David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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June means the beginning of the tourist season, of course, but it’s also the traditional time for graduations and weddings.

This year we have a triple dose, with a graduation, (our younger son, from CU) a wedding (our older son, in Tennessee) and the tourists. So it’s also a time for us to think a bit about where we’ve been and where we’re going.

June is also the time when spring finally reaches our altitude. In Boulder the roses are coming up and the trees have all their leaves and the grass is green and the snow is long gone. But up here were just beginning to see the signs of new growth and every time we go down below we’re reminded of the brevity of our grow¬ing season.

We lived in California for a time, and it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between winter and summer. When we lived on Guam, it was impossible. Here, though, you can watch the sun march along the moun¬tains, and the advance and retreat of the high snow banks, the flow of the streams, the blossom¬ing of the flowers and the growth of the trees. No matter how long you’ve lived here or how many summers you’ve spent here, it’s never quite the same. Still, you can find a sense of continuity many of us find comforting; places you walk, trees and rocks and views that seem to belong to us.

For about 30 years we had a big stump in the shape of a horse with our hand lettered sign on it next to a gate at the en¬trance to our place. They’ve been gone for 40 years, but when I walk past the spot, I still see them. They’ll be there until I die, and then no one will know or care they were ever there.

Sometimes, just walking around, you find artifacts from long ago; bottles, nails, pieces of roofing. When we dug a hole for the satellite dish we turned up an old saw blade buried two feet down and we have no idea how it got there. It’s more than just garbage. It had a meaning to somebody, and a purpose. Years from now some¬body is going to find things I dropped and wonder who I was and what I was doing when I was so careless.

It’s fun to be a part of this process of growth and change; life and death. Moments like the beginning of the season and graduations and weddings remind us of our part in the process and that there’s more to it than just repairing the screens and scrubbing the floors, washing the win-dows and turning on the water. When I hang up the hummingbird feeders I can’t help thinking about all those who hung them up before I was here and will be hanging them up long after I’m gone.

Sometimes I forget why this place is so popular with tourists, especially in June. But when I take a minute to look at that glorious sky above our mountains and the pasque flowers pushing up through the winter brown, I remember.




© 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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