The Hollenbeck's Cortez Environment


This is a little slice of what our life is like and shows some of the area around us.


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After 28 years of marriage, we are still very much in love. Behind us is Gifford Knoll and some of our 16 acres of Pinyon and Juniper forest. The top of the knoll visible behind us is the tip of Sacred Ute Mountain and is on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. The Ute tribe are our neighbors to the south and west.
Almost for the whole 28 years we have been married, we have had cats. This is Smoke, our latest cat. He is about 3 months old and is just learning to get along with our dog Max. (Sad postscript. On June 25, 2004, Smoke met with an untimely end at the hands of a car. He will be sorely missed. He was loving, playful, gentle and the softest soul imaginable. We were very fortunate to know him for his short life of about a year.)
This is a picture of us at a Thanksgiving party at our friends' house down McElmo Canyon. We have many, many wonderful friends in the canyon and we have been astonished at how many eclectic people like ourselves live here.
Here is Max. He is the first dog we have had since our marriage. He adopted us and is very intelligent and quite robust. A walk with Max means that we walk, he runs and comes back to us once in a while to touch base and say hello. Then he is off running again.
This is a panorama taken in December of 2001 across the road from us in the Canyon. You can see the wind sculpted sandstone layers which are common in our area. Red rock, Pinyon, Juniper and Sage are our constant companions and the scenery, as you can see, is totally magnificent. This view is visible from our front room window, but from a little higher up vantage point.

The town of Cortez is in an agricultural county. There are more cows than people in our county. Here is a teeny cow girl who has more chutzpah than most of the adults I know. With kids like this in the area and the responsibility that working with animals teaches them, no wonder we have an extremely low crime rate.


Photo courtesy of Cortez Journal

Another example of our young adults taking responsibility for projects much larger than themselves. The 4H movement is alive and well in Cortez.


Photo courtesy of Cortez Journal

Even though agriculture is a serious business, the residents of our town have lots of fun.


Photo courtesy of Cortez Journal

The red rock evident in McElmo Canyon extends throughout the area. Follow it about two hours west and you come to Valley of the Gods. A totally awesome wind scuplted area that is virtually empty all of the time. Deep in the Valley of the Gods is a bed and breakfast built out of ancient salvaged mine timbers and huge blocks of stone. A wonderful place for a romantic get away.
Sometimes we get sun and heavy rain and rainbows
Sometimes rainbows come in doubles