Senator Udall, Cycling Challenge racers come to town

We are experiencing a blue haze coming from the several wildfires in the west. One wildfire is south of Payson and the others are in Idaho and neighboring states.

We are happy and relieved to welcome Dr. Gerry and Marilyn Griebel back from their latest volunteer project, “Helping Hands.” They and their team made their way to northeast Bolivia and the end of the trek found them on the Maniqui river, a tributary of the Amazon river. It was totally jungle. Marilyn mentioned that they watched where they were walking! It is an area that is in great need of medical attention because of parasites, skin and intestinal problems and other more difficult health problems. The native people desperately need medical attention and the closest town or village is a two-and-a-half day river trip by boat. There are no roads. The medical team sometimes would simply set up their clinic on the beach of the river. Once again, we in America are a blessed people and our medical friends are to be commended for their spirit of giving.

Next Sunday, Aug. 26, from 4 to 6 p.m., the Community Church will be offering a back to school “Fun With Friends” time for children ages 3 to 12. They will have activities, games and refreshments. For more information, call 560-1407 or

Our grand Colorado statesman, Senator Mark Udall and his staffmates, Wanda Cason and Rachael Outman, met with our townspeople and interested parties from Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, etc. We were given the opportunity to ask Senator Udall about items that are foremost on our minds at this time and it was a good session. The public has questions about everything from geothermal progress; the possibility today of being able to “make a living and, therefore, make a life”; the USFS Travel Management Plan, which included the Calico Trailhead and Trail and the 1 percent who are destroying it — and also the volunteers who clean up some of the mess and how much they are needed in these areas of concern; and senior citizens and handicapped citizens who are not able to enjoy the backcountry and what can be done about this situation. Senator Udall mentioned the 11th Amendment, if there ever was one, that states that we must protect the environment.

We thank our Senator for his input and for the items of concern that he pursues as our helpmate.

The Rico Women’s Club plans to hold an indoor yard sale over Labor Day weekend. We will probably see citizen yard sales around town also. Those of you who may wish to donate items to the women’s yard sale should drop by with your things Saturday morning and we thank you. We all know the rules about what should not be donated: televisions, beds, computers, etc.

Also, Rico Fire and Rescue will be doing the fireworks display on Saturday, Sept. 1 at dusk. There are great plans for that day: Fred Enriquez’ band, Rico Blues Project, will begin performing at 2 p.m. at the Town Park. We like that band! There will also be a “Boot Drive” during the fireworks display and when you see the old, old firetruck coming your way, try to donate for the fireworks. This display is possible only by donation and it is a strain for our fire department (and other towns our size) to do fireworks each year.

We citizens of Rico experienced a wonderful classic USA Pro Cycling Challenge today. We appreciate these extremely talented, strong athletes. This was truly a happy day with everyone looking forward to the actual appearance of the racers. We had tents set up for family barbecues and all that kind of fun. Then, when the competitors came around the corner at the bottom of Main Street, we could hardly keep them in our vision because they were moving so fast — uphill! And, we clapped and whistled, cheering them on. Beautiful, beautiful athletes they are.

Marlene Hazen has lived in Rico for two decades. An active member of the community, she participates in organizations such as the Rico Women’s Club and Rico Historical Society.

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