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Snow, Survival, Beekeeping: Colorado Storytellers Reflect on Wintry Weather

Cale Whicker / KUNC
Audience members at Snow Day: A Community Storytelling Event

An annual road trip turns into a magical winter wonderland. An ice-breaker on the first day of a new job inspires a life-changing journey with Turkish beekeepers. A short hike becomes a fight for survival. On January 17th, Colorado storytellers from all walks of life came together for "Snow Day: A KUNC Storytelling Event" at Wolverine Farm Publick House in Fort Collins. Hosted by Luke Runyon, four preselected speakers and one Wild Card audience member told their stories on one theme. 

Luke Runyon

Credit Natalie Corrasco

"So you guys are measuring snow by bouncing data off of shooting stars?"

Luke Runyon reports on the Colorado River Basin and Water issues affecting the western U.S. for KUNC. His reporting is supported by a Walton Family Foundation grant. 

Ashley Jefcoat

"To me, this was real magic. I was in fluffy, white, heaven." 

Ashley Jefcoat tells the story of a road trip gone awry, and an unexpected winter wonderland.

Ashley Jefcoat is a digital producer and editor for KUNC. In a previous life, she hosted a weekly call-in tech advice show, Everyday Tech, for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. She lives in Greeley with her wife, Melissa. 

David Fanning

Credit Cale Whicker / KUNC

"What happens when you get lost, is your eyes and ears are telling you one thing, and your mind is telling you something completely and utterly different from that."

David Fanning tells the audience about misadventures on the Colorado Trail and the Rawah Mountains.

David Fanning is a Fort Collins writer and photographer. He has hiked the 500 mile Colorado Trail 4 years in a row, and is the author of Voices of the Colorado Trail, containing interviews and photos he collected on the trail. He is an avid outdoorsman and is a member of the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers and the Nordic Rangers, serving as a backcountry ranger for the Forest Service on Northern Colorado hiking and skiing trails. 

Russ Schumacher

Credit Cale Whicker / KUNC

"When you see a forecast like that, it doesn't necessarily mean we don't know what we're doing, it just means we're telling the truth!"

Russ Schumacher on when two meteorologists didn't know they were flying into the biggest snow storm of their live.

Russ Schumacher is an Associate PRofessor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at CSU, the director of The Colorado Climate Center, and the Colorado State Climatologist. Outside of work, Russ has been a frequent contestant on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! He won the Tournoment of Champions in 2004. He and his wife, Andrea, live in Fort Collins with their four-year-old son. 

Cat Jaffee

"... and so I popped the question: can I come live with you? Because this is what I said I would do if I could be anywhere in the world."

Cat Jaffee went from a boring office job to rural beekeeper in snowy Turkey.

Cat Jaffee has launched and led several companies, including Balyou: The Honey Road, a honey tasting and trekking company in Eastern Turkey that used proceeds to train local women in beekeeping and hospitality. More recently, she is building House of Pod, a co-working space for podcasters and audio producers. She has been heard on the Gimlet Media podcast Why We Eat What We Eat. 

Mark Abrams

Credit Cale Whicker / KUNC

"It was so miserable, it was hard to keep the smile off your face."

The audience wild card, Mark Abrams, a retired electrical lineman, tells the story of a particularly challenging snow storm while on the job. Contains mature language.

Mark Abrams was an electrical lineman for the City of Fort Collins for 40 year. He retired 8 months ago and is enjoying every minute.

Snow Day recorded at Wolverine Farm Publick House in Fort Collins.

Produced by Ryan Thompson, Luke Runyon and Karlie Huckels.

Music accompaniment provided by Matthew Wilburn Skinner of Tallgrass

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