Colorado Fun

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The howl returns to Colorado! Explore the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center Pg. 94



Cripple Creek is an open possibility, a chance to get out and explore more. Delight in new perspectives, take your chance at striking it rich or simply book a room to get away and discover all that Cripple Creek can offer.

Plan your visit today,

Cripple Creek’s Outlaws & Law Men Jail Museum



Full House of Fun! Voted

BEST CASINO 9 Years in a row!

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Summer 2021 – Out is IN! Join us for a summer-long celebration of the arts — theatrical performances, music, classes, art making opportunities, and more! From the Colorado College campus to neighborhood parks and community centers around the city, we’re bringing this great city of ours together through the arts. Mark your calendars for programs like:

Saturdays in the Park with the FAC at Acacia Park Live performances, art demonstrations, and more! (FREE) Front Range Fables Saturdays June 26–Aug. 7 at venues throughout the city Family theatre based on historical events from the Pikes Peak region with art activities from Bemis School of Art. (FREE — registration required)

She Loves Me July 29–Aug. 1 on the FAC Outdoor Stage

A charming musical romantic comedy from the FAC Youth Repertory Ensemble. (ticketed)

Working Aug. 24–Sept. 5 on the FAC Outdoor Stage

A musical that paints a vivid portrait of American workers so often taken for granted. (ticketed)

And more!

See details and full event schedule at

A neighborhood worth exploring.

Gold Hill Mesa is a west-side neighborhood where kids play outdoors, families walk the trails and our canine friends make life a little happier. Imagine being part of a diverse and sustainable community with distinct homes, open spaces, easy access to parks, hiking trails, a wildly popular Community Center and just minutes from Downtown and Old Colorado City. See yourself creating new memories at Gold Hill Mesa. Stop by, visit our home builders and discover more at

It’s good to be home.

Letter from the Publisher


elcome to Colorado Fun! We’re so happy to publish our magazine once again, after a year spent in pandemic purgatory. We all have our melancholy stay-at-home, work from home, interact via Zoom and languish in misery stories…but at last we can move on! Thanks to our incredible advertisers, writers and staff, we’re proud to be back in print. Whether you’ve just arrived in the greater Pikes Peak Region or have lived here for a lifetime, I know you’ll enjoy our reborn mag. We’ve focused on the 2021 completion of multiple ambitious, culturally transformative projects, all many years in the making. The scale and breadth of these undertakings is (at least to many longterm residents!) literally unbelievable. Thirty years after it was first conceived, the $75 million Olympic & Paralympic Museum opened in downtown Colorado Springs in 2021. It’s architecturally stunning and brilliantly imagined – don’t miss it! It’s the keystone of our revived downtown, featuring two new sports arenas, four new medium-rise hotels and hundreds of fully open restaurants, bars and locally-owned retailers. Heading west from downtown, make sure to stop in Old Colorado City, our region’s first settlement. The restored19th century commercial center is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s ideal for strolling, shopping, lingering and dining, and is the beating heart of the Westside, the largest Victorian neighborhood in Colorado. Next stop, Manitou Springs. From there, you have three options for getting to the top of Pikes Peak. If you’re fit & fearless, you can leave early in the morning, walk 12 miles up the Barr Trail, stay for an hour and walk back. Bring food, water, warm clothes and be prepared for any weather! You might want to ride the completely rebuilt Cog Railway instead (see our story) or drive up Highway 24 to Cascade and take the Pikes Peak Highway to the summit. You’ll love the summit views, especially from the newly built Summit Complex. After 150 years, there’s finally a building at the top that’s worthy of America’s Mountain. From the summit, our region lies before you; Cripple Creek, Woodland Park, Buena Vista, Salida, Canon City and Pueblo. So get going – there’s river rafting, dinosaur museums, hot springs, historic cities large & small, the coolest coffee shop in the world, fishing, climbing, cycling…welcome to our home towns!

Our Team PUBLISHER Karen Hazlehurst EDITOR Julie Martin Sunich ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Neon Pig Creative COVER ARTWORK Laura Tiller EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Kelly Branyik Kristian DePue “Hiking Bob” Falcone Ashley Hamershock John Hazlehurst Melanie Hexter Robin Intemann Julie Martin Sunich R. Scott Rappold Zach Reynolds PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS Kelly Branyik Rafael Calderon Jennifer Coombes “Hiking Bob” Falcone Gray Filter Photography Katelyn Loterbauer Scott Majors Matt Morris Zach Reynolds Richard Seldomridge Leah Smith Julie Martin Sunich Meghan Yingling SOCIAL MEDIA Springs Native Creative ADVERTISING SALES Karen Hazlehurst PRINTING Publication Printers DISTRIBUTION Certified Folder INQUIRIES FOLLOW THE JOURNEY @ColoradoFun


Karen Hazlehurst Publisher, Colorado Fun




Table of

CONTENTS Regional Section Starters COLORADO SPRINGS | 11

12 18 22 32 36 41 45





Feature Articles Busted! Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region are bursting with progress

Adopting a Dog Without Reservation Catering to Coloradans Q&A with Kathy Dreiling of Buffalo Gals Catering

Get Out! A Colorado local shares his favorite nearby spots for exploring the outdoors

A Day in the Life of Old Colorado City Art Galleries of Colorful Colorado Pikes Peak Area Art Walks


24 /////////////////////////////// NOTHING BEATS A BURGER


/50////////////////////////////// GOING TO EXTREMES

58 /////////////////////////////// CAMPING & GLAMPING


CREDITS FROM TOP: Adventures Out West / Bingo Burger / Edge Ziplines & Adventures / Focus Backcountry

Buying Art with Altitude, not Attitude It’s 4:20; High Tea Time in Colorado Community Comfort in Florence, CO Like Father, Like Son A shared love of snowboarding brings joy

Rails to Trails

Doggone Wolves!

No Limits in Cripple Creek

47 66 72 74 76 90 96



gs n i r p S o d a r o Col n w o t n w o D [Re]Discover

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hat was once a somewhat-sleepy resort town dedicated to courting wealthy tourists with its nearby mineral springs, abundant sunshine and inspiring views of Pikes Peak, has now become one of America’s fastest growing and most desirable cities. Home to the U. S. Olympic Committee, four universities and five military bases, the “Springs” remains a favorite destination for both visitors and newcomers. The pedestrian and bike-friendly downtown area features numerous restaurants, pubs and boutiques as well as the new United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum and Weidner Field, the home of the Switchbacks, Colorado Spring’s professional men’s soccer team. It’s the perfect basecamp for a Rocky Mountain adventure. Downtown Colorado Springs features an annual exhibit of outdoor sculptures and murals called Art on the Streets. Pictured here is “I have been dreaming to be a tree” by Byeong Doo Moon Matt Morris







Neil Photography –

Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region are bursting with progress



or many cities and regions, the seemingly endless months of the late and unlamented pandemic meant quiet streets, paused projects, deserted downtowns and dreary Zoom meetings. We had all but one of those in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region, where era-defining projects were accelerated, not paused.

And while many small downtown businesses were temporarily shuttered during pandemic lockdowns, most have now reopened. Renewed, revived and reimagined, our new downtown is welcoming, bike & pedestrian friendly, comfortable and fun!

THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM Much as the Denver Art Museum’s 2007 Daniel Libeskind-designed Hamilton Building sparked the renaissance of its ‘Golden Triangle’ neighborhood, the $75 million United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum should define downtown Colorado Springs for decades to come. It’s expected to be both a major visitor attraction and community center, hosting Olympic-related events in what

may be the most accessible museum ever constructed. Colorado Springs community leaders are confident that the surrounding area will quickly activate, driven by multiple major hotel, residential and sports facilities. Museum architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro also designed the Shed, the widely acclaimed $500 million Arts Center in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. The Olympic Museum is just as extraordinary. According to the architects, “The dynamic building form is inspired by the energy and grace of Olympians in competition. The galleries, auditorium and administrative spaces spiral and stretch centrifugally around the central atrium space. A subtle diagonal clerestory light that terminates in a view of the surrounding city guides the visitor’s experience through the gallery. The 65,750 square foot museum takes its athletes as inspiration; the design idealizes athletic motion by organizing its programs – galleries, auditorium, and administrative spaces – twisting and stretching centrifugally around an atrium

Richard Seldomridge

In downtown Colorado Springs, bold developers have pulled four new medium-rise hotels from the ground and built hundreds of apartment units. Private-public partnerships originally launched in 2013 came to fruition in 2021, as the city celebrated the completion of the Olympic and Paralympic Museum, Robson Arena--an enclosed 3,000 seat venue for Colorado College’s Division I Hockey program-and Widener Field, an 8,000-seat outdoor soccer stadium for the city’s professional soccer club, the Switchbacks. The soccer stadium and the museum are neighbors in southwest downtown, a once-dynamic industrial/commercial neighborhood that had been virtually

deserted since the late 1990’s. The museum opened in early 2021, and the stadium May 21, 2021.

“This museum will absolutely blow your mind” The US Olympic and Paralympic Museum is an architectural wonder, adding a dynamic impact to the Colorado Springs skyline



space. Visitors arrive at the ground level of the atrium, and then ascend to the top of the building quickly and gradually spiral down through a sequence of loft galleries, moving back-and-forth from the introspective atrium to the building’s perimeter and views to the city and the mountains. The museum and the landscape are designed to form a new public plaza, nestling a distant view of Pikes Peak and an intersecting axis bridging downtown across the train tracks to America the Beautiful Park.” That’s architect-speak for a simple concept: “This museum will absolutely blow your mind!”

THE COG RAILWAY A few miles to the west, the Broadmoor Manitou Springs Cog Railway reopened

in 2021. It had been closed for three years during a three-year, $100 million rebuild that included entirely new track and railcars. The privately owned passenger line runs from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pikes Peak. In operation since 1889, the railway may be the only privately operated, privately financed, unsubsidized forprofit railroad in the United States.

Courtesy of VisitCOS


The Cog Depot, located at the end of a narrow two-lane road up Ruxton Avenue, has also been The Broadmoor Manitou Springs Cog Railway reopened in 2021 rebuilt. Parking is limited, and you absolutely have to make reservations in advance – don’t expect to find a seat if you just show up! You’ll need to prepay your non-refundable reservations and pay a little more if you want to choose your seats. Schedules vary with the seasons, and you can reschedule reservations for a small fee. It takes 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach the summit, with 40 minutes on top and then 1 hour and 10 minutes back to the Depot. The round trip is approximately 3 hours. As you’d expect, the views are spectacular. The Cog’s route is more natural, less cluttered and far more scenic than that of the Pikes Peak Highway – and it’s definitely less stressful.

PIKES PEAK SUMMIT HOUSE Whether you ride the Cog, drive the highway, walk up Barr Trail, or cycle to the summit you’re in for a treat – especially if this isn’t your first visit.


EXPLORE Reignite your sense of adventure with the return of The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Hop off the train and take in the vast surroundings from the the brand-new Summit Visitor Center on Pikes Peak - America’s Mountain. Get the FREE Vacation Planner VISITCOS.COM/GUIDE



When Long Expedition botanist Edwin James made the first recorded ascent of Pikes Peak on July 14, 1820, he described the summit as “an area of ten or fifteen acres, nearly level, covered entirely with large splintery fragments of rock…” He also noted the spectacular views and the extraordinary beauty of the mountain environment. Fifty-three years later the U.S. government constructed the Army Signal Station, the first building on the summit. According to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, “The signal station was crudely and quickly built, inadequate for the inaugural winter weather conditions in which it and its residents would face.” It was replaced by a larger structure


RTA Architects & GWWO, Inc.

Rendering of the stunning Pikes Peak Summit House interior, designed by Colorado Springs-based RTA Architects

in 1882, having become a de facto visitor destination for tourists and residents. Over the years, the built environment grew until the summit became an unsightly jumble of structures surrounding a gravel parking lot. America’s Mountain? It looked more like America’s high-altitude junkyard. Thanks to the City of Colorado Springs, that’s no longer the case. After years of

planning, the dilapidated 1965 summit house and other associated buildings have been demolished and replaced with architectural masterpieces, sensitively scaled and sustainably engineered. It wasn’t an easy task – weather on the summit limits construction to a few months, so much had to be done off-site. The Signal Station is ancient history, but the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and Colorado

RTA Architects & GWWO, Inc.

The brand new Pikes Peak Summit House is a structure that is finally commensurate with the grandeur of America’s Mountain

Springs Utilities communications facilities have long occupied stand-alone buildings on the summit. Those users are now housed in a separate new structure, and the once-cluttered summit is finally free of outdated, difficult to maintain and unsightly buildings. And don’t worry – the summit house café and gift shop will still have the famous Pikes Peak doughnuts for sale!

ABOUT THE WRITER Veteran Colorado Springs journalist John Hazlehurst has sailed around the world on a 40-year-old wooden sailboat, and also worked in investment banking and real estate as well as serving two terms on City Council. He enjoys bars, book, biking, his beautiful wife, and their three big dogs.





Open Tuesday-Saturday | 10am-5pm | 215 S. Tejon Street | Downtown Colorado Springs


2017 CSPM Downtown COS Ad.2.indd 1


5/12/17 11:34 AM


Culver’s of Colorado Springs 1140 Lake Plaza Dr. Colorado Springs, CO 80906




Adopting a Dog Without Reservation

Holly’s DNA test revealed a mix of Australian Cattle dog and Korean Jindu. Both breeds are known for their loyalty, herding and hunting skills.



Short for reservation, a rez dog is a familiar sight across the landscape of many Native American reservations. Dogs. Lots of dogs. They seemingly roam from one point to another, prompting outsiders to wonder if they are homeless. They aren’t. The reservation is their home. Some have owners, some do not.

She’s a rez dog.

“It’s a very tribal tradition to have a dog,” explains Deb Dunham, foster coordinator for Soul Dog Rescue, a non-profit animal rescue and welfare organization based in Ft. Lupton, Colorado that has worked with underserved tribal communities in the Southwest for over a decade. “Animals are animals to their owners, and they always, always have a job.”

Julie Martin Sunich

he lies in the sun near the native sandstone surface road in Monument Valley’s Navajo Tribal Park. Tucked into the swarm of her littermate’s legs and tails, she seems content until approached. She’s afraid. But, she’s also a survivor.

More than 160,000 stray dogs roam the Native American Tribal lands. Many are in need of rescue and adoption. 18


Historically, this has been the case. For centuries, the domesticated tribal canine has played an integral role in the Native American’s daily working life. Early Indians trained them to pull a travois--a sled-like platform--for hauling buffalo meat back from distant hunts. At home, they were valued as loyal companions and vigilant watchdogs. As farming and ranching expanded, dogs found a new purpose to herd and guard livestock. It should come as no surprise that many reservation dogs are a mix of cattle dog,

Australian shepherd, great Pyrenees, husky and border collie. Dunham considers a reservation dog a “breed of its own.” “They are smart, loyal and willing,” she explains. “They are survivors.” Unfortunately, that will-to-live instinct-combined with the multi-generational cultural belief that dogs are considered both sacred and spiritual beings-- has lead to an overpopulation of nomadic reservation dogs. According to Dunham, many families choose a favorite dog, which becomes their “house” dog. Those pets then mix with the working dogs, resulting in an unchecked number of litters. “So many dogs will wander off because there are no fences,” says Dunham. The net effect is up towards and estimated 160,000 to 400,000 stray dogs that roam the backcountry. It’s not that their owners don’t care. It’s just that they don’t always have the financial or educational resources to slow their overpopulation. “The distance and cost to travel is astronomical and unaffordable,” says Dunham. The Navajo Nation Animal Control can only support five officers to monitor and assist with all dog and cat-related issues in the entire Navajo Nation—a vast area of 27,000 square miles spread between Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Already overwhelmed, most of what they handle are reactive measures to dog


Dunham believes that a cultural shift is necessary to curb the overtaxed system. “We need to educate about spaying and neutering in every community as a viable alternative.” To meet that goal, Soul Dog conducts a monthly series of low-cost clinics throughout the Four Corners region. In 2019, together with volunteer veterinarians, they spayed and neutered 4,619 dogs. The clinics also provide necessary vaccinations for distemper and parvo in addition to deworming. Says Dunham, “No animal is ever turned away for the inability of the owner or caretaker to pay.”

As for the rez dog mentioned at the beginning of the story—she’s now part of our four-dog family of four dogs in Colorado Springs. Her name is Holly. She joins Smudge, another rez dog we adopted two years ago. Already five months old when she was rescued, Holly remains shy and reserved with strangers, but loyal and affectionate with us. She looks like a miniature German shepherd.

Julie Martin Sunich

Julie Martin Sunich

bites and livestock damage. There are few additional resources available to assist owners in spaying and neutering procedures or vaccines; therefore their high-kill shelters are filled to capacity with numbing amounts of euthanasia performed daily.

Everyone at the nearby dog park always comments on her beauty and ask what breed of dog she is. “She’s a rez dog,” I say. Best dogs on earth.

To adopt, volunteer or donate to Soul Dog Rescue: VISIT CALL FOLLOW 303-857-6789 @SoulDogRescue

Soul Dog is equally dedicated to accepting non-aggressive, abandoned, injured or owner surrendered dogs and cats for adoption. They work endlessly identifying animals in need from Tribal animal control or those left behind by owners who could no longer care for them. Once rescued, Soul Dog mobilizes its vast transportation network to deliver the rescues to over 130 foster homes throughout Colorado or directly to their adoption center in Ft. Lupton. Last year alone, Soul Dog rescued 2400 dogs and 900 cats. While nearly one-half of the animals rescued have been adopted, there are still many who are in need of a home. Through a partnership with Denver area PetSmart stores, Soul Dog adoption events are held every Saturday in at least two Front Range locations. Upcoming events with a list of adoptable animals are updated weekly on Soul Dog Rescue’s Facebook page. All dogs and puppies are fully vaccinated, spayed and/or neutered and range in adoption fees from $350 for a puppy to $250 for an adult canine.

Holly is a great hiking companion, pictured here with her roommate, Panda, the in-house corgi. COLORADO FUN



Dog Rescues and Adoption Organizations in the Greater Pikes Peak Region The following rescues provide volunteer services to saving, rehabilitating and re-homing dogs (and cats) in need. Please consider adopting your next furry friend. The love you receive will be returned ten-fold. by JULIE MARTIN SUNICH

Colorado Springs

Woodland Park

All Breed Rescue and Training

Teller County Regional Animal Shelter

Chihuahua and Small Dog Rescue El Paso County Canine Rescue Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region Misfits Dog Rescue National Dog Mill Rescue New Hope Rescue at Cheyenne Mountain Petco

One Dog at a Time

Ark-Valley Humane Society

Castle Rock Dumb Friends League Buddy Center

Denver area Animal Rescue of the Rockies Soul Dogs Rescue RezDawg Rescue

Pals Forever


Paws ‘N Hooves Black Forest Animal Sanctuary

A native of Michigan, journalism grad from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and former reluctant Florida resident, Julie Martin Sunich made her plans to move to Colorado Springs decades ago after repeatedly visiting her college roommate’s hometown to do her laundry. She succeeded in 2012, bringing her twin boys, four dogs, six cats, a horse (and a husband) and happily settled on the west side of the city. Her past work includes an 8-year stint as Dining Editor and features writer for Tampa Bay Illustrated, numerous corporate writing gigs, and as a contributing writer for Springs Magazine and the Colorado Springs Mom Collective. In her free time, she forces her family to hike slot canyons in Utah and chases deer out of her garden.

Pet Project at various PetSmart locations Safe Place for Pets



Leah Smith

No Hound Unhomed at Camp Bow Wow

Buena Vista & Salida


CAMP BOW WOW® COLORADO SPRINGS EAST 719-573-9247 • CAMP BOW WOW® COLORADO SPRINGS CENTRAL 719-260-9247 • *LEGAL WOOF: Offers valid only at above locations. Free first day valid only for interview day and only for new customers. Camper must meet entrance requirements. Other restrictions apply.




QA &



e found a few quiet moments to sit down with Kathy Dreiling, co-owner and president of the Picnic Basket Collective, a.k.a., the Picnic Basket, Cravings and Buffalo Gals catering services.

Dreiling (right) and business partner Michelle Talarico have been in the catering business since 1989.

Colorado Fun Guide: You’ve been voted “Best Caterer in Colorado Springs” for the past 20 years. How does that make you feel?

serving casual fare; Cravings, a grand-scale menu customized for large events; and Buffalo Gals, “have grill will travel” on-site catering, featuring ranchero-style Santa Maria tri-tip roast BBQ.

Kathy Dreiling: Busy. And thankful. My partner, Michelle Talarico and I have been together in the catering business since 1989 and have grown our original deli take-out business into three separate entities: The Picnic Basket,

CFG: What is your go-to food to cook at home?

All photos on this page courtesy of Kathy Dreiling / Buffalo Gals

KD: I love to grill anything—a really good steak—even a romaine salad. CFG: If you didn’t own a successful catering business, how would you spend your time? KD: In my cabin in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains cooking all day and watching Anthony Bourdain. I love adventure. CFG: What do you consider to be the ultimate adventure? KD: Living a true Colorado mountain life.

Buffalo Gals/Picnic Basket View Menus

Rustic elegancewith true Colorado style catering.

Colorado Stuffed Trout 22


(719) 635-0200 1701 S 8th Street, Colorado Springs, CO

ALL LOCAL ARTISTS 125½ N. Tejon Colorado Springs, CO 80903 719/634-5299 •

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MOUNTAIN BIKES Criterium Bicycles offers a huge selection of bikes and accessories

Let’s roll... Bikes The humble bike. A timeless symbol of the Pikes Peak region. Bicyclers are as much a part of this landscape as the mountains are. Whether you are a hardcore mountain biker, a fat biker or prefer an electric assist, we’ve got you covered.

ELECTRIC BIKES PikeRide: Bike share programs aren’t just for major metro areas. Colorado Springs has its very own, covering a large swath of the downtown area. After a brief run as a fleet of 208 pedal bikes, PikeRide has transitioned entirely to electric-assist bikes. Your first ride is free! After that, you can choose how you pay: $1 to start, then 15 cents per minute; a 24-hour pass for $15; monthly or seasonal memberships. Hubs throughout greater downtown. Simple and easy to use, just download the Drop Mobility App on your phone to get started. 719-235-5862 Courtesy of PikeRide

PikeRide is the first bike share program in the city of Colorado Springs

A group of mountain bikers take a break to soak in the epic views Katelyn Loterbauer

Other places to rent or buy electric bikes include Criterium Bicycles and Ted’s Bicycles — the oldest bike shop in town.

Matt Morris

ike. Segway. RV. Jeep. ATV. Scooter. Bus. Motorcycle. Car. Stagecoach. Take your pick. Or maybe you just want to watch others speed by at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Whatever you choose, wheels will help you get there.

Amp’d Adventures: Want to take an electric bike tour of Garden of the Gods? Prefer a solo rental? Give Amp’d Adventures a call. They operate tours and rentals out of the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. The two most popular tours are the 12-mile Adventure Premium Tour, which includes offroading, and the relaxing 8-mile Garden and Glen Combo Tour. TPrice is the same ($99 to $134, depending on bike) and both are 2½ hours. Prefer to buy your own electric bike? Stop by Pedego Electric Bikes. 719-590-6500

Old Town Bike Shop: Sometimes, less is more. This place has three rental choices: hardtail mountain bike for $30 per day, full-suspension mountain bike for $50 per day or road bike for $40 per day. Simple and believable. They also sell a variety of mountain, road, electric and hybrid bikes and have a full-service bike repair shop. 719-475-8589 Criterium Bicycles: Everything you need for a day on the trails (or roads). Hardtail mountain bike for $30 per day, full-suspension mountain bike or electric bike for $60 per day or road or gravel bike for $50 per day. Sales only for now, folks — no rentals. They’ll likely wait until next year to rent again, but check the website for updates. 719-599-0149

Rocke Mountain Bike: Perhaps you want to explore further afield? Rocke Mountain Bike will deliver an Easy Rider rental directly to you. It’s free delivery within five miles of America the Beautiful Park; a fee applies beyond that. Or hop on a Rough Rider to tackle some of the tougher terrain in the area. Rocke staff will provide you with suggestions on great rides. And the bikes? They’re STOP BY OUR CAFE & just cool. Both the ENJOY OUR NEW PATIO. CHECK OUT OUR NEW BIKES! Juggernaut Classic and Stunner X e-bikes include a 1980's authentic Army pannier and more. Rental prices - RENTALS AVAILABLE vary, depending on time of day and CRITERIUM.COM 6150 CORPORATE DR 719.599.0149 length of ride. 719-257-3983




& equipment IN STOCK




COLORADO SPRINGS Pikes Peak Bike Tours: Want to check something off your bucket list? Book the Bike Pikes Peak Tour! Don’t worry — a van takes you up. You just ride back down the famous 14er. The guided tour for all abilities includes a continental breakfast and gourmet lunch. Prices range from $115 to $135 per person. This group offers tours of other local landmarks, as well. 719-337-5311

FAT BIKES Broadmoor Outfitters: Biking in the snow? Sand? Gravel? Why not? It’s totally feasible with a fat bike. The fat tires give you t-r-a-c-t-i-o-n, baby! Broadmoor Outfitters has a whole fleet of Colorado Springs-based Borealis Fat Bikes available for rent. Prices start at $48 for an hour. 719-471-6168 Borealis Fat Bikes: Fat bike fan? Colorado Springs has its very own company: Borealis. Formed in 2013, their goal is produce the lightest, most technically advanced fat bike products. 320-328 2453



Don’t underestimate the fun and practicality of a scooter! These zippy little machines will save you money on gas and get you where you want to go. Sportique Scooters: Sportique Scooters opened in Denver in 1998 as one of only a handful of “scooter only” shops in the USA. Since then, additional locations have opened in Boulder and right here in Colorado Springs. They sell new and used, as well as performing service.One of the founders even published a book on these sit-down beauties — “Red Eyes, Whitewalls and Blue Smoke, the story of scooters in America.” 719-442-0048 Ride Goat: Cross your fingers! If all goes according to plan, stand-up, electric scooters should be available to rent in Colorado Springs soon. It’s all about fun, last-mile transportation. They’re hoping to have up to 300 scooters that can travel in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. The plan is $1 to start and 25 cents per minute thereafter. 719-313-8695

Colorado Springs Cycling Club: This recreational bicycling club promotes fun, safe cycling for all ages and abilities. Membership starts at $21 for one year. This group offers two to four rides on Saturdays and Sundays rides year round, as well as evening rides, social rides, road training rides and trail rides. They even have annual themed rides like the New Year's Day Frozen Water Bottle Ride and Tour de Turkey. CSCC has borrowed its ride difficulty designations from ski trail markers: green, blue, blue/black and black. No guessing here! SoCoVelo: Their motto? “It doesn't matter your discipline. It doesn't matter your level. Just as long as you ride.” $40 for an annual membership. They hold events throughout the year, including a Wednesday ride from Criterium Bicycles for 1 to 2 hours. Kids on Bikes: This organization is straight-up cool. The folks here run youth programs like earn-a-bike and bike library programs where kids work to earn a bike of their own. They also partner with Colorado Springs agencies who work with disadvantaged youth. Their goal is to ensure all kids have the chance to ride a bike. To donate, bring your bike in to the Pedal Station or take it to a partner bike shop: Pro Cycling, Criterium, Colorado Cyclist or Bicycle Village. 719-355-3573 Bike Clinic Too: Have an old bike? You can donate it to this organization whose mission is to get bicycles to those in need. The people who receive these recycled bikes can use them to seek employment, get to appointments, attend classes and find independence. Drop off used bikes at Old Town Bike Shop or Criterium Bicycles. Since 2011, Bike Clinic Too has provided 1,833 rebuilt and gifted bikes to those in need. 719-358-3637 Kids Learn to Ride: Free bike lessons for kids 3 years and older at Bicycle Village. This progressive class builds off skills learned each week. Kids are guaranteed to learn in 3 classes! Every Sunday May 6 thru Sept 2 from 9:30-10:30 am.



COLORADO SPRINGS Registration required. Bicycle Village is the largest bike shop in Colorado Springs. They carry apparel, accessories, components and over 1000 built bikes. 719-265-9346

½-day and full-day Jeep trips, as well as full-day combos that include the Royal Gorge Bridge, rafting, wine tasting, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad or ziplining. 719-275-6339

Bikes + Brews: If you like bikes and you like craft beers, you’re in the right place. There are countless options here. Springs Bike Tours offers an official version. Casually pedal your way from brewery to brewery in Colorado Springs as tour guides talk beer, bikes, and anything else. Your Specialized Hardrock or Schwinn Cruiser bike comes equipped with a basket to carry any souvenirs or a growler of your favorite brew. Tours start at $47. 719-464-2524

Adventures Out West: This tour company has been around the block a time or two. In operation for 25 years, they know the region and offer all of the tours: Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Jeep & Horseback, Jeep & Rafting, High Country. You name it; they offer it. They use a variety of vehicles including the classic Jeep Scrambler and a Hummer H2. All tours include snacks and water. 719-578-0935. Garden of the Gods location. 719-219-0118

ATVs + JEEPS Colorado Jeep Tours: Scenic. Informative. These Cañon City-based, off-road Jeep tours feature the Royal Gorge, Red Canyon, Cripple Creek and Victor. The professionally-driven, guided tours cater to people of all ages.They offer

gun battles of the old west. Tours start at about $75. And they provide $60 hiker pick up from Pikes Peak. 719-761-4100

Manitou Springs Adventures: Travel by Jeep to Pikes Peak, Quartz Mine and the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. This is also the exclusive Jeep touring company for the Cripple Creek region. They offer two different tours of the Cripple Creek and Victor area — a guided tour with some shopping/ gambling or a tour of historic sights and

R E N T A L S $35/day

Colorado Powersports Rentals: Aficionados know the difference, but for those of you who don’t, ATVs (all-terrain vehicles also known as “quads” or “four wheelers”) are typically designed for single riders or two people riding motorcycle style. UTVs (utility task vehicles) allow for “side-by-side” riding. Whatever your needs, Colorado Powersports Rentals has you covered. Rentals start at $200 and they offer discounts for veterans, first responders, hunters and multi-day rentals. 719-282-1255 Apex Sports: This place has been family owned and operated since 1960. They sell ATVs, scooters, motorcycles, and utility vehicles, as well as gear. 719-475-2437

We all agree... bikes & beer just go together! At Cerberus Brewing Co. we brew some of the very best craft beer in town. Besides our 24 taps, we’ve got a full bar featuring craft liquor and a full kitchen with a seasonally rotating menu of delicious and unique offerings including our famous Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese. Check out our dog-friendly patio, giant beer garden and unobstructed view of Pikes Peak. It’s really the perfect day.

Join the E-bike Revolution!

Bikes + beer = Colorado happy.

• 5 levels of pedal assist • 30 mile estimated range per charge • step-thru & traditional styles • max speeds of 20 mph (PACE 350) & 28 mph (PACE 500) Starting at $1099

Colorado Springs Bike Shop 622 W. Colorado Ave. • 719-634-4915 Open M-F: 10am-6pm • Sat-Sun 9am-5pm

Cerberus Brewing Co. 702 W. Colorado Ave. • 719-636-2337 Full kitchen & bar • Open 11am daily




Revolution Rentals: Maybe an exotic car is more your speed? The owners of this shop are working out a few details, but soon, you might be able to rent a Lamborghini. This Italian beauty goes 0-60 to 4.2 seconds and boasts a top speed of 186 mph. You’ll likely be the only one on the road with just 14,022 worldwide. 719-649-1433

Ramblin’ Express: Cripple Creek calling your name? Ramblin Express will get you there. These luxury motorcoaches make dozens of trips between Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Pueblo and this quaint casino town each week. The $30 round-trip price from Colorado Springs includes up to $25 back with minimum qualified casino play. Slightly more expensive from Pueblo; slightly less from Woodland Park. Relax and enjoy the scenery. Return when you want to, on any departure – even the next day! 719-590-8687 x777

Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson: Dreaming of a Harley? Hop onto the website or stop into the shop along I-25 to make that dream come true… They sell new and used, as well as a huge selection of parts and accessories. 866-638-7908 Pikes Peak Indian Motorcycle: Indians more your style? You’re in luck! The iconic brand founded in 1901 recently opened a shop in Colorado Springs. 719 528-1901 Twisted Road: This is like a VRBO for motorcycles. Have a motorcycle you’re not using today? List it on this website and rent it out. Traveling, but left your bike at home? Rent one here. Lots of listings in the Pikes Peak Region. Motorcycle Colorado: This simple website has loads of great resources, if you’re planning a motorcycle trip in Colorado — everything from great roads and rallies to dealerships and “good to know” tips. Check it out!

Gray Line Tours: Everyone knows Gray Line. These folks are the tour experts. In Colorado Springs, they offer daily sightseeing tours of the region including the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak and the United States Air Force Academy. They also provide limousines, shuttles and buses to the Broadmoor Resort and other special events, as well as transportation to/ from the airport. Work with them to customize a tour for your group. 719-633-1181

Courtesy of Gray Line Tours

Bustang: Need to get to Denver, but don’t love driving through the Gap Project? Hitch a ride on the Bustang, baby! Read a book. Catch up on email. Or just close your eyes. Bustang operates from four stations in Colorado Springs and Monument. Prices start at $9 for single rides to Denver and discounted multi-ride packages are available. The purple buses also haul groups to Bronco games. 800-900-3011 Mountain Metro Transit: MMT is the Pikes Peak region’s primary public transportation. These buses provide more than 11,000 one-way trips per day throughout the Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs areas. Basic fares are $1.75. Kids, seniors and disabled rates are 85 cents. 719-385-7433 Mountain Metro Mobility: Unable to use Mountain Metro fixed-route bus service due to a disability? This ADA paratransit service is for you. Mymobility is an online service to book a ride, cancel a ride, check the status of a ride or update account information. 719-385-7433.



Take in a scenic segway tour with Adventures Out West through Garden of the Gods

Courtesy of Adventures Out West


COLORADO SPRINGS SEGWAYS Have you ever ridden one of these contraptions? One word: Fun! Adventures Out West: The good people at AOW offer two Segway adventures — both in the Garden of the Gods. The Juniper Loop Tour includes Kissing Camels, Praying Hands and overlook areas. $92 for 1 ½-2 hours. The Balanced Rock Tour prefers riders with previous experience and available by reservation only. $120 for 2-2 ½ hours. Gorgeous scenery on both! 719-578-0935 Colorado Springs Segways Tours: Tour groups are small and travel on paths and trails — no city streets. Regular tours start at $75. Along Monument Creek, you’ll see a chunk of the Front Range blasted out to supply rocks for airport runways and a gigantic Rocky Mountain Columbine that blooms all year. A Cottonwood Creek tour travels along the Homestead Trail. Guides will talk about Pikes Peak and the Frozen Five, who long ago hiked the mountain in winter and set off fireworks. 719-548-9077 Sit back, relax, and let the experts at Gray Line Tours show you around the region

Cheyenne Cañon Segways: Choose your tour or create your own. The Cañon Nature/Art Tour winds past Starr Kempf ’s art sculptures and over to the Starsmore Discovery Center. The Broadmoor History Tour swings past the sculptures and Penrose House, stops at the Penrose Heritage Museum; then cruises around the historic mansions near the Broadmoor Resort. Cheyenne Cañon also can customize a tour for practically any other location — indoor or outdoor. 888-369-8699

TRAILS + RESOURCES • Trails and Open Space Coalition • MTB Project • Trailforks by Pinkbike • Visit Colorado Springs • Evo • Bike Colorado Springs • Map My Ride • Bicycle Village • Bicycle Colorado




Courtesy of Windish RV Center

Windish RV has been in business for 50 years and offers an elevated experience with their wide selection of new and pre-owned RVs Courtesy of Windish RV Center

RECREATIONAL VEHICLES Seeking a longer adventure? How about an RV? It’s one of the best ways to see Colorado. Windish RV: Fifty years! That’s how long Windish RV has been serving the needs of Colorado’s RVers. Carolyn Windish Irwin says her father always referred to RVs as “condominiums on wheels” and felt that, with help, almost any family can find a recreational vehicle that fits their budget and needs. Her father passed away in 1995, but Irwin is carrying on the small-town feel of the business. Windish carries a large inventory of new and used RVs. They have won numerous awards for business operations and customer service. 719-434-3938 Heightened Path RV Rentals: This Colorado Springs-based business started with one rental a decade ago. Now, they have dozens of RVs available -- from pop-ups to Class A motorhomes. All come with linens, towels, cookware and cleaning supplies. 719-425-8730 Cruise America: This is the nation's largest RV rental firm with 132 locations, including one in Colorado Springs. Founded in 1972, this behemoth now has a fleet of 4,500 RV rentals. 719-355-7578 30








Pikes Peak International Raceway: This is the place for Motorsports in the Pikes Peak region. PPIR has a schedule packed with participatory driving events for drivers of all abilities. Among the programs? PPIR Drive 365. Performance Driving Xperience. Open lapping days. Test days. Race schools. Racing club events. The property includes a 1.3-mile interior road course, 12-acre paved drifting and autocross lot, banked one-mile oval, 1/4-mile flat oval, 1/8-mile pit lane drag strip, as well as classrooms and conference rooms. 719-382-7223

Experience the 99th Running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 27

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, is the second oldest motorsport race in America. It’s been around since 1916. The race boasts 156 turns over a 12.42-mile course, beginning at 9,390 feet and finishing at the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak. Sometimes referred to as “The Race to the Clouds,” the 2021 race will take place on June 27. 719-685-4400

Courtesy of Pikes Peak International Raceway

An aerial view of Hot Rod Rock & Rumble, Colorado’s largest rockabilly festival, held at Pikes Peak International Raceway

I-25 Speedway: Several divisions compete on this ¼-mile paved oval on Saturday nights from May-October, including Grand American Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Legends and Vintage Racers. Decades ago, the I-25 Speedway anchored itself in auto racing as one of the formative short tracks in the country. The speedway has evolved with fast 325' straightaways and highbanked turns. I-25 Speedway located 8 miles north of Pueblo. 719-798-4387 Aztek Family Raceway: Motorcycles only here, folks. This place is owned and operated by a motocrosser. Two full-size motocross PPIHC - Larry Chen tracks and a pee wee track. The larger tracks are often combined into one and track layouts change to keep it interesting. Open all year — check hotline for times. Must be a member to ride. Spectators are free, except race days. 719-683-3301

Newell Stagecoach: Experience what travel was like in the Old American West. In the lineup? Open air surrey. Stagecoach. Amish-built hearse. Cinderella carriage. Buckboard. Hay wagon. Chuckwagon. Available for special events. Wagon Master Jim Newell has worked with horses all his life and been at the reins for more than 25 years. 719-338-7536 Penrose Heritage Museum: Thirty carriages. Fifteen race cars that competed in the Race to the Clouds — one of the oldest motorsport events in the United States. Swing by this place to gain a greater appreciation for Colorado Springs. 719-577-7065 1909 Trolley Tour: More than 100 years ago, Garden of the Gods became a park. Now, you can travel back in time to visit this landmark in custom-built, open-air trolleys that seat 14 guests and provide fantastic views. Seasonal, 45-minute tours operated by Adventures Out West depart every hour. No reservations required -- purchase $17 tickets at the Garden of the Gods activity desk. 719-219-0118 Pikes Peak Trolley Museum and Restoration Shop: A hidden gem in the Pikes Peak region, check this place out to what transportation was like 100 years ago, as well as the future of streetcars. Open Wednesday-Saturday from 9:30 am-last tour. Admission is $5 for adults; less for children and seniors. 719-475-9508

ABOUT THE WRITER Ashley Hamershock considers herself fantastically fortunate to have called writing her career for more than a quarter century. Newspapers. Wire services. Magazines. Blogs. Websites. She has covered everything from presidents and celebrities to food and travel. In her free time, she explores the far corners of the world and Colorado’s back roads with her husband and two adventurous sons. And she reads. Simple things are the best things: steaming black coffee, wine with friends and unchecked laughter. Read more of her work at




Get Out!

A Colorado local shares his favorite nearby spots for exploring the outdoors


1 Garden of the Gods This spacious, heavily visited city park is laced with family-friendly trails winding through the extraordinary rock formations. There’s abundant parking at the visitor center there, or in various lots within the park. During the summer or weekends, try to be early to avoid the crowds. There’s an off-leash dog area between Rock Ledge Ranch & 30th St. but dogs anywhere else in the park must be leashed.

2 Red Rock Canyon Open Space Geologically similar to the Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks was acquired by the city in 2002, thanks to a citizen initiative that established a dedicated tax to fund open space purchases. Multiple trails give easy access to red rock canyons, ridges and even a spectacular 19th century quarry. Amenities include: • Off-leash dog area • Picnic Pavilion • Rock climbing (permit required) • Portable toilets at both main parking lots • Dirt trails for pedestrians, bikes, horses, and leashed dogs (on trails other than the off-leash areas) • Connection to Section 16 and Intemann Trail • Bike only area



3 Section 16 Park at the trailhead on Lower Gold Camp Road, and get ready for a challenging, reasonably scenic 5.5mile loop. Decades ago, when I was considering competing in the 14-mile Pikes Peak Ascent, a veteran runner suggested training on Section 16. “You climb more than1,000 feet in the first 1.5 miles,” he said. “When you can run – not walk! - that part and then keep up a decent pace for the rest, you’re ready for the Ascent.” He was right. It’s not technically demanding, but the first stretch is a killer. The rest is a rolling downhill scamper, with magnificent views as you cross a stream and trot through shady forests. There are portable toilets at the trailhead, but no other amenities. It’s popular with locals, but weekdays are relatively uncrowded.

4 Cheyenne Mountain State Park Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a few miles south of Colorado Springs on Highway 115. Including nearly 3,000 acres of pristine mountain and prairie terrain, the park is open year-round with 28 miles of hiking and biking trails, with designated trails for equestrians and dog walkers. There’s an admission fee, and the fully developed park includes a visitor center, parking, restroom facilities, picnic tables, a playground and 51 full-service campsites (reservations required). Fortyone day use, handicap accessible, picnic areas are scattered throughout the park, each with its own table and grill. 2020 because of coronavirus concerns.

5 Barr Trail Parking is an issue with this legendary route to the summit of Pikes Peak. You need to park in a remote lot and take a shuttle or walk a mile to the trailhead at the end of Ruxton Ave. in Manitou Springs. The trail rises 7,800 feet in 13 miles, ending at the 14,115-foot summit. It’s a tough hike because of length and altitude gain, but not because of steepness and exposure. You’re climbing a Colorado 14’er, so be prepared! You may encounter temperatures in the 30’s, high winds, rain, lightning, and snow. If you don’t want to do the round trip, book a ride down from the Summit House with Rocky Mountain Ride (COVID-19 mask required).In any case, start early and check the weather forecast. You can expect the hike to take from 6-10 hours. The trail itself is well marked and obvious. It begins with a long series of switchbacks up Mt. Manitou (often crowded with folks descending from the adjacent Manitou Incline), then levels out for a while and steepens as you approach Barr Camp at 6.8 miles. The camp has picnic tables, restrooms, and indoor seating for hikers. The final 4,000 feet are almost all above timberline. If you’ve come from sea level, you may have problems with the altitude, even if you’re young and reasonably fit. The views are amazing, giving you plenty of occasions to pause, catch your breath and be amazed.


There are thousands of trails, parks and recreation areas scattered throughout the Pikes Peak region. After eight decades climbing and hiking throughout this magnificent state, here are ten local favorites, ranging from a world-renowned city park to obscure getaways. Enjoy!

6 The Crags In the Highway 19 corridor between Divide and Cripple Creek, there are enough magnificent hikes to keep you busy for weeks-- if not months. One of the most popular is the the Crags trail that takes you up the backside of Pikes Peak. To get to the trailhead take Highway 24 to Divide, turn south on Highway 67 and after 3 miles turn left on Forest Service Road 383, which is a little over 3 miles from Colorado Highway 67. Park in the lot next to the Crags campground – the trailhead is next to the lot. This alternate route to the summit is shorter, far less crowded and much easier than Barr Trail. If you don’t want to summit, turn back at about 3 miles up at the Devil’s Playground where you first encounter the Pikes Peak Highway.

7 Mueller State Park This 5,000-acre state park’s well-marked entrance is also about 3 miles from Divide on Highway 67. Pets on leash are permitted, but not allowed on hiking trails so as to avoid conflict with resident wildlife. Park inhabitants include bears, elk, mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes and many bird species. There’s an entrance fee, which you can pay on entry or online at The park is open year- round from 5 a.m.-10 p.m.

8 Dome Rock State Wildlife Area No dogs or other pets are permitted, and public access is prohibited from December 1 to July 15. The 7,000-acre area is an important calving ground for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. When open, it’s absolutely lovely and not heavily visited. From Divide, go 5 miles south on Hwy. 67 to Rainbow Valley, then turn right on C.R. 61 and continue 1.8 miles to the State Wildlife Area access road.

9 Pancake Rocks A fun, somewhat difficult hike that’s best attempted between June and September. The winter snows linger in the shaded high-altitude forest, and instead of striding purposely, you may find yourself slipping and post holing. The trailhead is 9.3 miles from Divide, and there’s roadside parking. No amenities. Six miles round-trip.

10 South Slope Recreation Area One of the crown jewels of the Pikes Peak region, the South Slope Recreation Area is one of the most regulated and least easily accessible publicly owned lands in Colorado. Controlled by the city of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities, it’s both a key part of the city’s watershed and a vital wildlife habitat. No dogs, hunting, shooting, pursuing wildlife, motorized vehicles, fireworks, alcohol, camping or straying from established paths.

Garden of the Gods is home to some of the most amazing geological features in the world

The city of Colorado Springs’ website offers the following information: The south slope recreation area is open Thursday – Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., weather permitting. No access to the area will be allowed without pre-registering, permits are not available onsite. Rangers will be at the gate from 7:30 a.m. to approximately 8:00 a.m., at which time the gates will be locked as the Rangers are on patrol (approx.1 hour). If you arrive to a locked gate, please wait for the Ranger to return from patrol to gain access. Recreation users must leave by the designated closing time. The gate will be locked at 3:00 p.m. The opening and closing day of each season are determined by current conditions in the recreation area. Annual targeted opening date is the end of May and the closing date the end of September. Details online: Lots of hassle, but it’s worth it. Pristine lakes for fishing, beautiful views – an uncrowded high-altitude paradise.





ld Colorado City, or “OCC” as the locals call it, is one of the oldest neighborhoods and business district in the Pikes Peak region. Originally the first territorial capital of Colorado, this historic community celebrates its western heritage every year with Territory Days—a full weekend of street vendors, food and entertainment. In the summer, OCC hosts a weekly farmer’s market in Bancroft Park featuring local Colorado produce and homemade baked goods. Art lovers will appreciate the numerous galleries and souvenir collectors will relish the number of shops featuring everything Colorado. A view of Colorado Avenue as it runs through charming Old Colorado City


35 37


A Day IN THE Life OF Old Colorado City Words by JOHN HAZLEHURST Photos by MATT MORRIS


t's 7:45 on a warm Saturday morning. We’re walking our dogs through Old Colorado City. Most of the stores are closed, but the 130-year-old commercial district is coming to life.

At Carnelian Coffee half a dozen customers enjoy the sunlight streaming through the windows. Across the street, La Baguette does a brisk business in freshly baked bread, pastries and most of all (you guessed it!) perfect, crusty baguettes. Two blocks farther to the west, the second wave has already hit Bon Ton's Café, the iconic breakfast spot that has been open since 6 AM. By early afternoon, the good weather will bring out scores of strollers, potential customers for the merchants along Colorado Avenue and the side streets. The merchants are wildly diverse, an Alice's Restaurant of retail (as in, you can get anything you want). Want a cool little top from Febra’s, a painting from 45 Degree Gallery, locally thrown ceramics from Hunter-Wolff, Greek food from Jake & Telly’s, or Italian fare from Paravicini’s? What about a puposa, from Monse’s? Or gluten-free tapas 36


OLD COLORADO CITY from Tapateria, extraordinary pizza from Pizzeria Rustica, and great bar food, craft beer and the opportunity to make a fool out of yourself singing karaoke at Thunder & Buttons? Perhaps just a simple scoop of ice cream? It's all here. Fifty years ago, historic Colorado City was dying. The 19th-century brick commercial buildings that lined Colorado Avenue were mostly vacant and crumbling. The few businesses that remained attracted a strictly local clientele. Dismayed city staffers floated a delusional plan to tear down all the existing buildings and offer the vacant ground to a manufacturing company, which would then create jobs for unemployed west-siders. Happily, that didn't happen. Working in tandem with city officials, local businesses and property owners, neighborhood resident Dave Hughes conceived and implemented a plan that led to the preservation, renovation and revival of this national historic district. Appropriately, there are no chain retailers in the historic core of Old Colorado City. Locally owned businesses dominate the avenue. And in every building, history is alive and present.


amblers, Grifters and Good Times in Colorado City Colorado City was founded in 1859, 12 years before Colorado Springs. By the late 1880’s, the two neighboring cities couldn’t have been more different. General William Palmer’s genteel little town banned manufacturing industries, racetracks, gambling, breweries, distilleries, liquor sales, saloons and bawdy houses; Colorado City welcomed them all. Its streets were full of adventurers, scammers, hard-drinking miners and other original souls who wouldn’t have lasted a week in the staid precincts of Colorado Springs. It was a Early morning in Old Colorado City Matt Morris

rip-roaring little city, as lively, noisy and interesting as Greenwich Village in the 1950’s or San Francisco in the 1960’s. The Village had Jack Kerouac, Jackson Pollock, Allen Ginsberg and dozens of other memorable figures, while HaightAshbury was home to Ken Kesey, Jerry Garcia, and Gracie Slick. Colorado City in the 1880’s and 1890’s had “Eat ‘Em Up” Jake, Laura Bell and “Prairie Dog” O’Byrne, larger than life characters who helped define a rollicking, dangerous era in the history of the Pikes Peak Region.

“Eat ‘Em Up” Jake “Eat ‘Em Up” Jake (last name unknown), an itinerant gambler and con man, came by his nickname in a high-stakes poker game in Colorado City in 1889. Here’s how the Pittsburgh Press reported the story 13 years later, on Sept. 11, 1902. “Money was plentiful and gambling was easy enough (in Colorado City),”the paper reported, “but the stranger had to be on the square. Crookedness in a game of cards simply meant death to the man who practiced it and the average stranger was not willing to take the chance.” But “Eat ‘Em Up” was not your average stranger. As the Press delicately put it, “…he suddenly found himself in a hole at a big game of poker, and he had staked his last cent. The pot was a four-figure pot. He had in some way secured an extra card in the deal. He had a hand that it would take a royal to beat, but he had an extra card and he was in a fearful dilemma.

Mention this Ad to receive 20% off any Full Priced Sculpture, Miniature, or Magic Town Admission. Coupon Code CFG21 • Valid in-store or online at COLORADO FUN


OLD COLORADO CITY He knew that if he slipped the card up his sleeve or hid it about his person in any way he would get shot. The players had just ordered a round of sandwiches. His sandwich was placed before him on the table and he picked it up and catching the attention of the other players diverted somewhat, he slipped his extra card in between the slices of bread and began to eat it with the hurry and relish of a starving beggar.” The scam worked, the pot was his, and he worked the con successfully thereafter. According to the Press, he retired from his life of crime after a few years and joined the police force in an undisclosed Southern city, “a rattling good fellow and an efficient officer.”

Digital Storm –

What Laura Bell, the famous "Queen of the Tenderloin" might have looked like



Laura Bell Born in Missouri in 1861, Bell had a difficult and chaotic childhood. Her father was committed to an insane asylum when she was a child. She married in her teens, bore a child and made her way to Colorado, where she settled in Salida in 1881. She apparently divorced her first husband, and subsequently married Tom McDaniel, a

OLD COLORADO CITY murderous crook who persuaded Bell to burn down her house for the insurance. McDaniel quarreled with the ex-con that he’d hired to torch the place, a gunfight ensued, and McDaniel shot his former employee five times while Laura looked on screaming. Bell left Salida soon after, and reappeared in Colorado City in 1888, without McDaniel. She may have initially worked as a prostitute, but she soon became Colorado City’s most famous and successful madam, running her business from 1889 to 1917, when she died in an automobile accident. According to Jan Mackell’s 2003 book “Brothels, Bordellos and Bad Girls: Prostitution in Colorado 1860-1930,” the one-time charge for one of Laura Bell’s girls was $250. In an era when most careers were closed to women, and skilled workmen were lucky to make $5 a day, the world’s oldest profession must have had a certain appeal. The discovery of gold in Cripple Creek created a newly rich and extravagant population of mining millionaires, who may have formed her client base. Ever the sensible businessperson, Bell paid off cops and judges, contributed generously to churches and charitable organizations, and lived discreetly – so much so that no photos or contemporary descriptions of the famous “Queen of the Tenderloin” endure. We know that she was smart, we presume that she was once beautiful, but what little knowledge we have comes from court records and the fanciful accounts of her contemporaries, such as…

“Prairie Dog” O’Byrne In 1888, John “Prairie Dog” O’Byrne was a young passenger brakeman between Denver and Colorado Springs on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. But that was just a job – his true calling lay elsewhere. In the spring of ’88, O’Byrne acquired a pair of orphaned elk in Denver, took them home and “broke them to drive

Stop by Thunder & Buttons for delicious food, brews, and entertainment

single and double.” Contemporary photographs show the two antlered beasts in harness pulling a modest open carriage driven by their owner. The elk were dazzling, disruptive and a source of great amusement to Prairie Dog. In his 1922 autobiography, he gleefully describes an afternoon’s excursion in Denver. “My elk team was always unwelcome in Denver; the society people of Capitol Hill in Denver had many fine turn-outs with blooded horses and expensive broughams and cheap drivers, and they took many fast rides away from me and my elk team when the horses would get a smell of my elk. I have seen as many as three runaways at one time, women screaming at the top of their voices and the driver hanging on for dear life.” Predictably, the Denver cops banned Prairie Dog from Capitol Hill, but the animals were always welcome in Colorado City. “It made no difference what time day or night you came to Colorado City,” O’Byrne wrote, “the excitement and amusement were continuous. If we did

Matt Morris

not see two or three gun plays or one or two shot, we considered business pretty quiet.” In a memorable piece of doggerel, Prairie Dog recalled those good times. “In Old Town I cut quite a dash; I took many pains to spend all my cash and I drove through the streets with Laura Bell by my side – a span of elk, how fine we did ride!” But the good times came to an end, as the Cripple Creek boom ended, the saloons closed and Colorado City faded slowly away. Prairie Dog mourned. “Old Town isn’t what it used to be, times have made a wonderful change and today Old Town resembles an old dog with the mange.” But O’Byrne might enjoy today’s bustling Old Colorado City, with its restored 19th century buildings housing shops, restaurants, bars, and even a saloon or two. He’d be pleased to note that his elk are memorialized by a modern saloon bearing their names – Thunder and Buttons.



Celebrating 11 years!

2528 W. Colorado Avenue, Suite B • Colorado Springs, CO 80904 719.434.1214 |


Art Galleries of Colorful Colorado By MELANIE HEXTER


pon entering the state from any direction it’s hard to miss the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” highway signs. Like “aloha” in Hawaii, “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” is our adopted greeting. “Colorado” means “colored red” in Spanish. The scarlets of our rock formations are breathtaking, but it’s the complete spectrum of colors found in our spectacular mountains, expansive plains, blue skies and amazing snowfalls that have inspired artists for over a century. Today many talented artists share their work in diverse galleries, boutiques and working studios across the Pikes Peak area. Here are a few you won’t want to miss.


Old Colorado City

45 Degree Gallery • 2528 W Colorado Ave, Ste. B, Old Colorado City • 719-434-1214

45 Degree Gallery is known for its fine selection of curated artists as well as its extensive custom framing services. Owners Emily and Reed Fair have years of experience crafting the perfect frame for any artwork. Their casual and friendly style encourages shoppers to take their time in choosing or framing their next masterpiece. Hunter-Wolff Gallery • 2510 W Colorado Ave, Old Colorado City • 719-520-9494

Hunter-Wolff carefully curates museum-quality fine art from artists across Colorado and the Southwest. You’ll find oils, watercolors, pastel and mixed media for every budget at this “Best of the Springs” gallery.





Michael Garmin Museum & Gallery • 2418 W Colorado Ave, Old Colorado City • 719-471-9391

Sculptor Michael Garmin captures American heroes from all walks of life in his affordable miniatures. His Norman Rockwell-esque sculptures tell true stories that captivate everyday collectors, celebrities and even U.S. Presidents. Don’t miss Garmin’s experiential Magic Town “sculptural theater,” a one-sixth scale miniature city.

Arati Artists Gallery • 2425 W Colorado Ave, Old Colorado City • 719-636-1901

Arati Artists Gallery, a co-op known for original artwork at affordable prices is home to 20 Pikes Peak-area artists including painters, sculptors, potters, jewelers and wood turners.

Pearl Merchants at Horse Alley Studio •

Arati Artists Gallery

2425 W Colorado Ave, Old Colorado City • 719-684-3929

At Horse Alley Studio, you can watch a working silversmith and stonecutter craft pendants, earrings, bracelets and gifts in this 1920’s-era shop. Craig and Dusty Shutt work in media of fine and sterling silver, gold, turquoise and pearls. They can also create custom pieces from customer-provided stones. Squash Blossom • 2531 W Colorado Ave, Old Colorado City • 719-632-1899

Michael Garmin Museum & Gallery

Forty-five years ago, two newlyweds, John and Patti Cogswell, got hooked on Native American turquoise jewelry. After their honeymoon they launched Squash Blossom. It’s an iconic Old Colorado City gallery filled with fine art, jewelry, bronze sculpture and home accessories.

Hunter-Wolff Gallery

Squash Blossom



Pearl Merchants

Photo credits from top: Matt Morris / Courtesy of Pearl Merchants / Matt Morris / Courtesy of Hunter Wolff Gallery / Courtesy of Squash Blossom


Colorado Springs Art111 Gallery & Supplies • 111 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs • 719-471-3438

What began as a gallery has expanded to include an art supply store where local artists connect for community, supplies and inspiration. With unique local pieces of contemporary and “urban” art, Art111 offers a new exhibit the second Friday of every month. Kreuser Gallery • 125 E. Boulder St, Colorado Springs • 719-464-5880

Open since 2011, Kreuser Gallery features both new and established artists. A recent themed exhibit, “Gratitude,” celebrated 170 community artisans showcasing a piece of their choosing. Many of these -- sculptures, oils, encaustics, mixed media, fiber and glass -- focus on Colorado’s natural beauty.

CS Fine Arts Center

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College 30 W Dale St, Colorado Springs • 719-634-5581

Both a museum and art school with a century-long history, the Fine Arts Center is home to a rich permanent collection including numerous traveling international exhibits. It also holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

CS Fine Arts Center

Its recently enhanced partnership with Colorado College provides visitors the opportunity to experience art from the Southwest and the Americas. On your visit, revel in the mountain views while enjoying lunch at Taste, the center’s in-house restaurant. Gallery 113 • 125 1/2 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs • 719-634-5299

Gallery 113 is a local art collector’s paradise. From painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry and wood turning, owner Susan Standridge showcases both the award-winning and emerging artist in her expansive cooperative gallery in downtown Colorado Springs.

Kreuser Gallery

Woodland Park Reserve our Gallery • 400 W Midland Ave Suite 120, Woodland Park

A welcome newcomer to Woodland Park’s art scene, this gallery is the creative brainchild of artist Gayle Gross, who has attracted a diverse number of local talented artisans. Ongoing exhibits include mural art, acrylics, 3-D relief and surrealism, jewelry and mixed media. There is even a display wall reserved for the works of area art teachers. Photo credits from top: Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center - Arroyo Hondo Santero, active 1825–1840, Saint John Nepomuk/San Juan Neponmuceno, Water-based paints on pine / Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center -T.C. Cannon, Waiting for the Bus, Lithograph, 1977 / Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center -Harviana Pino Toribio, Zia Pueblo, 20th century, Clay, slip, and paint / Courtesy of Kreuser Gallery / Courtesy of Gallery 113

Gallery 113 COLORADO FUN

45 43


Cañon City

Manitou Springs

The Artist’s Gallery •

Commonwheel Artist’s Co-op

416 Main St, Cañon City • 719-345-4070

Featuring 50 local artists, The Artist’s Gallery offers fine art, jewelry, photographic prints and select handmade gifts amidst a cooperative gallery. Owner Sammy Burman rescued the gallery from impending closure in 2011 in unending support for Cañon City’s Main Street.

Pueblo Blo Back Gallery • 131 Spring St, Pueblo • 970-749-1211

Modern art and expression abound at Blo Back Gallery whose featured artists are constantly challenging the world around us by utilizing unexpected colors and startling themes. Expect paintings, wood block prints and large mixed media installations. Steel City Art Works Gallery • Pueblo, CO • 719-543-3868

The Steel City Art Works Gallery pays homage to Pueblo’s long history as a leader in the steel industry. For more than a decade, Steel City and its “Community of Creators” have displayed diverse art forms including oil and watercolor paintings, wood workings, fiber arts, sculpture and pottery.

Buena Vista & Salida Paquette Gallery at the SteamPlant Event Center 220 W. Sackett Ave, Salida • 719-530-0933

Part of the overall Salida Creative District, this gallery features community artwork inside the lobby of Salida’s multi-use, lovingly restored SteamPlant Event Center. Located along the banks of the Arkansas River, adjacent to to the Strawn/Grether Sculpture Garden. Rock Run Gallery • Buena Vista, CO • 719-966-5185

A celebrated artist, Nora Larimer’s paintings reflect the natural beauty of Colorado -- so much so that Patagonia used one of her works for its clothing line. Landscapes and vibrant florals are done in watercolors and oils. This Buena Vista gallery also features pieces from other Colorado artists and artisans. 44


102 Cañon Avenue, Manitou Spgs. 719-685-1008

Established in 1974, Commonwheel Artist’s Coop has empowered artists Commonwheel through its gallery shop Courtesy of Commonwheel and annual Labor Day Arts & Crafts Festival. Its wall art, jewelry, glass, pottery, sculpture and clothing are all created by Colorado artists.

Cripple Creek Silver Mine Art and Antiques • 367 E. Bennett Ave, Cripple Creek • 719-689-3311

Located in Cripple Creek’s historic downtown, Silver Mine Art and Antiques is nestled among a row of small shops and restaurants. This gallery offers original watercolors from Colorado artists, leatherworks, intricate Christmas ornaments and pottery pieces.


Pikes Peak Area Art Walks By MELANIE HEXTER


rom First Friday art walks to seasonal special events, nothing beats a beautiful evening stroll in any one of these vibrant arts districts.

OLD COLORADO CITY* First Friday takes place in Old Colorado City from 5:00-8:00 p.m., April through December. Galleries and working studios are open as you stroll Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th Streets.



Visit Buena Vista for a variety of seasonal art events. In early July, regional artists host Art in the Park near the lake in BV’s McPhelemy Park. In mid-December, Buena Vista’s downtown streets come alive with art, music and Christmas cheer for its annual Holiday Artwalk.

If one evening isn’t enough, Salida’s annual, 3-day Art Walk will satisfy the most ardent collector. Held every year in late June, local galleries and hundreds of exhibitors showcase the visual and performing arts for an entire weekend.

*Free shuttle service runs through the entire First Friday Creative Corridor April through October, 4:30 p.m.9:00 p.m. Two routes and many shuttle stops allow you to curate your Art Walk evening between downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. Plan your Art Walk shuttle here:

CAÑON CITY Beginning in March through December, Canon City’s First Friday Art Walks offer art displays, live music and plenty of food along Main Street from 5:00-8:00 p.m. COLORADO SPRINGS DOWNTOWN* Enjoy art openings, gallery receptions and even historic and cultural venues during First Friday Downtown’s selfguided tours. Look for a new route each month from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Many sites encircle Acacia Park; monthly details are available at : MANITOU SPRINGS* Manitou Springs’ 1st Friday Art Walk offers local artists and live entertainment. Meet artists as you visit galleries along Manitou and Cañon Avenues, March to December from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

ABOUT THE WRITER Melanie Hexter writes from Colorado Springs where she lives with her husband of 30 years, Matthew, and their family. A homeschool mom of six who also manages social media and special events for their unique citrus winery in Palmer Lake, Evergood Elixirs, she rarely has a dull moment. Melanie enjoys good books (including one she is writing!), great ice cream and exploring Colorado’s alpine lakes.

"Iscariot" by Trace O'Connor keeps watch over the Colorado Avenue bridge in downtown Colorado Springs

Matt Morris



The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College Jennifer Coombes

Green Certified, Wood-fired Neapolitan Pizza in OCC


100% gluten free, Spanish tapas in OCC

MOOD A craft cafe and bar serving grain bowls, sandwiches, and house made hand pies in downtown COS





Buying Art with Altitude, Not Attitude By JOHN HAZLEHURST 45 Degree Gallery in Colorado Springs. Here you are encouraged to “just look around.” – Even the friendly gallery dog welcomes you right in. Such informality makes the art-buying process uniquely stress-free. Local galleries carry works by many artists in every price range--ranging from simple ceramic mugs for a few bucks-- to major paintings for a few thousand. It’s fun to wander around and browse from gallery to gallery – but watch out! Pretty soon you’ll want to buy something, and then something else. By doing so you may become part of a beneficent ecosystem of artists, galleries, and collectors.


Buying art doesn’t require any special expertise, as long as you’re dealing with an honest, reputable gallery. Yet if you see something you like hanging on a gallery wall, it makes sense to understand if what you’re looking at is a singular original piece, a multiple or a photomechanical reproduction.

“What do you want?” an elegant woman asked through an intercom.

“Works on paper, canvas or other ‘support’ are originals if they are the

“Just wanted to come in and look around,” I replied. “We are not interested in people who just want to look around!” she replied curtly, walking away from the door.

Limited edition multiples, such as lithographs, woodcuts and etchings, are individually created by the artist. According to the Washington Printmakers Gallery, "Such printmaking processes allow the artist to create multiple images. The entire process, including pulling the print, has been planned and brought to completion by the individual artist. In most cases the artist has also pulled the print. There are some exceptions, such as when an artist who is physically unable to lift and run a large lithographic stone through the press has relied on a master printer to work as the artist’s hands’ under the artist’s close supervision.” Photomechanical reproductions are just that – images produced in large

Matt Morris

trolling down Madison Avenue decades ago, I had an interesting interaction with a megasnooty Manhattan gallery. An interesting painting caught my eye as I walked by the upscale business, so I tried to walk in and check it out. The door was locked, so I knocked and waited.

one and only first to have the touches of oil, watercolor, pastel, gouache, ink, etc. on them,” explains Gallery 113 owner Karen Standridge. “They may be ‘original drawings,’ but they aren’t ‘prints,’even though sometimes they are on paper. They are usually signed by the artist, and there is no number after the signature.”

I don’t know what the art scene is like today in New York, nor do I much care. Thankfully, things in the Pikes Peak Region are quite different – our galleries are affordable, friendly, welcoming, unpretentious, accessible, diverse and (best of all!) filled with extraordinary art. “We want everyone to feel welcome and at home in our gallery,” says Reed Fair, who with his spouse Emily, owns 45 Degree Gallery COLORADO FUN


OLD COLORADO CITY numbers with a variety of techniques on almost any surface. Evaluating such art can be tricky. For example, an original poster from the 1920’s might be worth thousands of dollars, but a reproduction made last month would have only decorative value. Provided it’s priced accordingly, that shouldn’t dissuade you from buying it. But be careful of fakes and forgeries. One famous scam involved Salvador Dali, who literally faked his own work by signing thousands of photomechanical copies of his original prints. The dealers who sold them as originals paid him a fixed sum for each signature, so Dali created a production line. One assistant would place a print before Dali, and another would remove it when signed, enabling the great man to

sign hundreds an hour. As world-renowned art appraiser Bernard Ewell noted a few years ago, “The art market is where the intent to deceive meets contributory negligence and willful ignorance and most of those who have been defrauded don’t even know it.” So how do you avoid being similarly defrauded? Stay away from the big names and the lofty pretensions of coastal elites. Don’t buy art as an investment. Purchase art that gives you joy, not funds your retirement. There are dozens of galleries in the Pikes Peak Region, from which we have acquired several works many from Colorado Fun Guide advertisers. So, enjoy – but watch out for those Dali prints!

American Comfort Food served in a casual Colorado lodge atmosphere. Famous Chicken Fried Steak, Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Rocky Mountain Rainbow Trout, plus soups, salads, great Burgers, and Homemade Cobblers. Full service bar. A Family Tradition since 1982. Locally owned. Open 11am daily.

Elegant and classy pearls for now and forever!

2925 W Colorado Ave. • Colorado Springs • 719-632-4820

Tues - Sat 11am - 2pm, 4pm - 9pm Open Til 10pm Friday & Saturday Sunday 12pm-9pm Closed Monday’s

2628 W Colorado Ave. 719-634-5025

50 48


2425-100 W Colorado Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80917

(719) 684-3929

Winter Hours: Summer Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday Tuesday thru Saturday 11:00a -4:00p 10:00a -5:00p Sunday -- Monday Call for an appointment.


A Boutique & Gallery

Where Art, Fun & Fashion Come Together In Old Colorado City! Casual, Comfortable & Trendy Clothing Variety of Handbags & Totes Jewelry • Accessories • Outdoor Garden & Patio Décor Linens • Jams • Sauces • Old Fashioned Candies Soaps • Scents • Variety of Gifts for Children & Adults

“Poppies” By Artist Eric Fetsch


2532 W Colorado Ave. (Free Parking in Rear)


Open by 11AM Mon-Sun

2514 W. Colorado Ave., Ste 101 Colorado Springs, CO 80904

CHECK FOR EXTENDED SUMMER HOURS Unique Finds and One-of-a-Kinds!

2530A W. Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs, CO (719) 471-4463








Courtesy of Bingo Burger

Downtown COS & PUEBLO BINGO BURGER 132 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs 101 Central Plaza, Pueblo Choosing a burger might be harder than selecting a winning bingo card. The difference is that you’re always a winner here. The choices are many, including type of protein (beef, lamb, chicken, wild salmon and veggie), which are only surpassed by the numerous toppings and combinations if opting for the build-your-own-burger. The namesake features Colorado beef with fire-roasted Pueblo green chili. Choose from nine cheeses (house-made pimento is a favorite), veggies and bun – glutenfree and lettuce wrap available. Be sure to bring your appetite if you want to try and tackle the Steel City Double Patty at Bingo Burger

Downtown COS ODYSSEY GASTROPUB 311 N. Tejon Don’t despair if you happen to sleep in and potentially miss the chance for bacon and eggs in the morning. Here you can have your breakfast for lunch or dinner thanks to the Odyssey Burger. It features Colorado beef, topped with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar and green chili to really wake up the senses. Original artwork and cool architectural features will capture your attention – at least until the food arrives.

Courtesy of Bingo Burger

Near Downtown

It doesn’t matter if you sink a hole-in-one or whiff more than you want to admit; the expansive view of America’s Mountain, the golf course and canopies of old-growth trees is hard to beat whether sitting on the patio or inside the historic clubhouse. The Pikes Peak Double Burger provides an impressive distraction. Two grilled patties, melted cheddar with fresh tomatoes, slices of red onion and leaf lettuce can be upgraded with crispy bacon for the best score of the day.

Matt Morris


The Odyssey Burger at Odyssey Gastropub is topped with green chili and a fried egg COLORADO FUN



Downtown COS The namesake Skirted Heifer features a "skirt" of melted cheddar cheese

Matt Morris

Downtown COS SKIRTED HEIFER 204 N. Tejon 5935 Dublin Ave. The menu offers a definition of skirted, which is important if you’re a fan of cheeseburgers. This isn’t simply a slice plopped atop a beef patty. Here it’s “an extra layer of melted cheddar cheese resembling a skirt.” The cheese oozes over the burger while still on the grill and caramelizes. Yes, it hangs over the bun making for a deliciouslygooey mess. There are plenty of accoutrements to enhance it further: house-made dill pickles and roasted garlic, among many others. BETTER BEEF, BETTER BUNS, BETTER BURGER.

2 COS LOCATIONS: 204 N Tejon St. • 52


5935 Dublin Blvd

BRAKEMAN'S BURGERS 10 S. Sierra Madre St. Housed in an 1871 train depot, this charming destination pulls out all the stops in its variety of craft burger choices—from the Brakeman’s classic house cheeseburger to the Relleno burger; a festive combination of fried Anaheim chili peppers stuffed with Jack Cheese and an added swipe of chipotle mayo. Whatever your choice, accelerate the experience with a flavorful Colorado Wagyo beef patty and a side of Brakeman’s one-of-a-kind fries with their spicy in-house ketchup. Add a classic shake (alcohol optional) and you’ve got just the ticket.

Brakeman's Burgers offers an array of delicious, unique burgers

MANITOU SPRINGS THE KEG LOUNGE 730 Manitou Ave. The family-friendly, popular Manitou Springs dining establishment is all about the food, and the beverages--but mostly about the food. Ten types of burgers are available, from turkey to veggie, from classic beef to buffalo. All are flame-kissed on the grill in the open kitchen and most are available in six or nine-ounce size. Every burger is a twofisted juicy meal that when ordering the larger serving is big enough to share--but you may not want to.


Old Colorado City

Gray Filter Photography

A hamburger might not be the first thing coming to mind at a barbecue place, but at Front Range it shouldn’t be missed. That’s because it gets the same sweet and tangy sauce that elevates the brisket and pulled pork at this Old Colorado City mainstay. This hand-formed, housesmoked angus beef patty is also boosted with cheddar cheese and thick peppery bacon. It comes with the usual lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, but the crunchy onion straws are a welcome surprise.

Matt Morris

FRONT RANGE BARBECUE 2330 W. Colorado Ave., Colorado Springs;

The Front Range BBQ Burger comes topped with onion straws



Old Colorado City THUNDER & BUTTONS 24 15 W. Colorado Ave. In its heyday, Old Colorado City boasted 21 saloons including the building now home to Thunder and Buttons. Its lively past is surpassed only by its commitment to quality, creative food. Consider the O’Byrne Burger, named for a regular at most of the bars back in the 1880s. What sets this all-natural Colorado beef burger served on a brioche bun apart is the tangy Cajun remoulade and fried pickles. The pepper jack cheese provides a little extra kick.


Join us for awesome cocktails, local brews and entertainment

2415 W. Colorado Ave

(719) 447.9888



OLD COLORADO CITY Garden of the Gods Trading Post sources local buffalo for their burgers


Matt Morris

Matt Morris

The veggie quinoa burger on a brioche bun flaunts creativity in every bite. A patty made from the namesake grain, black beans, roasted corn and red pepper is topped with tortilla chips. Half-pound beef burgers will satisfy those with a craving for something more traditional. The Incline, named after the nearby hiking trail, is topped with bacon, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, Ranch dressing and jalapeños. However, you may choose to recline and enjoy one of the several beers brewed on-site.


Meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike rave about the veggie quinoa burger at Manitou Brewing Co.

The Balanced Rock Café located in the historic Garden of the Gods Trading Post is about as close to the old west as you can get. This is only part of what makes the buffalo burgers so appealing. Choose from four options highlighting locally-sourced buffalo: Original, Cheeseburger, Ultimate and Southwestern. The grilled green chili and pepper jack cheese may inspire you to kick up your heels when you taste the latter.

trader zeb’s world famous buffalo burgers

SALIDA 50 BURGER 445 E. Hwy 50 Don’t be disappointed there aren’t 50 different burgers because the choices are still impressive. Choose from craft beer or creamy milkshakes to help extinguish the fire from the Bonfire. This high-rise of a burger features custom-blended, ground brisket slathered with red chili sauce, blue cheese, garlic mayo, and onion rings with a challah bun (gluten-free available), topped with fried jalapenos. The Milk Run turkey burger, for less daring palates, combines provolone cheese, smashed avocado and a Dijon mustard/mayo blend.

ABOUT THE WRITER 324 Beckers Ln, Manitou Springs, CO 80829 1/3 Lb patty cooked to perfection at the Balanced Rock Cafe. Choose between the original, southwest, or ultimate buffalo burger for an option everyone in the family will love. 54



open daily • 8:30am -7:00pm

Robin Intemann’s passions include food, books, friends and family (although not necessarily in that order). She teaches journalism, and has contributed freelance work to numerous area publications. Her blog is

Welcome to your

Basecamp. Now it’s time to

Taste the History.

7 Minute Spring — Manitou Springs, CO Discover so much more to do at or call 719.685.5089



his eccentric mountain town at the base of Pikes Peak welcomes visitors with its own brand of nostalgic fun beginning with vintage games at the Manitou Springs Penny Arcade. Empty your piggy bank and spend an afternoon playing Skee-ball and Pac-Man, then celebrate victory with gourmet popcorn and salt-water taffy at Patsy’s Candies. Catch a ride on the newly restored Manitou and Broadmoor Cog Railway to the summit of Pikes Peak or explore the reconstructed ancestorial Puebloan structures at Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Perhaps the most famous attraction in town is the Incline, a steep vertical hike up 2,000 feet in less than a mile. Afterwards, cool off with a drink from one of eight public mineral springs in town. Manitou Springs features tons of local shops and restaurants plus a penny arcade Rafael Calderon





If you’ve ever looked at a frozen waterfall and thought, “I wonder what it’s like to climb that,” then head to Ouray in southwest Colorado, the ice-climbing capital of the West. The Ouray Ice Park is a man-made ice-climbing mecca located in a stunning box canyon that will take your breath away at the bottom and awe you senseless at the top. Take a lesson if you’re new to the sport because ice does not forgive mistakes. MORE INFORMATION:

Ralph Tingey, a member of the Ouray Ice Park Board of Directors, climbs in the park Courtesy of Ouray Ice Park, Incorporated



There’s no excuse for having a boring vacation – or even a boring afternoon – in the great state of Colorado. By R. SCOTT RAPPOLD


e’re all about extreme here in Colorado.

Many people love Colorado for our lofty mountains, raging rivers, and deep powder snow, which when compared to most other places in America, may be considered quite extreme. Then there are man-made adventures—from climbing walls and ziplines to high-altitude bridges that penetrate the Rockies. So, if you can’t find something intense to do here, something to get your heart pumping and maybe put a little fear in your soul, you’re not trying hard enough. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of adventurous pursuits in Colorado, rated on a scale of one to five screaming emojis; one being suitable for all ages and five being something you’ll want to bring along your health insurance card.



Railroads helped to build Colorado and connect isolated mining towns. But, these days most remaining tracks are for outdoorsloving visitors, who can experience the mountains the oldfashioned way without worrying about having to drive. All the better to take in the gorgeous views. MORE INFORMATION:

Courtesy of Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Scott Majors

Experience a two-hour scenic train ride along the Arkansas River on the historic Royal Gorge Railroad







The geologic forces that formed the Rockies left behind subterranean labyrinths, and the most popular is Cave of the Winds outside Colorado Springs. You can take the family on the Discovery Tour with a half-mile of walking (1 scream), take the Lantern Tour to explore deeper into the dark (2 screams) or become a spelunker on the Caving 101 tour (3 screams.) Once you’re back in the open air you can also get a little adrenaline on their zipline (4 screams.) If history is more your cup of tea, the nearby Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a realistic facsimile of the ancestral Puebloan cities that dotted the Southwest a millennium ago.



DAYS A WEEK (weather permitting)














Book a dog-sledding trip and experience Colorado’s snowy mountains, Eskimostyle. Tear through the snow on a bumpy sled at breakneck speed, pulled by a pack of dogs that love nothing more to run. Many mountain towns have commercial dog-sledding companies. One of the nearest to the Pikes Peak region is Monarch Dog Sled Rides, where you can take a tour along the Continental Divide. Most rides are an hour or less, though there are other options. (For example, Grizzle-T Dog and Sled Works offers a longer 12-mile trip. Or you can dogsled by headlamp under the stars at Durango Dog Ranch.)

For eight months of the year, much of Colorado’s high country is buried in snow and inaccessible to all but the hardiest adventurers. While you can ski or snowshoe for miles, snowmobiling provides less effort and better views. Many mountain towns have commercial snowmobile companies, where you can take a guided tour or explore the mountains on your own. Dress warm and don’t forget a camera.



Become part of the pack with a dog-sled tour Courtesy of Monarch Dog Sled Rides



This popular tourist destination in the canyons above Colorado Springs has been called “Colorado’s Grandest Mile” for the waterfalls that cascade down from Pikes Peak in steep, narrow canyons. The hike to explore them is exhilarating and the views incomparable.


Matt Morris

The highest sand dunes in North America are located right here in southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley. There are many ways to enjoy this natural wonder, but the most daring is on a sandboard. It’s similar to snowboarding but on a board designed specifically to glide down sand. You can rent boards at several businesses in the San Luis Valley. MORE INFORMATION: sandboardingsandsledding.htm

The Great Sand Dunes are one of Colorado’s greatest natural wonders 60




With climbing routes of all difficulties, you can navigate a giant wall with the aid of artificial hand and footholds to experience a safe version of what it’s like to climb the rugged cliffs of the Rockies. City Rock in Colorado Springs is a great place to give it a try. There’s even an alcoholic bar if you need a little courage boost.



Many of the West’s major rivers begin in Colorado, fed by snowmelt as they rush downhill through steep canyons. The Colorado, the Arkansas, and the Rio Grande – generously supply much of the drinking water for the Southwest and Great Plains. They also offer a thrilling whitewater rafting experience. The Arkansas is the most popular, with legendary rafting runs like The Numbers, Browns Canyon and The Royal Gorge. Make sure you have a professional guide who knows the river and can safely navigate past the rocks and waterfalls. Many commercial outfitters are available throughout the state.



Colorado has more peaks that rise above 14,000 feet than any other state in the Lower 48. Some are steep, jagged and dangerous, requiring helmets, ropes and other mountaineering gear. Fortunately, many others are simple walk-ups from trailheads accessible to any vehicle. Either way, once you reach the summit, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. Some of the best beginner fourteeners include Mount Sherman, Mount Bierstadt and Quandary Peak. No matter how high you climb, remember to bring snacks, good boots, lots of water and weather for all four seasons. MORE INFORMATION:

Courtesy of Royal Gorge Rafting

Make your vacation a splash with Royal Gorge Rafting

A group of adventurers celebrate summiting Huron Peak


This scenic bridge in Canon City is the highest suspension bridge in the world, spanning a dizzying gorge with the Arkansas River nearly 1,000 feet below. There are also ziplines, a roller coaster and many other attractions. For a true rush, book a rafting trip and see the gorge from the churning whitewater below (4 screams.) There are many rafting guiding companies located in Canon City to book a trip. Courtesy of Meghan Yingling






Once you’ve “learned the ropes” in a climbing gym it’s time to try it out on the real thing. Scaling sheer cliffs and scrambling up boulders is a unique experience, but it can also be very dangerous, so first-timers may consider a professionally guided trip. The Pikes Peak region has several outfitters to supply you with the gear and knowhow to conquer gravity safely. You can also experience the new Via Ferrata at Cave of the Winds, which will have you navigating cliffs hundreds of feet above the canyon floor while safely latched onto supports.

Katelyn Loterbauer


A mountain biker rips down the Monarch Crest trail near Salida


Most people come to Colorado’s ski areas for the snow, but from June (sometimes July) through October (sometimes September) many lifts spin for the pleasure of mountain-bikers. Imagine experiencing all the joy of cruising downhill through the Rockies without the effort of biking miles uphill. Ski areas that offer summer biking include Crested Butte, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Granby Ranch, Keystone, Purgatory, Snowmass, Steamboat, Telluride, Vail and Winter Park.


The Alpine Loop is a legendary 63-mile loop between Lake City, Ouray and Silverton. You’ll drive rough roads, pass mining ghost towns and traverse mountain passes through mountains so steep they’re known as the “American Alps.” If you don’t have a four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicle you can rent one in any of the aforementioned towns. The roads are closed in winter and muddy through early summer.




It doesn’t get more extreme than this: Leaping off a cliff or bridge with only an elastic cord to stop you from crumpling in a heap on the ground. You can do it safely at one of several commercial operations around Colorado. The most famous is at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, where you can plummet 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River. Or try the Glenwood Canyon Adventure Park, a 1,300-foot drop, or stay in downtown Denver and ride the Slingshot at amusement park Elitch Gardens. Bring an adult diaper.



vulkanov -




Stomach-dropping amusement-park style rides abound across Colorado. Cave of the Winds has a unique plunging experience at the Terror-Dactyl. Your shrieks will echo across the canyon. Many ski resorts have built rollercoasters that operate yearround including Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Steamboat and Purgatory.



Soaring hundreds of feet above the rocky ground is a great way to enjoy Colorado and defy gravity at the same time. Three great locations on the Front Range are The Edge Ziplines & Adventures and Adventures Out West (in Manitou Springs.) You can also experience the wonder of Seven Falls from above on their zipline course. MORE INFORMATION:

Get your adrenaline high ziplining over the Rocky Mountains

ABOUT THE WRITER Freelance journalist R. Scott Rappold has more than 20 years of experience writing about the great outdoors, including 10 years as the outdoor recreation writer for The Colorado Springs Gazette. He enjoys camping, backpacking, biking and skiing 100 days a winter. He writes when he needs money for beer or a ski pass. He lives in Colorado’s beautiful San Luis Valley. Courtesy of Edge Ziplines & Adventures



Iron Springs Chateau Colorado’s Fun Melodrama

444 Ruxton Ave, Manitou Spgs, CO (719) 685-5104



JOIN US FOR DINNER AND A SHOW A comedy filled melodrama where the good guys always win! Followed by a Sing-Along Intermission & Vaudeville Style Musical Revue.

RESERVATIONS: (719) 685-5104 FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! Open Tuesday-Saturday per reservations Closed Sunday and Monday Senior, Military and Group Rates Available 64


We carry Colorado State flag doggy collars, leashes, harnesses, t-shirts, bandanas, magnets & stickers! Plus a fabulous selection of innovative products - & we are the local source for Doggles (Doggy sunglasses)!




906 Manitou Ave. #104 | Manitou Springs / The-Ten-Spot 719.685.1545 |




It’s 4:20; High Tea Time in Colorado! By KRISTIAN DE PUE


hen offered this story by the editor, I immediately thought: “I know nothing about marijuana … or tea.” However, because I’m an anxious “nice guy” with no backbone … here I am. GREEN ABOUT GREEN, AN INTRODUCTION OF SORTS Other than wearing hemp necklaces in the early 2000’s--with bleached hair and boot cut jeans-- I’ve never regularly used marijuana. Also, by the way, I saw Hoobastank perform in ‘02. The very few times I tried Kush were mediocre – I often fell asleep, annoying friends. On one occasion, however, I experienced the infamous paranoia – due to misguidance from a girlfriend. I was instructed to inhale until she said otherwise. I sucked on her vape pen like a straw stuffed in a Red Robin milkshake. Finally, she said stop – and we embarked on a walk to a nearby coffee stand. Three minutes into the walk, I felt awful. Another three minutes and, I was out of my mind. She ordered for both of us and we sat at a nearby picnic table. Nauseous and anxious, I kept repeating: Why would you do this to me?? In that moment, she realized I was a weak man-baby and broke up with me. But history first.



A summary-syllabus for The Centennial State’s cannabis-infused and CBD herbal beverages NINTENDO 64... I MEAN, AMENDMENT 64 In 2014, Amendment 64 legalized recreational use of cannabis in Colorado – placing Rocky Mountain High as a prime mover, blazing a trail for other states. Quickly, “Colorful Colorado” experienced a “green rush” of enamored tourists and capitalizing entrepreneurs who had the other green in mind. Today, in Denver, you can throw a rock in any direction and hit a dispensary. The Mile High City, known as the Gateway to the West, isnow a doorway into the “Wild West of Weed.” Colorado recently surpassed $1 billion in cannabis revenue – a long way from Reefer Madness, an alarmist

1936 movie warning the dangers of dirty, filthy Mary Jane. Its melodrama included an escalation of unfortunate events: manslaughter, assault, insanity, suicide … yikes. We’ve also moved far from the stoner-slacker caricature of the ‘90s – Dave Chappelle’s Half Baked as a prime example. There’s now a genuine interest in the benefits of sweet Mary Jane – and one of the largest growing markets is infused tea.



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CANNABINOIDS are active chemicals that neutralize anxiety, inflammation and pain. Well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC triggers psychoactive effects – influencing memory, pleasure, motor skills, and concentration. CBD is nonpsychoactive, and provides a litany of benefits for gut health, insomnia, and more.

Infused Teas Are Healthy.

HEMP generally classifies cannabis varieties containing 0.3% or less THC. Hemp has been harvested to produce rope, clothing, paper, insulation and more. Evidence of its use has been recorded throughout history, and many believe it was the first plant spun into usable fiber.

They are loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Both cannabis and CBD-infused teas have been known to reduce pain, relieve anxiety and depression and alleviate nausea. They can help you sleep and even make your headache disappear. Because cannabinoids are fat-soluble (as opposed to water soluble) – oral ingestion requires it to be consumed with a fat. Erin Leverence, CEO of Sky and Wyatt herbal tea company in Boulder, explains it this way: “When you brew, you need fat to pull CBD … [as] drinkable.” “Our ingredient is hemp flower. We treat the hemp with heat to make the [natural] CBD bioavailable. Heating and adding coconut oil results in [consumable benefits in] each mug,” she explains. This heating process is decarboxylation, a vocab term I should’ve included in Weed 101. Heating cannabis causes the loss of carbon compounds and … yada yada yada … makes cannabis-benefits available to your body. Stillwater Brands, based in Denver, produces a selection of organic THC teas “to deliver relaxation without intoxication.” Their story starts with “it began with a pot brownie,” a nod to their 92-year old grandmother who, despite requesting marijuana for medicinal purposes, had fears of overdoing it (see my paranoid story above, for example.) With his elderly sweetheart’s fears in mind, her grandson created Stillwater Brands with the mission to provideedible non-scary products for consumers. In fact, one of its catch lines remains, “Buy your grandma something special.” Yet another Colorado tea producer is Purple Monkey, creating THC infusions “steeped in … tradition and



science,” with flavors like strawberry kiwi, mango, and Earl Grey – emphasizing health, wellness, and fair trade. Their provisions can be purchased all over the Mile High City and in various towns across our Centennial State. A CHRONIC CONCLUSION Whether you enjoy flavorful, aromatic tea with a curiosity about the benefits of CBD and THC-infused tea, or simply want some bud and breakfast, there are plenty of possibilities and options. If you’re curious but fear overconsumption, the aforementioned brands – Sky & Wyatt, Stillwater and Purple Monkey – responsibly and carefully dose their products to deliver a beneficial experience. Also, ask questions! They’re unquestionably open to queries and sincerely want to help.

Quick Pro-Tip: For THC options, keep in mind they can only be sold in dispensaries – while hemp (CBD) teas can be found in groceries and elsewhere throughout Colorado.

ABOUT THE WRITER Born and raised in rural Indiana, Kristian DePue has worked as a contributing writer for various publications, including: Springs, Rocky Mountain Food Report, 303Magazine, and Eater. In addition to writing, he enjoys travel, acting, and watching films. Currently, he resides in Colorado Springs – and thrilled by the growing artisan culture there.

Photo credits from beginning of article: creativefamily - / Vanessa Bentley - / murziknata - / Sarah -

However, before getting too deep, here’s a quick (cannabis weed) 101 crash course:


Where to Find it Buddha Teas

Sky & Wyatt

CBD –infused teas: Peppermint, tumeric andginger, chamomile and mushroom defense

CBD/THC Herbal Teas:

Take Charge – an uplifting green tea hibiscus

Available online and at Garden of the Gods Market and Café in Colorado Springs and Nature’s Grocers Vitamin Cottage

Turn On – an invigorating spiced chai Be Still – a soothing, peppermint chamomile 3005 23rd St. Boulder CO 80302 Instagram and Facebook: @skywyatthemp

Discover CBD One Love Tea: Choose from three flavors – Golden Milk, Matcha Green, and Yerba Mate Facebook and Instagram: @discovercbd

Stillwater Brands Organic CBD/THC teas: Mellow Mint and Gentle Green

Purple Monkey THC Infused Teas: Strawberry Kiwi, Monkey Mango, and Earl Grey

The website includes a store locator tab (upper right corner). Stillwater products can be found in Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder, Dillon, Breckenridge, Telluride, Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Pueblo and Trinidad. Facebook: @stillwaterlife Instagram:

Store locations:





SUNSHINE & ADVENTURE Historic Arkansas Riverwalk


Pueblo Zoo

Dutch Lunch at Gus’s Tavern

Nature Center

Do Drop Inn

Beulah Mt Park


Fill your summer bucket list with ideas from the Visit Pueblo Official Visitor’s Guide


Weisbrod Air Museum

Sangre de Cristo Arts Center

Pueblo Heritage

Neon Alley

Steelworks Center of the West

Creative Corridor

Hose Co #3

Mural Tour

Reaching ne w heights! #Greenhorn Mountain

Tried a Slopper!


ry the histo g in r lo p x E ion. of aviat


River surfing! © 2021 Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce



s the Arkansas River cascades down from its headwaters near Leadville, it passes through the towns of Buena Vista, Salida, Canon City, and Florence before quietly settling into Pueblo. Along the way, this popular river provides endless miles of adventure for white water enthusiasts and fly fisherman. Visit the Royal Gorge—a stunning 1,200-foot-deep canyon that will take your breath away and dare to cross the Royal Gorge Bridge—one of the world’s highest suspension bridges, stretching 1,270 feet above the Arkansas. For the less adventurous, the town of Florence offers some of the best antiquing in Colorado. Pueblo’s Chile and Frijoles Festival, held annually in September, offers great family fun and an opportunity to pick up bushels of fresh local green chiles. The picturesque Pueblo Riverwalk has numerous restaurants, shops, and art galleries Matt Morris




Community Comfort in Florence, CO Words and Photos By KELLY BRANYIK


grew up in Florence, Colorado where my parents owned the town’s old video store. My siblings and I would often run around the town barefoot, leaving our wet footprints on hot sidewalks after visiting the pool. In those days, Florence was just a town full of junktique stores, very few good restaurants, and not much to do unless you solely enjoyed antiquing. In the last several years, there has been massive change to the look and energy of Florence. What once felt like a stale and hollow town, now feels like a lively and thriving place. Indeed small, and nowhere near as busy as larger cities, Florence is a place you can go to slow down, settle in, and cozy up. You can walk into nearly any business in town and feel at home. All the business owners work to create a welcoming and homey vibe throughout the town within their own establishments. Today, there are more than enough restaurants for dining, shopping galore, and relaxing, serene places to spend overnight or for the weekend.

with your own two eyes. Here are a few recommendations to serve as your guiding lights.

tables together. “I want people to sit next to each other and get to know their neighbor. They should be uncomfortably comfortable,” says Prahl.


Florence Brewing began with eight beers on tap and has since upgraded to 13 beers, ranging from IPAs, stouts, porters, kolsches, and hefeweizens. Emphasizing one of their missions, “no crap on tap,” all beers are made with quality ingredients and many of their brews are made with local ingredients. It makes everything feel right at home.

FLORENCE BREWING COMPANY 200 S Pikes Peak Avenue Florence Brewing Company has become the town’s hometown staple, arriving nearly five years ago. If you ask owner, Hans Prahl, why he chose such a small community to open a brewery he’ll say, “It was an untapped resource,” no pun intended. Prahl has been spending his last couple of years with the brewery staking his claim as the “third home” in people’s lives; home being your first, and work being your second. He’s set up the brewery with a German Pub style feel by pushing multiple heavy wooden picnic

THE POUR HOUSE / ALL GOOD THINGS COFFEE ROASTERS 115 W Main Street The Pour House has been a part of Florence, originally starting out in what is now known as the Blue Spruce Art Gallery. I recall going in there as a child for cool Italian sodas on a hot summer day. While many in the community know this cafe as The Pour House, it now goes by a different name, All Good Things Coffee. The name was derived from the biblical phrase, “All Good Things come from God,” which was inspired by the current owners’ past missionary work.

For lodging, there is not much in the way of luxury. However, a Super 8 Motel and many hotels in Canon City, Colorado are not far from the city limits.



Kelly Branyik

Florence has so much to offer. My advice is to get out and see this sweet little destination

The Florence Brewing Company offers a friendly atmosphere and great beers

The Florence Brewing Company has expanded to 13 beers since opening

Originally owned by Tammy Stone and Barb Fox, this inviting coffee shop landed into the loving arms of Kenny Paul in 2011. Paul has since expanded the business to create


Kelly Branyik

a more welcoming and communityoriented experience within Florence. The new location, centered in the middle of Main Street, offers a professional coffee bar, open outdoor seating, a mercantile store, and a full kitchen serving delicious goodies.

And just because they have a new face, that doesn’t mean they’ve lost their old favorites. Paul continues to honor his customers delights, including their signature scone and chicken salad recipes. As you would expect, all of their baked goods are made from scratch and their coffee beans are roasted in house.

also offer reasonably priced well drinks and margaritas and handmade desserts.

THINGS TO DO ANTIQUE SHOPPING Main Street Florence has been regarded as the antique capital of Colorado, and rightly so! Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk down Main Street’s tree-lined sidewalk and meander into one of many antique shops nestled in town. Each antique shop has its own unique flair, so you’re sure to find something new, different, and completely original. One of the longest standing antique shops is the Mezzanine. You could get easily lost for hours in this vast building filled with many antique items. You are sure to find more than a treasure or two in this store.

If you plan on grabbing a quick coffee to go, by all means please do. But, be prepared. Paul encourages visitors to stay a while, slow down, relax and just enjoy the present moment.

Other notable antique shops include Loralie Antique Mall, Willie’s Antiques and Collectibles, Blue Spruce Arts and Antiques, and Heartland Antiques and Gifts.


RIALTO THEATER 209 W Main Street

Quincys Steak and Spirits is part of a small chain of steakhouses in Colorado and has been a central part of the community for meat eaters in Florence. The original owner founded the restaurant chain in 1997 with its flagship location in the historic heart of Leadville, Colorado.

A building that once sat in decay is now showing brilliant life in Florence.

“My family’s tradition in the food business reaches back to my grandfather selling hamburgers for a nickel in the 1920s,” says owner, Tina James. James grew up in her grandparents’ restaurant and since then knew exactly where her career path would lead. Quincys menu is simple: There are no choices, no pages of menus to look over, no appetizers, and no choice of sides. They only serve one item at a time Filet Mignon Sunday through Thursday and Prime Rib on Friday and Saturday. They

The Historical Rialto Theater was built in 1923 by Richard and Sultanna (Annie) El Hage, owners of a dry goods store on West Main Street in Florence. The roughly 10,000 square foot theater originally served as an opera house with almost 900 seats, a wraparound balcony, box seats down both sides, and an orchestra pit. Many of the renovations happening at the theater have gone unseen, including extensive structural issues and renovations below the stage. Thanks to a group effort to restore the theater, Michelle Hyatt, president of the Rialto Players says they are able to produce about 4-5 shows every year which helps raise funds for both the theater and future productions.

The Rialto is an example of how a community comes together to make a difference. When you walk through their doors you can feel the history and determination. There’s a great buzz of excitement as people discover this piece of small-town renewal. More Florence Gems RESTAURANTS Ito’s Japanese 114 W Main Street Turmeric Indian & Nepalese 106 W Main Street Papa’s Italian Restaurant 132 W Main Street El Alazan II 401 E Main Street Aspen Leaf Bakery 113 W Main Street Kopper Kettle Restaurant 115 E Main Street THINGS TO DO Pathfinder Park & Riverwalk 121 Co Rd 119 Florence Pioneer Museum 100 E Front Street Desert Reef Hot Springs 1194 Co Rd 110 Blue Spruce Arts & Antiques 205 W Main Street Salvage, Antiques, Vintage, Etc. 208 W Main Street Mezzanine 127 W Main Street

ABOUT THE WRITER Growing up in the small town of Florence, Colorado, Kelly Branyik has always had a deep passion for writing. In her spare time, she explores all corners of Colorado and pilots her own travel blog, She loves reading books, studying Mandarin Chinese, spending time with her family, and exploring the outdoors. She currently resides in Colorado Springs.




Zach Reynolds

Like Father, Like Son



y parents first took me skiing when we moved to Salida, Colorado when I was five years old. Though I can still recall the struggle of learning control, it was always overshadowed by the memories and joy that skiing gave me. In high school, I’d learned to snowboard, and it quickly became the love of my life. Thirty-one seasons and millions of vertical feet later, it still holds true. Ironically, my dad stopped skiing after those first few seasons of my childhood. Then, at 61 years old, he decided it was time to learn to snowboard. Colorado is famous for oppressive winter storms followed by bright blue skies. The result is showroom-quality crystals of snow sparkling atop thick blobs of powder, sagging the pine and aspen branches while gloriously glistening in the morning sun. The snow’s prescriptively low moisture content creates fine feathery crystal arms on delicate flakes and makes for seas of whisper-light snow that rise like sparkling diamond dust with a sweep of an arm over the snow’s surface. It’s time to ride. The iron chairlift rises off the loading ramp as my dad and I shift into a comfortable padded seat, our snowboards dangling from our feet. All around us, pure powder blankets the surfaces between the trail’s sharp tree-lined edges. 74


Excitement overtakes us. With only a handful of occupied chairs above, we are rushing to make first tracks. Excitement overtakes us. I remind my dad of the powder pointers I’d already given to him on the drive up. His eyes don’t meet mine, but he is clearly concentrating on the task at hand. Breathing hard, we jump back on another lift, make adjustments to our gear, and chatter about the incredible snow. Our first run takes us to the upper mountain lift, again ahead of the pack. We can expect another two, maybe three runs of untouched powder before the crowd catches up. Though now 72, my dad talks about his run as my teenage son would-– animated and gesturing, with high energy. He’s clearly found a love for this sport is, and it’s so satisfying to witness his enthusiasm. The snow billows over my board as I head down the next run and make a three-dimensional turn that feels akin to floating through a cloud. A bit too much speed and a deeply thrust heel-turn boil the snow up over my head, enveloping my entire whole body in a swirling crystal palace. I reemerge and a few turns later I stop, wiping the remaining snow from my goggles and look back up through the sentinel open glade for my father. He emerges between the trees, bouncing and bounding his way down the mountain. With a bellowing whoop, he slides into a seated stop above me, the snow closing in

Zach Reynolds

Words & Photos by ZACH REYNOLDS


around his torso as he sits back to relax and enjoy the moment. We both grin. We leave trenches wherever we go – across the open slope, over rollers, into depressions, and between the trees, which seem to beckon us to dance in the snow below, whispering a breathy song as we pass. It’s just the sound of millions of snowflakes colliding against us, cascading up and around our bodies, a winter wave softly cresting off of our beings. Through the day– the slopes morph into thousands of accumulating tracks. From the first few serrated slices of the

morning to a mid-morning crisscrossing pattern, and later to an artist’s crosshatching. By mid-afternoon, when our legs ache and our gear is weighted down with perspiration, the slopes give way to a chaotic blue-shadowed scramble of tracks. My dad has had his fill and announces his intention for his last run of the day. Again, we grin. Worn weary by the day’s athletic drain on our bodies, we marvel at just how fun it is to spend the day together in the world-class high-alpine mountains of Colorado.

ABOUT THE WRITER Colorado native Zach Reynolds is a nationally published photographer and writer. He was a former photo editor at Climbing Magazine and photo assistant at Powder and Bike magazines. He presently owns and operates a dinosaur museum and park in Cañon City. A lifelong outdoor enthusiast, he calls the mountains home.

Zach Reynolds

Shredding the slopes is the best kind of workout




Rails to Trails Words and Photos By “HIKING BOB” FALCONE


he history of the United States’ westward expansion cannot be properly told without stressing Colorado’s importance in the development of railroads throughout the Rocky Mountain region. They transformed the early settlers’ arduous migration from foot, horseback and wagon train, to gleaming



steam locomotives and flashy steel rails. They sped the taming of the west through transporting passengers and goods to formerly inhabitable—or at least unreachable—destinations. Not only did railroads bring people into Colorado, they also extracted gold, silver and other valuable commodities out of our mountains.

Once motorized vehicles, and aircraft made cross-country travel easier and much faster, the railroads became obsolete. With no trains left to be served, water refill stops along their routes became ghost towns, and the railroad lines themselves were abandoned, left to rust.

The railroads of Colorado are steeped in history and beauty

“Hiking Bob” Falcone

ARKANSAS RIVER VALLEY Colorado, a paradise for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, is home to a variety of trails that were previously railroads, many of which are now paved paths in urban areas, including Denver, Pueblo and Colorado Springs. But, to get the full “Colorado” experience, one must head for the mountains. In our mountainous terrain where so many trails are steep and difficult, the trails built The interior of the Alpine Telegraph station on old railroad lines are Cell phone service is good throughout relatively easy for most the hike. people. That’s because trains can only handle a grade of around two percent, The Denver, South Park and Pacific and the trails that follow them are nearly Railroad was a notable narrow-gauge flat. But it doesn’t always mean they’re railroad that ran from Denver through always easy to get to, but once you get to South Park, past Buena Vista and Mt them, they’re usually an easy hike or bike Princeton from 1872 to 1894. Although ride. the railroad is long gone, trails still exist along the old railroad beds. One of the The area around Buena Vista, Colorado most accessible is the Narrow Gauge at the foot of the Collegiate Range of the Trail, along Chalk Creek just west of Rocky Mountains, is home to some of Nathrop and the famous Mt Princeton my favorite, and most scenic, old railroad Hot Springs resort. The trail begins at bed trails. A little less than six miles east the end of County Road 290 – just off of Buena Vista, and about a half mile County Road 162, about 1 ¼ miles west up County Road 315 from US 24/285, of the Mt Princeton Hot Springs – and is the Midland Bike Trail (don’t worry, follows the old railroad bed for a little you can also hike on it), which follows over two miles. Except for a couple of the former Colorado Midland Railway. places where the trail easily traverses Operating from 1883 to 1918, it was over some old rockslides, this hike is the first standard gauge railroad to cross a nice amble south of Mt. Princeton. the Continental Divide, running from Along the way you’ll see inlaid stone walls Colorado Springs through Buena Vista, once built to hold back the earth from Leadville, and Glenwood Springs, before the rail line. Cross over some creeks and ending in Grand Junction. then look down the steep embankment As you hike west on the trail, massive towards Chalk Lake. The west end Mt. Princeton emerges as it winds its of the trail ends at County Road 162 way towards Buena Vista. (Imagine the near Cascade Falls and the U.S. Forest impression this mountain view made on Service’s Cascade Campground. At only train passengers in the late 19th century!) about 4.5 miles round trip, this can be The trail continues a little over five done as an out-and-back hike, or you can miles until it meets County Road 304. use a car shuttle. It is a fairly easy hike, but it does leave Further west from the resort, the ghost the railroad bed in a few spots, skirting town of Hancock serves as the starting around gullies and draws. This 10-mile point for the Alpine Tunnel Trail, one of hike can be done in either direction, but the region’s most scenic and historic railsthe best mountain views are westbound. to-trails trips. The trail, which is also a If you do not want to hike the full 10 part of both the Continental Divide and miles, have someone drop you off and Colorado Trails, starts about 5.5 miles arrange for pick up at the other end. “Hiking Bob” Falcone

Thanks to the Rails to Trails Conservancy, which was founded in 1986, 23,000 miles of abandoned railroad lines have been converted into over 2100 recreational trails across the country. The Rails to Trails Conservancy also helps interested groups and local governments with the transfer of property and the establishment of easements to make railroad beds legally accessible. From a purely economic standpoint, transforming old railroad beds into trails makes sense, since all the hard work has been done in acquiring, clearing and grading the land.




“Hiking Bob” Falcone

station, maintenance yard, turntable and other buildings. The telegraph station has been restored, and parts of the other buildings remain, including the turntable. Additional signs recount life at the old station with a description of each building. Visiting the Alpine Tunnel station is truly like taking a trip back in time. The round-trip length of this hike is about eight miles, all of which is above 11,000’ in elevation, so plan on spending the entire day. Although the

mile trek (each way) over the tunnel can be somewhat rigorous, it is well worth the effort. Snow tends to linger at this elevation, so it’s best taken from July to September. In years that have heavy snowfall, as was the case in 2019, the trail may not be accessible until August. When dry, the road to Hancock is navigable to all but the most low-slung vehicles, but if there exists lingering snow, it may not be passable until late summer.

A stunning vista as seen from the Narrow Gauge Trail

At two and three quarters miles from the trailhead, the trail splits at the foot of a mountain. A few hundred feet straight ahead is the end of an old railroad tunnel that once ran under the mountain and the Continental Divide. Nearby informational signs 78


at the tunnel tell the story of the construction, use, and subsequent collapse of the tunnel in 1910. However, the real treat on this hike is on the other side of the mountain. Back at the trail intersection, the trail starts a somewhat steep uphill climb. At the top of the mountain, the Continental Divide and Colorado Trails split along a ridge line, off to the right. The Alpine Tunnel Trail continues over the mountain and down the south side where it rejoins the old railroad bed at the other side of the collapsed tunnel. This side of the mountain was once home to a train depot, a telegraph

“Hiking Bob” Falcone

up County Road 295, off County Road 162, 11 miles from the Mt Princeton resort, just before the ghost town of St. Elmo. It follows the old railroad bed, offering stunning mountain and valley views. In late summer, there is a vast proliferation of wildflowers along the trail, including the blue columbine.

A sign marker showcases the rich history of the Narrow Gauge Trail

ABOUT THE WRITER “Hiking Bob” Falcone is an avid hiker, outdoorsman, professional photographer, and retired firefighter. He is also chair for the El Paso County Parks Advisory Board, as well as a past president, current board member, and volunteer for the Friends of Cheyenne Cañon.


How to Safely Enjoy Colorado’s Backcountry By “HIKING BOB” FALCONE


If you or someone with you experiences any of these symptoms, immediately descend to a lower elevation and continue to hydrate. Seek medical attention if the symptoms persist for more than a few days, or if more severe symptoms, such as confusion, shortness of breath, or vomiting, do not quickly resolve.

Here are a few tips to make your outdoor recreation both safe and enjoyable.

• Watch the weather. Although we enjoy many days of sunny weather, Colorado summers are typically accompanied by afternoon rain and lightning storms, sometimes severe. These storms can pop-up with little or no warning, regardless of whether they are predicted or not. Make sure you carry rain gear with you. When possible, plan to be off the trails, or in some form of shelter, by early afternoon.

• Drink water. Lots of water. You should be carrying several liters with you. Staying adequately hydrated helps prevent altitude sickness, and keeps your internal organs functioning properly. Also, make sure to carry calorie-dense snacks. • Avoid altitude sickness. The best way to do this is to take time adjusting to the high elevations before pushing yourself hard on your next adventure. Don’t try to climb one of our 14,000’ peaks immediately after arriving from a lower elevation. Even those of us who have lived here for many years can experience some of the effects of high altitudes. Watch for these symptoms: Extreme fatigue Dizziness or lightheadedness Loss of appetite Confusion Nausea or vomiting Headache Shortness of breath Sleeplessness Rapid heart rate

a lightweight long sleeve shirt. The clothing closest to your skin should be made of moisture wicking fabric. • Wear sturdy hiking boots. Make sure to break them in before you set out on a long hike. • Bring a map. Make sure you have a map of the area or are using a good cell phone app. In Colorado, I recommend the COTREX app. It is the most accurate and up-to-date app and shows only official trails.

“Hiking Bob” Falcone

utdoor recreation in Colorado is different than most other places in the country. Our high elevations, dry environment, rapidly changing weather, and intense sunlight are a few of the challenges to overcome while enjoying the great outdoors in the Centennial State.

• Apply sunscreen. It’s very likely that you’ll enjoy a bright, sunny day while hiking in our mountains, so make sure you bring, and repeatedly apply, a high SPF sunscreen. Higher elevations mean there is less atmosphere to filter harmful UV rays. Also, wear sunglasses that protect against both UV-A and UV-B rays, a wide-brimmed hat and The best advice for the trail might be to bring along your best friend. Here’s Hiking Bob’s pal, Ollie COLORADO FUN






















The luxurious glamping tents at Echo Canyon Campground are open April through October 82


Courtesy of Echo Canyon Campground

ARKANSAS RIVER VALLEY et’s face it: Coloradans love to camp. And visitors love to come to Colorado to camp. It’s no wonder. Our state is an outdoor playground of forests, mountains, sand dunes and everything in between. Looking for short-term living? The opportunities are endless: Tents, RVs, cabins, yurts, tipis, skoolies, boondocking, and plenty of off-the-grid and forest campsites. Colorado has it all – you just need to know where to find it.

National + State Parks

Matt Morris

If the Pikes Peak region is your home base, this guide will get you started.

GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK Otherworldly. That’s the best way to describe Great Sand Dunes--the tallest sand dunes in North America. In 2019, the park was designated as among the world’s best places for stargazing – one of only 120 International Dark Sky parks. And it’s just as The entry sign to the Great Sand Dunes National Park amazing during the day. Beautiful in all seasons, it’s busiest during May and June when the ELEVEN MILE STATE PARK surrounding mountains’ snowmelt surges into nearby Medano Creek and all ages gather to splash and float. Big lakes are tough to come by in Colorado. Eleven Mile State Park Year-round, visitors rent sand sleds and sand boards to is located on one of the largest reservoirs in the state and is a stark rocket down the dunes. Camping options include on-site contrast to many of Colorado’s highly forested campgrounds. It’s Pinon Flats Campground, as well as several other nearby chock full of rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon and spots, including the Sand Dunes Pool and Campground, northern pike, so you can bring your boat or rent one from the wellfeaturing a hot-springs fed pool. equipped marina. Not into fishing? There are plenty of hiking trails, a playground and other amenities. With 335 campsites spread over nine Location: Eastern edge of the San Luis Valley in southcampgrounds, there is something for everyone. central Colorado Cost: Pinon Flats, $20 per night. Sand Dunes, $35 per Location: Off Hwy 24, past Divide, then turn south near Lake George night RV with hookups; $25 per night tent; cabins also Cost: Electric site, $36; basic site $28. available. Season: Year round, although sites are limited Oct. 15-March 31. Season: Park open year round. Pinon Flats camping open April-Oct. CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK Immersed in nature, yet close to Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers access to both. Only a 10-minute drive from downtown, this state park offers more than two dozen miles of wilderness, 21 trails, and 61 campsites. Select trails are open to dog and equestrian users and an archery range offers a static range and a walking field/3D course. Weekly programming includes beginner archery classes, NPS Junior Ranger programs, guided wildflower walks and family mystery hikes. Even yoga! Location: A few miles southwest of Colorado Springs Cost: Full hook-up site, $41; basic site, $28 Season: Year round, although sites are limited midOctober to Mid-April

MUELLER STATE PARK Mueller State Park may be the worst-kept secret in the Colorado State Parks system. It’s close. It’s cheap. And it is stunning. Unfortunately, everyone knows it. It has 134 campsites, including 99 electric hookups, group sites, a few cabins and even two equestrian sites, including a barn for horses. Forty miles of trails for every level of hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and animal viewing. Note: Dogs are welcome in the campground and on roads, but not on trails. Location: Between Divide and Cripple Creek Cost: Electric hook-up campsite: $36; basic walk-in tent site: $28 Season: Year round, although sites are limited from Oct. 1-April 30 COLORADO FUN



GLAMPING: SKOOLIES, TIPIS, CABINS + YURTS JOYFUL JOURNEY Looking for an escape from your daily routine? Take a peek at Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa, nestled in the northern gateway to the beautiful San Luis Valley. This retreat was built around hot mineral springs where Native Americans, explorers and settlers took refuge in the waters. The pools are kept at 98 to 108 degrees with no sulfur odor. The spa also offers a variety of lodging: hotel rooms with aspen wood furniture, tipis, yurts and campsites. Each overnight guest receives daily breakfast and a light dinner, as well as weekend yoga classes and daily complimentary soaking in the hot springs. Yoga, massages and facials are available for purchase. Warning: Wednesdays are clothing optional in the hot pool.

Skoolies by the Chrome Yellow Corp are as unique as they are luxurious Courtesy of Chrome Yellow Corp

Location: San Luis Valley Cost: Lodge starts at $140. Yurts start at $130. Tipis start at $80. RV sites with electricity start at $75. Tent sites start at $70. Season: Year round



Love the idea of a tiny house, but prefer it on wheels? How about a converted school bus? These offgrid, custom rigs with renewable energy systems are the ticket. And if you can dream it, Chrome Yellow Corp can build it. The Arvada-based company has been transforming big and small old buses into fabulous, sustainable homes and businesses since 2014. Prices can range from around $30,000 for a customized small bus to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a large bus loaded with amenities.

Echo Canyon Campground sits smack in the middle of the Royal Gorge region and offers glamping tents with queen beds, sleeper sofas, electricity, Wi-Fi and a furnished, private deck. (The campground also offers cabins with central air and flat-screen TVs.) The location is a great home base for nearby river rafting and exploring the Royal Gorge region. Hungry? The 8 Mile Bar & Grill is just across the street and even has a menu for your dog.

Courtesy of Joyful Journey

Location: Arvada Cost: Varies widely, depending on size and amenities Season: Year round

Location: Canon City Cost: Tent, $49; Glamping Tent Cabin $189 to $249; Cabin, $375 to $599 Season: Luxury Cabins are available year round. Glamping Tents are open April through October, weather permitting. The 8 Mile Bar and Grill is seasonal, May through August.

Enjoy a dip with a view at the Joyful Journey Hot Springs

BLACK TREE RESORT If luxury is your thing, then this is your place. Carefully spaced private “tents” come complete with solar power, handcrafted furniture, electricity, high-end bedding and access to a fully-stocked private bathroom. And staff delivers fresh, local cuisine to you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lots of activities nearby, including Eleven Mile State Park. Location: 80 acres of private property bordering Pike National Forest, Lake George Cost: Starting at $595 Season: Year round 84


Enjoy a high-end cabin with all the bells and whistles at Echo Canyon Campground Courtesy of Echo Canyon Campground


SMALLER OR PRIVATE CAMPGROUNDS BARR CAMP Barr Camp sits about halfway between Manitou Springs and Pikes Peak – a 12.5-mile hike that gains 7,700-feet in elevation. Accommodation options: Bunkhouse, cabin, threewalled lean-tos, camping that includes breakfast (and optional dinner for $10) and free, dispersed camping in the national forest. The original cabin was built in 1922 and has full-time caretakers. Enjoy a piece of history with a stay here. Location: Halfway up Pikes Peak Cost: Varies from free to $33, depending on lodging. Season: Year round

ARKANSAS HEADWATERS RECREATION AREA, SALIDA Whitewater rafting or kayaking? Chances are, you’re launching somewhere along the 152-mile-long Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. That means you’re close to one of the seven AHRA campgrounds along Highways 24, 285, and 50. Each one offers between eight and 25 basic campsites. Ruby Mountain and Hecla Junction are among the most popular, but check out the descriptions of each campground before deciding. The AHRA is one of the nation’s most popular locations for whitewater rafting, kayaking and trout fishing. Location: Spans 152 miles from Leadville to Lake Pueblo Cost: $28 for basic site Season: Year round

SPRUCE GROVE CAMPGROUND Spruce Grove Campground offers 27 campsites alongside large rock outcroppings on beautiful Tarryall Creek. The campground sits at 8,600 feet and includes water, fire rings, toilets and tables. It’s a great jumping off point for hiking Lost Creek Wilderness, a 119,790-acre stretch of scenic overlooks, boulders and granite arches. Lots of wildlife here, too: Mule deer, elk, bobcats, black bear and bighorn sheep. Location: 13 miles from Lake George Cost: $17 Season: May-September

RAMPART RESERVOIR RECREATION AREA Rampart Reservoir Recreation Area is heavily used and for good reason. This 500-surface-acre lake is perched upon a 3400-foot-long dam that stores the water for the Rampart Reservoir is stunning and serene City of Colorado Springs, Rafael Calderon and it’s also stocked with fish. Forty campsites dot the Meadow Ridge and Thunder Ridge campgrounds and a few sites are handicapped accessible. The campgrounds include tables, fire grates, drinking water, toilets and trash collection. Location: Four miles east of Woodland Park Cost: $23 for basic site Season: May-September COLORADO FUN





CUTTY’S HAYDEN CREEK RESORT Looking for something a bit more remote, but with plenty to do once you arrive? Cutty’s Hayden Creek Resort has you covered. Tucked away on 157 acres in the San Isabel National Forest, the campground is rustic, relaxed and fun. Plus, it has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, ping pong, miniature golf, volleyball, tennis, basketball, shuffleboard, video games, and meals on weekends. Saturday nights feature bingo and karaoke. Accommodations include tent and RV sites, cabins, a bunkhouse and even a retro trailer. Location: Off Hwy 50, past Cotopaxi, near Coaldale Cost: Ranges from $49 to $299 per night, depending on accommodation type. Season: May-September



O’Haver Lake Campground is a popular 15acre campground that sits at 9,200 feet amid ponderosa pines and aspens. But, book early. The 31 sites fill up fast on weekends. If you DO wait, the campground holds a few sites back as “first-come, first-served.” Use the fishing pier or a non-motorized boat to fish O’Haver lake for the plentiful rainbow and brook trout.

This little gem sits at 10,000 feet above sea level, making the Cripple Creek KOA the highest KOA in the world. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as primitive camping cabins and a “lodge” with full amenities. There are plenty of activities nearby, including the historic gold mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor.

Location: Southwest of Salida Cost: $22 Season: May 17-Oct. 14

Location: Near Cripple Creek Cost: Varies, depending on accommodation type. Season: May 20-Oct. 4

MILITARY OPTIONS Even if you’re not in the military, there’s a decent chance you have connections. Here are a few the military campgrounds in the Pikes Peak region are definitely worth checking out: Farish Recreation Area is like a national park without the crowds. Three ponds. Paddle boats for rent. Lots of cabins. Go, if you can. It’s near Woodland Park.

Camp Falcon is Fort Carson’s campground. It offers a variety of camping options including individual and group campsites with fire rings and gravel tent spots. A nature trail winds through mature trees, open meadows, and an old creek bed with plenty of chances to view wildlife. 86


USAFA Peregrine Pines Fam Camp sits on the edge of the United States Air Force Academy. It sports a huge playground and beautiful, forested sites. Stay in the fall and walk to a USAFA football game.

Peterson Air Force Base plans to break ground on a Fam Camp in 2021.

Want to save a little money? Try boondocking. Call it what you choose – dry camping, free camping, wild camping – but there are options other than Walmart parking lots and offthe-grid these days. Take Boondockers Welcome. It’s built by RVers, for RVers. These folks believe that RVing brings out the best in people. They think making friends on the road often ends up being the best part of any story. To that end, they have assembled a website that links RVers at home and willing to host with RVers on the road and needing a place to stay for a night or two. No money exchanges hands – it’s a simple pay-the kindness-forward system. Give it a look. There are dozens of hosts in Colorado and thousands beyond. Maybe you’ll end up making some new friends along the way.

DISPERSED CAMPING Colorado offers dispersed camping practically everywhere. We have millions of acres of publicly owned land and many of those acres are open to camping, as long as you follow the “leave no trace” rule. Closest to the Pikes Peak region is the 1.1-million acre Pike National Forest. It covers six counties including El Paso. Some areas are accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles, horseback or foot. Look up the rules here, pitch a tent and enjoy the solitude.

TIPS + TRICKS Many Colorado campgrounds start taking reservations six months out. Plan early, especially if you plan to travel with others. Colorado is a vacation hotspot, so the best sites go surprisingly fast. If you’re in the military or a senior, look for discounts. Finally, many parks require you to pay for a day-use pass in addition to your camping fees. If you know you’ll be camping a few times at state parks, for instance, you might save money by buying a season pass.



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here are wolves, dogs, and wolf/ dog hybrids – so what’s the difference? There are multiple answers to that simple question; one that has engaged dog lovers, wolf advocates and animal behaviorists for many decades. The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) may have first partnered with humans around 30,000 years ago. Ancient

hunter/gatherers apparently adopted the wolf-like predecessors of today’s docile pets to act as watchdogs and hunting companions. The partnership benefited both species; humans were better hunters while the eternal watchfulness of Canis enabled humans to sleep safely through the night.

The partnership has endured to this day. Today’s domesticated dog is very different from its feral ancestors and from modern Jewelry ~ Pottery ~ Paintings Reserve wolves. Although Dinosaurs ~ Wearable Art wolves and dogs Gallery is Open share more than 12 - 4 p.m. Daily 99 percent of their DNA, the 400 West Midland Suite 120 Our Gallery Woodland Park Colorado remaining one percent accounts Our Gallery FEATURES 19 LOCAL ARTISTS and is for a number of located in the “City Above the Clouds” at 8465 feet! very significant differences. Malamutes, Siberian huskies, German shepherds and other wolflike dogs are more closely related to wolves than Chihuahuas, but all dogs are more closely related to each other than they are to wolves. Be part of OUR monthly Gala! Also, join an art Despite being walk from Our Gallery at 11:00 a.m. on the Last separated for Sunday of the month. Call (719) 401-2301 millennia, dogs or email and wolves are




interfertile. That means that they can breed and produce viable offspring. In other words, wolves can interbreed with any type of dog, and their offspring are capable of producing offspring themselves. How can you tell if your dog is part wolf ? DNA tests are unreliable, and appearances can be deceptive. An animal that’s a cross between say, a wolf hybrid and a Chesapeake Bay retriever may present as a wolf, a chessie, something in between, or as a crossbreed dog of uncertain origin. There are behavioral differences between dogs and wolves, but few such crosses will manifest all of them. And many animals that present as wolf hybrids are the product of generations of crosses and back-crosses, and DNA tests won’t identify them as part-wolf. Dogs have long been bred for tameness, for rapid and enduring socialization with humans and for obedience and sensitivity towards their human leaders. And while wolf cubs (not puppies, please!) are playful and cute, when raised in a human home they quickly become aggressive wild animals that have no interest in their human masters. But are hybrids good guard dogs? Probably not. Wolves are naturally shy and hybrids tend to be either reclusive or unpredictably aggressive. In other words, they might ignore the burglar and bite the postman. So, how do you raise or care for an animal that is or may be a wolf hybrid?




inosaurs, wolves and casinos are just a part of what makes this historical mountain area so unique. The county came into prominence in the late 1800’s when gold was discovered in the town of Cripple Creek. While one of the original mines—the Mollie Kathleen—is no longer active, daily underground tours into its 1,000-foot-deep tunnel are worth the trip. And if you can’t find gold, rush to the many Cripple Creek casinos to strike it rich. Take a day to visit the Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, where every tour ends with a group howl. The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park features fossils from North America’s Cretaceous Period and is highly ranked as one of the best dinosaur museums in the country. Escape to Teller County for a higher elevation and a magnificent façade of Pikes Peak Rafael Calderon




According to the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota, “When a wolf reaches sexual maturity (anywhere from 1 to 4 years of age), their role in the pack often changes from that of a pup to an adult expected to contribute to the pack. Status becomes much more important, and the animal may begin testing its packmates to achieve a higherranking position in the pack. Testing or challenging of packmates can be transferred onto a human ‘’leader’ when a wolf is kept in captivity, causing the animal to be perceived as stubborn, bold or aggressive. The center further adds, “While many individuals do make an effort to become educated about the potential outcome 92


of owning a wolf or hybrid, others unfortunately do not. This results in the animals being kept in an environment where their social and behavioral needs are not met. In these situations, the animals frequently spend their days in small cages or tied to chains, with very poor quality of life. When any animal, wild or domestic, is kept in conditions inadequate to their mental and physical needs, there is a safety risk for humans.” Darlene Kobobel, founder and CEO of the Wolf and Wildlife Center near Divide, first became interested in wolves and wolf-hybrids in 1993 when she rescued an animal from a local shelter. “Chinook was two years of age and was going to be euthanized at the local animal shelter because of her “wolfhybrid” label,” according to the center’s website. “Once Darlene learned of the fate of this beautiful animal, in spite of her childhood fears of wolves, she took Chinook home.” Approximately 250,000 wolf-dogs are born every year in this country, and few survive more than three years. That’s because many owners surrender their animals to shelters, where they’re promptly euthanized. Hoping to save some of them, Kobobel started a Wolf Hybrid Rescue Center. Overwhelmed by

dozens of calls daily from owners across the country who wanted to find a safe haven for their animals, Kobobel came to understand the scope of the problem was far beyond her limited resources. The center refocused to become the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, providing a home for threatened and endangered species such as Mexican gray wolves and swift foxes. They don’t accept wolf dogs, but here’s their advice to potential owners: “We believe wolves should be wolves and dogs should be dogs. However, if your intent is to own a wolf dog, you should take full and total responsibility for that animal.” Hybrids are often magnificent animals that, given a suitable environment, can thrive. You’d better have a gentle, forgiving disposition and understand that your hybrid isn’t a dog and may not respond to discipline or have any particular affection for you. Yet by giving him/her a decent life, you’re doing a good deed, and learning more about wolves and dogs than you can imagine. Just don’t expect it to be easy.

Photo credits from beginning of article: joyce - / Alsatian Wolf Dogs - / Howling White Wolf -

Carefully and respectfully. Understand that your pet isn’t like other dogs; for example, you may not be able to housebreak him/her. Wolves tend to mark their territory by urination or defecation, and that territory might be the couch or a corner of the dining room. And if you already have a dog or two, it’s not a good idea to adopt a hybrid – there will surely be clashes, and hybrids can overpower most domestic dogs. And while you may give your hybrid attention, affection and respect, don’t expect your feelings to be reciprocated.


If you are considering a hybrid, the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center offers the following considerations:

1. Do you own your home? 2. Are they permitted in your state/county? 3. Does your homeowners insurance allow that breed? 4. Do you have a vet that will treat him/her? 5. Are you educated about the breed? 6. Do you intend to keep him/her for life? 7. Do you have a fenced in area of at least ½ acre. Is it 6’ to 8’ high and do you have ground wire, double gate, and concrete or similar shelter for a cold tolerant animal? 8. Are you financially prepared? 9. Will he or she have a playmate for when you are not around? 10. Do not buy from a breeder. Rescue, please.


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201 S. Fairview, Woodland Park 719-686-1820 COLORADO FUN







ray wolves are a species native to Colorado. In the 1800s they freely roamed their home territory, but unfortunately they were exterminated by 1945 in Colorado. The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Centers’ mission is to change not only the public’s perception of wolves, but also their very future. For many, wolves are a touchy subject. Ranchers across the west have long viewed them as a threat to livestock and livelihood. CWWC CEO Darlene Kobobel explains that misinformation has significantly contributed to the wolves’ fate. For example, respiratory disease poses a bigger danger to cattle populations than wolves do. In addition, fear was instilled in our minds through stories and Hollywood portraying the wolf as evil. Kobobel contends that ranchers who embrace the potential opportunities afforded by wolf tourism could turn their perceived enemy into an economic boom. Look at what the return of the wolf did to Yellowstone when they were reintroduced in 1973. Not only did the landscape dramatically improve, but the boost in tourism exploded with visitors who to this day flock to observe the wolves. It is unfortunate that this iconic species is still being threatened and persecuted. Historically,

wolves were in numbers up to almost half a million, and today the Gray wolf has dwindled to around 5,000 left. Some subspecies of the Gray are listed critically endangered. The Mexican Gray hovers around 100 and the Red wolf at 10 left in the wild. Plan to visit the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center where you can not only see and learn about these misunderstood incredible animals, but learn how to be a voice for them. The Center is located approximately 45 minutes west of Colorado Springs in the small mountain town of Divide. CWWC keeps elite company as the only The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) sanctuary in Colorado. The AZA is the gold standard of care for animals. Through conservation, education, and science, it is the goal to promote and secure preservation for wildlife and our environment. In addition to providing a lifelong home for the animals in its care, CWWC offers guests the opportunity to interact with some of the wolves and fox residents. The Center is home for the Gray, Arctic, endangered Mexican Gray, and our rare New Guinea Singing dogs. This fall CWWC will be the only sanctuary/zoo to be holders of

the critically endangered American Red wolf. We also have Swift and Red fox, coyote and our fun domestics such as our mini ponies, beautiful peacocks, ferrets and more. Visitors can experience the animals through Standard, Interactive, Feeding, Full Moon, and Meet and Greet tours. The Center is open Tuesday thru Sunday year round (Reservations required). On the one-hour standard tour, you will go with a highly trained guide where you will see the animals and learn about them. You will also learn about the wild wolf and how critical they are to both the natural world and the human world. At the end of the tour, you are surrounded by wolves and coyote, and as a good bye you and your group will do a signature “wolf howl”. You will then be graced with an unforgettable experience of the wolves talking back to you.

4729 Twin Rocks Road, Divide, CO 719.687.9742 • Twitter: @Wolves_at_CWWC Instagram: @CoWolfCenter Check out our YouTube Channel



No Limits in Cripple Creek By JOHN HAZLEHURST


hirty years ago, Colorado voters approved a measure allowing limited-stakes gambling in three historic mining towns: Blackhawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. The oncebooming little cities had been in decline for many decades, and gambling seemed like a great bet on the future.

Gaming revenue diminished and even the big dogs took a hit. By 2018 the recession was long gone, and casino owners launched ambitious expansion plans. The Wildwood Casino, located at the eastern end of the gaming district, was first off the mark, starting construction on a 102–room hotel in 2019. At $14 million, it was the smallest of three proposed projects. Next was a $40 million proposal by Triple Crown, topped by a game-changing $70 million

The historic Bronco Billy’s Casino & Hotel lines Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek 96


Courtesy of Bronco Billy’s Casino & Hotel

Any bet looked good to Cripple Creek. The city’s population had peaked at 10,147 in 1900, shrinking to 584 in 1990. The Gold Rush era buildings still lined Bennett Avenue, although most were vacant and deteriorating. The shrinking local economy was supported only by a meager tourism industry and government payrolls. But, despite its diminished population, Cripple Creek remained the seat of Teller County.

The election ignited the city. Property values skyrocketed, entrepreneurs renovated derelict properties and a dozen small casinos opened along Bennett. Fifteen years later the population had doubled, and the industry had matured. The mom & pop casinos had either folded or been acquired by bigger players, and growth seemed likely to continue indefinitely – until the Great Recession hit.


Voters came to the rescue. In November of 2020, Colorado voters approved a measure that allowed residents of the three gambling cities to remove the $100 limit on individual wagers and approve new games such as baccarat. Town residents followed suit and Bronco Billy’s owner Full House Resorts, upped the ante accordingly, committing $180 million to build a mega-casino and 300room hotel slated to open in late 2022. The Chamonix Casino Hotel project includes high-dollar hotel rooms and suites, multiple restaurants, a parking garage, a rooftop pool, a spa and a sizeable convention and meeting space. It’ll also double the size of the gaming floor, creating room for as many as 1,000 slots (assuming that we’ve put the

pandemic and social distancing in the rear-view window by then). By borrowing over $300 million to fund this and other company projects, Full House CEO Dan Lee is making the biggest bet in Cripple Creek’s long history of reckless gold-seekers and optimistic gamblers. Lee believes that despite the city’s recent setbacks and relative inaccessibility (at least compared to Las Vegas and Blackhawk), he can pull this one off. Can he? We’ll see – but meanwhile the new Wildwood Hotel is open for business. At 102 rooms, it’ll be the second largest in town until the Chamonix opens. Owner Joseph Canfora said, “Our goal was to design a hotel that provides a superior experience but at a price point that is affordable for the average visitor.” Canfora is betting on the staid present, not Dan Lee’s vision of a gleaming future.

Which will prevail? Maybe both – after all, the gaming market is wide and deep. There’s room for those of us who play nickels and quarters, as well as the high rollers who bet $1,000 a pop. So good luck to all and have fun in the Creek!

Courtesy of Bronco Billy’s Casino & Hotel

project by Bronco Billy’s. Construction was ready to go in early spring of 2020 – and then Covid hit. The casinos closed and the city became a ghost town once again.

Up to 1,000 slots will be added the Chamonix Casino Hotel, slated to open in late 2022

The Hotel St. Nicholas An historic boutique bed & breakfast located two blocks from the Cripple Creek gaming district.

We strictly follow CDC best practices

“Come for the spirits, stay for the spirits” Located on the lower level of the Hotel St. Nicholas

Offering 15 gorgeously appointed rooms Complimentary continental breakfast WiFi ~ Hot tub ~ Dog friendly Romance packages Small group/events room Outdoor celebration space

303 N. Third St.~PO Box 363~Cripple Creek~80813 719.689.0856



“Nothing makes me feel more alive than the art of landscape photography. I am hooked on the rush that comes from chasing down the next epic shot. The experience of the overwhelming spiritual peace that comes with witnessing the beauty of God’s great Earth is what I strive to capture and transmit to the viewer through my images.”


Parting Shot 98


LOCATION: Pikes Peak

WEBSITE: INSTAGRAM: @rafael_calderon_photography FACEBOOK: @RafaelCalderonPhotographyCO