Arlen and his wife Vicki moved to Ridgway (Loghill) in 2014, shortly after he retired as a research meteorologist and she as a school counselor. The move was inspired by a small Huggins family reunion on Loghill in 2010, when Arlen and Vicki fell in love with the beauty, quiet and hiking opportunities of the region. Vicki is the real hiker, about finished with the Pacific Crest Trail. The couple pushed and dragged their kids around the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, hoping their love for the outdoors would catch on. Arlen and Vicki currently live here with their crazy Springer Spaniel, Nutmeg, and one daughter, Sheri, who works at the Ouray pool and is finishing a degree in early childhood education.
As a researcher, Arlen worked on a variety of problems involving atmospheric remote sensing, the evolution of winter storms over mountainous terrain, predicting the transport and dispersion of aerosols over complex terrain, and many others. Two of his last projects involved the evaluation of cloud seeding projects in Australia and Wyoming, using the trace chemical analysis of snow and stream samples. This last project piqued Arlen’s interest in the River Watch program, and he subsequently volunteered to collect water quality samples on the Uncompahgre. He was mainly inspired by the science-based nature of the work and its importance in protecting aquatic life. After attending several UWP Board Meetings, Arlen found he might have something to offer UWP in terms of analysis of River Watch water quality data and joined the Board in 2020.
Arlen enjoys photography and submits photos to the Ouray County Arts Association show each year – no prizes so far but a few sales. There’s a connection to water in many of his photos: clouds, streams, falls, ice, and reflections. Family history is another of his interests and he has researched nine Huggins ancestors who fought in the Civil War. This kept him busy for a few years after retirement and was one of his most intriguing personal research projects.
Family members are pretty spread out, ranging from youngest daughter Tina in Phoenix to oldest daughter Daniela in Bournemouth, England. They like the English connection since it takes them across the pond relatively frequently. Daniela is expecting the Huggins’ first grandchild in March 2020.