David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Addresses [1987]


You have to be a reader of the Boulder Daily Camera to appreciate what's been happening with the mountain addressing system.

Originally it was designed not to help with addressing mail but to help emergency vehicles find you. At least that's what we were told back in 1983. Now the Post Office in Boulder is making noises about requiring its use on letters. I'm not sure it helped, but then I haven't had an emergency, either, so I can't be certain. Our fire and ambulance people seem to know where everyone lives and I haven't heard about any emergency vehicles getting lost.

The problem seems to be that some people feel publishing the addresses is an open invitation to crooks of all kinds. There have been several articles in the Camera, and many letters to the Editor. In case you're not aware of it, the addresses list you by the distance you are from the entrance of a particular road in hundredths of a mile, so if your address is 1533 you're 1.533 miles from the entrance. Of course the distance changes slightly every time the snow plow goes by, but it's close.

This is another of those problems that beset us as we can't decide whether we want to be left alone or we want to be treated like flatlanders. As an old navigator, I have always found a certain charm in my “North Star Route” address but I used the numbers to help the nice people at UPS, although they found us in the past without it. I suppose if a burglar wants to burgle he can do it without depending on my mountain address number.

Those of us who are older folks can remember that we went through some of the same resistance when ZIP codes came in and when telephone numbers changed from word prefixes to numbers. Now we're adding to the ZIP codes and everyone seems to be taking it in stride.

It's getting harder and harder to be a hermit these days, is about what it amounts to. When we finally get local mail delivery instead of boxes it's going to remove the last vestige of anonymity some of us came here for. According to our postmaster that's still a long way off, so enjoy it while you can if that appeals to you.

I've given up; I've already had my return address labels printed and the numbers are right there. Thirty years ago or so they told us we couldn't hang our canvas mail bag on a tree any more, that we had to get a regulation mail box. There was a lot of resistance to that, too, but you can see what happened.

So you can write letters to the Editor if you want but it isn't going to do you any good. You can't fight city hall here because there isn't one and you can't fight the Post Office because that's all there is.




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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