didn’t get internet until the evening before Nick left for his return trip. This wasn’t much of a problem because we took to focusing on more organic activities, like eating special pastries and traipsing through the woods in search of stove-worthy species.

There was much struggle on the journey. The van broke down 96 miles east of Sidney, Nebraska on I-80. Something electrical popped and the van shut off, leaving me to fail passing a trailer truck and coast off to the shoulder with almost no brakes and diminished steering control. Nick had went on ahead of us and made it to Loveland later that night. Luckily we got a phone signal and AAA gave us the free 100 mile flatbed tow into Sidney, NE to Sauders Inc., the AAA service station. They really had the opportunity to screw us because even after my thorough explanation of the events and the smell of burnt PCB or wiring, they were determined it sounded like the timing chain cut loose. We had no choice but to get a room at the Best Western in Sidney (the world headquarters of Cabela’s) and wait for Sauders to properly diagnose the issue the following day. We would have stayed at the Motel 6 but they reported they were all booked up. Having two dogs along limited our options.

Good fortune had smiled upon us. The damage was, in fact, the ECM computer that blew from a short with an injector. We discussed the options, called in monetary assistance, and got the wheels in motion for repair. Meanwhile, there was no way in Hell we were staying another night in Sidney. It was starting to feel like being in that movie U-Turn, where if we stayed any longer, we’d be involved in some catch 22 situations of severe misfortune. So as desperation gripped us, and since Nick already arrived in Estes Park, we took to Craigslist to find a transporter. We found an individual named Jim in Thornton that drove a Saturn View. We explained our predicament and Jim said he’d come get us and drive us to a Budget Car Rental in Fort Collins for $120. Good deal, all things considered. Jim turned out to be a retired biker complete with bitchin skull tattoos and several interesting stories. He really helped us out of a tight spot. He could have been the devil himself; it wouldn’t have mattered, there was no way we would stay another night in Sidney. We managed to stuff the essential luggage, myself, my mother, Nathan, and the two dogs into Jim’s Saturn View. It was an arduous journey through work zones and lowered speed limits but we finally arrived at Budget in Fort Collins and we paid Jim $140. We rented the car we reserved earlier. It turned out to be a fairly new Impala, very nice. We headed up to Estes Park, met up with Nick and arrived at the cabin with daylight to spare for opening the cabin. Finally, some much needed relaxation.

The very next morning, we are greeted by a moose wandering about the cabin. I took a lot of video I might make available but this photo will do for now.

Moose 6/05/2014

Days pass, and we decide to head up Trail Ridge Rd. to experience the view, the cold and the snow.

Trail Ridge 6/08/2014

And you just can’t beat the simple pleasure of good company with the great view of the cabin’s overlook.

Overlook 6/09/2014

There was an amusing incident at The Wheel Bar that merits notice. Nick and I had discussed earlier that Nathan, my 18 year-old nephew, could make for an excellent wing-man on a night out. Indeed the idea must be tested. By now we had driven the Impala out to Sidney to retrieve the van, so finally I’ve got access to a vehicle I’m insured to drive. So Nick, Nathan and I head into Estes. We find a damn good parking spot near the park behind and walk up to the backside of The Wheel Bar. It’s looking kind of dead downstairs in the game room, so we continue around to the front. The place is packed and definitely happening, as everyone is upstairs drinking at the bar. We walk in up to the bartender and Nick asks about a couple of beers. I notice Nick is shifting from side to side and the bartender does similarly and mouths some gibberish I cannot hear over the crowd. Nick then asks where we could get some decent food and the barman, quite rudely, points toward the door and replies “Out that way and to the left.” We leave and we’re headed off to find somewhere else and Nick exclaims to Nathan,
“You’re a shitty wingman, Nathan! The first fucking place we go and we’re kicked out.”
Apparently, Nick sensed the barman’s intent to gauge Nathan’s age so he was trying to obstruct his view. What I failed to hear the bartender say was he could serve the two of us but he (Nathan) has got to go. Nick explained Nathan would not be drinking, but the bastard wasn’t having it. Eh, to Hell with them. So we went to Chelito’s to have nachos and beer. Fuck the scene. We salvaged the night our own way. We didn’t return.

It’s easy to get spoiled when you wake up every day with the ability to view such monumental magnificence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve photographed the same mountains in the same light, but something compels me to capture more. You just can’t harness the vastness of it all in a photograph.

Mountains 6/13/2014

The flood last summer must have severely damaged the other watering holes because we keep getting moose coming to our pond to drink. They also like eating the branches off the young aspen trees on the dam. This time it’s a big bastard of a moose with little to no fear of proximity to the cabin. I got some excellent video and photos. Here’s a decent photo of the beast.

Big Bastard 6/15/2014

By now, Nick had left to head back home and the cabin was humming with internet access. We decided to travel up to the Stanley Hotel one evening because Nathan had not been inside before. It’s a grand place, and quite haunted in the deep recesses of the upper floors. We walked inside to view the whiskey bar. It’s certainly a “World’s End” caliber of bar. An idea begins to form.

Stanley 6/20/2014

After Nick left I began to focus more time on making practical property improvements. Our method for clean water is taking a blue 6 gallon Igloo container to fill it up at the spring in Allenspark. We would then just set it on the kitchen counter with a hose that ran down inside of it and also hung over the side. We would siphon the water out into the glass or whatever when we needed it. This was a frustrating practice, as you had to maintain the proper nozzle level for the siphon to remain intact and the hose end had to be manually capped with the tapered top of a honey bottle. This just wouldn’t do anymore. I took a trip to a number of hardware stores and collected the items to fix this once and for all. Currently, the Igloo container resides on the second floor directly above the kitchen along the southwest wall. The tube is now much longer and runs through a small hole I drilled in the floor. I’m quite proud of this solution, and I like the rudimentary look of it. The trek up the stairs with 50 lbs. of water can be tiring but the result is far superior. The following is a photo of the current potable water tap.

Water 6/23/2014

I can easily get a drink of clean water without hassle. I’m now more likely to keep hydrated while working outdoors. I decided to tackle a more interesting job. I was in dire need of a new sawhorse. So I recorded the measurements of the current rotting sawhorse and translated those into what they’re supposed to be. But to build such a device, I would want a more precise construction tool. I found an ancient Stanley miter box in the attic, which no doubt was used by my grandfather in the creation of the window frames and other cuts more demanding of precision, so I decided to screw it to a plank and bolt it to an a-frame in order to keep myself from going crazy with free hand cutting angles. This is the beginning of a whole agenda of projects to come.

Miter Box 6/24/2014

Now that I got my cutting station set up, I went out to buy some lumber. I quickly discovered there wasn’t a decent place to keep the lumber. So I quickly crafted a spot to span lengths of eight footers.

Lumber 6/24/2014

I was feeling pretty accomplished with the outdoor efforts so I pitched an idea for upgrading the electrical entertainment capabilities of the cabin. I was informed of an ad on Craigslist for the exact same HDTV Vizio model I have back in South Carolina. It was the SV421XVT. This tele features a 240hz refresh rate that makes even the most expensive blockbusters seem like they were made by Sundance. I love this effect. The ad said it came with a sound bar and the total was $300. This is a damn fine deal. I emailed the guy, he called me back and he set a time to visit him the following day. He was in downtown Denver on East 11th Ave. He was a musician named Gerry living in nicely preserved old apartment housing. Wow, such a pleasant structure. He had a badass playful wise cat named Hemingway that was extremely interested in everything visitor related. Gerry also had a Roku he was willing to sell for an additional $30. Bought that too. The cat was not for sale. I had brought my Xbox 360 from SC in the hopes a television could be acquired for the cabin. So I wired and set it all up in the upstairs hallway. I also acquired a Netgear GS108 gigabit 8-port switch to uplink and wire us into the router. The WiFi on the CenturyLink DSL modem they’ve supplied us can be quite faulty and downright unreliable at times. Even after optimizing the channels and adjusting the signal strength, it still just sucks. But we’re all wired up good and proper now.

Entertainment 6/28/2014

And so I finally built the sawhorse. It’s pine construction and I’m going to wait a year for it to weather the mill glaze off before I finish it with the TWP 100 rustic stain. However, I have coated my cut ends of the construction with gorilla glue to seal them up. The internals of pine boards have a capillary action and I don’t want the feet or tops absorbing any excessive moisture. The guides of the sawhorse are the same artificial planks used on the back porch. They can take a beating and will outlast the rest of the design.

Sawhorse 7/01/2014

All things begin to fall into place and I feel at peace. I am the most complete while working outside to build up my environment. The satisfaction of working with my hands creating structure and tools is abundant. I went into Estes Park to eat at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant and walk around a bit. I saw this cool miniature waterfall along the path. I love Estes Park, it’s a small town but it seems of my own design.

Waterfall 7/02/2014

BEARS! I finally saw my bear. Big furry bastards scavenging for human leftovers. This was early the next morning after my mother’s cousin, Sugeet, arrived from Oregon. Personally, I’m certain his luck brought the bears to greet his arrival. Bears are good fortune. Or perhaps he smuggled them into the Tahosa Valley in his Honda Fit. It was 3:45 am and I heard metal crashing that I at first thought was part of my dream. I woke upon determining it was external stimulus matching the sound of the aluminum trash can we use for recycling being struck. I knew no human would be on the porch making such noises at this early hour so I sat up to look out my window overlooking the back porch. It was very dark. I saw a black blob of unidentifiable form around the debris of the toppled trash can. The form began to dissipate as I heard patterned grunting sounds coming from the area of 320 (the tool shed transformed from an outhouse). The grunting was growing near and I knew it had to be something big, perhaps a moose. When the beast came into view, I was ecstatic. It was a bear! A great big bastard of a grunting bear. I quickly had the thought this great wise bear was not grunting, but laughing at the smaller bear that had made all the noise toppling the recyclables container over. The photographs didn’t take at that hour because of the lack of light and the screen between me and the target caught all of the flash but this is the aftermath of the event photographed in the light of that morning.

Bears 7/10/2014

I went to a talk at the Aspen Lodge today and listened to Master Chen speak of Taoism, the benefit of stillness, learning to hear the message of disasters, and finding the Yang for the Yin. I really like him. He is wise beyond his age and he doesn’t fear to show it. He will do a lot of good for Tahosa Valley and its people. As soon as I returned home from Aspen Lodge I decided to finish a project I have been working on for a week. I laid out two lengths of pine trunks over the stream supported by stones to prevent them sinking into the soil. This was to be a sturdy level platform for a step bridge over the stream south of the dam. It consists of eleven 1×6’s cut in 28″ lengths laid across the span between the two trunks and spaced 1/2″ apart. I sanded and stained the pine 1×6’s. I think it came out quite well. I must wait until next summer when it’s properly weathered to apply the finish coat. You’re not supposed to stain new wood, but the sanding helped clear the superheated pine glaze from the surface and the stain took acceptably. It’s a sturdy build and I think it looks good.

Bridge 7/13/2014

So that’s just about everything to catch you up to date. Now that I have a new sawhorse, I expect I’ll be cutting lots of firewood. I am at my most content of being walking through the forest collecting aspen. The simplicity of the task, knowing the land provides me such comforts, I cannot be saddened. It is a solitary gift. No one thing matters when I am striking wood with axe. And there is no sound finer than the tearing of the grain. I appreciate all that is given to the senses, unobstructed by cheap alteration. The interaction with the wild environment eclipses any electrical panel stimuli I’ve encountered. Few can be so lucky to find solace among nature. I lack the wisdom to explain my joy. I thank a history of restraint for such simple pleasures.

-Jeremy Edward Dion

Federal Government Shutdown

The federal government shutdown today. This is wholly a great event, but it resulted in the closing of Trail Ridge road. Highway 7 is presently the only way out of Estes Park. This reflects extremely poor planning by the Colorado state government. I can’t help but to feel this is happening by design. Now if only something were to happen to Highway 7, we’d be locked in. The flooding disaster has closed the three canyons leading out of the mountains to the eastern valley. The state of emergency has sent military activity into the surrounding areas. The government shutdown has closed the national parks and access to the western slope. There is only one exit and I’m starting to feel defensive about my security.

Poor management of the nation is to blame for the government shutdown. The president, Obama, is acting as a spoiled child; taking his toys away because we won’t play with them how he thinks we should. He’s in danger of retiring like a presidential Kennedy. Perhaps the puppeteers are planning something at this very moment. We’ll see.

I immediately realized the rational fix to the logistical problems caused by the federal shutdown. I propose all the unemployed federal employees organize and request their respective state governments to invoke positions that replace the federal positions for their state. Simply ignore the government employer, which is effectively on strike, and find another source to pay you for your job. A national park should be managed by state employees anyway. Don’t change jobs, just change employers. A great many number of jobs would be better managed and aptly funded by the states in which they reside. Pay far less federal taxes and slightly raised state taxes, problem solved. If you’re a park ranger or manager, go to your governor and request to have jurisdiction of the national parks and respective duties to be transferred to the state government in which they lie. We don’t need federally employed individuals managing state assets. It’s inefficient and poorly budgeted.

What do you do when your employees go on strike but you must stay in business? You fire the strikers and hire replacements for the same jobs. The situation with the federal government shutdown is the same, only reversed. The employer has gone on strike. Fire the employer and find a replacement. Your job doesn’t change, only who pays you. This is a chance for the states to take back their rightly apportioned powers. But this would be an extremely rational and logical thing to do, so it probably won’t happen because even our state governments are mostly managed by the inept. I think I’m good at finding solutions to these types of problems. I’m beginning to think about participating in public office to assist in deregulation and returning asset management back to state residents.

-Jeremy Edward Dion