London broil smoking

I celebrated Colorado’s Meat Out Day March 20 by cooking meat outside. What a great idea, Gov. Polis.

The old grill was fired up with ancient western sage wood in the smoker box, by ancient I mean the wood was very old.

Ancient, as in it has survived the valley’s harsh climate, year after year, drought after drought after drought after too much rain too fast followed drought. Did I mention year after year? Decade after decade?

Not just surviving, but thriving often enough for a desert weed to grow thick and strong, stout against the harsh semi-arid climate, the deep, cold and snow and the blazing, relentless sun year after year.

Finally, it succumbed, as we all must, to eventualities and the sands of time and the Upper Arkansas River Valley. 

The now-dead woody shrub remained there upon the arid ground, year after year and so on, curing in the alpine sun and said semi-arid climate, waiting for its destiny.

The plant was there perhaps as long as a century or so. It survived and outlasted the Great Depression, World War II and lunar landings.

Wait! What? That sagebrush’s destiny was to be a social-more-than-political, consumer-driven statement – by way of smoking a newspaper editor’s governor-declared Meat Out Day celebratory London broil steak upon his home grill?

It’s destiny all that time was to blow smoke up some politician’s … proclamation? Mmm-hmmm, and the slow-roasted asparagus and that big ol’ hunk of steak tasted mighty fine, too.

Viewed through the spectrum of political theater, consider Gov. Polis’ proclamation and it’s subsequent interest from Colorado voters in this stage scene: A porch bears an old, creaky, Western-dried wooden rocking chair. In it, a governor scrapes something off his boot, something from out in a pasture that didn’t smell so good when he stepped in it. Smells worse now.

Picture an upturned nose and furrowed eyebrows wrinkled at the malodorous task at hand. For some, just part of everyday life, right? Some say you get used it. Not me. Politicians, though?

Here’s a better political theater scene: Chaffee County invites Gov. Polis on its next annual covered wagon ride across a few of our historic Upper Arkansas Valley ranches.

Nothing like seeing and actually experiencing the real world from a wooden wagon seat – complete with a dazzling, can-only-be-Colorado backdrop of blue sky and the mighty Sawatch Range dividing the continent – for an authentic Western day in the sun complete with a cookout and song-filled bonfire at day’s end.

Now that’s a day fit for king, much less a governor.

Epilogue: Hey, this has been fun. Let’s do it again next year. The news never tasted better!

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