Up and Down El Rio Blanco: Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone. We may not get a white Christmas this year, as the forecast is for blue skies and sunshine Christmas day. Hopefully everyone’s celebrations will be as warm and bright as the weather.
My wife and I made a quick trip across our beautiful state last Saturday to watch our only granddaughter in her first dance recital. Although the drive to Fort Morgan was long and our visit was short, to me it was what the Christmas season is all about; taking a pretty lady on a pretty drive to watch God’s special little creations dancing and singing while all dressed up.
“What are you going to wear?” I asked my 5-year-old granddaughter Brookelynn Jolie.
“My Christmas dress, Poppy,” she answered excitedly and in a tone that said she thought I should have known. Duh!
Miss Brookelynn Jolie looked beautiful in her full-length, handmade, red satin dress and she danced well, too!

Rio Blanco County received some positive state and national press last week when it was officially announced the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree will be coming from the White River National Forest in Rio Blanco County.
Commissioner chairman Kai Turner attended a press conference in our state’s capitol with Blanco District Ranger Ken Coffin and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
I watched a 9News video in which Governor Hickenlooper said the White River National Forest receives 9 million visitors per year, making it “the most visited National Forest in America” and “home of the largest elk herd in North America.” Our local lodging tax board and chamber of commerce have been promoting the largest migrating elk herd in North America for years.
“And now it (White River National Forest) will be sending one of its best trees to the nation’s capitol,” the governor said.
Turner said Hickenlooper told him he would visit the county this spring and help pick the tree.
Celebrating our Great Outdoors is the theme for the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree campaign, which will feature contests for posters, songs and ornaments involving the tree. According to the 9News video clip, contest winners will travel with the tree to Washington, D.C., and one Coloradan “will actually flip the switch,” next year.
Turner said it was a “privilege to represent Rio Blanco County at the press conference and spoke of our county being more than 3,200 square miles, of which more than 80 percent is public land.
“With the theme Celebrating our Great Outdoors, we have a lot of great outdoors in Rio Blanco County,” Turner told the crowd.
Turner said “we embrace the multiple use concept in Rio Blanco County along with other agencies,” and said coal, oil and gas and oil shale have been a large part of our economy for more than 70 years.
“We have a strong agricultural heritage with a lot of cattle and sheep grazing and hay production, with some of the best hunting and fishing in the United States,” Turner said at the press conference. “Come and visit us.”
Hopefully they will.
Merry Christmas everyone and best wishes to you and yours in 2012.