February 2017
Driving Home By Ana Olvera

Bound for home a few months ago, the time was just getting past the top of the hour. I turned on the radio to hear the latest news, but I’d just missed it.

Instead, an impersonal traffic report, mixed with blaring static, came squelching and squawking over the air waves: “And southbound I-15 at the Centerville on-ramp is snarled up bumper-to-bumper due to a crash. It’s stretching back for miles, so don’t plan on getting home soon, if you’re driving south through Davis County …”

I hit the off button. Hearing enough of that, I smiled, and drove on in welcome silence knowing contrary to what I’d just heard that I’d be home soon. For some places, it might have been rush hour, but not on main street Bloomington, Idaho. By conveniently omitting the time and place, that report couldn’t have been further from my reality. I’d left my “bumper-to-bumper” for good in Denver several months ago, on big crowded thoroughfares like Interstate 25, Parker Road and Smoky Hill Road.

I’d been in a meeting, and was driving home through Bear Lake County. This is one of those trips that’s imprinted upon my internal GPS — from Pocatello, turn off at McCammon, drive up the Portnuef River Valley, go up over the pass at Fish Creek Summit, past the Gem Valley and then on through the Bear River Valley to the south end of Bear Lake. Miles, yes, but no bumper-to-bumper in sight.

To the west, a promising sunset was beginning to dance on wispy clouds that were laced high up on the season’s first snowcapped peaks — that cheerful orb’s last rays were ablaze, throwing off hues of red and gold. Covering the southward miles, the familiar Mediterranean of the Rockies had slipped into view. The 20-mile-long lake was casting an azure reflection up at the dusky eastern sky. These homeward scenes were a welcome trade for years and miles of streaming tail lights in the hustle and bustle of big burgs like Denver.

Like this drive home did for me, I hope you find this February issue of Spudman to be filled with good news and useful information. Phil and David Hickman of Dublin Farms tell about growing and marketing potatoes on Virginia’s eastern shore. There’s also features on new equipment, the latest on GPS guidance, an article on the low-glycemic potato variety Carisma and much more.

Yi Wang has been recognized as the recipient of Spudman’s 2017 Emerging Leader Award, sponsored by Yara, and she received this at the 2017 National Potato Council’s annual meeting in San Francisco last month. Special thanks to all who made this possible for her.

And last, but not least, I’d like to recognize the Spudman graphic arts team for the great job they’ve done on our magazine’s redesign. Our table of contents page now covers only one page, and features more tools and useful information. This redesign economizes space and provides big pictures on the turn of each page. So, enjoy! And keep turning those pages.

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