David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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The Beavers


Just above the confluence of Cabin Creek and Roaring Fork on the Cabin Creek side the beavers have been hard at work for many years. Now they're gone.

Beavers have been a part of the Allenspark area since the beginning, of course, and Cabin Creek is supposed to have been named for Kit Carson's cabin, which he built while trapping, mostly for beaver, in our valley in the 1840s.

When I was a boy there were beavers on the Roaring Fork side, too. Indeed, they were so numerous that the wildlife people came to our property in the late 20s and trapped a few to control the population, and left the skinned beaver kittens at my parents' door.

But that beaver clan finally stripped the area and moved out more than 20 years ago. Now it's very difficult to tell where the dams were.

The clan just downstream from Jack Zumwinkel may have been there even longer. There have been some years when they seemed inactive, but the pools and dams have always been there.

So it was a surprise this year to find the dams gone and the former pools filled with willows, alders and cow parsnips and Cabin Creek meandering through several courses as it tries to find the true channel. And not an aspen in sight, which, of course, the beaver needs to build and to eat.

The folks downstream, near the old Robinson Ranch meadow, tell me they detect increased beaver activity, but beavers are supposed to move upstream when they move, so it's difficult to tell what happened, not that it matters much anyway.

The fact remains that one of the great pleasures in life, that of sitting on the rocks above the dams at dusk and watching the beavers come out and become black-nosed arrows on the mirrored surface of the pools, is gone.

We can always go somewhere else, I suppose, but it won't be the same; for those of us who lived in that area, they were our beavers. We seem to feel that way about most of our wildlife: our chipmunks, our hummingbirds, our jays, and so forth. But the number of categories keeps dwindling.

I can remember when we had our coyotes, deer, porcupines, marmots, elk, and before my time you could add bears, (there may still be a few around Glacier View) mountain lions, wolves, eagles and many more.

So now our beavers are gone and they join that long list of animals we can no longer see by just looking out the window or taking a short walk in the evening.

As we continue to enjoy what some folks call "proper and orderly development" of the land around Allenspark I suppose you just have to expect that list to continue to grow. Still, as with all the others, I'm going to miss the beavers.




© 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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