Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Thursday, June 02, 2005  

Uncle Billy, the Earl of Dunraven, Pearl Street & Emaciated Mountain Goats

Chapter Three: The Outpost

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

"When you see the earth from the moon, you don't see any divisions there of nations or states. This might be the symbol, really, for the new mythology to come. That is the country that we are going to be celebrating. And those are the people that we are one with.... Chief Seattle was one of the last spokesmen of the Paleolithic moral order. In about 1852, the United States Government inquired about buying the tribal lands for the arriving people of the United States and Chief Seattle wrote a marvelous letter in reply. His letter expresses the moral, really, of our whole discussion.”

Joseph Campbell

PARKER, Colorado. Bad luck. Our next rerouting occurred after we drove the 550 north out of Durango past The-Resort-Formerly-Known-as-Purgatory, Silverton, Telluride and Ouray.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: Seeing Ouray on the map and driving past it, it’s hard not to recall the great conflict between Native Americans and the easterners.

Pathfinder: Right. The Pike's Peak gold rush of 1858 brought white miners by the thousands to dig yellow metal out of the Indians' earth. By 1959 the slogan everyone traveling west to the greater Denver area repeated was “Pike’s Peak or Bust!”

Trailblazer: In 1858, the population suddenly exploded when gold was discovered in a creek a few miles west of Denver.

J2020F: Didn’t the greatly exaggerated reports of discoveries and fabulous wealth bring thousands more fortune hunters across the plains?

Pathfinder: Yes. Tent cities and mining camps sprang up overnight in such legendary places as Central City, Colorado City, Georgetown and Leadville.

Trailblazer: Just as the glimmer of the gold rush began to wane, a major silver lode was discovered near Georgetown.

J2020F: We planned to get as close as we could to as many towns listed by Grey Owl in his geo cache, but mother nature had other plans for us.

Trailblazer: Look it’s hard to really complain. Sure it’s true that Telluride turned out to be the last of the planned visits. It’s just that while Telluride bills itself as “the Slow Food City” for healthy reasons, we couldn’t wait. So we stopped at the New Sheridan Bar on Colorado Avenue.

Explorer: While gobbling down our food I overheard the frustrating story of how another driver had left in the middle of the night from Colorado Springs for what his relatives had assured him was about a three or four hour trip to Durango.

Eagle: Basically, he encountered rainstorms all along the way plus he experienced road construction delays, so he had driven all night.

Pathfinder: Not what any of us had in mind.

J2020F: Maybe it’s the Continental Divide, who knows? At any rate our weather was about to change as we headed for Parker. We traced our trip throughout the broad area known as the Colorado Mineral Belt.

Trailblazer: We highlighted the section of the map beginning with the 550 -- the Ouray "million dollar drive." We decided to take the 50 over to Gunnison passing by Black Canyon National Park until we hit the junction of the 285 between Monarch and Salida.

Explorer: And up to Denver.

J2020F: We passed Crested Butte. Our travel guide said: "The Elk Mountain Lodge, dating from 1881, and the Old Town Hall and Union Congregational Church, both built in 1883, are reminders of the town's origins as a coal-mining camp. Another reminder, a two-story outhouse, is behind the boutiques of the renovated Company Store on Third Street."

Pathfinder: By the way, isn’t Gunnison where we picked up a copy of the “Code of the West?”

J2020F: It is and it comes highly recommended to anyone about to move to more rural western towns. And, it’s at the heart of the idea behind local guides and expeditions – Grey Owl’s emphasis on fit in the Tribal Territories.

Pathfinder: Speaking of which, Grey Owl arranged a visit with one of the Colorado Expedition Team Members – Finnmark -- an originator of the list of resort towns in Grey Owl’s geo-cache.

Eagle: But upon closer inspection of Finnmark' s computer generated map, we realized he lived in Parker, southeast of Denver near Castle Rock – which was the landmark we could see from Interstate 25, he told us.

J2020F: Talk about coincidence.

Explorer: We were?

J2020F: Humor me. In 1876 my great, great uncle’s letter got published in the “Prescott Enterprise.”

Explorer: And, the coincidence?

J2020F: Let me finish. He wrote it to the Honorable S.C. Miller telling him he is living in Castle Rock in Douglas County, Colorado. Uncle Billy, as our family historians called him, wandered from Osage County, Missouri sometime after the 1850 census listed him – as it had Confederate War casualty Nathan – my great, great grandfather.

Pathfinder: So, there’s the coincidence. He settled near Parker?

J2020F: Not exactly. Like Mark Twain, he was drawn to the West to find his fortune working mining claims. Twain roamed California and Nevada, while Billy mined his 400 feet lode on Lynx Creek in what is today a quaint vacation spot near Prescott, Arizona – north of Phoenix and south of Flagstaff.

Eagle: Did he strike it rich?

J2020F: Like almost everybody else, he made and lost a fortune in the Gilpin County gold leads. In an 1871 report on mining, he’s described as “… a fine specimen of a Western Pioneer, one of the men who have always kept in advance of railroads, and who doesn’t feel well unless separated from civilization by hundreds of miles of Indian country.”

Eagle: Indian country before trains, huh?

J2020F: Continuing in the 1871 Arizona Miner interview he describes an incident while going from Prescott to Walker’s Camp, at the head of Lynx Creek. Near Yellow Jacket Gulch, he sees a huge fire and rising smoke. He says parties recently from Skull and Kirkland valleys “report Indians aplenty down that way. They are around, sure, and there is no telling when or where they will strike the first blow.”

Eagle: Seems like a hardscrabble life to me.

J2020F: I don’t disagree. In letters he wrote back home to Missouri he describes the struggle between guarding against Indian attacks, robbers and the long distance he has to travel for supplies.

Explorer: What happened to him? Do you know?

J2020F: Forced to move on due to bad luck, he tries his hand mining in the Black Hills and tries settling for a short time in Castle Rock, before finally returning to his family farm in Missouri.

Explorer: We moved on, ourselves having already passed the roadwork in the afternoon and stopping along the rim of a huge reservoir, Blue Mesa outside of Gunnison and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Pathfinder: The image that sticks in my brain is barren terrain surrounding miles and miles of lake feeding into a river we followed.

Trailblazer: I remember we changed plans in route, studying both the map and monitoring the ominous black, lightening spewing thundering clouds to our right and crossing over miles ahead of us.

Explorer: Me to. Would these be light showers in the high desert or monsoons dumping on us and causing flashfloods? We didn't know.

J2020F: At the last minute we headed for Colorado Springs veering off to our right on route 24 through Woodland Park and Manitou Springs near Pikes Peak.

Explorer: But in Woodland Park the storm blew in and unloaded with a fury. We slowed to 20 miles an hour. Cars pulled off the road to wait out the storm.

Trailblazer: Well not all of them. While our rooster tail wake smashed into cars passing us and the road lakes splashed sheets of water momentarily on our windshield, we decided that taking interstate I-25 would probably be safer and more direct out of Colorado Springs, or "the Springs" on Finnmark’s map.

Pathfinder: And besides we would view the Air Force Academy along the way.

J2020F: The next morning we loaded up in the SUV to explore Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park justnorthwest of Denver on I-25 to route 34.

Trailblazer: Finnmark, our local guide, fell in love this resort area when he first moved from Chicago -- which was bulging with cars and people on foot. We meandered through the downtown area heading for the national park.

J2020F: After stopping in at the visitors center we picked up some maps, got our directions and headed up the highest continuous road in the U.S.

Pathfinder: As we drove, Finnmark told us the town was named after pioneer Joel Estes, a French fur trader, who settled in the area around 1860.

Eagle: Estes Park had long attracted American Indian tribes and trappers like --

Explorer: Let me guess – Jedediah Smith?

Eagle: No. Who else has his name spread across the West?

Explorer: Kit Carson?

Eagle: Of course. He trapped in the region because of the abundance of game.

J2020F: After the Civil War Kit Carson commanded Fort Garland garrison and died in 1868 at Buggsville, Colorado.

Pathfinder: Finnmark says that the beginning of Estes Park resort history began after the Wild West closed, some time in 1890.

Eagle: That’s when the British Earl of Dunraven built a hunting lodge in what is now surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park.

Trailblazer: By the numbers, the park includes 265,753 acres of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park's valleys are about 8,000 ft. above sea level. Fully 78 peaks in the park have elevations greater than 12,000 ft. with Longs Peak weighing in at 14,255 ft. One third of the land is above tree line -- tundra.

J2020F: A tundra? I associate tundra with the arctic areas.

Trailblazer: You’ve got it right. Here it says, “At the upper edges, the trees are twisted, grotesque and hug the ground, giving way to Arctic-like alpine tundra.”

J2020F: Cool, we’ll have to check it out.

Trailblazer: But first, we’ll see open stands of ponderosa pine and juniper grow on the slopes facing the sun at lower levels in the foothills and mountain ecosystem.

J2020F: We climbed and climbed and noticed as the terrain changed from forest to rocks and snow-capped peaks. Our first outlook was spectacular. And foreboding.

Explorer: I don’t like those. Dark clouds such as we had experienced outside of Colorado Springs began flowing in from the East. A chill was in the air. We ran back to the car to breakout sweatshirts and jackets.

Trailblazer: Next we pulled over to admire a herd of elk off to our right and up what seemed like a gently rolling meadow, but actually hid a mountain peak.

Explorer: Further along the rain gained momentum, causing us to shorten each vantage point visit. Soon we came to a visitor center and museum, so we pulled over and ran into the store, to shop while we waited out the rain.

J2020F: When we rounded a bend on the other side of the highest point of the road as we were heading back, we hit fog and then snow -- on the road and on both sides. In all we had seen several of elk and a rocky mountain goat.

Eagle: Now we just wanted to get down from the mountain through the hairpin turns without incident.

J2020F: As we talked and looked out through the windshield wipers, we decided to take a side trip to Boulder down state highway 36.

Explorer: Boulder was settled on the outwash plain of Boulder Creek in 1858 because, according to Capt. Thomas A. Aikens, “the mountains look right for gold, and the valleys ... rich for grazing.”

Trailblazer: The university, built in 1876, spurred the struggling gold and agricultural community, then called Boulder City, to a new vigor.

Pathfinder: Millions of dollars worth of gold and silver were thus taken from Colorado mines, and incredible sums of money were poured into the state's economy as homes, schools, theaters and communities were built.

J2020F: By people like Horace Tabor, right?

Pathfinder: Right, in 1878, Horace Tabor was elected as lieutenant governor of Colorado and moved to Denver to live out his dreams where he constructed the Tabor Grand Opera House

Explorer: He, like Mark Twain, had been and done just about everything,

Pathfinder: Unlike Twain, though, he struck it rich.

Explorer: Horace Tabor was a general store owner, stonecutter, postmaster, mayor, grubstake and shareowner of gold, silver, and copper mines. He went from a merchant to a millionaire overnight in Leadville with silver mine investments – and then lost it all.

J2020F: It was on Pearl Street among the street entertainers while eating at a restaurant that Finnmark, the original Colorado Expedition leader, had decided to move to the Denver area.

Explorer: It’s easy to see why. We witnessed jugglers, a magic act including tossing playing cards on the roofs of adjacent buildings, taking the wrist watches from participants, and an ex-marine making balloon animals for kids in a clown costume.

Trailblazer: We ate at BJs Restaurant and Microbrewery before taking the smoked trout home.

Pathfinder: The weather gods weren’t on our side. Finnmark had a fellow expedition team member and former executive who now, as a glider enthusiast, chucked it all away and opened a glider port some 90 minutes away from Castle Rock.

Explorer: Finnmark called him and confirmed it wasn’t safe enough to experience gliding with him at the controls.

J2020F: So, the next day we started mountain biking in a beautiful, summer, sunny Colorado morning following a gravel dirt road which itself meandered along side a small river the color of chocolate milk.

Explorer: We stopped periodically for stunt riding off the main road, and hiked a small rock formation -- small compared to the canyons and river gorges we had visited around the Grand Canyonand Navajo reservation -- and were about to view at Bryce and Zion -- but one which boasted a cave-like indention halfway up.

Trailblazer: And not too much farther up the road we noticed what we thought was a deer at about the same time we detected subtle weather shifting cues.

Pathfinder: You call these subtle? Darker clouds. Rolling thunder in the distance.

Trailblazer: You’re right, we didn’t listen to you. But, the deer actually turned out to be a goat. Looking like it could barely walk, scruffy coat and possibly a missing horn. Grazing just off the gravel dirt road on the green leafy shoulder.

Eagle: Then up to our right along the side of the cliffs we saw the rest of them. In two different locations. Grazing and moving. Grazing and moving along the rock wall.

Pathfinder: Then the familiar large drops hit us. Passing storm?

J2020F: We didn't get concerned about the thunder and lightening since we were definitely a low point among the canyon walls.

Pathfinder: Yet I couldn't help recall for so however briefly the story of my ex-brother-in-law who lost his best friend on a golf course to lightening. Running to shelter under a tree, the bolt hit his friend and killed him instantly.

J2020F: And we're straddling metal bikes.

Explorer: Finnmark pointed out that the tires acted as a ground for us.

Pathfinder: But it came down harder.

Eagle: And harder.

Pathfinder: Like the sheets we encountered in Woodland Park.

J2020F: We decided we’d make a break back, and then someone saw the wood covering to a long ago closed off mind shaft butted up against the rock wall. We had enough room to bring our bikes in and huddle together as rain turned to hail.

Pathfinder: But water began filling up in puddles around our feet. We were shivering. Another mountain biker joined us in our shelter.

J2020F: When the bulk of the storm seemed to have blown through, we decided to make a run for it. We were soaked anyway from the running water seeping down through the 1/4 inch cracks between the overhead wooden planks.

Explorer: By the time we got down to the parking lot mud had been flung off our rear tires tattooing our backsides like a mud thong.

Pathfinder: Luckily we had kept our beach towels in the back of the SUV so we could dry off and have something to sit on minimizing the damage to the interior.

Eagle: But we made it. On the last morning with Finnmark we attempted one last cruise on the rented mountain bikes through the greater neighborhood, down across an open field where deer regularly graze, to a lake, and over near the entrance bordering on the golf course.

J2020F: But Finnmark's bike suffered from a flat tire, so he limped home and we decided to pack up, follow him with the rentals and leave. Next stop?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide

6:50 AM

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