Out of Bounds: A ride to remember | SkyHiNews.com

Out of Bounds: A ride to remember

Grand County Commissioner Merrit Linke leads a trail ride over Cottonwood Pass on Friday, June 21. The ride was a benefit for the Highway 9 improvement project. Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

After a weekend of shifting in my seat, the soreness in my rear-end is finally starting to ease. I hadn’t ridden a horse since I was a kid and seemed to forget what being in a saddle all morning will do to your hindquarters. Maybe my riding style just isn’t up to par, but at least I didn’t make too big of a fool of myself (I hope) on last Friday’s ride to benefit the Highway 9 improvement project.

Before we set off to follow the historic stage and freight route over Cottonwood Pass, everyone enjoyed a traditional and delicious ranch style breakfast, compliments of Teri Linke, Grand County Commissioner Merrit Linke’s wife. The gravy reminded me of my mother’s and the coffee was hot enough to burn the tongue, which I did.

Chas McConnell was nice enough to let me ride one of his horses, Clyde, and stuck State Sen. Randy Baumgardner on one of his other horses, Moose. Moose and Clyde are buddies and separating the two was near impossible, so I rode next to Sen. Baumgardner for the duration of the ride.

I’m sure I resembled Billy Crystal from the movie City Slickers as I mounted my horse sporting a ball cap and hiking boots as we headed west across the Linke ranch to start our ride.

Once we came to the first historic landmark I knew I was in for a treat as Commissioner Linke started to discuss the rich history of the valley where his family has lived since the 1880s.

As we rode into the Hot Sulphur Springs museum, which is very interesting if you’ve never been there, the nostalgia of what the good ole days must have been like hit me.

To wrap up the ride the Grand County commissioners conducted a special meeting in the old courthouse bringing the historical experience to its peak. During the meeting Commissioner Linke announced the ride was a success and raised around $7,000 for the project to improve Highway 9.

Meagan Ledin also presented each of the commissioners with a nearly two-inch thick binder stuffed full of letters of support for the project, which is poised to make Highway 9 safer for travel.

Grand County commissioners planned to hear a presentation of more pledges to the project from the Citizens for a Safe Highway 9 Committee during the county commissioner meeting this week.

All in all, the ride was a success and I had one of the best times I have had in Grand County to date, thanks to Commissioner Linke, his family, and everyone else on the ride making me feel welcome and at home. Since the ride was such a success, Commissioner Linke mentioned he would try to set up another benefit ride in the future.

More information about the Highway 9 improvement project and information about how to pledge can be found at GrandFoundation.com.

Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.