Options abound to get outdoors in 2012

There are great views to be seen cross-country skiing on Grand Mesa. But there are unsung people who make sure Skyway trail is groomed to be enjoyed, so thank them and anyone else who does all they can to make sure the great outdoors stays great.

There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow Shining at the end of every day There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow And tomorrow’s just a dream away

Man has a dream and that’s the start He follows his dream with mind and heart And when it becomes a reality It’s a dream come true for you and me

So there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow Shining at the end of every day There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow Just a dream away

Not to mix metaphors — or movies — but Hailey Mills as Pollyanna would have easily sucked up to this other Disney song, written for the “Carousel of Progress,” which debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.

Pollyanna was my kinda girl, and “It’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” was my kinda song.

But that was 1964, and depending upon your perspective, things weren’t as rosy as Pollyanna — or Walt Disney — suggested.

In 1964, the U.S. Congress officially authorized the war against North Vietnam.

Back in ‘64, a magnitude 9.2 quake was just the start of the Great Alaskan Earthquake and Tsunami. In March of that year, “underwater landslides gave way to several local tsunamis that destroyed coastlines from British Columbia to California. After a massive rebuilding effort, the sixth of our 10 Worst Disasters of the Last 101 Years….” according to the Seattle Times, “led to round-the-clock seismic monitoring.”

I was 11 years old in 1964, and still being beaten by The Daughters of Charity for being the class clown. But, I learned how to diagram a sentence. And, you would never start one with a conjunction like “but” or “and.”

See how tough life was in ‘64?

In 1964, there were 186 declared natural disasters in Idaho alone, just for heavy rains and flooding.

That same year, after three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi, the president signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This did not stop the violence.

Lyndon Johnson was returned to the White House that year after a landslide victory, and 1964 was the year The Beatles took the world and America by storm. Beatlemania went into overdrive as they released a series of number one hits including “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” and “All My Loving.”

OK. So some things were pretty groovy in ‘64.

But back to the real question ... so, you think you got it tough in 2012?

Think back a little.

Did you have the Grand Mesa Nordic Council in 1964? No.

Did you have the Colorado Canyons Association? No.

Did you have the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens? No.

Did you have the Colorado Riverfront Trail? No.

How about the Colorado National Monument Association? Huh? Was it around back in ‘64?

Did you have an ice rink a couple blocks off North Avenue? Maybe. Depends on frozen pipes.

Did the Colorado Department of Transportation have magnesium chloride? If it did, it didn’t use it on the roads.

Were your witty, poignant emails to your least-favorite congressman ever read? Duh.

Did you know what your PSA level was?

Did you know what the TSA was?

Had you ever heard of Bruce Springsteen?

How about Flat Top Reed?

Had you ever heard of COPMOBA? Holy Cow? Did you even know how to ride a bicycle????

Did you think Partners was a dance group?

If you stop to think about it, I hope you start again. Then, start supporting the Grand Mesa Nordic Council (http://www.GMNC.org). Start supporting COPMOBA, the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (http://www.COPMOBA.org). Start supporting the Colorado Canyons Association, a group that fosters community stewardship of our National Conservation System Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Areas. It is a non-partisan, non-profit organization encouraging cooperation among all NCA users and interests. (http://www.coloradocanyonsassociation.org.)

Wave (with all five fingers) and thank the next snow plow driver you see. He’s keeping your path clear to a winter wonderland of outdoor recreational activity.

Thank the guys who purchased Powderhorn Ski Area. It’s only going to get better.

Pat someone on the back at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens. People have toiled for the past 27 years to keep that place alive and growing.

The Colorado Riverfront Trail? Use it. Enjoy it. Support it. Go to: http://www.visitgrandjunction.com. Then, remember to thank the Visitor and Convention Bureau, while you’re at it, for hosting that website and letting the world know we have world-class outdoor recreational opportunities aplenty in the Happy Valley.

We just happen to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Be grateful. Be happy. Hold someone’s hand and sing a Beatles song. Smile.

It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow. Have a great one!


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