There is a place, far up a mountain trail in the West Elk Wilderness that most people pass by without a thought. To reach it takes hours on foot or horseback. Most days start before dawn — hours of catching, saddling and loading horses, just to get us to the trailhead.

You may have heard this saying before, and if not you’re likely to hear it — probably with increasing frequency — in the near future: “Rural is the new urban.”

I came to the United States as a young child when my dad got a temporary faculty position at the University of Michigan. The original plan was to live there for a couple of years and then move back to Australia, where my parents grew up.

I’m not a religious man, but I’ve long considered the woods my church. It’s where I go to worship nature, contemplate troubles, remember those lost and work on becoming a better person.

Everything was in place for the ending you are supposed to dream of. Except dreams don’t always come true.


To the friends of the Pitt family. Many of you who know Tyler, Casey, Brody and Jackson may have heard their devastating news. For those of you who have not, Tyler and Casey thought that they were dealing with a stomach/GI issue with which 6-year-old Brody had been diagnosed.

Spencer, my 15-year-old son, and I recently took our written driver’s test together. I went first and I failed. Learning from my mistakes, he passed.

“News matters.”

If there was any doubt of that fact in the minds of Denver Post readers this past Sunday, an entire Perspective section capped with the aforementioned headline — a shot across the bow of the newspaper’s owner — likely laid it to rest.