OUT: Haggerty’s Hikes Column November 22, 2008

GIVE THE GIFT OF COLORADO BEAUTY AND HELP TO PRESERVE IT AT THE SAME TIME

Buy “Haggerty’s Hikes in a Bottle”: It supports a great non-profit organization that tries to enlighten society by connecting people with plants – and thus, all life.



One thousand eighty four e-mails. That’s how many I had remaining in my inbox when I ran across one from Cathy Cline the other day. It was dated Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006 and had never been opened, let alone answered. How embarrassing!

I’m very sorry Cathy, and I humbly beg your forgiveness.

Cathy asked about where to find publications/books of the hikes I recommend on the Western Slope. How about: “Haggerty’s Hikes in a Bottle,” available at Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods or the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens Gift Shop for a mere $19.95. All proceeds from the sale of this “Book in a Bottle” go to the Gardens.

The collection features 52 hiking columns — a hike a week for a year — from Colorado’s Continental Divide west to the slot canyons of southeastern Utah.

Of course, Cathy wrote her e-mail before I wrote the book, so I couldn’t have helped her as readily a couple years ago.

There are a number of other good hiking books available at local bookstores and sporting goods stores, as well as the Colorado National Monument Visitor Center Book Store.

Naturally, the more people read about these places, the more they use them. Old buddy and letter writer Paul Crawford noted recently, “As native Coloradans and outdoor enthusiasts all our lives, we grew up knowing secret places, known to few others. … The problem, of course, is that there are far too many people to hope that secrets can be kept from the masses …”

One idea is to keep the masses together. My hikes are normally, but not always, on trails built for public use by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and others in order to keep the masses on the same trail to preserve and enhance our beautiful state.

Paul gently nudged me to convey to others that we don’t want to love this area to death. Along those lines, here are a few green things to do this holiday season:

•  Buy “Haggerty’s Hikes in a Bottle”: It supports a great non-profit organization that tries to enlighten society by connecting people with plants – and thus, all life. Go to the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens Gift Shop at Seventh Street and Struthers Avenue, where Seventh Street Meets Nature, or Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods, 445 W. Gunnison.

Join any of the following groups:

•  The Colorado National Monument Association (CNMA). A nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist the National Park Service (NPS), with scientific, educational, historical, and interpretive activities at Colorado National Monument. Go to the National Monument Book Store at the Visitor Center or http://www.coloradonma.org.

•  Grand Valley Audubon Society. Through the power of education, research, and individual action, this group strives to preserve a diversity of habitats for birds and other wildlife, and a sustainable, healthy environment. Go to http://www.audubongv.org.

•  Grand Valley Anglers. The Western Colorado Trout Unlimited Club is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enjoying our natural fish habitat. Go to http://www.grand-valley-anglers.org.

•  Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association. COPMOBA is a group of mountain bikers dedicated to the development and maintenance of regional mountain bike trails on the Colorado Plateau. Go to copmoba.org.

•  Grand Mesa Nordic Council. One of my favorites is a community based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting fun, safe, diversified cross country skiing experiences on the Grand Mesa for skiers of all ages, abilities, and interests, and it grooms the trails! Go to http://www.gmnc.org.

•  The Friends of McInnis Canyons NCA. This group is committed to enhancing personal and community stewardship of natural, recreational, cultural and heritage resources on public lands encompassing the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The best spot I’ve found for information on this group is at mcinniscanyons.blogspot.com.

•  Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue. Colorado residents and visitors are well served by dedicated volunteer search and rescue teams, but mission costs are often in the thousands of dollars. By purchasing a CORSAR card you are contributing to the Search and Rescue Fund, which will reimburse these teams for costs incurred in your search and rescue. Go to http://www.dola.state.co.us/dlg/fa/sar/sar_purchase.html.

•  Volunteers For Outdoor Colorado. Get together with people who share your passion for the outdoors. Get dirty restoring a trail. Get green planting a tree. Go to http://www.voc.org.

• The Colorado Trail Foundation. This group maintains the Colorado Trail, our state’s premier long distance trail, stretching almost 500 miles from Denver to Durango. Go to http://www.coloradotrail.org.

•  The Colorado Mountain Club is devoted to connecting those who love the Colorado Rockies or who study or seek recreation in them. It gathers and disseminates information regarding Colorado’s mountains in the areas of art, science, literature and recreation. It also furnishes facilities for the enjoyment and study of the mountains and advocates for the preservation of alpine regions. Go to http://www.cmc.org.


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