They might resemble birdhouses…But they definitely are not for the birds!
For one thing, they are a little too big. And for another they are full of books, not seed.
They are boxes of books the public is invited to take away and read.
If you’re traveling through the Surface Creek or Grand Mesa area and are in need of something to read during your visit you can always upload books to your favorite reading device but sometimes you just want the feel of a real book in your hand. For locals, the Cedaredge Public Library is the go-to place for either the real thing or a quick upload but our visitors find our local Little Free Libraries convenient and easy to find.
Here’s how they work…it’s simple! You take a book and leave a book. No library card is needed and you don’t have to return the book. Street libraries are for everyone, regardless of your age, gender or your reading level. These boxes play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books in areas where you may be spending more time enjoying the outdoors on your vacation, but still want a good book when it’s bedtime. You might even find that you are reading a book that you normally would not have read.
Western Colorado if full of wide open spaces with an endless assortment of outdoor recreational activities but exploring our communities is also part of the adventure. The Little Free Libraries help build community and show off our creativity by sharing books with our guests.
For more information about Little Free Libraries including a map showing other locations just go to: littlefreelibrary.org
No matter how well you know a place or how much research you’ve done, you always learn something unexpected when you take a walking tour in a community. Like many towns in Colorado, Cedaredge and the Surface Creek Valley have a proud heritage that dates back to when the Utes Indians first settled this area. We are pleased to have several National Historic Site designations, as well as structures designated as Historical by the State of Colorado.
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Most small communities put aside differences and come together at crucial times. It might be a disaster, a common loss or a local tragedy; but in Cedaredge it started as a fleeting thought, a simple idea, an ambitious dream…and it grew into a creative endeavor aimed at accomplishing a huge community goal.
Cedaredge, Colorado is a scenic town located above the Surface Creek Valley on the sunny side of the Grand Mesa. With a wonderful climate, small town friendliness, and surrounded by unlimited recreational opportunities, this valley is home to more than 8000 people. Many of the people who have lived here and those that have come later, have amazing artistic, musical, and other creative talents. For years, those talented folks were scattered around the valley without a central gathering place in which to showcase and share their gifts but things have changed…
In August of 2017, local musician, David Starr, and his wife, Cindy, had the idea that Cedaredge needed to find a building that would provide a permanent venue to host performing and visual arts, as well as provide creative and educational opportunities for the community. Read more...
While many types of wildlife abound on Grand Mesa, one of the biggest draws is the possibility of coming across a moose cow and her babies. Over the past 30 years, that might have been a rare sighting but beginning in 2005, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has been working to establish a population on the Mesa.
The term “moose” comes from the Algonquin Indian word meaning “eater of twigs” so the most common place to find a moose is where there’s plenty of brush for them to graze on so the many lakes and willow bottoms in the area provide exceptional habitat for moose. (read more)
Days are long and they start early at the Grand Mesa Creamery where the twice daily milking routine starts at 6am and gets repeated again at 6pm. Having 21 new kids (plus two more coming) tends to keep the entire Rogers family busy and that’s just part of the goat related activities that takes place on their small farm. Grand Mesa Creamery is operated by David, Lynae, and Bailey Rogers, along with Lynae’s mom, Gerry Werber, on a modest 4+ acres just outside of Cedaredge. The dairy offers artisanal farmstead cheeses made by hand in small batches.
The kids started arriving in mid-April and after spending a couple of weeks with the doe (or nanny), they are separated and switched to the bottle-bar and the milking process begins. Twice a day the doe’s are milked and that milk is transformed by Lynae, into the rich creamy cheese that Grand Mesa Creamery is known for. (read more)
Each year thousands of Sandhill Cranes visit Fruitgrowers Reservoir in migration between their wintering grounds in New Mexico and breeding grounds in the Northern Rockies. They come for an overnight stay, to rest and feed before moving on. Locals and visitors alike, are drawn to this local reservoir to observe the gathering, contribute to the count and witness the Sandhill Cranes as they engage in their mating ritual; performing an elaborate and elegant hopping dance to gain the attention of potential mates. Courting cranes stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance.
Whether stepping singly across a wet meadow or filling the sky by the hundreds and thousands, Sandhill Cranes have an elegance that draws attention. These tall, gray-bodied, crimson-capped birds breed in open wetlands, fields, and prairies across North America. (read more)
An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. Some stories believe you are granted happiness and eternal good luck, instead of just one wish but in Cedaredge a group of local artists are living proof that those cranes bring all of the above.
In the fall of 2017 Lorae Fortner-Welch was on a road trip with her husband, Bill and they came across a gallery displaying hundreds of paper crane chains. It turned out that the cranes were being created as part of a local fundraising effort. Lorae brought the idea back to her friends in Cedaredge and they decided it would be fun to see if they could raise some money for the new Grand Mesa Arts & Entertainment Center. (read more)
Metalsmithing has always been a time intensive art requiring a steady hand and a well trained eye but it comes naturally to Cathleen Crenshaw. In her studio, nestled at the base of Colorado’s Grand Mesa, Cathleen has been designing and handcrafting sterling silver and gold jewelry just outside of Cedaredge, Colorado since 2005.
The process requires a good deal of patience and concentration as one carefully works through each step. Even the simplest forms involve many hours of work depending on the degree of refinement and embellishment but the unique beauty and character of these hand wrought pieces justifies the time and effort invested. (read more)
A short drive north of Cedaredge takes you to a world that is well known by local fisherman. You’ll find hundreds of lakes on Grand Mesa that are filled with cold-water fish, including brown, rainbow and brook trout.
Most of us progress through a natural evolution in fly fishing. We start as a beginner with low expectations. After gaining a little confidence by landing a few trout with consistency, we start to keep score. Some anglers take this to extreme keeping track of each and every trout they catch or release. Then, eventually most of us end up looking for a more quality experience, understanding that it isn't the number of fish caught but the degree of difficulty in catching them. Some say the definition of a trophy-sized trout depends on the water it lives in and the techniques used to catch it.
Many lakes and streams on the Grand Mesa are easily accessible via paved and dirt Forest Service roads. Some, however, require hiking and walking between the lakes in the tall pines is wonderful. If you're lucky you might come across a less-traveled to reservoir in the back country that could produce a nice 3 or 4 pound trout. Locals claim that dry flies are extremely effective on the mesa, as well as black wooly buggers.
We might also mention that fishing in Colorado is a year round activity. Dropping a lure or bait through the first safe ice of the year can be exciting, as well.
From downtown Cedaredge, you can be on the water (or ice) and fishing in exactly an hour and remember… A fish is too valuable to be caught and enjoyed only once. We encourage responsible fishing practices.
Annual licenses are valid April 1 through March 31 annually for fishing in Colorado. These can be purchased at license agents, CPW offices, online at:
co.wildlifelicense.com or by phone at 1-800-244-5613.
We hope you enjoy a glimpse into some of the special things that we treasure about the Cedaredge, Surface Creek and Grand Mesa areas.