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DORADO CO LORFU L SOUTHWE STE RN H OM E DE S IG N

DOWNTOWN TUCSON’ S HIP NE W ST YLE

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An Epic Feast in the Grasslands of Texas Foraging Colorado’s Edible Wild Harvest Season: Fall Fashion in Wine Country C1

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FIND YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE SECRET HIDEOUTS · KILLER WEEKENDS · GEAR & HOW TOS

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www.adventurepro.us DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016


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TABL E of CONTEN TS

48

FEATURES

40

The Blue Bulls of the Brush Country

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

48

Deep in the grasslands of south Texas, master chef Jesse Griffiths of Austin’s Dai Due restaurant sets out on a hunt to create an epic Tex-Mex feast.

Into the Edible Wild Chef Karlos Baca is introducing foraged wild ingredients and native cuisine to guests at Colorado’s Dunton Hot Springs. The results are delicious. by Jen Murphy

by Jesse Griffiths

54

The Grand Hotelier At the dawn of the 20th century, Fred Harvey transformed tourism in the Southwest with a collection of hotels. Now, his most opulent properties are being lovingly restored. by Sam Moulton

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

60

Refined Palette In the vineyards of Texas Hill Country, graphic patterns and the simplicity of black and white yield the perfect style pairing. photography by Wynn Myers

CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: W YNN MYERS; ERIN KUNKEL; MARK RYKOFF/GETTY IMAGES. COVER: PIXEL STORIES/STOCKSY.

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60


A GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL LUXURY

Celebrating 30 Years as Santa Fe’s Luxury Home Experts

505.982.4466 | santafeproperties.com |

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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20

24

26

71

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DEPARTMENTS OUTDOORS

26  A Country for Old Friends

Saddle up at a new breed of luxury ranch in Utah’s Wasatch Range.

IN TOWN

32  You Can Always Go Downtown Forget all your troubles, forget all your cares — when you go to downtown Tucson.

80 M Y

DORADOMAGAZINE.COM

36  Living on the Edge

Inside the ancient cliffside dwellings of Mesa Verde.

PA N O R A M A

ON THE ROAD

AT HOME

71  Hidden Treasures

Sometimes the materials for a gorgeous home are right under your roof. Plus: Modern Southwest.

DORADO

A long-distance runner finds the peace and power to push himself in the rural expanses of Colorado.

A SNA P SHOT OF T HE SOU T HWEST ’ S EV ENTS, C U LT U R E & P E O P L E ART

15 A doctor in Arizona

celebrates his adopted home with murals of its native people.

GEAR

18 These mountain-ready goods will have you covered from base to summit.

FOOD

20 Two Spaniards are

bringing the world’s best ham to the United States, via a farm in small-town Texas.

10 Letter from the Editor • 12 Masthead • 13 Contributors

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

SHOP

22 Inspired by iconic

Southwestern shapes, these polished treasures look fresh and modern in brass, copper and gold.

CRAFT

24 An Austin-based

ceramicist is infusing the ancient art form of pottery with her own modern sensibility.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: DAWN KISSH; W YNN MYERS; JIM HINCKLEY; BILL STENGEL; GABRIEL FLORES; PATRICK BROOKS BR ANDENBURG

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[ LONE STAR ] State of the art.

John’s Deer, 2015. 30 IN x 40 IN

Visit the gallery in Round Top for original paintings and prints, or purchase online at humbledonkeystudio.com.

Betty Wanted Bluebonnets, 2016.

Big Yellow Flower, 2016.

A lighthearted artist, musician and family man, John Lowery draws inspiration from the natural beauty surrounding his land in Burton, Texas.

y time you buy

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L ET T ER FROM THE E DITOR

A Taste for Adventure I spend a lot of time thinking about food. Is it time for lunch? What should I make for a dinner party this weekend? What’s the hot new restaurant I need to try? Like many Americans, though, I spend less time thinking about where the ingredients for my food come from. In this era of gourmet grocery stores and online meal-planning services, it’s possible to enjoy nearly any fruit, any cuisine, any culinary whim — nearly anytime. Fortunately, though, the pendulum is swinging back to a more authentic way of eating. Chefs are prioritizing seasonality and regional ingredients. Grocers are stocking organic and heirloom produce from local farmers. People are once again growing their own food in backyard gardens (or in my case, a meager-butoften-used herb box). In this issue of Dorado, we spotlight two adventurous chefs stepping out of the kitchen and into the field. Jesse Griffiths of Austin’s much-lauded Dai Due restaurant and butcher shop takes us on a hunt in the grasslands of Texas and creates an epic Tex-Mex feast (The Blue Bulls of the

Brush Country, page 40). In Colorado, we join Karlos Baca for a journey into the forest of the San Juan Mountains to forage wild, local plants — a tradition this Native American chef is sharing with guests at the luxury resort Dunton Hot Springs (Into the Edible Wild, page 48). Our stylish culinary adventures don’t end there, from fall fashion in wine country to unique dinnerware pottery to the Southwest’s king of hospitality. We also visit two Spaniards who are creating an incredible jamón deep in the heart of Texas. Get ready for a real taste of the Southwest.

PRETTY ENOUGH TO EAT Chef Karlos Baca's stinging nettle soup features fresh flowers and herbs from the forest floor near Durango, Colorado.

Jeff Ficker

ERIN KUNKEL

e d itor in ch ie f Dorado magazine

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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E D I TO R I A L

Editor in Chief

Jeff Ficker Creative Director

Caroline Jackson Crafton Design Director

Marc Oxborrow Associate Editor/Digital Editor

Ellen Ranta Olson Online Design

Aaron Heirtzler editorial inquiries: editor@doradomagazine.com P R O D U CT I O N

Director of Creative Services

Todd Bartz Vice President of Enterprise Marketing

Kricket Lewis Subscription Services

Aani Parrish production inquiries: customerservice@doradomagazine.com ADVERTISING

Publisher

Chad Rose chadr@bcimedia.com Account Executives

Theresa Monaco

Lauren Reidy-Phelan

tmonaco@bcimedia.com

laurenrp@bcimedia.com

Katy Walker kwalker@bcimedia.com Marketing & Audience Development Manager

Brittany Cupp Chief Executive Officer

Douglas Bennett Vice President of Finance and Operations

Bob Ganley To subscribe to Dorado magazine, visit doradomagazine.com. Dorado magazine is published by Ballantine Communications. Creative services provided by Casual Astronaut (casualastronaut.com). Dorado magazine will not assume any responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or materials. 2016 Ballantine Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without prior written permission. ©

1275 Main Ave., Suite 737 • Durango, CO 81301 ballantinecommunicationsinc.com

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016


CONTRIBUTORS

Give the GIFT of BIG ADVENTURES.

Photographer Dawn Kish (The Big Picture, page 15) is an outdoors buff. Her subjects usually reflect her surroundings, whether she’s rock climbing in Sedona or rowing boats down the Grand Canyon. “Telling stories and traveling is what I do,” she says. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Adventure, Arizona Highways and The Wall Street Journal. Kish’s work was included among the best 30 photos in 30 years of National Geographic Traveler.

Jesse Griffiths (The Blue Bulls of the Brush Country, page 40) is the chef and owner of Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club in Austin. Dai Due was included among Bon Appétit’s 10 Best New Restaurants of 2015 and GQ’s Top 25 of 2015. In 2012, he released Afield: A Chef ’s Guide To Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish, which was nominated for a James Beard award. He spends all of his free time pursuing food and trying to convince his 5-year-old daughter to not be a vegetarian.

FAVORITE PLACE IN THE SOUTH W EST

FAVO R I T E PL AC E I N T H E S O U T H W E ST

Flagstaff, Arizona “I love my home — the open spaces and beautiful landscapes are a part of me. This land is a part of my spirit.”

Brazos Cliffs in Chama, New Mexico “My family has been coming here for years, and my mom’s side is from the area. It’s gorgeous and rugged, the fishing is good, and the green chile is great.”

Jody Horton (The Blue Bulls of the Brush Country, page 40) is a food and lifestyle photographer based in Austin, Texas. His commercial and editorial clients include Bon Appétit, Shiner Beer, Texas Monthly, Whole Foods, Garden & Gun, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine and Jack Daniels. His work has been recognized by Photo District News, American Photography and Communication Arts.      

After a 10-year career as an award-winning editor in Manhattan, Erinn Morgan (Living on the Edge, page 36) left New York and embarked on a two-year motor home road trip in search of an outdoor, freelance lifestyle. Today, she calls Durango, Colorado, home. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Bike and Skiing.

FAVORITE PLACE IN TH E SOU THW EST

Professor Valley, Moab, Utah “Truly wild and downright jaw-dropping, this red-rock area flanks the Colorado River, Fisher Towers and Castle Valley.”

Santa Fe, New Mexico “I love it for the unique architecture, surrounding landscape, great weather and amazing food.”

FAVO R I T E PL AC E I N T H E S O U T H W E ST

$17.99 50% OFF THE COVER PRICE 6 ISSUES PER YEAR WWW.DORADOMAGAZINE.COM/ SUBSCRIBE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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TOP: COURTESY DOWNTOWN CLIFTON HOTEL BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT: FR ANK OUDEMAN, ERIN KUNKEL, COURTESY BR A ZOS RIVER LODGE

DORADOMAGAZINE.COM

EXPLORE 10 Places to Visit in Downtown Tucson doradomagazine.com/downtowntucson

The Southwest in Your Hand www.doradomagazine.com

Photo by Wally Pacholka, astropics.com

INSPIRE

MAKE

DO

10 Swoon-Worthy Southwestern Homes

Get the Recipe for Chef Karlos Baca’s Stinging Nettle Soup

Explore a New Mexico Hunting Lodge

doradomagazine.com/10homes

doradomagazine.com/karlosbaca

doradomagazine.com/brazos

Show us everything you love about the Southwest. Tag your photos with #MyDorado and we’ll share our favorites.

@dorado_mag

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@doradomag

DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

/doradomagazine

/doradomagazine

editor@doradomagazine.com


PANORAMA A S N A P S H O T O F T H E S O U T H W E S T ’ S E V E N T S , C U LT U R E & P E O P L E

ART

The Big Picture A doctor in northern Arizona is celebrating his adopted community with larger-than-life murals of its native people BY DIANDRA MARKGRAF P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y D AW N K I S H

PLUS:

18

| Gear

20

| Food

22

| Shop

24

| Craft

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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PANORAMA returned to the Southwest to both treat and photograph. But during a 2009 sabbatical in Brazil, Thomas found photographs could function as street art, and brought that idea home. He continued through co-founding the Painted Desert Project in 2012 and, to date, has invited 25 renowned artists from around the world to add color and discussion to a part of the country that rarely has access to contemporary art projects. As a doctor, Thomas treats chronic symptoms relating to past and present residents’ work in the area’s coal mines. As an artist, he addresses the same,

Growing up, Thomas pored over magazines like Jet, Ebony and Life, admiring photo essayists’ storytelling. Thomas’ monumental blackand-white images blanket city walls and roadside stands from Telluride and Flagstaff to the Navajo Reservation.

On windswept days, Chip Thomas hoists himself onto a ladder that stretches into the azure sky. His shoes and hands are stained, gummy with paste, but the street artist known as Jetsonorama still smiles. Now 52, the doctor, photographer and muralist has worked on the Navajo Nation since 1987. Thomas’ monumental black-andwhite images blanket city walls and roadside stands from Telluride to Flagstaff and the Navajo Reservation. They amplify every crease in a traditional Diné woman’s face; every eyelash of a younger-generation couple, each image imprinted with a universal message of environmental stewardship. Shot, enlarged and adhered with

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

acrylic paste, Thomas’ work highlights a population often called America’s most overlooked. They remind tourists traversing the highways of the American Southwest that they are there, and that they have a voice, Thomas says. “There are eyes from all over the world who are seeing this work. But my primary conversation and dialogue with doing this work is people on the reservation,” Thomas says of the area that is home to 180,000 people. Thomas, whose real name is James Edward Thomas Jr., explains that while growing up in North Carolina, he pored over magazines like Jet, Ebony and Life, admiring photo essayists’ storytelling. In 1987, to “pay back” his government-funded education, Thomas

detailing systemic issues including poverty on and off the reservation. Aware of his location between Monument Valley and both rims of the Grand Canyon, Thomas notes his work’s ability to increase the visibility of roadside stands where indigenous craftspeople vend their pieces, a visibility that offers them a sense of pride in their heritage. The final comment from each paste speaks of beauty and impermanence. “It’s important people not necessarily embrace but at least acknowledge this thing has its own life and life span, and there’s a period in which it is beautiful,” Thomas says. “But then it starts to age, and we are frequently repulsed by that because it’s not as appealing and engaging — but that’s what happens with people, too. Everyone says this is a youth-oriented culture, and we don’t appreciate elders. There is that life lesson in this practice in doing an ephemeral art practice.”


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PANORAMA GEAR

Peak Performance

Whether biking or hiking, camping or climbing, these mountainready goods will have you covered from base to summit BY DINA MISHEV

Guiding Light

The SEO 7R headlamp by LED Lenser senses the light level and adjusts accordingly — no hands necessary — putting out from 20 to 220 lumens. Its red LED light, a help with night vision, is just showing off. $90, ledlenserusa.com

WAR M O N T H E R ANG E

Skratch Labs makes its sports drinks and gummies using real ingredients, with flavors — orange, raspberry — that come from actual dried fruits. From $1.95, skratchlabs.com

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

$529, nemoequipment.com

TOP: TOLSTNEV / ISTOCK

Fruits for Your Labor

NEMO Equipment’s Sonic series of down sleeping bags have stretchy baffles around the knees for side sleepers and Thermo Gills that cool the bag’s internal temperature by as much as 20 degrees.


Action Packed Made from ripstop, waterproof nylon, Salomon’s slimfitting Skin Pro 15 Set carries a full day’s supplies and hiking poles or a biking helmet — even an ice ax — with ease. $150, salomon.com

Show, Don’t Tell

Being tough doesn’t have to be rough. Make every day a mountain day with Look Human’s supersoft crew neck tee. $28, lookhuman.com

MARKETPLACE

EASY R IDE R

Niner’s RKT 9 RDO flies through the toughest conditions with ease and speed while tackling tight switchbacks with ninja-like agility. $4,500, ninerbikes.com

Pump It Up, Or Not

Pump filters are a thing of the past thanks to the ease and efficacy of Katadyn’s new, collapsible 0.6 liter BeFree flask. Its built-in microfilter protects against bacteria and cysts. $39.95, katadyn.com

Metal Locker

The compact, lightweight screw-locking Petzl Spirit is the first carabiner we pull out at the belay station. Ropes glide through it like butter. $15.95, petzl.com

VISIT ONLINE Shop for the products, places and experiences featured in our magazine. Products chosen by our staff and select advertisers.

WWW.DORADOMAGAZINE.COM/ MARKETPLACE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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PANORAMA

FO O D

Well Bred & Well Fed Two Spaniards are bringing the world’s best ham to the States, via a farm in small-town Texas

Sergio Marsal and Manuel Murga are giving traditional Spanish jamón a Texas makeover at Acornseekers in Flatonia, where pigs graze on acorns all day, producing a deliciously original ham.

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

W YNN MYERS

B Y E L L E N R A N TA O L S O N


T

wo years ago, Sergio Marsal made pigs fly. On a mission to bring traditional Spanish ham to the United States, Marsal loaded 150 Iberian pigs onto a commercial flight bound for New York. After a month in quarantine, the pigs were driven to central Texas, where wideopen, free-range-worthy spaces are aplenty. It was a journey nearly four years in the making, Marsal says. At the time, the former marketing executive from Barcelona was living in Miami, lamenting the fact that of all the amazing foods available in his adopted home, it was ridiculously difficult to get your hands on jamón Ibérico de bellota, a cured ham considered to be the best in the world. “In setting out to change that, I realized that instead of just importing the meat, we’d need to import the live animals,” he says. “The creation of this delicacy requires three things: the black-hoofed Iberian pig, a temperate climate and lots of time.” Marsal partnered with Manuel Murga, who grew up raising Ibericos near Seville, Spain, and they honed in on central Texas — with its large oak trees, warm weather and copious acorns — as the ideal place to raise their pigs. From there, Acornseekers, the first company to produce a U.S.-made Iberian ham, was born. As the company’s name suggests, the acorns are the key to the ham’s buttery texture and nutty flavor. “There’s only one season a year for these pigs, known as As with all good the montanera. Beginning in November, this is when a hog things in life, gains up to a third of their body weight by consuming about Spanish ham 15 pounds of acorns per day,” says. requires patience. Marsal And because Iberian ham was free-range before the term earned its cachet, vast expanses of space are essential, which is why Marsal and Murga chose a 300-acre farm in Flatonia, Texas, for their pigs to call home. “The process of walking all day, searching for food, is almost as important as the acorns themselves, as the exercise helps to diffuse the acorn oil throughout their body,” he says. The original litter of 150 pigs has since grown to about 2,000 (a breed the company has dubbed Ibericus), and they’re now providing cuts of pork to about 50 high-end restaurants across the U.S. In June, Acornseekers supplied chef Justin Yu of Oxheart in Houston with a Texas-raised pig to compete in the prestigious Grand Cochon, Cochon555’s annual 10-chef, head-to-tail cook-off in Aspen. But, as with all good things in life, Spanish ham requires patience. “The American way of life is to want things fast, fast, fast,” Marsal says. “We’re pushing back on that with these pigs and this pork, which are the original slow-food product, in a way.”

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PANORAMA

SARTORIAL SAGUARO

This iconic symbol of the Southwest gets a spine-less upgrade in a hand-cut brass version. The Happy Cactus Necklace is polished and hammered for a lived-in look suited to everyday. It comes on short (18 inches) or midlength (26 inches) chains and in silver, by request. $72, fableandlore.com

BOLT FROM THE BLUE

It may be the same gem worn for generations, but this isn’t your grandmother’s turquoise. In these glitzy earrings from Hollywood designer Jennifer Meyer (she’s married to Tobey Maguire), 18-karat gold marquis earring drops are inlaid with turquoise and framed with sparkling diamonds. $8,500, ylang23.com

NAILED IT!

Pat Flynn hand-forges his line of bracelets from cut nails — you might recognize them from 19th-century cabins or cattle fences. The designer fuses 22-karat gold to textural, blackened steel giving a hint of glam to the humble peg. Buy several and layer to create a signature stack. Starting at $1,500, patflynninc.com

SHOP

Metal Works

Inspired by iconic Southwestern shapes, these polished treasures in brass, copper and gold shine with modern style BY ASHLEY M. BIGGERS

OVER THE MOON

With this sophisticated pendant, Kris Nations delivers a fresh take on the naja (inverted crescent) often seen on squashblossom necklaces and Navajo horse bridles. The designer hails from El Paso, Texas, and draws inspiration from Native American symbols for her sleek designs. $60, krisnations.com

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

DECKED OUT

Art deco meets Native American in the Sanctuary brass cuff from Denver-based designer Jessica Robin Thomas of Crow Jane Jewelry. The intersection of nature and industry with ancient and modern cultures inspires her line of alluring metalwork. $64, crowjanejewelry.com

PYTHAGOREAN TURQUOISE

This contemporary ring from Nangijala Jewelry blends rich color with a strong geometric shape. A clean edge of 22and 14-karat gold harnesses the wild, natural stone — a symbol of the Southwest’s water and sky. $455, etsy.com/shop/NangijalaJewelry


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(970) 264-5000 ¡ www.pagosalandcompany.com S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 • D O R A D O 23 Pagosa Springs in Southwest Colorado


PANORAMA

CRAFT

The Mod Potter An Austin-based ceramicist is infusing the ancient art form of pottery with her own modern sensibility BY E L L E N R A N TA O L S O N

Ceramicist Lindsey Wohlgemuth’s pottery is perfect for your bookshelf or your next backyard barbecue.

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

THIS PAGE: W YNN MYERS; OPPOSITE, DIMITAR K AR AY TCHEV

L

indsey Wohlgemuth wants you to stop using paper plates for your hot dogs. The Austin native believes that even the most casual of get-togethers deserves a proper dish. “My main inspiration for creating dinnerware is the old Texas tradition of getting together with friends in the backyard to grill out,” she says. “It’s rarely a fancy experience but it is always special. I’d never want to make a plate so fancy that you couldn’t take it out and use it in the backyard for a sausage or hot dog.” Wohlgemuth is the artist behind Era Ceramics, the newly rebranded version of her former line, Foxwares. “I’m officially working with my husband on this now, and we really wanted to create something that was ours, not mine,” she says. “We also wanted to make it more modern and functional — pieces that could really serve as your everyday dishes.” But Wohlgemuth’s aesthetic wasn’t always so minimal and of-themoment: After studying ceramics at the University of Texas, she delved into


KCVB Dorado SeptOct16.qxp_KCVB Dorado SeptOct16 7/27/16 10:45 AM P

Retreat. Relax. more old-school techniques, firing her pieces in backyard pit fires and decorating them with traditional carvings. “Our poor neighbors had to put up with a weekly smoke monster,” she says with a laugh. “Unfortunately, you can’t actually eat off those kinds of pieces, and that’s such a huge part of our lives, we knew we wanted to transition to making pieces that could actually be used in a kitchen and on the table.” “My main Since she made the switch to inspiration ... is the function over form, her pieces are now in use in several of old Texas tradition Austin’s restaurants, proving that they really can take the heat of of getting together the kitchen. “It’s kind of the ultimate test for a plate, isn’t it? If they can survive multiple restauwith friends in rant services, I know they’ll be great in the home,” she says. the backyard.” That’s not to say, though, that Wohlgemuth has forsaken design for utility altogether. “They’re just much more versatile now,” she says. “The color palette is both masculine and feminine, and everything is more sleek and modern.” While the pieces are still stunning on the shelf, she says, they look even better on the patio table.

Always a Great Time in Kerrville!

SET THE TABLE Ceramicist Lindsey Wohlgemuth shares the three items that she considers essential for entertaining:

Wood Ash Serving Platter

Andalusia Dinnerware

Centerpiece Vase

“Wood ash is the main ingredient in this glaze, and there’s some poetry in using these platters when cooking outside.”

“We love the contrast between the light feel of the hand-thrown plates and the strong, bold look. Salad or pizza look equally appetizing against the dark colors.”

“This clay body fires to a beautiful light buff color. To keep faithful to the raw material, we paired it with an elegant profile and minimal glaze.”

Historic Downtown • Shopping • Texas Hill Country Wineries The Guadalupe River Trail • Museums • Galleries • Theater Arts

KerrvilleTexasCVB.com • 800-221-7958 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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RIVER DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH

Just minutes from the glitz and crowds of Park City, Blue Sky Utah is crafting a gloriously secluded Western experience.

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016


OUTDOORS

A COUN TRY FOR OL D FR IENDS In Utah’s Wasatch Range, a new breed of Western adventure is emerging. Peter O’Dowd saddles up at a luxury ranch where the riding, shooting and fishing come with finely crafted whiskey and a bit of friendly competition

O

ut here, in Utah’s eastern Summit County, my old boots hook into the stirrups just like they’re supposed to. I’m on the back of a stubborn golden mare called Oakley. Jeff rides Pobre. And David’s struggling with a beast whose name I can never remember. “It’s Cherokee,” David tells me for the fifth time. The three of us are old friends, normally scattered by a thousand miles or more. But on this unusually hot day, we’re finally together again at Blue Sky Utah, a 3,500-acre ranch of mostly undeveloped wilderness.   All three of us are a little shaky in our saddles as we climb a ridgeline in the Wasatch Range. The Kamas Valley is laid out below. The Rockport Reservoir, recently thawed, shimmers in the distance. When our retinue crosses Alexander Creek, Oakley dips her nose into the swollen stream to drink. I dig my heels into her flank. Nothing. She must know I live in the city. From this vantage point, Blue Sky is laid out like an aerial map. Just behind us, we can see the first of several yurts that are under construction. David has a vision for when they’re finished:

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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We’re not exactly Marlboro men and that’s why Blue Sky’s formula of rugged luxury works for us. Tonight we’ll drive into Park City in an SUV, eat braised pork ribs

HORSEPLAY

Everything a modern cowboy could want: skeet shooting, horseback riding and ample flyfishing.

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coming back to use them as home base for a winter alpine touring expedition. Down below, past a carpet of sage and scrub oak and along the banks of the creek, is where the 46-room boutique hotel and spa will go. Spread over 35 acres, the design elements will be a sophisticated reflection of the resort’s surroundings: rock, glass, steel and leather. “No elk antlers. No Navajo rugs. No saddles,” says Stuart Campbell, Blue Sky’s chief operating officer. “This is not a dude ranch.” Campbell describes it as an alternative to Park City. Just two exits away on Interstate 80, the famous mountain town is becoming a victim of its own success. Last winter, nearly 40,000 tourists packed into Park City and surrounding areas for the annual Sundance Film Festival. The place is undeniably gorgeous, but it has also learned to dish out Western kitsch as if it were a commodity, packaged and sterile. “It’s a ski area and a cowboy bar,” Campbell says. “That’s not a real mountain experience. But up here, it’s wild and huge.” This sounds right to the three of us. We’re not exactly Marlboro men and that’s why Blue Sky’s formula of rugged luxury works for us. Tonight we’ll

DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

drive into Park City in an SUV, eat braised pork ribs and rip through the cocktail menu. Time has not yet been unkind, but miraculously our 20s, and now most of our 30s, have vanished. We are forging careers and starting families. Life has accelerated and it’s sent us on divergent paths. Up here, things feel strangely back to normal. “Don’t shoot!” David’s 20-gauge is pointed skyward when a hummingbird flits over to inspect the opening of the barrel. Just as quickly, it’s gone. “Pull!” Now two clay pigeons are sledding through the sky. One overhead. The other slipping away to David’s right. He has to pull the trigger soon. Boom! One clay explodes. The other falls limply to the ground. Blue Sky’s sporting clay range is designed to take advantage of the terrain. The shooting platforms are dug into the mountain — hidden in the valleys between small outcroppings — to keep shotgun blasts from bothering guests. We’re at the course’s marquee stop, the Five Stand, where up to five competitors can test their shooting skills at the same time. In the winter, the flaps come down over the structure’s frame and a wood stove keeps the trigger finger warm.   Campbell, whose career has included stints with casino magnate Steve Wynn and Aman Resorts, is a man trained to cultivate the right details. “Go to a luxury chain hotel anywhere in the world, and I guarantee the bellman will be trained to greet you in exactly the same way using the exact same words,” he says.

PREVIOUS SPREAD AND THIS PAGE, BOTTOM (2): PATRICK BROOKS BR ANDENBURG. TOP LEFT: JEFF FICKER

and rip through the cocktail menu.


MORE THAN

500 BALLOONS AGAINST A MILE-HIGH BACKDROP

EXPERIENCE THE ALBUQUERQUE INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA ® Only in Albuquerque can you walk among more than 500 hot air balloons as they make their way from the field at Balloon Fiesta Park to hundreds of feet above, painting the skies in a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. As the world’s largest event of its kind, this remarkable festival engages all five senses. Take in images unseen anywhere else at the world’s most photographed event. Stand among these peaceful giants and feel the air change as hot air balloons rise all around you. Sample festival treats and listen to the unique symphony of hundreds of burners simultaneously igniting, as the smell of roasting chile floats through the crisp morning air. Experience all the city has to offer during this magical time — and let Albuquerque change your perspective. www.VisitABQ.org/balloon @ V I S I TA B Q | # T R U E A B Q

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The distiller’s rye feels inspired by the spirit gods. In the saloon, our bartender pairs it with reposado tequila, lime juice and ginger beer to make a cocktail that’s

A TASTE OF PARADISE

The only thing better than views? The on-site distillery and tasting room from High West.

But Campbell’s mission is to incorporate the experience with the place. To that end, Blue Sky has staked a claim on one of Utah’s fastest-growing brands. The High West Distillery opened in 2009, becoming the state’s first legal distillery in more than 130 years. With its Park City headquarters booming, it partnered with Blue Sky to build an expansive new tasting room and distillery on resort property. High West’s operations manager, Evan Ross, shows us the new 1,600-gallon copper still and then brings us into a warehouse stacked to the ceiling with barrels. The air is pregnant with something called the angel’s share. I had never heard of this, but the noses on my more refined drinking buddies knew it instantly. As the whiskey ages for a minimum of two years, it takes on the deep caramel colors of the wood. But a small amount also slowly

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seeps through the permeable American white oak barrels and evaporates toward the heavens. “It’s our tax to the angels,” Ross says. In fact, the distiller’s Rendezvous Rye does feel inspired by the spirit gods. In the High West saloon, our bartender pairs it with reposado tequila, lime juice and ginger beer to make a cocktail that’s aptly named Dead Man’s Boots — drink too many of these and you’ll lose your shoes. The next morning we shake off a high-altitude hangover. The clouds hang low and gray. We’re at an outfitter called Fins & Feathers about 30 minutes outside of Park City. The adventure company arranges snowmobiling and dog-sledding treks in the winter and fly-fishing tours in the summer. The company works closely with Blue Sky. The creek out back is too wild with snowmelt today, so Fins & Feathers club member Joel Vanderhoof brings us to the banks of a private pond. He teaches us to pull out the slack on the reels and sling his perfectly tied lures at the open mouths lurking below the surface. Miraculously, David quickly pulls in a rainbow trout. “Damn it,” I mutter to myself. “He’s done this before.” The fish are biting, but Jeff and I can’t keep them on the hook. When the rain starts, we happily give up and retreat to the warmth of the ranch house. In a few hours, we’ll head back down the mountain, back to our separate, distant cities. But for now we have beers to drink and mud to scrape off our boots.

TOP LEFT: PATRICK BROOKS BR ANDENBURG. JEFF FICKER (2)

aptly named Dead Man’s Boots.


Unforgettable

You’ll never forget your first time.

AWA K E N

Y O U R

S O U L

is just a flight away with daily flights to Montrose-Telluride (MTJ) from Dallas and Houston this winter.

Start planning today! TellurideSkiResort.com/flights

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IN TOWN

YOU CAN ALWAYS GO DOWNTOWN Facing Arizona’s desert heat and a looming birthday, Ellen Ranta Olson finds you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares — when you go to downtown Tucson

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I

t was 115 degrees in Phoenix as we packed up the car for the drive to Tucson. My husband and I were getting out of town with some friends to celebrate my 30-something birthday in the city where we’d spent most of our younger years. Halfway down the highway, clouds started rolling in and the temperature dropped back under the triple-digit mark, providing the kind of relief that only desert dwellers can appreciate. But we didn’t choose Tucson for the weekend because of its weather — we were there to explore its newly invigorated city center. Downtown Tucson is rich with history, flanked by neighborhoods that date back to the 1700s. Pulling off the freeway, my husband and I find ourselves playing tour guide for our friends, explaining the different barrios and the few facts we know about the city’s past. As we drive through the narrow, cactus-lined streets, we slow to a snail’s pace, trying to get a peek inside the colorful adobe rowhouses. Tucson’s oldest neighborhoods, Barrio Viejo and El Presidio, have a sense of history that you just can’t find in Arizona’s capital to the north. While Tucson has been inhabited by the Hohokam Native Americans for thousands of years, the city as we know it was founded in 1775, when the Spanish army


TUCSON TREATS

L-R: GABRIEL FLORES (2); CRYSTAL FLYNT; HOTEL CONGRESS (TOP); PURPLE NIKEL

Clockwise from far left: Agustin Kitchen is just one of the latest additions to downtown Tucson's burgeoning food scene; the cocktails at Agustin are real crowdpleasers; shopping at the mother-daughter-curated Bon boutique; the landmark Hotel Congress, built in 1919; colorful handmade bracelets at Mast.

built a fortress for protection from Apache attacks. With once-empty storefronts and streets have filled with the Southern Pacific Railroad’s arrival in 1880, Tucson’s restaurants, shops, bars and people, returning the area multicultural roots grew as new residents moved into to its roots as a vibrant gathering spot for locals and historically Mexican neighborhoods, and areas like Barrio visitors alike. The main drag, Congress Street, is lined Viejo became hubs for community and commerce. with historic buildings that have been brought back to But like many other once-vibrant city life in all their rustic glory — think massive centers, downtown Tucson morphed windows, exposed wood beams and quaint “Tucson didn’t into more of a ghost town as midcentury sidewalk patios that give this sleepy college suburban sprawl became the new standard. town a decidedly hip feel. A line forms have things like Despite decades of attempts at outside of Hub Ice Cream Factory, where revitalization, Tucson’s core was still waffle cones can be filled with boozy ice this when I was a no-man’s land when I arrived at the cream, and across the street, the tables University of Arizona in 2002. I made a trip at the much-celebrated Pizzeria Bianco down there as a judgmental 18-year-old, took growing up,” says begin to fill. Duck around a corner onto note of the wig store, bus station and old one of the side streets and more treasures my husband, a hotel that seemed to be the only places doing await, primarily of the culinary variety. business, and wrote it off as a lost cause. Penca Restaurante serves Mexico City fare Tucson native. It wasn’t until after my college years that I in a stunning, light-filled space. Three ventured back into downtown. blocks over, in a building crafted with The whole idea of the urban revival stones harvested from nearby A Mountain has become almost cliché these days, as you can find in 1906, Reilly Craft Pizza gives Bianco a run for its industrial-chic coffee shops and speakeasy-style bars money, and also offers a door to the Tough Luck Club, a in every corner of the country, but what has happened basement mortuary-turned-bar. in Tucson is nothing short of magic. The old hotel, But at the heart of it all for me (and many bus station and wig store are all still there, but the Tucsonans) has always been the Hotel Congress. Built SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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THE DOWNTOWN CLIFTON HOTEL

both revel in the hipness of it all. “Tucson didn’t have things like this when I was growing up,” says my husband, a Tucson native. Lane is a native too, and the conversation turns to how all the recent changes have prompted some national news outlets to dub it “the Portland of the Southwest.” “I really don’t think we want to be the next Portland or the next Austin,” Lane says. “We like just being Tucson.” And she’s right — Tucson’s coolness is far from forced. Part of what’s so unique about downtown’s resurgence is its organic nature. A lot of the businesses are run by Tucson HOWDY, PARTNER The Downtown Clifton Hotel natives, people who grew tired of feels like staying at a friend's waiting for a certain restaurant, bar stylish Southwestern home. or shop to exist in their town, so they opened it themselves. in 1919, the hotel has weathered Prohibition, a fire, a Sally Kane is one of those people. Growing up in mobster’s arrest, the Great Recession and, now, the the Tucson restaurant world (her dad owned the nowneighborhood’s resurgence. While most hotels are defunct Tack Room, which was once awarded AAA’s homes for tourists, Congress is a local’s playground. Five Diamond rating), she’d long intended to open a The massive patio is home to live music almost every spot of her own in her hometown. Her restaurants, night, the Cup Café serves the best baked eggs I’ve ever Agustin Kitchen and The Coronet, are reminiscent of had, and Club Congress is a nightly party. When we larger cities, but manage to maintain a distinctly Tucson lived in Tucson, we’d often run into former vibe — there’s no stuffiness in sight in Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the place. “Tucson is the anti-hipster’s “I really don’t think either lobby, having a cup of coffee and perusing hipster town,” Kane says with a laugh. the newspaper. After turning 21, I quickly We explore Agustin’s home turf: the we want to be the Mercado San Agustin. The open-air became a regular at the Tap Room, a small bar nestled between the hotel lobby and the courtyard is encircled by shops, and the next Portland or nightclub, where 83-year-old Tom “Tiger” space starts to fill with people getting Ziegler has tended bar since 1959. While the their Sunday baked good and coffee fixes. the next Austin. rest of downtown sees huge waves of change, We’re getting ready to hit the road back to Congress is a comforting constant. Phoenix, so I frantically try to take it all We like just And that change has come in droves in, stocking up on wares from a boutique since my husband and I left the Old Pueblo, called Mast, along with some pan dulce being Tucson.” as the city is affectionately nicknamed, in from La Estrella Bakery. I meet back up 2011. While the pull to explore all of our old with my husband, who’s focused on his stomping grounds is strong, we make a pact phone. “I’m looking at houses for sale to try out as many of downtown’s new spots as we can. I around here,” he says. “Just for fun, of course.” text a friend for lunch recommendations, and her reply “Of course,” I say, as I join in on his daydream of is convincing: “5 Points Market and Restaurant!!!” The moving back. “Maybe I’ll even pierce my nose again.” restaurant is full of exposed brick and windows, and I’m We laugh, knowing that with a baby on the way and our happy with the choice before we eat. mid-30s on the horizon, our hipper days are behind us. After filling our bellies with pork tortas and But at least the chance to relive them for a weekend is rosewater lemonade, we explore the other new kids just a short drive away. on this block: Bon, a mother-and-daughter-owned shop full of unique Paris-meets-the-desert items, and the Downtown Clifton Hotel, a boutique hotel that TUCSON, 10 WAYS feels like staying at a friend's stylish Southwestern Visit doradomagazine.com/downtowntucson home. The Clifton’s owner, Moniqua Lane, gives us a for 10 spots not to miss in the Old Pueblo. tour, explaining all the renovations and the eventual expansion into what is now an empty lot, and we


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ON THE ROAD

LIVING ON THE EDGE The ancient ruins of Mesa Verde are a staggering architectural wonder. Erinn Morgan discovers life inside the cliffside metropolis required ingenuity and a little magic

M

y feet balance at the very edge of the ceiling. I lean over and peer down into the kiva. The 900-year-old Hopi Indian ceremonial room — a spiritual gathering space pivotal to the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans — is extraordinarily well-preserved. In the kiva — an oval room 15 feet deep in the ground — bricks form the curved walls, a fire pit is flanked by stone benches, and the floor features a sipapu (hole), which in Hopi tradition represents the place where Ancestral Puebloans emerged from the previous world into this one. In Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park, famous for its otherworldly cliff dwellings, I immerse myself in a bucket-list weekend to experience this archaeological wonder, and the kiva visit is merely the beginning of the experience. The Ancestral Puebloans, an ancient Native American culture that populated the present-day Four Corners area of the Southwest, inhabited Mesa Verde (Spanish for “green table”) from A.D. 550 to A.D. 1300 — more than 700 years. But, they lived on the area’s mesa tops for the first 600 of those years, constructing and living in the cliff dwellings in the last 100 years before they disappeared from the area. Why they left remains a mystery. Why they built the elevated cliff dwellings, constructed beneath (and protected by)

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ROCK CITY

COURTESY OF ARAMARK / FAR VIEW LODGE

Mesa Verde National Park, famous for its otherworldly cliff dwellings, was the home of the Ancestral Puebloan Native Americans for more than 700 years. Covering 81 square miles, the park preserves 4,300 archaeological sites.

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LIGHTEN UP

overhanging cliffs high above valley floors — some as high as 2,000 feet — is also debated. the value of America’s Some archaeologists believe that, by living in the canyons natural beauty and the rather than on the mesas, the Ancestral Puebloans aimed contributions of its to make more land available for cultivation in a a time original inhabitants. when drought was a concern. Other experts believe that the cliff dwellings were built as protection against an unidentified enemy. To ward off intruders, the Ancestral Puebloans ascended ladders up into their dwellings, then pulled them up and out of reach. Halfway up a handmade wooden replica of these ladders — 20 feet above the ground on the side of a cliff — I freeze. The rough-hewn rungs ascend the better part of 32 feet from the ground to the floor of a massive cliff dwelling, the Balcony House. I’ve never had a fear of heights, but this perspective changes my outlook. With some kind cajoling from our elderly Ute Indian guide, I make my way up, step by step, then scramble off the ladder into the multiroom dwelling. Standing up, I gape around in awe. Low walls separate kitchen spaces from sleeping areas and gathering spots. Clay-crafted benches line fire pits; rock-hard sleeping spots are crammed next to one another. The vision of how the Puebloans lived, shoulder to shoulder at the edge of a cliff, is more than palpable. I feel transported to another time, with the reality of the Ancestral Puebloan lifestyle more than raw.

The park recognizes

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Ranging in size from one room to entire villages of more than 150 rooms, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most distinctive and bestpreserved in North America today. The 81 square miles of Mesa Verde National Park protect an incredible array of 600 Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, including standouts such as the Long House (just excavated in 1959), the Spruce Tree House (the bestpreserved dwelling in the park), and the incredible Cliff Palace, which boasts more than 150 rooms occupying a deep alcove beneath the canyon’s rim. President Theodore Roosevelt officially established Mesa Verde National Park on June 29, 1906, to “preserve the works of man.” It was the very first national park of its kind — one that recognized the value of America’s natural beauty and the contributions of its original inhabitants. Our group moves onto the neighboring section of the Balcony House cliff dwelling, an act that requires us to slowly shimmy through a tight, 12-foot-long tunnel. Claustrophobia ensues. My mind turns to the trip back down the 32-foot ladder, fully realizing that living on a cliff is clearly harder — and full of more daily dangers and challenges — than it may appear. Finally, back on solid ground, I thought of my own faint American Indian bloodlines, feeling that I surely didn’t have the grit — and the magic — that it would take to be an Ancestral Puebloan. Particularly, one living on the edge of a cliff. Deep in thought, I didn’t notice when our Ute guide unexpectedly stepped out of the chattering crowd of tourgoers and walked directly toward me. With a sparkle in his own, he looked me in the eye and gently asked, “What tribe are you?”

TOP: YINYANG/ISTOCK; BOTTOM: DAVID PARSONS/ISTOCK

Today, travelers can experience what life was like for the 5,000 people who once lived at Mesa Verde.


Family Values

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Deep in the grasslands of south Texas, an unforgiving landscape provides a home for the exotic nilgai antelope. Master chef JESSE GRIFFITHS of Austin’s Dai Due restaurant sets out on a hunt to create an epic Tex-Mex feast PHOTOGRAPHY BY JODY HORTON

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HIDE AND SEEK

Hunters scout for the large-but-elusive nilgai antelope, or “blue bull,” which was brought from India to south Texas around 1930.

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ow.” Mando, our adroit and soft-spoken guide, calmly points directly in front of the roofless Suburban. A beige head with tall, twitching ears pokes up above the waisthigh grass. It’s a large female nilgai antelope, about the same size as the herd of cow nilgai that ran behind the truck just a minute before, eluding us. They pop out of the vicious south Texas brush and are typically gone in seconds, if you even see them in the first place. This one, though, doesn’t seem to be aware of our presence. The wind is in our faces, and we sit still. “Take it.” Our drive south from Austin was mostly spent discussing this esoteric animal and the distinct region that the nilgai has adopted as a new home. Originally from India, the nilgai antelope was brought to the vast King Ranch in south Texas around 1930 for hunting and has become a native of the area in the decades that followed. Standing over 6 feet tall and sometimes weighing more than 800

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pounds, this is not a waifish gazelle — but rather an imposing, yet graceful pony-sized animal. The huge bulls have a distinctive bluish hue that earned them the name “blue bull.” Most people don’t believe me when I describe the unlikely nilgai, picturing in their heads some sort of Dr. Seuss creation. Sloan, a master butcher in the old German enclave of Fredericksburg in Texas’ Hill Country, is our hunter today on the sprawling Yturria Ranch. I’ve invited him for a few reasons. He is an accomplished hunter, is an expert with a knife, loves food and is pleasant company. I know he won’t miss a shot, and as this cow nilgai slowly walks across the road, I know that if she stops for even a second, we will have our dinner. She ambles toward the impenetrable wall of mesquite and cat’s claw bushes. We all hold our breath waiting for her to reveal but a moment of broadside vulnerability. She pauses. He fires. The nilgai piles up about 50 yards into the overgrown brush. Years of drought have recently been followed in pure Texas style by a deluge of rains, restoring the grasses and giving cover to myriad animals, from quail to enormous jack rabbits to lizards, and the resulting boom of predators, like great horned owls, caracaras and coyotes. In winters when the water pools on the miles-long Plan Grande, thousands of migratory geese and ducks will roost and feed here at the terminus of their flight from Canada. The tall grasses make seeing off the roads cut through the brush difficult, but the deep-magenta blood trail of the nilgai is seen easily against the contrasting verdancy of the prairie grass. Lying on the ground, she is huge to me, as I am used to the smaller white-tailed deer and feral hogs of my home in central Texas. This nilgai weighs about 300 pounds and will provide us with lots of very,


JEEPERS CREEPERS

Founded in 1860, the private Yturria Ranch offers a safari-like experience for hunters, with game that ranges from the nilgai to white-tailed deer and migratory birds.

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FEAST YOUR EYES

Clockwise from top left: To prep for the celebratory meal, Griffiths picks prickly pear cactus fruit, wild mint, yucca blossoms, pomegranates and fiery chile pequin; enjoying a smoky prickly pear margarita; a bowl of nilgai ceviche, made with lime juce, cucumber, onion, radish, cilantro and the foraged yucca blossoms.

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very good meat, which is the whole point. Despite its inherent harshness, the land does offer up other bounties, too; we pick ripe cactus fruit, fragrant wild mint, wild grapes, yucca blossoms, fiery chile pequin and pomegranates to be used in a meal celebrating the hunt. Along with the wild foods foraged, we are sticking to the regional basics of beans, tortillas and

HUNTING RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS: Our Picks

fruit from the massive agricultural areas just to our south. With the nilgai now gutted, skinned and hung in a tall cooler to chill and dry, we retire to eat tacos — corn tortillas filled with shredded wild boar stewed with chile pequin — drink a lot of wine and get a little rest before getting up again in pursuit of a nilgai bull. Dawn brings a still humidity, punctuated by the distinct calls of the brightly colored whistling ducks that roost in the oak motts. We set out again and drive, enjoying the arrival of a coastal breeze, and see a few nilgai in the distance. Along with the nilgai, gangs of turkeys and plentiful white-tailed deer, we see snowy white scimitar-horned oryx and monstrous waterbucks, members of other species that were brought in for hunting by other ranches decades ago and have since escaped and proliferated. This is like being on safari, and, to be clear, these animals are wild. This is not a “high fence” amusement park where hunters can come and shoot game gathered at timed corn feeders. The 150-year-old Yturria Ranch allows very few hunters on it, is bordered by a few low-strung strands of barbed wire, and has not a single feeder on it. The animals have self-sustaining, established populations and thrive in the climate here which is so similar to their native one. It is a special place, inhabited only by tough living things from around the world that are able to make it in this complex environment. It is almost at the end of our morning, and just as we are about to admit short-term defeat, a bull is spotted. We have seen quite a few bulls, but most spooked long before Sloan and Mando were able to

Dakota Arms Model 76 rifle The Model 76 was first produced in 1986 by master gunsmiths Don Allen and Pete Grisel. Their creation is a work of art. This American-made rifle is inspired by the best of Europe’s bolt-action manufacturing. It’s reliable in every climate. BEST FOR: This rifle can take down any pronghorn or deer in the American West. Upgrade to the larger caliber chamber on the Safari or African models if you’re going after bigger, more dangerous animals. dakotaarms.com

Holland & Holland Centenary bolt-action .375 rifle

Remington 1100 American Classic shotgun

Only 25 of these rifles were built to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Holland & Holland’s .375 cartridge. Texas-based collector J.E. Cauthen & Sons offers it with a customized oak case and Swarovski quick-release scope, designed for close-up stalking. BEST FOR: This rifle is built to take on the biggest trophy game. Carry this into the backcountry to hunt bull elk. jecauthen.com

The exclusive Remington American Classic line honors its most popular auto-loading shotgun of all time. The walnut stock features a diamond grip cap, and the gun’s receiver is machine cut and engraved with gold fill. Available in 12 or 20 gauge. BEST FOR: The 1100 model has been field tested since 1963. It’s perfect for hunting duck, goose or turkey, and will power past the competition on the trap field.    remington.com

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even get out of the truck. This one, however, does not see us and continues feeding. I hang back — one less moving body to alert the animal — and I watch the next minutes unfold through binoculars like a captivating movie. Mando takes the lead, with Sloan close behind, and they make a single-file beeline to the bull, keeping their outlines minimized, putting the random mesquite tree between them and the antelope. Mando produces a shooting stick — a wooden tripod to steady the gun — and I watch Sloan shoulder his .30-06 rifle at about 150 yards. The bull looks up, then resumes feeding. The shot will come soon. It goes in this order: a puff of smoke from the rifle, a tumbling nilgai and then the audible shot reaches me a couple of hundred yards behind the hunters. I see legs in the air, which is a very good sign considering this animal likely exceeds 500 pounds and they are notoriously tough to kill, which is why Mando has his own high-powered rifle trained on the bull — in case he gets up and requires another shot. He doesn’t. The bull is massive, much larger than the cow of the previous day. We get him skinned, gutted and hung in the cooler. He weighs almost 600 pounds. The heat of the day makes this an opportune time to begin butchering the cow nilgai from the day before back at the kitchen. We start by cutting and trimming skirt and flank steaks, cleaning them of connective tissue and dropping them in a marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, lime and a little sugar — a classic Tex-Mex fajita seasoning that happens to work beautifully with game. The heart, barely missed by Sloan’s bullet, receives the same treatment for grilling. Next, the big bone-in chops are removed, followed by the tenderloins, which will be served raw in a version of ceviche. The trim is separated out to make spicy sausages from the chorizo family known as longanizas, distinct in their increased spiciness. All of these things will be grilled tonight over smoldering oak and mesquite under an old oak in the far reaches of the ranch, miles from any house. We start with strong margaritas made from smoky mescal, sweet prickly pear juice and the tart, small limes favored in this part of the world. The ceviche — sour with the same limes and made crisp with the addition of raw cucumber, onion, radish and foraged

yucca blossoms — follows. The main event happens on the grill, with the hypnotic phenomenon that is slowly charring meats, always captivating in its simplicity. Our roadside purchase of a gargantuan watermelon ends the night, and we begin carefully packing the pretty handcrafted plates borrowed from the ranch for travel back down the dark and bumpy road. Leaving the openness of this corner of the Lone Star State is always tough. It’s hard to describe south Texas and its spatial charms; it’s a hard land populated by people and animals strong enough to endure it. But the land gives up, a little bit here and there, always just enough to survive, or even unabashedly throw down once in a while with a sweaty bacchanal. We leave with the mutual and unspoken desire to return as soon as the freezer full of nilgai has been depleted, which will be a long time for sure. The drive north involves six long hours of scrub brush monotony, Border Patrol checkpoints and big-city traffic when we hit San Antonio, then Austin. We are back in the city, safe and bored, convincing ourselves that a wintertime goose hunt on the Plan Grande is in order.

TREASURE HUNT

Griffiths' feast includes fresh salsas, spicy longaniza sausages and nilgai chops marinaded in a classic Tex-Mex mix of olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice and sugar.

GET THE RECIPES Dai Due’s chef Jesse Griffiths shares some of his favorite recipes from the hunt at doradomagazine.com/jessegriffiths.

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KARLOS BACA is introducing wild ingredients and native cuisine to guests at Colorado’s Dunton Hot Springs.

JEN MURPHY joins the chef and discovers foraging for your food is as hard as it sounds — but far more delicious than you’d ever imagine PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIN KUNKEL

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HAUTE CUISINE

High in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, chef Karlos Baca forages for native ingredients that connect his seasonal menu to the landscape, such as stuffed squash with wild asparagus.

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The first time I met

Karlos Baca, I was convinced he had a sixth sense. Dawn had just broken, and a soft pink glow had begun to cascade through the clusters of spruce and aspens high in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Baca, the 40-yearold executive chef at Dunton Hot Springs, a ghost town-turned-destination resort, had invited me along on one of his regular foraging excursions. My feet sank into the spongy ground as Baca scrambled uphill with the nimbleness of a mountain goat. We each carried a basket. His was half-full with bunches of wild mint, clover and parsley. Mine was empty. “I have a map in my head from the San Juans to Tucson with mental marks noting patches of wild spinaches and hiding spots of chanterelles. And you’ve just passed a patch of wild spinach,” he teases. I squat, and stare blankly at the forest floor. Baca, meanwhile, crouches a few feet from me, takes tiny scissors from his pocket, and snips strawberry blossoms, which my eyes never registered. Foraging, I learn, is like the picture games where you detect what’s out of place. “See how that pine needle bed is one-quarter inch higher,” says Baca. “That’s a clue that something is hiding underneath.” I finally think I recognize something edible: wild nettles. As I reach forward to snatch up a handful, Baca grabs my wrist. “Those are stinging nettles,” he warns. “Touch those and your hand will burn all day.” Humbled, I acknowledge that if I were left to survive alone in the forest, I’d be a goner. A foraging excursion with Baca is a reminder of how out of touch we’ve become not just with our food but with our relationship to the land. In the past few

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NATURAL SELECTION

Karlos Baca, executive chef at Dunton Hot Springs, grew up on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, where foraging is a way of life. As a young boy, he would tag along with his grandfather harvesting pine nuts, rose hip and osha root.

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years, foraging has emerged as a buzzword; something urban hipsters do for fun and that trendy restaurants tout on their menus. For Baca, who grew up on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation two hours away from Dunton, foraging is a way of life. The forest was his version of Whole Foods. As a young boy, Baca would tag along with his grandfather harvesting pine nuts, rose hips and osha root. He recalls butchering his first deer at age 5. Today, it’s somewhat ironic that Baca works at a luxury hotel set on the land his people knew as their birthright. “There’s a dichotomy between where I come from — my roots — and the excess I find myself surrounded by at times as a chef. But this is my church,” he says, sweeping his hand across the misty valley. “This land is sacred to my people.” Although he dons chef whites and is classically trained in both French and Japanese cooking traditions, Baca tells me more than once throughout my visit that he does not consider himself a chef. He’d be content spending his days roaming the mountains in search of turkey tail mushrooms and yarrow flowers. After three hours of trailing the forest whisperer, my basket is still empty — but I understand his obsession. There is a Zen-like quality to foraging, a focus akin to what I feel in yoga. Being alone in nature is an escape from the incessant noise and distraction of daily life. But the kitchen gives Baca a stage, which in turn gives him the opportunity to give his people a voice through food. A truly great chef nourishes both the body and mind, and the more time I spend with Baca, the more I realize he is a powerful educator as well as a talented cook. Five years ago, Baca founded Taste of Native Cuisine, an organization that brings together indigenous chefs to provide wild harvested and hunted foods to tribes in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Food is part of his identity, an identity stripped away when European settlers displaced his people. When Baca joined the kitchen at Dunton Hot Springs in 2014, it gave him the opportunity to share his heritage with a larger audience. Located more than an hour away from the nearest town, Dunton’s 12 rough-hewn wood cabins, single glamping tent, and neighboring tented River Camp epitomize understated luxury. And the remote location attracts a worldly clientele looking to get off the grid without having to sacrifice comfort. The term foraging may conjure images of nuts and berries, but Baca’s cooking at Dunton reflects the worldliness of its guests. Wild and indigenous ingredients are married to global flavors to create dishes like seared sea bass with maitake

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LOCAL FLAVOR

The term foraging may conjure images of nuts and berries, but Baca’s cooking at Dunton reflects the worldliness of his guests: lavender and espresso ganaches, blackberry upside-down cake and stinging nettle soup.


There is a Zen-like quality to foraging. Being alone in nature is an escape. mushrooms, Bhutanese rice and dashi broth, and huckleberry-glazed bison ribs. Food builds conversations, Baca tells me. “It’s a natural segue to tough topics like GMOs or the history of my people.” Baca isn’t shy about correcting guests who use terms like American Indian or Native American. “I was not born in India,” he reminds them. “And my people existed before America existed so I’m not native to America.” One of the first things Baca did when he arrived at Dunton was inform the owners that the tepee on the property was painted in the colors of his tribe’s Sun Dance. “People don’t intend to be disrespectful,” he says. “It’s ignorance. Hollywood has dictated our story for so long that people don’t know any better.” Baca and other indigenous chefs like Sean Sherman and Nephi Craig are helping set the story straight through their cooking. Guests at Dunton can go fly-fishing, ride horses or relax in the property’s natural hot springs. But after a few meals, many guests start asking about the unfamiliar ingredients, such as pickled cholla cactus, which Baca uses as a garnish on flatbreads. This in turn, leads to guests wanting to join Baca on his morning harvests. He happily obliges, free of charge, as long as guests can keep up. In the kitchen, Baca turns the young fir tips we’d found into an au jus for pork chops. The nettles are blended into a clover green-colored soup. Baca has blanched away their sting, but has sneakily hidden crispy serrano ham at the bottom of each Mason jar to give the soup a savory punch. Not once does he reach for a spoon to taste his creations. “Everything I’ve ever tasted is filed away in my head,” he says. I come to realize, this ability to instinctively know the flavors of foods and the whereabouts of the forest’s bounty isn’t a sixth sense. Baca simply pays attention. Mindfulness is his most important teaching.

GET THE RECIPES Try some of chef Karlos Baca’s dishes, inspired by the Southwest’s native ingredients, at doradomagazine.com/karlosbaca.

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THE

GRAND HOTELIER

At the dawn of the 20th century, English-born entrepreneur Fred Harvey transformed tourism in the Southwest with a collection of stately hotels. Now, his most opulent properties are being lovingly restored for a new era BY SAM MOULTON

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GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK/NPS (2)

ROOMS WITH A VIEW

Perched on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, El Tovar was built in 1905, more than a decade before the area was designated a national park. Fred Harvey ensured his guests had luxuries like fresh milk from the hotel’s own dairy, a barbershop, and art and music.

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When Harvey (inset) bought Santa Fe's La Fonda in the 1920s, he hired architect Mary Colter, who redesigned the hotel’s interior, blending various elements of Spanish and Southwest Native American aesthetics. Colter and her contemporaries helped shape the city’s unique architectural identity that is now recognized as Santa Fe style.

WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS of the Santa Fe’s famous plaza below and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance, the rooftop bar of La Fonda is one of the best places in town to watch the sunset or have a margarita. If the sunset strikes you as particularly dramatic, or your margarita tastes uncommonly smooth, that’s partly normal — sunsets and margaritas are two of the things Santa Fe does best — and partly because of where you are: situated on the oldest hotel corner in America. Dating all the way back to 1607, La Fonda is one of the most authentically charming hotels in the country, the kind of place that makes everything a bit more memorable.

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Nearly 500 miles due west, perched over the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, El Tovar Hotel has a similar ability to transport you to an earlier era. A mere 20 feet from the chasm, the stately, hunting-inspired lodge was an opulent oasis in an otherwise largely roughand-tumble Southwest, boasting fresh milk from the hotel’s own dairy, a barbershop, and art and music. The cows and barber are long gone, but the Grand Canyon railroad still stops 100 yards away and the hotel remains as stately (and popular) as ever. La Fonda and El Tovar share more than just incredible locations and views: They’re also two of the last remaining Harvey Houses, a collection of seminal hotels started by Fred Harvey, the visionary entrepreneur and marketer who developed a brand of tourism that popularized the Southwest. The only other Harvey House still operating as a hotel is the

ALL COURTESY OF LA FONDA (THIS PAGE, TOP RIGHT: ROBERT RECK; OPPOSITE PAGE, LEFT: JEN JUDGE).

BETTER BY DESIGN


La Posada in Winslow, Arizona. Heralded as one of the most beautiful buildings in the Southwest, the historical hotel was restored in the late 1990s. While the individual histories of each of the three remaining Harvey Houses are all fascinating in their own right, the historical and cultural impact of their founder is even more interesting. As one historian put it, “You can’t understand the Southwest without understanding Fred Harvey.” Like a lot of interesting stories, this one starts with food — really bad food. In the 1870s, as railroads were being laid across the continent, train travel was not the luxurious affair it is today. The only places to eat were at roadhouses along the way, and the menu options were as limited and grim: fried meat, stale bread and cowboy coffee. Harvey, an English-born entrepreneur, saw a chance to launch a business: provide Eastern-quality dining options to the West. In 1875, Harvey opened two cafes in Kansas. A few years later, he was given exclusive rights to open up

restaurants at all points west of the Missouri River on the Santa Fe line. The country’s first restaurant chain was born. By the late 1880s, there was a Fred Harvey dining facility every 100 miles along the line. The eateries quickly earned a nationwide reputation for serving up fresh, hearty fare at a fair price but were perhaps best known for their waitresses — single, attractive and well-educated women. Famously known as Harvey Girls, they helped usher in a new era of decorum in the West and helped advance the stature of women in the workforce. The young women were so admired that they inspired the 1946 MGM musical The Harvey Girls, which starred Judy Garland and Angela Lansbury. As one article from the time put it, Harvey “made the desert blossom with beefsteak and pretty girls.” But he also did much more than that. “He was the first real brand person,” says Jennifer Kimball, chairman of the board of La Fonda. “Before Harvey there weren’t really brands like we know them now.

A FISH CALLED LA FONDA La Fonda is just coming out of a series of major renovations, which included its popular swimming pool.

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Heralded as one of the most beautiful buildings in the Southwest, the historical La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona, was restored in the late 1990s. Guests at Harvey Houses could count on good food and gracious service from the famous Harvey Girls.

He was a precursor to Coca-Cola and Nike.” He was a marketing genius who understood that quality and consistency were what people naturally gravitate toward. Bread was baked on-site and sliced threeeighths of an inch thick; alkali levels of the water were tested to ensure high-quality brewed coffee. Harvey brought the same marketing savvy and attention to detail to his burgeoning hotel business. Throughout the 1880s and ’90s, he built nearly a dozen hotels along the Santa Fe line, from the Californian mission-inspired Castaneda Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico to the neoclassical- and beaux arts-style El Garces in Needles, California. For the Grand Canyon’s El Tovar, he constructed one of the

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country’s first destination resorts, an elegant lodge designed to look like a cross between a Swiss chalet and a Norwegian villa. Built at the turn of the century from local limestone and Oregon pine, more than a decade before the canyon was designated a national park, the lodge helped inspire the architectural style that would become known as National Park Service rustic (aka Parkitecture), which strives to blend structures into the landscape with natural materials and forms. La Fonda has proved to be equally influential. When the Fred Harvey Company bought the pueblostyle hotel in the 1920s, it was in need of a serious face-lift. They hired Mary Colter, one of the most talented architects of her time. Colter redesigned the hotel’s interior with exposed vigas (ceiling beams) and Mexican tiles and commissioned local muralists to paint interior walls. By blending various

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: THE OLD TRAILS MUSEUM/ WINSLOW HISTORICAL SOCIETY.; NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY, CLINE LIBRARY, FRED HARVEY COLLECTION; GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK /NPS; REED PARSELL /SACRAMENTO BEE/GETTY IMAGES

BEAUTY SLEEP


GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK /NPS; MARK RYKOFF/GETTY IMAGES (MAP)

elements of Spanish and Southwest Native American aesthetics, Colter, who would go on to design dozens of iconic hotels out West, and her contemporaries, helped shape the city’s unique architectural identity that is now recognized as Santa Fe style. It’s an enduring motif that’s lured legions of visitors to the Southwest ever since. And in the case of La Fonda, it’s a style that’s never looked better. The hotel is just coming out of a series of major renovations. In the past few years, all the rooms were updated, the rooftop bar was revamped, the exterior was re-stuccoed, and everything from the plumbing and soundproofing to windows and balconies received an overhaul. In May, hotel owners tackled the public spaces, updating the lobby, lounge and gift shop. Next up for a refresh is El Tovar. This winter, starting Jan. 1, the hotel will be closed for 100 days as it undergoes a major rehabilitation. Virtually everything, from guest rooms (drapes, carpets, fixtures) to public spaces (lighting, fans, paint, floors)

to back-of-the-house facilities (kitchen equipment, the electrical and plumbing systems) will get a face-lift. “It’s a little overdue,” says Bruce Bossman, marketing director of Xanterra, the company that operates El Tovar. “So we’re pretty excited about it.” The hotel is scheduled to reopen on April 14 of next year. Which is perfect timing: Considering it was one of the most popular natural park lodges even before this most recent renovation, with coveted third- and fourthstory rooms and their Grand Canyon views were often nabbed more than six months in advance, now would be the perfect time to make a reservation.

A STYLE IS BORN

El Tovar helped inspire the architectural style that would become known as National Park Service rustic (aka Parkitecture), which blends structures into the landscape with natural materials.

MEET THE HARVEY GIRLS Learn more about Fred Harvey’s famous waitresses and hear the Oscar-winning song inspired by these pioneering women at doradomagazine.com/harveygirls.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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REFINED PA L E T T E In the vineyards of Texas Hill Country, graphic patterns and the simplicity of black and white yield the perfect style pairing P H OTO G R A P H Y BY

WYNN MYE R S

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STYL IN G BY

TIF FANY HICK S


Dress, vest and belt by Hacienda Montaecristo, available at V.O.D., Dallas. Boots by Frye. Earrings by B.Stellar, available at Beulah’s, Fredericksburg, Texas.

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This page: Dress by Rachel Comey, available at TenOverSix, Dallas. Coat by Smythe, available at June Ruby, Denver. Boots by Frye. Opposite: Dress by Self-Portrait, available at Neiman Marcus, NorthPark Center, Dallas. Earrings by Erin Considine, available at TenOverSix, Dallas.

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This page: Blouse by Rachel Comey, available at TenOverSix, Dallas. Jeans by Frame Denim, and earrings by Oscar de la Renta, both available at Neiman Marcus, NorthPark Center, Dallas. Hat by Greeley Hat Works. Opposite: Blouse by Alexis, available at Elements, Dallas. Necklace by B.Stellar, available at Sussie’s, Frisco, Texas.


Dress by See By Chloe, and jacket by Derek Lam 10 Crosby, both available at Neiman Marcus, NorthPark Center, Dallas.


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This page: Blouse and pant by Co, available at Neiman Marcus, NorthPark Center, Dallas. Hat by Greeley Hat Works. Necklaces by Crescioni. Shoes by Ranch Road Boots. Opposite: Dress by Derek Lam 10 Crosby, available at Elements, Dallas. Shawl by Pendleton. Necklace by Crescioni. Model: Veda at Kim Dawson. Beauty by Kay Reeder, Independent Artists. Shot on location at Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, Texas.


FIESTA PREVIEW GALA October 7th: 6-9pm

HOME TOUR SCHEDULE October 8th: 11am to 6pm October 9th: 11am to 4pm October 15th: 11am to 6pm October 16th: 11am to 4pm

Join the very best of The City Different’s Interior Design Community as they bring Old Mexico to life at 820 Camino Atalaya, an amazing gem hidden deep within Santa Fe’s historic eastside. ShowHouse Santa Fe’s success as one of the premier fundraisers for local schools comes from the generous support of our Fiesta Preview Gala and ShowHouse Showing guests. See you at ShowHouse Santa Fe.

TICKETS AT

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DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016


AT HOME

REFINED SOUTHWESTERN LIVING AND STYLE

Simply Southwest

Add a touch of desert chic to your home with clean lines, rustic woods, and semiprecious stones and metals BY CELESTE SEPESSY

1

Pot Luck

Fabricated from just one piece of pure copper, this minimalist planter will give your succulent a handsome place to thrive — green thumb willing. Spun Planter, $110, yielddesign.co

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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AT H OME

2

Square One

Combine traditional mission lines and midcentury-modern styling in this custom cube end table from Ernest Thompson Furniture, one of New Mexico’s most celebrated craftsmen. Cube End Table, $1,250, ernestthompson.com

Q&A

Heather French French & French Interiors Santa Fe

3

Curl Up in Color

Get cozy by the fire with these vibrant blankets, woven with ecoyarns — 100 percent environmentally friendly fibers — in Mexico. Cabin Fever Desert Sunrise Blanket, $52, gypsyville.com

4

Fine Lines

Sit your hide on the stark Cornice Sofa, which pairs a woven base and smooth buffalo leather upper in soft, clean lines. Cornice Sofa, price upon request, buffalocollection.com

5

A Cut Above

Turquoise, malachite and river rock run through this mesquite cutting board’s inherent cracks and knots, making it a go-to for every Southwestern kitchen. Mesquite and Turquoise Cutting Board, starting at $159, hatcreek.us

Interior designer Heather French shares how to honor the history and tradition of the Southwest in any modern home. What’s a must-have for every modern Southwest home? An aged wooden bench for your front porch — and a little bit of dust and dirt! A big aspect of living in the Southwest is community; our porch is both where we entertain and a huge part of everyday life. A really good bench is crucial. Color is an important element in Southwestern design. How do you avoid the cliché? I’ve been pushing myself to stay away from what’s traditionally Southwest, instead looking at the transitional colors in Navajo rugs — really bright pinks, greens, yellows and oranges. I pull those together and add in a piece of black and white pottery to balance it out. How can you incorporate vintage into a Southwest home? Pottery is a really important part of Southwest décor. Timeworn wood is a great way to bring the feel of the desert home. We have so much brown here, so geometric textiles add a lot of warmth and texture. It’s easy for Southwestern design to be kitschy. How do you avoid that? The key is to find the real thing. Go to Taos and choose the authentic piece instead of the copy.

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You Don’t Have To Own A Ranch, To Live Like It.

LUBBOCK, TEXAS

W W W. H AT C R E E K . U S

( 8 0 6 )S E7P9T E4M- B5E4R /0O4C T O B E R

2016 • DORADO

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AT H OME

HIDDEN

XXXXXXXXX

On the outskirts of Santa Fe, a young couple discovers that the raw materials for a gorgeously designed home are right under their roof.

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Sam Mittelsteadt tours a kid-friendly abode that is bright, bold and bursting with Southwestern style

TREASURES

Photography by Bill Stengel

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AT H OME

T

he homeowners’ project began as many do: with a trip to the local home improvement store. This one, however, ended with a spectacular full gut renovation, completed on a tight budget — and in only two months. The house, on a large plot of land just outside Santa Fe, is tucked amid large piñon and juniper trees that provide a sense of privacy. “A big part of the reason we moved here was for the quality of life,” the husband says. “We wanted to have our kids be outdoors, be near the mountains, and to have nature all around.” But the disjointed floor plan in the 2,800-squarefoot rambler home included extraneous walls that impeded the dispersal of outside light, as well as inside communication. “You felt like you were cut off from the family, even if you were just in another part of the house,” he says. At the home improvement store, the couple realized that while she wanted “a lot more color,” he preferred everything gray, green and brown. “We couldn’t decide on paint colors, on carpet, on

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anything,” he says. “After a weekend of being stressed about something that should have been enjoyable, we admitted to ourselves that we really didn’t know what the hell we were doing.” “We’re super busy and have a new baby, and we knew that no matter what we tried to do, we’d be overwhelmed by choices,” says the husband, an emergency-care physician. “We’re in a profession that if people would just let us do our jobs, it would make things a lot easier.” So why not enlist professional help themselves? On the recommendation of a jewelry designer friend, they found themselves browsing the website of French & French Interiors, run by a local husband-and-wife team that oversaw projects from general contracting through interior design. “When I looked at their portfolio, it was totally what I envisioned for my own house,” says the wife. “Once


Heather and Matt came in, we trusted them right away,” the husband says. “The way they analyzed the house, and their vision of how it should be, was so spot on. We’d been staring at it for a year, and they figured it out in five minutes.” Eliminating some partition walls and changing others would open up the space, improving the flow of the house and helping the rooms feel cohesive. And a new fenestration would add brightness inside the house, as well as a connection to the outdoors. “The new windows are great,” the husband says. “We see the mountains from every room of the house.” “Our vision was to embrace what was there, but to push ourselves to interpret it in a modern way,” says Heather. Some existing woodwork was kept but transformed through paint; the cabinetry in the children’s bathroom, for one, went from off-white to bright emerald. And in an even bolder move, the wood ceiling beams throughout the house were slathered with coats of creamy white that brought

in light and lent authenticity to their hand-hewn surfaces, highlighting and reflecting the cracks and imperfections. The Frenches’ vision also meant rediscovering and reclaiming unique pieces of furniture the homeowners already owned, such as a mohair settee — a relic from the textiles company founded by the wife’s grandparents — that’s now the centerpiece in the sitting room. “We knew it was cool, but we didn’t know how to get the beauty out of it,” the homeowners say. “Heather recognized it right away for the amazing piece it is: It has history, it’s rare and it’s beautiful.” Such an eclectic mix of antiques, box-store finds and hand-me-downs throughout the house lends a playfulness that’s important for families with young children, Heather says. “It’s great to have a playroom, but I think making kids feel comfortable being able to play throughout the whole house allows them to be closer to their family,” she says.

LIGHT BRIGHT

Husband-and-wife design team Heather and Matt French opened up the home by knocking down partition walls, painting surfaces a creamy white and introducing vibrant pops of color.

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AT H OME

NEW MEXICAN MODERN

Designers selected Mexican-influenced patterns and textures as a playful nod to the home’s Santa Fe environs.

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“We were conscious of the types of materials used, so kids wouldn’t feel separated from the adults — for example, we chose a table for the dining area that they could get messy and do homework on.” That dining area, complete with a nearby rope swing for the kids, borders one of the house’s showcase transformations: The new airy, sunny kitchen features a farmhouse sink, a giant island illuminated by oversize pendant lights, a dazzling backsplash of Talavera tile, and open shelves and industrial bar stools painted sunflower yellow. The vibrant hue is carried throughout the house, thanks to floor-to-ceiling drapes that flank windows in almost every room. “We like color a lot,” says Heather, who used upbeat hues and Mexicaninfluenced patterns and textures to playfully nod to the home’s Santa Fe environs. The flooring, meanwhile, is now almost entirely Saltillo tile, which required the help of a specialist. “Because the bedrooms originally had been carpeted, we needed to bring in new tile and try to match it to the rest of the house,” Matt explains. “Saltillo is made in one town in Mexico, and as they

DORADO • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

move through the region, the differences in the clay mean changes in the tiles’ materials and colors.” The house’s original tiles could never be entirely stripped of three decades’ worth of patina and sealants to appear like new, so the new tiles in the bedrooms and closets were “aged” to closely mimic those that appear throughout the rest of the house. “It’s simple and complicated at once,” Matt says with a laugh. Completing the project in less than two months required the homeowners to entrust the Frenches to make many decisions on the fly. “We probably put as much faith in Heather as anyone has ever put in a designer,” the husband says. “A lot of times she’d send pictures and we’d say, ‘Yeah, we like that,’ but there were a lot of surprises, too. They didn’t let us in the house at all during the last week.” “We couldn’t decide on the lights for the kitchen, and she said, ‘How do you feel with me surprising you?’ ” the wife recalls. “I think they’re the best lights in the house.” “They gave us liberty to have fun in general,” says Heather. “I love this house. I could move in tomorrow.”


AT HOME · ONLINE

RIGHT AT HOME

Visit doradomagazine.com for even more stunning Southwestern homes

A SONORAN DESERT DWELLING Old meets new in this desert modern home in the foothills north of Tucson, Arizona. doradomagazine.com/home-tour-sonoran-desert-dwelling

A CHALET FOR MANY SEASONS Inside out, top to bottom, this creekside Steamboat Springs, Colorado home turns the traditional chalet on its head with a rooftop garden and modern style. doradomagazine.com/a-chalet-for-many-seasons

BACK TO NATURE A haven for anglers, this Colorado fishing retreat reflects a Texas clan’s passion for the outdoors. doradomagazine.com/back-to-nature

ON THE ROCKS: A MOAB HOME TOUR Deep in the Utah desert, home is where you park your mountain bike at the end of a long day on the trails. doradomagazine.com/moab-home

PHOTO TOUR: THE HOME THAT FRANK BUILT Take a look inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s final residential masterpiece. doradomagazine.com/photos-frank-lloyd-wrights-last-home

ARIZONA MODERN Amid towering red-rock formations, a groundbreaking architectural enclave is rising in Sedona. doradomagazine.com/arizona-modern

CABIN FEVER IN TELLURIDE How do you transform a dark, dated log cabin into a contemporary retreat? Discover a Telluride getaway that combines natural materials, industrial accents and an abundance of glass. doradomagazine.com/cabinfever SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • DORADO

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M Y DOR A DO KREMMLING, COLORADO, NEAR STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

The mountains bring you into the moment like no other place. I live for those experiences — when I’m completely immersed in a moment that inspires me to push my comfort level beyond what I think possible. T I M O T H Y O L S O N, U LT R A RU N N E R

Photograph by Aaron Colussi

/DORADOMAGAZINE

@DORADOMAG

/DORADOMAGAZINE

@DORADO_MAG

Tag your photos on social media with #MyDorado to show us what you love about the Southwest. We’ll share our favorites at doradomagazine.com.

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Dorado Magazine - September/October 2016