David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Crime in Our Valley


Life in our valley can be pretty dull in the summer, but sometimes it gets almost too exciting.

Often when we have family or friends visiting, we play musical houses. So it was that the night before they were scheduled to leave, my brother and his wife were sleeping peacefully in the cabin usually occupied by my mother during the summer. They were awakened a little after eleven by the sound of someone in the cabin and they saw the beam of a flashlight. When they called out, the intruder fled, taking with him all the cash he had found in a wallet and purse, leaving by the same back door he had found unlocked.

Calling 911 resulted in a quick response from the Sheriff’s office, including one unit that came all the way from Boulder. They found a suspect, and were certain he was the culprit, but didn’t find enough evidence to hold him.

Coming up the South St. Vrain the next morning, I passed a bus just after it had burst into flame. It was an old school bus, fortunately without passengers, on its way to Covenant Heights. Apparently, it had stalled on the hill just east of Glacier View, and the driver, having flooded the engine, had pumped enough raw gas into the carburetor to overflow. When the gasoline hit the hot engine the whole front of the bus went up. The driver escaped without injury and in a few minutes the volunteer fire department, with Mike Osmun in the lead, arrived to douse the flames but the bus was a total loss. The Sheriff’s units arrived shortly afterward and diverted traffic from the canyon to the Riverside road, both top and bottom, so except for a few vehicles caught in between, the traffic continued to flow.

We like to think that ours is a fairly crime-and-disaster-free area, and according to the records, that’s true. We spend our summers trying to make a living, cleaning up the highways, feeding the birds, taking walks, reading books, getting ready for the bazaar, going to meetings about our various concerns and in general just trying to get by with as little hassle as possible. Still, every once in a while, we do have some excitement, usually brought on by things like not remembering that the hills are steep and the altitude does funny things to both people and machines, and there are people who will rob you blind if you give them half a chance.

We are fortunate indeed to have Sheriff Epp’s people on the job, and, although crippled, our own fire department can still put out a fire.

Let’s hope the rest of the summer is really dull. And remember to lock those doors




© 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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