David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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[The WIND was started by Emily Hesse in February 1974. In April of that year I was in Allenspark, recuperating from the loss of parts of three fingers on my left hand in Southeast Asia as a result of my service in the United States Air Force.. In June I left for a new assignment in California. The May issue was Vol. 1, no. 4, and it was the first to carry the now familiar WIND masthead. Emily wanted to start a column called “Why Allenspark?” and I was asked to write the first contribution. I did not write another for 11 years. In the light of subsequent events it seems very naive, but it is the first piece I wrote for the WIND, so as a sort of artifact, here it is.]


When your family has owned property here for 55 years, perhaps the only proper answer to “Why Allenspark?” is “habit.”

I doubt that either Edward A. or Richard M. suspected, as they walked along Big Owl Road toward the property owned by a man they knew only as “John” that anyone in the family would ever actually make a home here. For more than 40 years after that 160 acre purchase, no member of the family set foot on the property between October and May.

A number of our friends have reasonably wondered why Mary and I decided to turn the largest of the summer homes into our permanent, year-round home. Our answer has much to do with the word “home,” and what it means to us.

Portland, Oregon was my home for many years but when I visit it now I barely recognize it. My work has taken us over most of the world and for the last few years we’ve had no home of our own. During that time we’ve seen all manner of progress, and while we have no objection to change, we wanted our home to be in a place where the changes would be mostly natural, seasonal ones.

Home for us is a place that changes as you change, relatively unaffected by outside influence. Home should be a place of great beauty and of peace.

Our home is a few steps from Roaring Fork, underneath Big Owl Hill. The earth abides and for as long as we are allowed to do so we will happily abide with it, at home.







© 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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