Living off the sacred land | AspenTimes.com

Living off the sacred land

Editor’s note: The following letter was mailed Friday to the Bureau of Land Management office in Silt.

Dear Editor:

Who is going to teach your children how to survive – you or the Wexners ?

The short version of our story is that I came to this valley in 1961 with three little boys, ages 5, 3 and 2. We ended up buying a little homestead with a wood cookstove and potbellied stove for heat. I grew up in Appalachia in the Depression and know what self-sufficiency means. I was determined to pass those values on. A nice redneck man whom we met later became the backbone of our family.

Those little boys learned to fish in nice, safe Dinkle Lake. They also learned to clean the fish and cook them when we got home. Same story later with deer and elk. They learned how to gut them and hang them and cut them up and wrap and freeze them. We had a big garden and fruit trees. We had chickens, rabbits and a milk cow. Sheep and goats and horses. They learned how to work. They earned scholarships to the University of Colorado from tiny little Basalt High School. They are all fine men with responsible jobs.

One of them took his young son up to Dinkle Lake last summer, and there was a chain across the road. They have all climbed and hiked to the top of Mount Sopris many times to put their names in the book at the top. The 4-H Club used to trail ride to Thomas Lake. 4-H was invaluable – one had a reserve champion steer. I doubt if the Wexners even know what 4-H is. Sadly, this generation is so pitifully unprepared to survive. I don’t think the secrets in Victoria’s Secret are what real men need.

Recommended Stories For You

I submit to you that the printed paper money will crumble and blow away, but Mount Sopris will be there forever. Please protect it!

Mary Lou Fite Zordel

Basalt