Hasty, Colorado

News about Hasty, Caddoa & John Martin Reservoir

Hasty Days, September 6, 2014

Posted By on September 5, 2014

It is that exciting time of year again when Hasty wakes up and entertains the masses.  Hasty Days will take over this little town tomorrow, September 6, 2014; only in Hasty Colorado.

Hasty is about 2 miles north of John Martin Dam, nestled on the flat prairie of southeast Colorado where it’s hot, windy, dry, dusty and ‘wide open’.  But as the conversation addressed this issue, ‘down at the store’, the day it closed last Monday…desolate and barren can eventually become home to people who treasure the open, long-lasting view of the prairie – sometimes almost to Kansas.   http://lamarco.us/hasty/goodbye-valley-grocery/.  As Justin Piatt put it…’You don’t have any trees to block your view!’  How true.  It slowly becomes a sort of ‘freedom’ that is rare these days, particularly as the growing citi-spread takes down more and more ‘country’ in its path.

But then – there are those of us who enjoy a good Starbucks now and then…  But I digress…

For all the exciting details of tomorrow’s agenda and entertainment, check out the website to follow.  http://www.bcdemocratonline.com/article/20140831/NEWS/140829850.

Take tomorrow off from your regular life – visit Hasty, talk to the folks here who call this prairie-town home, for some down-home, good ole fashioned reasons that make life here, a one-of-a-kind experience.  You won’t be sorry. The food is great, the fun is forever (at least till the music stops…) and the kids will sleep well afterwards.

Hasty Days in hasty Colorado; September 6, 2014.  Mark your calendar!


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Goodbye, Valley Grocery

Posted By on September 2, 2014

Hasty, Colorado lost a landmark on September 1, 2014; Valley Grocery closed its doors to the public. But though the store and all the convenience it provided us for so many years will be a large loss for our town, it is not the true loss for our community; Colleen Piatt, the true “Valley Grocery”, leaves an unfillable, very special void in our lives.  It is she who will be missed the most, for many reasons.  But mostly because… she is Colleen Piatt.

Colleen has been the backbone of Hasty for many years, and I’m sure will continue to bless us all with her kindness, thoughtfulness, beauty and Love in other, less publicly visible ways.

Her creation of Hasty Daze entertained a multitude of people for several years.  Though she has stepped down from its leadership, the event will continue.  Her legacy will follow through each of us as we attend this amazing event that brings in people from all over, as well as local residents.  We will all enjoy a full day of memories made…with fun, interaction, tasty morsels of unimaginable varieties, and of course – dancing under the moonlight at the end of the day.

Colleen’s strength is perennial, as is her large heart that touches us all, sooner or later. When a remarkable snowstorm hit us several years ago and most of us were stuck at home, Colleen was out and about before the day was over, delivering necessities from her store to those of us in need. The list of her interaction and participation as a strong member of the Hasty community could go on for paragraphs; suffice it to say – Colleen will be missed – by all of us who live here, and many others as well.

I sat at the store as she closed her doors tonight for the final time.  She handed me a rose.  That truly is a ‘Colleen’ gesture, pleasing others, thinking of everyone but herself.  I will treasure that rose…press it into my diary forever.  I will always remember Colleen as the ‘Rose’ of a lady that she is, and continues to be to all whom she touches.

Now, maybe, she can relax and take life a bit easier.  She deserves it.  Thank you Colleen, for everything.  Charlie would be proud…


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Jan Verhoeff Paints John Martin Reservoir

Posted By on November 13, 2011

Gold Light

West from the Dam - Gold Light by Jan Verhoeff

Jan Verhoeff grew up in the lower Arkansas Valley, east of this reservoir, painting surrounding areas and showing her work at local exhibits. This painting currently is showing at South Fellowship Church “Hall of Art” in Centennial, Colorado.

Stop by to view…

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Sunrise, Sunset

Posted By on November 13, 2011

The beauty of Hasty, Colorado can be seen through its sunrises and sunsets.







Sunrise south of Hasty near John Martin Dam










Sunrise through Union Valley Cemetery, south of Hasty

Pre-Sunrise, South of Hasty

Sunrise Over Hasty Lake, south of Hasty













Sunset Over John Martin Dam

Sunset west of Hasty across Rd. JJ











Sunset West of Hasty

Sunset west of Hasty
















Several close, Christian friends of mine are struggling with some extra heavy, life stressors this month.  I dedicate this post to them and wish them more sunrises than sunsets this month.  Though we share different spiritual beliefs, I send them the beautiful sentiments of this song:







Photos by Danielle Simone

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Colorado Author Speaks at Lamar Library

Posted By on October 30, 2011

Teague Bohlen, author of The Pull of the Earth, spoke at Lamar Public Library Wednesday, October 26th.  His first presentation from 10 to 2 PM dealt with writing techniques, similar to what he teaches his students at the University of Colorado, Denver campus as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing. During his evening visit, he read the first chapter from his book and answered questions.

One of his topics included a general method for putting together a book.

  • -Outline, chronologically
  • -List a chapter breakdown
  • -Create detailed character profiles of about 3 to 5 pages including primary and secondary characters
  • -Create short scenes as they come to you without regard for the narrative order

His audience participated in several writing exercises including practice with defining characters, putting them in place and dealing with conflict.

Mr. Bohlen also had the audience write a family story and then trade it to the person in the next seat.  This exercise brought out the difficulty a writer can experience with characterization when he or she is emotionally connected to the characters.

Mr. Bohlen’s book, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book  Award for Fiction in 2006. The story moves quickly, pulling the reader deep into the intrigue and emotions of the plot.

Mr. Bohlen also visited McClave School and Lamar Community College during his southeast Colorado speaking tour.

This workshop, one of many similar educational ones around the state by Colorado authors is sponsored by Colorado Humanities is an independent nonprofit and grant-making organization.  They are affiliated with The National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency. Tim Hernandez, program coordinator, spoke to the group, explaining their mission to ‘explore ideas and appreciate diverse cultural heritage by supporting humanities-based research, education and discussion. They provide opportunities and tools for Colorado K-12 educators to enhance classroom teaching, and to share their teaching experience with others.’

One of their upcoming programs, Water 2012, will deal with the local watershed issues.  Groups are forming and will allow opportunity for students throughout the state to better connect and understand the Colorado water system, issues and its importance to the state as a community.

For further information, contact Tim Hernandez, 303.894.7951 X19, at 7935 East Prentice Avenue, Suite 450, Greenwood Village, CO  80111, or at tzhernandez@coloradohumanities.org.



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Baldwin Ranch History by R.B. Beckner

Posted By on October 30, 2011

We received a lengthy, informative comment from a”Hasty reader”.  Thought we would post it so everyone could benefit on some local Hasty history.
A bit of approximate Hasty history for you: My tenuous and unlikely connection to Hasty began in 1963 when I came to work on the H-Bar-Box (Baldwin) ranch with my cousin, Bruce Beckner, who was the Baldwin’s grandson. Adelbert and Dale Baldwin homesteaded their property about 100 years ago. Dale Baldwin was a schoolteacher who, I believe, homesteaded her own property. Then she married Del Baldwin, and they combined their holdings. When I worked at their ranch, they owned a sizable piece of the bottom land a few miles east of Hasty on the south side of US 50, which still had the original native prairie grass growing on it. They harvested that grass in the summer and baled it for winter feed, and they also used that land for winter pasture.

I understand that they had owned several sections of land in the vicinity of that parcel that were acquired by the federal government to be part of the John Martin Reservoir. In addition, the Baldwins had substantial holdings north of US 50 in the adjacent to the Ft. Lyon irrigation canal. That also was where the house, corrals and outbuildings were. You could reach their house by taking the gravel road that ran from Hasty due north to the bitter end, then jogging right just before the canal.
Their son, Francis Baldwin, a decorated WW2 Veteran (Silver Star), was running the ranch when I came in 1963. Del Baldwin died of a stroke that summer; I think he was about 80. In addition to a son, the Baldwins had two daughters, Margaret and Mary Dale. Mary Dale is my cousin Bruce’s mother; her husband was my dad’s brother. Francis Baldwin never married; and, for a time, my cousin, Bruce, was planning to take over the ranch. Sadly, Mrs. Baldwin eventually required expensive nursing care, not covered by insurance, which Francis had to pay for by mortgaging the property. Francis, literally “bet the farm” on cattle prices one year and lost. So, the ranch was foreclosed on; and, after paying off the debt, Francis used the remainder of the proceeds to buy a semi tractor-trailer combination and hauled cattle for a living until he was too old to do so. He spent his last days with his sister Mary Dale and my uncle in Kremmling and passed away probably 10 years ago. Mary Dale still lives in Kremmling, just down the street from her oldest daughter; and I believe Margaret Baldwin still lives in the greater Denver area. I saw both of them when my uncle died in 2009.

So, that’s how a boy who grew up in Washington, DC (and who still lives and works there) came to be in Hasty, Colorado at the age of 14 and spend the summer as a rookie ranch hand. There’s proof of this unlikely story: either that summer (1963) or the next one (when I also came), my cousin, Francis Baldwin and I had our picture on the front page of the Lamar Tri-State Daily news. The reporter was doing a story on coyotes, and he interviewed Francis. I guess he was intrigued by the presence of an Eastern kid . . . and by the fact that my cousin and I have the same name and are about the same age. So, he took our picture in front of a tractor, with my cousin and I looking very “cowboy” in our jeans, jean shirts and straw Stetsons . . . and Francis in a pair of overalls and a baseball cap (because he had been doing some welding).

The last time I visited Hasty was in 1970 . . . Mrs. Baldwin was still alive then and still fixing meals for her son Francis and the hired hands. For what it’s worth, you all have grown since then! I recall, at the time, that the road sign said the population was 90.

I was privileged to know these people . . . true pioneers. You can see the ruts made by wagons on the Santa Fe trail, running through their property, heading west.

Thank you so much, Mr. Beckner, for your detailed and interesting piece of Hasty history.  Your words are a nice addition to this website and a good support for the surrounding ranchers in our area. We appreciate your visit; please don’t be a stranger.

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Hasty Trails: Nature prevails

Posted By on October 10, 2011

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”

~e.e. cummings

Here in Hasty Colorado, Nature’s beauty surrounds our southeast Colorado area every day.. and  Nature rules a bit stronger than elsewhere.  The sun is hotter, the winds are harsher and more frequent, the temperatures have farther ranges than most.  Sunrises and sunsets tend to be more vivid and colorful than other places.

John Martin Dam shadows the south end of Hasty with its large pool of dark-blue waters for all to see, admire and play in and around.

Fall is here, leaves are falling, nights bring brisker temperatures to bear (and my ‘pretties’ are laying less eggs!)  Well, not EVERYTHING is perfect!

Sunrises and sunsets these past few days seem particularly more stunning than usual.  And even though I hear that Denver received its first snowfall this weekend, we here on the southeast plains of Hasty, still bask under 70 and 80 degree temps.

Nature may be a ‘bit more expressive’ in Hasty, but at 3000 plus feet above sea level, we are free from Tsunamis and have not felt a real earthquake in forever.

We count our blessings, as Nature prevails, in Hasty, Colorado.


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Local Author Writes New E-book

Posted By on September 25, 2011















Jan Verhoeff, author, internet marketing expert and grandmother, originally from the Lamar area, has released a new e-book.  Burning Embers, a reality-based story, grips you from the introductory paragraph through the last line. The title, Burning Embers, suggestive of a romantic bent, is anything but.  “Burning Embers of fading sun glowed orange in the western sky…”  Ms. Verhoeff takes this title from a peace-filled sunset to a fear-gripping metaphor in the depth of the plot.

The story reveals a young mother, Kate, with two baby girls, driving in an unreliable vehicle on a dark night in the middle of the country.  Finishing out a vending route, with collection monies in her possession, she quickly realizes she is being followed by two men.  Ms. Verhoeff’s ability to engage the reader’s emotions will keep you turning pages with a rapid heartbeat.

“The headlights chased shadows.  Darkness enveloped the vehicle driving into the night.  No lights…anywhere…”

Through miles of country back roads connected only by tiny towns that are few and far between, Ms. Verhoeff blends strength of character, determination and bravery through her fear-filled young protagonist. “Thin reflections of mist closed in on her…Streetlights encased in the fog seemed to dim perceptibly, and she shivered.”

Once you’ve read this thrilling tale, night driving may take on a new and dangerous shadow.

Burning Embers, an excerpt from a larger book, is a must-read for anyone who enjoys the thrill of a well-written story.

Though Ms. Verhoeff has moved ‘north’, her heart is still partly steeped in southeast Colorado.  She keeps an informative website on the Lamar area and treats us with tasty fare of southeast Colorado on her SECO Recipes site.  Take a peek and leave a comment; she’d enjoy posting your favorite recipe on her site.

If your online business needs a productive website or even just an update to increase traffic and income, contact Ms. Verhoeff at her web studio site for excellent, professional and reasonably priced website design and assistance.

To purchase this e-book, click here.








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John Martin Dam – Water Levels Dropping

Posted By on July 22, 2011

John Martin Reservoir - higher water levelsVisited John Martin Dam recently, showing off the neighborhood to Denver Residents and noticed the extreme drop in water level on the reservoir located on the eastern edge of Colorado. Looks like Kansas may be drying up the lakes this summer, though I continue to wonder how that could be with the high levels of run-off from the mountains.

Daily Reports indicate the water level is dropping at a fairly normal rate, considering the drought, and the holding water in Pueblo Reservoir. I’ve seen the reservoir lower this past week than I’d seen it in many years, not a sight I like to see in the area.

Wild life seems to share my opinion however, since the number of vulture circling above the Dam appeared overly abundant, waiting for life below the dam to die out, leaving them plenty of opportunity for food. The sight was amazing, even knowing that some poor animal had given his everything to feed those vultures!

Eco-Friendly Environment - Making Life Better & Greener
The advantage of having lower water levels in the reservoir is the vast array of rocks available for climbing down near the water’s edge. Most of these rocks are covered by water, when the water levels are higher. Hiking around the water’s edge reveals a vast number of NEW adventures, from swampy cat tail shallows to catfish jumping nearer the surface.

The benefit of shallow water, is easier to catch catfish, and I’ve been told by local fishermen that they’re catching plenty along the north shores where the water stays warmer. Pike seem easier to catch out about 100 yards from shore in the shallows along the river.

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Local History; recently…

Posted By on June 20, 2011

Wikipedia defines history as…”The study of past events, particularly in human affairs.” So this short excerpt on a local, recently published writer, finds a place here, today.

Oris George from Lamar, recently published a book recalling – in his own, unique flavor of humor and depth, nostalgic recollections of his everyday life in the 40′s and 50′s.  Interesting to me, how everyday life…is always profound and sometimes more memorable than the larger, more empty world events sometimes making front page news.

An example of this import, from Oris‘s new book, fills a corner of my heart.  It’s about an older woman, poor in dollars while rich in spirit and caring for displaced and hungry animals.  Though I do not follow a christian philosophy, a vacation bible school quote from my antiquity, comes to mind as relevant to Oris‘s story, Faded Blue Bonnet; “..whatever you do to the least of my brethren..” As a believer in  Nature and all her power and wisdom, to me -  brethren includes all living things.

“In the fall of 1945 when I turned twelve, draft horses and mules were being slaughtered by the thousands…..Anna existed on a very limited income. Her little farm, about half of it in pasture, could not support many mules. She went to work in town cleaning houses to earn extra money to buy feed……Time moved on.  Anna collected more mules…”

My heart cries every time I read this particular story. I’ll leave the tearful ending to your privacy.

Oris George writes with passion and energy! You become a bystander in the chicken yard; you ride next to him in the wagon as he takes his injured passenger for help in A Man by the Side of the Road; you share his joy as he rides to town on a Saturday night with Henry.

Treat yourself to some heartfelt, country memories and read Along the Backroads of Yesterday by Oris George.

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