Durango Magazine - Summer / Fall 2020

Page 1

Buy local!

When friends, neighbors, and strangers came together

Branding: A living relic of the Old West “Trust everyone, but brand your calves.�


Preserving local food for a year...and memories for a lifetime.

BMX State Championships Durango to host the 2020 USA BMX Colorado State Championship

DELIGHT A Surprise Weekend Getaway Afternoon Slot Delights Game Day Fun at 49 Lounge Seven Rivers Surf & Turf

YOU’RE A STAR IN OUR SKY! Ignacio, CO • 888.842.4180 • SkyUteCasino.com 1

C ON TR I BU TO R S Jeff McGarvin

Hank Blum

Hank is an adventure photographer, videographer, and a well-known stormtrooper based in Durango, Colorado.

2 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Graham Coffey

Graham studied journalism at the University of Georgia before working as a wilderness guide and mental health professional in Asheville, North Carolina. He came to Durango for its access to both mountains and desert. Graham is the store manager and buyer at Backcountry Experience and loves meeting other locals and hearing stories about their outdoor exploits.

Zach Hively

Zach writes nonfiction, poetry, and the awardwinning blog Fool’s Gold: The Column. He also dances Argentine tango and is a member of the alt-folk duo Oxygen on Embers.

Tiffany Jacot

Tiffany is a driven creative living in Durango. Coming from a strong background in the food industry and a deep love for the camera, exotic cuisine, and travel, Jacot has found a way to merge her passions into a successful business centered around editorial photography. A long-term exploration of art and design has enabled her to serve her community in a meaningful way as an artist, photographer, and youth visual-arts instructor.

Lisa Mackey

Lisa is a fine-art printer and photographer, as well as an enthusiastic quilter. These endeavors, professional and personal, provide creative outlets in her life. She is an avid road cyclist, which she says is also nutrition for the soul.

Joy Martin

As a writer, community builder, and Ska beer fangirl, Joy is proud to amplify the voices that characterize the Four Corners. Besides camping with her husband, Nick, and daughter, Jolene, her favorite summer things to do in southwest Colorado include bicycles, Vestal Peak, and juicy peaches.

John Peel

John established his familyhistory writing business, John Peel’s Life Preserver, in 2015, after a two-decadeplus career at The Durango Herald. He also does some freelance writing and has just completed the fifth edition of Hiking Trails of Southwestern Colorado, available in June 2020.

Chloe Ragsdale

Chloe is a student intern and an aspiring writer from Durango High School. She hopes to pursue her passion for writing and working with others throughout the rest of her time in high school and into college. Chloe is an avid participant in El Diablo, the Durango Aerospace Design team, and the DHS crosscountry team. She hopes to continue to diversify her life with as many challenging and rewarding experiences as she can. 3

SUMMER / FALL 2020 • EST. 1986

Volume 35, No. 1 Wayne Jefferies

FEATURES 16 Buy Local!

When friends, neighbors, and strangers came together

20 Branding: A living relic of the Old West “Trust everyone, but brand your calves.” In other words, marking your animals, just like establishing boundaries, heads off potential disputes.

36 Canning preserves local food for a year... and memories for a lifetime


With more fruit than entire neighborhoods could eat, many people turned to preserving them one way or another.

70 BMX State Championships in Durango Durango to host the 2020 USA BMX Colorado State Championship.


6 From the Publisher 8 Excursions 10 Top Picks 22 Joyful Nook 24 History - Prohibition 26 Storming Artist 28 Fort Lewis College 30 Featured Galleries 32 Galleries & Goods 35 Artist Profile - Sunny Gable 38 Biofeedback 40 Photo Essay 42 Open Sky Wilderness Therapy 44 Will Hobbs 45 In Any Direction 48 The Local Palate 50 Dining Showcase: Eolus 52 Night Life & Dining Guide 60 Dining Showcase: Sunnyside Farms Market 78 Advertiser Index


Photo courtesy of NMSU Extension Office

Scott Griggs

LIVING IN STYLE 64 Featured Spas 66 Durango Kids 72 Dream Home 79 Giving in Style


Ron Martin: July, early morning at Ice Lake, elev. 12,257 ft. The larger peak in the background is Golden Horn, elev. 13,769 ft. The magenta flowers are the fragile Parry’s primrose, which only grow at water’s edge. DISCLOSURE: Every effort was made to confirm summer event dates/times/locations at time of publication. Because of potential unforeseen changes due to COVID-19, please confirm prior to attendance. 4 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

70 5


Where Do We Begin?

In life, we are presented with challenges and opportunities. These past few months have been filled with both! We definitely didn’t expect a novel coronavirus to start off any letter from the publisher. But these challenges (rewriting a few articles) and opportunities (becoming part of the Durango Care Package with other small local businesses) have brought gratefulness to our hearts. First and foremost we would like to THANK doctors, nurses, EMTs, police, firefighters, and other frontline workers. Thank you to all who have sacrificed to keep us healthy and safe. Second, we need to thank all of our advertisers, staff, photographers, and writers. We appreciate you! Without you, there simply would be no Durango Magazine. Durango is lucky to have a strong business community. As small businesses are reopening in the coming weeks, please support them. BUY LOCAL and SHOP SMALL. We firmly believe that the fastest road to recovery will be to support our local businesses in any way we can. Durango has always been a “shop local” community; now that’s more important than ever. So let’s keep ordering takeout; calling in our retail request for curbside pickup; perfecting our homemade dish with ingredients from local markets… all in anticipation for when we may dine out again at our favorite restaurant. We are fortunate to be able to work from our home during this arduous time. But during the challenges of home-schooling a fourth grader, we have gained an even stronger appreciation for those who work in education. We feel the need to say that again. Thank you, teachers, for all you do! It has been nice to have the opportunity to take family walks within our subdivision, play basketball, teach our son chess, and plant our garden. We even built a mountain bike trail in our yard. However, our dogs are wondering when they will have the house to themselves again. A few months ago we never heard of Zoom, but now we Facetime/Skype/Zoom family, clients, and teachers. We have remote happy hour with our friends. And yet we are yearning to enjoy hikes in the Weminuche Wilderness, mountain biking Horse Gulch, and kayaking the Animas River. We can’t think of anywhere we would rather be “stuck” to ride out this pandemic than in Durango, Colorado. We have simply invented new ways to replace the things we love and take for granted in Durango. So as you and your family venture out for the summer (some of you probably had to cancel your European vacation or your family cruise-ship reunion), take these challenges and turn them into an opportunity to explore your southwest Colorado corner, because you are people who support and love Durango!

Publisher/Editor Marianne & Corbet Hoover Design/Production Eric Emerson Account Executives Marianne & Corbet Hoover Photo Editor Lisa Mackey Copy Editor Barbara Scott, Final Eyes Staff Intern Chloe Ragsdale

Soak It In

Durango Magazine is published twice a year by Durango Magazine LLC. The Winter/Spring 2020-21 edition publishes in November. P.O. Box 3907 Durango, CO 81302 Phone: (970) 259-2599

DurangoMagazine.com No portion of this publication’s content may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. Copyright © 2020 by Durango Magazine. All rights reserved.


Marianne Hoover

Corbet Hoover


dhsresort.com @durangomagazine

6 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


970-247-0111 7




Transition & Preservation by Chloe Ragsdale

Jerry Day

AS SUMMER BLOSSOMS IN THE SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, it’s only natural to crave being among the flourishing hillsides and caverns that surround the Durango region. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad provides just such an opportunity, a journey for the senses through one of the most diverse areas in Colorado. And it’s restoring a remarkable piece of history in the process. Originally constructed in 1902, D&SNGRR Locomotive No. 493 is a reminiscent glimpse into the glory days of Durango, representing the grit and passion of those who shaped the southwest corner of the United States, as well as the innovation and ability to grow into something that is beyond noteworthy. The preservation of history that Locomotive No. 493 represents is extremely important in our modern world, as it symbolizes the timeless values that bind our community together. The restoration of Locomotive No. 493 took hard work, persistence, and original thinking that could truly capture the history of D&SNGRR and the railroad systems of America. Perhaps the most significant achievement of 8 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

D&SNGRR’s engineers’ thought process was the conversion from a coal-fueled engine to an oil-fueled one, which required the engineering and implementation of many new mechanical designs to produce it. This transition is not only a product of creative thinking and ingenuity, but also contributes to a healthier environment surrounding the Durango and Silverton area. As oil-burning engines effectively reduce harmful emissions and significantly lessen the threat of cinder-produced fires around the railroad, it encourages a flourishing and thriving community for all. Locomotive No. 493’s conversion has also inspired the transformation of many other locomotives in the future, thus ensuring the environmental stability of the Durango region. It also increases the sustainability of the D&SNGRR itself, so that it can preserve the history it represents, as well, as the environment upon which it thrives, for years to come. The environmental impact of Locomotive No. 493 is not the only factor that alludes to its positive contributions to our community. The newly restored locomotive is now the seventh operational steam locomotive


Paul Pennington

at D&SNGRR. This crowns D&SNGRR as the holder of the largest regularly operational fleet of steam locomotives in North America, a truly unparalleled achievement in both the conservation of history and the strength and ingenuity of the Durango community.

w w w. fo r t l ew i s . e d u 9


Jen Manganello



True West Rodeo is proud to mount its seventh season in Durango, bringing live Wild West entertainment and preserving our Western heritage. Rodeo events are full of fun family entertainment, including broncs, bulls, barrels, and ropes.

Soaring Tree Top Adventures, located in the San Juan Mountains north of Durango, is the largest zipline course in the world. The all-day adventure includes 27 spans, from 56 to 1,400 feet, with mountain, alpine, and river crossings. Guests age 4 to 94 have experienced the thrill of soaring. With no road access, guests arrive by the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, providing guests with two amazing activities in one day. The all-day package includes first-class, round-trip train transportation, 27 zipline spans, an ecology tour, and a four-course gourmet lunch served in the trees. Rated the No. 1 outdoor activity on TripAdvisor, Soaring Tree Top Adventures is a familyfriendly adventure for all ages! Open mid-May through mid-October. 970-769-2357, www.soaringcolorado.com.

True West Rodeo lives, works, and plays with its neighbors in La Plata County and believes in mutual support. In this spirit of community involvement, they will present a check to a local nonprofit organization at the beginning of each rodeo event. The events are held at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Avenue Rodeo start time is 6:30 p.m., and the gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available online or at the gate. Adults are $15. Youth (5-17), seniors (60+), and military are $10. Age four and under are FREE. Season passes and group passes are available at a discount. Rodeos are scheduled for every Wednesday from June 3 through August 5. If circumstances necessitate starting later than June 3, then dates will be extended through August. Check out the True West Rodeo website for details and updated information: www.truewestrodeo.com.


Photo courtesy of Durango Farmers Market

The Durango Farmers Market is your reliable source for local food and products. Vendors bring regionally grown, raised, and produced items to you in an open-air setting. The market is a venue for local agriculturalists, ranchers, and artisans to meet and share their harvest and talents with the Durango community and its visitors. At the market, you can meet the producers and learn more about their growing methods and artistic processes. Vendors post their farming practices at their booths and most follow organic-growing methods.


Yvonne Lashmett

Whether you’re drifting down the Animas River on a tranquil float or battling the rapids as you conquer Smelter Whitewater Park, whitewater sports in the Durango area create a sense of excitement and fun. With more than six different companies serving the Durango and Silverton area, whitewater sports are truly a defining feature of summer life here. Perhaps the most social of whitewater sports is rafting, where a group river trip takes you through rapids along the San Juan River. As rafting connects you with a variety of other locals or visitors, you’re sure to make new friends on these alternately peaceful and actionpacked journeys.

The market is held every Saturday from May through October, 8 a.m.-noon in the TBK Bank parking lot on 8th Street between Camino del Rio and Narrow Gauge Avenue. In this time of elevated need for safe practices, the Durango Farmers Market is implementing safety precautions to allow for increased distancing of customers and vendors. There will be handwashing stations and/or hand sanitizer at the market entrance and exit points. Live music will be postponed for at least part of the 2020 season. Takeout food and beverages will be available in convenient to-go containers.

For a more individualized river experience, kayaking is another thrilling way to dive into the rapids. Whether you’re taking a leisurely coast or plunging into currents, kayaking is the ideal way to strengthen your abilities and your knowledge of the surrounding rivers. If you would rather focus on the tranquility of whitewater sports, paddleboarding will give you an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re accompanied by friends, family, or even your dogs, paddleboarding is a peaceful way to enjoy your surroundings.

Please visit the website for more information and to check out all the vendors: www.durangofarmersmarket.com.

Corbet Hoover

Scott DW Smith

ALPINE LOOP The Alpine Loop National Backcountry Byway is located northeast of Silverton, Colorado in San Juan, Ouray, and Hinsdale Counties. The route is circular, with the epicenter in the ghost town of Animas Forks. The byway combines crossings of Engineer and Cinnamon Passes with high country scenery that features river meadows, alpine tundra, and ghost towns. A high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle is required to travel the majority of the route and the views from the high alpine tundra are spectacular. The Alpine Loop is a series of old mining roads that connected communities like Animas Forks. The route continues to be a connection between Silverton, Lake City, and Ouray.

Yvonne Lashmett

ANIMAS VALLEY BALLOON RALLY The 2020 Animas Balloon Rally is Durango’s chance to offer up its beautiful skies. A colorful hot air balloon display will launch about 12 miles north of the city limits in the Animas River Valley along US Hwy. 550. In the evening, be sure to attend the night balloon glow in downtown Durango. The balloon rally is scheduled for October 16-18. Also enjoy the San Juan River Balloon Rally in Bloomfield, New Mexico, June 19-21. For more information on both events, visit www.animasvalleyballoonrally.com.

Come up to the heart of the San Juan Mountains via four-wheel drive roads and have access to high alpine meadows, rivers, ghost towns, and hiking trails that allow you to summit mountain peaks. Check out www.silvertoncolorado.com for more information and tips!

10 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


wild game, fresh seafood, uncompromising quality

our family There are no words for the challenges we have all faced these past few months, however one thing remains clear — our reasons for moving to Durango and for wanting to be part of this community have been reaffirmed over and over. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the love you continually show us. We consider ourselves fortunate to live here with you, our extended family and are pleased to share that love with our visitors dining with us. Join us in celebration of friends, family, food and life.

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Kimberly George

When Friends, Neighbors, and Strangers

Came Together Several weeks into the pandemic, it was hard to think—much less write— about anything more than a few days into the future. This was written in early May and the future was uncertain. It may still be. Chaos, fear, and confusion pervaded every aspect of our daily lives, but one thing was clear and certain: the compassionate and caring spirit of Durango and its surrounding communities held fast. Locals rallied online to produce handmade or homegrown alternatives to supplies that were otherwise hard to find. Businesses and organizations pivoted to produce much-needed medical equipment for regional health services. And people found one another online through virtual happy hours, hand claps of support, and activities for antsy kids. 16 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

The response, guided by necessity, put a microscope to the tightly woven fabric of this local community. As businesses sent their employees home and students transitioned to online learning, locals convened through community forums. Crafty individuals with sewing machines ramped up production of homemade face masks when store-bought alternatives were in short supply. When a scarcity mentality decimated grocery stores around the nation, nearby farms and food programs turned that mindset on its head by refocusing on local supply. Restaurants cooked meals for food banks from ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste, and local farms provided fresh, affordable produce to families. There was a comforting sense of reassurance in the union of self-reliance and collaboration. These two ideals—often uncommon bedfellows these days—were no longer relegated to nostalgia. Meanwhile, many businesses and organizations joined the national call

for medical supplies. Osprey Packs in Cortez transformed its warranty and repair shop into a mask-production facility for the local hospital and health depart-

ment. StoneAge Waterblast Tools tapped into its supply chain and helped to import N95 masks for medical workers. Perhaps most inspiring of all was the MakerLab at the Powerhouse Science Center, which rallied hundreds of volunteers to manufacture personal protective equipment and respirators when the national supply was drained. Durango has faced many crises in its history, and without fail, the community always rallies to help each other. The adage that has become a familiar phrase during this pandemic, “we are all in this together,” could not be more apparent in this small town. Three organizations—the Durango Chamber of Commerce, the Business Improvement District (BID), and Local First—came together to create “Share the Love Durango.” The concept was to support our economy by purchasing from local businesses in an online marketplace during the time when these businesses were closed to foot traffic. The participat-

ing merchants collectively sold $102,000 in goods and services. Another innovative idea came from Bear Balm, a local company that put together gift baskets full of items from other local businesses. Their “Durango Care Package” includes such items as soap, dish towels, hand sanitizer, and a copy of Durango Magazine. The packages have been sold to consumers throughout the United States in an effort to help sustain small businesses in Durango. The necessity for social distancing, paired with Colorado’s Stay at Home order, was a painful blow to local business owners and their employees. As we transition to Safer at Home, creating safe workplaces will create new challenges for our community to overcome. If past crises are anything to go by, the recovery will demand a unified response powered by diverse voices. A recent study concluded that a community was more likely to survive a disaster when its citizens, leaders, and organizations cooperated. If the early response—catalyzed almost overnight—in the Durango area is any measure, we’re well on our way. All too often, logging onto social media is like stepping into an echo chamber crowded with voices all too certain of their own infallibility. As the pandemic snuck over the surrounding mountain passes and hit home, the tone and volume of posts and tweets were changed. We became more empathic, more understanding, and maybe a little less polarized in our collective isolation. Many shared notes of hope for everyone, not just those with whom they agree. Self-isolation exercise videos and guided meditations were created. In Farmington, local moms organized “bear hunts” for kids. Simply placing a teddy bear in the

front window of your house could bring a smile to a child’s face. Throughout this crisis, we’ve been continually impressed and inspired by our community. The success of our baby steps toward recovery is contingent upon our capacity to support one another. That means keeping our money local by frequenting independent businesses in person, online, or over the phone. Small businesses are the spirit and character of this community. Let’s make sure they’re around for the long haul. We sincerely believe that friends, neighbors, and those “strangers” you recognize on Main Avenue have the grit and goodwill to restore our community. And not just to restore but to build an even better place to live for years to come.

LOCAL RESOURCES: Durango Business Improvement District www.downtowndurango.org

Durango Chamber of Commerce www.durangobusiness.org

Durango Strong


Farmington Flyer Coupon Magazine www.farmingtonflyer.com

Local Deals Coupon Magazine


Local First


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18 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


Wayne Jefferies

By John Peel

A popular saying has it that “good fences make good neighbors.” A similar rancher’s credo: “Trust everyone, but brand your calves.” In other words, marking your animals, just like establishing boundaries, heads off potential disputes. There are many reasons to brand cattle, but a common refrain in the industry is that it puts a “return address” on your cow. No matter how secure the fence, says Tom Compton, a rancher in the Breen area, cows inevitably escape impoundment. The brand mark almost guarantees their return.

Tiffany Jacot

Animals have been branded for thousands of years, at least since the great Egyptian civilizations. This old tradition continued across Europe to America and thus Colorado, which began monitoring brands back in 1865, while still a territory. The Colorado Brand Board became a state-run agency in 1903. Today’s Brand Inspection Division, which falls under the state’s Department of Agriculture, is fully funded by fees ranchers dole out—no tax dollars needed. At the main division offices in Broomfield, you’ll find an impressive, still-used showpiece relic: a 3-foot-high cylindrical card catalog, like a giant Rolodex, that holds records of brands dating to 1899. It contains 30,000-plus active registered brands. Cattle go missing frequently, and periodically they’re stolen. The “Old West” is perhaps ancient history, but “the cattle-rustling days are not long 20 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

gone,” says Chris Whitney, Colorado Brand commissioner. As with any other commodity, thievery is more of a problem when cattle prices are high. Wayne and Terry Jefferies operate a cattle ranch along the Florida River, a spread originally purchased in the 1970s by Wayne’s parents, Ned and Barb Jefferies. (Ned, a well-known rancher and Realtor, passed away in 2019 at age 83.) The Jefferies’ J \ – (J-slash-bar) cattle brand has been in the family since the 1950s, and their Bar-40 brand, used for both horses and cattle, was registered by Wayne’s grandmother’s side, the Wommers, way back in November 1924. Frank and Jessie Wommer home-

steaded the upper Pine River Valley in the late 1800s. Those seeking brand literacy need to know that brands are read left-toright, up-to-down, and out-to-in, the Jefferies’ explained. So an “A” with a square around it is “Square A.” How to read them on paper is a skill on its own. Letters can be “lazy” if they’re lying horizontally (< is a “lazy V”), “running” if they have feet, “rocking” if there’s a quarter-circle underneath, or “flying” if wings are added. For a lesson on the intricacies of reading brands on an animal, you might consult one of the 60-plus state brand inspectors. Reading a brand on a cow is an

art form, Whitney says. First you have to find it. That’s tricky because not everyone brands the same spot. Also, cattle get hairy in the winter, and brands become obscured. Second, you have to read it. The legibility varies, either due to the skill of the brander or the complications that arise in the process of branding—squirming calves or an iron that cools too quickly, for example. Chad Moore, who lives near Bayfield, is the Brand Inspection Division supervisor for the Southwest area, which includes the Alamosa, Durango, and Cortez districts. He oversees two other full-timers and five part-timers who inspect brands when cattle are transported more than 75 miles, leave the state, or change ownership. New technology hasn’t replaced branding, and it is still the ranchers’ most cost-effective method of marking cattle. But the big Rolodex is now backed up by a digital system for registration and fee collecting. In the last couple of years, inspectors have begun carrying computer tablets and printers in their pickups, and Moore says he can now print registrations and receipts on the spot. The state office gets information immediately. Moore chuckles about cowhands having to make the digital transition and acknowledges, “It was a pretty sore subject for most of us. But the job we do is essentially the same.” Branding is performed on calves in the spring before they’re turned out to pasture. Although brands are not required in Colorado (they are in New Mexico), about 90 percent of ranchers

Tiffany Jacot

use them, Whitney says. The Brand Inspection Division keeps track of horses, too. About 50 percent of the state’s horsemen brand, he says. There can be sentimental value to a brand, many of which are family heirlooms. But there is a monetary value as well. Classified ads in The Fence Post, the statewide agricultural publication,

Tiffany Jacot

reveal a large market. The simple brands are taken, and coveted, Whitney says. Some sell for $500 or so, but Fence Post classifieds show brands are being sold for as much as $30,000. When Compton, a fifth-generation rancher, moved with his wife Penni to Breen, they decided it was easier to find a brand for sale than go through the involved process of creating one and registering it. They purchased a brand with an upside-down “T” for son Ted and “L” for daughter LeeAnn. Davin Montoya, who runs Black Angus in the Hesperus area with his wife, Theresa, uses a brand that originated with his great-great-grandfather in New Mexico, probably around 1900. When he registered the brand in Colorado, Montoya added a quarter-circle in front of the original “double-h” design. Whatever the market value might be, the emotional, historic, and practical value tends to be greater. Montoya says simply about his fifth-generation brand, “It’s not for sale.” 21

Puzzle Proprietors Find Their Nook By John Peel

Lisa Mackey

When constructing a new business, some assembly is required. There are multiple pieces, and they all have to fit together nicely. Kind of like, say, a jigsaw puzzle. Joyful Nook Gallery opened in 2017 in downtown Durango offering a unique product. Its jigsaw puzzles are made of wood, and the breathtaking puzzle designs are created mostly by local painters and photographers. These brilliant and colorful works emphasize fun, yet double as works of art. In three years, the gallery has shifted its business model to better reach its customers and meet the demands it has found in sometimes surprising places. With its craft established, Joyful Nook’s focus is now on keeping up with a growing demand. “No one taught us how to do this,” said co-founder and co-owner Joy Hess during a recent tour of the expanded store and production facility at 546 East College Drive, its home since fall 2019. “It’s not an easy process. It has been blood, sweat and tears.” Their state-of-the-art machines and smooth production system belie a simpler start—one that saw them not only burn puzzles but set a laser afire. “We have it pretty dialed in now,” Hess said of the puzzle process. The business has grown and diversified, making it possible to move off the original 640 Main Avenue location, where a steady flow of visitors was guaranteed. The new facility, and the new business model, is more geared toward production. Although the College Drive location is still a retail 22 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Jacqueline Hess

space, Joyful Nook sells its puzzles in numerous Durango locations, such as Animas Trading Company, Maria’s Bookshop, and Karen Gabaldon Arts. They’re also available online, either at their own JNGpuzzles.com website or on Amazon. The business is the dream of two neighbors linked by jigsaw puzzles. Joy Hess is familiar to many as an energetic fundraiser who, through her job with Mercy Health Foundation, has helped the development of a new hospital as well as hospice and breast care centers. Joyful Nook co-founder and co-owner Christine Mullholand, a highly successful software developer and entrepreneur in southern Indiana, moved to Durango a few years ago. The new neighbors started sharing puzzles, wine, and business ideas. The vision grew, then became reality. They enlisted local artists—painters and photographers—and created puzzles based on their work. The wooden puzzles fea-

Jacqueline Hess

ture interesting and whimsical pieces shaped like animals, trees, or objects, such as a train car. Wooden jigsaw puzzles are said to date from 1760, when a cartographer cut a wooden map into country sections and used it to teach geography. In the 21st century, Joyful Nook Gallery has taken wooden puzzles to another level. They offer puzzles that you can color yourself, large floor puzzles for the whole family to construct, and custom puzzles featuring photos or other artwork of your choice. One man even used a puzzle to propose to his sweetheart. Opportunities continue to arise for Joyful Nook Gallery, and Hess and Mullholand ponder how to take on these new business challenges. It’s really just a matter of fitting it all together. ONLINE: www.JNGpuzzles.com & www.JBudzzles.com


H I STOR Y bad for a town with a population of only 3,000! Despite the popularity of Durango’s many saloons and breweries, the Temperance Movement would emerge victorious. On January 1, 1916, Colorado became a dry state. During the 17 years of Prohibition in Colorado, many saloons and breweries were forced to close or produce non-alcoholic beverages. After selling his share in La Plata Bottling Works in the early 1900s, John Olbert opened the Bismarck Saloon in the 900 block of Main Avenue. Olbert was not at this location long, however, before Colorado enacted Prohibition. Olbert decided to close his saloon and purchase a farm in Oxford. He then became a La Plata County commissioner from 1917 to 1921. At the end of his service, Olbert retired to his farm, where he lived until his death in 1931.

Prohibition’s Legacy



Many consider 1920 to be a pivotal year in American history due to the implementation of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which banned the manufacture, distribution, and sale of intoxicating liquors. But many people may not be aware that Colorado’s own prohibition had begun four years earlier. Regardless of who was for or against it at the time, this

Photo courtesy of the Animas Museum photo archives

24 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Early Breweries

grand social experiment failed to achieve its goals of mandating moral behavior. Instead, it made honest citizens into law breakers: Bootleggers and organized crime flourished at the expense of honest saloonkeepers. In August of 1874, the first saloon opened in La Plata County. A wagon train from Santa Fe arrived in the new town of Parrott City, two miles northwest of Durango, bringing barrels of whiskey. As more saloons opened up, these locations soon became the social center for miners, railroaders, and smelter workers. Besides alcohol, many saloons offered music, reading materials, mail drops, secure safes, and even barbers. They were more than the raucous bawdy houses of Wild West mythology. Saloons were an indispensable hub of activity for workers and travelers alike, as well as a great place for newly arrived settlers to flex their entrepreneurial muscle. John Olbert, a German immigrant who had arrived

by Andrés Santana Carlos

in Colorado in the 1880s, was one such entrepreneur. By 1891, he opened the La Plata Bottling Works at 637 Main Avenue in downtown Durango. In 1900, Adolph Coors also decided to come to Durango. Merging with the La Plata Bottling Works, Coors constructed new buildings at that location. Olbert remained the proprietor of the Bottling Works and began receiving shipments of Coors’ Golden beer (named for the Colorado town it was brewed in) via train car. He also continued to bottle and sell local brews. John Kellenberger came to Durango in 1892 and opened Whole Sale Liquor and Cigars at 951 Main Avenue. He would call out “whoop-e-tee-whoop” to greet people, and the phrase eventually became his nickname. Tokens good for 25 cents in trade at his store were also engraved with this nickname. In 1915, he bought the Durango Bottling Works at 643 Main Avenue, which produced both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. This would become the first Coca-Cola franchise in Durango. At the turn of the century, annual revenue from liquor licenses was bringing in up to $400 in Durango, the equivalent of about $12,000 today; not

Photo courtesy of the Animas Museum photo archives

Coors continued doing business by selling other items, such as malted milk. Adolph Coors also found more creative ways to sustain his business interests. In 1913, he bought the Herold China and Pottery Company. By 1920, he renamed it the Coors Porcelain Company. This company used clay from the Golden, Colorado, area to create cookware and china sets for household use. They also made items like sparkplugs. Today, this company still exists as CoorsTek, which makes technical ceramics at more than 40 facilities around the world. Other brewers, however, simply could not resist the call to bootlegging. In 1916, Kellenberger was caught attempting to smuggle whiskey from Chama, New Mexico, which was not yet dry, up to Telluride. After avoiding formal charges, partly due to the successful defense in court by his lawyer, Kellenberger went back to focusing on his growing Bottling Works and Coca-Cola franchise. This business has now been

Photo courtesy of the Animas Museum photo archives

in operation for more than 100 years. By the 1930s, it was clear that Prohibition was a wildly unpopular failure, and calls arose from all sides for the repeal of the 18th Amendment. The Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law on March 23, 1933, and went into effect April 7, 1933. This allowed states to individually legalize beer with 3.2 percent alcohol content during the time it would take to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. Congress quickly changed the law, and for-

mer breweries, such as Coors, quickly began producing 3.2 beer. Coloradans celebrated Prohibition’s end by consuming half a million bottles of Colorado-produced beer in one day— April 7, 1933! 3.2 percent beer continued to be sold in grocery stores until a change in the law was passed by Colorado voters in 2018. The change went into effect January 1, 2019, allowing retail stores to sell full-strength beer, effectively bringing an end to the last remnants of Prohibition in our state. 25


aka “the stormtrooper photographer,” creates beautiful landscape photographs and videos with a humorous twist, starring a stormtrooper as his main subject. In our interview, we talk about his inspiration for getting into this style of photography, as well as why being different is everything and how comfort can be detrimental to the creative process.

Where History Comes Alive!

FEaturing Thoughtful Exhibits • historic structures Research library • Extensive Photo Archive Programs & Tours • Museum store

3065 W 2nd Ave | (970) 259-2402 | Animasmuseum.org Owned & Operated by the La Plata County historical society DURANGO MAGAZINE: What led you to this type of photography, and were there any photographers who influenced your life?

HANK BLUM: Ansel Adams, Claude Steelman,

and Bob Ross were always my mentors. The crazy idea started when I got a stormtrooper costume. It was collecting dust, so I thought, “You know what? I’m going to start an Instagram account and post photos of beautiful landscapes of the Four Corners with the stormtrooper.”

DM: What is your favorite aspect of both the creative process and the final results?

HANK: My favorite part of creating is the reaction from fans. At the end of the day, this was for nineyear-old me. I was scratching my own itch. I love hiking new mountains and desert landscapes and love Star Wars, so seeing it being shared by other huge Star Wars fans is humbling. These movies hold a very special place in a lot of our hearts.

DM: At what point did you feel like your creative career had begun?

HANK: It’s probably when I started getting offers of money (laughs) to post on Instagram and requests from people who wanted to buy prints. Even then I questioned myself, saying, “Is my work really that special?”

26 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

DM: What’s the creative process like for you? HANK: One of my goals is to make it funny and original. I love comedy, laughing, and playing pranks on people. Humor is the main point I try to hit.

DM: Do you have a quote or mantra that helps you to remain focused in your life and on your art?

HANK: Yes. Being different is better than being better.

DM: What’s one of your favorite scenes so far? HANK: My Bob Ross-inspired photo of the

stormtrooper holding a paintbrush and painting Red Mountain. I still cannot believe how awesome it turned out.

DM: What impact are you hoping to make through your images?

HANK: My focus is being me and doing things

differently. I want to make people smile. I think bringing comedy into it is a lot of fun. Getting good reactions from something that I’ve created is what makes my day. Premier Genetics in Southwest Colorado



Extra Day in Durango? Visit One of Colorado’s


Photos courtesy of Fort Lewis College

On the grandstand of an evergreen mesa above the town of Durango, Fort Lewis College makes a soul-stirring first impression. Built on the homelands of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the campus features a bird’s-eye view of the mighty San Juan Mountains and the free-flowing Animas River carving through the valley below. Singletrack trails run like veins from campus into the community and out into the wild. On any given day, the clock tower chimes, deer graze, and the seasons present a rotating backdrop of white snow, quaking aspens, and a classic Colorado blue sky. The name “Fort Lewis” is derived from a U.S. Army post established in Pagosa Springs in 1878. Fort Lewis relocated to Hesperus in 1880 for another decade before it was decommissioned. At that time, Fort Lewis’s 6,000 acres were deeded to the State of Colorado in a treaty agreement stating that the land “shall 28 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

be held and maintained by the State of Colorado to be maintained as an institution of learning to which Indian students will be admitted free of tuition” in perpetuity (Act of 61st Congress, 1911). Fort Lewis operated as an Indian boarding school until 1910, when it transitioned into a high school open to students from around the area. In the 1930s, Fort Lewis High School expanded into a two-year college and, in 1948, evolved into an agricultural and mechanical college called Fort Lewis A&M. After its move to Durango, in 1956, it became a four-year institution, awarding its first baccalaureate degrees in 1964, the same year it dropped the “A&M” moniker and became Fort Lewis College. Building on this rich history, FLC has evolved into an institution that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion, as illustrated by more than half the student body identifying as students

of color. In large part due to FLC position as one of only two public four-year colleges in the United States to grant a tuition-free education to members of federally recognized tribes and nations, Native American students make up more than a third of the student population. These students come from more than 170 American Indian tribes and Native Alaskan villages, emanating a unique spirit on campus and introducing a vast array of remarkable heritages central to the heart of FLC. These days, learning at 6,872 feet above sea level happens as much out of the classroom as it does within. Flanked by southwest Colorado’s access to canyons and high places, studies are pulled beyond books into more than 2.3 million acres of public lands. These natural laboratories help shape FLC’s dynamic academic programs, with curriculum woven into field trips, lab work, under

graduate research, and service-learning opportunities that are usually only available in graduate school. Some of FLC’s most popular majors, like adventure education, environmental studies, biology, and geology, are built around these place-based assets. Other degrees, such as business administration, engineering, teacher education, and the health sciences, expose students to real-world experience through internships and employment with local businesses, clinics, schools, nonprofits, and Native American communities. To meet the demands of the local job market, FLC offers a practical education fostered by a liberal-arts perspective and interdisciplinary course study. Students graduate with not only hard skills but also a nimbleness and ability to adapt to swiftly changing technology that often determines career choices. With just over 3,300 students, FLC is refreshingly small. All classes are taught by doctorate-holding faculty— not teaching assistants—ensuring that students receive the one-on-one attention needed to flourish in their own learning styles. Most classes average around 20 students, cultivating spirited discussions and teamwork, steered by faculty who are on a first-name basis with each student. When students aren’t eyeballs deep in study, they’re probably out exploring the many natural, cultural, and culinary treasures of the region. Adventures ebb and flow with the seasons, with gear fluctuating between backpacking, kayaking, canyoneering, standup paddleboarding, climbing, trail running, cycling, skiing, and back again. Thanks to the on-campus Outdoor Pursuits program, all students can borrow gear and dabble in any of these hobbies or dive headlong into group outings.

After more than a century of adaptation and growth, FLC is currently defined by its connection to the region’s spectacular landscape and culture. Take a break

from your Durango adventures to drive to the rim and get a glimpse of one of Colorado’s most iconic college campuses. Grazing deer guaranteed.



ART GALLERIES OF DURANGO If the natural beauty of southwest Colorado isn’t enough, the Durango community also hosts an eclectic collection of art galleries, many of which are located on historic Main Avenue. Durango’s thriving art scene is reflected by a range of styles, from contemporary to Western to Native American. A tour of Durango’s galleries will reveal a surprising diversity of paintings, sculpture and pottery, photography, and possibly the indefinable. Many artists make this corner of the world their home, not solely for the area’s inspiring landscapes but because of the support and appreciation our community shows for them. You’ll find numerous local artists featured alongside internationally recognized names in Durango’s art galleries. As you make plans to explore the San Juan Mountains, let your wanderings lead you into the world of art.




The Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College strives to provide the Fort Lewis College campus and the greater Durango community with opportunities to explore the Southwest region's dynamic heritage through gallery exhibitions, lectures and programs, and researching their special collections including artifacts, archives, maps, and manuscripts. The Center of Southwest Studies is home to the Durango Collection®, a variety of textiles spanning 800 years.

Since 2002, Sorrel Sky Gallery has been a part of the Durango community. Located in the historic Hogan’s building in the heart of downtown, the locally owned gallery represents more than 50 local and regional artists. Discover the impressive range of contemporary and traditional Western and Native American fine art and jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, wood turning, and more. Select from the oneof-a-kind, collectible jewelry of former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse, the bronze sculptures of Star Liana York, and the paintings of Kevin Red Star. Choose from a wide variety of unique engagement, wedding, and anniversary rings. Talk to their knowledgeable team about their “on approval” and financing services. Sorrel Sky Gallery believes in personalized customer service, focused on building long-term relationships between their artists and you, the art lover.

This locally owned fine-craft gallery represents regionally and nationally known artists from small independent studios. Browse the curated collection to find unique handmade pieces for your home or wardrobe: jewelry, pottery, ceramic sculpture, dinnerware, original paintings, art glass, mixed media, and wearable art. Earthen Vessel Gallery constantly discovers the most remarkable artists to add to its collection. Whether a salt-glazed mug from Durango, unique statement jewelry from Utah, or abstract painted clothing from New Mexico, come learn the artists’ stories and celebrate all things handmade!

1000 RIM DRIVE www.swcenter.fortlewis.edu 970-247-7456

At this time the Center of Southwest Studies may be temporarily closed due to COVID-19. They are quickly moving their exhibits and programs online. Find them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and the web. Watch for updates on visiting the gallery in person.

828 MAIN AVENUE www.sorrelsky.com 970-247-3555

115 WEST 9TH STREET www.earthenvessel.com 970-247-1281





Visiting Durango? Stop by Scenic Aperture! The Durango gallery is located in the heart of Durango’s vibrant arts scene. Scenic Aperture features fine-art nature photography of the Four Corners area of the American Southwest. The gallery showcases the photography of Durango’s own internationally collected nature photographer Frank Comisar and is a highlight of Durango’s historic Main Avenue.

Sticks & Stones Handmade specializes in exclusively local art and gifts that are fun, affordable and expertly crafted. With jewelry, woodwork, pottery, soaps, lotions, knits, photography, gourd art, and more, there’s always a great range of products and prices. Shop owners Micki and Tim Hassemer opened their storefront in 2013 with just their own woodwork and gemstone jewelry. With the expansion to their current location in 2018, Sticks & Stones is now able to feature more than 20 local artists. They find true enjoyment in their crafts, fellow artisans, customers, and this little mountain town. Stop by Sticks & Stones Handmade to find the perfect Durango-made gift.

Joyful Nook Gallery manufactures handcrafted, high-quality wooden puzzles using local artists’ beautiful original artwork. Their whimsical puzzle pieces are designed to match the theme of the puzzle image, creating a unique scene and a stunning puzzle masterpiece.

In 1957, Jackson Clark Sr. began to trade with Navajo trading posts and weavers, buying and selling their famous Navajo rugs. Today, the family business, Toh-Atin Gallery, has a worldwide reputation as one of the finest dealers in Native American and Southwestern art. From turquoise jewelry to Pueblo pottery, Kachina dolls to Navajo rugs, baskets to paintings to sculpture and more, TohAtin Gallery is your trusted source. On West 9th Street, just a few steps off Main Avenue.

708 MAIN AVENUE www.scenicaperture.com 970-385-5853

Scenic Aperture also offers workshops and tours for the aspiring photographer. Whether you are looking for new places to shoot or to learn the fundamentals of photography, let Scenic Aperture help you make better photographs. Images are available in many sizes and media. Visit the Durango gallery or shop online. 30 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

922 MAIN AVENUE www.sticksandstoneshandmade.com 970-317-5696

546 EAST COLLEGE DRIVE www.jngpuzzles.com 970-764-4764

Joyful Nook also offers retail stationery products, fine specialty papers, note and greeting cards, paper and bookmaking kits, and calligraphy supplies.

145 WEST 9TH STREET www.toh-atin.com 970-247-8277




A museum-quality Native American gallery featuring authentic art and artifacts from tribal members throughout the United States, emphasizing Navajo weavings, Zuni fetishes, Pueblo storytellers and pottery, Alaskan sculptures, drums, flutes, baskets, jewelry, knives, and books. Friendly, knowledgeable staff. 104 E. Fifth St. next to the train depot, 970-247-9210, www.asharedblanket.com.


Award-winning floral and gift boutique with fresh, long-lasting flowers. Custom designs for all occasions and a creative staff. Extensive gift selection including Maruca bags, Caldrea bath and body products, local jewelry, candles, and home décor. 2075 Main Ave., 970-247-1633, www.durangoflorist.com.


Offering a variety of fine Mexican furniture, folk art, gifts, and home accessories from Mexico’s talented craftspeople. Each piece is selected for its unique design. Handcrafted items from around the globe. Imaginative design ideas. 700 E. Second Ave., 970-259-5755, www.artesanosdesign.com.


A multimedia art gallery that specializes in designer jewelry, art glass, wall art, and much more. Representing local and regional artists. Unique lines differ from the norm. A wide variety of products and prices. Azul has a bright, friendly atmosphere. 781 Main Ave., 970-375-7742, www.azulgallery.com.


In the heart of downtown Durango, offering unique gifts, jewelry, and accessories. The region’s largest assortment of beads, gems, charms, and supplies for creative people who make jewelry. Inspiration, classes, lessons, and experts on hand. 840 Main Ave., 970-247-1204, www.beadsdurango.com.


Presenting the creative spirit of local artists with photography, painting, jewelry, pottery, and more, along with a selection of aromatic teas. Inside the Durango Arts Center at 802 E. Second Ave., www.createartandtea.com.


Contemporary, cutting-edge, innovative artwork. Featuring fine art and award-winning handmade jewelry by both local and nationally known artists. Specializing in custom pieces and one-of-a-kind wedding rings. 820 Main Ave., 970-385-4444, www.dianewestart.com.





Longtime local artist Paul Folwell exhibits his stunning landscapes, skiers, dancers, and musicians in his home studio. Original works of art, fine art giclée prints, and notecards are available. Commissions welcome. 8199 County Road 203, 970-759-4870, www.paulfolwell.com. Full-service design center offering carpet, tile, and wood flooring, fine furniture, lighting, window coverings, cabinets, and accessories. Designers provide decorating and interior design service and can work from blueprints to furnish your home. 146 Sawyer Dr., Suite #1, 970-247-2223.


In the heart of Durango’s vibrant art scene, the gallery showcases the photography of traveling artist Frank Comisar. Images are available in many sizes and media. Frank leads numerous workshops for aspiring photographers. Custom orders are always welcome. 708 Main Ave., 970-385-5853, www.durangogallery.photography.


Located in historic downtown Durango and specializing in a contemporary blend of regional fine art and jewelry. A unique and exciting gallery experience. Highlighting the stunning jewelry designs of Ben Nighthorse. 828 Main Ave., 970-247-3555, www.sorrelsky.com.


Specializing in art and gifts that are fun, affordable, and expertly crafted. Their entire inventory is made locally by artists in and around Durango. With jewelry, woodwork, pottery, soaps, lotions, t-shirts, and more, they have a great range of products and prices. 922 Main Ave., 970-317-5696, www.sitcksandstoneshandmade.com.


Art. Ideas. Progress. This gallery is a combination studio, gallery, and retail store. The space is shared by artisans with talents that include painting, illustration, sculpture, graphic design, and more. The artisans engage in creative dialogues with gallery visitors, as well as display and sell their work. 1027 Main Ave., 908-403-9975, www.anddurango.com.

An eclectic mix of Chinese antique furniture, decorative accessories, quirky gift items, uncommon clothing, and stunning jewelry, the shop offers unparalleled shopping for locals and visitors alike. 822 Main Ave., 970-385-7300, www.theresnoplacelikehomeinc.com. From rustic to refined, a fresh look at home furnishings. Accent pillows, lamps, chandeliers, area rugs, and mirrors complement a wide assortment of furniture. For unique gifts, bedding, table décor, and fabulous entertaining. Free personalized interior design consultation available. 925 Main Ave., 970-247-1010, www.tippycanoedurango.com.


Traders in Navajo rugs since 1957, the family-owned Toh-Atin Gallery has long been recognized as one of the country’s finest gallery operations. Featuring Native American–made jewelry, kachinas, baskets, prints, paintings, sculpture and pottery, Navajo weavings, and other fine Southwestern art. 145 W. Ninth St., 970-247-8277, www.toh-atin.com.


For “ultimate” relaxation and entertainment, offering exclusive lines of wood and patio furniture, billiard tables, and game-room furnishings. Featuring Olhausen and Brunswick billiards; Tommy Bahama, Homecrest and OW Lee outdoor lines; handcrafted Woodland Creek Furniture. 21516 Hwy. 160 across from the Tech Center entrance, 970-247-1461, www.ultimatemountainliving.com.


“Wares for the home”, specializing in eclectic, upscale home furnishings and unique accessories. Stylish and fun, mixing modern elements, natural materials, and neutral palettes. Gifts, home décor, housewares, furniture, and lighting. 865 Main Ave., 970-259-0472, www.urbanmarketonline.com.


Handcrafted jewelry, pottery, paintings, rustic décor, and collectors’ items fill this store. The perfect gift awaits – and it’s reasonably priced. Many superb selections are locally crafted or made on the premises. Mark Jaramillo welcomes visitors to his world. 131 E. Eighth St., 970-259-2392.

Music in the Mountains July 2020


Become A Member!


A shopping destination for homes, gifts, and gardens. Locally made gourmet foods, sauces, and condiments. Dietz Market is a local business supporting local artists and craftspeople since 1983. They take great pride in the quality and originality of their products and the community they serve and support. 26345 Hwy. 160 across from Home Depot, 970-259-5811, www.dietzmarket.com.


A nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing visual and cultural arts for individual and community enrichment, the DAC works to ensure the arts thrive in the Four Corners. DAC provides the community with diverse art experiences, educational opportunities, and vibrant expressions of many art forms. 802 E. Second Ave., 970-259-2606, www.durangoarts.org.


“Celebrating all things handmade” with contemporary jewelry, pottery, art glass, metal, mixed media, wall art, and wearable art from both local and nationally known artists. The gallery’s collection of American Craft is eclectic, with a wide range of prices for gift-giving. 115 W. Ninth St., 970-247-1281, www.earthenvessel.com.


Manufacturing handcrafted, high-quality wooden puzzles using local artists’ beautiful original artwork. Also offering retail stationery products, fine specialty papers, note and greeting cards, paper and book-making kits, and calligraphy supplies. 546 E. College Dr., 970-764-4764, www.jngpuzzles.com.


“Elegance through art and nature” best describes this contemporary art gallery, featuring local landscapes and Zen paintings by owner Karyn Gabaldon. The gallery also has Asian-inspired gifts and magnificent jewelry, along with interior and exterior sculptures. Since 1980. 680 Main Ave., 970-247-9018, www.karyngabaldon.com.

32 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

802 E. 2nd Ave, Durango CO www.durangoarts.org 970.259.2606


Join Us! September 19 & 20, 2020 10:00 5:00

10 Minute Play Festival Oct 23-25, 2020 Festival Weekend Get Your Tickets Online, Over the Phone or at Our Box Office!



Sunny Gable

Making music happen DO EXPERIENCE


Quality strains – Huge selection – Incredible ser vice DURANGO: 72 SUTTLE STREET UNIT F/G • 970.259.DORG AND 37 COUNTY ROAD 232 • 970.426.4381 CRESTED BUTTE: 310 BELLEVIEW, UNIT 2 • 970.349.5993 | CORTEZ: 1104 E MAIN STREET • 970.565.6500


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The area’s best selection of vaping products PREMIUM E-LIQUIDS • E-CIGS • LOCAL GL ASS WATER PIPES • DAB RIGS • ACCESSORIES 970-247-1261 info@swvapor.com

Find us at 72 Suttle Street, Unit B Bodo Park, Durango 7 days a week


34 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Sunny Gable has played concerts in these parts for years. But making music got a whole lot more challenging when her youngest child was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

“It felt like a wrench thrown into my plans,” Gable admits. “The music life and being a mother are difficult anyway. What was I going to do?”

by Zach Hively

She’s still playing plenty around town, both solo and with the Whiskey Machine, as well as at folk festivals and other events. Audiences can find her concert schedule, and info on her next Whiskey Machine album, at www.sunnygable.com. And those audiences keep her going—whether they’re a thousand people in a theater or the one most important person in her living room. “Playing to a room that's listening to you—and getting to really tell the story—I find that to be the most rewarding thing, one hundred percent,” Gable says.

The answer came to her one sleepless night: In order to create, she had to get more creative. Gable started recording at home in whatever cracks of time she could claim for the effort, cutting vocals in the closet and recording mandolin and guitar in different rooms to capture the right essence of the sound. She played all the songs for her newborn one-man audience. The resulting solo debut release, Audience of One, leans on the lyrics to tell stories that deserve to be shared. Her music incorporates Americanastyle storytelling with hints of the blues that echo Gable’s childhood outside Chicago. She dubs this merging of musical styles “soul-grass,” and she’s shifted her emphasis toward playing for people who choose to listen to it. “The late-night bar scene is not my thing anymore,” Gable says. “The music I write isn’t made to be played in bars. It’s much more suited for an audience that’s going to absorb the music.” That means that Gable and her band, Sunny & the Whiskey Machine, are now emphasizing playing venues where the music is the main thing. Yet she’s found one place in town where she can blend the informality of a bar with the attentiveness of a willing audience. “Durango Craft Spirits is my exception to the rule,” she says. “I love that place. It’s always such a good experience playing music there, in a venue that is run by good people who are doing good for this community.”

Tiffany Jacot

Tiffany Jacot


Perhaps you’ll want to stock up on this season’s precious crop—the current version of 2019’s apricot bounty. Or maybe you have a favorite fruit or vegetable that will inspire you to experiment with new recipes. Whatever your desire or experience level, the growers are your best resource for information and advice about the food itself.

Turn to friends and relatives—or an extension agent—for guidance

Photo courtesy of NMSU Extension Office


In the summer of 2019, apricots

overwhelmed the Four Corners region. Trees that hadn’t produced fruit for 20 years suddenly bore enough to bust their branches. The joke around here was that if you didn’t have apricots filling your kitchen, you probably didn’t have many friends. With more fruit than entire neighborhoods could eat, many people turned to preserving them one way or another. From apricot jams to dehydrated apricots, fruit lovers found various traditional ways of storing these seasonal and perishable fruits for enjoyment throughout the year. “I saw this beautiful sense of community develop around the concept of canning,” says Bonnie Hopkins, New Mexico State University’s agricultural extension agent for San Juan County. “It connected people to the land and to each other and to different generations. It was amazing.” There is no telling when the next bumper crop of apricots (or any other fruit or vegetable) will strike, but we can count on finding exceptional locally grown food to can, jam, pickle and dry every year. Preserving produce accomplishes more than 36 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

The art of canning food ran stronger in earlier generations, whereas it appears to be simmering down with more recent ones. Yet regardless of age, our food offers a prime opportunity to make connections and memories across generations. Hopkins shares how people often call their grandparents for recipes and strategies for preserving food. She herself shares her wisdom with her pickle-obsessed goddaughter. Every summer, they throw a pickle-making party together. They end up with a year’s supply of pickles, and, more than that, they learn skills and make memories together. Their purpose is to assist others with just these sorts of adventures. “You can always run questions by your extension agent,” she says.

the of the summer, flavors and memories for a lifetime

extending our resources; it helps close the gap between consumers and growers, while also providing a hands-on learning opportunity to get to know our food and share it with one another.

Farmers know all the secrets

The truth is that not all foods are equally suited to the same kinds of preservation. Still, everyone can find something to enjoy preserving, particularly at a local grow-

by Zach Hively

ers’ market. We have an abundance of options in the Four Corners region. The popular Durango Farmers Market sets up shop every Saturday during the growing season and is just one of several markets in town. The Farmington Growers Market is open from June to October. Plus, organizations like the Garden Project of Southwest Colorado offer educational garden programs for those interested in learning to grow their own food—in addition to providing thousands of pounds of food to local people with food insecurity. The Four Corners sprouts several specialty crops well-suited to preservation, including peaches, apples, green chiles, and a wide variety of herbs. Tomatoes in our region grow to achieve an incredible flavor and offer a strong base for canning homemade salsas and sauces. Particularly during harvest seasons, the crops that are ready for preservation can vary from week to week—and when it comes to finding the right food, Hopkins says, the growers know better than anyone else.

“The farmer could definitely tell you the secrets,” she says.

Photo courtesy of NMSU Extension Office

Learn to love your food— and each other

“I can’t do something special with her every day,” Hopkins says. “But I take one day out of the summer, and every time she opens those jars, she thinks about that experience. There is nothing else I can do that would have that same impact.” Not everyone has relatives or neighbors to turn to. But everyone does have a county extension office they can contact for help on everything from safe canning practices to approved recipes. Their services are free, and safety and education are their goals, Hopkins says.

Perhaps the single best reason to preserve food isn’t the ready-made apple-pie filling or the dried herbs spicing up a dish. Instead, people often can food simply because they enjoy sharing it with others. Yes, canning is a great hands-on way to reconnect with the food we eat and the people who grow it. It’s a great way to share traditional skills and recipes across generations, and it’s a delicious way to get creative. In the end, though, it’s not all about the flavor. It’s just as much about the sheer joy of making food to share and enjoy together, from one growing season to the next.

“It’s like love in a jar,” Hopkins says. “You took the time and effort to process that food for someone.”

Durango Farmers Market: 8am-12pm every Saturday from May 9 through October 31 (9am-12pm in October) in the TBK Bank parking lot at 259 W. 9th St. • Social distancing plans in place. • Hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations for the public. Customers can access ALL of the vendors at: www.durangofarmersmarket.com

Farmington Growers Market: June 13 through October 17. Saturday markets begin on June 13, and Tuesday market days will begin on July 1. Once the season is in full swing, markets are Saturdays from 8am12pm and Tuesdays from 4pm-6pm. All markets take place at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park in Farmington, New Mexico, 3041 E. Main St. To find up-to-date information on which vendors are attending market or what’s on sale on any given market day, follow them on Facebook or Instagram.




Does a technology exist that is non-invasive, cost-effective, and free of chemical or radiation exposures? Is there a process by which a magnitude of physiological data can be extracted from your body in a timely manner? Enter quantum “individual frequency interface technology.” I-FIT is the noninvasive biofeedback system that helps locate dysfunctional areas needing support within your body by using state-of-the-art frequency-resonant programming.


The human body is made up of roughly 70 percent water and a vast number of neurons firing signals via the nerves to power our muscles, glands, and organs. These electrical signals, or 38 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall



1205 Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 247-5830 bcexp.com

Complementary alternative health care practitioner in Durango is revolutionizing our well-being by combining noninvasive technology with all-natural nutraceuticals. Dr. John’s practice is filled with individuals who were sick and tired of feeling “sick and tired,” along with the motivated health conscious who wanted to improve and maximize their health in a safe, all-natural, nonprescription manner.


750 Main Avenue, Durango (970) 426- 4000 crowscloset.com

frequencies, are very specific to each individual human. In other words, a healthy, functioning organ, gland, etc., has a specific frequency.

Sophisticated fashion. A mountain lifestyle boutique.

The I-FIT biofeedback system helps Dr. John to identify and locate stress markers throughout the mind and body by looking for high, normal, or low frequencies. These markers include but are not limited to organs, glands, muscles, hormones, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, environmental toxicities, parasites, and viruses. This type of data is preferred, as it is specific to each individual; it gives Dr. John the information he needs to construct a complete and effective plan to optimize your health and well-being. Individuals are starting to place a higher value on their health, and they want results. Because of this, clients are coming to Durango to improve the quality of their lives. Dr. John currently sees clients from all 50 states and 12 countries. People are eager to visit this respected complementary and alternative health care practitioner.

Dr. John Partenope 970-422-8240 www.drjohnpartenope.com 39





Ron Martin

Jim Bommarito

Grady James

Whit Richardson

40 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Cole Davis

Jen Manganello

Kennan Harvey 41


Durango’s favorite family entertainment since 1969

Old West Music and Comedy Show and Chuckwagon





Open Sky Wilderness Therapy is a Durango-based company that opened in 2006 to offer transformative treatment focused on total health and well-being, not just for teens and young adults but for the whole family. With the mission of inspiring individuals to learn and live in a way that honors values and strengthens relationships, Open Sky is driven by the belief that all people have the capacity to thrive. Open Sky assists adolescents, young adults and their families struggling with difficult challenges and life circumstances. By embarking on a life-changing experience in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado and the canyon country of southeastern Utah, students discover and create a healthy life that is an intelligent and authentic expression of one’s true nature. Open Sky has worked with thousands of students and families, providing healing solutions for a range of issues including gaming and social media addiction, gender identity issues, depression, and anxiety. “Growing up in Colorado, I always wanted Open Sky to find its home in the mountains, in a place with heart,” said Aaron Fernandes, Open Sky founder and CEO. “Durango is a vibrant community with resonant values, where our employees can raise families, engage with purpose, and enjoy the rich cultural opportunities afforded by a small college town. With its 300-plus days of sunshine, regional airport, and year-round access to 42 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

The Bar D Wranglers perform songs of cowboys and the old west, comedy, and lively instruments after supper to please the whole family. Photo courtesy of Open Sky Wilderness Therapy

Ticketing, art gallery, activities, and shops open nightly by 5:00 pm. Supper is at 6:30 Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day


awe-inspiring summer and winter course areas for our students and families, Durango was the perfect choice.” “We are driven by the core values of courage, community, and excellence. Our holistic approach at Open Sky means treating the whole person by utilizing the latest, evidence-based clinical modalities with innovative, research-driven healing practices, such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness,” Aaron said. Research reveals that Open Sky students make behavioral, interpersonal and mental-health gains and maintain these improvements well after departing the program. Emily Fernandes, Open Sky co-founder and executive director, guides conversations on the SKYlights podcast with Open Sky clinical therapists, family counselors, directors, field guides, and other experts about the most important topics facing adolescents, young adults, and families today. Tune in to listen every other Thursday on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Reservations Required



Contactless deliveries and pickups in parking lot everyday but Sundays Gifts, houseplants, heartfelt cards, weddings, elopements and events.

durangoflorist.com 2075 Main Ave., Durango 970-247-1633 Full service florist Scott DW Smith


A FARM FLOWER SUBSCRIPTION PROGRAM! 5 bundles $100 10 bundles $200 Throughout the growing season from June to October.

Available on our website: durangoflorist.com 970-247-1633

Photo courtesy of Open Sky Wilderness Therapy




Mancos, just 28 miles west of Durango, is situated in the midst of the San Juan Mountains, a picturesque town with views of the mountains and proximity to trails and wildlife viewing. At 7,000 feet, Mancos lies just east of one of the most celebrated World Heritage sites—Mesa Verde National Park. The town’s charming inns and restaurants provide an opportunity for visitors to spend time in a historic Western town but also offer a staging area to the world-renowned cultural center that is Mesa Verde. Mancos is perhaps best known for its dedication to the preservation of Western culture. Strolling through downtown, you’ll see this fidelity to the past: Each building represents a historic flavor of its own, including the well-known Mancos Opera House, with small shops and galleries interspersed. Beyond the town’s historic characteristics there are the surrounding natural ones, like Jackson Gulch Reservoir, where locals and visitors enjoy kayaking, swimming, and canoeing. Take US Hwy. 160W from Durango to Mancos for the quickest, easiest drive.

My New Novel of the

San Juan Mountains


City of Gold is a historical novel of southwest Colorado in the heyday of the mining towns. It’s also a Western, a tale of two brothers and two mules, an odyssey in three weeks. It’s the most ambitious of my 20 novels, in that I had so much to learn before I could get started. This book stands on the shoulders of our historians: Durango’s Duane Smith, Silverton’s Allen Nossaman, Ouray’s Mel Griffiths, and Telluride’s David Lavender. The story opens weeks after the Hollowell family has arrived in the Durango area, by train from Kansas, to start a new farm in Hermosa. The kit and caboodle Ma and her boys brought with them includes the mules they’ll need for plowing come spring. Fifteen-year-old Owen is looking at disaster when he sees them stolen by moonlight. Learning that Hercules and Peaches will likely be sold to the mines, Owen sets out to track the rustler over the mountains. It’s all Ma can do to hold back Owen’s irrepressible kid brother Till, who was “disillusionated” with Durango until this happened. He’d been expecting the Wild West. The culprit’s trail leads to Telluride, the turbulent “City of Gold” where miners are under the lion’s paw, especially

44 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

at the Smuggler-Union. Owen gets help from the girl at the bakery and dubious assistance from Till, who shows up on the Rio Grande Southern from Durango. Telluride’s notorious Marshal Clark finally takes an interest when Owen identifies the rustler in a photo, the first ever of the Wild Bunch. The lawman leads Owen and Till on horseback into Utah’s canyon country, all the way to Robbers’ Roost and Butch Cassidy. My fondest hope for City of Gold? That it brings a remarkable era to life for readers of all ages who love the shining San Juan Mountains. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Drawn to Southwest Colorado in 1973, Will and his wife, Jean, taught school for four years in Pagosa Springs, and then many more years in Durango (10 at Miller Middle School for Will). Time and again, they rafted the rivers with friends and family. One of their 10 runs in the Grand Canyon was a solo trip. Will set two of his early novels in the Grand Canyon and two in the Weminuche Wilderness, where he spent nearly seven months over the years on his weeklong backpacking trips.


Will’s adventure novels went on to take readers to wild places, from the Mexican border to Canada’s arctic, all in locations he's experienced firsthand. All 20 books are still in print. His many awards can be found on Wikipedia. Will provides an interview with photos for each of the novels on his website, www. willhobbsauthor.com. ANNOUNCEMENT Published by HarperCollins, City of Gold goes on sale July 21, 2020, at area bookstores, including Maria’s Bookshop and Y.E.S.S. the Book Hutch in Durango.

Farmington, New Mexico, about 50 miles south of Durango, offers a getaway to a modern and exciting town. The Farmington community has selected a list of “jolts,” or truly sensational activities, that define their town. The Piñon Hills Golf Course figures prominently on this list; as one of the most stunning public golf courses in New Mexico, golfing here is a fun, scenic, and affordable experience for anyone. Adding to the possibilities for family and individual fun are the Fly High Adventure Park, an indoor trampoline park, and Bisti Bay at Brookside Park, a waterpark and pool. Beyond these outdoor adventures, Farmington’s Native American culture is proudly preserved and in evidence at the Fifth Generation Trading Company, which includes artwork, jewelry, and pottery from a collection of Native artists. The Farmington Civic Center continues its dedication to arts and culture with year-round theater productions. From Durango, take US Hwy. 550S to NM 516 via Aztec.


Silverton is roughly 48 miles north of Durango, which makes for a scenic hour-long drive through the San Juan Mountains. Perhaps the most popular way to travel from Durango to Silverton and back, though, is onboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which provides a memorable trip through the surrounding mountains and forests on its steam-powered locomotives. In Silverton, preservation of the past is evident in its historic buildings. Along with the town’s historic nature, Silverton is central to many natural wonders: The trailhead for one of the most iconic hikes in Colorado, Ice Lakes, is about 20 minutes west. For a similar taste of the otherworldly blue of Ice Lakes, the Columbine Lake trailhead, northwest of Silverton, provides equally dramatic views. For the most stunning route from Durango to Silverton, take US Hwy. 550N.

Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs, 60 miles east of Durango, is an easy hour-long drive to a place once frequented by many Native American tribes. The most alluring feature of Pagosa Springs is the very thing the town was named for—its natural hot springs. The Springs Resort & Spa is the world’s deepest geothermal hot springs, with 24 mineral hot springs pools. Nestled along the San Juan River, the resort makes for a healing and completely relaxing vacation, a much-needed respite for both locals and visitors. The spa is in the heart of downtown Pagosa Springs, with its blocks of restaurants and shops. A few miles north of Pagosa Springs, at the base of Wolf Creek Pass, is the Treasure Falls trailhead. At about 100 feet high, Treasure Falls is said to hide a pot of gold beneath its ravines of rushing mountain runoff. It is the ideal hike for both families and adventure-seekers. Take US Hwy. 160E from Durango to Pagosa Springs.




In 1860, Charles Baker and several prospectors entered the Ute Territory of the San Juan Mountains in search of wealth. They soon found deposits of gold and silver along the Animas River in an area that was later called “Baker’s Park.” It was in this same area that the Town of of Silverton was established in 1874 and incorporated in 1885. Silverton, which is the last mining camp standing in San Juan County, is in the heart of the San Juan Mountains’ ancient Caldera bowl. Narrow-gauge steam railroads connected the mining camp to many others in San Juan County in the late 1800s. Silverton is still connected to Durango today by the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

SILVERTON YOUR BASECAMP FOR adventure #lifeat9318 | silvertoncolorado.com


Silverton is the base camp for adventure, offering high-alpine recreation opportunities. It is your base camp for lodging, shopping and dining experiences in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. If you like to hike, bike, camp, fish, trail ride or 4x4 off-roading, then Silverton, Colorado, should be your next adventure. We are open all four seasons, and the mountains are calling! Come experience life at 9318 feet with us. Where the road ends, the adventures begin…


Luxury Lodging D&SNG Railroad Gift Shop & Ticket Office Restaurant & Live Entertainment Family Friendly, Full Bar 1219 Greene Street, Silverton, CO | 800.341.3340 | GrandImperialHotel.com 46 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall



The Local Palate

Kerry Daly

You can certainly expect to find creativity in Durango’s many fine art galleries and studios. Another uniquely creative skill in Durango is the bar scene! Many local bartenders are artists of a different sort. Bartenders have their own signature style, talent, and many times their own cocktail creation. Start your evening with a visit to one of these Durango establishments for happy hour. Enjoy an original, inventive, delicious beverage in a fun and relaxing atmosphere.

Where unforgettable food & memories are made


Dean Fagner

Durango’s only full-production winery. At Four Leaves Winery it is our desire for each guest to have a great experience enjoying our wines, all of which we make on site. We have an array of whites, reds and fruit wines. Come by for a tasting, a glass, or a bottle.


Primus Bar invites you to enjoy a classic cocktail with a modern spin in downtown Durango. Cocktails and wine have been carefully hand selected to complement the everchanging local and globally inspired fare. Enjoy the newly created DGO Gin Fizz, on a warm summer afternoon, paired with our hand-shucked oysters DGO Gin Fizz from Maine. 1017 Main Ave • www.primusrestaurant.com • 970-259-1945


528 Main Avenue • www.fourleaveswinery.com • 970-403-8182 Hometown? Cresco, Iowa What is your favorite nonalcoholic drink ingredient? Lime, for the margarita

What is your favorite hike or mountain-bike trail? Engineer Mountain


What is your favorite movie? Gladiator

Hometown? Hancock/Houghton, Michigan


What is your favorite nonalcoholic drink ingredient? Fresh fruit or a "fruit caviar"


Michael McCardell

Voted Burger Best 2019

What is your favorite movie? Goonies


Call for the most updated days & times of business Visit us: www. Jamesranch.net Follow us:

33846 Hwy 550→Located 10 miles N of Durango, just past Honeyville

Grill (970) 764-4222 Market (970) 385-6858

Hometown? Wild Rose, Wisconsin

We are a grain-to-glass distillery in downtown Durango. We use only locally sourced grains to produce our Soiled Doves Vodka, Mayday Moonshine and Cinder Dick Straight Colorado Bourbon. We are proud to share Durango’s history through our spirits’ namesakes and cocktails on our menu. We hope you enjoy the stories as much as we do! www.durangospirits.com • 970-247-1919 1120 Main Avenue #2

What is your favorite hike or mountain-bike trail? Rather spend time at a lake

Experience our Table-on-the-Farm organic restaurant and farm market. We’ve expanded into our new building with a substantial market, indoor seating, large picture windows, fireplace and a private room for parties!

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink ingredient? Fever Tree Ginger Beer What is your favorite hike or mountain-bike trail? Trail around Grizzly Peak

The Editor

What is your favorite movie? Bridge Over River Kwai



Bar menu has awesome drink specials, including: BoGo shots, two-ounce double shots in tamperproof vials of any of our tequilas—starting at just $6. Also, “Jaras” of our house margarita—freshsqueezed margaritas available for pickup or delivery, pre-poured in tamper-proof jugs. Four margaritas for only $21.00!


www.nayaritmexicandurango.com Nayarit Restaurant North • 2525 Main Avenue 970-385-1595 Nayarit Restaurant South • 1135 S. Camino Del Rio 970-259-4114

Hometown? I was raised here in Durango, but now call both Durango and Aspen home What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink ingredient? Cucumber or cucumber juice What is your favorite hike or mountain-bike trail? The path from behind the bar to the walk-in refrigerator. What is your favorite movie? Inglourious Bastards


48 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Alex Schweitz





It’s a little before five o’clock in downtown Durango, and Main Avenue is in the middle of its nightly transition. Offices are beginning to close, and as the lights go dark in banks and municipal buildings, Durango’s many restaurants begin to stir. Aromas start wafting out onto the street, sending tourists and locals scurrying back to hotels and houses to get ready for dinners that will soon be served. For locals, it is normal; but nobody blames the uninitiated for the way they hold their heads crookedly and stare in confusion. Admittedly, it’s a bit of an odd site. The large group of people gathered at 919 Main Avenue looks out of place for this time of day. Upon closer examination, the growing crowd on the sidewalk outside Eolus Bar and Dining is an unlikely mix that doesn’t look like they should be together. College students from Fort Lewis wearing old hoodies and jeans stand and chat with bankers in blazers. Next to them is a group of mountain bikers, their identities betrayed by the smiles of downhill exhilaration still stuck on their sunburned faces. All of them are buzzing in anticipation like concertgoers waiting outside a venue. The clock strikes five, the doors open, and this eclectic cross-section of Durango streams into the restaurant. This is happy hour at Eolus, an establishment with menu offerings as expensive as any in Durango, yet everyone in town can afford to eat here. The tables fill with patrons seeking the restaurant’s famously delicious burgers, steamed buns, and sushi rolls. All are made with the same fresh ingredients and attention to detail that goes into every one of the establishment’s dishes. “It’s a nod to Durango being a mountain town with an après vibe, and it’s great to have that connection for the locals,” says co-owner and head chef Chris Crowl. “It’s locals taking cares of locals – and a good way to get the first-time customer to come in.” James Allred, general manager and co-owner, adds: “The customers who are with us for happy hour receive the same level of service that a couple dining with us for their 50th wedding anniversary

50 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Photos by Tiffany Jacot

and ordering surf and turf would.” Happy hour ends at six every night, well before most of the people who will visit the restaurant on a given evening have arrived; but it is core to what Eolus is: a local establishment owned by two locals who have a passion for giving their community a place to eat great food while making memories. Eolus exudes a warm energy, everywhere you look. The air is filled with conversation among strangers and friends at the bar. The tables are surrounded by smiling guests savoring every bite of their dish. The upstairs patio is full of laughter and delicious smells as patrons watch the sun go down over the La Plata Moun-

tains while enjoying a selection from the award-winning wine list. The patio is also available for rent, and has become a favorite for business functions, wedding parties, and other celebrations. It is easy to see why Crowl and Allred describe the energy at Eolus as “magical.” They credit the local community for creating it. “We are super appreciative of the locals for supporting us ever since our soft opening.” The owners do everything they can to give support back to the town that supports them. They smile when they talk about the delicious turkeys they cook and bring into the school district for Thanksgiving lunch, and their commitment to

community extends all the way to the menu. “We were trying to figure out what this place was going to become when we took it over, and eventually we came to ‘locally grown, mountain inspired.’ The big thing that really surprised me when I moved here was all the great local producers, and we’ve been fortunate to have long relationships with the local farmers,” says Crowl, a Durango local of nearly 20 years. “Eolus” is the Greek god of wind, and the restaurant shares its name with Mount Eolus, the tallest of the three 14,000-foot peaks in the Chicago Basin. The basin is the most frequented area in the Weminuche Wilderness, and visiting it is seen as an essential San Juan experience for Durango locals and tourists alike. Eolus has earned a reputation similar to that of its namesake. Ironically, endearing themselves to the Durango community has made Eolus extremely popular with the town’s visitors, who often find out about the restaurant by asking a local clerk or bellhop for a dinner recommendation. Often, they will see the same party two nights in a row. “The real tell for us is the people who are visiting Durango and dine with us more than once when they’re only here for a few nights. If you’re visiting a place and trying to get a feel for it, and choose to come back and spend your time with us, that’s a real honor and also a great responsibility.” It would be easy to wax poetic about all of the delicious choices Eolus has to offer, but it would take 500 words on each item to paint an accurate picture. The same could be said for the eclectic wine list and the 250 bottles of wine it features. Eolus has won the prestigious Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator every year they’ve been open. So instead of poetic descriptions, just trust that the crowd out front knows what it’s waiting for, and it must be worth the wait.





A culinary collective with a progressive vision that honors the history of the location. From tacos to pizza, sushi to Indonesian cuisine, their independent food-trucks cure any craving. Outdoor deck is perfect for relaxing with a cold drink or quick lunch. 1101 Main Ave., 970-422-8482, www.11thstreetstation.com


Fast, convenient and delicious takeout combined with a laid-back and enjoyable bar atmosphere. Offering hot and cold sandwiches along with a full bar. 601 E. Second Ave., 970-259-1000, www.2nddelidurango.com


“Who bakes the best pizza? You do!” Offering traditional, thin and gluten-free pizzas to take home, as well as wings, cookies and salads. Order by phone for pickup. 50 County Road 234 inside Elmore’s Corner Store, 970-799-0425.


Coffee house and roasting company using the pour-over coffee-making process. Offering hot coffee, iced drinks, mochas, lattes, chai and homemade baked goods in a laid-back atmosphere. 3101 Main Ave. #1, 970-385-1941, www.81301coffee.com


Located at Dalton Ranch Golf Club just eight minutes north of downtown Durango. Offering Italian-American cuisine and a wonderful patio dining experience. Executive Chef Jonathan Fletcher spent many winters in Italy and has brought back traditional Italian recipes. 589 County Road 252, 970-247-4980, www.alcherestaurant.com


Just off the Animas River trail near Rotary Park. A family-friendly brewpub serving house-made beers and Colorado wine and spirits, along with a spin on comfort food and plenty of kid favorites. Relaxed, family-friendly. Comfortable outdoor seating. 1560 E. Second Ave., 970- 403-8850, www.animasbrewing.com


Casual and comfortable atmosphere where chocolate lovers can relax while tasting amazing chocolates. From decadent truffles to divine darks, chocolate confections made on the premises using the highest quality chocolate, simple ingredients, no preservatives. 920 Main Ave., 970-317-5761, www.animaschocolatecompany.com


Serving delicious family favorites, from their famous boneless wings to mouthwatering salads and chicken dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nine televisions, full bar, casual, comfortable, friendly atmosphere. 800 Camino del Rio inside Durango Downtown Inn, 970-259-5850, www.applebees.com


Old West music and comedy stage show with traditional barbecue supper. Fun for the whole family. Nightly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Reservations required. 8080 County Road 250, 970-247-5753, www.bardchuckwagon.com


Delicious breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos. Tasty burgers, hot dogs, fries, hot pastrami, salads, specials and much more. Boasting “the best Reuben in town”. 1220 Carbon Junction Rd. inside the Exxon gas station across from Walmart, 970-247-1144, www.bartsdeli.com


Serving 42 delicious ice cream flavors, as well as a variety of ice cream cakes, smoothies, sundaes, shakes and blasts. 32 Town Plaza, 970-247-1231, www.baskinrobbins.com


Known to many as having the best burgers, fries and shakes. A great place to grab a delicious quick lunch or dinner with family and friends. Dine out on the deck, inside, or grab treats to go. 1400 E. Second Ave., 970-385-4469, www.bensbigburgers.com


Enjoy their signature rotisserie chicken, along with fresh and tasty house made salads and sandwiches. Something for everyone. 2957 N. Main Ave., 970 426-4596, www.birdsdurango.com


Overlooking Electra Lake, the Boathouse opens for the summer in June. Former Seasons chefs Dave and Jenn Stewart prepare James Ranch beef, fresh fish and locally sourced produce. Everything is made from scratch. 141 Electra Lake Rd. W., 970-247-5180, www.electralake.org/the-boathouse-at-electra


Fresh homemade breads, pastries, cookies and deli sandwiches served daily. From whole wheat to rye, ginger snaps to scones, Bread is fast, friendly and fantastic. 42 County Road 250 and downtown at 135 E. Eighth St., 970-2475100, www.breaddurango.com


Redrock Foods, a Burger King Corp. franchisee, owns and operates the Durango location and 19 New Mexico and Colorado stores. Come to Burger King for the famous Whopper and chicken sandwiches. Order online, via phone, or in person. 1415 Main Ave., 970-247-9095, www.bk.com

Four Corners Digital Imagery



Neighborhood favorite just south of College Drive in College Plaza. Top notch karaoke three nights a week, Thursday through Saturday. Choose from over 46,000 songs to sing before a nonjudgmental crowd. Bar snacks available. Off-Main beverage prices! 509 E. Eighth Ave., 970-259-8801.




The Balcony and The Balcony Backstage is the Four Corners’ destination for live music, tasty beverages, great food & good times. “Gotta come up to get down!” Full lunch and dinner menu, weekend brunch. Salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers and more. 600 Main Ave. #210, 970-422-8008.


Showcasing Durango’s local talent while transporting guests to another time with an intimate atmosphere, expertly crafted cocktails and superior service. Do you know the password? 601 E. Second Ave. Suite B, 970-764-4123, www.bookcaseandbarber.com


Distillery and tasting room. Durango’s first grain-to-glass distillery since prohibition. 1120 Main Ave. #2, 970-247-1919, www.durangospirits.com

Founded in 1942, El Rancho is a local pub in downtown Durango. Breakfast and lunch service from Durango Diner. 975 Main Ave., 970-259-8111, www.elranchotavern.com

Charming downtown winery and tasting gallery. Over 20 wines made on site: varietals, ports and specialty crafted wine. Tastings, by the glass, or take home a bottle. Local chocolates for pairing. Appetizers include artisan cheeses, hummus and artichoke dips. 528 Main Ave., 970-403-8182, www.fourleaveswinery.com


Previously known as Pongas, The Garage is a modern and energizing option for entertainment in downtown Durango. Featuring live performers, an array of billiard tables and a fantastic variety of food and drink. 121 W. Eighth St., 970-382-8554.


A classic long bar with lots of seats, a few tables, and mirrored shelving stacked with bottles. With a restaurant serving all-American food like burgers and fries, Joel’s is fun, friendly and moderately priced. 119 W. Eighth St., 970-903-0266.


This fun lounge is a local favorite for food and live music, plus one of the area’s best patios. Largest selection of vodkas in Colorado; world-famous Bacontini. Great appetizers; over 90 martinis. Happy hour Monday–Friday, 4:30–7pm: half-price well drinks and appetizers, discounted drinks. 937 Main Ave., 970-259-9018.


Locals’ favorite happy hour. Perfect after-work and late-night Victorian bar at the historic Strater Hotel. A wide selection of creative libations, local beers and fabulous wines. Amazing interior setting. Daily happy hour, dinner and live music. 699 Main Ave. inside the Strater Hotel, 970-247-4431, www.strater.com/dining/the-office-spiritorium/


One of Durango’s “last REAL bars,” Orio’s is a sports bar and much more, with pool tables. 652 Main Ave., 970-259-6120.


Durango’s favorite for live country-western music and southern rock. National artists and talented locals. Giant dance floor, dance lessons, special concerts, karaoke, DJ Crazy Charlie. “A fun-loving redneck’s dream.” 601 E. Second Ave., Suite C, 970-375-2568, www.durangowildhorsesaloon.com

Editors’ Pick

52 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall




Lunch and dinner menu features burgers and Colorado craft beers, with a breakfast menu focused on the morning classics. Thirteen high-definition TVs promise no bad seat in the house, and the daily happy hour will keep your glass full. 21636 U.S. Hwy. 160 W. inside the Holiday Inn & Suites, 970-385-6387,


Beto Navarro, owner of Macho’s Fast Mexican Food & Drinks, brings dishes similar to those of his birthplace in Guadalajara, Mexico to Durango. “Modern Mexican” menu includes steak, lobster, seafood and fusion dishes. His chef has studied in Peru, Brazil and India. 1150 Main Ave., 970-422-8523, www.canteradurango.com


One of the Southwest’s original brewpubs, and located in historic downtown Durango, Carver’s offers tours of its solar/wind-powered brewery, and has 12 award-winning handcrafted brews on tap. Hearty and fresh creations for every meal. Kid-friendly. Organic produce grown at Carver Farms and other local sources. 1022 Main Ave., 970-259-2545, www.carverbrewing.com


Contemporary American bistro with a southwestern flair. Creative small plates, salads, artisanal pizzas, plus fire roasted steaks, chicken and seafood. Stone-hearth ovens in an expo kitchen. Specialty cocktails, fine wines and local tap beer. Unique, casual fine dining. 862 Main Ave., 970-259-2749, www.chimayodurango.com


Favorite longtime Durango restaurant, offering delicious and traditional Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine. Full bar and beautiful riverside patio. Parking. Dine in or take out. 1525 Main Ave., 970-259-0868, www.durangochinacafe.com













Popular south-side eatery, open for breakfast and lunch, whose goal is for you to leave with a smile. Specialty breakfasts, Mexican food, specialty sandwiches, burgers and salads. Catering, delivery and takeout. Prices from $4 to $10. 810 E. College Dr., 970-375-0117, www.cjsdiner.net

The secret recipe for smooth, creamy ice cream is to make it fresh daily in the store, and then customize it with your choice of mix-ins on a frozen granite stone, as Cold Stone does perfectly. Custom, signature ice-cream cakes, pies and cupcakes. 598 Main Ave., 970-259-5052, www.coldstonecreamery.com


Creative and large menu, fresh-roasted organic coffee, friendly folks and atmosphere. Daily, delicious specials and tried-and-true entrées. Everyone is treated like a regular at College Drive Café. Free Wi-Fi and cozy dining room. 666 E. College Dr., 970-247-5322, www.cafedurango.com


Staffed by high-school students who want experience. Sandwiches, yogurt, chips, fruit and cold drinks. Featuring baked goods from Bread and coffee from Desert Sun Coffee Roasters. It is the perfect snack spot for kids, library patrons and river-trail users. 1900 E. Third Ave. inside the Durango Public Library, 970-375-3380.


An 1890s bar with a stage for local and touring musicians. Offering martinis, wines, 14 beers on tap and fresh cocktails. Menu items made from scratch and eight sports screens. Everyone feels like a local. 725 Main Ave., 970-2475440, www.derailedpourhouse.com

Legendary Old West saloon in the heart of historic downtown. Famous ragtime piano, costumed Belle girls, cowboys and bartenders. Daily live music, lunch, happy hour and dinner. Sunday brunch. Gunfights Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30pm, June through October. 699 Main Ave. inside the Strater Hotel, 970-247-4431, www.strater.com/dining/diamond-belle-saloon/


Fast, friendly delivery or carryout. A variety of delicious pizzas, chicken wings, breadsticks, pasta, sandwiches, salads, sodas and more. Enjoy a classic meal anytime you crave it. Open for lunch, dinner and late night. 1485 Florida Rd., 970-259-3660, www.dominos.com


Voted the “best bagel in the Four Corners.” Freshly baked bagels, muffins, cinnamon rolls and pastries. Great breakfast selections and lunch bagel sandwiches. Takeout bag lunches. 106 E. Fifth St. next to the train depot, 970-385-7297.

Family sports eatery. Broasted chicken, 20-plus kinds of wings, most menu items under $12. HDTVs, satellite sports. Full menu and bar. Dine in or take out. 128 E. College Dr., 970-259-6322, www.cuckooschicken.com




Family-friendly menu selections to satisfy everyone of all ages. Serving delicious and classic breakfasts like pancake or egg platters; with seafood, salad and steak lunches and dinners, Denny’s provides affordable and delicious meals. 666 Camino del Rio, 970-247-1512, www.dennys.com

Coffee shop and café. Comfortable meeting place. Locally roasted coffees. 730 Main Ave., 970-259-1011, www.durangocoffee.com

A great place for a quick, affordable lunch or dinner, indoors or on the patio. Soon-to-be-famous specialty hot dawgs, fresh-cut fries and the best gyros in town. 600 Main Ave., 970-259-3647.

For a warming soup, a satisfying sandwich or mouthwatering burger, the airport deli is just the ticket. For a quick bite or just a place to relax while waiting for a plane, the Durango Deli is the perfect traveler’s haven. 1000 Airport Rd. inside the Durango-La Plata County Airport, 970-259-6964.

On historic Main Ave., “The Diner” is one of the town’s landmark eateries, known for its nostalgic no-frills meals and local camaraderie. Brand-name green chile and Southwest salsa are sold nationwide. Breakfast and lunch all day. 957 Main Ave., 970-247-9889, www.durangodiner.com

Fresh donuts and bagels, breakfast burritos, lunch favorites – something for everyone. Grab a breakfast burrito or bagel sandwich, or relax in the comfy dining room for a full breakfast or lunch. 2653 Main Ave., 970-247-1610, www.durangodoughworks.com


Nine convenient locations in Durango, Farmington and Aztec, serving the best espresso/coffee drinks, blended drinks and smoothies paired with tasty pastries, breakfast burritos, salads and sandwiches. Enjoy “legendary customer service”. Loyalty programs, fair trade and certified-organic coffees and teas. 40 Town Plaza, 970-375-7891; 732 E. College Dr., 970-375-2121; 3455 Main Ave., 970-375-6384; 331 S. Camino del Rio, 970-764-4848; 1211 Escalante Dr., 970-382-5911; www.durangojoes.com


Durango’s first and only community-owned food market and deli. The best local, organic produce; non-GMO groceries and bulk foods; locally raised meat and eggs; cruelty- free body-care products; and more. 575 E. Eighth Ave. at the corner of College and Eighth, 970-247-8129, www.durangonaturalfoods.coop

Award-winning, authentic New Mexican, Mexican and continental cuisine. Family-owned and operated since 1968, Francisco’s serves great steaks, fresh fish, chicken, pasta and salads. Senior and kid menu, daily specials, full bar with terrific margaritas. 639 Main Ave., 970-247-4098.

Voted Durango’s favorite for Mexican food and margaritas. Traditional northern New Mexican fare. Hatch red and green chiles. Carne Adovada, tamales, blue-corn enchiladas, stuffed sopapillas and vegetarian menu. Full bar. Parking. 431 E. Second Ave., 970-259-9494, www.gazpachodurango.com

Fresh ingredients and homemade tastes, the perfect place for an Italian lunch or dinner. Serving pizza and calzones, hot hero sandwiches and delicious pastas in a cozy family-owned atmosphere. 2477 Main Ave., 970-764-4727.


Dedicated to providing the highest quality specialty coffee along with unparalleled customer service. Serving a wide variety of coffee from around the world, connecting the Durango community in the process. 738 Main Ave. 970-259-2059, www.hermosacoffee.com

Locally owned café in the Animas valley north of town, the perfect stop on the way to the mountains. Delicious and unique egg dishes, pancakes, cinnamon rolls. Daily specials. Sandwiches, burgers, authentic gyros, salads. Full espresso bar. 32223 U.S. Hwy. 550 N., 970-247-0014, www.hermosacreekgrill.com


Locals’ hang-out. Unique appetizers and full bar. Happy-hour oysters, $9/ half-dozen. Slider night is Wednesday, $3.95/slider. Thursday Ladies’ Night, $5 drinks. Friday catfish night, $12.95. Great for private parties. 955 CO Hwy. 3, 970-385-7444, www.highway3roadhouse.com

Award-winning restaurant serving burgers from 100% grass-fed, USA-raised beef; turkey and vegan burgers; sweet and regular fries; salads. Indoor/ outdoor seating, kiddie corral. Vegan, allergy, gluten-free friendly. The American burger made healthy, ethical and delicious. Dine in or carry out. 726½ Main Ave., 970-247-1081, www.eatgrassburger.com




This very reasonably priced, popular southwestern and American diner serves fajitas, carnitas, enchiladas, smothered burrito plates and burgers. Vegetarian and kids’ meals and takeout. Great food and friendly service. Considered a classic, local favorite. 2603 Main Ave., 970-259-3558.

Tastes from such top-of-the-world regions as Nepal, India and Tibet. Daily gourmet lunch buffet. Dinner temptations include yak, lamb, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian. Fresh bread from the Tandoor oven. 992 Main Ave., 970-259-0956.

Gourmet pizza, salads and sandwiches, plus a full bar. Dine in, take out, or order online for in-town delivery. If you love fresh homemade pizza and friendly service, this is the place for you; just ask the locals. 441 E. College Dr., 970-259-5551 and 2915 Main Ave., 970-422-8337, www.homeslicedelivers.com


Voted Durango’s best happy hour, hottest date night, best dessert, best cocktail and best bartender. Full sushi bar, vegetarian options, sake, Asian beers, libations. Comfortable upscale, urban setting. Kids’ menu. 160 E. College Dr., 970-247-5533, www.eastbysouthwest.com


Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy stunning river views. Daily specials. Kids menu. For casual or celebratory events. For the healthyminded, the Edgewater Grille has its “eat right menu.” Easy-order takeout by phone. 501 Camino del Rio inside the DoubleTree Hotel, 970-382-3950.


Lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. El Moro is named after the early-1900s saloon that occupied the historic site. Comfortable, with exposed red-brick walls and hardwood floors. A “farm-to-table” restaurant featuring local fresh foods. 945 Main Ave., 970-259-5555, www.elmorotavern.com


Locally owned and operated since 2013, named for the famous peak near Chicago Basin. Featuring farm-to-table and vine-to-wine. Contemporary American cuisine. A fine array of local products. Elegant dining room, comfortable bar, rooftop patio with views. Reservations accepted. 919 Main Ave., 970-259-2898, www.eolusdurango.com


Family owned and operated and with a full bar, featuring the East Coast flavor of Sicilian or New York style pizza. Dough made fresh daily. Great salads, wings and soups. Private parties welcome. 600 Main Ave., Ste. 110, 970-385-0420, www.fathersdaughterpizza.com


Devoted to quality local and imported ingredients and the traditional method of artisan wood-fired baking. Always fresh, handmade, wood-fired pizza, sandwiches and salads. Gluten-free options, daily specials, full bar, family friendly, seasonal rooftop patio. 735 Main Ave., 970-247-0264, www.fireduppizzeria.com

54 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

How The West Was Won...

Just two blocks north of The D&SNGRR station, you’ll find Durango’s living history museum, the iconic Strater Hotel. Experience the old west in three local-favorite bars and restaurants — The Mahogany Grille, The Office Spiritorium and the famous Diamond Belle Saloon. Live entertainment from local singer/songwriters and famous ragtime pianists make a visit to The Strater a lively and memorable time. Fun…that’s how everyone wins! BREAKFAST • WEEKEND BRUNCH LUNCH • DINNER • LIVE MUSIC

Stay with us! BOOK DIRECT

Strater.com | 800.247.4431




Cozy, charming spot for breakfast, lunch and take-out box lunches. Delicious fresh sandwiches, tasty soups and salads. Baked goods include pumpkin bread, apple Danish, muffins and chocolate croissants. Event catering. 939 CO Hwy. 3, 970-385-5577, www.hottomatoescafe.com


Durango’s first “authentic” Irish pub. Warm and cheerful – Gaelic style – with décor and furnishings from the homeland. Subtle Irish music, Irish draughts and whiskeys. Hearty Irish comfort foods with a local touch. 900 Main Ave., 970-403-1200, www.theirishembassypub.com


Known locally as Bo’s, this fast, casual, family eatery serves pizza, ribs, grinders, burgers, salads, local microbrews and more. Pool tables, jukebox, video games, live music. Eat in, take out or delivery. 1301 Florida Rd., 970-2590010, www.jbosdurango.com


Where unforgettable food and memories are made. Experience a table-onthe-farm organic restaurant, farm market and ranch tours. 33846 U.S. Hwy. 550, 970-676-1023, www.jamesranch.net/harvestgrill


Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wine room for small business meetings or private dinner parties. Live classical and/or jazz music on the weekends. Traditional yet innovative dinner menu. Full bar. Reservations recommended. Top-rated sweets on Trip Advisor. 601 Main Ave., 970-247-7700.


The popular franchise has featured gourmet sandwiches since 1983. Jimmy John’s is known for its irreverent attitude, low prices, great and healthy food and speedy delivery, with more than 2,000 stores nationwide. 1316 Main Ave., 970-259-0577, www.jimmyjohns.com


Locally owned drive-through at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Camino del Rio. Shade-grown organic, fair-trade coffees. Energizing and satisfying espresso drinks, teas, smoothies and more. Grab-n-go breakfast and lunch. Fast and friendly. Get your Jitters organically. 802 Camino del Rio, 970-799-5282.


Delicious and traditional Southwestern foods along with Mexican and Native American dishes prepared fresh daily. Fast and efficient service; great prices and free parking. 325 S. Camino del Rio in the Centennial Center, 970-247-3536.


In Bodo Park behind the Comfort Inn. Breakfast and lunch, weekday specials. Choices for large and small appetites. Gluten-free and vegetarian options. Homemade baked goods, MSG-free sauces and chilies. Delivery and takeout. Breakfast served anytime. 171-A Suttle St., 970-247-4007.


Locals Ken and Sue Fusco invite you to be their guest. Creative and tasty food and great service at reasonable prices. Upscale, comfortable eatery. Year-round patio. Reservations are encouraged. 636 Main Ave., 970-385-1810, www.kenandsues.com


Taste Tuscany in the La Plata Mountains, just 10 miles west of Durango on Hwy. 160. Mediterranean and American-inspired cuisine, bistro setting. Extensive wines, full bar, takeout, ever-changing seasonal menu. Events and banquets welcome. Reservations accepted. 4 County Road 124, Hesperus, 970-247-5674, www.kennebeccafe.com


Recently changed to La Hacienda, this colorful family restaurant on the north side of town offers great margaritas and delicious, authentic Mexican food. 2850 Main Ave., 970-375-2492.


A live foods salad bar. Fresh, healthy, organic, cultured foods. Friendly, fun setting. Locally sourced food when possible, kombucha on draft. Grass-fed beef; cage-free, hormone-free chicken; salads. Compostable cutlery and dishes. 680 Main Ave., 970-286-0227, www.thelivingtreesaladbar.com


Classic Old West with western themed wall décor. The café serves hearty breakfasts such as steak and eggs. Lunch features burgers, classic sandwiches, soups and salads. Weekend-only dining menu features prime rib and rib eye steaks. 619 Main Ave., 970-764-4280, www.lonespurcafe.com


In the Main Mall downtown, this unassuming restaurant is small, but features a great Mexican menu and handcrafted margaritas. Friendly, comfortable atmosphere serving everyone’s favorite dishes, including “street” tacos and vegetarian platters. 835 Main Ave. #106, 970-764-4042, www.durangoamigos.com


Fresh and bursting with flavor, great dishes prepared with the highest quality ingredients. Authentic Mexican meals. Beto’s Burrito Bowl is a favorite! Great atmosphere, friendly service, affordable prices. Take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey. 1485 Florida Rd., 970-422-8540 and 275 E. Eighth Ave., 970-259-4108.


Sunny sidewalk patio in the heart of downtown. Most affordable sandwiches in town. Traditional or grilled panini. Breakfast burritos, salads, smoothies, espressos, house-brewed chai and fresh-made gelato. Selection of magazines, cards, games, puzzles, candy and sodas. 707 Main Ave., 970-259-1159.


Featuring something for everyone. Menu items crafted by their master with meats, produce and ingredients from local family-owned farms and ranches. 699 Main Ave. inside the Strater Hotel, 970-247-4431, www.strater.com/dining/the-mahogany-grille/


Traditional Italian cuisine crafted by East by Southwest owners Hydi and Sergio Verduzco, featuring delicious and unique antipasti, farinacei and insalate. Once inside, there’s a modern and comfortable design. Fun for the whole family. 150 E. College Dr., 970-247-5533, www.mammasilvias.com


Some of the town’s best and most delicious Chinese food. Traditional specialties: Szechuan, Hunan, Mandarin and 38 lunch specials. No MSG. Full menu for takeout. Full bar. Great location downtown. 909 Main Ave., 970-259-4836.


Fast and friendly service. Order from the dollar menu or the regular value meals. Enjoy favorites like the Big Mac and classic French fries. 201 W. College Dr., 970-247-2446, www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us.html



1305 ESCALANTE DRIVE SUITE 101 DURANGO, CO 81303 sunnysidefarmsmarket.com

56 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


Longtime Durango chef Michel Poumay brings authentic sweet and savory French crêpes to the heart of downtown. Each made fresh to order. Perfect to grab some unique fare to go, or dine on the patio. 598 Main Ave., 970- 769-0256, www.michelscorner.com


Located in the Walmart shopping center and featuring tasty Peking and Mongolian barbecue, plus Hunan, Chinese, Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine. A variety of beer and wine, free parking, and all-you-can-eat dishes. Dine in or take out. 1135 S. Camino del Rio #230, 970-259-7228, www.mongoliangrilldurangocolorado.com


From classic to contemporary cuisine, Mutu’s offers a menu that everyone in the family can enjoy. Culinary Olympic medalist owner/chef Rustin Newton creates delicious, savory dishes with fresh and local ingredients. Excellent wine selection, house-made lemongrass martinis. 701 E. Second Ave., 970-375-2701, www.mutusitaliankitchen.com


Durango’s great natural market is the largest provider of natural and organic products in the Four Corners. Fresh sandwiches, salads, soups and hot foods daily in the deli. Largest selection of supplements and beauty care products in the region. Also home to Jack’s Meat & Seafood, River Liquors and Serious Delights Bakehouse. Locally owned since 1993. 300 S. Camino del Rio, 970-247-1988, www.naturesoasismarket.com


Named after the Mexican state Nayarit, offering authentic Mexican food that cannot be found anywhere else in Durango. Best-known for the selection of tequilas and margaritas, fresh seafood and delicious tacos. 2525 Main Ave., 970- 385-1595, www.nayaritmexicandurango.com


Food so good, you won’t trust the water! Funky, casual Mexican restaurant with a unique take on traditional Mexican food. Giant burritos, grilled quesadillas and tasty tacos. A wide selection of world-famous margaritas and local beers. 552 Main Ave., 970-259-4221, www.ninistaqueria.com





Find all your favorites at this national chain pizzeria. Pan-style, stuffed crust, thin and crispy, or hand-tossed styles. Ask about the Pizza Supreme. Buffalo wings, bread sticks, salads, sodas and much more. Delivery and takeout. 1316 Main Ave., 970-259-2112, www.pizzahut.com

Just north of Durango on U.S. Hwy. 160. Rare treats or necessities, fresh produce, meat, poultry, seafood. Deli with the best salads, meats, cheeses. Freshly baked breads, sweets, pastries. Everyday groceries. Fresh local and regional products: coffee, snack chips, sodas, salsa, honey. 67 Trimble Crossing, 970-247-0100, www.pjsgourmetmarket.com

The resort offers fun, convenient bars and restaurants, including indoor and al fresco options. From pastries, salads, gourmet burgers, pizza, steak, pasta and fish entrées, choose a variety of delicious dining options. One Skier Place, 970-247-9000, www.purgatoryresort.com

Locals’ choice for healthy meals. Tasty wraps, deli sandwiches, breakfast burritos, vegetarian green chile, local organic coffee, and the very best fresh-fruit smoothies in town. Takeout orders welcome. 509 E. Eighth Ave., 970-375-9727, www.raiderridgecafe.simdif.com



Restaurateur Jimmy Nguyen, owner of Rice Monkeys, unrolled Pop Sushi. As executive chef, Ray Srisamer oversees a Japanese tapas restaurant with a full bar. Urban atmosphere, seating for 70. 42 County Road 250, #400, 970-422-8182, www.popsushidurango.com

Homemade dough grilled over an open fire and filled with the freshest ingredients. Local favorite: Southwest turkey club. Also, pulled-pork barbecue and chicken pesto panini. In the heart of downtown inside the Main Mall. 835 Main Ave., #107-B, 970-382-9868, www.rgpswraps.com



Primi, meaning first course in Italian, serves a unique and tasty variety of authentic and handmade pasta dishes, sauces, paninis, salads, gelato and wine. Offering a casual atmosphere to relax and enjoy. 1201 Main Ave., #102, 970-764-4138, www.primidurango.com


Chef John Daly III provides a beautiful array of fresh seafood, wild game and locally produced grains and produce in this tasteful setting. With both an upstairs and downstairs dining area, Primus offers a unique and exciting menu to those seeking to enliven their taste buds. 1017 Main Ave., 970-259-1945, www.primusrestaurant.com

Healthy, creative, delicious Asian food in a fast, friendly environment. Sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, traditional Vietnamese. Specialty rolls, rice bowls, egg rolls and platters with favorites such as ceviche, seared black-pepper tuna, Saigon noodles, beef pho, ginger chicken. To-go party platters, delivery. 1050 Main Ave., 970-403-3852, www.ricemonkeysdurango.com


Brought to you by the owners of Cuckoo's Chicken House & Waterin' Hole and The Animas City Theatre. Serving traditional American food like burgers, French fries and prime rib. Wide selection of beer and wine. Dine in or take out. 128 E. College Dr., 970 764-4661, www.theroostdurango.com


Lively place for great pizza, calzones, beer and spirits. Just three miles south of Purgatory Resort, across from Needles Country Store. Stop in after a great day of skiing! 46778 U.S. Hwy. 550 N., 970-259-2257, www.oldeschoolhousesaloon.com


Locals’ favorite for over 25 years! One of the Four Corners’ best patios. Superb salads, marvelous margaritas and huge burgers (voted Durango’s best). Full bar, plus 15 beers on tap. Handful of TVs. 1000 Main Ave., 970-259-2990, www.otcdurango.com


Established in 1972, the Ore House is one of Durango’s oldest and finest restaurants. Hand-cut, USDA-certified prime and choice steaks; sustainable wild seafood; seasonal produce; a selection of award-winning wines and handcrafted seasonal cocktails. Reservations encouraged. 147 E. College Dr., 970-247-5707, www.orehouserestaurant.com


Voted “Durango’s best breakfast,” a ’50s-style diner with a train. Homemade hash browns, chili verde, pancakes, omelets, biscuits and gravy, French toast, cinnamon rolls, soups, salads, homemade pies and shakes. Burgers, Reuben and club sandwiches. Kids’ menu. Takeout. 18 Town Plaza, 970-247-0526, www.oscarscafedurango.com


Celebrating over 45 years in Durango, The Palace offers traditional American cuisine. Open for lunch, dinner and in-between. Historic dining rooms, beautiful tavern for great cocktails and lighter fare. Happy hour 4–7pm. Gluten-free menu options. 505 Main Ave., 970-247-2018, www.palacedurango.com


Freshly prepared, ready to pop into the oven, pizzas from gourmet to “deLITE.” Including Papa’s All-Meat, Cowboy, Papa’s Favorite, Vegetarian. Gourmet, stuffed to thin, crispy crust, there’s a Papa Murphy’s pizza for everyone. 12 Town Plaza, 970-382-0961, www.papamurphys.com


% 10 OFF

% 20OFF



1 0+ BOTTLES, 750ML

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Located Next to Nature’s Oasis 300 South Camino del Rio | Durango, Colorado 81301 57



Changing dinner menu to showcase the area’s bounty. Wood-fired grill, great service, award-winning chef. Critically acclaimed, internationally awarded wine list. Main Avenue views, private-cellar dining, patio. Reservations encouraged. Dinner nightly beginning at 5:30pm. 764 Main Ave., 970-382-9790, www.seasonsofdurango.com


Local family bakery provides a wide variety of fresh breads, pastries and desserts, and proudly offers delicious gluten-free options. Treats are always handcrafted from scratch using local, organic ingredients when possible. Inside Nature’s Oasis market. 300 S. Camino del Rio, 970-403-1517, www.seriousdelights.com


A locals’ favorite with the wonderfully different, delicious and healthy foods of Thailand made with the freshest ingredients by native Thais. Call in, carry out or dine in. Very affordable, healthy and delicious. 519½ Main Ave., 970-385-9470.


Eat local while enjoying fresh craft beer right from the source. Built from repurposed shipping containers, Chef Jeremy Storm serves brick-oven pizzas, sandwiches, soups, salads, kids’ options. Live music on Thursday nights. 225 Girard St., 970-247-5792, www.skabrewing.com and www.containeroffood.com




Durango mountain dining with great mountain views of Engineer Peak. Steaks, wild game, fresh fish, poultry, soups, salads, homemade desserts since 1986. Kids’ menu, full bar, wines. One mile south of Purgatory Resort. Birthdays, reunions, weddings or a night out. 48475 U.S. Hwy. 550 inside Silverpick Lodge, 970-247-3527, www.sowseardurango.com









Known for great coffee and espressos, and for amazing and healthy breakfast burritos, quality baked goods, great soup and sandwich lunches in a fun, friendly café. 555 Rivergate Ln., #B1-103, 970-422-8558, www.singletrackcafe.com

Breakfast and main menu items all day like American classics like cheeseburgers and fries. Happy hour (half-price fountain drinks and slushes) every day, 2–5pm. Monthly specials. 240 E. Eighth Ave., 970-247-8160, www.sonicdrivein.com

Great spot for a casual lunch or dinner. Award-winning selection of beers, cocktails and wines. Nightly food and drink specials. World-famous Cajun Boil. Games on several TVs. 801 E. Second Ave., 970-259-9200, www.steamworksbrewing.com

Fast, inexpensive and ready to go when you are. Perfect for backpacks or picnics. Delicious salads and sandwiches. Fresh meats, crisp veggies, breads baked daily. 2101 Main Ave.,970-259-0887; 1537 Florida Rd., #101, 970-2472335; 20800 Hwy. 160 W., 970-259-1422; 1145 S. Camino del Rio, 970-382-9511; www.subway.com/en-us


A full-service retail butcher shop with a complete line of fresh meats, poultry, and seafood. Sunnyside Farms Market provides grocery and butcher shop needs, and also deli to-go orders. 1305 Escalante Dr., #101, 970-375-6400, www.sunnysidefarmsmarket.com


We Proudly Serve Only the Best


Fresh-brewed coffee, mochas, Frappuccinos, lattes, pastries, bagels and more. Outdoor seating. 6 Town Plaza inside South City Market, 970-247-4475; 311 W. College Dr. inside Albertsons, 970-382-2224; 3130 Main Ave. inside North City Market, 970-385-4340; 2817 Main Ave., 970-382-1783; www.starbucks.com

For dining options: Seven Rivers Steakhouse for upscale steaks and seafood; Willows Café Bistro for breakfast, lunch, dinner; Rolling Thunder Grill for pub fare; 49 Lounge for sports fans with TVs, a full bar and appetizers; Shining Mountain Café for Native American fare. 14324 County Road 172, Ignacio, 970-563-7777, www.skyutecasino.com

A cozy and inviting coffee shop in the popular Smiley Building. Serving fresh, local coffee from 81301 Coffee Roasters, breakfast burritos, salads, sandwiches and a delicious variety of home-baked, gluten-free goodies. 1309 E. Third Ave., 970-844-0771, www.thesmileycafe.com

Self-serve frozen yogurt at the corner of Main and College. The shop offers multiple flavors of the delicious, healthy treat plus over 40 toppings. Sodas, bottled water and other refreshments. 600 Main Ave. #105, 970-422-8088, www.topthatfrozenyogurtdurango.com

Locally grown, wild-harvested, living-foods lunch. Soup, salad, entrée, dessert for suggested $15 donation. Raw, organic, vegetarian and vegan ingredients. Sharing the Victorian brick building with Rocky Mountain Retreat. Patio in summer; warm (greenhouse) second floor in winter. Open Tuesday and Friday 11am-2pm. 848 E. Third Ave., 970-247-8395, www.turtlelakerefuge.org

Selected by Sunset Magazine as one of the best barbecue restaurants in the West. Smoked meats, huge sandwiches and legendary ribs. Outdoor deck. 18-hole mini golf at south location. 650 Camino del Rio, 970-259-9507 and 3535 N. Main Ave., 970-247-2240, www.serioustexasbbq.com

For an authentic steakhouse experience, this restaurant wows with selections of mussels, giant prawns, lump crab, scallops and shrimp. Prime cuts of beef, such as petite filet and New York strip. Beautiful décor. Reservations available. 14324 County Road 172, Ignacio, inside Sky Ute Casino Resort, 970-563-6235, www.skyutecasino.com/dining/seven-rivers/


Featuring unique Mexican-inspired street food like Sonora dogs, elote and tacos; fresh cocktails; affordable prices; fun, laid back environment. 741 Main Ave., 970-422-8074, www.switchbacktaco.com


Fast becoming a local favorite with hickory-smoked barbecue, po’ boys, fresh-ground burgers and Creole fare. Newly renovated interior. Largest patio in downtown, with a horseshoe pit and great views. Eat in, take out, delivery, catering. #3 Depot Pl., 970-259-6000, www.tssmokehouse.com

Double Bogo Shots Starting at $6

Featuring live music, vintage decor, full bar, delicious food from a food truck and fun for the whole family. A great gathering place to relax and enjoy. 3062 Main Ave., www.unionsocialhouse.com

Jack's...Your cleanest, friendliest, full-service meat market in Southwest Colorado Thank you for supporting us during shelter-in-place, and always.


Hola! For an authentic Mexican food experience, Tequila’s is highly inventive; always surprising customers with their daily specials. Known for the town’s best margaritas. Wonderful food, drinks and great service that you won’t soon forget! 948 Main Ave., 970-259-7655, www.tequilasmexicandurango.com

North Main at 25th St. TWO LOCATIONS 970.385.1595

South at Walmart Plaza 970.259.4114

In the Grandview area. Gourmet coffee/espresso drinks, teas, smoothies, bagels, healthy breakfast sandwiches, delicious burritos and fresh in-house baked goods. Hot, toasted lunch sandwiches, soups, and salads. Free Wi-Fi. Open Tuesday–Saturday from 6am-2pm, Sunday 6am-12pm. 28902 U.S. Hwy. 160 E., 970-385-5747.


Hot, juicy 100-percent pure beef burgers, savory chicken sandwiches, garden sensation salads, delicious French fries and frosty shakes. Try the Baconator! Take out or eat in. Drive-through until midnight. 1840 Main Ave., 970-247-4505, www.wendys.com


Modern dining from Sari Brown. Creative vegetarian choices including roasted cauliflower with kale rice; mango and coconut curry; Tomato Bombs with cabbage, raisins and caramel vinaigrette. Also featuring bisque, chowders, steaks, chicken, ribs, grits and burgers. Catering available. 3206 Main Ave. #1, 970-259-3773, www.theyellowcarrot.com

Order online: NayaritMexicanDurango.com

Dgo Mag_ACC- 2020.pdf 1 2/28/2020 1:32:16 PM


Fresh-Mex: burritos, quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas, tamales, soups, fish tacos, salads, rice bowls. Beer and margaritas. Daily specials, kids’ menu. Eat in, take out, catering. Online ordering at ChowNow. 3101 Main Ave., 970-247-3355 and 400 S. Camino del Rio, 970-247-1002, www.ziatauqeria.com

C chocolate & coffeeo. est. 2011


Located Inside Nature’s Oasis



Known for “thinking outside the bun” with original tacos, burritos, gorditas, Mexican pizza, chalupas, nachos, cheese roll-ups, quesadillas, taquitos and taco salad. Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, extra cheese, rice, beans. 2902 Main Ave., 970-259-5588, www.tacobell.com

Tacos, enchiladas, tamales, burritos, guacamole and chile rellenos. Everyone’s favorite Mexican dishes in the Three Springs neighborhood. Beer and wine. Fresh, authentic Mexican food. New “fast-casual” eatery seats nearly 100. Family-operated by Silvia, Juan and Miguel Aguayo. 150 Confluence Ave. #101-C, 970-422-8399, www.tacoboycolorado.com

Our Famous Margaritas 4 servings: $21

Online ordering for take out



Take Out Specials




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970.247.1988 • 300 S. Camino del Rio • Durango, CO

Tucked inside the Alpine Bank at 11th and Main, authentic Thai cuisine such as spring rolls, egg rolls, chicken satay, crab Rangoon, wonton soup, chicken peanut salad, pad Thai noodles, curry dishes and stir-fry. Eat in or carry out. 101 W. 11th St., 970-385-3903, www.durangomenus.com/thai_kitchen.html

WWW.ANIMASCHOCOLATECOMPANY.COM 920 MAIN AVE. | Durango, colorado | 970.317.5761

58 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall




Back in the day, before the convenience of freezers and sumptuously stocked grocery stores, folks would flock to the sale barn to purchase cattle and pigs that they’d take home to raise for Sunday dinners. Beyond practicality, sale barns provided a social outlet, a gathering space for ranchers and farmers to talk shop and share food. In Durango, these stockyards and auction blocks sat near the present-day Home Depot location, above the Animas River, below the purple cliffs. Though the odiferous whiffs are a thing of the past, the spirit of those bygone days lives on at the Purple Cliffs at Escalante, a 43,000-square-foot multi-use conglomeration of condominiums, doctor’s offices, a yoga studio, and the Sunnyside Farms Market. With a foundation rooted in the soils of yesteryear’s ag history, this modern-day building complex is owned and operated by the Zink family, a fifth-generation, Four Corners-based, farm-and-ranch dynasty. With a lineage of cattlemen and sheep growers, the Zinks are no longer in the livestock business, but their homesteads thrive as Centennial Farms bookending the Animas Valley, with Waterfall Ranch spanning County Road 203 to the north and Sunnyside Farms settled south of Durango on County Road 216. Renowned for their work ethic, the Zinks have their sleeves rolled up in a variety of La Plata County endeavors, from wetland conservation and cycling legacies to health care and waterblast tools. As one of the fifth-generation daughters, Holly Zink grew up watching her elders’ stick-to-itiveness and commitment to the community. She has fond memories of running amuck in the fields and can recall managing the gut bucket during her first lamb slaughter when she was six years old. After graduating from Durango High School, Zink moved to Boulder for college and worked in the meat and seafood department of a grocery store. She loved the work, so continued her studies at Colorado State University, in the meat sciences 60 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Photos by Candace Cross/Haroun + Smith Photography

program, while seeking out volunteer jobs on the kill floors of family-owned packing houses to learn all she could about sustainable, humane practices in the industry. A female working on the kill floor was a rare sight indeed, but Holly was confident in the role. In 2002, she moved back to Durango and joined forces with her dad, Jerry, to open Sunnyside Farms Meats (the only USDA-inspected meat-packing business in Durango) and Sunnyside Farms

Market. Eighteen years later, Zink not only runs the packing business and market but also a bistro and mercantile-style grocery store, featuring take-and-bake items, dry goods, dairy products, and hard-tofind treats like truffle salt and vanilla bean paste. “I was 25 when I opened the fledgling version of what we’re doing now,” says Zink. “I wasn’t even sophisticated enough to envision something like a full-service, one-stop shop at that point.” As the ground-floor fixture of the Purple Cliffs complex, Sunnyside collaborates with neighboring nutritionists and medical practitioners. When clients need to make a health change or have a specific diet request, doctors and alternative therapists can write up a shopping list of items that can be procured from downstairs. If Sunnyside doesn’t carry it yet, they’ll find it. “It’s the kind of place where you can get a bag of flour, a bamboo sushi mat, and a steak,” laughs Zink. To support healthier eating habits, the bistro welcomes diners to indulge in fresh, creative dishes inspired by the weather and the season, using only the highest quality ingredients sourced from Colorado farms and ranches. Sunnyside’s talented chefs tout résumés from some of the region’s most iconic restaurants, including the Ore House, Dunton Hot Springs, and Seasons Rotisserie & Grill. One of their specialties is figuring out ways to use as much of the

animal as possible. “We’ve constantly got chicken, pork, beef, lamb, or pork bones and trimmings going in our steam kettles, producing these silky, gorgeous, nutritious broths we use in our cooking,” says Zink. “We also sell the stocks and broths in the store, so people can make their own soups and sauces.” Alongside local meats, greens, and baked goods, diners will find cosmopolitan fare, like French onion, Swiss cheese, and Dijon mustard accompanying the mouthwatering selection of sandwiches and salads. House-made sauces, like Thousand Island, er, Many Island Aioli, can be enjoyed on Sunnyside’s famous Reuben. While the restaurant seats up to 30 people, with more space outside, curbside pickup and to-go orders are also available. “The most fun thing about all this is developing deep relationships with the people we’ve served for so many years and building new relationships with people who we didn’t know existed,” says Zink. “Like the sale barns from generations ago, it’s really designed to be a community gathering place for food, commerce, and agriculture.” Sunnyside Farms Market is located at 1305 Escalante Drive, Suite 101, and is open Monday through Saturday 8am-7pm and Sunday 10am-6pm. The Deli and Bistro are open Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. For to-go orders, call (970) 375-6400. 61

CONTENTS: 64 66 70 72 79


Jim Bommarito

62 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall



Be Well, Be Centered Whether you hiked a mile on a local trail or took a 15-mile trek into the high country, a pedicure might be just the remedy for your feet. Whether you took a leisurely cruiser bike ride on the river trail, a challenging road-bike ride over Coal Bank Pass, or a dirt-loving mountain-bike ride on one of the area’s many mountain-bike trails, you could probably benefit from a soak. Maybe you went kayaking or paddleboarding. Or you worked in the yard all day. Maybe you were hunched over your computer, steeped in a project for work. You get the picture. If your day was physically or mentally challenging, you deserve to reward yourself. Durango has many choices for resetting both your body and your psyche. Experience the ultimate at Woodhouse Day Spa, where you will leave feeling pampered and relaxed. Durango Aesthetics and Wellness offers many treatments for the well-being of your skin. If you need rejuvenated, they have the cure. Take a break for a soak or a swim in the natural mineral springs at Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa. Finish with a sauna or massage, and be recharged for your next adventure. No matter how you choose to spend your day, if it is mentally or physically challenging, for work or fun, be sure to reward yourself with a visit to one of Durango’s revitalizing day spas.

64 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall




Welcome to The Woodhouse Day Spa. From the moment you arrive, you’ll realize this spa is like no other. Your Woodhouse Day Spa has been created to give you the ultimate experience of escape and indulgence that you deserve. They believe your day at the spa should be more than just a great spa treatment; it should be a great experience from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. Enjoy the ambience, a cup of tea, spa water, or mimosa while you prepare to indulge in your choice of over 70 rejuvenating spa treatments.

Aesthetics and Wellness is the only MedSpa in Durango and the surrounding area that offers Ultherapy Ultrasound Treatment for skin tightening and lifting. PDO Threads offer a nonsurgical facelift through the insertion of very fine medicalgrade suture to stimulate collagen. Neocollagenesis is the making of new collagen for tighter and smoother skin. In addition to their aesthetic treatments, they have IV infusion therapy to replenish hydration and nutrients so that you can live more optimally. Feel your best inside and out with all of their amazing treatments!

Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa is located in the Animas Valley, just seven miles north of downtown Durango and 16 miles south of Purgatory Resort. Previously known as Trimble Hot Springs, the natural geothermal mineral springs have a reputation as a source of healing and wellness. Much of this mystique comes from the unique character of the hot springs water, with its balanced blend of minerals. The amazing natural water from the hot springs has no sulfur odor and embraces you with a feeling of being rejuvenated and refreshed after soaking. The hot springs and spa were acquired by new owners in 2019, with the intent of preserving its rich history while updating and improving the facilities and property. Durango Hot Springs is currently undergoing major renovations, which include 22 mineral soaking pools, a new 25-meter, saltwater resort-style pool, and a completely renovated spa. The new design and amenities create spaces for privacy while also being able to host families and small events. Attention to ADA accessibility is also a large part of the design. Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa is truly a place to ease your body and revive your spirit.

1521 MAIN AVENUE www.durango.woodhousespas.com 970-247-7769

The Woodhouse team of dedicated professionals possesses a genuine desire for your overall well-being and will make your experience the ultimate retreat. Choose from a variety of advanced body and skin-care treatments, from their famous nurturing facials to invigorating body treatments in their Vichy shower. Succumb to their Swedish, deep-tissue, or their 90-minute volcanic hotstone massage. Relax while enjoying their expert manicures and pedicures, giving you the maximum benefits in relaxation and transformation, from head to toe. At The Woodhouse Day Spa, you’ll find that it’s not the journey but the destination. Whether for a day or an hour, friends’ day out, bridal shower, birthday or anniversary, Woodhouse is ready to deliver the experience you deserve! SERVICES INCLUDE: • Body Treatments • Foot Treatments • Hand Treatments • Massage Therapy • Skin Care • Sleep Treatments • Spend a Day With Us Packages • Waxings • Woodhouse Signature Services

555 RIVERGATE LANE, UNIT B2-134 www.AestheticsDurango.com 970-799-3610 (call/text)

Aesthetics and Wellness is located at 555 Rivergate Lane, Unit B2-134, just south of downtown Durango. Call for a free consultation to determine your best aesthetic plan. Aesthetics and Wellness of Durango offers a wide variety of skin-health and anti-aging treatments, including the following: • Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin (neuromodulators to smooth fine lines) • Dermal fillers such as Radiesse, Restylane, and Versa for the liquid facelift, fine lines, and lip augmentations • Ultherapy non-surgical face lift • PDO Thread lift • Kybella to diminish the appearance of a double chin • Microneedling facials with your own platelet-rich plasma • IPL Photofacial for “evening-out” skin • IV infusion therapy • Medical-grade facials and products • LED teeth whitening • Laser hair reduction

6475 COUNTY ROAD 203, DURANGO 81301 www.durangohotspringsresortandspa.com 970-247-0111

SERVICES INCLUDE: • Hot springs soaking pools • Massage and spa treatments • Dry-finish sauna • Lodging rentals • Gift certificates


has recently graduated from high school enters the workforce and has opportunities that are beyond entry level. The aim of Durango High School’s post-secondary education programs and the Homegrown Talent Initiative is to change that. While the program is still in its infancy, it is already seeing promise. According to Thurston, “We have had some local head chefs coming in and giving lectures and really spending time with our students.” When you add in the time students get to spend onsite through the internship program, the curriculum covers much more than just the basic training on how to be a server. “These kids are getting an idea of all the things that go into running a business. They are learning about everyone’s job within the organization, and their


ondary programs at Durango High School, funding from the initiative will allow the school to hire more teachers, as well as train current staff in new techniques. Thurston maintains that “Rural schools especially have a huge need for training their staffs on new equipment.” Teachers will take externships to local businesses so they can learn new business techniques. With the school receiving a revamped computer lab, new welding equipment, graphic tablets, and 3D printers and scanners as part of the program, the faculty training will allow the school’s staff to be proficient in

teaching today’s newest technologies. In the long run, Thurston hopes the program will allow Durango’s businesses to be staffed by homegrown talent. “This isn’t an inexpensive place to live. We want to give our kids the tools they’ll need to make a living that affords them a good quality of life so they can stay here and raise their families in Durango.” If the plan succeeds, Durango businesses will have the luxury of finding great employees in their backyards, and the town could become all the more attractive to companies looking for a place to call home.

Photos courtesy of Durango High School


“I wish I’d learned that in school!” “When I was a kid I didn’t learn anything in class that applies to my job today.” “I wish my high school had given me skills for the real world.” These sentiments and others like them are commonly uttered in our society. If you haven’t said something along these lines yourself, then you’ve surely heard someone else express a similar thought. It’s a problem in our education system—the shortage of transferable skills. This lack of real-world training doesn’t just hurt the students; business owners constantly express frustration over the lack of well-prepared help entering the workforce today. For them, it means they often have to invest large chunks of time and money to train new employees before they start contributing to the bottom line. Fortunately for students and businesses, a new program at Durango High School is tackling this issue head-on in an effort to better prepare students for the careers that lie ahead of them. The program is the Homegrown Talent Initiative, a collaborative effort between the Colorado Education Initiative and Colo-

66 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

rado Succeeds, a nonprofit organization of business leaders that are giving educators tangible ways to better prepare their students. After going through an application process, Durango High School was selected by the Homegrown Talent Initiative as one of just eight Colorado schools to participate in the program. The program’s aim is to develop transferable skills within the school’s student body. It is aiming to do so with a big investment. “The program gave us $50,000 up front,” said Brandon Thurston, Durango High School’s point person for the program and an assistant principal at the school. “The really exciting thing is that the program also provides a two-for-one match on any funds we raise locally. We had an event where we raised $10,000 for the program through fundraising in the community, and all of a sudden that $10,000 has become $30,000.” The program includes a student internship program that was developed in conjunction with the Colorado Workforce Council. Its aim is to get kids out of the classroom and into community work environments. Students and education administrators are not the only ones excited about the program’s potential. The Homeowners Association of the Southwest and the Colorado Restaurant Association have also gotten involved with the program and are excited about the possibilities.

“First and foremost it’s an opportunity to build their work pipelines,” said Thurston. “Not only are they crafting their pipelines, but organizations that partner with us also have the unique opportunity to project what their needs are going to be 10 to 15 years out and shape the curriculum that the next wave of students entering the workforce will be learning in order to meet the needs of the business.” It is not often that an 18-year-old who learning experience is multifaceted.” Another unusual piece of the program is the amount of influence students can wield in it. Nick Huber, a sophomore at Durango High School, has traveled the state and visited all of the other schools involved with the program in order to understand the needs of Colorado as a whole. In doing so, he got to be a part of the conversations that shaped the program he’ll be learning in over the rest of his time in high school. The Homegrown Talent Initiative’s focus on developing student leadership is an important feature, and administrators are confident that giving students a voice in shaping their own curriculum will help create an emotional investment in the program. This voice also ensures that they will be able to study topics that feel relevant to their futures. In addition to improving the curriculum and changing the focus of the post-sec-




BEFORE 68 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Alpine Heli Tours offers private helicopter tours departing from Animas Airpark, just minutes from Downtown Durango, CO Schedule your Heli Tour Today! Call 970-759-7482 or Visit alpinehelitours.com




Tiffany Jacot

You might notice a plethora of cars heading into Durango the last weekend of September. Somewhere on the roof, hitch, or maybe even in the rear cargo area will be a BMX bike or two. The drivers and passengers of these vehicles will come from all over the state. Durango draws folks from Front Range cities like Denver and Colorado Springs, mountain towns along the I-70 corridor like Grand Junction and the tiny BMX mecca of Fruita, northern outposts like Steamboat Springs, and everywhere in between. All of Colorado will come to Durango for the 2020 USA BMX Colorado State Championship. The event is expected to bring up to 1,500 people to town. This isn’t the first time the event has come to the Western Slope; the track in Montrose was known as the top for many years, and Grand Junction has hosted a number of times over the past decade. This will be the first time Durango BMX hosts the annual competition. After holding state qualifiers in the past, Durango finally landed the championships for 2020. The awarding of the event to Durango BMX was the product of years of hard work. The event gets awarded based on a twofold points system. Riders must purchase a license to race at the track, so the first part of the equation is based on how many athletes buy a license for that track. The second part of the points system is based on how many riders complete at least five races there. To have riders complete five or more races, there have to be races

70 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

to compete in. Durango BMX has created a community around its Friday-night races, which take place every Friday night beginning in late April or early May and continue into October. Durango BMX’s head coach, Jordan Rupe, worked alongside the new track operator, Todd Burdick, not only to create a consistent schedule of races but also to put together a track that people would find both fun and challenging. Rupe and Bur-

dick work with an army of volunteers who put in hundreds of hours of work. The hard work and passion of the volunteers drew the attention of Durango’s Parks and Recreation Department, which gave funding to the track. Those dollars helped pay for the addition of a brand-new state-of-the-art start gate for riders, and they helped make it possible for Durango BMX to haul in dirt to work on the jumps and turns at the track.

The community of families that comes out on Friday nights to compete or cheer on their family members is perhaps the biggest key to Durango BMX’s growth and success. The all-inclusive community includes families from Bayfield, Ignacio, Aztec, and Farmington, in addition to Durango. Though BMX can be an expensive sport, Durango BMX has found ways to make sure any young rider who is interested in the sport has the chance to get on the track and ride. There are scholarship programs for kids who might not have the means to otherwise compete, as well as loaner-bike programs for those families that want to try the sport out before investing in an expensive bike. Local parent Teresa Foutz discovered the program a few years ago when she and her son were out on a local trail on his Strider bike. They ran into some riders from the BMX program, out practicing with coach Jordan Rupe. “It looked like an amazing thing for kids to do,” said Foutz. A few short years later her son was a 2018 Colorado state champion in his age bracket. While Foutz and other parents rave about Durango BMX Jordan Rupe's and Todd Burdick’s excellent coaching abilities and incredible acumen when it comes to all things BMX, they also realize that there are important lessons being learned that go well beyond the BMX track. “It’s all about family,” said Foutz.

Scott Griggs

“There are so many wonderful families involved from all over the Four Corners area, and so many wonderful families who volunteer. The program is just so inclusive. We have boys and girls and men and women. We have the three- and four-year-old kids, as well as parents in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, all out there on Friday nights having a great time and riding as a community. Jordan and Todd are great BMX coaches, but they are also teaching the kids sportsmanship while helping them strive to be better racers. I have loved it so much for my son, because the coaches are great mentors, and

Scott Griggs

they teach respect. They teach the kids that at the end of the race you shake the other riders’ hands.” With over 50 young riders on Strider bikes licensed last year, the future certainly seems bright for Durango BMX.

Corbet Hoover



Photos courtesy of Reynolds Ash + Associates


As travelers, we collect inspiration from the places we visit, bringing home remnants of the world beyond our front doors. In Durango, the owner of a contemporary Italian farmhouse, perched among Gambel oaks and ponderosa pines, displays these cosmopolitan fragments in the construction of his dream home, a celebration of imagination with no passport required. Beyond envisioning windows that frame Raider Ridge from the breakfast nook and Perins Peak from the dinner table, the owner’s ultimate goal was to incorporate old-world materials into an exquisite masterpiece. To accomplish this goal, he chose to work with two word-ofmouth recommendations: The McCullough Group, owned by Sam McCullough, who has worked as a full-service builder in Durango for more than 20 years; and Tracy

72 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Reynolds, of Reynolds Ash + Associates, who has been designing custom homes and major commercial projects in the region since 1997. The owner initially provided Reynolds a home design for the unique, in-town site that had been completed for a previous owner. Those plans quickly went into the trash, and Reynolds and the owner put their heads together to come up with a custom design. After a number of iterations, and three to four exercises of staking out the home on the site, the two achieved a design that captured every prime vista while also meeting the owner’s special requirements. Meanwhile, contractor McCullough worked closely with the owners, using the RA+A blueprints, to approach the one-year project like putting together a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

“The most important piece of all is getting inside the client’s head to understand and figure out how to build a one-of-a-kind design,” says McCullough. “The client has an engineering mind yet wanted something very unique. So every decision was thought about three or four different ways.” A build-as-you-go mentality was adopted for this truly custom home, often requiring design to follow whatever materials could be sourced. Working closely with the owners, styles were pulled from various time periods, interior and exterior finishes improvised in tune with the build. To find the eclectic pieces, McCullough set out on a scavenger hunt that connected him with farms in the Deep South and across the Atlantic to the Italian countryside. As these treasures found their way to Durango, McCullough would carefully unpack each piece to ensure that none of the original 100-year-old patina was scratched or removed. The hunt was only the beginning of a meticulous process, requiring McCullough to launch all the joinery work by hand tooling, which utilizes tools powered by hand rather than a motor. In both form and function, the wood selection was naturally the most critical element of the quest. Heftier than new lumber, the 100-year-old reclaimed barn timbers McCullough found reveal the original mortise-and-tenon connections and wood dowels from the barns they once supported. Each timber truss was carefully selected, labeled, graded, and installed based on its individual character and appearance, resulting in an intricate display of beam work. Reynolds “reverse engineered” these beams in many cases to determine

which timbers would be adequate for each unique location in the home. “We think the old Southern farmer would be proud of his old barn wood,” says McCullough. Complementing the wood, copper barn gutters grab the eye upon entry to a vestibule leading through a timber-framed hall to the airy living space, where a stony fireplace calls for a good book and a stiff drink on a wintry night. A reclaimed-wood stairway decked with ironwork invites a trip upstairs, while a pivoting bookshelf surprises as a decoy for a hidden library buried within the walls. Throughout the house, many of the walls and floors feature bricks pulled from 100-year-old buildings in Chicago, some bearing the stamp from the original manufacturer. Before a mix of off-whites and reds were hand-picked and installed in a precise pattern, McCullough and team pulled roughly 15 bricks to construct a mini wall. After eight of these samples were erected, the owner was able to choose the perfect tint of grout. With the brick warmed by morning light flooding in from the kitchen windows, a cup of coffee can be savored while whoever is on breakfast duty slices bread and chops veggies for omelets at the enormous island. A gourmet, the owner was compelled to see the island’s sink base fashioned from pickle barrels. Any leftover barrel parts were used to create the floating tabletop in the kitchen booth, while barrel side products were emphasized with retrofitted hardware. Retrofitted hardware commands at-



tention in the master bathroom, too, on the custom shaker cabinet, old-world sinks, and turn-of-the-century faucets. The faucets were disassembled and refinished to satisfy the keen eye of the owner, who also collaborated with McCullough to craft a custom claw-foot tub, while imported Italian “graffiti” porcelain punctuates the shower.

74 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


With the accent of brick and the clean lines of hardwood shaping each room, the décor calls for easy textures, like linen and wool, oil-rubbed bronze, and simple, sleek furniture. Glass and ceramic light fixtures softly illuminate stone countertops, farmhouse-style sinks, and other vintage relics. From the roof to the walls, the entire home is enveloped with a full closed-cell foam insulation package, eliminating thermal breaks and ensuring that the farmhouse is far from the drafty structure it emulates. No sound of wind whips through these beams, and a calming quiet owns the ambiance, thanks to high-efficiency boilers and appliances. To prevent creaks and moans, humidification keeps the woodwork joinery tight and the plants and people inside feeling healthy. On the outside, striking reclaimed siding is the star of the show, with three different “weatherings” and thicknesses. Cut logs and antique fence material bring the siding together seamlessly, a fastidious progression of trial and error with the added challenge of not damaging the hundred-

year-old patina. Sticking with the theme, the exterior doors were stripped down, scraped, and finished to resemble weather-worn barn doors. “None of the reclaimed material was stained, requiring the exposed faces and edges of all material to be handled with great care,” says McCullough, who focuses on only one or two custom projects a year. A covered walkway graced by a couple of aspen trees and Adirondack chairs leads to a barn garage off the south side of the house. The woodwork here, accentuated by clerestory windows, might classify this structure as the most stunning reclaimed barn in La Plata County. The inside features custom car lifts and a storage-loft lift created by the owner. Handcrafted garage doors rise 20 feet into the air over the car lifts in masterful detail. “This was a true challenge that in the end makes you feel really proud of what client, builder, and architect can accomplish in a great partnership,” says McCullough. “It’s the kind of project that helps us fulfill our dream to do good work in Durango, so we can stay and play in Durango.” 75





Durango’s oldest and largest nursery

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A Shared Blanket .....................................................................................19 Aesthetics and Wellness Durango ......................................65, 68 Affordable Blinds ....................................................................................76 AJ Road Company...................................................................................75 Alpine Heli Tours .....................................................................................69 Animas Chocolate & Coffee Co ......................................................59 Animas Museum ..................................................................................... 27 Animas Trading Company ..................................................................18 April’s Garden ............................................................................................43 Artesanos .....................................................................................................18 Backcountry Experience ....................................................................39

Bar D Chuckwagon ................................................................................43 Brown’s Sport Shoe ................................................................................15 Center of Southwest Studies ...................................................30, 43 Closets Plus ................................................................................................77 Coffee Bear Silverton ........................................................................... 47 Controlled Hydronics Plumbing and Mechanical ...............77 Crow’s Closet ............................................................................................39 Durango Arts Center .............................................................................33 Durango Craft Spirits .............................................................................19 Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa .........................................7, 65 Durango Kids Pediatric Dentistry.................................................67

Dear World, In a time when we needed to stay home, we realized we really wanted to, after all. The very best journeys are the ones that take you home. We want you to love yours. The Sachs Custom Home Crew


sachsconstructionllc.com 970.749.7304

78 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Durango Mountain Realty..................................................................69 Durango Nursery .....................................................................................76 Durango Organics ..................................................................................34 Durango Rug Company .......................................................................19 Durango Smoke Shop .......................................................................... 27 Durango Spas ...........................................................................................23 Earthen Vessel Gallery ....................................................................5, 31 Eolus ...............................................................................................................54 Fallen Angel, The ......................................................................................14 Fort Lewis College ....................................................................................9 Fort Lewis Community Concert Hall ..........................................33 Genesis Land and Waterscapes ....................................................77 Gold Law Firm, The .................................................................................12 Grand Imperial Hotel ............................................................................46 Guild House Games ................................................................................15 Jack’s Meats, Poultry, Seafood ........................................................58 James Ranch Market & Grill .............................................................49 Joyful Nook Gallery .................................................................................31 Kennebec Wealth Management ....................................................69 Maria’s Bookshop ....................................................................................15 Music in the Mountains ......................................................................33 Nature’s Oasis ...........................................................................................53 Nayarit Mexican Casual Cousin .....................................................59 Old Hundred Mine Tour ....................................................................... 47 Parade of Homes ................................................. Inside back cover Pine Needle Mountaineering ...........................................................14 Pleasant Journey Alpacas ................................................................. 27 Primus ............................................................................................................13 ReLove Consign & Design .................................................................15 Reynolds Ash + Associates .............................................................80 River Liquors ............................................................................................. 57 Sachs Residential Construction, LLC ......................................... 78 San Juan Symphony .............................................................................33 Scenic Aperture .......................................................................................30 Silver Summit RV .................................................................................... 47 Silverton Chamber of Commerce ................................................. 47 Silverton Soapbox .................................................................................. 47 Soaring Tree Top Adventures ...................................... Back cover Sorrel Sky Gallery ..........................................Inside front cover, 31 Southwest Vapor ....................................................................................34 Sparrow Mercantile, The .....................................................................18 Sky Ute Casino & Resort ........................................................................1 Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum ................................32 Strater Hotel ...............................................................................................55 Sticks & Stones Handmade .............................................................30 Stitch Quit & Sewing Boutique .......................................................18 Studs Lumber ...........................................................................................75 Sun Glass Durango ................................................................................76 Sunnyside Farms Market ...................................................................56 Tailwind Nutrition ...................................................................................39 Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant .........................................................49 Tippy Canoe ................................................................................................14 Toh-Atin Gallery ...................................................................................5, 31 UltraSteam/RugMasters .....................................................................75 Urban Market .............................................................................................18 Woodhouse Day Spa, The ..........................................................62, 64 Yarns, Threads & More ........................................................................ 27 Ye Olde Shoppe Durango Upholstery..........................................68

Lisa Parker’s

PUPPIES Surrounded by a litter of abandoned newborn puppies she was bottle-feeding every three hours, Lisa Parker came to the realization that it was time to turn her 20 years of individually rescuing dogs and puppies into a viable organization to save even more. She quit her job as a cocktail waitress, formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, recruited a board of directors, and pressed “go.” In the ensuing five and a half years, Lisa Parker’s Puppies (LPP) has rescued and successfully adopted over 500 dogs and puppies, while another 200 have been transferred from “high kill” shelters to areas seeking adoptable dogs. LPP occupies a unique niche within the animal rescue community while working closely with area humane societies, veterinarians, and spay-and-neuter programs. While LPP now has a headquarters at 2980-B North Main Avenue, you won’t find stacks of kennels or dog runs. Instead LPP is a foster-based program where, after initial assessments and health checks, animals are placed with one of the many foster homes in Parker’s network. In a foster home, the pups learn to interact with people, other dogs, cats, children, chickens, and whatever else is part of that family. The

animals are well socialized and closely observed for any health or behavioral issues. They are all crate, leash and (basically) potty trained before they are “adoptable.” They come to the foster home vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped, and ready to find their forever home. Because of the foster-based program, Lisa and her volunteers are able to appropriately match mutt and master. Personality, energy level, eagerness to learn, and adaptability are all factors Lisa takes into account with her adoptions. Plus, adopting from LPP includes free training classes, and Lisa is eager to answer any questions or solve any problems that arise. The end result? Lots of abandoned dogs and puppies are rescued, rehabilitated, and placed in loving homes. And while the name says “puppies,” close to 40 percent of LPP’s rescues are adult dogs. So if you’re looking for a four-legged companion, check her website (www.lisaparkerspuppies.com) or Facebook page to see who is currently adoptable and when there will be a scheduled meet and greet, or to learn more about the organization. LPP is always looking for new foster families for her rescues. Fostering lasts from a week to several months. Along with a professional canine behaviorist, LPP provides training to new foster families, who describe it as

invaluable with their own dogs as well as for the foster pups. If you’re interested in fostering, or would like to volunteer, LPP has a role you can play.

Paws for Celebration

In addition to a host of volunteers, it takes real money to run a rescue organization. Some dogs’ financial needs are minimal. Others need medications, surgery, or therapeutic care. The cornerstone fundraiser for LPP is “Paws for Celebration,” which was held this year at the Wild Horse Saloon. More than 150 people attended, enjoying great food and drink while participating in a wide-ranging silent auction and dancing to the music of the Lisa Blue Trio. If you missed that fun, stay tuned for upcoming events, such as the Animas Mug Run in October and Wines not Whines at Four Leaves Winery in the fall. Follow LPP on FB to watch for upcoming events!










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