We are now moving toward the end of summer. School is starting, the nights are a bit cooler, signs are already up welcoming the hunters, who will be dropping into Rio Blanco County before August is over for the archery/muzzleloader seasons, the water in the White River is now low enough to fish in most places and most of the busy summer is almost a memory.
But not quite.
There is still a lot of fun and activity to be enjoyed in Rangely and Meeker.
The next two weekends are relatively slow, but then both towns reawaken to say a firm farewell to summer.
On Labor Day weekend, the focus will be on Rangely, which hosts its annual four-day Septemberfest, usually starting with some fun on Friday night then filling Saturday, Sunday and Monday with all kinds of great fun ranging from a town parade, the wonderful Car Show in the Park, the fire department’s breakfast, several barbecue’s at Elks Park, where a large numbers of vendors will be selling their wares during the car show, there will be an obstacle race up the hill from the park at the old Parkview site, and there will be a color run and a wide variety of other games and entertainment to keep the residents of Rangely and their visitors busy enjoying the entertainment.
There is also the ice cream social to kick off the event and there is plenty of time during the weekend to curl up under a tree and just take a nap.
Right after Septemberfest, starting on Wednesday, is the opening of the 30th annual Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials, which will take on a traditional five days of fun and dogs, but, this year, also boasts of a number of new activities over previous years.
While there are several new activities, the big changes come in the form of concerts, which will feature cowboy music artist Michael Martin Murphy in concert at Ute Park on Thursday and then Gary McMahon of Bellevue, Colo., and Dave Munsick of Sheridan, Wyo., who will offer great Western music as well as wonderful stories and tales of the West in a concert on Saturday at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds.
All that in addition to the Meeker Classic, which is an entertaining and tough competition between border collies and wild Meeker sheep. It won’t take long for the spectators to understand where the phrase “I’ve been Meekered” comes from.
The competition is a joy to behold, watching how handler and dog work together to handle some of the wildest sheep around, all in a timed event, leading up the finals on Sunday.
Hundreds of volunteers make this major event a wild success, and a great time, good food and top-notch dog competition make this unique event one you aren’t soon going to forget.
But that isn’t all.
On the Saturday after the Sheepdog Classic, Mountain Valley Bank will hold its annual Octoberfest event, which is most of the day filled with good food, fun activities and helping each other out as the event is an opportunity for Meeker-area non-profit organizations to do some fundraising headed into winter.
Everyone gets a $5 chip just for registering and folks are also asked to bring canned foods to help the Meeker Food Bank and get addition chips for use at the event.
These are at least three more weekends of fun before the snow is expected to fly, and both ends of Rio Blanco County will be showing off their best sides and ability to put on a fun bash.
Enjoy. Winter is coming soon enough.
It is getting close to my favorite time of year here—football season.
And after believing that the Broncos were going to be some down donkeys this season, I’m not so certain. Although I do know that Mr. Manning is going to might tough to replace.
I’ve enjoyed the Broncos since their inception in 1960, but it is safe to say that there have been some years better than others and that three Super Bowl titles is pretty good for what I believe is the second-smallest market in the NFL, only larger than Green Bay—although they have Minneapolis, St. Paul and Madison to pull from.
Anyway, I am glad it is football season and I feel pretty good about the Broncos after watching them play the Chicago Bears last Thursday in the first pre-season game.
All three quarterbacks looked fairly good and, once again, the defense looked outstanding—far advanced from what was normally their first game of the year. They at times had a mid-season look, and that was without a couple of the Broncos starters, most noticeable Aqib Talib and Mr. Super Bowl, Vonn Miller.
The Bears could barely (pun not intended) move against a stalwart Bronco defense; imagine what it might have been like if Talib and Miller had been in the game.
Anyway, given the protection that the Broncos can afford, whoever is the Broncos’ quarterback may just have the time to do what is needed.
Sanchez really threw well and he threw some ropes to his receivers, so just perhaps it looks like another banner year for the Broncos.
As hunting season is rapidly approaching, readers all over Northwest Colorado can help us do an even better job this year of showing photos from hunting trips in past years of their successful hunts.
Hunters, outfitters and photographers throughout the area from Grand Lake to the Colorado/Wyoming border and from Aspen to Grand Junction and up along the Utah border to the Wyoming border are urged to send us photos of harvested animals from successful hunts to some of the majestic critters in the area that were shot only by a camera for inclusion in our section.
This section has traditionally been distributed in the area described above and has covered the five Colorado Parks and Wildlife regions in the northwest corner of the state—Meeker, Hot Sulphur Springs, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction and Steamboat Springs.
Nothing shows the special area we live in than to see the moose, sheep, elk, bears, deer, mountain lions and antelope that inhabit our area’s plains and mountains than photos of those critters.
The outfitters, hunters and photographers will be give credit for their photographs, which are preferably full color and which should be sent electronically by 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 to Niki Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want you to be proud of your guided hunts, your independent or party hunts or your photography involving Northwest Colorado’s wildlife, and this magazine-quality opportunity is your chance for thousands of others to see your work.
One last reminder is that the Rangely and Meeker nests will be bustling the next few weeks with new activity as school kicks back into hear.
Rangely’s schools began class this week and the schools in Meeker will begin on Monday, so you will see more pedestrian children, more bike-riding students and more students being driven by mom or students driving themselves with their new licenses.
Nothing on his earth is worse than injuring or even killing a child pedestrian or bicycle rider on his or her way to or from school.
Kids on foot or on bike are often unpredictable, and if ever there is a time to drive defensively, it is in the morning when they are on the way to school or in late afternoon as they are headed to home.
If you expect and are prepared for what could be the worst, likely on the best will actually take place. Please exercise caution.