Our day started at 5:00 a.m. when the alarm clock started chirping. We were up early to take hikers to the Spring Creek Pass trail head so that they could continue north on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).
These young hikers came into town several days ago to grab a few "Zero Days" of rest and relaxation. The stretch south of Lake City in the San Juan Mountains is notoriously challenging. The snow-pack at higher elevations and the snow-melt at the lower elevations made this section even more interesting for these hikers. Snow, avalanches, ice, rain, lightening, running water, mud -- all of these made for low mileage count at the end of each day.
CDT hikers are a unique bunch. It takes a different kind of person to take months off from work to hike from the Mexico border to the Canadian border. Months of planning, gear purchases, mail drops, water caches, learning survival techniques -- all so that they can get onto the trail and let the world fall off of their shoulders.
While visiting Lake City, these hikers contribute significantly to the local economy. Shopping at our grocery store, sleeping at the Raven's Rest Hostel, washing clothes at the local laundromat, gathering supplies at The Sportsman Outdoors, and eating at local restaurants. Their brief presence in our community is significant.
We departed the store at 5:30 a.m. for the short drive to Spring Creek Pass. The discussion was relaxed as we shared stories. The common thread was "getting away from the big city and ditching material possessions". Real joy comes not from the kind of stuff that is found in a big house packed full of toys purchased from our corporate jobs -- it exists on the trail in the quiet recesses of our mind.
We found a deeper happiness when we visited these mountains four years ago. The quiet, beauty, and solitude allowed us to shed the trappings of life in Austin, Texas.
Each hiker offers similar observations about what they discover while on the trail. These discoveries are often very emotional or spiritual. The stories and experiences that they share with us are beautiful life experiences.
We love helping these guys and gals get back onto the trail so that they may continue their journey.
As Mother Nature teases us with warm weather that thaws the surrounding snow and ice, Patty and I are awakening from our winter slumber to prepare for our 3rd season in Lake City. There is much to accomplish before you arrive in Lake City! Here is a partial list is happening at The High Country Market:
EMPLOYEE RECRUITMENT -- Lollie will return for another year, and she set the standard in 2014 for dedication and hard work. Give us a shout if you (or someone you know) are looking for full-time or part-time employment. We are looking for friendly and hard-working individuals who can perform cashier and deli duties, stock shelves and coolers, and help with the daily cleaning routine. Stop by the store and ask for an employment application, or download the application here. We offer competitive pay, shift-meals, store discount, end-of-season bonus, and the possible winter employment.
NEW EQUIPMENT -- Look for one (or more) pieces of equipment to arrive this year. We purchased a deli display case recently, but RAC Transport managed to destroy it during the delivery process. If all goes well, we will have a replacement before the start of the season, and... hopefully a 3rd reach-in freezer to accommodate the increasing demand for ice-cream and other frozen products.
NEW DELI ITEMS -- Look for guacamole, pico de gallo, hummus, chicken salad, potato salad, pasta salad, cheese wheels, and other goodies in our display case during the coming season. These deli items will be sold by the pound, and will be pre-packaged and ready to go.
PICNIC TABLES -- We purchased picnic tables from The Twisted Taco when Mitch Murphy closed his business last year. Our customers will now have a place to relax and eat after purchasing lunch from our deli.
ICE MERCHANDISER -- The ice merchandiser was moved to the front porch for better visibility and access by our customers. This new location will also be easier for our staff to restock. Gotta get our local go-to guy come install a new outlet for us though.
NEW FLAGS -- We purchased new American and "OPEN" flags recently, and these are already flying at The High Country Market. The sun and wind in Lake City necessitate that these be replaced every year.
UPDATED INVENTORY -- We removed all products that did not sell well during the 2014 season. These were replaced with other high-end products, and we continue to adjust and modify our inventory as we learn from our customers what they want and need in Lake City, Colorado.
PARKING LOT -- Keeping the dust and mud under control is a constant battle in Lake City. We will ask a Lake City business to bring more gravel for our parking lot to help with this issue.
FLOWERS and OUTSIDE DECOR -- New flowers will be planted as soon as the snow and ice melt. Still not sure what to do with the drainage ditch and stump on our northwest corner, but we will take another look at this. Hanging baskets will be purchased from The Loose Arrow as soon as Patrica Lucero returns and opens her business for the summer.
NEW PRICE TAGS -- We will print updated price tags for the coming weeks. Patty purchased new produce tags that will be installed on or near the produce cooler. Look for "sale" or "special" tags throughout the store this year.
PROMOTE LOCAL SHOPPING -- The High Country Market will continue to promote local businesses Lake City -- we live in a small and remote community that requires teamwork and cooperation. Your purchases in Lake City help to support local families and businesses, the Town of Lake City, Hinsdale County, and a number of non-profit organizations. Spend your money with a small business in Lake City -- NOT that big corporate conglomeration on your way to Lake City.
UPDATED VAN LOGO -- The High Country Market van will receive an updated logo from the Sign Guys & Gal in Gunnison. Vicky and her husband are friendly and easy to work with, and we will continue to use them in the coming years for updated artwork .
DEEP CLEAN -- Everything in the store undergoes a deep clean before and after each summer season. Our shelves are completely stripped and wiped-down, coolers emptied and wiped-down, and we vacuum/mop behind and under anything that is not attached to the floor. It is a laborious process, but we want you to shop in a clean and bright environment.
UPDATED WEB-SITE -- We are going through our web-site and making updates to reflect the changes that have taken place during the past year. Look for updated photos, links, and product descriptions. Give us a holler if you would like your business to be linked or displayed on our web-site.
This is just a partial list of the many things that we do so that you may have an enjoyable shopping experience when you visit The High Country Market in Lake City, Colorado.
See you soon!
Peter and Patty
People walk through our door every day in search of something. Most want to purchase food for dinner, but many times they are simply looking for help or advice.
We are proud to announce that The High Country Market will carry organic produce starting Saturday September 6, 2014.
Through a partnership between UNFI and Albert's Organics, we now have access to weekly deliveries of organic produce in Lake City. Our customers demand the highest quality produce at The High Country Market, and we are working hard to meet their needs.
Our first organic produce order consists of the following:
Every produce item on this order is Certified Organic.
When you purchase organic produce from The High Country Market, you will 1) support a local business in Lake City, 2) support the the nation’s leading distributor of quality organically grown fresh produce, 3) support hundreds of organic farmers throughout the nation, and 4) most importantly, you will fuel your body with produce that has never been touched by pesticides or harmful fertilizers.
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The summer tourist season is almost over, and this means that we will now have time to focus on aspects of our business that have been neglected during this busy season.
Our electronic newsletter has been sitting dormant on the back-burner since the 2014 tourist season started -- we were simply too busy with the day-to-day aspects of our business to publish anything.
We will revive this electronic newsletter as soon as things completely wind-down at the store.
Our newsletter will contain information and updates on changes at The High Country Market, special announcements, coupons, and information on other local events and businesses in Lake City, Colorado.
Your vacation may be over, but you can still keep-up with us while you are away. Join our email list and stay in-touch!
The High Country Market will transition to winter hours on Monday September 22, 2014. Our new hours will be:
We worked 7-days a week during the 2014 tourist season, and we logged nearly 3,000 combined hours serving our customers. We worked at home before and after work; traveled to Montrose, Gunnison, and Olathe in search of Colorado produce and meat; and we listened to your feedback and suggestions.
We had a successful season, and we could not have made it without your support -- THANK YOU!
As you return to the rigors of your daily life in the city, we will finally have time to relax and explore the beautiful mountains that surround Lake City.
Thanks again for visiting Lake City and shopping at The High Country Market -- see ya next year!
Peter and Patty
Tuesday is a major delivery day for us at The High Country Market. Today we will receive deliveries from GDi, Coca-Cola, Frito Lay, and U.S. Foods.
We rely heavily on U.S. Foods for fresh produce, and today we replenished the store with the following: Asparagus, Bananas, Braeburn Apples, Broccoli, Buttermilk, Green Beans, Heavy Whipping Cream, Green Onions, Jalapeno Peppers, Red Onions, Red Potatoes and Strawberries.
We LOVE what we do here in the mountains, and while we are a grocery store, we consider ourselves to be public servants in the sense that we provide fresh quality produce to our community.
Come see what we have to offer, and keep it local by shopping for groceries in Lake City, Colorado.
Greetings from The High Country Market!
As we enter our 2nd summer in Lake City, we want to thank everyone who helped make our first year in Lake City a huge success. Without the support of our local residents, local business owners, local government employees, 2nd homeowners, the seasonal RV crowd, and the many tourists who shopped at our little market in the mountains -- we would not be here today.
Your support made this happen!
A few things have changed since this time last year when we first opened our doors for business: we added new items to our deli menu; we now sell 10-pound bags of ice made from local filtered water; we sell milk and eggs from Olathe, Colorado, and we expanded our catering menu and services.
Business aspects that haven't changed include: handmade deli sandwiches, fresh produce, specialty orders, call-in orders, and friendly customer service.
Patty and I continue to grow and learn with this business, and each and every day is an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with this community and our customers.
We love what we do here in Lake City. Come visit with us. Tell us your story. Let us win your business.
Peter and Patty
A Lake City family is in need, and we are contacting you today to ask for help.Martha and Greg Levine have become great friends of ours since we moved to Lake City last year.
Greg saved our business on several instances when we had equipment issues with our coolers and freezers. He was there for us before sunrise, and late into the night when help from Gunnison was not available. Martha and Greg have been valuable customers of ours since the day we opened, and we would like to return the favor by helping the Levine family during this difficult time.The following letter was written by a friend of the Levine family, and we are sharing this letter with you today.
Please read the letter with an open heart. Pray, share, and donate to the Levine family to help remove the financial and emotional stress associated with this difficult situation. -- Peter and Patty
Here is the latest update regarding Bennett Levine. Bennett is now 9 years old and starting at the age of 18 months, it was discovered that he suffered from a seizure disorder. At that age, the seizures caused speech delay and the inability to focus along with general hyper activity. With the combination of medications, his seizures diminished overtime and around the age of 5 he was weaned off all medications.
However, over the past two years, Martha and Greg gradually observed a strange giggling for no reason when Bennett was getting tired at the end of the day. This seizure is identified as gelastic, and in his case, is caused by a brain tumor. His tumor is identified as hypothalamic hamartoma and is 8mm by 9mm in size. It is located deep in the brain near the brain stem and must be removed to stop the seizures and other problems related to its presence. Doctors believe that Bennett was born with this tumor and is probably responsible for his earlier seizures.
The procedure to remove the tumor is not done in many places due to its rare occurrence (1 in 200,000 births). Places that do the procedure near Colorado are The Children's Hospitals of Denver, Phoenix and Houston. The surgery will be done in one of these locations. There is a website that outlines the procedure and it can be viewed at:
Or you can Google: giggling seizures no laughing matter.
The Levine family visited Phoenix on January 6th for a second opinion and are planning a trip to Houston on February 24 to confer with Dr. Curry (doctor in the Nightline video).
Please keep Bennett, his family and all the medical people who will be involved with the procedure in your thoughts and prayers. As of this date, the surgery will take place in Denver on March 19th. This could change after the visit to Houston. The tumor must be removed in the next few months.
Martha and Greg do have insurance and both are employed full time with jobs on the side. The expenses that have and will incur for the pre-op visits, surgery, travel and lodging are unexpected and overwhelming. If you wish to contribute to Bennett's cause there has been an account set up at Miners and Merchants Bank under the name of Greg Levine.
Miners and Merchants Bank
PO Box 310
Lake City, CO 81235
If you would prefer to be more personal, you can send directly to The Levine Family.
PO Box 1077
Lake City, CO 81235
I am not sending this email to make you feel obligated to donate money but to inform all friends of the Levine family of what Bennett and his family are going through. Anything you can do, even words of concern would be greatly appreciated! Please feel free to forward this email to anyone.
Friends of Bennett and his family
Volunteering is one of the many activities that captured our imagination when we visited Lake City in May 2012, and our local and seasonal volunteers amazed us during our first summer season in this community.
Lake City thrives and survives on the volunteer efforts of our local and seasonal residents. Lake City DIRT, the Hinsdale County Museum, the Lake City Wine & Music Festival, the Lake City/Hinsdale County Chamber of Commerce, the Lake City Area Fire Protection District, and the Hinsdale County Emergency Medical Services are just a few of the many groups and organizations that make Lake City a safe and fun place to live and visit.
Ask anyone in Lake City what they do here, and chances are you will hear a long list of jobs, events, and volunteer activities that they work at on a regular basis: The 4th of July Parade, Lake City Friends of the Bears, Lake City Arts, the Pioneer Jubilee Women's Club, the Lake City Area Medical Board, the John Wagner Public Library -- the list just goes on and on in this town.
Patty and I promised ourselves (and others) that we would find a group to volunteer with once we got our business feet on the ground in Lake City, and that time has come.
Patty recently volunteered to serve on the Lake City DIRT Board of Directors and the John Wagner Public Library Board of Directors. Lake City DIRT "follows the Main Street approach which includes marketing & promotion, historic preservation & improvements, economic restructuring & development, and volunteer management & fund-raising." The John Wagner Public Library offers math and tutoring programs in the summer, and seeks to "organize and provide access to a wide variety of materials and services, which will promote, maintain and improve the quality of life for the community."
I volunteered to serve with the Hinsdale County Emergency Medical Services to become trained and certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-Basic). Starting next Tuesday, I will join 3 other Lake City volunteers (Sterling Saladin, Rachel Albers, and Preston McGloughlin) at Gunnison Valley Health to take an EMT Certification Course. This course requires our attendance in Gunnison twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and occasional all day classes on Saturday -- for four months! We are required to obtain a certain number of "clinical hours" riding with an ambulance crew and working in the Emergency Room to gain hands-on experience. At the end of course we will take an exam that will certify us at the State and National level.
All of the organizations in Lake City exist to serve the residents, 2nd homeowners, and tourists who visit and live in Lake City. I wonder how many volunteer hours are contributed each year in this town, and if we were to assign a dollar amount to each volunteer hour contributed -- how many millions of dollars would be counted?
Patty and I look forward to serving with these organizations and working with the many volunteers who give-back so much of their time to our community. We thank you for your service. Now it is time for us to get involved and give back too.
Peter and Patty
Peter Nesbitt -- Former FAA Air Traffic Controller. Now a co-owner at The High Country Market in Lake City, Colorado.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Fresh produce (organic, local, and conventional), handmade deli sandwiches, fresh baked bread, Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten-Free, catering for all occasions, pies and cakes, potato and pasta salads, coleslaw, hummus, pico de gallo, bagged ice, and great customer service!