Ear to the ground:

"There was no good wine in Italy or France."

– Recent AARP traveler discussing her disbelief at the Europeans' failure to embrace white zinfandel

On the road again

At 10:15 a.m., on Nov. 8, 2012, Betsy Richards set out on a routine road ride down La Posta Road. She never finished her ride. At 10:31 a.m., she was run over by a truck on the Highway 160  frontage road. 

Richards survived six weeks in the hospital and 20-plus hours of surgery. She has more surgery planned for this November.

 But not even a Toyota truck can hold Betsy back. In addition to rediscovering her fondness for mountain biking (she came in first in her age group at this year's Road Apple Rally, held Oct. 5 in Farmington) Betsy has been getting back on the road bike as well.

To mark the one-year anniversary of her accident, as well as celebrate the remarkable ground she has covered since then, Betsy is asking friends, well wishers and fellow riders to join her next Fri., Nov. 8, to help her finish her ride.

Join her at the Centennial Center parking lot at 10:15 a.m. for a small  ceremony to help her cast off the demons of the past year (wheelchairs, walkers, diapers) and for a brief moment of silence to honor cyclists who have not survived encounters with cars. Then, a small shrine will be built at the Durango Coffee Co. drive-thru, and people are asked to bring a small token if they wish.

At 10:31 a.m., Betsy and anyone wishing to join her will get on their bikes to pick up where she left off last year and continue her ride down La Posta Road to Bondad and back.

Durango Coffee will provide free coffee and there will be a post-ride "Bionic Betsy" lunch special at Nature' Oasis Deli after the ride.

People are free to participate in any portion of the events as their time and stamina allows.

"We simply would like to see you," said Betsy and co-coordinator and husband, Joel.

Who let the dogs out?

Dogs at the La Plata County Humane Society have something to wag their tails about.

Last week, the Humane Society finished work on a new play yard at the shelter, which included grading, fencing and running water for dogs to drink, cool off or clean up.

The improvements were was paid for with money from 2012's LPCHS fundraiser, Bark & Wine.

Shelter Director Chris Nelson said the new play yard allow dogs to socialize more and improve behavior, which hopefully will translate into more adoptions. “Letting people see the dogs outside of the kennels will also help adoptions, especially when there’s eight to ten dogs playing and having a good time in their new play yard,” he said.

Future plans for the play yard, scheduled for next year, call for a sidewalk, artificial turf and shade.

To donate to the LPCHS play yard, call 259-2847 or visit www.lpchumanesociety.org