The fortnight before Christmas

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

’Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the land, not a snowflake had fallen. The ground was all sand.

The skis were both waxed, edges sharp as I dare, in hopes that a dump would hit someday, somewhere.

Wolf Creek soon announced a base out of the red, and visions of face shots danced in my head.

So ma in her leathers and me with new skis set off for a day of fun, dropping our knees.

Away to Pagosa, we flew like a flash, tore up Wolf Creek Pass and broke out our cash.

The sun on acres of new fallen snow, gave a long-awaited buzz to the skiers below.

But down in the woods, there arose such a clatter, we left the lift line to see what was the matter.

When what to our wondering eyes should appear, but a trackhoe, front loader and eight separate John Deeres

And a pudgy, little boss with plans for 2,200 homes, I knew in a moment it must be Red McCombs.

More rapid than eagles his lawyers they came, and he ranted and shouted, and called them by name.

“Now, Quarles! Now, Crowell! Now, Moring and Klise! Off to Washington you esquires, it’s time to get busy!

To the top of Alberta! To the top of the Waterfall! Now litigate! Legislate! Take care of it all!”

But Vikings did tremble and Clear Channel grew muddled, when Red, he stepped into a big spot of trouble.

The Pitchers, the owners of good, old Wolf Creek, stopped McCombs from taking even a peek.

This Village, they said, is no village at all. If you build them up here, skyscrapers just fall.

But Red took his plans, looked at the Pitchers and frowned. He called on Bob Honts, and was in DC in a bound.

His eyes – how they trembled! His teeth, oh so scary! His face did it tense with mention of John Kerry.

A reach into his sack and a twist of his head, soon gave all to know, we had plenty to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, filled all the pockets, then smiled with a quirk.

“Look here at the Forest Service, they’ve seen the bounty, and so have the commissioners of Mineral County.

If you put up a fight, we’ll take this ski area here, and throw the Pitcher family straight out on its ear.”

But the Pitchers stood tall and never looked meek, and soon had big help from the Friends of Wolf Creek.

They tore down the curtains and revealed all the swill, shedding much needed light on the mess on the hill.

Then the county, it tripped and started to bumble when a high court proclaimed their serious fumble.

And the Forest Service hid from a sudden court order, giving the opposition cause to hoist tankards of porter.

But Red, he was tough and rubbed his big belly, and got ready to spread some more KY Jelly.

And sticking his finger straight up into the air, climbed back in the loader and muttered “Beware.”

He started the beast, to his team gave thumbs up, and away they drove off like a pack of monster trucks.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Get ready for a good fight.”

– Will Sands

(The details above have been deliberately altered with rhyme, metaphor and mild exaggeration. For the straight scoop on the good fight that is ongoing at the Wolf Creek Ski Area, log onto )



In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows