Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! keeps busy finding even busier people |

Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! keeps busy finding even busier people

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

Talk about having a plate full of life, for sure that’s Karin Mitchell of Dillon.

She’s a young wife, mother of two, hiker, skier, marathon runner, swimmer, soccer player, exchange student host, recent master’s degree earner, Colorado Mountain College teacher, and a writer trying to get her first novel published.


Karin’s husband is Rob Murphy, who manages the general assistance program for the Family and Intercultural Resource Center, and living across the street is her mother, Marsha Harvey, who coordinates volunteers with Deb Hage at weekly community dinners held at the Elk’s Lodge.

Rob and Karin have two boys: Magnus, 3, and Gavin, 1.

Karin, 34, graduated last month from Denver’s Regis University with a master’s in writing, following up on her bachelor’s in education from Missouri’s Jesuit St. Louis University, with summa cum laude honors.

A native of St. Louis, Karin’s novel, “Between Families — A Novel,” uses that city as the base for her master’s thesis-developed writing effort.

To fund the publishing, Karin is using the growing Kickstarter internet method of raising necessary capital.

“The Kickstarter campaign is a neat thought: Someone across the world whom you’ve never met, is supporting your endeavors,” she says.

“The most interesting thing to me about the project so far is who supports it,” adds the budding author. “I have never met nearly half the people who have pledged so far. I think that’s amazing. It says to me that the writing and the project stand on their own as valuable.”

Karin explains further:

“It isn’t a jazzy technology project. It’s a serious novel about abuse and a child’s desire for her mother’s care. So far, we’re about 46 percent toward the goal of $4,725. I think it’s a pretty good deal to pledge. At $5 you get a copy of the ebook, and for $50 you can print your own 140-character note in the acknowledgments section.”

Karin, Rob and mother Marsha co-host Program of Academic Exchange student Joel Wretblad of Stockholm, Sweden.

“His mother was among the first to pledge money to my Kickstarter campaign,” Karin adds.

Much of the book takes place in a St. Louis residential treatment facility, an institution where children live who are removed from their homes. Sometimes they are working toward reuniting with their parents and sometimes they are wards of the state.

“I wanted to give a character to the kids I’ve known who have lived that type of life,” she says.

That picture of tough citylife is much in contrast to Karin’s here in Summit County.

“I’ve been in Summit off and on for the last nine years,” she comments. “I’m crazy about skiing — crazy. I dream skiing. I love it so much. And it’s not like I just got here and am saying that. I’ve been skiing regularly for about 20 years and still feel that way.”

“I’ve run two marathons, very slowly. In fact, the word ‘run’ might be a stretch,” she says. “I just like being outside in pretty places, doing something.”

See her link:

In a late breaking development:

The Pour House in Summit Cove, a fave of Karin’s, is hosting a fundraiser with local artists donating work to sell with the proceeds benefiting the campaign on Friday, Jan. 24, 6-9 p.m. Suggested donation is $15.

Artists Helping Artists artworks will also be for sale on Saturday, Jan. 25 during normal business hours.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.