Publisher’s Letter: You Have to Climb a Hill — To Climb a Mountain

Climbing a hill with the Kubota (Photo by Blaine Howerton)

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By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Last week I had the chance to take advantage of warmer weather to start clearing a spot at my mountain property for a cabin.

In recent weeks, I had machinery issues. The Kubota Tractor I purchased last year needed maintenance. It took three very long weeks to get the parts I needed, but I accomplished that “feat” this past week.

I fired up the Kubota, warmed her up, did my checks, and went to work!

The first goal was to build a temporary access road on the top of the hill I needed to remove. Then I started chipping away at the rocks, boulders, and soil to begin the leveling for the future structure. After about 10 hours of work, 50% progress! The machine is small. A friend in construction equipment sales referred to it as bringing “a knife to a gunfight.” He’s right. But, this is why I bought the tractor. I’ll keep taking care of “her” and take my time.

I am adamant about reducing my footprint and impact on this beautiful place while making it accessible year-round. The foundation of the cabin will be pier-based, allowing for proper runoff. I want it to blend in as best as possible with the surrounding beautiful peaks and canyon. I’m working with a structural engineer to comply with Larimer County’s requirements and make the structure SOLID to stand up well to the windy environment.

With bald eagle “babies and mama” circling and screaming at me from my neighbor’s cliffs, I couldn’t help but appreciate and love even more — my future home. I will see the cliff and the eagle’s nest with a perfect view of the cliff from my bedroom! And, they (along with the other wildlife) naturally control the environment around us. We are partners in nature.

While I was clearing, I realized what I was doing was no different than what I had been doing for years at North Forty News. I climbed a hill four years ago to climb a mountain!

My team and I started small and chipped away at the rocks and boulders (representing the problems). We move those “rocks” every day, and now we have started to climb the mountain. The mountain in North Forty News’ case was expansion — to form Northern Colorado’s only regional weekly!

So, my team and I at North Forty News are climbing the mountain.

Where do we go from here? As the newspaper closes in on its 30th year, North Forty News will get more involved in our communities as we report on them, and share the news about community-centered events, organizations, and people.

As I “chip” away at the boulders and rocks, I will continue to climb the mountain — professionally and personally and I couldn’t be more proud and excited about what lies ahead!