Character Talk Tuesday-Ethan Charm

Welcome, introduce yourself.

I’m Ethan Charm. I moved here to Peakview with my mom last fall. I’m fifteen and a freshman at Mountain High School.

What activities are you involved in?

I’m a runner, so I’m on the high school’s cross country and track teams. At first it was hard running at such a high altitude with my asthma, but I’m getting more use to it now. The elevation is much higher than where we came from in Nebraska.

How do you like Peakview?

It’s great. I’ve made a lot of friends. Everyone is very down to earth and friendly. I like being at a rural school. Now that mom and Jake are married, I love living on our ranch. We have so many animals. I love them all, but my favorite it my cat, Carrie. I was there the day she was born. She was the runt of the litter, but what she lacks in size, she makes up for in personality.

What are you doing for the summer?

I help Jake around the ranch and I’ve been working part time for Jerry at Heart’s Haven doing some repair work and trimming of trees and lawn stuff. I like it. It’s good to be outdoors in the mountains in the summer. In my spare time, I like to fish and hang out with the cross country guys. We have practices all summer, so running continues. I’ll go back to Nebraska for a couple of weeks with my dad, but I’ll be ready to come back. This town really does feel like home.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-MELANIE DALTON

We’re here at Sophie’s Choice bookstore with the owner, Melanie Dalton. Tell us about how you came to open the bookstore.

It’s a long story. I came to Peakview with my daughter a couple of years ago in search of a father I had never known. He’d turned out to be none other than Howard Crandall. He hadn’t known that my mother was pregnant or that I existed. He and Sophie bonded almost immediately, and we decided to stay in Peakview and give the relationship a chance. I’ve never regretted that decision. Anyway, I found this old house. It was cheap and in need of repair. It seemed like the perfect place for a home and a business. Sophie and I lived upstairs until I married Hank and moved to our ranch. Along the way we adopted our foster daughter, Marissa, and a rescue dog named, Scruffy.

How’s business?

Great. This town really needed a book store. During the summer, the tourists keep us hopping. It slows down in the winter which is fine by me.

I see you’re expecting. When’s the baby due?

In September. We can’t wait. It’s a boy. Hank is so excited. It’s his first biological child, although he’s adopted both Sophie and Marissa. He’s a great dad.

What do you like best about Peakview?

That we’re all one big family. I’d never had that. My mom never stayed in one place for long, and we always lived in big cities. I’m so happy to raise my children in a place like Peakview. Finding this town was a dream come true for us. Stop by and see us anytime.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–WILLOW HAYWOOD

I hear you’re a native of Peakview.

Yeah, born and raised. I grew up going to Peakview Elementary and Mountain High School, both about a mile from my current residence.

Tell us about your business.

My husband, Ryan, and I own Peak Adventure Camp. It’s a camp for disadvantaged kids. We get grants to paly for their stay. Lots of foster kids, kids who’ve been in trouble with law, or have behavioral issues. Most of them are from the Denver area. It gives them the chance to get away and have fun in the outdoors for a week. They ride horses, hike, fish and other age appropriate activities. We have kiddos as young as five and all the way up to eighteen.

Are you open year round?

Pretty much. We started out as a summer camp, but there was so much need. We got a grant and hired Penny Walker to work for us as camp manager, full time. That gave us the ability to do weekends throughout the year. It’s amazing. We’ve been able to add skiing and sledding in the winter. It’s so fun to see these city kids fall in love with the mountains. Our son, River, is almost a year and a half now. He loves all the kids and activity. It’s a great place for him to grow up.

Do you have other staff?

We have teenagers who live at the ranch fill time during the summer months. In the winter, we cut back. Some kids drive up from college in Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder to help out on weekends. Penny has a baby at home now too, so we try and give her a break every once in a while.

Do you keep in touch with the campers and track if you’ve made a difference in their lives?

Sometimes. Some kids we never hear from again. You always wonder if you had a positive impact. Others come back year after year, or are able to keep in touch through social media. We love those who do. Melanie and Hank’s daughter, Marissa, was a camper of ours. She was in a horrible foster situation at the time. Through meeting her while she was at camp, Melanie was able to become her foster mom, and later she and hank adopted her. She’s a great child. That’s definitely a success story. She even wants to come work at the camp when she’d older.

What’s the most important thing kids take away for Peak Adventures?

We’re all about positivity. We teach them to believe in themselves, to never give up, to be kind to other people and animals, and that they are in charge of their own destiny. I hope that take some of that home with them. That and we’re always here for them, if they need us.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–

Introduce yourself.

Hi, I’m Sam Phillips. I’ve lived in Peakview for almost fifty years, I guess that means I’m getting old. My wife, Vickie and I live in the big white house on main street, right next door to Sophie’s Choice Bookstore.

What do you do in Peakview?

I own Sam’s Hardware. We sell a little bit of everything. There aren’t any big box store in our county, so we’re it. For the past year since, Kelly became the store manager, we branched out, carrying more household items and a greater selection of clothing. I’m an attorney and also run a law practice in Peakview. For years, I was the only attorney in town, but now Cindy Welch practices here, too. She’s been a great help now that I spend half of the year in Tumbleweed, Wyoming, my wife’s home town.

How long have you and Vickie been married?

We’re newlyweds, really. We’ve only been married a year. When my first wife, Alice, passed, I thought I’d spend the rest of my days alone, and then Vickie came into my life. Quite unexpectedly, I might add. In a short time, she’d turned my world upside down–in a good way.

Do you have any other family in Peakview?

My family has grown in the past year. There’s my Daughter, Nicole, and her new husband, Rick Brady. Now there’s Vickie’s son Hank, his wife Melanie, and their daughters, Sophie and Marissa. Melanie is pregnant, so there’ll be another grandchild soon. There’s also Vickie’s daughter, Gloria and her husband, Pete and their four boys in Tumbleweed. That’s the main reason we spend winter’s there. Oh and I can’t leave out my miniature Aussie, Marshall. He’s one on the family.

What’s the one thing you’d like us to know about Peakview, Colorado?

Its just a great place, full of wonderful, kind neighbors. I can’t imagine a better place on earth. Not only are the people great, but the scenery is spectacular. Our little community has grown a lot over the past few years, but the newcomers quickly become one of us. That’s just the way we are.

 

 

The joys of a puppy

Merlin 2 months.

In March of this year, unfortunately my sixteen year old, best friend and Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, passed away. It wasn’t unexpected, after all, he’d outlived his life expectancy by several years. Still, it was hard. I decided to wait a couple of months before getting a new dog, to let my heart heal and to find the perfect new friend.  I knew I wanted a toy Australian Shepherd. They were similar dogs to my Sheltie and small enough  to make traveling easier.

Best laid plans. The next day, yes barely twenty-four hours after Laddie passed, my daughter found the perfect puppy online. He was the right size, cost, and less than two hours from my home. Yep, we jumped in the car and came home a few hours later with Merlin, the magic puppy, an adorable eight week old toy Aussie. He was a very sweet little ball of fluff those first few days–content to lay in my arms and sleep most of the day.

And then he woke up. I’m happy to report that almost three months later, he is happy, healthy, the love of my life, AND a lot of work. A whole lot of work. I’d forgotten what it was like to have a new puppy, since I hadn’t had one in sixteen years. The last couple of years Laddie slept approximately 23 hours per day.

Not so with Merlin. He has times each day when he goes absolutely crazy, running around the house getting into everything he can reach. He chews on everything! Including me, and let me tell you those puppy teeth are razor sharp. For several weeks my arms were solid puncture wounds. And then there’s housebreaking. One day he’s a star not having a single accident. Yes, he’s getting it. The next day he squats and pees on the carpet right in front of me. It’s a ongoing challenge. And then there’s the high pitched yip that he lets out when he wants something. It can pierce your eardrums.

I’m learning coping mechanisms. Long walks. Several times daily to wear him out (well sorta) Play dates with my daughter’s dogs are good, but even they get annoyed after awhile with his energy. I’ve learned to take him outside a lot. Every couple hours is a must. All this is good, I’m getting in better physical shape than I’ve been in for years!

Anyway, it’s an adjustment. It’s a good thing he’s so darned cute. I can forgive him almost anything. And when he snuggles up next to me and falls asleep, you can’t beat that. Some day those wicked baby teeth will fall out, and he’ll be the best behaved dog on the planet. Pray for me that day comes soon 🙂

Merlin 5 months

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY–SUZY DECKER

I understand you’re fairly new to Peakview. How long have you lived here?

It’s been almost a year. I moved here on the first of June last summer.

What brought you to Peakview?

I first wandered into town in a blinding snowstorm right before New Year’s Eve. My son had passed away, and I needed to get out of Denver. I just drove. I think God brought me to Peakview. I met Jerry, my husband and a world that had turned dark, was suddenly worth living again. Anyway, we fell in love and decided to open our bed and breakfast, Heart’s Haven. We’ll celebrate a year in business July first.

How’s the business going?

Great. I didn’t know it, but I think I was born to run a small inn. I love all the people we meet. Some become almost like family. We even do specialty weeks. We had weeks for veterans, families who’ve lost a child, and foster families. We plan to do a lot more of that kind of thing in the future.

Any plans to expand your family?

If you mean kids, not right now, but our four-legged family keeps growing. Since opening the inn we acquired a pony, another dog, several cats and goats. It’s fun. Being raised a city girl, I’m loving the mountain life.

What would you like to tell people about Peakview?

It’s a magical place. It saved my life. I want to do that for others. If you find yourself in our area, come on by and spend the night. I think you’ll love our little slice of heaven on earth.

CHARACTER TALK TUESDAY-MOLLY PEYTON

Tell us how long you’ve lived in Peakview County.

My husband, Jim and I purchased Peaktop Guest Ranch almost thirty years ago. We absolutely love these mountains and the community. We also love running a guest ranch. Our two children grew up here.

What exactly is a guest ranch?

I’m glad you asked. A guest ranch, or dude ranch as they’re sometimes called, are wonderful places for family vacations. It’s an American-style all-inclusive vacation. The main activity is horseback riding, although there is plenty of other activities to keep our guests busy if the don’t ride. There’s many miles of hiking trails, fishing, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. During the summer months, everyone stays a whole week, from Sunday until Sunday. We have activities every evening. We have a square dance, singing around the campfire, cookouts, hayrides, and an old fashioned melodrama. During our off-season, September through May, guests can choose to come for a weekend or just a couple of days. We are closed in January and most of February.

That sounds wonderful.

People like it. We have many families that come year after year. We’ve even gotten to the point where kids who grew up coming here are now bringing their children.

Any plans to retire?

Not in the near future. Our hope is someday when we get too old to want to do this full time, that our kids will take over. Our son, Brandon is a junior at Colorado State majoring in animal science with a minor in business. He hopes to become a vet. It would be great to have our own with so many animals on the ranch. He loves this place as much as we do.

Where is your ranch from the town of Peakview?

It’s located about fifteen miles northeast of town. It’s very isolated, which is what guests like. They come to get away from civilization. We still don’t have cell service, and we like it that way. There’s always something going on. Stop by and check us out if you get the chance.