Valley Strong Voices

The Valley Strong team is excited to introduce our newest offering – Valley Strong Voices! Valley Strong Voices intends to offer a forum for different voices and perspectives to be heard, covering a wide range of topics.

Snow Day

A Friday in winter, somewhere around 2006. Early rising, as usual, but today I’m not bringing my son to the bus stop, because in Custer County, no school on Fridays. Back in my old life in Portland, Oregon, I’d never heard of such a thing, but it seems to make sense: four long days of […]

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Note from the Author: In April of 2023 I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, or adult congenital heart disease. In September I underwent open heart surgery to manage the complications caused by my defect and, ideally, improve my quality of life while reducing my risk of a serious cardiac event. This essay is […]

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Home on the Ridge

Writing prompt “Tell us about a time that stands out in your mind where you felt the most connected to the place you live.”   Sun rises out the window over the bedroom and sets outside the dining room/kitchen table of my one-room cabin, with loft, where I live with my 4-year-old son, ostensibly for […]

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Shades of Grey

I had five writing assignment choices. I chose ‘Over the past few years, there have been many polarizing events and opinions rolling around. How has that feeling of polarity influenced you?’ Wow, Valley Strong, way to get deep right away! Feelings of polarity over the past few years. I guess that we should define few […]

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My Westcliffe Story

This is my Westcliffe story. I first came to Westcliffe in 1976 with my boyfriend after we met some people who lived here. We were thinking of moving from Pueblo to the mountains and drove up to visit them. The wind in the Valley was as harsh as the ranchers’ attitudes toward hippies, so we […]

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I remember the first time I laid eyes on the county. A three-hour road trip to the Great Dunes National Park in 2020 brought us to what we now call and hope to call forever our home. At first, the great pinon pines, evergreens, and towering aspens welcomed us, ushering a sense of unparalleled peace, […]

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Growing Up in The Valley

Writing Prompt: Describe what moving the Valley as a child in the 80s was like. “When I was nine, my parents informed my sister and me that we were going to be moving to Westcliffe, CO. Up to this point, we had always lived in southern states, with our current location being Bossier, LA. We […]

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Writing Prompt: tell us about a time that stands out in your mind where you felt the most connected to the place you live. “In modern times, it can be difficult to find places where our minds can quiet and solitude can be something to revel in, as opposed to dread. With countless distractions and […]

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New Year Hope

As I’m typing this, I’m looking at the date in the right-hand corner of my laptop. Saturday, January 14, 2023. The year 2022 went by so fast, I’m still struggling weeks into the new year to write “2023” onto paper rather than 2022. Looking back on the past few years, I think we can all […]

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Enjoy the Little Things

When I was presented with the opportunity to become the new writer of the Valley Strong blog, my first thought was excitement. My next thought was panic. I found myself struggling about what to write about since I’ve never written a blog and I’ve read maybe five throughout my entire life. However, I’m always up […]

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No Strangers in Here

It has been an interesting summer.  In the fly-by speed of it, I’ve barely had time to snap my fingers as all my plans seem to drift away on the mists of the rapidly evaporating rains.  (Another moment of thanks for the rain.  Though, I’m curious how the almost daily rains are affecting our valley […]

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The Sun Shines on Everyone in the Wet Mountain Valley

Rain. Finally, a good, drenching rain temporarily floods the streets of Westcliffe. I slosh through puddles from my car on the way into Sugarlump, where certain coziness and coffee a-flowing are a foregone conclusion. *Pause here for gratitudinous (yes, it’s a made-up word) rain dance.* It’s been a long time since I last found myself […]

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Calling all local writers!
Are you are interested in cultivating your craft by engaging in meaningful communication about your personal experiences living in the Valley?

Would you like to be a contributor to a project to promote appreciation, respect, and better understanding to strengthen connection and community in the Valley?

If this resonates, go check out our application at the link below to find out more information.

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