A goodbye to Grand County
When I started my job at Sky-Hi News, Grand County was very different.
There was no pandemic and no burn scar as I moved into a basement room in Grand Lake. In my first six months, I figured out what it meant to be a journalist and community member in the smallest town I’d ever lived in.
That first winter, despite my Coloradan confidence about driving or perhaps because of it, my car ended up in a ditch. Twice.
The number of people who pulled over to offer me help overwhelmed me. I realized that despite my loneliness at this place that felt like the end of the world, I was not alone.
Then COVID happened and I felt what little normalcy I had built fall to pieces as we entered a completely changed world. In that, I also saw the Grand County community come together.
In some ways, I can’t help but think we needed COVID to happen to prepare for what October 2020 had in store. An event like the East Troublesome Fire is something every journalist prepares for and something every journalist dreads.
I had moved to Granby just before the fire, after having spent a year learning the twists and turns to Grand Lake, falling for the heartstopping beauty of the area and memorizing the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Watching the flames charge toward it tore me apart and challenged me in ways that are hard to describe.
I was safe and my home undamaged, which is more than many of my community members can say. Following the East Troublesome Fire, I had the honor to report on our recovery.
As the national and statewide reporters found other things to focus on, I saw that burn scar every time I drove north. I watched as the snow melted and the green shot up amongst the black.
Right alongside you, I learned what makes Grand County grand.
My career is now taking me to the Front Range, where I’ll be a reporter for the Longmont Leader. With just 40 miles as the crow flies and a mountain range between Grand and my new home, I know that every glance west will remind me of my time here.
My deepest regards go out to the Sky-Hi News team that remains. I hope Grand County knows just how hard each of these incredible women work every day for this community and how deep their passion runs. Grand remains in their capable hands.
I also want to thank the hardworking folks in the towns, county and school districts who not only keep this little place rolling but also took time to answer this reporter’s questions — providing openness and transparency to the newspaper and, by extension, the community.
I will miss Grand County in the way you miss a favorite treat, knowing that whatever else you have will never satisfy you in quite the same way. I hope you know that I have tried my very best to be the kind of reporter that Grand County deserves and I hope, at least some of the time, that I was.
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