Durango Magazine - Summer/Fall 2022

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HELLO DURANGO!

FROM EDUCATORS TO PUBLIC SERVICE PROVIDERS

SILVERTON

BUILDING A RUNNING COMMUNITY

SORREL SKY CELEBRATES 20 YEARS BRINGING HEART TO THE ART BUSINESS

SUMMER/FALL 2022 EST. 1986

MUSHROOMS IN THE MOUNTAINS

LOBSTERS, BOLETES, & MORELS, OH MY!

WHEN THE RAIL RULED ONLY PIECES OF HISTORIC DENVER & RIO GRANDE RR REMAIN

NOT JUST HOT AIR

SEVENTH ANNUAL ANIMAS VALLEY BALLOON RALLY


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C ON TR I BU TO R S

Matt Bodo

Graham Coffey

Billy Grimes

Margaret Hedderman

Zach Hively

Matt is a third-generation native of Durango. After graduating from The University of Colorado Boulder with a BFA in acting, Matt spent 10 years in New York City writing for theatre and television, acting, and performing stand-up comedy. An avid snowboarder, he was eventually drawn back to the Rocky Mountains, ultimately putting the “rad” back in Colorado.

A native of North Carolina, Graham studied journalism at the University of Georgia. A lifelong lover of the outdoors, he was drawn to Durango by the siren call of the San Juans. You can find him hiking with his fiancée, Brooke, and their two dogs, Luna and Belle.

After a 44-year career as a graphic designer working for magazine, corporate, and advertising clients in Texas, Tennessee, and California, Billy moved to Durango to work at Fort Lewis College. Always interested in 3D design, he is now a builder and sculptor. His other interests are music, art, and writing.

Margaret Hedderman writes about rural places, the outdoors, and environmental science. Sometimes she digs into historical stories, like the real King Macbeth or the first woman to raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Her work usually takes the form of creative nonfiction, journalism, and the occasional screenplay. She also manages communications and produces a podcast for Startup Colorado, a program through the University of Colorado that supports rural entrepreneurship.

Zach writes nonfiction, poetry, and the award-winning Fool’s Gold column. He also dances Argentine tango and is a member of the alt-folk duo Oxygen on Embers. His latest poetry collection, Wild Expectations, is available from Casa Urraca Press. He teaches online writing workshops and lives happily with his dog.

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Matt Payne

Joy Martin

Elizabeth Miller

Kathleen O’Connor

John Peel

Owen Weber

Long days full of sunshine, water, and wildflowers will occupy most of Joy’s time this summer, but she’s also looking forward to live music and bumping into old friends as events reemerge in Durango. When she isn’t absorbed in sharing the stories of the Four Corners, Joy’s toddling around with her daughter, Jolene, and scheming ways to bike more with her mustachioed huckleberry, Nick.

Elizabeth Miller has worked and played in the mountains of southwest Colorado for most of her life. An educator in the area for 16 years and a lifelong learner, she holds an MFA in fiction from Spalding University and loves sharing her passion for the written word with the youth of Durango.

Kathleen moved to Durango with her family in 2011 after working for more than a decade as a wildlife biologist specializing in endangered birds and cave invertebrates found in and around central Texas. She loves hiking, biking and exploring new places, both above ground and below.

After a 22-year career with The Durango Herald, in 2015 John established his own business, John Peel’s Life Preserver, to help people write their family and personal histories. When not sitting at a computer, he heads outdoors; in 2020, John authored the fifth edition of Hiking Trails of Southwestern Colorado.

Owen lives for photography, art, music, fitness, and anything adventurous and outdoors. As a junior at Fort Lewis College pursuing a degree in business administration, with a graphic design minor and digital marketing certification, Owen is enjoying all that beautiful Durango has to offer.

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SUMMER / FALL 2022 • EST. 1986

Volume 37, No. 1 Corbet Hoover

When The

ail rued

FEATURES 34 Sorrel Sky Celebrates 20 Years Bringing Heart to the Art Business

42 iAM MUSIC: A Music Ecosystem

iAM MUSIC, An Affirmation and Collaborative Hub for Self-Expression

44 Mushrooms in the Mountains

Lobsters and Boletes, and Morels, Oh My!

50 When the Rail Ruled

Only Pieces of Historic Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Remain

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99 Not Just Hot Air

Seventh Annual Animas Valley Balloon Rally

CONTENTS 8 10 12 18 23 24 30 33 37 38 48 66 68 70 80

From the Publisher Excursions Top Picks Hello Durango! What’s New in the Four Corners Outdoorsy & Eso Terra Ciderworks in downtown Durango History: How Local Areas Got Their Names Enjoying the Great Outdoors Artist Profile: Adam Swanson Featured Durango Art Galleries Lowdown on Snowdown Photo Essay Dining Showcase: Seven Rivers Nightlife & Dining Guide Dining Showcase: Highway 3 Roadhouse

Lisa Mackey

SILVERTON 58 60 63 64

Silverton Art Galleries Building a Running Community in Silverton Leave No Trace How Silverton Became the Perfect “Startup Community”

LIVING IN STYLE

84 Durango Dream Home: Elevation Custom Builders 90 Mind, Body, Soul 94 Durango Kids 102 Home Sweet Home: Living Solar 104 Community Profile: Jessica Matlock of LPEA 107 Featured Realtors 110 Advertiser Index 111 Local Giving: Advocacy in Our Community

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PHOTO ESSAY

Yvonne Lashment

ON THE COVER

Austin Pederson: I drove up an unknown trail off Red Mountain Pass not knowing what I would find, and was pleasantly surprised to find this field of Indian paintbrush. CORRECTION:

In the last edition of Durango Magazine, there was an article titled “Affordable Elevation” which deals with affordable housing in Silverton, Colorado. Two pictures appeared. One showcased three homes in an ongoing project of Nico Foster Construction & Design, LLC. By implication, it wrongly appeared that it was a project of 9818 Construction, LLC. The picture of the single home is a project of 9818 Construction, Inc. We apologize for the confusion to both these well-respected companies. 6 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

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LE T TER FRO M T H E P U B LI S H E R S

Here we go!

Spring is already springing with a vengeance as we take Durango Magazine to press. This is a town that never really sleeps, but there is still an excitement in the air as we put away our skis and pull out our hiking boots, paddleboards, bicycles and all the other gear that means it’s time to get some fresh (warm!) air. Or maybe spring means something else to you: a chance to dine on an outdoor patio, sip a local brew with friends, enjoy the transformations along Main Avenue and catch some live music. More than likely it means most of the above! We have so much to enjoy on a daily basis that all the wonders of the Four Corners compete for our attention. That competition motivates small business owners and operators to be our very best for you. That’s important in a community like ours. This region is brimming with entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s kept alive by everyone who supports local. Yet it’s also important to realize that we’re not cutthroat competitors. When one Durango business succeeds, we all succeed. We see this firsthand because our own businesses are built on championing our community. For those who may not know, we are also the owners of two other publications: Local Deals Coupon Magazine and Farmington Flyer Coupon Magazine. It’s nice to feel like a poster child for shopping local. It's what we believe in: our corner of the world is more vibrant when every small business has a chance to thrive. Supporting small local businesses is more than just a happy way to live. Our community is an ecosystem in which we can all support one another, whether as fellow business owners or grateful patrons (or both!). Boutiques, shops, restaurants, gear stores, galleries, service providers, individual artists, outdoor guides, and your friendly neighborhood publishers are all connected. We are in this together. And together, we make Durango and the Four Corners the magical place it is. So get out there and enjoy whatever makes you happy! And if your joy involves local businesses, they’ll appreciate your gratitude. Supporting them is just another way for us all to love Durango.

Design/Production Eric Emerson Account Executives Marianne & Corbet Hoover Photo Editor Cole Davis Copy Editor Dawn Harth Staff Intern Owen Weber Durango Magazine is published twice a year by Durango Magazine LLC. The Winter/Spring 2022-23 edition publishes in November. P.O. Box 3907 Durango, CO 81302 Phone: (970) 259-2599

DurangoMagazine.com

Sincerely,

Marianne Hoover

Publisher/Editor Marianne & Corbet Hoover

No portion of this publication’s content may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. Copyright © 2022 by Durango Magazine. All rights reserved. Corbet Hoover

@durangomagazine

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#durangomagazine

@durango_magazine


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E XC U R SIO N S

Photos courtesy of DSNGRR

D&SNG: TANKER'S CREEK

Discovering a Piece of History in the Durango Train’s Water Stops by Margaret Hedderman Between the summers of 1881 and 1882, employees of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad forged north into the San Juan Mountains, laying 45 miles of tracks and infrastructure along the Animas River. The majority of these men had been brought up from Denver, but before that their origins were as varied as any who colonized the West—immigrants and Civil War veterans among them. Traces of their efforts are still visible today not only in the 3 ft narrow-gauge railroad, but also in the support and supply structures along the way. According to Jeff Ellingson, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNGRR) Museum curator, the carpenters and engineers who installed the infrastructure along the railroad were known as the “Bridge Gang.” They built section houses, bridges, and water tanks. “The guys that laid the rails, they’re maintenance guys—gandy dancers—they were usually kind of separate from the bridge gangs,” Ellingson said. Prior to the 1970s, passengers traveling to and from Silverton on the D&SNGRR would have made numerous stops for water to replenish the steam engine. Early steam engines needed to stop every seven to ten miles. Today, the locomotives are more efficient and the train needs only stop twice – once at Needleton 10 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

and once at Tank Creek. “Today when you ride the train, we have a 7,500-gallon steel tank where locomotives get water,” Ellingson said. “Before the 1970s there used to be a 55,000-gallon wooden tank.” The Tank Creek water stop would have resembled the wooden tank visible from US-550 in Hermosa. Now, when passengers stop at the Tank Creek water stop, they’ll see a large black cylinder perched on a rocky ledge. Water cascades down the pink Baker’s Bridge granite, collecting in little pools where fish will occasionally congregate. Ellingson said that Tank Creek typically supplies enough water for the train throughout most of the early summer. When August rolls around, and three to four trains are passing through the mountains a day, railroad employees will pump additional water from the Animas River. There is also a small dam upstream that helps capture water. “Sometimes beavers get in and we’ve got to unclog stuff;” a typical hazard of the trade, according to Ellingson. Once upon a time, when a steam engine stopped to “get a drink,” it would have presented train robbers a prime opportunity for an ambush. Today, however, railroad passengers can sit back, relax, and take their own drink of mountain air.


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TOP PI C K S

APPLE DAYS FESTIVAL When you arrive at the annual Apple Days Festival, held at the Durango Farmers Market, your senses are immediately captivated by delicious aromas, apples of all colors and sizes, and squeals of excitement from contestants in the famous apple-pie-eating competition. From apple crafts and piñatas to treats such as apple ice cream and apple pies, the annual festival celebrates another successful harvest season. The apples are gleaned from backyards across La Plata County. Every summer and fall, the Good Food Collective hosts weekly community harvest events where residents and visitors come out to glean fruit from around town in preparation for our annual harvest celebration. Southwestern Colorado has a deeply rooted apple history, dating back to the 1870s when pioneers planted orchards in the region's mineral-rich soils. Today, the festival celebrates the abundance of apple trees still growing strong in backyards, parks, and historical orchards throughout the Durango area. Courtesy of Apple Days

MYSTO MAGIC SHOW The Mysto REALLY BIG Magic Show is a full 90-minute stage illusion vaudeville show. Mysto the Magi along with his quirky assistant; Quill, takes you on a vaudeville journey of magic. This show features 5 big stage illusions and a revolving cast of circus artists. See a woman cut into thirds, floated on a broom and the Fastest Trick in the West! This is an all-ages show suitable for anyone and everyone. Featuring aerial artists, fantastic juggling, comedy, and audience incorporation, the excitement is endless. The music and style of the show is from the Roaring 20's featuring electro swing music, jazz and ragtime. Thanks to the unbeatable Animas City Theater venue, the show also features modern surround sound and rock & roll lighting! The Mysto Magic Show is more than a show, this is a truly magical experience.

FOUR CORNERS MOTORCYCLE RALLY The Four Corners Motorcycle Rally has enjoyed a colorful and rich legacy in the Ignacio and Durango communities for the past 29 years. Founded in 1992 by Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Mike Lavato, the rally began at the Sky Ute Fairgrounds in Ignacio, CO where it quickly grew to be one of the most popular motorcycle rallies in North America. In 2017, Trevor Bird, owner of Durango Harley-Davidson, acquired the rights to the rally and has been working with community stakeholders and motorcycle industry influencers to rebuild it into a modern-day, community-oriented motorcycle rally focused on giving back to local nonprofits. Since taking over, Bird has brought back some rally favorites, including the live music and parties in downtown Durango as well as the burrito breakfast and parade down Main Ave. that benefits nonprofit Building Homes For Heroes. In addition to some of the classics, Bird and his team have added flat track motorcycle racing at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, motorcycle hill climb racing at Purgatory Ski Resort, renowned bike shows and factory demo rides from Harley-Davidson Motor Company. New for 2022, Bird and his team are excited to add motorcycle stunt show competitions, motorcycle exhibitions and shows, and they are working to finalize details to offer camping again at the Sky Ute Fairgrounds in Ignacio. Megan Margeson

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For more information check out: fourcornersmotorcyclerally.com


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TOP PI C K S

TOTAH FESTIVAL The Annual Totah Festival & Indian Market will return for its 33rd year to the Farmington Civic Center in Farmington, New Mexico, from September 2-4, 2022. The festival began in 1988 with the idea of creating a marketplace where Native American artists in the Four Corners could share their skills and craftsmanship with one another and with the community. Totah remains true to those roots three decades later—and it’s spreading those roots ever deeper and wider. The market now welcomes Native American artists from around the western region of the United States to northwestern New Mexico. The festival is bringing back events from the fashion show to the juried art reception and the Run the River 5K fun run, and looking to expand showcases (such as dancers and other performers) for the cultural expo. The festival evolved during the pandemic to become an indoor/outdoor market, which made the event’s environment even more open and friendly for visitors and vendors alike. To support the mission of artists helping artists to keep culture alive, admission to the Totah Festival & Indian Market is free of charge. Native American artists are welcome to apply as participants from the first week in June through August 29. Visit totahfestival.org

Bart Wilsey

SILVERTON ART FRIDAY Great art isn't found just in museums or metropolitan areas. In the tiny hamlet of Silverton, Colorado you'll find original art, creative workspaces and glimpses of this community’s unique mountain heritage. Since 2019, Silverton Creative District (SCD) has been working to bring Silverton’s creative community to the forefront with innovative and engaging events. The mission of this all-volunteer non-profit organization is to contribute to the economic prosperity of Silverton and San Juan County by supporting the growth and sustainability of arts and culture in the area. SCD’s First Friday Art Walks offer a fun opportunity to take in a vibrant arts scene along with the mountain scenery, all summer long! “First Friday” is a national movement focusing on artists, galleries, and maker spaces. Silverton’s events take place monthly from June through September from 4 – 7 pm. In 2022, those dates are June 3rd, July 1st, August 5th and September 2nd. More than a dozen shops and galleries in the town’s quaint, historic business district will open their doors for an eclectic evening of art demonstrations, kid’s activities, live music, shopping and refreshments. Silverton Creative District invites you to shop small, support local art, and enjoy high mountain creativity at its finest! Visit silvertoncreativedistrict.org

DAY AT VALLECITO For a lovely weekend escape with family-friendly water sports, nearby trails, and spectacular scenery, look no further than Vallecito Lake. Located 35 miles northeast of Durango, it’s the ideal hub for summer adventure. Book a stay at one of Pine River Lodge’s mountain cabins located right on the shores of Vallecito Lake. With its easy access to hiking and mountain biking in the San Juan National Forest and Weminuche Wilderness, Pine River Lodge offers the perfect home base for your excursions. Visit www.pineriverlodge. com for more information. Whatever your aquatic activity of choice, Vallecito Lake has you covered. Bring your own equipment and launch straight from the lake’s public boat ramp or rent gear from Vallecito Marina. (https://vallecitolakemarina.net). Fishing more your thing? Vallecito Lake and surrounding waters offer numerous opportunities. Seeking something more off the beaten path? Backcountry fly fishing opportunities abound. Visit http://vallecitolakechamber.com/ members/area-fishing-information.

Matt Payne 14 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

A trip to Vallecito Lake would not be complete without visiting the Tour of Carvings, created after the Mission Ridge Fire of 2002. To honor the hope and resiliency of the neighboring communities in the fire’s aftermath, sculptor Chad Haspels created 14 unique carvings from the trunks of 200-year-old ponderosa pines killed in the fire. Visit carvingsatvallecito.org for details.


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TOP PI C K S

PARADE OF HOMES One of the most anticipated happenings of early autumn in the Four Corners is the Parade of Homes, presented by the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado (HBASC). This year, the event will be held September 22nd through the 25th in La Plata County. The Parade of Homes invites residents and visitors to tour and celebrate La Plata County’s most innovative homes, remodels, and commercial spaces. Spanning multiple venues, the event gives visitors the chance to get inspired by jaw-dropping designs and outstanding craftsmanship, and to meet the building industry professionals who make it all happen Day and evening events over a four-day period invite ticketholders to explore spaces created by architects, designers, builders, and tradespeople, discover the latest products and technologies, and socialize with others keenly interested in the latest trends. Tickets are good for all events. As the HBASC’s leading fundraiser, the Parade of Homes helps support programs for local youth. Proceeds from the event are funneled to the organization’s “Building for the Future” scholarship for college-bound students aiming for a career in the building industry, the “Tool Up” program, assisting high school graduates heading into the trades to invest in their all-important first set of tools, and to the “Careers in Construction” program, training and certifying high school students in various construction trades for early job placement. For more information on the Parade of Homes or to find out about the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado, visithbasc.com or call 970-382-0082.

COWBOY POETRY GATHERING For a rip-roaring time celebrating Durango’s Western heritage, make plans to attend the 34th annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering September 29 through Oct. 2. The gathering brings together the finest cowboy performers from all over the West. The premier Thursday evening show features award-winning singer/ songwriter Dave Stamey on stage at the VFW while the Wild Horse Saloon offers a fun-filled Western variety show presenting many of the daytime performers. The Friday and Saturday night shows, also at the VFW, offer a blend of cowboy music, humor and poetry that will touch your heart and make you smile. Don’t miss Colorado’s largest motorless parade on Saturday morning beginning at 10:00 at 5th and Main. This colorful procession involves no vehicles — just wagons, carriages, horses, mules, donkeys and even a llama or two. A delicious chuckwagon breakfast and an Old West gunfight kick off the event, so come early. After the parade, many free music and poetry sessions will take place throughout historic downtown as well as a show at the VFW highlighting local youth performers. Finally, the event comes to a close Sunday morning at Durango’s Cowboy Church with a special performance of inspirational program “The Cowboy and his Creator.” For more information, visit durangocowboygathering.org.

CARVE WARS Carve Wars, a chainsaw competition, travels the country providing exciting, high-octane entertainment showcasing some of the world’s best chainsaw artists - and it returns to Durango August 6-7. The multi-day event, now in its 5th year at Purgatory Resorts in Durango, puts award-winning chainsaw carvers head-to-head in an auction-based competition. Carvers demonstrate their unique styles, skills and creativity through the pieces they produce in front of a live audience. All of the pieces are then auctioned off to the crowd. The results of the auction will not only decide the winners of Carve Wars but provide those in the audience an opportunity to take home an extraordinary piece of chainsaw art. Each of the Carve Wars carvers also choose a piece to donate to charity, and this year all of the money raised will be given to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado and Durango Trails 2000. The show is sponsored by the resort and Kroegers Ace Hardware. Joe Wenal, the creator of Carve Wars, has been a professional chainsaw carver for 10 years and saw a need and opportunity to bring other carvers together to demonstrate their amazing talent and bring the thrill of live chainsaw carving to crowds all over the country.

Courtesy of Purgatory 16 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


15727 & 15723 S US HIGHWAY 550 Durango, CO 81303

7,178 SQ FT • 4 BEDROOMS • 5 BATHS • MLS#: 792147

A must see, this hidden gem is located just minutes from town, no HOA or covenants. Upon pulling up to the main house you will be in awe at the magnificent detail in this custom built home. Walking through the front door, you will first notice an abundance of natural light coming through the impressive wall of windows to the West. Just inside the front entry you will be greeted by a grand custom staircase which leads to the master and guest suites. Walking up the staircase you will marvel at the 3 glistening chandeliers that hang from the ceiling. A short walk from the main house is a separate two story guest house with two bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs. The lower level has walls of cabinets from floor to ceiling for all your storage needs. In addition to this offering, the adjoining parcel is also included. The seller is reserving the mineral rights which are not included in the sale. The pictures and description don't do these properties justice, you really should come see for yourself. Make an appointment for your personal tour today!

Tim Papi

970.759.1871 tim@realestatedurango.com www.findhomesindurango.com

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From educators to public service providers, Durango’s changemakers are famously restless, committed to creating positive transformations for today’s neighbors and tomorrow’s leaders. Though they come from different backgrounds and perspectives, they share a collective passion for the people who call La Plata County home. While their hard work and dedication are felt every day in classrooms and boardrooms around the community, these visionaries can also be found doing what they love most: ambling down the river trail, seeking wildflowers below Engineer Mountain, or plotting adventures to the other side of the globe. We’re thrilled to provide a little background on the faces behind the action, so please read on to see why their presence makes us feel confident in a brighter, healthier future for southwest Colorado and beyond.

JACK LLEWELLYN

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DURANGO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

MISSY THOMPSON

FLC-ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR & COORDINATOR OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH How long have you lived in Durango? Nine years. I got a faculty position right out of graduate school and have been here ever since. How did you find Durango? Through cycling - I raced for the University of Colorado cycling team and Fort Lewis College was our archrival at the time, but I secretly loved coming to race in Durango and it was always top on my list of places I wanted to live. I feel very fortunate to have ended up here! What is your favorite hike? Engineer Mountain Trail, especially in summer when the wildflowers are blooming and fall when the aspens are changing. Where were you born and raised? Colorado Springs, CO Besides Durango, what is your favorite place? Crested Butte, another CO mountain town with great outdoor opportunities. Skiing, hiking, biking, fishing…….? Skiing and mountain biking are definitely my favorites, but I’m always happy if I’m outdoors, whatever form it may be.

How long have you lived in Durango? This is my 40th year living in Durango. How did you find Durango? I had a boss in high school who told me I would love Fort Lewis College and that is where I should go. With that advice I applied and selected FLC over CSU, Adams, Western and Mesa. It was a choice I never regretted. What is your favorite hike? My favorite walk is the river trail. I always see friends and wildlife. I’m looking forward to exploring the trails between Durango and Silverton this summer. I also love 4-wheeling in the high country, canyonlands and Moab. Where were you born and raised? I am a Colorado native and I grew up in Arvada. Besides Durango, what is your favorite place? Traveling to warm climates of the islands St. John, St. Thomas, Cayman Brac, and, a recent addition to the top of my list, Kauai. Skiing, hiking, biking, fishing…….? When I have a day off, I enjoy Durango’s vibrant downtown. I love to take my older boat out and fish at Lake Nighthorse and Vallecito.

MATT SALKA

COUNTY COMMISSIONER IN LA PLATA COUNTY How long have you lived in Durango? I have lived in Durango for 22 years. How did you find Durango? I first found Durango in 1995. I was 16 and with my family on a cross-country road trip from upstate New York to San Diego. We happened to stay in Durango for a night. Five years later, I moved to Durango to attend Fort Lewis College. What is your favorite hike? Vallecito Creek Trail. Where were you born and raised? My father was in the Navy for 25 years. We moved every 2-3 years. I was born in Norfolk, Virginia. I feel very blessed to have been raised all over the country, but love calling La Plata County where I’m from. Besides Durango, what is your favorite place? Besides Durango, my favorite place is Bermuda. My family was stationed there for three years. I still have a lot of close friends who live there. Skiing, hiking, biking, fishing…….? Camping, Boating at Vallecito and Navajo Lakes, Scuba diving – yes there is diving in La Plata County, ice fishing.

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OLIVIER BOSMANS DURANGO CITY COUNCIL

How long have you lived in Durango? I first moved to Durango in 2005 and my children were all born here. We did leave for four and a half years during that period and moved to the United Kingdom and Indonesia. We moved back in 2017. How did you find Durango? While I was living in France, a career opportunity came up in Farmington. We flew into Albuquerque and did a road trip to Farmington, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Taos, and Santa Fe. Durango immediately took our hearts and the decision was made. What is your favorite hike? There are so many beautiful hikes and trails in Durango and the region, some of them easily accessible and some of them less frequented or challenging. Perins Peak Trail is probably one of my favorites, as well as Engineer Mountain Trail when the wildflowers are showing their beauty. Where were you born and raised? I was born in The Netherlands and raised in a small town of about 4,000 people. The town was along the border with Belgium and the street where I lived was the actual border, so when I would cross the road from the front door I would be in a different country. Besides Durango, what is your favorite place? The Durango region is certainly the gem and place I am fortunate to call home. Having traveled extensively, I have many favorite places be it a small historic town in Europe with a 700-year-old cathedral, a beautiful beach with untouched coral in southeast Asia, or remote spots with Pueblo ruins right here in the Four Corners. One doesn’t have to go far with so much nature and activity right at our doorstep, along with the Old West, the railroad, ranching, and mining roots. Skiing, hiking, biking, fishing…….? My kids still allow me to cycle with them to school nearly every day, something very common for Dutch people and what I did when I was studying. The high school I attended was 13 miles away and uphill both ways, which is quite interesting since the country is flat. Recreationally, I enjoy mountain biking and skiing, but at a level that pales in comparison to that of the fantastic athletes we have here in Durango.

KATHY MORRIS

DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL SAFETY & SECURITY How long have you lived in Durango? I moved to Durango in 1978 at the age of 23. This has been my home for 44 years. How did you find Durango? After camping and backpacking across the U.S. for six months, Durango offered every amenity (mountains, lakes, rivers, deserts, culture...and friendly people) anyone could hope to find in one community! What is your favorite hike? Cinnamon Pass, north of Silverton. Truly the most magical energy on the planet. Where were you born and raised? Born in Los Angeles, CA., raised in Inglewood, CA., .grew up in Durango, CO.! Besides Durango, what is your favorite place? With my husband (my best friend), and with family and friends spending time together sharing gratitude and appreciation for our time together. Another favorite place for me is serving the community through my public service work. Skiing, hiking, biking, fishing…….? Skiing the slopes at Purgatory or alpine skiing in the backcountry, hiking above Silverton or up to Ice Lakes, biking in and around Durango and motorcycles (riding our Harley throughout Colorado) were center to my more youthful years; fishing, camping and four-wheeling are now activities enjoyed throughout Durango and the Four Corners. Durango is the gateway to multiple adventures, no matter your physical abilities!! Living in Durango continues to provide a quality of life for all ages!

RICK PETERSEN

DISD BOARD MEMBER, TREASURER, DISTRICT C How long have you lived in Durango? Moved to Durango with my then fiancée, Lindsay, in May 2003. How did you find Durango? We were searching for our new home all around the mountains of Colorado and came to Durango to visit a high school friend who had moved here with her family. What is your favorite hike? Spud Lake was the first hike we took in the Durango area and remains my favorite. Where were you born and raised? I was born in the suburbs just west of Philadelphia, PA (Go Eagles!) and lived there until moving to Durango. Besides Durango, what is your favorite place? Outside of Durango, my favorite place is a tie between two islands: Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, and the Big Island, Hawaii. Skiing, hiking, biking, fishing…….? Favorite activities are doing anything with my wife and kids, camping, hiking, snowboarding, live music and theater, playing drums, volunteering for the youth of our community. 19


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20 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


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What’s New in the Four Corners by Zach Hively

Courtesy of Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College receives $1.5 million grant for Native language revitalization

• The Humanities for All Times initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, awarded a $1.5 million grant to the All Our Nations Language Revitalization Hub at Fort Lewis College in Durango. • The three-year grant will support the hub in developing a language learning program, a course in language teaching practices, and a certificate program in Native Community Based Language Revitalization. • FLC has offered the Native American Tuition Waiver for more than a century. Native American and Alaskan Native students from more than 180 nations, tribes, and villages comprise about 45% of the student body.

mand hours, reducing electricity costs. • The school district could save an estimated $5000 a year on diesel—or more, with rising fuel costs—while also eliminating emissions, setting the first such example in the state. • The bus will serve students in the area south of Durango, driving approximately 75 miles a day but with enough charge to drive up to 200 miles when needed.

and other stakeholders, agreed to the airport installation site after three years of debate.

Local hot shot returns home to continue storied career

La Plata County to install new weather-tracking radar system

Courtesy of Shawna Legarza

Courtesy of Durango School District 9-R

Durango rolls out Colorado’s first vehicle-togrid enabled school bus

• The electric bus will charge and store energy during more affordable off-peak hours. It will also allow the La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) to draw electricity from the battery to the grid during high-de-

• The radar tower will be built at the Durango-La Plata County Airport, with an operational date targeted for the end of 2023. The radar is funded by a $1.7 million Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant. • The Four Corners region is currently under the radar—literally. Mountains block the National Weather Service radar in Grand Junction, so it cannot read storms in this area below 28,000 feet, causing local weather forecasters, the airport, firefighters, and other agencies to operate without that information. • Federal, state, and tribal authorities,

• Shawna Legarza, of Mancos, is now the La Plata County Director of Emergency Management—but that doesn’t even begin to explain her experience and expertise. • Legarza first worked on a hot shot firefighting team in 1991 to pay her way through college. She returned to La Plata County to lead her own hot shot team and was the inaugural superintendent of the San Juan Interagency Hotshots. She took several other leadership roles before becoming the national director of fire and aviation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2016-2020. • In her career, Legarza worked the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York City and Hurricane Rita in the Gulf of Mexico. She has also endured personal tragedy and become an award-winning author with her memoir, No Grass. 23


NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK:

Outdoorsy & EsoTerra Ciderworks

in downtown Durango by Joy Martin

In the summer of 2021, an internationally renowned business opened on the east side of Main Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets. In hyper-local downtown Durango, this might’ve been a reason to protest, but Outdoorsy, an RV rental and outdoor travel marketplace founded in 2015, isn’t just any business. With touchpoints in 11 countries around the globe, Outdoorsy is owned by new Durangoans, Jen Young and Jeff Cavins, who recently purchased a home near Baker’s Bridge. No, they haven’t jumped the legendary bridge (yet), because they are too busy driving home their mission to be good neighbors. “We’re building something special in Durango and across the region,” Young says. “We’re not an anonymous company trying to come in and drive out numbers; as local business owners, we’re infusing capital into the local economy by empowering local entrepreneurs.” As former corporate dynamos, Cavins and Young departed the fluorescent lights to travel the country with their Airstream trailer. They spent a year roaming around campgrounds, connecting with RV and camper owners, and finding out what folks needed to optimize their outdoor lifestyles. They discovered that more than 17 million RVs in North America sit unused 350 days a year. Now, seven years since they hit the open road, their company Outdoorsy has helped RV owners wipe the dust off their vans, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and stylish vintage Airstreams to breathe life (and money) into an otherwise sleepy asset. Often touted as the “Airbnb of RV rentals”, outdoorsy.com offers much more than state-of-the-art, peer-to-peer, reservation software. Cavins and Young have created a tool that gives people easy, economical, fully insured access to experience the great outdoors while taking their lodging with them. “We started our business at a local level because we believe in community,” Young says. “We quickly realized we couldn’t build a world-class marketplace if we did not begin in our local communities first; if we were going to build good products or software, we had to get into the local markets.”

24 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Photos Courtesy of Outdoorsy and Eso Terra

To deepen their connection to local markets, Young and Cavins opened the Outdoorsy Outpost in Durango as Outdoorsy’s first and only storefront in the country. The Outpost invites RV and camper owners to learn how they can make thousands, if not millions (in a few cases), of dollars. It’s also a space for curious travelers to explore how they can rent a $150,000 RV for $250 a night and head out on a desert highway to sleep under some of America’s darkest night skies. Young says Colorado is Outdoorsy’s third largest market with plenty of room for growth. By opening the Outdoorsy Outpost, the team hopes to foster strategic brand partnerships with other outdoor recreation

entrepreneurs in vehicles, gear, parts, addons, events, and more. “Outdoorsy is really the new face of outdoor travel,” Young says. “Our mission in the market is to build out the best businesses that are offering memorable outdoor experiences.” Designed for outdoorsy people who like doing outdoorsy things, Durango’s Outdoorsy Outpost unrolls a welcome mat to southwest Colorado and the Four Corners region. For 1.9 million travelers who pass through each year, Durango is a gateway to some of the most spectacular road tripping in the world. With five national parks within 200 miles and millions of acres of public land swelling in all directions, Durango is


supremely situated for an RV rental company, says Young. “We loved the coming together of all the magical elements that make Durango just right for Outdoorsy,” she says. For many, Outdoorsy’s magical experience begins on Main Ave, where folks will espy a nifty campervan or trailer propped up along the curb. Inside the store, hardwood floors, red-brick walls, and warm lights illuminate maps, photography, and artwork from local creatives. A customized teardrop trailer bedecked with a green screen features adventures to, well, anywhere. At the back of the room, Elizabeth Philbrick, general manager of EsoTerra Ciderworks, serves up glasses of hard cider and

tales from the region’s historic orchards that celebrate over 500 heritage apple varieties, and hundreds of feral or even unknown varieties. “We’re pretty sure we’re the first cidery since Prohibition to open in Durango,” says Philbrick. “The space has a real industrial-Moulin Rouge feel; I call it the ‘mullet of Durango,’ because with Outdoorsy, it’s business up front, and a party in the back.” After watching apples fall from trees and rot, Jared Scott, Philbrick’s husband, decided to mitigate the waste by learning how to make cider in 2012. Seven years later, he and Philbrick launched EsoTerra Ciderworks an hour west of Durango in Dolores. Instead of a five-year plan, Scott and Philbrick have a

200-year plan for the family-owned and-operated legacy business that’s run more like a winery. “We believe that there’s an amazing terroir here that’s super unique to the whole country, and that terroir defines our ciders,” says Philbrick. “Our goal is to see the apples used. If that means 50 other cideries open, then we are happy campers. In the end, we just want to see people taking care of this natural resource.” Philbrick says now that folks have realized they can pour vodka into sparkling water, hard seltzer is out, and hard cider is the new fastest-growing adult beverage business in the country. She explains that most ciders in the U.S. are “soda pop ciders,”

25


Outdoorsy & EsoTerra Ciderworks in downtown Durango, CONTINUED

fast-fermented using apple juice concentrate that’s highly sweetened, flavored, and thrown into cans. Instead of cans, EsoTerra’s ciders are aged in glass and feature a rotating selection of limited, premium, artisanal batches. As a former USA Track & Field team runner, Scott looks to cut sugar out of everything, including the apple juice he crafts for his young kids. For the adult beverages, Scott uses three ingredients: apples, yeast, and time. He practices a slimmed-down, Euro-style approach, perusing centuries-old methods. While reading French cider-making articles dating back to the 1400s, for instance, Scott often stumbles over crazy words that he’ll toss Philbrick’s way. She devours the old texts and tries to imbue them in naming the ciders. “There’s beauty in all sorts of things: the landscape, the cider craft, language,” she muses. “I don’t want these words to die any more than I want these apple varieties to go forgotten. We’re in the midst of an antique revival, reviving heritage fruits, words, and a business style where the family works together. It’s an homage.” To assist in this revival and show their devotion to the region, the Outdoorsy team invited EsoTerra to join them downtown. “I’m proud to be fueling economic growth for local businesses, like EsoTerra, which we brought into the Outdoorsy Outpost because we wanted to show that we are fully committed to Durango and Colorado as our main market,” Young says. “We really want to be a great community member.”

26 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Sign up for a free Outdoorsy account at outdoorsy.com or learn more about Outdoorsy while sipping an apple juice

slushy at EsoTerra Ciderworks Outpost (esoterracider.com) at 934 Main Ave. in downtown Durango.


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LASSOING TRADITIONS & EXPANDING OUR SENSE OF COMMUNITY AT THE

By Zach Hively

True Western RounduP

THE SPORT OF RODEO AND ALL ITS TRAPPINGS ARE STEEPED IN HERITAGE. True Western

Roundup, an annual summer rodeo and event series, celebrates the history of these sports while also advancing new Western events and welcoming a growing audience. “It's important that our Western heritage stay alive,” TWR producer Pam Petrie says. “We accomplish that by building community and authenticity.” The traditional open rodeo series brings that far-flung community together at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango each Wednesday from June 8-July 20. The offerings expand this year with the Freestyle Bullfighting Challenge on August 3, and the Ranch Rodeo and Western Variety Show kicking off the county fair on August 10. Freestyle bullfighting is an up-and-coming sport. It’s nothing like the iconic Spanish matador-and-bull style of fighting, but an evolution of the figures that are called rodeo bullfighters. These are athletic and entertaining cowboys who redirect the bull back to his pen after he throws the rider. The bulls in this event are not your traditional rodeo bulls, either. “These are special bulls, trained to come back around to the bullfighter,” Petrie explains. “There's no rider on the bull’s back, just the bullfighter on the ground interacting with him.” Freestyle bullfighting is the art of engaging a bull that is bred specifically to fight. It is a type of dance; man versus beast.”

28 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Bulls and fighters are scored together in a bracketstyle tournament, earning points for aggression and engagement (from the bulls) and athletic moves and excitement (from the fighters). Bullfighters who leap and flip over the top and maneuver around the bull are guaranteed to earn high points. The following week is the inaugural Ranch Rodeo and Western Variety Show, showcasing local ranches in skills competitions that are lighter than traditional rodeos—with wild cow milking and wild horse riding on the docket. Between these skilled events is the variety show: a throwback to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show from the 1800s with trick riders, trick ropers, herding dogs, and more specialty acts still being booked. This is slated to be a fun-filled kickoff to our county fair! Each one of these events—in fact, the whole of True Western Roundup—has a set of guiding principles that, roped together, make the Roundup the genuine series of events it is. “We’re building something where locals can gather and visit each week,” Petrie says, “as well as providing a Western event for the tourists who come here to see the American cowboy. We’re supported by local businesses who also support our Western heritage. And we give our local rodeo athletes an opportunity to compete and hone their skills.” To that, let's shout: “Giddyap, see you Wednesdays this summer at True Western Roundup!”

JOIN US AT TRUE WESTERN ROUNDUP: • JUNE 8, 15, 22, 29 • JULY 6, 13, 20 • AUGUST 3, 10

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29


H I STOR Y

What's in a Name?

How local areas got their names by Animas Museum Photos courtesy of Animas Museum

What's in a Name? Shakespeare wrote that “A rose by any

other name would smell as sweet.” Would Pine River Lake still be as scenic if it were named Vallecito, north of Bayfield? Probably. Let’s test the Bard’s hypothesis and explore how some of our local spots got their names.

ANIMAS RIVER

In 1765, Governor Tomás Vélez Capuchin, governor of Spain’s holdings in today’s New Mexico, authorized an expedition north to the essentially unknown territory of Animas River in search of rumored silver deposits. Juan Maria Antonio Rivera was selected to lead the trek. His party departed Abiquiu in June 1765, exploring the area that is now La Plata and Montezuma Counties. They named many of the features they encountered as they crossed the Chama and San Juan Rivers. Some names were chosen by members of the expedition, others were Spanish translations of the Ute names already in use, such as the Rio Flórido (Spanish for the river of flowers). Today we know this river as the Florida and pronounce it closer to the Spanish pronunciation, to the puzzlement of those who pronounce it like the southern state. Rivera’s group then came upon a river so large and swift that they named it the Río de las Animas, meaning “river of souls or spirited.” When travel became a popular pastime in the late 1880s, travel writers attempted to spice up the name of the river, adding perdida meaning “lost.” References are still found to “Rio de las Animas Perdidas,” often with the claim that this was the original name of the river. Juan Maria Antonio Rivera would likely disagree, and perhaps even recommend losing “Perdidas.”

The Animas River, shown looking north from the area of today’s 15th Street and 3rd Avenue in a photograph by W.R. Rowland. Image from the Animas Museum Photo Archives 92.22.192

VALLECITO

In the 1930s, construction of the Boulder Dam on the Colorado River inspired local farmers and businessmen to develop a water storage project for the Pine River and Vallecito (Spanish for little valley) Creek. At a merchants’ roundtable meeting, $1950 was pledged to create an organization to contract with the government for such a project. In addition to generating jobs during the Great Depression, the water storage project was thought to be critical to economic growth by business owners and a needed stable water supply for farmers. It was proudly noted at the meeting that the reservoir would be the largest body of water in the state. Funding for the Pine River Dam Project was obtained, and President Franklin Roosevelt approved construction on June 17, 1937. During construction both “Pine River Dam” and “Vallecito” were used. By the time the dam was completed however, the name Vallecito had become more common. Vallecito Lake was officially dedicated on a rainy day in September of 1941.

Newly completed, Vallecito fills with water. The construction camp is visible in the foreground. Image from the Animas Museum Photo Archives 10.05.40

30 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


BAYFIELD

As arbitrary as naming Vallecito seems, choosing a name for its neighboring town was truly happenstance. The town that became Bayfield was laid out in 1898. George Morrison owned one of the first ranches in the Pine River Valley and built a home there. He sold it to Clarence Hensely in 1894, who in turn sold his interests to William A. Bay. As the town grew, Bay purchased property on the north side of Main. Warren Schiller owned property on the south side of the street. When it was time to name the growing town, Bay advocated for the name “Bay’s Field.” Schiller thought “Schillerville” had a nice ring to it. They agreed to leave the decision to a coin toss; heads to Bay, tails to Schiller. Bayfield it was! Early Bayfield is shown in this color-tinted postcard circa 1900. The large two-story house was the home of William Bay. Image courtesy of the Colorado Historical Society

MARVEL

This undated image of western La Plata County, taken by Henry P. Gonner, shows the Kline-Marvel area which welcomed the Miller family and became the home of a Marvel Midget flour mill.

The farming community of Marvel has a truly unique name. In the early 1900s Hanford Miller arrived in the San Juan Basin from Oklahoma. Seeking a healthier climate, he filed on land in western La Plata County. As more settlers arrived, Miller saw a business opportunity and opened a grocery store on January 6, 1906. Eventually, he expanded his wares to include general merchandise. The store also became the home of the post office, named for Kline, a nearby settlement. But newcomers established homes and businesses closer to the store than to Kline. Miller sold his thriving business to brothers Ray and Ernest Miller, who built a larger store and post office about a mile away. As a school and other businesses were built, the new community needed a name. Local farmers operated a milling co-op that used the Anglo-American Mill Company’s Marvel Midget flour mill. So, the new town (and its post office) were named Marvel.

Image from the Animas Museum Photo Archives 91.33.118

HD MOUNTAINS

The HD Mountains, east of Bayfield, were named for the HD Cattle Company. H stood for Mr. Hatcher, and D for Mr. Dyke. In 1879-80 cattlemen Weaver and Baker moved about 800 head of cattle onto the HD ranch and used HD as their brand. Their operation was not in business long. The arrival of settlers in the area decreased available rangeland while the market for beef declined.

The HD Mountains form a backdrop for a cattle round-up sometime between 1878 and 1882. Information on the reverse of the photo indicates the gentleman in the bowler hat is “the Englishman Weaver.” Image from the Animas Museum Photo Archives 95.03.13

31


Museum • Archives • Library

We are Ute: Colorado’s Oldest Residents Visit our website for hours

Visit Us Today! swcenter.fortlewis.edu 32 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

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Top Five Rules for

Enjoying the Great Outdoors by Joy Martin

From mountain peaks and alpine meadows to cool forests and warm canyons, the great

outdoors is a wild, magical place that calls us to breathe deeply and find peace. While you explore the natural treasures of southwest Colorado, please remember that we’re all just visitors here with a responsibility to leave these places better than we found them. Here are five ways you can do your part:

1: BE FIRE SAVVY. Before you head out on a hike or bike ride,

be sure to check the latest fire danger levels and weather alerts. Abide by all fire restrictions, including not smoking and making sure to fully put out any campfires, if allowed.

2: KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND BRAIN TURNED ON.

It sounds silly but trust us: awareness is everything in the great outdoors. Stay on trails. Don’t step on or pick the wildflowers, and please don’t feed the birds, squirrels, deer, or bears (especially the bears).

3: CREATE ART IN YOUR JOURNAL.

Graffiti is such a buzzkill – especially on natural surfaces that have worked so hard to grow in their own special ways. And if you’re visiting an archaeological site, please do not add your creative touches to the sacred handiwork of Indigenous peoples who still consider these lands their home.

4: CARRY OUT YOUR TRASH. Whether you’re grabbing a quick snack or indulging in a picnic spread, make sure to stuff all your wrappers, papers, and any bits of food back into your pack. Bonus points if you pick up any extra litter that doesn’t belong in the wild.

The Very Best of the Southwest! Navajo Weavings Authentic Native American Jewelry Baskets Kachinas Pueblo Pottery Paintings Sculpture

5: PUT YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD. While you’re out on the trail, say hello to

folks outside doing the same as you. Soak in the solo moments and shared memories with friends and family. Leisure time is a luxury, so don’t forget to smile at this simplest of riches! 33


SORREL SKY CELEBRATES 20 YEARS by Elizabeth Miller

Photos courtesy of Sorrel Sky

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls,” Picasso once said. Stepping into Sorrel Sky Gallery in downtown Durango has that effect: the rich colors, textures, and quiet reverence of the artistry it supports cleansing the soul from the worries of the day. Each piece is displayed with care; each artist’s story told from one room to another. Sorrel Sky celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a long-running support of the artists that live and work in our area, as well as the larger Durango community. Sorrel Sky was established in 2002 with a mission to provide personal client 34 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

relationships and establish meaningful connections between their artists. The gallery has been a stalwart of the Durango arts scene, surviving and thriving amidst the trials and triumphs that twenty years can bring to a business, including the Missionary Ridge Fire, a recession, an armed robbery, and a pandemic, to name a few. At the heart of the gallery and the driving force behind its success is Shanan Campbell, a Colorado native whose love of art began at a very young age. Campbell’s father is an artist, and as a young girl she found herself drawn to the world of art galleries, to the commerce of the art business and how artists and business owners support one another. “I have a unique background — I grew up in galleries and in

the business of art. I saw firsthand how galleries could support, or mistreat, artists. It was important to me to celebrate and work hand-in-hand with artists and support them to the utmost.” This vision is what has driven Campbell’s work with the more than one hundred artists who have partnered with Sorrel Sky over the years. “Art galleries can be powerful players in an artist’s life,” Campbell said. Long-term commitments to artists and the symbiotic relationship between gallery, artist, and client create a unique family relationship that is the heartbeat of Sorrel Sky Gallery. For many artists, the gallery is their sole livelihood, and the partnership is a job Campbell takes very seriously. “It’s about building trust,”


Campbell said, “It’s an investment.” The last few years have created a sort of “overdrive” of passion in both Campbell and the employees at Sorrel Sky, who are finding innovative ways to continue to provide avenues for artists to share their work with the community and with their clients. Campbell believes in the importance of that commerce and has always been dedicated and driven when it comes to the business of art. Community and family are at the forefront of the gallery, and community is something about which the Sorrel Sky team is passionate. As a young aspiring gallery owner, Campbell interned with the Toh-Atin Gallery when she was just fifteen, and the rest, as they say, is history. It was this start that inspired Campbell to open a gallery that brought more than just beauty to the Durango community: Sorrel Sky is committed to their partnership with local vendors and photographers, and collaborating with the larger Durango business scene. Campbell attributes this to her beginnings with the Toh-Atin Gallery. “The Clark family was so supportive when I opened Sorrel Sky. It was about collaboration and partnership rather than competition,” Campbell said, “They really passed the torch.” Toh-Atin and Sorrel Sky still work collaboratively today, a testament to the twenty years of passion Campbell has poured into her work. Looking toward the next twenty years of business, Sorrel Sky has become one of the first art galleries to accept crypto currency and grow the non-fungible token (NFT) side of the business. “It’s a huge learning curve, but we’ve always been cutting-edge,” Campbell said. As for the artists, with relationship and support at the forefront, there is trust to take the business of their art into whatever the future may bring. Sorrel Sky’s legacy goes beyond the innovation of the arts scene. There is a palpable passion for the arts, for the healing and beauty it brings to our lives, and the partnership an art gallery can provide to the greater community. “We’re a rare bird,” Campbell notes, “We really mix that love and passion with our business.” Campbell continues to grow the legacy that began with Sorrel Sky in 2002, opening a second gallery in Santa Fe in 2014, and looking to open a third gallery this year. Campbell and her Sorrel Sky team have much to celebrate as they enter their twentieth year of bringing beauty to the Durango community. In its twenty years and into the future, navigating life’s challenges and working to wash the dust off our souls, Sorrel Sky reminds us of the importance of beauty, community, and collaboration. “Art is what’s needed,” Campbell said, “It’s healing.”

Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Shanan Campbell

35


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36 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

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AR TIST PRO FI LE

Adam Swanson

by Billy Grimes

World-renowned pianist of vintage American popular music

Photos by Cole Davis

A

s I entered the Diamond Belle Saloon, next to the Strater Hotel, the notes of Louis Armstrong’s "Sugar Foot Stomp" rang from the old upright piano centered near the bar. Adam Swanson, one of the world’s foremost ragtime pianists and music historians was holding court on a Saturday night. The Belle was packed mainly with tourists from places like Amarillo, Hot Springs, and Montrose. He joyfully engaged the crowd and fished for requests; "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and "St. Louis Blues" were called out and happily performed with much flourish and a bit of history added by Swanson between the numbers. Swanson’s left hand played a steady march of notes and chords like a tuba’s “oompah” while his right hand played the melody in a ragged, bouncy style. As he played, he surveyed the audience and drank in their appreciation graciously. The venue of the Diamond Belle fit perfectly with this music and the effect was almost cinematic. Although he is just 30, his manner is that of an older soul, perhaps because he immerses himself in an older time period. Swanson has been a featured performer and lecturer at ragtime and jazz festivals across the United States and abroad, and he is the only four-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. He made his New York debut in Carnegie Hall at the age of nineteen, where he performed with Michael Feinstein. When he was 10 years old, Swanson heard a recording of Scott Joplin’s "Maple Leaf Rag" and fell in love with ragtime music. Music lessons followed and while

on a family trip to Durango, drawn by our steam train, he met Johnny Maddox, who was playing ragtime piano at the Diamond Belle. They developed a friendship, and Maddox became one of Swanson’s greatest influences. Swanson attended Fort Lewis College and graduated with a degree in classical piano performance. He received a master’s in musicology from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and moved back to Durango three years ago. Swanson plays his regular Saturday night gig at the Diamond Belle throughout the summer and has a performance scheduled at The Community Concert Hall on September 9th. He will also be performing "Silent Sunday with Swanson" at the Durango Arts Center on July 24, October 9, and December 4. Each performance includes different films, mostly comedy; feature-length and shorts, all with live music from the original period in which the films were made.

37


D U R AN G O A R T G A LLE R I E S

Explore the Myriad of Downtown Durango’s Colorful & Eclectic Galleries, and

Discover Your Next Favorite Work of Art

Complementing Durango’s breathtaking landscapes and opportunities for outdoor adventure is a vibrant downtown art scene for locals and visitors alike. Featuring the talents of both emerging and established artists, Durango’s galleries each offer a distinctive aesthetic and relaxing feel to their space. Whether it's

classical or abstract paintings created from various media forms, exquisitely handcrafted jewelry and pottery, or fine art photography reflecting the surrounding natural beauty, the art galleries of Durango give visitors an inspiring glimpse into the diverse culture, history, and creative passions of the artists in the community.

Create Art and Tea 1015 Main Avenue createartandtea.com 970-764-4104

Blues, Mtn & Soul 915 Main Avenue bluesmtnsoul.com 970-422-8283

Blues, Mtn & Soul is a single-artist gallery, featuring acrylic and charcoal paintings alongside local illustrations, all created by Brian Banash. Banash begins his illustrations with a pencil drawing, which he then finishes with pen before transferring his creation to design software for the final refinement and coloring. This is an old-school approach to graphically designed art that sets Banash's work apart from the rest, imparting it with originality and character. Additionally, he captures moments in time of various musicians performing blues and rock music, sealing the power of the performance in the permanence of the acrylic and charcoal mediums. Visit the gallery and let the blues music that floats on the air inspire you to embrace the art.

Create is not your average gallery. What makes the place so unique are the artists, the warm welcome, and the opportunity to create something. Create combines the experience of walking through a gallery and buying an original art piece with the relaxing and soothing experience of enjoying a hot cup of tea. If you’re an experienced artist, a student, an art collector, a tea lover, or just looking for something special, Create Art and Tea is here for you. It is Create’s mission to present you with the creative spirit of our local artists. See the gallery’s monthly event calendar and join the Create Art and Tea community.

Earthen Vessel Gallery 115 West Ninth Street earthenvessel.com 970-247-1281

This locally owned gallery offers art for everyday living: pottery, jewelry, paintings, glass, ceramic sculpture and unique gifts created by extraordinary artisans. Browse a range of carefully curated pieces, from contemporary to traditional, decorative to functional. Learn the artists’ stories by visiting the gallery located in downtown Durango or discover them online at earthenvessel.com

Joyful Nook Gallery 546 E College Drive jngpuzzles.com 970-764-4764

Joyful Nook Gallery manufactures hand-crafted, high-quality wooden puzzles using local artists’ original artwork. Whimsical pieces are designed to match the theme of the puzzle, creating a unique scene and a stunning puzzle masterpiece. Joyful Nook Gallery has a wide selection of puzzles for all ages and all price ranges, $12.95 and up. The featured puzzle is from the artwork of John Grow titled Flora Befora. JNG designers match the puzzle pieces to correspond with the image. 38 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts 680 Main Avenue karyngabaldon.com 970-946-8292

Artist Karyn Gabaldon features her acrylic paintings inspired by the beauty of our region. Her work is contemporary and nature-oriented, with an intuitive Zen grace. Gabaldon’s work is colorful and dramatic, stirring the imagination with a calming touch. Her gallery has been a Durango mainstay for 40 years, carrying unique jewelry, bronze and stone sculpture, wood, glass, metal prints, clocks, mirrors, and Ikebana vases. Across from the historic Stater Hotel.

Toh-Atin Gallery

145 West Ninth Street toh-atin.com 970-247-8277

Scenic Aperture

708 Main Avenue www.durangogallery.photography 970-385-5853 A highlight of Durango’s historic Main Avenue, Scenic Aperture features fine-art nature photography from the Four Corners area of the American Southwest. The gallery showcases the works of Frank Comisar, Durango’s own internationally collected photographer. Images are available in many sizes and media. Stop by and say hello. They love the Four Corners region and would be happy to discuss their favorite places for dinner, sunsets, and adventure.

Toh-Atin Gallery is proud to represent the jewelry of Jeanette Dale, one of the Navajo Nation’s finest silversmiths. This award-winning artist has been creating quality jewelry since the 1970’s. Navajo jewelers began working in silver 150 years ago, combining the traditional use of turquoise beads with the durability and attractiveness of silver. An art form was born. Early pieces were made using silver coins. Artists would pound the coins out or melt them to form jewelry. Today, the Navajo tribe, and artists like Jeanette, are known for some of the finest handcrafted jewelry in the world.

A Shared Blanket 104 East Fifth Street asharedblanket.com 970-247-9210

A Shared Blanket is a museum-quality Native American gallery in Durango featuring authentic artwork from tribal members throughout the United States. The gallery emphasizes Navajo weavings, Zuni fetishes, Pueblo storytellers and pottery, Alaskan sculptures, drums, flutes, baskets, and jewelry. All the original art comes directly from the artist. An exceedingly knowledgeable staff can guide you through the various artists, tribes, artifacts, and ceremonies to help you collect the finest pieces. Staff members know each artist personally, and they guarantee authenticity.

Sorrel Sky Gallery 828 Main Avenue sorrelsky.com 970-247-3555

Celebrating 20 years as part of the Durango community, Sorrel Sky Gallery represents over 100 local, regional, national and international artists. Our impressive range of fine art includes contemporary and traditional Western and Native American paintings, jewelry, sculpture, and more. Owner Shanan Campbell and her team are passionate about art and how it enriches our lives. Visit our downtown location and make a discovery at Sorrel Sky. www.sorrelsky.com 39


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41


by Billy Grimes

Photos courtesy of iAM MUSIC

Dust off your lawn chairs

and clean out your coolers because festival season in southwest Colorado has begun and Durango’s own iAM MUSIC Fest! has a lineup suited for almost every musical taste. The 2022 Summer Concert Series that launched this May and spans six months has become one of Colorado’s largest independent music gatherings. With shows in Durango, Mancos, and Silverton, the festival will host great music all through the summer.

42 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


The idea started in 2015 when the inaugural iAM MUSIC Fest! launched with the aim of uniting and showcasing hardworking independent musicians, artists, dancers, comedians, poets, circus performers, and local businesses. This ambitious effort continued until 2018 as a multi-stage event in downtown Durango. A big boost came in 2017, when iAM MUSIC was elected to host the Colorado Music Summit, an educational networking opportunity for statewide musicians in collaboration with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, among other sponsors. Starting in 2018, the fest morphed into a summer concert series, continuing into 2019, and a COVID-19friendly 2021 event. In 2022, iAM MUSIC Fest! will continue to expand; with concerts at outdoor Durango locations every third Saturday, June through October (June 18, July 16, August 21, September 17, October 15) as well as Mancos Fest (featuring eight bands July 1-2) and Silverton Fest (featuring 20 bands August 26-27). This year’s lineup includes heavyweight acts such as the 16-member Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and the alt-soul group Ghost Tapes from Denver, plus local bands as well. The most unique thing about the festival is that the funds raised are channeled back to benefit iAM MUSIC’s efforts to provide music education and access to music in the Four Corners region. The long-term vision is to make the iAM MUSIC Institute and iAM MUSIC Fest! sustainable businesses and to pay performing artists what they are worth. The festival founders, Jesse Ogle and Ashely Edwards, strongly believe in social activism through creative expression. Proceeds from the festival will also be directed to fund outreach programs at local schools where students wouldn’t otherwise have any exposure to music education, including Animas High School, Big Picture High School, and The Liberty School. Ogle and Edwards met while playing in the band, Hello Dollface. After many successful years, they eventually got tired of touring and in 2011, after noticing a lack of connection and support for local musicians, formed music-management company, Independent Artist Management (the origin of iAM). The name has become an affirmation of the organization’s deepest goals and principles which are: to pursue innovative ways to empower and encourage mutual support among musicians of every level, while cultivating originality, and creating opportunities and space for collaboration. The iAM MUSIC Fest! is a 501c3 nonprofit founded by artists for artists an d the 2022 concert series will feature more than 200 independent musicians, student performances, dance, and live art with the goal of improving southwest Colorado’s music scene while showing what a robust cultural destination we are. Be prepared to fill your summer calendars with outdoor concerts and remember to bring the sunscreen. For more festival information and a full list of performers, visit: iammusicfest.us

One of Durango’s newer performance venues is the Indigo Room located inside the iAM MUSIC headquarters at 1315 N. Main Avenue #207. Though not a site for the iAM MUSIC Fest!, this 40-seat space is a more intimate setting with a high-quality sound system to enjoy bands year-round from all over the country. If you’re a musician and want to try out a new song in front of a friendly, open-minded audience, in a low-key environment, the Indigo Room hosts several songwriter nights throughout the year. Musicians can also record music and make a video to accompany it, with in-house sound engineers and videographers. Check out the schedule of concerts here: www.iammusic.us/indigo-room

43


by Kathleen O'Connor

Kathleen O'Connor

S

ummer is upon us, and with it come the monsoons bringing much-needed moisture to the San Juan Mountains. But for some, these rainy dog days of summer mark the height of another exciting event: the deeply revered mushroom foraging season – a beloved time of year that stirs up giddy anticipation throughout the region. With quirky names - such as velvet foot, puffball, and shaggy mane - matched only by their equally odd life cycles, wild mushrooms are highly sought after in the higher elevations around Durango. Mushroom enthusiasts can find a vast array of edible mushrooms throughout the western slope, including some relatively easy-to-find species, once optimal temperature and moisture conditions are met. Lucky for us neophytes, there are plenty of experienced mushroom enthusiasts willing to assist with meanderings into mycophilia (aka love of mushrooms). Take, for example, Brady Wilson, a local mushroom aficionado and foraging guide. Wilson has been a fungi forager for most of his 42 years. While growing up in Snowmass Village, Wilson was inspired by his parents, who planted a seed (or a spore, rather) for mushroom appreciation. "During hikes, my mom and dad would

44 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

point out the mushrooms they knew were edible, and also the ones they knew were toxic," Wilson explains. Today Wilson leads privately guided forays and is one of three mushroom experts leading Purgatory Resort's guided foraging event, occurring in conjunction with the resort's Mushroom & Wine Festival in August.

LOBSTERS AND BOLETES, AND MORELS, OH MY!

Foragers may find edible mushrooms beginning in spring with the arrival of yellow or blonde morels. These cone-shaped mushrooms with rippled, hollow caps are found at elevations lower than their mushroom cousins- generally around 7,000 feet. Though uncommon in these parts, both blonde and "burnt" morels (found at higher elevations in the late summer months) are considered a delicacy and superior in flavor to other wild mushrooms. "Most people who know wild mushrooms will choose morels as their favorite," Wilson says. Unlike the rare and secretive morels, another highly prized but more prevalent mushroom is the meaty and nutty flavored porcini, commonly referred to as the king bolete. Found at elevations between 9,000 to 12,000 feet in mixed spruce and conifer forests,


Lobster Porcini

Chanterelle

Morel

porcinis lack the typical gills- those thin, paper-like structures on the underside of the mushroom cap that serve in spore dispersal. Like many fungi, porcinis are mycorrhizal. In other words, they form a mutually beneficial relationship with the roots of trees (in this case, spruce and conifer), contributing to greater water and nutrient uptake for the trees while providing a food source for the fungus or "mycelium." Mycelium, the underground network of root-like structures, is what produces the aboveground fruiting body, or what we call a mushroom. "The mushroom is the fruit of the mycelium-the actual living organism," Wilson explains. "So, a mushroom is equivalent to the apple from a tree." One of the more bizarre fungi you may encounter during a forage is the lobster mushroom. Recognized by its billowy, bright orange color, these mysterious, soil-dwelling fungi are, technically, not mushrooms at all. Instead, it's a parasitic fungus that infects other mushrooms, enveloping them in its signature fiery-orange crusty covering, similar in color to the shell of a cooked lobster. Once infected, the host mushroom transforms, not only in appearance but also in its texture and flavor profile. Lobster mushrooms, found among ponderosa pine forests, are reportedly delicious and are considered a lucky find. Finally, the wildly popular chanterelles are found around mixed-conifer forest edges, growing in clusters. Interestingly, this mushroom is said to emit an apricot scent. As Wilson describes it, "if your basket is full of chanterelles, there's a distinct aroma of fruitiness wafting out of it," he says.

Brady Wilson: local mushroom aficionado and foraging guide

Photo courtesy of Purgatory Resort

PURGATORY RESORT'S MUSHROOM & WINE FESTIVAL

Purgatory Resort's annual Mushroom & Wine Festival celebrates all things mushroom, with participants learning how to identify edible mushrooms while also experiencing just how tasty wild mushrooms can be. Beginning on August 19th, the weekend event entails a Friday evening mushroom-themed five-course dinner with wine pairings. Purgatory Resort's executive chef, Joseph Albright, designs each course based on the mushrooms he finds beforehand. According to Matthew Krichman, Purgatory Resort's events manager, with only 100 seats available, this event fills up fast. And with good reason. "In my opinion," Krichman says, "this is the best meal you will have in Durango. Full stop." In addition to the feast, the resort hosts a mushroom foray on Saturday where participants learn how to identify mushrooms in the area. Last year, the event attracted 75 eager attendees and will most likely attract more this year. Photo courtesy of Purgatory Resort 45


(CONTINUED)

"I take half of any given patch that I find, and I leave the rest," Wilson says. "That's for both subsequent foragers and also for the health of the ecosystem." Finally, and most crucial, is the importance of never eating any mushroom you have not positively identified. Many poisonous "look-alikes" grow in the area, so forage with those who are experienced and knowledgeable.

" I encourage people who are curious about mushrooms but don't know much about them to treat themselves to this experience," Krichman says. "There's no better way to learn about mushrooms than to go out with somebody who really knows what they're doing."

FORAGE WITH CARE

If you take a dive into mushroom hunting, it's essential to remember a few things. First, to prevent damage to the underlying mycelium, it's best to harvest the mushroom by cutting at the aboveground part of the stem with a clean knife, not plucking it from the ground. Next, remove as much dirt as you can before placing

the mushrooms in your basket. Baskets or mesh bags are best for collecting, as this aids in spore dispersal as you continue collecting. Also, if you stumble upon a large patch of mushrooms, it's considered a kindness not to collect the whole patch.

Field Guides specific to this region can be purchased downtown at Maria's Bookshop. And stop by Urban Market and Animas Trading Company for a plethora of fun, mushroom-themed prints, puzzles, and kitchen decorum.

BE RESPONSIBLE

Be Prepared

LEARN HOW TO STAY SAFE THIS SEASON AT DURANGO.ORG/CARE Tickets for Purgatory's Mushroom & Wine Festival go on sale in mid-June.

To learn more, visit www.purgatory.ski 46 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


47


b e wa r e t h e I d e s o f F e b r u a ry by Matt Bodo

W

hat do you get when you mix Mardi Gras, Octoberfest, Jeopardy!, The Gong Show, and a pet costume parade? I actually have no idea, but Snowdown has been trying to answer that question for the past 43 years. Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown has it all: Rock, Paper, Scissors, lip sync, mocktails, dodgeball, karaoke, trivia, freestyle hair design, and more. If you’re not in the follies, featuring Durango’s top talents in music, dance, rap, satire, and comedy, you can always participate in amateur stand-up comedy, a chili cook-off, hula hoop, limbo, kids’ snow games, cat yoga, or a canine fashion show. I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, it sounds like Snowdown offers everything, but what about button making?” Oh SNAP! SNOWDOWN HAS BUTTON MAKING. I’m a third generation native of Durango, but moved away when I was 5. That was nearly 43 years ago, and I can’t help but take it a little personally that the year after I skipped town, Durango started throwing a weeklong celebration. Okay, I shouldn’t take it personally. But it is personal. Snowdown is very personal. It’s about you, and you, and you, and you. It’s about partiers, performers, kids, pets, the courageous, and the timid. Introverts mixing with extraverts. The geeks getting to hang with the cool kids. Snowdown is the time of year that the whole community can count on coming together and agreeing on one thing: let’s party. Attending Snowdown this year was my first experience in revisiting the authenticity of Durango. As the event came back with full force after being postponed in 2021, I got to see the light-heartedness, the personality, the sense of humor, the intelligence, and the soul of Durango shine the way I remembered as a child. (It was also the 70s, so a five-year-old could legally drink on Main Avenue back then. My memories might be fuzzy…) The 44th Annual Snowdown is slated for February 1st – 5th, 2023, and the theme next year is Shakespeare. Dust off your corsets and pumpkin pants, brush up on The Bard, and get ready to experience King Lear as performed by Frosty the Snowman, skiers and snowboarders fighting like Capulets and Montagues, and a bar crawl that would bring Sir John Falstaff to his knees.

Cole Davis

Snowdown Follies

Cole Davis 48 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


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Subscribe to Durango Magazine and two times a year Durango will come to you. Durango Magazine showcases the people, places, events, and history of beautiful southwestern Colorado. Colorful, informative and entertaining. You won’t want to miss an issue. Or, send a welcomed gift to a friend.

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49


When The

ail rued Only pieces of historic Denver & Rio Grande RR remain by John Peel

DURANGO DOG RANCH ARTICLE ( 3 PAGE FEATURE)

A

flight between Durango and Denver GENERAL PALMER now takes about an hour. A passenAs Gen. William Jackson Palmer (1836ger car can do it in six or seven. Some 1909) grew up in Pennsylvania, he learned can recall a time when the first choice of everything possible about the railroad transportation was a train, and it took business. The life of this peace-minded nearly a full day. Quaker and abolitionist was derailed with American civilization pushed westward the start of the Civil War in 1861. As an rapidly in the 19th century, early settlers advance scout for the Union, Palmer was arriving by mule-drawn wagons, horseback, taken captive before a prisoner exchange and even on foot. Rail barons raced to lay a freed him. Palmer’s bravery and distinquicker path, spurred by envisioned riches guished service gained him the title of brein Colorado and elsewhere. vet brigadier general by war’s end. With great fanfare, the first railroad enHeading west, Palmer scouted a route tered Durango – then a tiny upstart to the through Colorado Territory to Denver for the more established Animas City to its north Kansas Pacific Railway. He then convinced – in 1881. This completed what came to be others to form the Denver & Rio Grande Railknown as the Denver & Rio Grande Westroad and was named president. General Palmer courtesy of the Animas History Museum ern mainline between Denver and DuranThe D&RG’s first line headed south from go. By the summer of 1882, a branch line Denver, reaching Colorado Springs, a town continued up to Silverton. founded by Palmer and the railroad, in 1871. The next decade saw Even as late as the 1940s, the preferred travel method for an explosion of routes and spurs that connected new and existing many between southwest Colorado and the state capitol was settlements and mining camps. These narrow-gauge lines covstill rail. Although vehicles were ubiquitous, they and the roads ered the central, southern and western Colorado Rockies, extendtraveled were not totally reliable. ing into Utah. Let’s do a little time-traveling, learn some history, and, for So why narrow gauge, whose rails are 3 feet apart? These did fun, we’ll hear from a couple of old-timers who took that 450not mesh with most pre-existing rails; standard gauge was set 4 mile train trip. feet 8 inches apart.

50 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


Corbet Hoover

Still in Operation, the Cumbres & Toltec steams across the San Luis Valley.

Jeff Ellingson, curator of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Museum, explained: Palmer had explored Great Britain – the mining country in Wales, and elsewhere – and had seen the advantages of narrow gauge in mountainous communities. The slimmer roadbeds were easier and cheaper to blast out of hillsides, tracks easier to lay along tight curves that followed narrow canyons and hugged steep mountains, and the lighter rails less expensive. By 1880 the D&RG’s tentacles reached Leadville, Salida and Alamosa. The 200-mile narrow gauge line west of Alamosa followed a challenging route over Cumbres Pass (10,022 feet) along the Colorado-New Mexico border. It arrived in Durango in 1881. The rails were built with commerce in mind. Ore needed to be taken from mines to smelters, coal transported to towns, and livestock shipped to ranches or slaughterhouses. People were next in importance, but soon the D&RG and other lines began to promote tourism. The Silver San Juan scenic line of the Rio Grande Southern, completed in 1891 by entrepreneur Otto Mears, headed west from Durango, through Mancos and Dolores, up over Lizard Head Pass, through Ophir, past Tellu-

Rio Grande SD45 #5340 taken in Denver; May, 1968. Robert Eastwood, Jr. photo.

51


When The ail rued, CONTINUED ride, and over the Dallas Divide to Ridgway. From there it connected with an existing line to Montrose, through the Black Canyon to Gunnison, and on to Salida. Newspaper ads of the 1890s touted this “Around the Circle” trip for the scenery: “This new line brings the tourist within easy ride of the wonderful homes of the Cliff Dwellers.” Mesa Verde would increase in popularity and become a national park in 1906.

MOVING PEOPLE

Narrow gauge tracks began to disappear in the 1930s as mines closed and another means of transporting goods and people emerged: trucks and cars. In his memoir, “Hogan’s Story,” Durango native Mickey Hogan (1929-2019) recalled a 1940 trip to visit a friend in Denver. He was 10, traveling solo. The narrow gauge left Durango at 8:05 a.m. On the way to Alamosa, the train stopped for coal, water, and new passengers in myriad small towns. Hogan ate dinner in Alamosa, then left town at 8 p.m., boarding a standard gauge train, which had by then replaced the narrow-gauge tracks between Alamosa and Denver. At 5:30 a.m., 21½ hours after departing Durango, he arrived at Denver’s Union Station.

Rio Grande GP30's #3006 and #3017 climb the stiff grades of the Monarch Branch as they negotiate the hairpin curve crossing U.S. 50 just west of Maysville, Colorado on August 24, 1979. A few years later this line was closed. Robert Harmen photo.

Third-generation railroad man George S. “Mick” Connor was born in Durango in 1932. Connor, who now resides in Arizona, recently self-published a memoir, “The Connor Family Railroad History.” In 1946, Conner’s mother decided he needed braces, and the nearest orthodontist was in Denver. So, every month through his high school years, Connor boarded the “San Juan Express” to Alamosa. Connor wrote: “As I boarded the train 52 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Rio Grande PA-1 #6001 in Denver, Colorado; July 1, 1961. Ed Fulcomer photo.

that first morning there was an assortment of people in the coaches: farmers, cowboys, Indians, young people, old people, train crew, and a mixture of other types. It was a typical crowd for Durango in 1946." He rode in a regular coach car, which “were quite comfortable, with large double seats, covered in mohair and very soft.” For dinner he’d venture into the “parlor car,” whose three dining tables lined one wall. The first-class Alamosa parlor car, built in 1880, still makes the daily Durango-to-Silverton run. It was a long trip for an active kid. “One thing I did learn from this experience was patience,” he wrote. “I read a lot, stared out the windows a lot, and daydreamed a ton. I also became very proficient in the game of solitaire.” Connor began working the Durango-Alamosa line in 1951. Later he became a chemistry teacher at Durango High, with the railroad his summer job. As superintendent of the Durango-to-Silverton line, he was Ellingson’s boss in the mid-1980s. Connor smoked a pipe and was generally a quiet giant. Typical of pre-tourism-oriented railroad men of the day, he was gruff and took no guff. It was dangerous work, and foolhardy kids weren’t appreciated. As Ellingson recalled, “You didn’t want to make him mad.” The Alamosa-to-Durango line shut down in 1969. Railroad buffs, with help from Colorado and New Mexico state governments, immediately organized to save two pieces of the narrow-gauge line: the Durango & Silverton, and the Cumbres & Toltec, which operates between Antonito, Colorado, and Chama, New Mexico. Their foresight has allowed us to continue riding this living glimpse into the days of yore.

A handsome Rio Grande PA-1, #6013, is stopped at the famous Hanging Bridge in Colorado's Royal Gorge, with the "Royal Gorge" on May 21, 1967. Ed Fulcomer photo.

1881 D&RG map Courtesy of U.S. Library of Congress This 1881 map of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway shows both the 776 miles of rail in operation and 691 miles under construction at the time.


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SILVERTON YOUR BASECAMP FOR adventure #lifeat9318 | silvertoncolorado.com

COLORADO

SHOPPING • DINING • ART & MUSIC • HIKING • 4 WHEELING MOUNTAIN BIKING • CAMPING • FISHING 54 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


Ron Martin

CONTENTS: 58 60 63 64

Silverton Art Galleries Building a Running Community Leave No Trace Sasquatch Expedition Campers: How Silverton Became the Perfect “Startup Community” 55


Ron Martin

Golden Silverton

As one of the last true American alpine hamlets, Silverton, Colorado, boasts everything a mountain town should be and more: towering peaks, a free-flowing river, cozy coffee shops, winding trails, and crisp blue skies. Nestled under the gaze of the mighty San Juan Mountains, this small town of 663 hardy mountainfolk is a one-hour drive north of Durango along the Million Dollar Highway. Home to the famous Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run and the terminus of the legendary Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Silverton has captured the hearts of thousands of wide-eyed travelers. Take a drive or hop aboard the D&SNGR to see what's so great about life up high.

56 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


SILV ERTON, COLORA DO

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Serving wholesome wood-firedpizzas, paninis & salads

970.387.5962 | goldenblockbrewery.com 1227 Greene St. - Silverton, CO 81433

Silverton, Colorado Cracked Compass Photography

JOIN YOUR HEARTS IN THE HEART OF THE SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS

UNIQUE VENUES FOR THE PERFECT MOUNTAIN WEDDING Kendall Mountain ~ Historic Town Hall ~ Molas Lake ~ Memorial Park Gazebo

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57


S I LV ER TO N G A LLER I E S Jim Bommarito

SILVERTON ART GALLERIES

Silverton’s rich history is ever-present in the Old West charm of Notorious Blair Street and the colorful Victorian-era architecture of Greene Street. Silverton’s artists, living and working at 9,318 feet in elevation, have long used the dramatic backdrop of this Western

mountain town to inspire paintings, photography, weavings, words, and more. Learn about these artisan crafts directly from the makers. Their doors open each day, offering a unique behind-the-scenes peek and an opportunity to chat with them about their craft.

Colorado Landscape Photography 1159 Blair Street

(Enter on 12th Street between Green & Blair)

NaturalEscapesGallery.com 970-728-6359

Dale Malmedal has been capturing the beauty of the San Juan Mountains for over 25 years. His fine art photography is available on aluminum, canvas, fine art paper, and direct print/ laminated “polystacks” in many sizes. Malmedal also offers framing so that your artwork is ready to hang in your home or office. Fine art note cards, postcards, and the 2023 “Naturally Colorado” calendar.

Signature Furniture Studio/Gallery The Creative Crackerjack & Route 550 Gifts route550.com 970-799-3406

Gina Maria Rosato specializes in many commercial art applications and has been a graphic designer in southwest Colorado for 20 years. Her most popular pursuit is creating unique designs inspired by Silverton and the surrounding San Juan Mountains. Her customers are not taking home a simple souvenir but a memory from the heart of the high country. Her artistic souvenirs are available at The 9318 Collective, Elevated Coffee Company, Silverton Train Store, Station 550, The Whistle Stop or online.

58 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

312 E. 12th Street signaturefurnitureinc.com 772-828-0640 Since 1977, Bob Schmidt has been handcrafting furniture, cabinets, and doors in the Craftsman style using varieties of hardwoods, from sapele mahogany to spalted maple. Recent designs and works are featured in Fine Woodworking magazine and Building Systems magazine. Schmidt’s working studio and furniture gallery are housed in an award-winning timber-frame building he designed and built in the year 2000 on 12th Street, the terminus of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.


Sand & Snow Studio

970-749-8880 1070 Greene St./PO Box 116 Silverton, Co. 81433 Plein Air landscape artist Eileen Fjerstad has been painting in the San Juan Mountains and Four Corners region for nearly 40 years. Her colorful and captivating works showcase her intimate knowledge of the play of light and colors throughout the seasons. The joys and challenges of working from life in the amazingly diverse and dramatic mountains and deserts of this part of the Southwest provides constant inspiration to the artist. Drop by the studio in the "Tower House" at the corner of Greene St. and 11th.

Wesley Berg Photography

Wesleybergphotography.com wesleybergphotography@gmail.com Wesley Berg specializes in wildlife photography, focusing on the animals that live high in the San Juans such as the day-old moose calf with his mother shown in the photo on the left. A selection of cards, matted and framed wildlife prints, and a book on “Wildlife of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains” are available at the 9318 Collective (1212 Greene), the Art Hawk Studio (1121 Greene) in Silverton, or online at www.wesleybergphotography.com.

Carol Wilkins Designs 1130 Greene Street carolwilkinsdesigns.com 970-946-9460

Carol Wilkins Designs understands your need to express yourself—to have the confidence that allows you to be you, from that place deep down inside. You like to show that little “wild side” of yourself. Wilkins’ jewelry is designed to celebrate the strength in you, as well as your own unique, artistic statement. Come by and find the piece that makes you feel special and empowered.

Quiet Bear Art

1130 Greene Street quietbearart.com 520-488-6831 Quiet Bear Art is a unique, artist-owned gallery and blacksmith shop. Ken Webb has become well-known throughout the Southwest for his exceptional sculptures and fine metal art. He incorporates old-world blacksmithing techniques into his creations. He has been selected for numerous commissions, from small tabletop and wall artwork to larger outdoor sculptures. Many of his originals are included in private collections throughout the world. Ken is available by appointment during the winter.

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Building a Running Community in Silverton By Margaret Hedderman

Photos courtesy of Aravaipa Running

I

t was 1908 and a couple of miners were sitting at the bar in Silverton. One of them looked over at Kendall Mountain, a towering massif with a steep, rocky summit. The miner said he knew a guy who could run to the top and back in an hour and a half. That sounded just crazy enough, so they made a wager—$200— and Neil McQuieg, a local 53-year-old miner, was recruited. Kendall Mountain rises 13,066 feet above Silverton, occupying its southeastern skyline. To reach the summit, McQuieg would have had to run directly up an avalanche chute, eventually scrambling to the top. When he did reach it, McQuieg sprinted back to town, arriving just one minute and forty-two seconds behind schedule. Though he lost the bet, a summer tradition was born.

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Today, hundreds of runners come to Silverton each July to participate in the Kendall Mountain Run, a 12-mile out-and-back race. It coincides with the Silverton Alpine Runs—a race with three length options—the same weekend. The back-to-back races are organized by Aravaipa Running, a trail and endurance event organizer based in Arizona. “You definitely can’t beat the summit

of Kendall,” says race director Julie Haro. “Looking down at the town of Silverton, you really get a 360-degree view of the area.” Runners informally raced up Kendall Mountain for years after McQuieg’s inaugural run, but it took several decades to become an official race. In 1978, local runner Bill Corwin founded the annual event. Nearly 35 years later, the race experienced another evolution when it was taken over by Aravaipa in 2012. Now, paired with the Silverton Alpine Runs, the two-day event attracts over 800 participants from around the world. “It’s really neat being able to run through the history of Silverton,” says Haro. “You’re running through all of these old mining towns like Animas Forks and Gladstone.” On Saturday, July 9th, the Silverton Alpine will take participants into the


San Juan Mountains via the Alpine Loop, a popular 4x4 Jeep trail. The route passes old mining operations and ghost towns, climbing above treeline into the expansive high country. From the top of California Pass, runners will find themselves surrounded by a sweeping view of southwest Colorado. “We get a lot of people that are road runners that want to come out and get a taste of what mountain running is like,” Haro says. Runners have an 8-mile, marathon, and 50K option. Haro says that although the course has intense elevation gain, it’s accessible to a wide variety of runners because the 4x4 trail isn’t as technically challenging as a single-track trail. Top finishers for the 50K will typically complete the race in five hours or less. Then on Sunday, July 10th, the Kendall Mountain Run will cap off the weekend. Though shorter than a half-marathon, the race is unlike other mountain runs because of the altitude and nearly 4,000-foot elevation gain. “Most mountain runs in Colorado are at a very high elevation,” Haro says. “But Kendall goes up to 13,000-feet, which is abnormal for even a mountain ultra.” This year, the race organizers are offering more opportunities for non-runners to get involved. On Sunday, after the Kendall Mountain Run, there will be live music and a vendor village—both of which will be open to the public—in Silverton’s Memorial Park. “A lot of people will use this as their sum-

mer vacation,” Haro says. “They’ll spend a week, visit Durango, Silverton, run their events, and tie everything they enjoy all together.” Though Aravaipa is based in Arizona and offers numerous desert races, its founders—Jamil and Nick Coury—have spent extensive time in the Silverton area, both running the Hardrock 100 on numerous occasions. These two Silverton races have become a launchpad for Aravaipa in Colorado, which now has an office in Colorado Springs. In June, Aravaipa will host their first race in Durango, offering 50-mile, 50K, and 30K distances. The Durango Skyline Trail Runs will loop together many of the high points around Durango, offering views from Horse Gulch and Grandview recreation areas. Haro describes Aravaipa as a running community, as much as it is a race organizer. She said many runners will sign up for an entire series of trail runs. “Every time you come out for the event, you see all the same people and get to know the community really well.” Haro said she expects both races to sell out again this year, in part because of the community-centric nature of the event. And although the two events traverse some of the most challenging terrain in the state, the variety of race distances makes them more accessible than other trail runs. “It’s great for people who are new to the sport, and just want to get their foot in the door,” Haro said. 61


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SILVERTON SUMMER SOUNDS

FREE LIVE MUSIC IN MEMORIAL PARK - 1800 GREENE STREET, SILVERTON COLORADO 3RD FRIDAYS, JUNE - SEPTEMBER @ 6 PM SILVERTONSUMMERSOUNDS.COM 6.17 7.15 8.19 9.16

TAYLOR SCOTT BAND DRAGONDEER THE RIVER ARKANSAS STILL HOUSE STRING BAND

62 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

[ROOTS ROCK - FUNK - JAM] [PSYCHEDELIC BLUES] [COUNTRY & AMERICANA] [PALISADE PARTY GRASS]


TAKE ONLY

MEMORIES, LEAVE ONLY

FOOTPRINTS By Graham Coffey

Ryan Nott

Leave No Trace

The U.S. Forest Service will be partnering with the San Juan Mountains Association once again this summer to help encourage visitors to Ice Lakes Basin to practice Leave No Trace principles when visiting the area. The Ice Fire of October 2020 led to Ice Lakes Basin being closed last summer. When the area reopened on September 15th, SJMA volunteers staffed a pop-up tent at the South Mineral Falls trailhead for the following month. During the summer of 2022, SJMA volunteers will staff the trailhead starting in May and will be there every day until the peak season ends in September. Jed Botsford works as a natural resources specialist for the U.S. Forest Service in the Columbine Ranger District, of which Ice Lakes is a part. He says the area has seen positive results with volunteers in the South Mineral Falls parking lot. SJMA staffed a tiny home with volunteers in 2019, but during 2020 they were not able to put volunteers at the trailhead due to the pandemic. “In 2020 when nobody was there,

a busy hub of activity, and Botsford says his organization is searching for a long-term plan that will help keep the area beautiful and allow everyone to recreate. “We do have a project for our fiscal year of 2022 to start doing a planning effort for the South Mineral drainage that Ice Lakes falls into. We want to evaluate the best way to permit or regulate the use of Ice Lake Basin.” We asked Botsford what recommendations he would give to those visitors who want to help keep the area pristine. “We really encourage people to camp in the lower basin instead of the Priscilla Sherman upper basin because it doesn’t affect the alpine environment. We also want to encourage people to pack out their we were finding nails in fire pits, which inwaste because it does not degrade in the aldicates that people were taking apart hispine environment and it can be detrimental toric structures and burning them. In 2021 to some of the plant life up there.” we asked for volunteers to step up and we In addition to having volunteers at the were fortunate to have volunteers that were trailhead, the Forest Service is working to willing to help out. There was a lot of eduget portable toilets in the parking lot. The cation that went on with visitors that were hope is that the toilets will cut down even furcoming into the area.” said Botsford. ther on the amount of waste left behind. The South Mineral Falls parking lot is

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Sasquatch Expedition Campers How Silverton Became the Perfect “Startup Community” by Margaret Hedderman

Photos courtesy of Sasquatch Expedition Campers

W

hile developing their new line of camper trailers—Sasquatch Expedition Campers—Kass and Beth Kremer conducted several rounds of product testing. They sent their friends into the mountains with different prototypes and requested feedback: what worked? What didn’t? What could be improved? When two of their product testers sent engagement photos with a camper in the background, they knew they were on the right track. “It felt like we nailed it,” Kass said. The Kremers, along with their business partner Daryl Magner, launched Sasquatch Expedition Campers last summer in Silverton. The trailers will be designed and built in the company’s new facilities, using the San Juan Mountains as a testing ground. “We thought it was a perfect company for Silverton,” Kremer said. “Because we’re able to create and make these products in the mountains they’re meant to be used in.” Though the Kremers and Magner lived in California before relocating to Silverton, the idea for Sasquatch Expedition Campers was born in the San Juan Mountains. During the summer of 2020, the three friends met up for a camping trip on the Alpine Loop near Silverton. Kass described watching the line of 4x4 vehicles

64 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

funnel back to town at the end of the day, leaving them alone at their campsite near California Pass. “That sparked the conversation,” Kass said. “How can we give access to this, the full experience?” Kass and Magner both came from engineering backgrounds, and believed they could make a lighter, more durable, and safer camper trailer than others currently on the market. “We have a lot of innovation in our products,” Kass said. “The aluminum frame makes it more lightweight, which will you give more control on backcountry roads.” Before trying his hand at camper trailers, Magner worked in a racecar fabrication shop. Kass said the experience has lent itself to designing lightweight trailers that are strong enough to travel over 4x4 roads. Knowing that every customer has their own unique camping needs, the trailers are built to be customized with accessories and additional equipment. “They have the capability for each user to change things around and say ‘this is how I like it,’” Kass said. “You can make it yours however you want.” Last summer, Sasquatch Expedition Campers moved into their new headquarters, a white and tan mining facility that was built in


the 1980s. It’s situated at the base of Sultan Mountain, an angular, 13,000-foot peak that dominates the Silverton skyline. The building was closed before it could open when the mine shut down, but it still needed a lot of work before the Sasquatch team could move in. While completing renovations this winter, they uncovered relics of the building’s former life. Throughout the facility, metal baskets hung from railings on the ceiling, serving as “lockers” for the miners’ clothes and equipment. “They were hoisted up to the ceiling and they could drip dry for when their next shift started,” Kremer said. The building serves as a connection to the town’s history—its highs and lows—and has proved particularly meaningful to these new entrepreneurs. “It's a community with a history of mining,” Kass said. “It’s extremely resilient, which is a good characteristic to surround yourself with when doing a startup.” Their new space will include an assembly line, material storage, and conference room. Eventually, it will be bustling with employees. Sasquatch Expedition Campers was awarded a tax credit through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, in part because of their commitment to create local jobs in Silverton. Their new premises will also include employee housing for two. “The biggest challenge in Silverton isn’t getting quality employees, it’s finding housing for them,” Kass said. They plan to ramp up production through 2022, eventually producing two trailers per month. This summer, Kass and Magner will continue to develop prototypes for a new line of campers, set to launch in 2023. To help streamline their business practices as they grow, Sasquatch Expedition Campers will participate in the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs (SCAPE) in Durango. “We’re super excited about being part of the SCAPE cohort,” Kremer said. “Being a part of a group that will help give us their insights… and valuable lessons.” Though manufacturing in a small, rural community is not without its challenges, Kass said they couldn’t have founded their business anywhere else. It was essential for customers to drive down the Million Dollar Highway, surrounded by mountains, and arrive at their picturesque headquarters. “We looked around at different facilities, and the ones in industrial parks didn’t do it for me,” Magner said. “This wasn’t a product that should be made in an industrial park.”

65


GET OUT & EXPLORE A

P H O T O

E S S A Y

Ryan Nott

66 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

David Jaffe


Kennan Harvey

Anthony D'Amato

Rachelle Fish

Cole Davis

67 Eric Berry


D I N I N G G U I DE SH O WC A S E

SEVEN RIVERS STEAKS SEAFOODS SPIRITS AT SKY UTE CASINO IN IGANCIO by Graham Coffey

The Four Corners region has long been a destination for those who love to explore. Locals and tourists seeking an adventure can hop in their cars and drive in any direction to find different landscapes and singular experiences. The spirit of this community is rooted in seeking out adventures off the beaten path. The further one goes into the unknown, the bigger return they receive for their efforts. Durango features more restaurants per capita than Denver, and in recent years the area has become an increasingly popular destination for those who want to have unique dining experiences. For those seeking a culinary adventure rooted in the Four Corners tradition of exploration, Seven Rivers Steaks Seafoods Spirits at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio is a can’t-miss destination. On this chilly evening we are treated to beautiful sunset views of the La Plata Mountains as we travel towards Ignacio. Different parts of the range peek through an incoming snowstorm as we drive. Each time we glance across the valley the colors painted onto the peaks and clouds change. We enter Seven Rivers, where warmth and pleasing smells immediately envelop our party and deep wood tones and distinctive lighting welcome us into the dining room. Seven Rivers’ team of chefs is working hard in the restaurant’s exhibition kitchen as we are seated. Our party spots a server walking by with a tray full of entrees, and our eyes grow wide with envy. Crispy coconut almond shrimp, lump crab cocktail, black angus carpaccio, and a lobster bisque with creme and caviar so de-

68 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Photos by Cole Davis

licious it’s sinful. These offerings provide an evening’s worth of flavors on their own, but they are just the appetizers. Almost in unison, everyone at the table starts to exclaim, “You have to try this!” Plates quickly begin to be passed around, and all of us agree that we are in the midst of an experience that doesn’t come around very often. Chef George Boughan has been here since 2011. He explains that everything, from the decor to the menu filled with rare offerings sourced from all over the country, is de-

signed to make us feel like we are in an oldschool Las Vegas steakhouse. If I didn’t know better, I could have easily been convinced that we’d been placed in a time warp and landed in the midst of a memorable night out on the Sinatra- or Elvis-era Vegas Strip. That we are in Ignacio makes it all the more special. If you’ve ever tried to ship something overnight to the Four Corners, you know there is no easy way to get things here quickly. In the pandemic era, that has become even more difficult. Despite the logistical challenges involved, Seven Rivers has remained committed to serving a menu that would be unique in any major metropolis. “Sourcing some of our foods has been difficult, but we’re proud to be the same restaurant as we were before COVID-19,” says Boughan. A few minutes after he tells me this, our entrees arrive: scallops wrapped in bacon, fresh lobster tails, seared Chilean sea bass, and a peppercorn-crusted bison strip steak. We share bites of one another’s dishes and we are all blown away. Each dish is cooked to perfection, and we are struck by how reasonably priced everything on the menu is. When one considers that each entree comes with two


sides, dining at Seven Rivers is a fantastic value. Tonight, we have the truffled mac and cheese, jalapeño cheddar mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, creamy sweet corn, sautéed wild mushrooms and more. Like every other dish, each comes with it's own exciting blends of flavors. This is all part of the experience Seven Rivers strives to offer its guests, according to Nicole Lansing, manager of Seven Rivers and a tribal member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. She sees this as key to the restaurant’s growth. “Our entrees are big portions and your sides are included with your entrees, so there’s a good value in coming to eat here. We hear, ‘Can we get a wheelbarrow to take me out?’ quite a lot. We have been getting more popular by word of mouth by satisfying the guests when they finish here,” says Lansing. If you’re a resident of the Four Corners or a frequent visitor to the area you should consider it good news that Seven Rivers continues to grow. There’s simply nothing quite like the experience of dining there, and that point was driven home when our evening was capped by our server preparing bananas foster right at our table. Like everything else we ate that night, it was incredible. The Southern Utes were the earliest inhabitants of the Four Corners, so it is no coincidence Seven Rivers perfectly captures the region’s spirt of adventure and distills it into a dining experience. If you’re willing to go a bit further, explore a bit longer, and push off the beaten path of downtown Durango’s food scene, you too can enjoy the culinary adventure of dining at Seven Rivers.

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N I G H TLI FE & DI N I N G G U I DE

Kennan Harvey

NIGHTLIFE

ANARCHY BREWING COMPANY A neighborhood nano-brewery featuring small batch, frequently rotating beers. The brewery is a “homegrown” taproom built, decorated and run by the founder and friends. They are brewing both traditional and unique beers, as well as collaborating with other local brewers. 225 E 8th Ave., Unit C (970) 422-8088 www.anarchybrewingco.com 8TH AVENUE TAVERN 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. 8th Ave., 970-259-8801. BALCONY BAR & GRILL 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. BOOKCASE & BARBER 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 DURANGO CRAFT SPIRITS Distillery and tasting room. Durango’s first legal grain-to-glass distillery since Prohibition. 1120 Main Ave. #2, 970-247-1919, www.durangospirits.com

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ERNIE’S Located within the lively 11th Street Station, Ernie’s is a service-stationthemed bar and is the perfect spot to enjoy a cold beer from the front of a ’57 Chevy Bel Air, or sample from the assortment of specialty cocktails or extensive list of Mezcal and tequilas. Boasting a daily happy hour, Ernie’s is a win-win choice. 1100 Main Ave., 970-422-8482, www.11thstreetstation.com/ernies-bar EL RANCHO TAVERN 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 ESOTERRA CIDERWORKS Family-owned and operated cidery serving one-of-a-kind artisanal ciders, No colors, additives, or flavoring, just apples, yeast & time. Enjoy a cider in a relaxing atmosphere with great conversation. 934 Main Ave. Unit B, 970-676-0053, www.esoterracider.com FOUR LEAVES WINERY 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 dip. 528 Main Ave., 970-403-8182, www.fourleaveswinery.com THE GARAGE Previously known as Ponga’s, 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. 8th St., 970-382-8554.

JOEL’S BAR 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. 8th St., 405-757-5702. MOE’S STARLIGHT LOUNGE 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. OFFICE SPIRITORIUM 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, 970-375-7260, www.strater.com/dining/the-office-spiritorium/ ORIO’S ROADHOUSE 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. UNION SOCIAL HOUSE 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., 970-759-4144, www.unionsocialhouse.com WILD HORSE SALOON Durango’s favorite for live country and 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.2nd Ave., Suite C, 970-375-2568, www.durangowildhorsesaloon.com Editors’ Pick


COFFEE SHOPS

81301 COFFEE 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 ANIMAS CHOCOLATE & COFFEE COMPANY 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 COMMON GROUNDS CAFÉ Staffed by high school students who want experience. Sandwiches, yogurt, chips, fruit, and cold drinks. Featuring baked goods from Bread bakery and coffee from Desert Sun coffee roasters. It’s the perfect snack spot for kids, library patrons, and river trail users. 1900 E. Third Ave. inside the Durango Public Library, 970-375-3380. CROSSROADS COFFEE Just inside the Alpine Bank building serving locally roasted coffee, baked goods, and specialty drinks. Gluten-free items, 1099 Main Ave., 970-903-9051 DURANGO COFFEE COMPANY Coffee shop and café. Comfortable meeting place. Locally roasted coffees. 730 Main Ave., 970-259-1011, www.durangocoffee.com DURANGO JOES COFFEE 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 HERMOSA CAFÉ Dedicated to providing the highest-quality specialty coffee along with unparalleled customer service. Serving a wide variety of coffee from around the world, fresh food, and beer and spirits, connecting the Durango community in the process. 738 Main Ave., 970-259-2059, www.hermosacafedurango.com JITTERS’ JAVA 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, 970-759-6108, www.jitters-java.ueniweb.com MAGPIE’S NEWSSTAND AND CAFÉ 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 MOUNTAIN MONK COFFEE Offering coffee, elixirs, and munchies just a stone’s throw from the D&SNGRR station. Check the website for yoga and live entertainment schedule. 558 Main Ave., 970-389-4111, www.mountainmonkcoffee.com SINGLETRACK CAFÉ 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 SMILEY CAFÉ A cozy and inviting coffee shop in the popular Smiley Building. Serving fresh, local coffee from 81301 Coffee, breakfast burritos, salads, sandwiches, and a delicious variety of home-baked, gluten-free goodies. 1309 E. 3rd Ave., 970-844-0771, www.thesmileycafe.com STARBUCKS COFFEE 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 STILL LIFE COFFEE & BOTANICALS A new coffee and houseplant shop located on Florida Road, at the base of north College Drive. Featuring organic specialty coffee and tea, craft pastries, house plants, and fresh cut flowers, 970-501-0960, 1301-C Florida Rd., www.still-life-coffee.com STIMULUS CAFÉ & COFFEE HOUSE Take a break from shopping and enjoy hot drinks and tasty treats right in the Main Mall. Weekly children’s book readings from our secret library. Serving only locally brewed coffee from beans sourced worldwide, 835 Main Ave., 970-422-8335, www.cafestimulus.com UPPER EAST SIDE COFFEE DELI 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. 28902 U.S. Hwy. 160 E., 970-385-5747, www.uppereastsidecoffeedeli.business.site 71


N I G H TLI FE & DI N I N G G U I DE

DINING 2ND DELI & SPIRITS 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. 2nd Ave., 970-259-1000, www.2nddelidurango.com 425 DEGREES TAKE & BAKE PIZZA “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, 970-259-0399. 636 MAIN AVE An American bistro featuring personally crafted seafood, steak, and Asian-inspired dishes. Start your meal with a selection from the extensive wine menu or a specialty cocktail, fiinish with a decadent dessert, Yearround patio. Reservations are encouraged. 636 Main Ave., 970-385-1810, www.636mainave.com AKAMI POKE AND RAMEN A haven for Japanese ramen, Hawaiian poke bowls, and an extensive menu of Izakaya and other fusion delicacies. Dine and enjoy a variety of sake in their casually hip dining room or on the charming patio. 309 W. College Dr., 970-764-7653, www.akamipokeramen.com

ANIMAS RIVER BEER GARDEN The Animas River Beer Garden features a diverse selection of mile-high sandwiches and ' Grille'' specialties. Featuring beer from Breckenridge Brewery. Seaonal summer hours for lunch and dinner. Enjoy casual patio open air dining on the river while watching the rafters float by. 501 Camino del Rio, inside the DoubleTree Hotel, 970-382-3950. ANIMAS RIVER GRILLE Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for casual or celebratory events. Enjoy stunning river views. Daily specials; kids’ menu. For the healthy-minded, the Animas River Grille has its “eat right menu.” Easy-order takeout by phone. 501 Camino del Rio, inside the DoubleTree Hotel, 970-382-3950. APPLEBEE’S NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL & BAR 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 BAR D CHUCKWAGON SUPPERS 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

ALCÉ RESTAURANT Located in the clubhouse of Dalton Ranch Golf Club just 8 minutes north of Durango. Offering one of the area’s best outdoor patios. Not just with great views but often cooler summer temps. Chef Antonio Ayala has recently rejoined our team and brings both his Mexican and European influence to his culinary creations. 589 County Road 252, 970-247-4980, www.alcerestaurant.com

BART’S DELI 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

ANIMAS BREWING COMPANY Just off the Animas River Trail near Rotary Park. A relaxed, family-friendly brewpub serving house-made beers and Colorado wine and spirits, along with a spin on comfort food and plenty of kid favorites. Comfortable outdoor seating. 1560 E. 2nd Ave., 970-403-8850, www.animasbrewing.com

BASECAMP DURANGO Located inside the The Lodge at Tamarron, Fuel up for a day on the trail or a round of golf. A plant-based restaurant serving farm-fresh eats or grab-andgo provisions. Outdoor seating on a serene treetop deck, 40292 US-HWY 550, 970-382-6776, www.basecampdurango.com

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BASKIN-ROBBINS 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 BREAD 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. 8th St., 970-247-5100, www.breaddurango.com BURGER KING Redrock Foods, a Burger King Corp. franchisee, owns and operates the Durango location and 19 New Mexico and Colorado stores. Visit 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 BURGER THEORY 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, www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/durango/drodc/ hoteldetail/dining CARVER BREWING COMPANY 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 CHIMAYO STONE FIRED KITCHEN 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 open exhibition kitchen. Specialty cocktails, fine wines and local tap beer. Unique, casual fine dining. 862 Main Ave., 970-259-2749, www.chimayodurango.com


CHINA CAFÉ 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

DERAILED POUR HOUSE 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., 970-247-5440, www.derailedpourhouse.com

DURANGO DELI 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.

CJ’S DINER Open for breakfast and lunch, CJ’s Diner is a popular southside eatery 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 College Dr., 970-375-0117, www.cjsdiner.net

DIAMOND BELLE SALOON 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 5:30 p.m., June through October. 699 Main Ave., inside the Strater Hotel, 970-247-4431, www.strater.com/dining/diamond-belle-saloon/

DURANGO DINER On historic Main Avenue, “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

COLD STONE CREAMERY 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, and Cold Stone does this perfectly. Custom, signature ice cream cakes, pies, and cupcakes. 598 Main Ave., 970-259-5052, www.coldstonecreamery.com COLLEGE DRIVE CAFÉ 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 CUCKOO’S CHICKEN HOUSE & WATERIN’ HOLE 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 CUEVAS TACOS Coined “Durango’s Most Authentic Mexican Street Food”, Cuevas Tacos brings amazing tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, and their “famous” tortas to the Durango streets via their nifty food truck. Pick up, hang out, or order online. 725 E. 2nd Ave., 970-779-5468, www.cuevastacos.com DENNY’S Family-friendly menu selections to satisfy everyone of all ages. Serving delicious and classic breakfasts, like pancake or egg platters; seafood, salad, and steak lunches and dinners, Denny’s provides affordable and delicious meals. 666 Camino del Rio, 970-247-1512, www.dennys.com

DOMINO’S PIZZA 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 DUNKIN’ DONUTS Long-running chain serving signature breakfast items, an assortment of coffee beverages, and of course, their famous donuts. Sign up for rewards through the Dunkin’ app as well as order ahead for quick and easy pickup. 1254 Escalante Dr., 970-764-4949, www.dunkindonuts.com

DURANGO DOUGHWORKS 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 DURANGO NATURAL FOODS CO-OP 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. 8th Ave., at the corner of College and Eighth, 970-247-8129, www.durangonaturalfoods.coop

DURANGO BAGEL Voted the “best bagel in the Four Corners.” Freshly baked bagels, cinnamon rolls and pastries. Great breakfast selections and lunch bagel sandwiches. Takeout lunches. 106 E. 5th St., next to the train depot, 970-385-7297.

EAST BY SOUTHWEST 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

DURANGO BEER AND ICE COMPANY First founded in 1887, and continuing the tradition with a restart in 2020, the new railroad-inspired tasting room offers local brews from High Trestle Brewing Company, along with great “pub grub,” including a variety of burgers and homemade red and green chile. 3000 Main Ave., 970-764-4466, www.durangobeerandice.com

EL MORO SPIRITS & TAVERN 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

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N I G H TLI FE & DI N I N G G U I DE EOLUS BAR & DINING Locally owned and operated since 2013, Eolus is 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 recommended. 919 Main Ave., 970-259-2898, www.eolusdurango.com ELEVATED EATS Two locations to choose from. Local chefs that know flavors. Some of the most amazing and fresh dishes you’ve ever enjoyed. Stay elevated! Food truck inside Durango Hot Springs, 6475 County Road 203 or 939 US Highway 3, 970 403-3696, www.elevatedeatsdurango.com

FUR TRAPPERS STEAKHOUSE Travel back in time to feel the nostalgia of Rocky Mountain living during the mid-19th century. Fur Trappers Steakhouse embodies both the feeling and flavorful food of this era, creating the ultimate destination dining experience. 701 E. 2nd Ave. in Durango, 970-259-0940 and 17460 CR 501 at Vallecito Lake, 970-884-0596, www.furtrapperssteakhouseandbar.com GAZPACHO 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 sopaipillas, and vegetarian menu. Full bar. Parking. 431 E. 2nd Ave., 970-259-9494, www.gazpachodurango.com

FAMBURGER Burgers, coney dogs, hand-battered onion rings, soft-serve ice cream, milkshakes, floats, and fries. Everything you and your kids could want in a walk-up diner. Just 500 feet from the Animas River Trail. 1400 E. 2nd Ave., 970-422-8082, www.theoriginalfamburger.com

GRASSBURGER 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- and 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

FATHER’S DAUGHTERS PIZZA 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. 640 Main Ave., 970-385-0420, www.fathersdaughterspizza.com

GRIEGO’S RESTAURANT 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.

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

HAPPY PAPPY’S PIZZA & WINGS New to the Durango area, Happy Pappy’s has a wide variety of build-yourown pizzas, flavorful wings, and beer. Using longtime family dough and wing recipes along with the best ingredients possible. Order online, over the phone, or in person. 2411 Main Ave., 970-764-4213.

FREDDY’S FROZEN CUSTARD & STEAKBURGERS Retro-style chain restaurant offering steakburgers, hot dogs, and other fastfood staples, plus frozen custard galore. 1246 Escalante Dr., 970-422-8655, www.freddysusa.com/store/durango

HERMOSA CREEK GRILl 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, and salads. Full espresso bar. 32223 U.S. Hwy. 550 N., 970-247-0014, www.hermosacreekgrill.com

HIGHWAY 3 ROADHOUSE & OYSTER BAR Locals’ hangout. Unique appetizers and full bar. Happy-hour oysters, $9/ half-dozen. Slider night is Wednesday, $5.50&6.00/slider. Thursday ladies’ night, $6 martinis and cosmos. Friday catfish night, $20.95. Great for private parties. 955 CO Hwy. 3, 970-385-7444, www.highway3roadhouse.com HIMALAYAN KITCHEN 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, www.himkitchen.com HOME SLICE PIZZA 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; 2915 Main Ave., 970-422-8337; and 125 Mercado St., #105, 970-764-4207; www.homeslicedelivers.com HUNT BROTHERS PIZZA Carry-out pizza located inside the 4 Star Market, 10 toppings to choose from, 20800 W. US HWY160, www.durangocopizza.com J. BO’S PIZZA & RIB COMPANY 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., 970-259-0010, www.jbosdurango.com JAMES RANCH MARKET & GRILL Where unforgettable food and memories are made. Experience a table-onthe-farm organic restaurant, farm market, and ranch tours. 33846 U.S. Hwy. 550, 970-764-4222, www.jamesranch.net/grill JEAN PIERRE BAKERY, CAFÉ & WINE BAR 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.

Voted B Burger est & Outdoo Dining r 2021

Where unforgettable food & memories are made

Experience our Table-on-the-Farm organic restaurant and farm market. Eat outdoors on our expansive terraces, shop our market with daily fresh local produce, enjoy indoor seating, with large picture windows, a fireplace and a private room for parties!

COME SEE US YEAR ROUND !

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 74 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

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


JIMMY JOHN’S 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 KACHINA KITCHEN 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. KENNEBEC CAFÉ 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 LA HACIENDA 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. THE LIFT Located at Cascade Village just north of Purgatory Ski Resort, The Lift serves authentic modern American cuisine with impeccable views of the San Juan Mountains. 50827 U.S. Hwy. 550 N., 970-749-6200, www.theliftcascade.com THE LIVELY DAIKON 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., Ste. B, 970-286-0227, www.thelivelydaikon.com LONE SPUR CAFÉ 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

LOS AMIGOS DEL SUR 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 MACHO’S FAST MEXICAN FOOD & DRINKS Fresh and bursting with flavor, great dishes prepared with the highestquality ingredients. Beto’s Burrito Bowl is a favorite! Authentic Mexican meals. Great atmosphere, friendly service, affordable prices. Take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey. 1485 Florida Rd., 970-422-8540 and 275 E. 8th Ave., 970-259-4108. MAHOGANY GRILLE 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/ MAMMA SILVIA’S ITALIAN KITCHEN 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 MAY PALACE RESTAURANT 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. MCDONALD’S 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. 6th St., 970-247-2446, www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us.html MI RANCHITO Family restaurant offering real street tacos. Daily specials, dine in, curbside pickup, delivery. 117 W. College Dr., 970-422-8514.

MICHEL’S CORNER CRÊPES Longtime Durango chef Michel Poumay brings authentic sweet and savory French crêpes to the heart of downtown. Each made fresh to order. Perfect for grabbing unique fare to go, or dine on the patio. 598 Main Ave., 970-769-0256, www.michelscorner.com MONGOLIAN GRILL 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.mongoliangrill.uorder.io NATURE’S OASIS 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 NAYARIT RESTAURANT Named after the Mexican state of Nayarit, offering authentic Mexican food that cannot be found anywhere else in Durango. Best known for their selection of tequilas and margaritas, fresh seafood, and delicious tacos. 2525 Main Ave., 970-385-1595 and 1135 S. Camino del Rio, #290, 970-259-4114, www.nayaritmexicandurango.com Nini’s Taqueria 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 Olde Schoolhouse Café & Saloon 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

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N I G H TLI FE & DI N I N G G U I DE

We Proudly Serve Only the Best

Old Tymer’s Cafe 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.otcdgo.com Ore House 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 Oscar’s Café 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, shakes, burgers, Reubens, and club sandwiches. Kids’ menu. Takeout. 18 Town Plaza, 970-247-0526.

Located Inside Nature’s Oasis Jack's...Your cleanest, friendliest, full-service meat market in Southwest Colorado

Papa Murphy’s Take ’N’ Bake Pizza Freshly prepared, ready to pop into the oven, pizzas, including Gourmet Delite®. Choose from 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 Pizza Hut 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 PJ’s Gourmet Market 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

Locally and Family Owned

970.247.1988 • 300 S. Camino del Rio • Durango, CO 76 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Pop Sushi 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


PRIMI Pasta & Wine Bar RIMI, 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 in and enjoy. 1201 Main Ave., #102, 970-764-4138, www.primidurango.com Primus 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 upstairs and downstairs dining areas, Primus offers a unique and exciting menu to those seeking to enliven their taste buds. 1017 Main Ave., 970-259-1945, www.primusrestaurant.com

Durango’s favorite family entertainment since 1969

Old West Music and Comedy Show and Chuckwagon

Supper

Purgatory Resort Restaurants 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. 1 Skier Place, seasonal hours apply, 970-247-9000, www.purgatory.ski Raider Ridge Café Locals’ choice for healthy meals. Tasty wraps, deli sandwiches, breakfast burritos, vegetarian green chili, local organic coffee, and the very best fresh-fruit smoothies in town. Takeout orders welcome. 509 E. 8th Ave., 970-375-9727, www.raiderridgecafe.com RGP’s Flame-Grilled Wraps 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 Rice Monkeys Healthy, creative, delicious Asian food in a fast, friendly environment. Sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, traditional Vietnamese. Specialty rolls, rice bowls, egg rolls, and platters with such favorites 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 Roadhouse Pizza Company Carryout pizza and wings, 123 CO-172, 970-247-4933

The Bar D Wranglers perform in Concert after supper with songs of cowboys and the old west, comedy, and lively instruments to please the whole family.

Activities, ticketing, and shops open at 4:30 pm Supper is at 6:30 Memorial Day weekend thru September

www.bardchuckwagon.com

Reservations Required

970-247-5753

The Roost Brought to you by the owners of Cuckoo’s Chicken House & Waterin’ Hole and The Animas City Theatre. Serving traditional American food—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 Sage: Farm Fresh Eats From soil to soup and sprout to salad, Sage marries local food with fast, casual convenience. 3101 Main Ave., #5, 970-764-4270, www.sagefarmfresheats.com Seasons Rotisserie & Grill 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 5:30 p.m. 764 Main Ave., 970-382-9790, www.seasonsofdurango.com Serious Delights Bakehouse 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 Serious Texas Bar-B-Q 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 Seven Rivers Steakhouse 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/ Sizzling Siam 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. 77


N I G H TLI FE & DI N I N G G U I DE Ska Brewing 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

est. 2011

Sky Ute Casino Resort 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 with TVs for sports fans, a full bar, and appetizers; Shining Mountain Café for Native American fare. 14324 Hwy. 172 North, Ignacio, 970-563-7777, www.skyutecasino.com/dining

Handcrafted Chocolate

Sonic Drive-In Breakfast and main menu items all day – American classics like cheeseburgers and fries. Happy hour (half-price fountain drinks and slushes) every day, 2-5 p.m. Monthly specials. 240 E. 8th Ave., 970-247-8160, www.sonicdrivein.com

C chocolate & coffeeo.

Chocolate Cafe Espresso | Iced Drinks | Coffee | beer | wine | Cocktails

Soup Paletté Serving food out of their snazzy truck. Their passion is preparing healthy and delicious food. Vegan, gluten-free, meaty, and fresh. Truck is available to reserve for special events. 725 E. 2nd Ave., 970-759-9921, www.souppalette.com Steamworks Brewing Co. Great spot for a casual lunch or dinner. Award-winning selection of beers, cocktails, and wines. Nightly food and drink specials. Games on several TVs. 801 E. 2nd Ave., 970-259-9200, www.steamworksbrewing.com

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

Subways in Durango 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; 1145 S. Camino del Rio, 970-382-9511; https://restaurants.subway.com/united-states/co/durango Sunnyside Farms Market 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 deli to-go orders. 1305 Escalante Dr., #101, 970-375-6400, www.sunnysidefarmsmarket.com Switchback Taco Bar 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 T’s Smokehouse & Grill 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 Taco Bell Known for “thinking outside the bun” with original tacos, burritos, gorditas, Mexican pizza, chalupas, nachos, cheese roll-ups, quesadillas, taquitos, and taco salads. Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, extra cheese, rice, beans. 2902 Main Ave., 970-259-5588, www.tacobell.com

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Taco Boy 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, or 2477 N. Main Ave., 970-422-8223, www.tacoboycolorado.com Taco Libre Taqueria and Cocktails Wrestle down some tacos at Durango’s newest taqueria. Serving lunch and dinner for dine in, take out, and delivery. Enjoy signature drinks at the full bar. 1150 Main Ave., 970-764-4186, www.tacolibredurango.com Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant 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 Thai Kitchen 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, https://thaikitchen99.wixsite.com/my-site


Thimbleberry Smoothie Co. Located in the courtyard of the Powerhouse Science Center, mobile smoothie shop serving vibrant, beautiful smoothies and smoothie bowls. Using organic and house-made ingredients, Thimbleberry brings creativity, nourishment, and health to the community. 1285 Camino Del Rio, 970-205-9282, www.thimbleberrysmoothieco.com Turtle Lake Refuge Café 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 11:11 a.m.-2:22 p.m. 848 E. 3rd Ave., 970-247-8395, www.turtlelakerefuge.org Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers 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 Yellow Carrot Restaurant and Bakery 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., Suite #1, 970-259-3773, www.theyellowcarrot.com Zia Cantina Zia Taqueria has partnered with Peach Street Distillers to add a new upstairs bar, rooftop patio, and event space to Zia Taqueria’s north location. Serving creative cocktails featuring local spirits and draft beer, Zia Cantina brings a unique, fun, and family-friendly environment to the community. 2977 Main Ave., 970-247-3355, www.ziataqueria.com/zia-cantina Zia Taqueria 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, or online ordering. 2977 Main Ave., 970-247-3355, and 400 S. Camino del Rio, 970-247-1002, www.ziataqueria.com

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D I N I N G G U I DE SH O WC A S E

HWY 3 ROADHOUSE

EAT, DRINK & HAVE FUN WITH US! by Billy Grimes

You have to be paying attention or you’ll miss Highway 3 Roadhouse & Oyster Bar when you’re driving by. Tucked away off the main road behind Highway 3 Plaza and United Rentals, the restaurant feels like a hidden secret waiting to be discovered. In operation for 11 years, the Roadhouse has developed a loyal following of locals plus adventurous tourists who want something different from Main Avenue's usual offerings. We were welcomed by the owner, Chuck Norton, who was sitting at the host stand directing traffic from the kitchen and bar behind him. Wearing his signature red cap and sporting a trim gray beard, he had a fatherly countenance and I suspected he had some stories to tell. The place was hopping for a Wednesday evening and after a short wait we were seated at a cozy corner table where I could observe the controlled chaos. There are three separate dining areas plus seats at the small bar, with an ambiance that is warm, comfortable, and not too noisy. After running a series of restaurants in Aspen, Telluride, and Ouray, Norton, who is a Louisiana native, settled in Durango in 1989. Originally from New Orleans, he brought his unique flavors with him: Cajun, Italian, Mexican, Southwestern, and Southern cuisines. In 2010, Norton moved his catering kitchen into an old building on Highway 3. Realizing that he had some extra space, he set up a bar and small seating area and on Fat Tuesday of 2011, Norton opened his doors to the new Highway 3 Restaurant and Oyster Bar. Since then, the building has grown to increase seating capacity, and in 2015, Norton changed its name to Highway 3 Roadhouse & Oyster Bar. During the summer, a wonderful outdoor seating area is available, and the newest addition is the "Garage Room”, which includes an overhead door opening to a plantfilled patio. Norton closed his catering company two years ago after tiring of the travel and prep involved, but he will still cater special events on the premises. Norton’s is one of only a handful of restaurants in Durango where one can enjoy oysters on the half shell, and nowhere else in town serves Abita beer from Louisiana. We ordered both, plus a delicious margarita and an overstuffed bloody mary. I was really beginning to enjoy the rootsy, southern vibe of the place as we devoured a bowl of peel-andeat shrimp for an appetizer. We started with the Blackened Ahi Salad (mixed greens, romaine, spinach, pecans, cranberries, and citrus vinaigrette) and the quintessentially Cajun bowl of authentic 80 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Photos by Owen Weber

seafood filé gumbo (shrimp, crawfish, oysters, catfish, and andouille sausage). For our main courses we chose southern fried catfish (farm-raised in Mississippi) that came with a delicious coleslaw salad, and deep-fried softshell crab. Suzanne, who’s been working as a waitperson at the Roadhouse for 10 years suggested that we try the chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes, cream gravy, greens, and a biscuit. Although we were full, we had to try Norton’s bread pudding with whiskey sauce, a classic key lime pie, and the very delicious deep-dish chocolate bourbon pecan pie á la mode. The menu is varied with many unique listings like: alligator bites, blue crab cakes, fried okra, crawfish étouffée, po boy sand-

wiches, red beans and rice, and hush puppies with tartar sauce. We liked the place so much, we came back a week later to make sure our impressions were accurate. Not too hungry this time, we selected a lighter meal of artichoke green chili dip with corn chips and the mahi mahi blackened tacos with mango salsa; both were delicious, and the atmosphere was the same: welcoming and cozy. A doting host, Norton likes to visit with his customers and when he stopped at our table, I was able to hear more of his history. When asked how he became a chef, he told me that every man in New Orleans knows how to cook and when he was a teenager, his father bought a swim club and asked him to run the snack bar. He eventually moved to


Denver and worked at a golf club restaurant before moving to the Western Slope. Chef Norton loves working with his tight, well-orchestrated staff and told me the roadhouse crew felt like family. He even took them all to New Orleans for his 77th birthday in November. He has no plans of slowing down because he’s having too much fun entertaining guests. Like a pearl in an oyster, this secret spot nestled off the highway against a mountainside has become my new favorite spot. The restaurant is open Wednesday – Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. with menu specials each night. Located at 955 Colorado Highway 3 in Durango. Please see the full menu on their website: highway3roadhouse.com

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82 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


Cole Davis

CONTENTS: 84 90 94 99 102 104 107 110 111

DURANGO DREAM HOME MIND, BODY, SOUL DURANGO KIDS ANIMAS VALLEY BALLOON RALLY HOME SWEET HOME COMMUNITY PROFILE REALTOR PROFILE ADVERTISER INDEX LOCAL GIVING 83


ELEVATION CUSTOM BUILDERS

DURANGO DREAM HOME ELEVATION CUSTOM BUILDERS by Graham Coffey

Most of us do it. We look at our closets and imagine how much more convenient it would be if the layout were designed to fit our wardrobes. We stare at our backyards and imagine the way we’d customize them for entertaining. Nestled into the hillside above downtown Durango lies a home built with unique intention, with every square foot of the property and structure tailor-made for the owners. In many ways the owners of the property spent a lifetime designing it. Though they might not have known it at the time, they changed the layout of 84 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

their future home each time they discovered a new hobby or passion. The house is a project of Elevation Custom Builders, a local firm with a passion for taking its clients through every step of the construction process on the way to creating a home that is perfectly designed for their personalities. Elevation Custom Builders is co-owned by Jeff Perino and Don Ferrarese. “We have substantial experience in different facets of designing and building,” explains Perino. “We work as a team and have extreme collaboration with the cli-

ent to give them the best of what this area has to offer.” Perino is a fourth-generation Durango native who partnered with his father-in-law Don to start the business. Together they have assembled a team with more than 130 years of combined custom home-building and design experience. The house downtown was a design-build project that started before the client had even bought the property they call home. A major part of the Elevation team is Kim Eisner, the firm’s in-house designer. “People like the process of being


Photos courtesy of Elevation Custom Builders

involved from the very beginning,” says Eisner. “We work with the client from the start on everything from the aesthetic to the budget. We have that honest connection from the very start so we don’t have to go backwards and redesign. Jeff is a civil engineer, so his ability to work with the land is incredible. We help clients before they even purchase the land and walk the lot to talk about the slope and how to get the most out of it.” Perino’s skills were a necessity in executing the build of this home and ensuring the client’s vision came to life. The 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath property sits on a steep lot, and the clients, a married couple, wanted to ensure they would have space for all of their hobbies.

“The husband is such an outdoor guy. He’s an avid climber and loves getting outside, so we had to find a way to create storage for lots of outdoor gear,” explains Perino. “In order to stick within the local building codes and give them that space on this particular lot we had to find a way to get underground and go into the hillside.” The Elevation team made the storage work by building underground, and they were also able to install a vented climbing gym on this basement level. “Our project manager created an indoor climbing wall, and also installed some hangboards so the client could have a place to get training in for his climbing objectives.” With each step through the house, you

can learn a bit more about the passions of the couple for which it was built. In the back of the lot is a studio where the wife, an acclaimed artist, creates her work. When you step into the kitchen you find an orbital stainless island countertop. The walls surrounding it feature custom cabinets, and the storage was planned to her specifications so everything would fit just right. After seeing the kitchen, it’s no surprise to learn she is also a wonderful chef. It is these types of details that make the house so unique, and Elevation is experienced and comfortable with the sometimes-static process of building a custom home. When it comes to working with subcontractors, the combined ex-

85


perience of Elevation’s team has allowed them to pull together the best that the Four Corners has to offer. “We work with subcontractors who specialize in and understand the idiosyncrasies of working with custom builds. They rise to the challenges every step of the process and remain flexible along the way to ensure the customer gets what they want.” The couple is passionate about spending time with friends. Instead of opting for a large TV room they chose to have more space around the fireplace and a reading room filled with bookshelves. Both feature custom woodwork from John Kassay at San Juan Trimworks, and they add to the spaces in the home where people can sit and enjoy one another. The guest rooms are on the top floor with views of the mountains around Durango. The owners had an elevator built to ensure guests with mobility issues will be able to visit comfortably, and Elevation’s team worked with the manufacturer to surround it in glass to maintain an open feel. The house blends numerous design styles. “We combined some aesthetics to give it a Craftsman feel as you come into the home and then it turns more contemporary,” said Kim. “The glass elevator, open staircases, skylights, lots of windows... It was all intentional to give the home the feeling of an open place to gather, and I think that it mirrors the personalities of the clients.” Elevation worked hard to ensure there was still ample space for landscape archi-

86 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

tect Drew Weigle of Ecological Resources to work his magic around the home. The property features multiple outdoor living spaces – a fire pit, gazebo, tiered gardens, stone steps, and multiple patios for gathering or sitting in solitude. Despite the challenges the pandemic has created for builders, the team at Elevation Custom Builders was able to turn

the couple’s vision into a reality. “Nowadays I think we work twice as hard trying to keep everything on schedule and helping clients understand how the world is affecting their build,” says Perino. “Because of how we work we’re okay with that. Our clients deserve every piece of attention we can give them, and we want to ensure they get what they want.”


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89


M I N D, BO DY, S O U L

Rejuvenate your body and soul

In today’s fast-paced culture, it’s important to carve out some time for a bit of pampering that replenishes the mind, body, and soul. Spoil yourself today at one of Durango’s superb wellness providers, and see the difference a little self-care makes. Woodhouse Spa nourishes your mind and body for greater connection and calm. Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa soothes your soul with healing waters and restorative body treatments. Aesthetics and Wellness of Durango elevates your skin and reveals your inner shine. Salt 360 Float Studio will relax your mind in a soothing float experience or in an infrared sauna specialized for your specific needs.

90 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

The Woodhouse Day Spa

1521 MAIN AVENUE durango.woodhousespas.com • 970-247-7769 Woodhouse Spa - Durango offers a serene escape from the day-to-day hustle. With warmer weather approaching, we are thrilled to reopen the rooftop space overlooking the Animas River with personalized group and event rental options available. Our rooftop comes fully equipped with seating, audio, fire pits, and breathtaking views. Find sanctuary in our space as you indulge in our luxurious fullservice menu, including massage therapies, facial rejuvenation, whole-body treatments, expert manicures and pedicures, dry sauna, and LED light therapies. Whether you join us for celebration or routine self-care, Woodhouse is powered by a passionate and knowledgeable team eager to support your experience. Every detail of the experience at Woodhouse Spa has been intentionally crafted with your wellbeing taken into consideration as our highest priority. Let our services help you achieve peace, a place of greater mental clarity, and healing. May you find the chance to rebuild and recenter as we support you in discovering the power of your body and mind when it is handled with delicate care. Depart our doors with not only a blissful memory of how you spent your time but a newfound confidence in your life. SERVICES INCLUDE: • Relaxing and advanced facial treatments • Body treatments • Transformative massage • Couples massage • Sleep treatments • Hand and foot treatments • “Spend the day with us” packages • Private group space rental options with spa treatments


Aesthetics & Wellness Durango

3057 MAIN AVENUE • aestheticsdurango.com • 970-799-3610 Aesthetics and Wellness offers a variety of services in a warm and comfortable setting. Their team, owner Sarah Packard Normand, RN/BSN/CLT, and Chloe Lindsey, CE/CLT, will help you achieve your aesthetic goals. They are the only MedSpa in Durango that offers Ultherapy, which builds collagen to tighten and lift skin, and ResurFX, a photofractional laser that treats tone, texture, pigmentation, and more. Other treatments include PDO Thread Lift, IPL pulsed light therapy, and microneedling. On the softer side, the relaxing Diamond Glow Facial cleans pores, exfoliates, and infuses cosmetic serums. Aesthetics and Wellness is proud to be one of the best aesthetics clinics, and was voted the Best of Durango for the past three years. SERVICES INCLUDE: • Botox, fillers, and Kybella • Ultherapy, Photofractional Laser, IPL • Diamond Glow Facial • Microneedling, chemical peel, dermaplaning • Laser hair reduction, teeth whitening

Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa 6475 COUNTY ROAD 203 • dhsresort.com • 970-247-0212

Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa is located eight miles north of downtown Durango and 15 miles south of Purgatory Ski Resort in the scenic Animas River valley. Surrounded by stunning mountain views, these natural mineral hot springs are like no other on Earth, with a perfect blend of 21 different minerals and no sulfur odor. Durango Hot Springs features 26 unique thermal mineral water features, including a resort-style 25-meter swimming pool, 16 natural mineral hot springs soaking pools, eight private Japanese-inspired cedar soaking tubs, a reflexology walking path, a mineral water rain tower, and a cold/hot-plunge pool. Reservations Required. SERVICES INCLUDE: • Hot springs soaking pools • Massage and spa treatments • Dry-finish sauna • Lodging rentals • Gift certificates

Salt 360 Float Studio

3750 MAIN AVE #5 • salt360float.com • 970-422-8284 The word easy sums up ever y aspect of the Salt 360 Float Studio experience except one: deciding which service to choose. Salt 360 has offered its popular flotation sessions since opening in 2018. As a client floats in a saltwater tank, the absence of sensory input and the buoyancy of the water create a unique environment designed to promote overall well-being. Reported benefits include decreased stress, reduced fatigue, speedier recovery from injuries, and pain relief. Salt 360 now also offers a state-of-the-art infrared sauna experience. Patented technology produces the healing aspects of sunlight while eliminating the harmful effects of UV rays, resulting in clinically proven health benefits. A client selects one of six preset programs, depending on their health goals and needs. No matter which service you choose, you’ll find Salt 360 offers the best in equipment, sanitation and service. SERVICES INCLUDE: • 60-, 75-, or 90-minute floats • Sauna sessions for singles or couples 91


92 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


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DURANGO KIDS

Erika Berglund playing her Native American Flute for the guided meditation, as the kids become one with nature. “The Native American flute creates a healing vibration that travels directly into our being." Photo by Benjamin Carrier

Energy Aware Kids It's all about the journey by Joy Martin

With backpacks cinched over tiny shoulders, water bottles sloshing, and shoelaces tied just tightly enough, six kids gather around their guide, Erika Berglund, on a sunny Monday. It’s Berglund’s weekly Nature Days class, where a loose itinerary typically unfolds along trails in Falls Creek or Sailing Hawks, two of Durango’s most prized open spaces. But first, these Energy Aware Kids come together at the trailhead to make an Intention Stew. “Standing in a circle, we imagine that we have a big pot in the center, and then we pour or shake our intention for our day into our stew: laughter, happiness, dragons,

94 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

fairies, water play, yummy food,” says Berglund. “And then we stir our stew, scoop it up, take a sip, and then release it to the sky, letting it rain down upon us.” In 2009, Berglund started guiding children in energy awareness & yoga. With two decades of practice in mind/body medicine, meditation, self-inquiry, yoga, sound healing, and other energetic modalities, Berglund says her Nature Days classes are designed to “inspire children to connect to the spirit of nature.” Instead of having a summit or physical end goal directing these outings, Berglund encourages the kids to explore the world around them, investigate what is calling to them, slow down and smell the trees, listen to the silence, and ultimately root into the present moment. “Nature is medicine,” says Berglund. “It can regulate and calm our nervous systems

and rebalance our brains. If children learn to deeply connect with nature at a young age, this beautiful relationship will always be available to nurture, soothe, and connect them to who they really are.” After Intention Stew, the excited bevy of six- to 10-year-olds votes on where to go first, moseying to Magic Meadow or Dragon Rock or another sacred space amongst the Gambel oaks or wavy grass. As the children rove and their questions transpire, Berglund weaves in her knowledge as a hydrogeologist, asking the children to consider where the water in the creek comes from or why there is sand on the path. “I’m vocal about what I notice, or what is calling me, and then open the door for them,” she says. “When that door opens, they discover five colors of lichen on a rock, for instance, or the taste of wild mint, or a moment spent talking with a tree.”


Avery Diehl

Avery Diehl

One go-to activity is Animal Tag, which involves each child choosing an animal to imitate. Whether they’re tiptoeing sideways like a crab or hopping like a kangaroo, Berglund says these unique movements not only serve to help the kids bond with one another but to also regulate both sides of the brain, so that whether a child is feeling tired or hyperactive, the nervous system can find balance. As they move on to the next adventure, conversation often shifts to the kids’ emotions and how they handle their sadness or anger in the real world. Berglund says the kids will share how they incorporate their newfound energy tools to help them stay balanced. “I have found that kids often do not know what to do with the huge rollercoaster of emotions we can all experience,” says Berglund. “The energy tools I teach can help the kids to become aware of how they are feeling and learn to work with what is arising.” While the kids dictate most of the day’s wanderings, Berglund always has a place in mind for a final meditation. As each explorer finds a special spot to relax on the pockmarked rocks or along a creek, Berglund pulls out her Native American flute, which she’s been playing since 1998. She says she encourages the kids to close their eyes and imagine they have roots reaching all the way into the center of the earth. She’ll then lead them on a guided meditation, inviting them to listen to the surrounding sounds, notice smells, and feel the sun on their skin. Then the airy notes begin. “The Native American flute creates a healing vibration that travels directly into our being,” Berglund says. “It’s grounding and soothing, and even kids who have a hard time calming their systems can often sink right in when they hear the flute. To close the meditation, we find the peaceful energy in our bodies, wherever it may be, breathing into it and allowing it to expand and fill our being.” After four hours of movement, discovery, snacks, surprises, and this final meditation to integrate their experience, Berglund and her Energy Aware crew start their return to the trailhead. “What I’m offering is not a camp, forest school, yoga, or meditation class; my intention is to provide an environment that reflects their true nature back to them,” says Berglund. “But I’m reminded that I’m not in control and that these little beings, no matter how big or small they are, have their own things going on. All I can do is encourage them to release energy they no longer need and then bring up energy from the earth. When they seem to get it, that to me is like gold.” Nature Days are offered exclusively outdoors weekly or bi-weekly for kids ages 6-12. Learn about other offerings, like Mama & Littles weekly class for ages 2-6+, at Energy Awareness & Yoga for Kids at energyawarekids.com. 95


96 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


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98 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


Expect smiling faces for seventh annual Animas Valley Balloon Rally by John Peel

Yvonne Lashment

H

eed this warning should you attend the Animas Valley B al l o o n R al ly: get too c lose, a n d you mi ght c atc h th e hot-air-balloon bug. The enthusiasm is extremely infectious. The event in the wide valley north of Durango is celebrating its seventh year October 14-16. It’s small, with a maximum of 30 balloons taking to the skies, but it can make a big impression. If you wander around the open field, where balloonists are setting up next to the highway, many unexpected things could happen: you might find yourself making friends among the ebullient balloonists as you enjoy a crisp morning. You might find time has slipped away while you’re admiring the many oddly shaped and colorful flying devices as they rise from the fall golds and greens below to take their place against the brick red Hermosa Cliffs and the blue, cloud-dotted southwest Colorado sky. If the fever really takes hold, you may find yourself working on a crew. Balloonists are always seeking volunteers to set up, hold tethers, ride in the chase truck, and help with myriad other tasks during this nonprofit event. Feeling extra adventurous? C’mon and take a free ride! The guy who spreads the most enthusiasm and good cheer for

the festival is Doug Lenberg. He’s the so-called “balloon meister” – it says so on his official shirt – for this and several other balloon rallies in the Four Corners states. He first climbed into a balloon in 1986, and soon was addicted. He became a pilot. When he moved to Durango in 1998 Lenberg got involved with the Snowdown Balloon Rally and moved it from town to the more expansive Animas Valley. “I found out I had a passion for sharing it,” Lenberg says during an interview in the cozy lobby of the General Palmer Hotel, one of the festival’s main sponsors. “It wasn’t about what I could do with a hot air balloon. … Sharing it with people and explaining how it works is what gives me the greatest joy.” Another major festival sponsor is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train’s owner, Allen Harper, unknowingly played a big role in getting the Animas Valley rally off the ground. One early February during Snowdown, Lenberg asked Harper if he would join them for the morning mass balloon ascension. Harper replied, “No, it’s too cold. Why don’t you do it when it’s nice out there?” Lenberg countered that if Harper was willing to help sponsor it, he’d put together a fall rally. Deal.

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(CONTINUED)

Before too long, Lenberg had used his goodwill to gather sponsors, convince hotels to kick in rooms for pilots, and involve other local businesses. The Cottonwoods Homeowners Association came through by providing access to 15 acres of open space off Hermosa Meadows Road. Lenberg rounded up community-minded pilot friends from around the country who were willing to provide free rides and share their love and knowledge of ballooning. The first rally in

2016 brought a thousand or more to Rio Grande land for the evening Downtown Durango Balloon Glow. “We love it,” says Tim Walsworth, executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. The influx of people has made a once-average business night a big one. “It was a hit from the get-go.” Kids love a chance to stand in a balloon basket and pull the burners to make the gas flames go shooting skyward.

Doug Lenberg at the Animas Valley Balloon Rally Yvonne Lashment

Dave Eichorn at the Animas Valley Balloon Rally Cole Davis 100 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

Cole Davis


Yvonne Lashment

The General Palmer Hotel was an inaugural sponsor and became the festival’s official host hotel. Moreover, it now hosts one of the country’s treasures, the “Western Spirit” balloon. Of twelve original hand-painted balloons, it is one of four still flying. Owned by Dave Eichhorn of Albuquerque, it’ll be at the General Palmer during the festival’s evening glows, when balloons are filled on a two-block stretch of south Main and shimmer like flickering light bulbs. Imagining someone hand-painting this 90-foot-high nylon contraption is not far from envisioning Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel. In Western Spirit’s larger-than-life tableau, riders on horseback gallop across an intricately painted sagebrush landscape. General Palmer owner Amy Jackson stops by as Lenberg discusses the rally. Asked why she got involved with the festival and agreed to host Western Spirit, she jabs a thumb toward Lenberg. “This man right here,” Jackson says, and commends the whole gang of balloonists. “You know what? That’s a really fantastic group of people. I figure any time people get to do what they love to do, it brings out the best in them. Lenberg explained to Jackson when she originally signed on as sponsor that one of her perks was a balloon ride. “No way,” she responded, but finally relented about three years ago. “I just fell in love with it,” Jackson says. “I started to understand how safe it is.” Lenberg, unfortunately, had to give up piloting after a 2014 heart attack and ensuing surgeries left him with eight heart stents. But that enthusiasm hasn’t stopped flowing. The balloon meister involves any person or business that is at all interested in this community-minded event: “It’s my passion to bring people together and watch the smiling faces.” The 2022 event promises to bring many more smiling faces.

SEVENTH ANNUAL

Animas Valley Balloon Rally Events free to public FRIDAY, OCT. 14: Media Day, evening balloon glow downtown SATURDAY, OCT. 15: Morning mass ascension, evening balloon glow downtown (tentative) SUNDAY, OCT. 16: Morning mass ascension MORE INFO: AnimasValleyBalloonRally.com

Yvonne Lashment 101


HOM E SWEE T HO M E

Photos courtesy of Living Solar

HOME SWEET HOME Living Solar: Life on the sunny side For much of their life together, Eric Krieckhaus and Margaret Patterson taught math overseas, traveling the world one school at a time with their two children. So when it came time to plan their forever house, they had a particular vision: “The impetus was to make a home that was energy efficient, as much as possible, with the kids,” Krieckhaus says. “That’s where we started.” So they found their land on the west side of Durango, heading up Junction Creek. The whole family took time off from school to construct their home together, which they did using classic passive heating and cooling techniques. But even the most efficient modern home still needs power, and the city requires all homes to be connected to the grid. Maintaining their home’s spirit of responsible energy consumption inspired the family to connect with Ben Jason, founder and owner of Living Solar, to help their ener-

102 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

By Zach Hively

gy needs match their motivations. “They reached out to me in the early stages, when they hadn’t even started construction or broken ground,” Jason says. “They asked me, ‘Do you think we can do this all electric with solar?’ And I said, ‘You can, with the right design.’” Jason has been helping families and businesses meet their energy needs since 1995, when he started his company in Durango. The family’s vision felt familiar to him; before founding Living Solar, he had built his own off-grid life on a piece of land in the Red Mesa area. “I was quoted an exorbitant amount of money to bring in utilities,” he recalls. “I knew there had to be a better way.” He started with a small wind turbine before adding some solar panels the following year. That led him to found Living Solar, which has now completed more than 500 installations in southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico.

With that kind of experience, Jason was more than prepared to design a net-zero electric system for Krieckhaus and Patterson. The world of solar has advanced from its earlier days when every panel needed to be angled southward at the perfect angle to harness the sun effectively, or at all. Jason was able to work within the constraints presented by the passive solar design (which was the top-tier consideration for the home’s construction) not only to power the house but also to charge the family’s electric car. And he has already planned how to augment the current system when the family decides to add another vehicle. Besides Jason at Living Solar, the family worked with builder Leon Martin at Mesa Builders, and architect Greg Madeen, to help bring their vision to reality – a lot of which the family did themselves. Krieckhaus estimates the


four of them accounted for 60% of the labor. The building experience was everything they hoped it would be, and now their home is everything they imagined it could be. It is net-zero, meaning the house’s solar array produces at least as much electricity as the house consumes—including the electric car. It’s also a low-energy house —with no natural gas hookups, and insulation that is essentially bulletproof. The home has a family feel they can enjoy every day without the guilt associated with burning fossil fuels to power their lives. “Even though we’re not perched on a mountaintop somewhere, without connections, we’re still proud to be net-zero,” Krieckhaus says. The family is confident that if they can build an energy-efficient home themselves, then it is attainable for just about everyone. They’re not alone: Jason un-

derstands that solar installations like this one are more accessible and feasible than ever. “The technology has matured to the point where solar makes sense for pretty much anyone who uses electricity,” Jason explains. The break-even point on a solar installation in southwest Colorado is usually between seven and ten years, with panels that are built to last at least forty. Whether customers are looking at new construction or retrofitting their current homes, Living Solar takes care of designing the installation, pulling city and state permits, and completing all the

paperwork that needs to be done — as well as keeping clients updated on tax benefits, such as the 26% federal tax credit for systems installed in 2022 (and 22% in 2023), and other incentives. As for literally building a better world by building a better home? “Nothing is too hard to do,” Krieckhaus says. “There are books about everything. There are experts who can come and guide you. It doesn’t take vast knowledge to build what you want to build. And there is nothing more satisfying than turning on the light switch in your house and knowing that came from the sun.” 103


COMMUNIT Y PROFILE:

Empowering the Future: Jessica Matlock of LPEA by Elizabeth Miller

Photos courtesy of LPEA

C

onfident, curious, and resilient. These are qualities Jessica Matlock emphasizes when speaking about how she became the first female CEO in La Plata Electric Association’s eighty-threeyear history. Matlock worked in the electric power industry on the West Coast and Washington, D.C., including over 20 years of leadership experience with the nation’s 12th largest public utility, a power marketing administration, and the U.S. Senate. Growing up in Morrison, Colorado, near Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Matlock’s move to Durango was a chance to return to her roots. The Matlock family opened the first creamery, Purity Creamery, in Denver in the early 1940’s. Much of the extended Matlock family still lives in Colorado and accepting the position with LPEA was “an opportunity to come back home.” Matlock says her family was drawn to the strong Durango community and the care people have for one another. The outdoors was also calling: the Matlock family participates in Durango Devo, Ski Team, and the Durango Recreation Center swim team. Matlock and LPEA are at the heart of several school programs and STEM education opportunities, including scholarships for college- or trade-school-bound individu-

104 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall

als, grant programs, and funding for more STEM opportunities. “We see it as investing in our future,” Matlock says. Matlock has also proven to be an incredible female role model for the young women of Durango. She was the commencement speaker at Fort Lewis College in 2021, and had the opportunity to speak at The Boys and Girls Club as part of the SMART Girls program, focusing on empowering young girls. Matlock shared her personal journey of being a female in a male-dominated industry: “Ask questions, be curious,” Matlock said, “Be a problem solver and go for it.” She credits her time in the Coast Guard for helping her learn resiliency and problem solving. It's this resiliency that has allowed Matlock to bring changes and “experiences, ideas, and collaboration” to LPEA, focusing on partnering with the Durango community to secure a sustainable future. LPEA just embarked on a historic collaboration between LPEA, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, and Crossover Energy Partners that supports the projected power supply, providing greener energy at lower costs, as Matlock and LPEA know the local community values both cleaner energy and cost savings. Community is the reason they are looking

toward a creative and sustainable future. As Matlock explains: “We want to create a more resilient, creative electric grid that benefits the Durango area.” It is clear Matlock is excited about actively searching out local partnerships and finding creative and innovative ways to support the Durango community through her work with LPEA. She considers herself lucky to call Durango home: “This place is special."


silvercreekdesign.com

Durango, Colorado

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106 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


R E ALTO R PRO FI LE S

Matt Arias

Jerome Bleger

KELLER WILLIAMS

WELLS GROUP DURANGO REAL ESTATE

700 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301 970-749-3977 mattjarias@kw.com

1130 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301 970-759-1658 wellsgroupdurango.com

Hometown knowledge and world-class service are not just taglines for this born-and-raised Durango local. Matt has built a business reputation on his foundation of expertise in the Durango real estate market, as well as always overdelivering to his clients. Whether you’re looking for a historical downtown home, acreage on which to live the Western lifestyle, or the perfect building for your new business, Matt will work to find you the right fit. Having raised his family here to provide his sons the opportunity to live the Durango dream, he is committed to maintaining the small-town qualities that make this area so desirable.

A realtor with 15 years' experience, Jerome has lived in Durango since 1991. He is a graduate of both Durango High School and Fort Lewis College. Community is a huge part of his and his family's lives. He and Tiffany, his wife of 20 years, are raising 3 daughters here. He is a local youth baseball coach, Rotarian, and active at his church. He has previously served as Durango Area Association's president and was the 2016 Realtor of the Year. He is also a "dance dad" and "head grunt" for the Durango Instrumental Music Board. Jerome is a real estate expert that’s excited to help you with your search in Durango, La Plata County, and across the world. He provides professional. responsive. and attentive real estate services. Let him put his skills to work for you. To get to know Jerome, e-mail him at jerome@ wellsgroupdurango.com.

Bobbie Carll

Teddy Errico

COLDWELL BANKER

LIV SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY-TELLURIDE

785 Main Ave Durango, CO 81301 970-946-6737 Bobbie@bobbiecarll.com

215 West San Juan Avenue, Suite C3 Telluride, CO 81435 970-708-5959 teddyerrico.com

Having been fortunate enough to live in this beautiful community since 1979 and serving her buyers & sellers since 1985, Bobbie knows the area well. To experience all there is to offer here is to fall in love every day. Mountains for hiking, skiing, fishing, rafting the rivers, and so much more. Bobbie is: EDUCATED, a luxury real estate agent, CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES; EXPERIENCED, 35+ years as a real estate agent. ENTHUSIASTIC, just ask her buyers and sellers. With her knowledge and experience, you might allow Bobbie to make a lifetime commitment to your real estate needs.

If you’re looking for property in the luxurious resort towns of Telluride and Mountain Village, get trusted real estate advice from a 22+ year broker and 26+ year local who lives full-time on the west side of historic Telluride. Less than a two-hour drive from Durango, Telluride offers world-class skiing, golf, music, film festivals, and so much more within a majestic mountain backdrop of 14,000-foot peaks. To search all proper t y in the Telluride ML S , please visit www.tellurideselection.com.

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we believe in raising the bar We raise our glasses to you. For your unwavering support. For your profound appreciation of the cuisine we prepare for you each night. It’s for you we challenge ourselves to raise the bar for wild game and fresh seafood. Without you, there is no us, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our gratitude is immense. Now, come join us for a meal that will put a smile on your face.

see website for current hours reservations recommended 1017 main ave. 970.259.1945 108 Durango Magazine Summer/Fall


R E ALTO R PRO FI LE S

Michael Gullotti

Max Hutcheson

GLACIER REALTY

WELLS GROUP DURANGO REAL ESTATE

600 Glacier Club Drive 970-382-6766 mgullotti@theglacierclub.com

1130 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301 970-375-7014 / 970-769-7392 Max@thedurangoteam.com Thedurangoteam.com

Michael Gullotti is head of Glacier Realty, a brokerage dedicated to developer sales and member resales at Glacier, a private mountain and golf community in Durango. Michael has led the sales team with record-breaking success over the past 22 months — including closing 64 residential home and homesite sales totaling $51 million. Michael first came to Colorado to pursue an interest in the ski industry, where he discovered his love for helping clients experience the mountains. When he’s not leading his team, he’s outdoors enjoying southwest Colorado’s coveted lifestyle. Learn more about Michael and Glacier today by emailing him at mgullotti@theglacierclub.com.

Zach Morse

LEGACY PROPERTIES WEST SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY 743 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301 970-391-2600 Zach@lpwsir.com Zachmorsedurangorealestate.com Zach Morse is the owner/broker for Legacy Properties West Sotheby's International Realty. Zach has been directly involved in high-end property sales of over $350M for the past 15+ years. He has an intimate knowledge of active and private residential, ranch, and recreational properties in the region. Known for his positive attitude, "win-win" mentality, and solid reputation among his colleagues, clients and other professionals in the real estate industry, Zach is the top choice for buyers and sellers who want highquality representation to smooth the sales process and maximize value.

As a Durango High School and Fort Lewis College graduate, Max has strong ties to Durango and extensive area knowledge. In 2013, Max joined The Wells Group, where he co-founded and became principal of The Durango Team. Since then, The Durango Team has grown to include three brokers and two support staff, collectively representing broad and diverse skill sets. Away from the office, Max enjoys spending time with his wife and three boys, trail running, and camping – taking full advantage of the recreation available in the beautiful southwest Colorado mountains. Contact Max (max@thedurangoteam.com) for professional guidance with all your real estate needs.

Tim Papi COLDWELL BANKER DISTINCTIVE PROPERTIES 785 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301 970-759-1871 findhomesindurango.com Tim passionately serves and cherishes the Durango area and community. Tim’s love of the outdoors and the small-town charm of Durango have kept him here for nearly 30 years. He and his wife are truly happy to call Durango home and couldn’t imagine a better place to raise their two ambitious young boys. When buying or selling your home or investment property, you can count on Tim to assist you. His legendary attention to detail is in a class by itself. Tim’s lighthearted positive attitude, serious work ethic , and exper t knowledge of Durango will make your real estate transac tion a rewarding experience. Call today or email Tim at tim@realestatedurango.com.

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AD V ER T ISER I N DE X 2180 Lighting & Design Studio........................................................................... .87 A Shared Blanket..........................................................................................................39 Adela Flora.......................................................................................................................93 Aesthetics and Wellness Durango............................................................91, 96 Affordable Blind Pros.................................................................................................88 Animas Orthopedic Associates................................................................................ Animas Chocolate & Coffee Co............................................................................78 Animas Museum...........................................................................................................40 Animas Surgical............................................................................................................49 Animas Trading Company......................................................................................29 Artesanos..........................................................................................................................22 Aztec Chamber of Commerce.............................................................................53 Backcountry Experience............................................................................................3 Bank of the San Juans..............................................................................................93 Bar D Chuckwagon......................................................................................................77 Beads & Beyond...........................................................................................................32 Blues, Mtn & Soul.........................................................................................................38 Brown’s Shoe Fit Company.....................................................................................21

Carol Wilkins Designs...............................................................................................59 Center of Southwest Studies................................................................................32 Christmas in Durango................................................................................................27 Coal Bank Taqueria & Trattoria............................................................................56 Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, Bobbie Carll.........................107 Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, Luis & Jamie Marquez....15 Coldwell Banker Distinctie Properties, Tim Papi............................. 17, 109 Colorado Landscape Photography..........................................................58, 62 Community Concert Hall........................................................................................36 Create Art and Tea.......................................................................................................38 Creative Crackerjack & Route 550 Gifts........................................................58 Crow’s Closet.....................................................................................................................2 Durango Arts Center..................................................................................................36 Durango Cowboy Gathering.................................................................................40 Durango Craft Spirits.................................................................................................. 71 Durango Dermatology..............................................................................................92 Durango Furniture & Mattress........................................................................... 110 Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa..............................................................3, 91

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Durango Kids Pediatric Dentistry......................................................................49 Durango Magazine......................................................................................................49 Durango Mountain Realty..................................................................................... 101 Durango Nursery & Supply...................................................................................88 Durango Olive Oil Co..................................................................................................22 Durango Organics........................................................................................................97 Durango Smoke Shop...............................................................................................40 Durango Treaures........................................................................................................29 Earthen Vessel Gallery.............................................................................................38 East by Southwest.......................................................................................................72 Eolus..................................................................................................................................... 75 Exit Reality Home & Ranch...................................................................................... 7 Fallen Angel, The..........................................................................................................22 Farmington, Jolt Your Journey..............................................................................53 Four Leaves Winery....................................................................................................27 Gardenswartz.................................................................................................................22 Gazpacho.......................................................................................................................... 79 Genesis Land and Waterscapes........................................................................89 Glacier Realty.......................................................................................................98, 109 Gold Law Firm, The...................................................................................................106 Golden Block Brewery...............................................................................................57 Good Karma......................................................................................................................21 Guild House Games....................................................................................................29 Highway 3 Roadhouse............................................................................................. 79 Jack’s Meats, Poultry, Seafood............................................................................. 76 James Ranch Market & Grill...................................................................................74 Joyful Nook Gallery.....................................................................................................38 Karyn Gabaldom Fine Arts....................................................................................39 Keller Williams Realty, Matt Aris.......................................................................107 Kennebec Wealth Management........................................................................93 Kinfolk Farms...................................................................................................................41 La Plata on Main............................................................................................................27 Legacy Properties West, Sotheby’s Intl. Realty, Zach Morse........109 Legacy Properties West, Sotheby’s Intl. Realty.......................................112 LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, Teddy Errico.............................47, 107 Living Solar......................................................................................................................88 Louisa’s Electronics....................................................................................................89 Mamma Silvia’s Italian Kitchen............................................................................72 Maria’s Bookshop........................................................................................................29 McCarty Excavation...................................................................................................88 Molas Lake Campground.........................................................................................57 Music in the Mountains...........................................................................................36 Nature’s Oasis.................................................................................................................92 Oh Hi Beverage...............................................................................................................97 Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour.................................................................................57 Parade of Homes, HBASC....................................................Inside back cover Pleasant Journey Alpacas......................................................................................40 Primus...............................................................................................................................108 Purgatory Resort.............................................................................................................9 Quality House Interiors............................................................................................96 Quiet Bear Art.................................................................................................................59 Raindrops of the Four Corners.............................................................................87 ReLove Consign & Design.......................................................................................27 Reynolds Ash + Associates..................................................................................82 River Liquors....................................................................................................................78 Salt 360 Float Studio...................................................................................................91 San Juan Symphony...................................................................................................36 Sand & Snow Studio..................................................................................................59 Scenic Aperture..................................................................................................... 21, 39 Signature Furniture.............................................................................................56, 38 Silver Creek Design..................................................................................................105 Silver Summit Jeep Rentals....................................................................................57 Silverton Arts Festival...............................................................................................54 Silverton Chamber of Commerce......................................................................54 Silverton Soapbox........................................................................................................57 Silverton Summer Sounds.....................................................................................62 Ski Barn...............................................................................................................................41 Sky Ute Casino Resort..................................................................................................1 Soaring Tree Top Adventures...........................................................Back Cover Sorrel Sky Gallery................................................................................................. 13, 39 Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum....................................................32 Southwest Vapor...........................................................................................................97 Sparrow Mercantile, The.........................................................................................20 Strater Hotel..................................................................................................................... 71 Sunnyside Farms Market.........................................................................................73 Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant.............................................................................. 76 Tippy Canoe..............................................................................................................21, 89 Toh-Atin Gallery.....................................................................................................33, 39 Town of Silverton...........................................................................................................57 True Western Roundup.............................................................................................28 Urban Market..................................................................................................................20 Visit Durango..................................................................................................................46 Wagon Wheel Liquors...............................................................................................77 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage...............................................................................89 Wells Group Real Estate............................................................................................ 11 Wells Group Real Estate, Jerome Bleger......................................................107 Wells Group Real Estate, Max Hutcheson..................................................109 Wesley Berg Photography.....................................................................................59 Woodhouse Day Spa, The............................................. Inside front cover,90


LO CA L G IV I N G

ADVOCACY

IN OUR COMMUNITY SINCE 1989 By Elizabeth Miller

“No more, because we SASO.” In 1977 the Sexual Assault Services Organization was established by a handful of volunteers frustrated with the difficulties encountered by individuals seeking assistance for sexual assaults. Today, SASO has expanded its services to the Durango community in a major way: in 2021 SASO served 228 individuals, providing 1,255 services and 901 contacts, and answering 1,286 crisis calls via their 24/7 hotline. SASO serves all genders, and their services are available for everyone, including those who are under the age of eighteen. Durango Magazine spoke with Laura Latimer, executive director of SASO, and it’s clear the organization is passionate about supporting individuals in the Durango community. Just last year, SASO grew their long partnership with Fort Lewis College’s Counseling Center, offering a confidential resource for students by opening the Phoenix Center in conjunction with Alternative Horizons. Their services also extend to prevention education and cultural outreach, including partnering with La Plata Youth Services to provide outreach in schools. SASO also offers free, confidential support groups, and hosts a workshop series that focuses on holistic healing and advocacy. Additionally, the group is working on programming with The Durango

Police Department and Project Angel Shot to promote safety in bars and provide support for individuals who might need assistance from bar or restaurant staff. “We want to be talking about healthy relationships, consent, body integrity, and bystander intervention. Offering prevention education keeps assaults from happening,” Latimer said. “Community outreach is a huge part of what we do.” In addition to their programming, SASO hosts several community events and fundraisers including: • Human trafficking programming • Light Up the Night Glow Run (sponsored by Fort Lewis College and The Title IX Office) • Resilience Art Show at the Fort Lewis College Art Gallery • Cultural Crafting • Denim Day • Specialty nights at local restaurants where a portion of the proceeds go directly to SASO Traditionally SASO’s main fundraiser is the annual Chef Showcase, in which they partner with local chef and wine distributors for an evening of fine dining. After a two-year hiatus Chef Showcase is returning, slated for November 3rd. “It’s an incredible event that brings the Durango community together to support SASO’s cause against sexual violence.” SASO is honored to provide these valuable resources to promote a safer and healthier Durango. They are grateful to the Durango community for its support and for the numerous donations and volunteers that continue to amplify this wonderful resource. For more information on programming or how to get involved, visit durangosaso.org.

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