The sky has been bluer the past few days than it has been all summer. Must be that fall is in the air.

I bumped into Matt Carpenter on Manitou Avenue early Sunday afternoon. He was sitting outside his ice cream shop, waiting for a customer. I had just completed the epic Pikes Peak Marathon race that he owned for the better part of two decades.

First came the bare human foot, somewhere in Africa. Then, in no particular order, the moccasin, the shoe, the horse and saddle, boat and oar, the ski, the snowshoe and so much more.

With all the news about drought and fires as of late, one might think that the sky is falling. I suppose in some places in the West it is, thanks to the ash from yet another wildfire blazing across thousands of acres of forest.

Like a self-conscious teenager, Colorado mountain towns have grown up with a bit of a psychological complex. Let’s call it the “Fear of Growing Uncool Problem” — FOG-ing UP, for short.

As an independent nurse anesthesiologist (CRNA) who proudly serves three rural hospitals with anesthesia and chronic pain services, I recognize that surgical services are the lifeblood of any rural facility.

Had to be 20 years ago, maybe then some, I ran the iconic photo from the early 1970s, the longshot down Colorado Avenue, above the fold on Page One of The Telluride Daily Planet: dirty Fords and battered pickups, every one of them with a Colorado license plate.

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