It’s not too late for some spring skiing, or maybe help reroute Troy Built Loop

Jim Maggio checks out the view from the edge of the Western Rim during a recent bike ride on Kokopelli Trail in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.



SPT haggerty 040311

Jim Maggio checks out the view from the edge of the Western Rim during a recent bike ride on Kokopelli Trail in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.

040311 Haggerty hike map

I don’t want to make you jealous, but I’m hiking the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. I’ll report next week. In the meantime:

For dog enthusiasts, local “Master Mutten Maker,” Pam Gibbons custom sews “Toasty Mittens for the Mutt.”

For those of you who have tried numerous paw covers when taking your canine friend into the winter wilderness, only to discover they don’t fit, or the dogs chew them off — Pam’s custom-made “Snow Muttens” are the perfect solution. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or find her on Facebook at “Snow Muttens by Pam Gibbons.”

Don’t forget the cost of entering Colorado National Monument will increase slightly May 2 when the monument raises entrance fees by $3, to $10 per car. The pedestrian and cyclist entrance fee will be $5, a $1 increase.

This is the first fee increase in six years at the monument. The annual park pass, which provides unlimited entry for one year, will go up from $20 to $25. Limited supplies of the $20 annual passes have already been printed, so those will sell at the old rate until they sell out, even if bought after May 2.

Monument officials say revenue from this increase will stay here and not get sucked into the giant federal government vacuum. The money will be used to replace exhibits and update infrastructure.

The monument also will offer 16 fee-free days this year. The next ones will come the week of April 16, so replace the Nordic ski wax with sunscreen and bug juice, and get the desert hiking pack ready ...

... Don’t, however put that ski wax away just yet! Look up at Grand Mesa. There’s still snow up there. Of course, temperatures are rising so snow might start melting fast.

Expect a slick track if you’re heading to Skyway or County Line Nordic ski areas. The fabulous groomers with Grand Mesa Nordic Council are no longer grooming at Ward Lake, but will continue limited grooming at the other two areas as long as they can, so you’d better get up there and thank them for a great year.

If you can’t thank them personally, send them a check from the comfort of your own home computer. Go to http://www.gmnc.org and join, or renew your membership now.

Speaking of Nordic skiing, just in case you missed this: Mesa State’s Brooke Bosman finished third at the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association National Championships in the 15-kilometer freestyle race last month. Western State skier Jamie Woelk won the race, followed by St. Olaf’s Hillary Boyce. For Bosman and the young Mesa State club team, this was a huge feat. Mesa State’s home “course” is Skyway on Grand Mesa.

Mesa State placed two other skiers in the top 20. Kelsey Follett finished 15th in the women’s race and Dustin Wansrath crossed the line in 19th place.

In team competition, Bosman finished fifth to take first-team All-America honors in leading the Mesa women to a third-place finish.

That’s third place in the nation

Jamie Woelk of Western State College won the women’s race. Also scoring for Mesa were Amanda Moore (16th place) and Kelsey Follett (22nd place).

In the men’s race, Tre Anastasia led Mesa with a 28th-place finish, with teammate Wanstrath finishing just behind in 29th.

Congratulations to all the Mesa State skiers, and to Woelk and Western State. The Mountaineers won the team race.

It’s also important to note that Mesa State rivals from the University of Wyoming and Air Force Academy also placed in the top six in the nation. Wyoming finished fourth, just in front of Mesa State, Air Force Academy placed sixth, just behind Mesa State.

All three of these teams are “club” teams. No scholarships for these world-class athletes. They do it because they love it.

Colorado Canyons Association Executive Director Joe Neuhof hit the ground hiking into all the National Conservation Areas around here. Lucky dog.

I wrote about this group a few weeks ago. The association fosters community stewardship of National Conservation System Lands with a focus on the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area (NCA), Escalante-Dominguez NCA and Gunnison Gorge NCA — three local NCAs surrounding us.

If you want to get to know these folks, show up April 4 at 5:45 p.m., for some trail maintenance work with Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA).

Neuhof reports his Colorado Canyons friends will join COPMOBA as they finish rerouting the Troy Built Loop in the Kokopelli Trails section of McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.

For more information go to: http://www.copmoba.org or http://www.coloradocanyonsassociation.org.

Email Bill Haggerty at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



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