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AR C HAEOLOGICAL SITES | 24 HOU R S I N CAR B ON DAL E | TH EATER S EAS ON

WEST OF 1O5 THE BEST OF COLORADO

Spotlight on

GRAND JUNCTION

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TOUR de Colorado

EXPLORING THE STATE ON TWO WHEELS

COLORADO PROUD

EATING LOCALLY-GROWN FOODS

SPRING I S S U E 3, 2 0 1 9


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WEST OF 105

@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian

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SPRING SKIING CALENDAR 2019

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DOWNLOADABLE

Ski Guide

It’s still ski season! Check out our downloadable ski resort guide here

HOWE L S E N H I L L Ma rc h 1 0

C RESTED B UT TE Ap ril 7

VAIL Ap ril 2 1

S K I G R A NBY RA N C H Ma rc h 31

KEYSTON E Ap ril 7

PUR GATORY Ap ril 2 1

P OWD E R H O RN Ma rc h 31

EC HO MOUN TAIN Ap ril 14

COPPER MOUN TAIN Ap ril 2 1

WO L F C RE E K A pri l 7

S ILV ERTON Ap ril 14

AS PEN MOUN TAIN Ap ril 2 1

T E L LU R I DE A pri l 7

KEN DALL Ap ril 14

S N OW MAS S Ap ril 2 1

B U T TE R M I L K A pri l 7

STEAMB OAT Ap ril 14

W IN TER PAR K Ap ril 2 1

S U NL I G HT MOU N TA I N A pri l 7

E L DOR A MOUN TAIN Ap ril 14

LOV ELAN D May 5

S K I C O OPE R A pri l 7

BEAV ER CR EEK Ap ril 14

B R ECKEN R IDGE May 2 6

MO NA RC H A pri l 7

A S PEN H IGH LAN DS Ap ril 14

AR APAH OE B AS IN Mid to la te Ju n e

Dates a re su bj e c t to c h a n g e Photo: Curtis DeVore / Arapahoe Basin


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INTER is fantastic in Colorado, but for many people spring can’t come soon enough. In fact, thanks to Colorado’s diverse topography, spring arrives at different times depending on what elevation you live at. Indeed, for many in Colorado, winter, and by extension ski season, doesn’t end in March. Still, as much as we love ski season, we are eager to take advantage of Colorado in spring. Yes, it is called mud season by many, but there is so much to do - and eat, drink, see and experience West of 105 in spring. So, read on to discover the best of Grand Junction and Carbondale, read about some amazing routes to tackle when you finally get your road bike out of storage, and take a look at our mini smorgasboard of awesome edible goods that are produced right here in Colorado. We also talked to ski-industry legend Klaus Obermeyer, dissected a bamboo bike and rounded up some of the top archaeological sites in the state.

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHERS WEST OF

1O5

TOP PICKS FOR SPRING

CO-PUBLISHERS BRITTANY PANTER & ROB MCGOVERN

GENERAL INQUIRIES HELLO@WESTOF105.COM

PG. 48

EDITORIAL EDITORIAL@WESTOF105.COM

THE BEST OF SPRING IN GRAND JUNCTION AND THE SURROUNDING AREA

SALES & MARKETING MARKETING@WESTOF105.COM

CONTACT STEP INTO SPRING WITH A PICNIC MADE UP OF TASTY, LOCAL BITES

WESTOF105.COM (970) 209 2290

SOCIAL MEDIA @WESTOF105 #CROSSTHEMERIDIAN

PG. 83

HIT THE PAVEMENT WITH A BAMBOO BIKE

Be sure to visit westof105. com to sign up for our weekly newsletter to keep abreast of what’s going on throughout spring, and be sure to let us know what you think by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

COVER PHOTO VISIT GRAND JUNCTION

PUBLISHED BY PERIOD COMMUNICATIONS, A COLORADO COMPANY PERIODCOMMS.COM HELLO@PERIODCOMMS.COM

The West of 105 team

PG. 12

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WEST OF 105 IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURY OR OTHER DAMAGE CAUSED PERFORMING ANY ACTIVITY DESCRIBED IN THIS MAGAZINE

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CONTENTS

In Every Issue

05 08 12 14 112 120

Letter from the Publishers

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WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE OF WEST OF 105

Bucket List

TOP 20 SPRING ACTIVITIES, FROM EXPLORING ANCIENT SITES TO ROCK CLIMBING

Gear Anatomy

NICK FREY TELLS US THE INS AND OUTS OF USING BAMBOO TO MAKE BIKES

Season Musts WHAT TO SEE, DO, EAT AND SIP THIS SPRING

Travel

FIND OUT WHY BAMBOO IS KING WHEN IT COMES TO BIKES

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CHECK OUT FIVE DIFFERENT WAYS TO EXPERIENCE NASHVILLE THIS SPRING

Parting Words WE’VE CAPTURED THE SEASON IN ONE PHOTOGRAPH

WELLNESS BEER? YES, IT’S A THING

112

DISCOVER NASHVILLE FIVE WAYS Photos (top): Boo Bicycles; (middle): Sufferfest (bottom): Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

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WEST OF 105 | WHAT’S INSIDE

Features

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Outdoors

ROAD CYCLING BEST OF THE REST ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

47 67

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EAT LOCAL THIS SPRING

Destinations

GRAND JUNCTION 24 HOURS IN CARBONDALE NATIONAL PARKS

Drinking & Dining COLORADO PROUD SPRING COCKTAILS SPRING PICNIC

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Lifestyle

SPRING FASHION HAVEN AND BEAUTY TOP 10: SALONS & BARBERS

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Culture & Events

INTERVIEW THEATER SEASON SPOTLIGHT EVENTS

UNEARTH COLORADO’S TOP ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

48 WINERIES, MOUNTAIN BIKING, SUN. GRAND JUNCTION HAS IT ALL - AND MORE

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100

UNWIND AT THIS WORLD-CLASS WELLNESS CENTER IN CARBONDALE

PENCIL IN THESE AMAZING LOCAL THEATER OFFERINGS

Photos (clockwise from top left): BLM photo by Bob Wick; Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa; Mike Lyons Photography; True Nature Healing Arts; Visit Grand Junction

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THE BUCKET LIST WE’VE ROUNDED UP 20 GREAT ACTIVITIES WEST OF 105 YOU’LL WANT TO ADD TO YOUR COLORADO SPRING BUCKET LIST

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Get on Your Bike

Colorado is home to some of the most incredible mountains in the world, and there is no better way to appreciate their size than by cycling up one. Check out a few of our favorite climbs in the state. Page 26

8 Photo: Anna Stonehouse

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WEST OF 105 | BUCKET LIST

Try Your Hand at Disc Golf

It’s no secret that we have some of the most scenic golf courses in the country, but golf’s quirky cousin disc golf is not only cheaper but there are plenty of places to partake in this laid back activity West of 105. Page 38

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Explore the Arts

Grand Junction was named a Colorado Creative District last year; we recently got a taste of what’s on offer in this thriving art district when we spent a few days in GJ. Page 48

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Get Wet in BV

Transition your legs from skis to a paddleboard at CKS Paddlefest at the end of May. From clinics and demos to live music and camping, it’s the perfect way to go from spring into summer! Page 110

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Enter a Trail Race

There are lots of organized road races for runners, but seeing as Colorado is home to millions of acres of public land, why not swap your regular road route for a trail? There are plenty of events to attend if you’d rather not go solo. Page 36

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Sip on Something Springy

Put away the mulled wine and the hot toddies until next winter. It’s all about fresh and fruity this spring. See what cocktails we’ll be sipping this season and try your hand at making them yourself - with Colorado spirits, naturally. Page 68

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Attend the Theater

Local theaters across the state are turning out some amazing productions. From the Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale to the Creede Repertory Theatre, read about a few of the amazing theaters companies West of 105. Page 100

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Eat Local

Colorado has 31 million acres of farm and ranchland which means when spring time hits we’re anxiously awaiting the bounty of fresh produce and offerings that comes with it. From mushrooms to wagyu beef it’s easy to eat local when you’re in Colorado. Page 64

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Enjoy a Taste of Vail

Head to Vail this spring where more than 30 of Vail’s finest chefs and restaurateurs will be joined by nearly 50 of the country’s top wineries. Page 106 9 Photos: (top): Chris Wiman of Mountain Motion Media / Ore House (bottom): Mile High Fungi


10 13 Update Your Wardrobe

The new season brings with it a new wardrobe. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite new pieces for spring, from screen-printed T-shirts to shoes that will take you from creek jumping to trail trekking. Page 86

Explore Ancient History

Colorado, particularly the southwest area of the state, is a gold mine when it comes to archaeological sites. From national parks and monuments to sacred Native American sites, there are plenty of options to explore. Page 40

11 14 Pack a Picnic

As the grass starts sprouting and the hiking trails dry up, the first thing we do on a clear spring day is pack up a picnic with locally-produced treats and get into nature. See what we pack in our picnic spread on Page 83

Treat Yo’ Self Book in at one of the most beautiful and peaceful spas in the state. World-class design meets amazing decor at this space in Carbondale which also offers yoga, a garden, a boutique and a cafe. Page 96

16 18 12 15 Ride for the Pass

Try Rock Climbing

Colorado is blessed with some seriously amazing recreational opportunities, and rock climbing is right up there. Strap on your boots, chalk up and get to scaling some of these towering beauties this spring. Page 34

Go Glamping

Melting snow and green grass mean one thing to us at West of 105 - camping season is upon us! If you would rather rest your head on a bed than a sleeping bag we have one of the state’s best kept secrets to escape to this season. Page 88

Every spring, when the weather allows, hundreds of cyclists clip in and ride from Aspen up Independence Pass as part of Ride for the Pass, an annual event that benefits the Independence Pass Foundation and allows riders to ascend the pass before it’s open to cars. Page 33

With a whole weekend of events centered around the theme of “greening” up the fashion industry, Green is the New Black is an event not to be missed. Page 61

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Carbondale is a small town of around 6,000, but its elevated, upscale offerings will make you think you’re smack dab in the heart of a city. From amazing dining experiences to a distillery with a metropolitan feel, explore the town before summer tourism kicks into high gear. Page 56

17 19 Go Green

Photos (this page top): Lauren DiFillipo; (this page bottom): Draper White; (opposite page): Sport Obermeyer

Quaint Meets Cosmo

Get a New Hairdo Shed the beanie and give your locks a new look at one of our top picks for salons and barbershops West of 105. Page 92


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WEST OF 105 | WEST BUCKET OFLIST 105

Meet an Inspiration

The man behind the brand, Klaus Obermeyer turns 100 this year. We spoke to him about skiing, Colorado and apple strudel - mit schlag, always mit schlag. Page 98

@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian

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BOO

GEAR ANATOMY

BICYCLES STRENGTH

Not only is bamboo more durable than carbon fiber but it also weighs more and is denser, which may sound like a bad thing, but the frames can withstand some serious pressure and are built to last.

A SMOOTH RIDE

The thousands of fiber tube are surrounded b insulating material, call which damps vibration

HIGH FIBER DENSITY

Iron bamboo has an exceptionally high fiber density which makes it stronger by weight than steel and is as stiff as carbon fiber.

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WEST OF 105 | GEAR ANATOMY

ABOUT

TWIST

Bamboo tubes have torsional compliance, meaning they can twist a bit, allowing the bike to follow your set path.

Boo Bicycles are handcrafted from, as you may have guessed, bamboo. A staple in Asia for various uses, including scaffolding, bamboo it turns out is also pretty good for making bicycles. Boo Bicycles uses bamboo primarily because it has an amazing ride quality. And don’t be fooled into thinking a bamboo bike is a cheap alternative - it isn’t. Quite the contrary in fact. Boo Bicycles are precision engineered bikes that are made to order and tailored to your exact needs. And they aren’t just made with any bamboo. Master craftsman James Wolf and his team harvest the bamboo from their plantation in Vietnam, where Wolf lives. The species of bamboo is dubbed iron bamboo and is used in its raw form on Boo Bicycles. The bamboo is harvested when it is around three or four years old, when the bamboo is stiff but not brittle. Frames are made by hand in an intensive and lengthy process, but the end result is a bike that is stiff and durable, nimble and confident, lively and smooth. Nick Frey, founder and CEO of Boo Bicycles and a former professional road cyclist, told us that not only does bamboo dampen vibrations better than any other material but it is fast and comfortable. Bamboo climbs very quickly and accelerates and sprints like the best carbon bikes. Vibration damping and progressive stiffness combine to create a bike that is more supple and comfortable, without giving up speed and performance. www.boobicycles.com 13


SEASON MUSTS IF YOU SEE, DO, EAT AND SIP ONE THING WEST OF 105 THIS SPRING, MAKE IT THE FOLLOWING

WHAT: Sandhill Crane Migration WHERE: Eckert and Monte Vista WHY: Celebrate the return of the sandhill cranes to Colorado this spring. In Eckert, visitors can use spotting scopes that will be set up for crane viewing. The cranes typically arrive the night before and leave at around 10 am or 11 am the following morning. In Monte Vista, the festival gets going at 7 am on March 8 with the crane sunrise tour, an expert-led bus tour to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge to learn all about sandhill cranes. The festival also has a craft and nature fair every day, a Colorado Farm Brewery tour and a sunset crane tour. Eckert Crane Days runs from March 15 to 17 and the Monte Vista Crane Festival is from March 8 to 10.

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WEST OF 105 | SEASON MUSTS WHAT: Pond Skimming WHY: One of the more unique spring sports, pond skimming is a fun and unique way to experience the slopes this season. Many resorts throughout Colorado wrap up their winter seasons with pondskimming championships and events. If you’re a gifted skier or snowboarder sign up, don your best costume and practice your best moves to partake. Not up for participating? Being a spectator is arguably more entertaining. The Landshark Pond Skim in Crested Butte will take place on April 6, and on April 7, Purgatory Resort and Ska Brewing will kick off an end-of-season party which will include more pond skimming. Spring Back to Vail will take place between April 11 to 14 and features the World Pond Skimming Championships with free concerts at Ford Park, sponsor expos and giveaways. Steamboat’s Splashdown Pond Skimming Championships will take place on April 14 and over in Breckenridge, the Breck Plunge will take place April 21 as a kick off to their spring ski season.

@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photo (this page): Taylor Ahearn; (opposite page): Dave Jones

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WHAT: Authentic Valencian Paella WHERE: Paonia WHY: Officially launched at the start of this month, Paonia Paella is a food truck serving authentic Valencian paella. While living in the Spanish city of Valencia, husband and wife Vicente Perez Martinez and Sarah Perez Sadler thought they could turn their love of paella and Vincente’s expertise (he has been cooking paella since he was a boy and later took courses) into a business. Paonia Paella was born. Offering three different versions, including a vegetarian version, along with salads and tortilla patata, they will use as many local ingredients and suppliers as they can, including the Trading Post, Gray Acres Farms for chicken, Colorado Pastured Pork, Paonia Bread Works, Mountain Oven Organic Bakery and juice from Big B’s. Any essential paella ingredients that aren’t available locally will come from Spain.

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WEST OF 105 | SEASON MUSTS

WHAT: Wellness Beer WHY: Part of the Colorado lifestyle is pushing your body to the max in the great outdoors and then enjoying a well-earned beer. But whether that beer comes apres-ski, run, ride or whatever, it’s not usual to drink it as part of your post-workout routine. Enter Sufferfest. Launched in 2016, the beers are made with bee pollen for its anti-inflammatory properties and iodized salt to help with cell recovery. Initially created as a gluten-free beer (which it still is), founder Caitlin Landesberg realized she had accidentally created a new market - recovery beer. We sampled two newer brews - Sufferfest Repeat, a Kolsch, and Sufferfest FKT, a pale ale. The latter is more flavorful and is enhanced with salt and black currant, while the Repeat is low calorie and low carb.

@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photo (this page): Jessica Hamel; (opposite page): Gabrielle Louse

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E-TOYS Electric vehicles are the future. They are getting better, faster and cheaper, and in many cases, they offer comparable or better performance than their gasoline counterparts. And with wind and solar power generation on the rise, e-vehicles will In November 2018, electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian unveiled its Electric Adventure Vehicles — the R1T, an all-electric pickup, and the R1S, an all-electric SUV. The top-of-the-range version of the seven-seat R1S is projected to have an electric range of over 400 miles, a wading depth of one meter, lockable storage bins, a towing capacity of almost 8,000 pounds and will (they say) do 0-60 mph in three seconds. Both vehicles will be produced at Rivian’s manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois. Rivian is now accepting preorders with a refundable deposit of $1,000. Deliveries are projected to start in late 2020.

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soon be able to be charged at little cost to the environment - the same environment that makes West of 105 so special. We’ve gathered together a few “toys” that will make enjoying the Great Colorado Outdoors that much more fun and that much more guilt free.

RIVIAN

BOLLINGER

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The Bollinger B2 is the world’s first all-electric, all-wheel drive pick up truck. Much the same as the B1 (Bollinger’s all-electric sport utility truck), the B2 has dual motors, all-wheel drive, hydro-pneumatic suspension, in-wheel portal gear hubs, 120 kWh battery pack, large front trunk space, an all aluminum body and a patented pass-through door for transporting long items. With a 4’ 1” wide by 5’ 9” long bed, the B2 can carry full 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood with the tailgate down. The B2 will have a top speed of 100 mph with 15” ground clearance, a 5,001-pound payload capacity, a 7,500 pound towing capacity and an estimated 200 mile EPA range. Interestingly, neither the B1 or B2 will have air bags as the company says it will engineer both to safety standards that exceed federal regulations using seat belts. Production will start in 2020.


Possibly the most fun you can have on four wheels is tearing around in an offhighway vehicle. And the Nikola NZT OHV from the powersports division of the Nikola Motor Company is nothing if not fun. With a range of 150 miles and capable of doing 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, the NZT is a serious machine. And did we mention that it is completely waterproof? It has an IP68 rating on all parts meaning you can submerge it in water (up to a depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes) and drive out without any problems (although Nikola does not condone this). The NZT also has a 7” instrument cluster and a 12.8” “infotainment” display with everything you need including battery life, range, temperatures, speed and elevation data. The NZT also receives periodic 4G software updates. Another feature? It has a four-digit pin so you don’t have to worry about losing your keys.

NIKOLA

CAKE

The Swedish manufacturer of lightweight electric motorcycles launched in January 2018 with the Kalk OR. Developed solely for off-road use, the bike was strongly influenced by downhill and enduro mountain bikes, in both feel and handling, and its design takes into account the geometry, suspension and components from both styles. The bike weighs around 154 pounds and uses a single pivot direct drive to reduce the number of heavy and moving parts. The bike has three different riding modes to make it easier for all kinds of riders. Deliveries of the Kalk OR started this January. The company also announced its first street legal motorcycle, the Kalk&, so named because it has been engineered for both offroad and commuting. Full specs and the price will be revealed at the sales launch in late March 2019. 19


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Page 26 - Road Cycling

Colorado’s diverse landscape makes for some amazing road cycling opportunities. Read about some of our favorites

Page 34 - Best of the Rest

Spring in Colorado offers plenty of other outdoor pursuits, including disc golf, rock climbing and trail running

Page 40 - Archaeological Sites

There are dozens of amazing sites for you to explore this spring, so delve in and learn some fascinating history

Photo: Bob Wick / BLM

@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian

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FOR HER 1. SMITH | Ruckus Cycling Glasses Supplying an unobstructed field of view and amplified color thanks to the brand’s ChromaPop lens technology, these glasses are great for taking in the beauty of Colorado. The Ruckus model offers medium coverage with an open-brow design and softer lens curve. Weighing in at 27 grams they are lightweight and come with an extra interchangeable low-light lens. The adjustable nose piece and temples are designed to react with perspiration to help aid adhesion to the skin. $189 2. LIV | Flara Thermal Jacket Spring riding in Colorado usually translates to plenty of wind. On chillier days this thermal jacket will keep the cold out while the moisture-wicking fabric helps keep you nice and dry. The jacket is also waterrepellent and has reflective accents for low light riding. It is club fit but still pretty snug, however, the stretchy fabric moves with you. The rear has a zipper pocket and two open pockets. $158

GEAR GUIDE road cycling 2

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3. CASTELLI | Nelmezzo ROS Jersey Not quite as warm as the Flara jacket, this is our go-to jersey when the weather isn’t too frigid but chilly enough to need more coverage. The race fit helps reduce drag while the double-layer fabric design offers supreme breathability, moisture transfer and good protection from the wind and light rain. Features include reflective detailing, three rear and one side zip pocket and a silicone gripper along the waist. $249.99 4. VOLER | Artico X Thermal Tights A great partner to the Flara jacket, these pants are perfect when the temperature hovers just above freezing. The fleecebacked thermal fabric still offers plenty of stretch while the yoga-style waistband is one of the most comfortable we’ve worn. Wind and water resistant, the pants feature a comfortable chamois which is great for longer days in the saddle. Other features include zippered leg openings and low-profile flat seams for more comfort. $139 5. SHIMANO | Transit Gloves Part of the brand’s explorer line, these transit gloves are designed for commuters, tourers or those just going for a spin. Light padding on the outer palms supply comfort for shorter rides while the brand’s Discrete Reflectivity technology gives visibility in low light. The thumb and forefinger on the long-finger gloves are smartphone compatible while short finger gloves offer a loop on the ring finger for easy removal. $24.99 - 29.99 22

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WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS 6. LIV | Spectra Performance Jersey This jersey offers enhanced aerodynamic performance for the more serious cyclist thanks to its race fit. With a full-length front zipper, quick drying, moisture-wicking fabric and reflective accents, this is our go-to jersey on warm days when we’re huffing and puffing up a mountain pass (read about our favorite rides for spring on page 26). $158 7. SAVE OUR SOLES | Giro Arrivo 7” Made in Colorado, these socks are ideal for road cycling. They are the perfect thickness and are durable. We love the fun designs too. $11.95

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8. SHIMANO | RP7 Road Shoe Synthetic leather molds to the foot perfectly while the Boa closure helps with microadjustments to get the perfect fit. The outsole is made of lightweight carbon composite to help maximize power transfer and reduce weight. We love these shoes for longdistance rides. $200 9. PEARL IZUMI | Elite Tall Sock These lightweight cycling-specific socks offer reinforced cushioning under the forefoot to reduce hotspot-prone areas on the pedal. A flat toe seam reduces rubbing while special yarns and a mesh ventilation over the top of the foot helps keep feet cool and dry. Anatomicallyshaped socks are contoured to fit the foot perfectly. $16

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10. SMITH | Trace Helmet This brand new road helmet offers superior aerodynamics for more serious riders. The helmet also has the multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS) lining that delivers better protection against head injury. Great ventilation comes courtesy of the brand’s proprietary AirEvac system which helps relieve built up hot air and prevent fogging. There are also storage channels on the side of the helmet to hold glasses in place. $250 11. ENDURA | Pro SL Bib Short Dropseat With three different pad width options that work with the size of your seat, these are great for long days in the saddle. The drop seat allows for quick and easy pitstops, while tech innovations help prevent heat buildup on warmer spring days and an antibacterial finish helps fight odors. $194.99


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FOR HIM 1. VOLER | Super Thermal Jersey The Denali LT fabric used for the front torso is DWR-coated and is therefore wind resistant and water repellent, while the Yukon fabric used for the back and sleeves is fleece-backed and stretches in four directions which makes for a snug fit without any restriction in movement. The fleece-lining works well, and the three standard rear pockets are joined by a fourth smaller zip pocket which is nice if you are concerned about losing cash, credit card and keys. Reflective binding across the top of the rear pockets and a double pull zipper complete the jacket. $139 2. CASTELLI | Nano Flex 2 Bib Knicker Designed to be as good in both dry and wet conditions thanks to a fleece lining and a waterrepellent surface. Because Castelli excluded a membrane to ensure breathability, water will eventually get through in harder rain. Although they also point out that it will never feel waterlogged and will keep you warm if not dry. The mesh straps help a little with breathability. It is also worth remembering that these are race fit bibs and so unless you are race fit yourself, you might want to size up. $129.99 3. PEARL IZUMI | Attack Glove Refusing to add bulk to add support, the Attack Glove has what Pearl Izumi calls its 1:1 Connect Palm that uses a specially-shaped, low-profile gel insert to maintain the natural arch across your palm to avoid numb fingers. This maintains handlebar contact at the knuckles and the heel of your palm and adds the slip free grip of synthetic leather for locked in control $30 6. SHIMANO | RC7 Shoes The RC7s have two Boa dials for microadjustments. The shoes also have an ultra-rigid, lightweight carbon fiber composite sole and supple high-density synthetic leather with perforated venting. Style wise, the shoes are beautiful with very subtle lava lamp-esque swirls that are hard to see at first. $225 24

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STAY SAFE 4. CYCLIQ | Fly12 CE The Fly12 front-facing bike camera and 600 lumen light gives peace of mind on the road. With six-axis electronic image stabilization, footage is really stable and its black box technology means that if you do come off your bike, the Fly12 locks video and audio either side of the incident and prevents it from being erased. Smart video looping means you’ll never run out of space on your SD card. It is also waterproof to one meter. $279 5. CYCLIQ | Fly6 CE The Fly6 CE rear-facing camera has the same features as the Fly 12 but with a 100 lumen light and it is water resistant, not waterproof. $179

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WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS 7. ENDURA | Leg and Arm Sleeves Perfect for Colorado as spring arrives at different times depending on the elevation, meaning these would be useful for different rides throughout spring and even possibly into summer at the highest elevations. The silicone gripper does its job and the zips on the leg warmers make for quick changes. Thick enough to keep you warm when temperatures are still hovering around 32F, they are a good piece of kit for ardent cyclists who don’t want to wait for the true onset of spring. $44.99 (leg) 29.99 (arm)

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8. TREK | Bontrager Ballista MIPS In June last year, the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab rated 50 bike helmets for the first time. The Bontrager Ballista MIPS came in first. In addition to MIPS, there are internal channels to move airflow and antimicrobial pads that wick moisture and eliminate odors, among other features. $199.99

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STAY FUELED 13. GU ENERGY LABS | Hoppy Trails This brand new flavor was inspired by that cold beer waiting at the end of a long cycling day. The slightly bitter taste of hops is balanced out with citrus notes. Hoppy Trails joins an already interesting collection of GU energy gel flavors that include French toast and Chai latte (which also offers a hit of caffeine). $36 / box of 24

11. THERAGUN | G3PRO The TheraGun G3PRO is a handheld, percussive therapy device designed to relieve muscle tension, which is a major cause of aches and pains. After a long day in that saddle, climbing up cliff faces or pounding the trails, a handheld massager might make the difference in your post-workout routine. The G3PRO can withstand up to 60 lbs of force and is quieter by 50 percent over its predecessors. $599

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9. ENDURA | Deluge II Glove Designed for those who want to get out before winter has fully departed, the deluge gloves from Endura are full finger gloves that have enough bulk to keep fingers warm while still being breathable. Waterproof for spring showers, the gloves also feature a fullfinger sweat wipe, lightly padded palm, touchscreen compatible finger and a cuff adjuster. $64.99 10. PEARL IZUMI | Pro Mesh Jersey This shirt is made for those who want to gain every advantage possible. Aerodynamic design meets breathability for a high-performance jersey. Sleeves run to the elbow to reduce drag around the bicep and shoulder (it’s that high performance). The three back pockets have Pearl Izumi’s bellow design which means the pockets open out a little at the bottom. $135 12. PEARL IZUMI | Tour Road Shoe Pearl Izumi have brought back the classic lace up cycling shoe but with a few additions, namely a modern sole. The Men’s Tour Road has a supportive nylon composite sole with a stiff carbon plate at the ball of the foot. It very conveniently has both SPD and SPD-SL configuration. $130


TOuR DE C

Different parts of Colorado emerge from winter at different times, but as long as you wrap up a little bit there is road cycling to be had year round. Spring, however, signals the start of the great thaw and from March on more and more road cycling routes open up every week across West of 105. Photo: 26 Anna Stonehouse

Last year, the Colorado Tourism Organization divided the state up into eight new regions, so we took the five that are West of 105 and found three road cycling routes for each one. Based on average ride time, routes go from short and sweet to full day slogs

WESTOF105.COM


COLORADO WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS

This guide is intended to be used as a planning tool for spring and beyond. Not all rides will be accessible in early spring.

@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian

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THE GREAT WEST Defined by ranchland, green hills, mountains and dramatic canyons, the Great West region stretches across the northwestern part of the state and offers a glimpse of Colorado as it was when frontiersmen were heading west. SHORT Craig to Maybell: A relatively easy and flat ride along Hwy 40, the route between Craig and Maybell passes pastoral scenery and bucolic views of northwest Colorado and crosses the Yampa River close to Maybell. Spring rides offer verdant landscapes and if you’re lucky you’ll spot a deer or antelope. The annual ‘Where the Hell is Maybell’ ride follows the same course and will take place this May. In its 33rd year, the ride attracts riders of all abilities and ages. Other suggestions: Winter Park to Berthoud Pass Summit; Kremmling to Hot Sulphur Springs; Steamboat Springs to Oak Creek. H A L F D AY Dinosaur National Monument: Ride along the paved Harper’s Corner Road which usually reopens in April for a scenic 32-mile ride that leads to the

28 (this page below): Scott Larson; (opposite Photos: page): Denise Chambers / Miles

heart of Dinosaur National Monument’s canyon country. Several overlooks provide sweeping views of Green and Yampa River canyons. If you swap out your road bike for a gravel grinder there are two trails along the road which lead to the canyon rim and offer a closer look at the Green River more than 2,000 feet below in ragged Split Mountain Gorge. Other suggestions: Grand Lake to Rocky Mountain National Park; Meeker to Rangley; Steamboat Springs to Steamboat Lake State Park. F U L L D AY Steamboat Springs to Kremmling: Steamboat to Kremmling via Yampa, turning onto CO Hwy 134 at Toponas is around 72 miles and should take around seven hours. The first stage from Steamboat to the quaint town of Oak Creek will see you gain almost 1,000 feet in elevation over 20 miles. Refuel here and saddle up again to continue your journey south to Yampa (a tiny but cute town). At Toponas you’ll head east towards Kremmling. Other suggestions: Through Canyon Pintado; Estes Park to Granby; Fruita to Rangely.

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MOUNTAINS AND MESAS Stretching from Grand Junction all the way down to Cortez and across to Pagosa Springs, the Mountains and Mesas region is where Colorado’s wine country, farm and art communities and Victorian-era mining towns meet otherworldly geography and ancient cultures. SHORT The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park: Located just outside of Montrose, the Black Canyon is one of the gems of the Western Slope, and there is no better place to get your legs back into summer shape than by cycling from the intersection of Hwy 50 and CO Hwy 347 to the national park entrance station, with nearly 2,000 vertical feet gained in just five and a half miles. There are some undulating hills once you enter the park but the views of the canyon along Rim Drive Rd (which usually opens again in April) will distract you. If you’re not up for the climb, park at the visitor’s center and ride the six or so miles along Rim Drive Rd to the start of the Warner Point Nature Trail. Other suggestions: Telluride to Mountain Village; around Palisade and Paonia wine regions; Animas River Trail in Durango.

H A L F D AY The National Monument Loop: An amazing ride through one of the state’s most amazing backdrops, this 33-mile loop is a circuit that will take you on a steep climb of about 2,300 vertical feet from the get go. After you do the majority of work, however, the relatively flat Rim Rock Drive is 23 miles of stunning views where you’ll most likely see some wildlife, including bighorn sheep, just lounging on the side of the road. This is an ideal spring ride as the area is sweltering in the summer months. The ride is about three hours but with a short detour it can be combined with the Colorado Riverfront Trail system to make it a full day ride.

Million Dollar Highway, allegedly named so because of the gold that was in the dirt that was used to backfill the road or the cost to build it. The views of the surrounding peaks and sheer drop offs (with no guardrail so ride conservatively) will take your breath away. For a full day ride we recommend starting in Durango and ending in Ouray, which will safely put you on the inside of the pass as you descend into Ouray. You will likely have to wait until late spring to tackle this monster. Other suggestions: Crested Butte to Buena Vista via Cottonwood Pass (this summer the pass will have new pavement); Palisade to Cedaredge via Grand Mesa Scenic Byway; Paonia to Blue Mesa Reservoir.

Other suggestions: Gateway to Naturita via the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway; Ridgway State Park to Telluride via the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway; Paonia to Crawford Lake and back. F U L L D AY Durango to Ouray: One of the most stunning rides in the state takes you over three mountain passes - Coal Bank, Molas and Red Mountain - while gaining at least 7,500 feet in elevation over the 71 miles. You’ll end your ride on the infamous

Be Inspired to Linger! 'cause there's more to do!

DNelta CouMnty COLORADO

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PIKES PEAK WONDERS This area is more rugged than some of the others but the towns are intriguing, the outdoor recreation opportunities incredible and the scenery stunning. The Pikes Peak Wonders region offers a very different, but equally amazing, Colorado experience. SHORT Buena Vista to Salida: A short ride of just 25 miles, this route is perfect for a few hours of gentle spinning. For a slightly more challenging ride, go from Salida to BV where you’ll gain almost 1,000 feet and earn that post-ride beer. Browns Canyon National Monument (only designated in February 2015) and Mount Princeton Hot Springs are en route via a slight detour. Other Suggestions: Twin Lakes to Hwy 24 out and back; Poncha Springs to Monarch Pass and back; Florence to Cañon City and back.

H A L F D AY Woodland Park to Cañon City: Just over 50 miles, this ride is pretty evenly divided into a climb of around 3,500 feet, which takes you to Cripple Creek, and then a massive descent of around 6,000 feet which takes you all the way to Cañon City. En route, you’ll pass through Mueller State Park and, briefly, sneak into Pike and San Isabel National Forests. If you really want a challenge, try the other direction when that lovely descent becomes a less lovely ascent. Other Suggestions: Westcliffe to Florence via Cañon City; Nathrop to Twin Lakes; Cotopaxi to Cañon City via Skyline Drive. F U L L D AY Salida to Bishop Castle: This day-long ride is just shy of 80 miles and will take around eight hours with an overall elevation gain of just over 3,000 feet.

30 Photos: (this page above): Rob McGovern/ PComms (this page below): Christoph Stopka; (opposite page): Visit Breckenridge / Liam Doran

The first part of the ride, from Salida to Westcliffe, is part of the Adventure Cycling Association’s Western Express (a route that starts in San Francisco and ends in Pueblo, Colorado). Starting with a gentle downhill section out of Salida on Hwy 50 until you reach Cotopaxi, you turn on to Co Rd 1A and head towards Westcliffe, passing through the hamlet of Hillside. At Westcliffe you join the Frontier Pathways Scenic Byway (one of Colorado’s 11 America’s Byways, of which there are only 150 in the nation) and continue on Greenhorn Highway where you will end up at one of Colorado’s most interesting roadside attractions: Bishop Castle. Other Suggestions: Cripple Creek to Silver Cliff; Cañon City to Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort; Deckers to Hartsel.


Pass to make it a full day option. Better yet, sign up for the annual Ride for the Pass. (Read more on page 33.) Other Suggestions: Georgetown to Guanella Pass (Guanella Pass Road opens around May 24); Dillon Reservoir to Breckenridge (and back or vice versa); Leadville loop around Turquoise Lake.

ROCKIES PLAYGROUND True to its name, this area is a year-round playground. From the country’s best ski resorts, picturesque mountain towns, an abundance of history and a good amount of quirkiness, the Rockies Playground region is quintessential Colorado. SHORT The Rio Grande Trail from Carbondale to Glenwood Springs (or vice versa): Built within the former rail corridor of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, the Rio Grande Trail is asphalt with some sections of concrete and compacted gravel. Open to those on foot, horseback and those using humanpowered equipment, the ride between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs is 12.2 miles. Glenwood Springs to Carbondale is slightly uphill. The Roaring Fork Transport

Authority has bicycle racks on its valley fleet. There is a $2.00 per bike user fee. Other Suggestions: Breckenridge to the summit of Hoosier Pass; Red Cliff to Minturn (great views of the imposing Red Cliff Bridge and a good sample of the beauty you’ll see while riding the Copper Triangle - see below); Fairplay to Como. H A L F D AY Redstone to Aspen: With the beautiful Mt Sopris on your right as you make your way towards Carbondale to meet up with the Rio Grande Trail before continuing on to Aspen, this ride is almost 45 miles with the ride to Carbondale being slightly downhill before heading uphill towards Aspen. If you do this in late spring, consider adding a ride over Independence

F U L L D AY Copper Triangle: A Colorado classic, the Copper Triangle is a 79-mile ride that climbs over 6,000 feet. The route is popular in fall thanks to the changing aspens and is offered as an organized ride in August. Nice and challenging, it will certainly blow those winter cobwebs away. Traditionally the ride starts (and finishes) at Copper Mountain Resort, heads south on CO Hwy 91 over Fremont Pass before eventually descending through the valley to the north end of Leadville. You’ll then turn northwest on Hwy 24 before climbing Tennessee Pass and Battle Mountain before descending down to the town of Minturn. The last stretch sees you jump on the path that follows I-70 through Vail, over Vail Pass and back to Copper Mountain Resort. Other Suggestions: Basalt to Leadville; Breckenridge to Leadville and back (just shy of 100 miles but if you want to make it a century, do a lap around Turquoise Lake after Leadville before the return journey); as many laps of Stage 2 of the 2017 Colorado Classic as you can manage - start with Moonstone Climb, followed by a descent down Illinois Gulch. The start and finish line will be on Main St. at the intersection of Washington St. The circuit is 6.4 miles long.

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MYSTIC SAN LUIS VALLEY The Mystic San Luis Valley region is Colorado’s most spiritual and arguably the most historic area of the state thanks to the legacy of Native Americans and Hispanic and European settlers and explorers. Expansive yet bordered by majestic mountains, the area also includes the incredible Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. SHORT Saguache to Villa Grove: This short, flat cruise starts in the small town of Saguache, a quaint town founded by Otto Mears (the same industrialist who built the Million Dollar Highway) in 1867, and the place where alleged cannibal Alferd Packer was jailed, as you can learn about in the small but well-curated history museum). Set off after exploring and head towards Villa Grove on Hwy 285. If you would rather stop before the end, Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa is a great place to unwind and relax. (Read more about Joyful Journey in our winter issue). Other Suggestions: Monte Vista to Del Norte; Crestone to Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa; South Fork to Creede. H A L F D AY La Veta to Stonewall: This ride may only be 30 miles but it will likely take around four hours. Following a portion of the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway, this route takes you up and over Cucharas Pass where the majority of your climbing

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for the day will take place (around 3,000 vertical feet). On your way down the pass, you’ll see the Stonewall, a 50-mile long outcrop of Dakota sandstone that runs along the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from Colorado into New Mexico, before arriving in the little town of Stonewall. To the east of Cucharas Pass, you’ll see the Spanish Peaks. Called huajatolla, meaning “breasts of the Earth”, by the Ute Indians, the Tarahumare Indians believed that all life on earth originated from this area. Other Suggestions: Creede to Monte Vista; San Luis to Jack Dempsey’s birthplace in Manassa; Antonito to Del Norte (you’ll pass through Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge where the sandhill crane migration takes place this March). F U L L D AY Creede to Crestone: This 90-mile ride will see you lose almost 1,000 feet of elevation as you leave Creede and follow the Rio Grande River. Head towards Del Norte on CO Hwy 149 before turning on to Hwy 160 at Gerrard. You turn on to CO Hwy 112 at Del Norte, after which the road flattens out, then on to CO Hwy 17 at Hooper. Continue north past the UFO Watchtower and take your final turn just before Moffat. The final 13 miles into Crestone is slightly uphill. Other Suggestions: Alamosa to Creede; La Veta to Antonito; South Fork to Fort Garland via Hooper.


plains, I have had the great fortune of experiencing many of Colorado’s roads, mountains and communities, in the most intimate way possible, from the seat of a bicycle, powered by my own two legs.

INSIDER TIPS:

RENEE WHEELOCK My first time in Colorado was on a bicycle, riding from North Carolina to San Diego during the summer of 2008 with a nonprofit called Bike & Build. After the ride I moved to Colorado and soon took on an internship with Ride The Rockies (RTR) and Pedal The Plains in Denver. That internship turned in to six glorious years, where I eventually became RTR Tour Director. The job provided me with a ‘Grand Tour’ of Colorado over the years. From the mountains to the

RIDES & RACES

Pencil in these scenic rides for the upcoming cycling season

Where the Hell is Maybell? May 4

The 32nd edition of this thirty-mile ride through Moffat County starts in Craig and ends in, you guessed it, Maybell. And this ride is one of the few free ones.

Ride for the Pass, May 18

The recreational ride and road race up Hwy 82 toward Independence Pass allows riders to enjoy this beautiful Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway before it opens to cars for the season.

Ride the Rockies, June 9-16

Wheelock lists five of her favorite rides West of 105, in no particular order: Hotchkiss to Gunnison | 79 miles Highlights: North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Curecanti National Recreation Area. You’ll want to pull over the whole time you’re on the canyon rim for photos, and then when you come out of that the water of Blue Mesa looks like glass reflecting the pretty scenery. Grand Junction Loop with Fruita | 62 miles

The 34th edition of Colorado’s landmark multi-day ride take riders from Crested Butte to Mount Crested Butte via Gunnison, Buena Vista, Snowmass, Carbondale and Hotchkiss.

Copper Triangle, Aug. 5

Highlights: Colorado National Monument, farms and country roads through Fruita. I’ve done this ride a few times and I still can’t help but stop and take photographs of the scenery on the ascent into the monument. Once you get to the top you have views of Grand Mesa and the Bookcliffs and an amazing high desert landscape.

Pass. This ride holds a special place in my heart, as I first rode over Red Mountain on the Bike & Build ride. The hype that the group made for this ride did not disappoint, so in 2017 as Tour Director for RTR I took the tour on this route. It gives an amazing sense of accomplishment and incredible views the whole time.

Salida to Cañon City via Westcliffe | 93 miles Highlights: Hard Scrabble Pass, Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. I stumbled across this gem in 2013 when RTR had to do a reroute due to a fire. The views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are stunning; the town of Westcliffe is worth a visit regardless.

Copper Mountain Loop | 79 miles Highlights: Fremont Pass, Tennessee Pass, Vail Pass. It’s a great, scenic ride, but also one of my favorites because I was able to ride it with thousands of other cyclists as a participant in the Copper Triangle. There’s something special and unifying about that. Everyone is so happy and excited to be outside in the elements riding in the company of strangers. You feel like a kid again.

Durango to Ouray | 73 miles Highlights: Coal Bank Pass, Molas Pass, Red Mountain

classic ride takes riders from La Veta, up and over Cucharas Pass and back to La Veta.

Tour of the Moon, Sept. 28 The classic 41-

mile ride through Colorado National Monument

continues its legacy as one of the premier road cycling events in the western United States. This route was popularized in the movie ‘American Flyers’ which highlights the route. There is also an option to make the ride a metric century.

A 78-mile loop that takes riders over Fremont Pass (11,318 feet), Tennessee Pass (10,424 feet) and Vail Pass (10,666 feet) for a total elevation gain of 6,000 feet.

West Elk Bicycle Classic, Sept. 1

The 135-mile Gran Fondo is a point-to-point ride from Gunnison to Crested Butte.

Stonewall Century Ride, Aug. 10 The 16th edition of the

Photos: (this page top) Renee Wheelock; (opposite page): Rick Dunnahoo


ROCK CLIMBING

WHEN SPRING FINALLY ARRIVES IN COLORADO CRAMPONS ARE SWITCHED OUT FOR CLIMBING SHOES AND TRADITIONAL, SPORT AND TOP-ROPE CLIMBERS SCATTER ACROSS THE STATE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INCREDIBLE WEALTH OF OPTIONS AVAILABLE WHEN IT COMES TO ROCK CLIMBING 34

Photos (this page): Jeremy Swanson; (opposite page top): NPS / Victoria Stauffenberg ; (opposite page bottom): BLM WESTOF105.COM


WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS With sport climbing set to make its Olympic debut at next year’s games in Tokyo, climbing of all kinds is likely about to get a boost in popularity. Whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced climber looking for a new challenge, we have some ideas.

a tradition Otto started back in 1911. Elsewhere, solid granite cliffs and Dakota sandstone boulders are on offer at Unaweep Canyon near Gateway. Escalante Canyon is another amazing area for rock climbing in Mesa and Delta Counties.

INDEPENDENCE PASS

BLACK CANYON

There are hundreds of climbing routes in and around Independence Pass near Aspen with something for everyone, from the classic Edge of Time to the challenging Cryogenics. Perched high above the Rio Grande Trail and the Roaring Fork River, the Gold Butte Climbing Area is another option that’s close to town and features routes for climbers of all abilities.

Not only is it one of the most incredible places in Colorado, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has plenty on offer when it comes to rock climbing, although this is not the place for beginners. There are plenty of routes on offer with April and May (depending on weather) being among the best times as the poison ivy hasn’t grown yet but the snow will have melted. Check the park’s website before your visit as shifting rock walls mean some rock climbing routes may be closed. You’ll also need a free wilderness permit for all climbing.

CHAFFEE COUNTY The Upper Arkansas River Valley offers plenty of opportunities at the Fourmile area near Buena Vista with interestingly named routes such as Almost a Tunnel, Elephant Rock and Bob’s Rock. Find more climbing at Midland Hill or polish your skills at the man-made boulders at South Main in BV and at Salida’s Riverside Park.

SAN LUIS VALLEY Once a refuge for the Penitente Brotherhood of Catholic monks who lived and worked in relative seclusion here in the early 20th century, Penitente Canyon is a mountain biking mecca, but there are plenty of rock climbing opportunities with more than 300 bolted routes and undeveloped bouldering opportunities.

MESA & DELTA COUNTIES The towering spires and sandstone cliffs of Colorado National Monument make this a very popular destination for climbers, with hundreds visiting each year. Most routes require traditional climbing techniques. A popular route is Otto’s Route, named for John Otto, the man who spent several weeks pounding iron pipes and carving out footsteps into solid rock. It leads to the top of the 450foot Independence Monument where the stars and stripes are raised each Independence Day, continuing

GUNNISON COUNTY Hartman Rocks offers top-rope, sport and traditional routes with bouldering opportunities too. From Beginner Slabs to Quintessential Pinnacle, there are plenty of options to keep you busy. Taylor Canyon, Spring Creek, Lost Canyon and Cement Creek also offer a range of routes and bouldering opportunities.

RIFLE MOUNTAIN PARK Rifle Mountain Park offers what some people say is some of best hard sport limestone climbing in America. With just under 500 different routes, almost all of which are sport climbs, Rifle is an incredible place with some very difficult climbs. Ruckman Cave with 40 different routes and Wasteland with 19 are mainstay areas.

EVENTS Oct. 18 to 20 | Canon City A nationwide tour, the Craggin’ Classic features climbing clinics taught by professional athletes and local climbing guides. There will also be films, campfires, music, local food, raffles, vendor villages, and local crag stewardship projects.

@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian

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TRAIL RUNNING DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU ARE IN COLORADO, TRAIL RUNNING CAN BE A YEAR-ROUND SPORT. BUT WHEN THE SNOW MELTS AND DESERT FLOWERS START BLOOMING, HITTING THE TRAILS IS A POPULAR SPRINGTIME ACTIVITY

Early spring opens up all kinds of routes, while later in spring, typically around May, runners can start hitting the trails at higher elevations. We’ve rounded up a few trails we’ll be checking out this spring.

MESA COUNTY While wildflowers in the high alpine environments don’t appear until summer, Mesa County and other areas of relatively low elevation throughout the state are ripe with stunning flora and fauna throughout the spring months. The climate of Fruita in particular is mild and arid, making March - May the perfect time to visit before the desert summer sets in. Fruita also gets few rain showers so muddy trails usually aren’t an issue. Some of the best trails in the area are in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. A favorite destination for trail runners around Mesa County, there are plenty of trails for all levels and abilities. For easier trails try Rabbits Ear Mesa Trail at 5.7 miles or Rustler’s Loop at

3.6 miles. For a longer and more difficult challenge, Mary’s Loop and Horsethief Bench Loop combine for a 12.4-mile trail that is of moderate difficulty. Another good route in the area is Devils Canyon Loop, a moderate 6.7-mile trail on the edge of McInnis Canyons.

DURANGO AREA Moving on up in elevation is Durango. There are hundreds of trails in and around Durango, ranging from low lying to high alpine, so depending on when you want to venture out, you’ll find something. If you’re up for a challenge and looking for a trail that can be accessed from town, look no further than Overend Mountain Park. Of the almost half dozen trails in the park, Hogsback is one of the most challenging. Accessed via Leyden Street, which is less than 1.5 miles from Durango’s main drag, and then part of Perin’s Gulch Trail (the trail can also be accessed via Brown’s Ridge Trail), the 1.1-mile trail isn’t for the faint of heart.

36 Photos: (this page): Visit Fruita; (opposite page): Dirt Road Travels

The steep trail rewards those who make it to the summit with amazing views of Durango. Another great trail in town is the Animas River Trail. The 10-mile trail is pretty much flat and follows the Animas River along a hard surface shared-use path. Accessed via various points, the trail is popular with everyone. Durango also serves as the end (or start) of the 486-mile Colorado Trail. Perhaps Durango’s best trail resource is local nonprofit Trails 2000.

ASPEN / SNOWMASS AREA For a taste of the mountains, the Aspen area offers gorgeous scenery with an altitude that is a bit lower than many alpine areas at 8,000 feet in town. Sunnyside Trail is a moderate to intermediate trail that you can hike or mountain bike. The 10-mile, dogfriendly trail connects Red Mountain to the Hunter Creek Valley and starts at 7,800 feet. From the trail you can see amazing views of Aspen as well as the


WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS

surrounding mountains. Access is from Cemetery Lane or, if you’re coming the opposite way, from Hunter Creek. When you can access the entire trail depends on the snow, but typically by mid-May the first part of the trail will be clear and then as the weather warms up more and more of the trail opens up, with the entire trail usually being clear by mid-June. Another truly outstanding area is Conundrum Creek in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. A difficult 8.5-mile trail up Conundrum Creek Valley, this is really only suitable for more advanced runners mainly because the trail gains 2,500 ft in elevation. Of course, you don’t have to go the whole way, just know your limits. There are also three river crossings, the third of which doesn’t have a bridge, so extreme caution is strongly advised. Mt. Hayden looms at the start of the hike followed by views of Cathedral Peak, Conundrum Peak and Castle Peak. Conundrum hot springs is eight miles into the trail. @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photos: Matt Inden / Miles

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DISC GOLF WHILE ACCOUNTS OF PEOPLE PLAYING GOLF WITH A FLYING DISC GO BACK A LONG WAY (ACCORDING TO SOME ACCOUNTS AS FAR BACK AS THE 1920’s), AS AN ORGANIZED SPORT IT IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED TO HAVE COME INTO EXISTENCE IN THE 1960’S IN CALIFORNIA. AND COLORADO WASN’T FAR BEHIND.

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WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS

Colorado was lucky enough to receive two of the earliest disc golf courses in the country. In fact, last year Pueblo’s City Park course celebrated its 40th (yes, you read that right) anniversary. The other course installed that same year, 1978, was Ken Caryl Ranch course which is probably the easiest course in the state. From just a few clubs scattered throughout the state, today there are about 100 local clubs taking care of over 200 courses - with around 75 of those being West of 105. And, Colorado boasts the highest course in the world with the course on top of Aspen Mountain sitting pretty at 11,212 feet! This course also plays host to the bi-annual Colorado classic tournament ‘Kiss The Sky.’ This year it will be held on July 26-28. And, Colorado produces some of the world’s best disc golfers including the 2018 Women Professional World Champion Paige Bjerkaas who grew up playing tournaments here, while Boulder is home to one

of the top 10 disc golfers on the planet, Eagle McMahon. Another disc golf legend who now calls Colorado home is John Bird who used to travel the country doing Frisbee demonstrations in the late 70’s. He continues to install new courses and run events. And Fort Collins is where Bill Wright lives. He was one third of the World famous freestyle Frisbee team called the Coloradicals in the early 1980’s. His store ‘The Wright Life’ is one of the most supportive organizations when it comes to disc events throughout the state. There are courses all over the state, from Alamosa to Fruita - and all points in between -as well as several of the ski resorts, including Arapahoe Basin, Crested Butte, Kendall Mountain, Steamboat Resort, Sunlight Mountain, Telluride and Winter Park. And, Discmania, one of the major international disc manufacturers, just moved to Wellington, Colorado.

39 Photos (this page): Alyssa Van Lanen; (opposite page, top and bottom): Matt James


DEEP DIGGING

Colorado is a hotbed of archaeological exploration, and spring is the perfect time to get out there and learn about the ancient cultures and peoples that once called West of 105 home. Some sites are only open for tours in late spring and summer, so now is a great time to plan ahead.

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WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS

CHIMNEY ROCK | SOUTHWEST

Located at the southern edge of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, Chimney Rock National Monument is a protected archaeological site that offers visitors the chance to walk in the footsteps of the ancestral Puebloans of the Chaco Canyon and follow pathways that haven’t changed for 1,000 years. The site covers seven square miles which includes 200 ancient homes and ceremonial buildings, several of which have been excavated for viewing and exploration including a great kiva, a pit house, a multi-family dwelling and a Chacoan-style great house. There is no entry fee to the Monument, but there is a

Photo: Chimney Rock Interpretive Association

@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian

charge for tours. All tours begin at the visitor cabin where fees are collected. Guests then drive in their own vehicles to High Mesa. Only people on tours may drive to the mesa top. The drive is 2.5 miles up a steep and winding gravel road to the upper parking lot (7,400 feet elevation), where both guided tours and audioguided tours begin. The ancient structures are not visible from the mesa top. Tours do not climb Chimney Rock nor Companion Rock. All tours are first come first serve and have a 25 person maximum. No reservations required. Tours of Chimney Rock are only available between May 15 through Sept. 30.

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MESA VERDE | CORTEZ

One of Colorado’s four national parks, Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve archaeological sites built by the Ancestral Puebloans. One of the best sites in the country when it comes to archaeological ruins with over 4,700 different sites (with more yet to be revealed), Mesa Verde facilitates archaeological and ethnographic research focused on prehistoric and historic occupations of the area. Cliff Palace, one of the best-preserved sites at the park, will be closed for essential preservation work through the spring of 2019, so be sure to check if it has reopened before your visit if it’s on your to-do list. One of the largest and most

famous cliff dwellings, it has over 150 individual rooms and more than 20 kivas (rooms for religious rituals). Crafted of sandstone, wooden beams and mortar, Mesa Verde Cliff Palace has been remarkably well preserved from the elements for the past 700 years. While the cliff dwellings are an important part of Mesa Verde, there are several dwellings on top of the mesa, including Cedar Tree Tower, one of several tower sites. Primarily built during the Classic period (1100 to 1300 AD) at Mesa Verde, the towers are usually associated with a kiva, although the purpose of a tower-kiva complex is not known. To read more about Mesa Verde National Park see page 65.

CROW CANYON | CORTEZ

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The mission of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is to empower present and future generations by making the human past accessible and relevant through archaeological research, experiential education and American Indian knowledge.

An excellent resource and the perfect accompaniment to a trip through the archaeological heartland of the US, Crow Canyon is located on a 170-acre campus about four miles northwest of Cortez and 15 miles west of the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park.

Offering students, teens and adults the opportunity to explore the field of archaeology in the middle of the richest archaeological region of the United States, Crow Canyon offers a variety of educational and travel programs as well as the chance to work alongside professional archaeologists in the field and in the lab, travel domestically and internationally with scholars, earn college credit through field school and send children to summer camps.

Facilities at Crow Canyon include the Gates Archaeology Laboratory, a lodge, six cabins and 10 rustic cabins modeled after Navajo hogans. There are also two learning centers, one of which is a replica of an ancient pithouse and the other a reconstructed pueblo. There are several tour options at Crown Canyon including a free half-mile walking tour, an hour-long tour and a day-long option.


U T E M O U N TA I N T R I B A L PA R K | TOWAOC & COR TE Z The first thing to note about the Ute Mountain Tribal Park is that you must have a Ute guide to enter Ute Tribal mountain land. The 125,000-acre park offers a veritable library of pictographs as well as cliff dwellings, surface ruins and artifacts that are interpreted by Ute Indians with a broad knowledge of Ute and Ancestral Puebloan cultures. With so many sites, both historic and prehistoric, preserved in their original

state, the park is an absolute must for anyone who wants to learn about the people who lived in the area long before the European settlers turned up. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the park is Jackson Butte (shown below). Named for photographer William Henry Jackson, the butte is also known as Chimney Rock (but don’t confuse it with Chimney Rock National Monument).

E A G L E R O C K S H E LT E R | D E LTA C O U N T Y At approximately 13,000 years old, Eagle Rock shelter is seldom visited compared to other sites.

would eventually become the roof and sides of the shelter as it eroded softer rock over thousands of years.

Located within the Gunnison Gorge National Recreation Area (GGNCA) in Delta County, Eagle Rock is well-situated near the Gunnison River which made it an ideal place for hunters and gatherers as well as farmers.

Eagle Rock Shelter can be accessed via Hwy 92 west of mile marker 14. The trailhead is located at the GGNCA parking area. The trail itself is just a quarter of a mile and takes you right to the shelter.

The river created both the gorge as well as what

Photo: (opposite page top to bottom) NPS; Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; (this page): Matt Inden / Miles

Located just off the river, it is also available for rafters to check out.


H O V E N W E E P N AT I O N A L MONUMENT | SOUTHWEST Created to protect and preserve six prehistoric Puebloan-era villages, Hovenweep National Monument is spread over a twenty-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado border. Evidence of human habitation at Hovenweep, meaning Deserted Valley, dates back over 10,000 years with people settling more permanently in the area around 900 AD. By the late 1200’s the area was home to over 2,500 people. The multi-storied towers on the canyon that are balanced on boulders are the stars of Hovenweep. Built by ancestral Puebloans, a farming culture that occupied the Four Corners

area for 800 years from 500 AD, the towers share similarities in architecture, masonry and pottery styles with structures at Mesa Verde and other nearby sites. Most of the structures at Hovenweep were built between 1200 and 1300 AD. The reason for the construction of the towers remains a mystery although there is speculation that they might have been celestial observatories, defensive structures, storage facilities, civil buildings, homes or any combination of the above. By the end of the 13th century, the inhabitants of Hovenweep had left the area, but it would be over 400 years until reports of the abandoned structures were made in 1854.


Y U C C A H O U S E N AT I O N A L MONUMENT | CORTEZ One of the largest archaeological sites in southwest Colorado, Yucca House National Monument was an important community center for the Ancestral Puebloan people for 150 years from 1150 AD. Located between the towns of Towaco and Cortez, Yucca House was created by presidential proclamation in 1919 after most of what would become Yucca House was deeded to the federal government by Henry Van Kleeck. Yucca House is doubly significant as one of the earliest examples of public/private stewardship of cultural resources. First thought to have been built by the Aztec,

Yucca House remains un-excavated and as such it can appear to the untrained eye as a cluster of rocky mounds, but with some guidance (and a little imagination) it holds the secrets of a large and active farming community that existed centuries ago, and has remained largely untouched ever since. There is no entrance fee for Yucca House, but if you wish to visit please be prepared to follow directions carefully. The monument is surrounded by private land and there are no directional signs or facilities. Consider downloading the Yucca House Visitor Guide from the NPS.

S H AVA N O VA L L E Y | M O N T R O S E COUNTY Located on the eastern edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau, the Shavano Valley Rock Art Site is one of the most important concentrations of rock art in western Colorado. Used from at least 1000 BC to 1900 AD by Archaic and Ute peoples, the Shavano Valley site includes a prehistoric rock shelter and thirty-seven rock art panels. Twenty-six of the panels are aboriginal in origin. The other eleven panels consist of more recent inscriptions and graffiti, though some of them may have historic value. There are also several areas with un-excavated artifacts. All major rock art research in western Colorado since the early twentieth century has used the Shavano Valley site

to define different rock art styles and traditions and to trace cultural continuity and change in the region. Among the most impressive panels on the cliff face is Panel 1, which measures 6.5 feet tall by 12 feet wide and depicts three bears climbing trees and is possibly the Ute Bear Dance legend. In 2001 the Shavano Valley site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Self-guided tours are prohibited, but private (4-6 people, $100 total) and group (6 - 10 people, $10 per person) tours can be arranged through the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose. Tours last around 2-3 hours.

CANYONS OF THE ANCIENTS | SOUTHWEST COLORADO

Encompassing 176,000 acres of federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is 12 miles west of Mesa Verde National Park. Only designated in 2000, the Monument contains the highest known archaeological site density in the United States with more than 6,355 recorded sites although it is estimated that there are up to 30,000. The sites reflect life in a variety of ways with evidence of villages, field houses, check dams, reservoirs, great kivas, cliff dwellings, shrines, sacred springs, agricultural fields, petroglyphs and sweat lodges. Inhabited for at least 10,000 years by, Photo: (opposite page top to bottom) NPS/Jacob W. Frank (this page): Bob Wick / BLM

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among others, the Anasazi culture, the Monument is as breathtaking as it is interesting. The canyons are accessible from various points along the Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway, but because archaeological sites in this “outdoor museum” aren’t apparent to the untrained eye, visitors should stop at the visitor center to get maps. The visitor center also doubles as the Anasazi Heritage Center, so be sure to spend some time inside perusing the museum displays and exhibits, many of which are hands on. Lowry Pueblo is the only developed recreation site within the Monument and is a must-see thanks to its 40 rooms, eight kivas and Great Kiva. 45


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Named by Franciscan priests Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante and maintained by the BLM, Cañon Pintado National Historical District is a site of Native American archaeological significance and rock art near Rangely in Rio Blanco County. Cañon Pintado (which means painted canyon) is one of several heritage tourism attractions along the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway. Encompassing over 16,000 acres of public land along 15 miles of CO Hwy 139, the area was occupied by prehistoric people for as long as 11,000 years with the Fremont culture being one of the most significant with

TRAIL OF THE ANCIENTS NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY For lovers of archaeology, Trail of the Ancients is a great way to see some of these sites. Recognized for its intrinsic value to the region, the byway connects all of these ancient sites and also takes visitors to towns and cities in the area where you can discover more about the region through cultural and heritage centers, as well as find places to eat and sleep. The Trail of the Ancients extends beyond Colorado into Utah and Arizona where more sites of archaeological interest await.

more than fifty sites in Cañon Pintado being from them. There are eight sites between Rangely and Loma that together make up a selfguided auto tour. The sites contain hundreds of Native American Fremont and Ute pictographs with interpretive panels that explain their significance at seven locations. The Kokopelli Site is a well-preserved pictograph showing Kokopelli, the Hopi name given to the humpbacked flute player often used as a fertility symbol. There are thousands of sites in the immediate area of Rangely, including numerous sites on Co Rd 23 and Co Rd 65.


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Page 48 - Spotlight On Grand Junction From wineries and upscale eateries to a plethora of outdoor pursuits, the Grand Junction area seemingly has it all

Page 56 - Carbondale: 24 Hours

Cosmopolitan meets quaint in this artsy town. Check it out this spring before summer tourism hits

Page 62 - National Parks

All of Colorado’s National Parks are West of 105. We share the best of spring in all four

Photo: (this page): Visit Grand Junction; (opposite page top right): BLM

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D E ST I N GRAND JU

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FFERING a host of amazing outdoor recreation opportunities as well as being right in the middle of Colorado’s main wine region, Grand Junction is the Colorado experience you never knew you needed.

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Photo: Visit Grand Junction

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N AT I O N UNCTION

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Colorado can be all things to all people thanks to its wide range of landscapes and lifestyle options, but Grand Junction sits in an area that is perhaps more representative of the state as a whole than anywhere else. With a National Monument on its doorstep, a National Forest and two National Conservation Areas to the east, west and south respectively, a ski resort on top of the world’s largest flat-top mountain a short drive away, desert canyons and plateaus in the immediate vicinity and expansive areas of sagebrush shrubland and rangeland to the north, Grand Junction, unexpectedly, just might be as Colorado as it gets. Of course Grand Junction has always had all of this and it has long been very popular with lovers of the outdoors, indeed some of the best mountain biking in the country can be had in the area, but as a destination for visitors it has long been a well-kept secret.

If You Build it They Will Come - Eventually For towns like Grand Junction to go through the transformation into a “destination” there has to be a sort of perfect storm of marketing savvy, “pioneers” looking for something new, amazing recreational opportunities and exorbitant rents elsewhere - check, check and check. If there is one sure fire sign that a town is on the up it is the arrival of an increasing number of innovative, upmarket or elevated drinking and dining establishments. One of Grand Junction’s best restaurants is Bin 707 Foodbar. Opened by Josh Niernberg in 2007, the upmarket eatery tries hard to serve exclusively local produce, but when that isn’t possible Niernberg looks to the region and then finally the wider state for what he needs. The food is as good as it is inventive and, as you would expect from a certified sommelier, the wine is excellent and is also made up exclusively of Colorado wines. Many first time visitors to Colorado or even visitors to western Colorado may not be overly familiar with many of the wines, but you will be won over. Fast forward to 2017 and Grand Junction’s ascent had begun. Perhaps sensing that change was in the air, Niernberg opened Taco party not far from Bin 707. With a diner-like lunch counter and open kitchen, Taco Party has a very laid-back vibe, but that vibe doesn’t extend to the kitchen, at least not in terms of the food. The tacos are seriously good, and offer something for everyone - whether you’re vegetarian, pescatarian or carnivore. The Margarita rimmed with hibiscus salt was as delicious as it was beautiful. Soon after Taco Party opened, Niernberg opened Dinner Party, a private dining and event space, next door. Elsewhere on Main Street, Dream Cafe is a very popular spot and on any given Saturday morning the place is typically reaching capacity not long after opening at 7 am. Similarly, Cafe Sol, a few doors down from Dream Cafe is also very popular and serves up delicious and healthy dishes - think quinoa breakfast bowls, smoothies with hemp protein and

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kale salads. The menu also contains a few options that more than nod to the area’s country western heritage, the Garth Brooks salad for example. Organic, natural and local ingredients are again paramount to the philosophy here and the menu changes regularly to take advantage of the abundance of produce in the region. For a sweet treat, local candy manufacturer Enstrom Candies has a range of products, but their traditional almond toffee, which is still made by hand, is hard to beat. It wouldn’t be Colorado without beer and local institution Rockslide brewery and restaurant (which is under the same ownership as Dream Cafe) has been slinging pints for a quarter of a century, in fact it celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Their beer is good and their food is classic pub grub - sandwiches, salads, tacos and burgers among other things. What’s not to like? More local beer is available at Kannah Creek Brewing Company’s two outlets, one in town and the other, Edgewater Brewery, on the Colorado River next to


WEST OF 105 | DESTINATION Grand Junction’s Las Colonias Park Amphitheater, which is itself a major component of Junction’s 130-acre restored property on the banks of the river. A newer offering in town is Highlands Distillery. Celebrating their one-year anniversary this spring, the distillery offers gin and vodka tastings, a selection of cocktails, and bottles to purchase. Popular cocktails include the Garden Party Mule, the Maverick, and the Blood, Sweat and Steers (their take on the Bloody Mary). Located right next to Belli Fiori lavender farm, spring is the perfect time to enjoy a drink on the patio and take in the intoxicating views. For a more hands-on experience, book a tour and tasting. Offered on Fridays and Saturdays, the intimate tours teach you about the distilling process and end in a spirit tasting.

Do, See, Stay Another signifier of Grand Junction’s changing status is its growing arts scene. Although the city has long supported artists and the arts, its designation last year as a statecertified creative district is yet another sign that Grand Junction is moving on up. The quaint and historic downtown area offers numerous art galleries that hold First Friday Art Walks. Then there is Art on the Corner, a year-round outdoor sculpture exhibit made up of more than 100 sculptures in a variety of mediums and styles. Established in 1984, it offers a great reason to stroll around downtown. The permanent sculptures are joined by a temporary exhibit every year. Elsewhere there are the Museums of Western Colorado, a multi-disciplinary museum complex that includes three museum facilities, three outdoor paleontology sites and a research library. The three museums in the area are Museum of the West, the Cross Orchards Historic Site and, in nearby Fruita, Dinosaur Journey. Downtown also offers the chance to get creative with places like Funky Junk, an open studio where you can bring Pinterest creations to life. That is literally their thing - if you see something you like on Pinterest they

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Photos (this page top right): Dream Cafe; (this page left): Rob McGovern / Period Comms; (opposite page top): Highland Distillery; (opposite page bottom): Visit Grand Junction

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promoting the land and working with the communities of Grand Junction and Fruita to advocate for the creation of a national park to protect the extraordinary geology of ancient canyons and towering monoliths. On May 24, 1911, President Taft established Colorado National Monument under the authority of the Antiquities Act. Otto was hired as the Monument’s first custodian, earning one dollar per month until leaving the post in 1929. Otto is remembered every Fourth of July when Old Glory is planted atop the 450foot tall Independence Monument in a reenactment of Otto’s own flag planing back in 1911. Colorado National Monument is heaven for hikers and cyclists in particular. To really get a feel for why John Otto loved this place so much try Monument Canyon Trail, a 5.8-mile trek that can be combined with the 2.2-mile Wedding Canyon Trail (Otto loved the area so much he got married at the base of Independence Monument) to make a loop that takes you back to the Monument Trail Parking Area. If you’re in the area around sunset, head to Book Cliffs View.

will help you make it. There are also plenty of more traditional galleries where you can pick up a unique piece to take home. If you love rummaging around for hidden treasure, stop by A Robin’s Nest of Antiques and Treasures, a veritable mall that is packed to the rafters with dozens of small stalls selling everything you could possibly imagine. For the restless, Grand Junction and the surrounding area has a wealth of

outdoor activity options. Taking pride of place is Colorado National Monument. Staggeringly beautiful, Monument, as it is called locally, preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. The monoliths and red rock canyons are home to an incredible array of wildlife and, weather permitting, a colorful selection of cyclists (read more in our cycling story on page 26). Surely a national park in the making, Monument was essentially created by conservationist John Otto who dedicated himself to protecting and

Photos (this page top): Visit Grand Junction; (this page bottom left): Rob McGovern; (opposite page): Visit Grand Junction

Other areas of outstanding natural beauty in the area include McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The 120,000 plus acres of BLMadministered land includes the secondlargest concentration of natural arches in North America. McInnis Canyons also has world-class mountain biking and the Colorado River (well 25 miles of it) winds its way through the stunning landscape attracting boaters who value straightforward floating through spectacular multi-hued sandstone canyons. There are also two state parks very close to Junction (James M Robb Colorado River and Highline Lake) as well as orchards and lavender farms. And Grand Mesa, the largest flattopped mountain in the world with an area of around 500 square miles, is not far away either. Home to Powderhorn Ski Resort and 300 lakes, Grand Mesa offers amazing recreation opportunities year round. If you really want to get your heart racing look no further than a Polaris RZR tour with Adrenaline Driven Adventures. Minutes from downtown Grand Junction, the BLM’s Grand Valley Open OHV Area is a huge expanse of


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Where to stay Springhill Suites on Main Street isn’t a particularly new addition to downtown, but you might be forgiven for thinking it is. With modern decor throughout, comfortable, bright rooms and amenities including a business center, an indoor pool, a 24-hour market and a fitness center, the hotel will suit most people’s needs.

Events March 1 - 10 Downtown Restaurant Week is a celebration of drinking and dining in downtown Grand Junction. desert terrain with so many trails you never have to do the same one twice. If you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, you can always ask owner Lewis Baker to take you out and whip you around on a ride that is like a roller coaster without the predetermined course.

And finally, for those who like to putter around at a more sedate speed and wear funky trousers, there are several golf courses in the area including Redlands Mesa Golf Course (above), Tiara Rado Golf Course and Lincoln Park Golf Course.

Fruita

Explore the area on a day (or overnight) trip Fruita is just 12 miles northwest of Grand Junction, which means that the town offers the same amazing outdoor recreational opportunities as Grand Junction but is a tad closer to McInnis Canyons NCA and the west entrance to Colorado National Monument which is just three miles away. Fruita also has a quaint downtown with boutiques, shops and eateries to explore as well as Dinosaur Journey, a paleontological and geological museum that covers the history of life in surrounding areas. You can explore real fossils, cast skeletons and see robotic reconstructions of dinosaurs. There are also some great places to refuel after a day exploring the nearby recreational options. Try Copper Club Brewing Company for a pint and Hot Tomato Pizza for an authentic New York-style pie. If the pizzeria is too crowded, you’re more than welcome to order your meal to-go and enjoy it at Copper Club alongside your pint.

As for festivals and events, don’t miss the unique Mike the Headless Chicken Festival which takes place in late spring along with the aforementioned Fat Tire Festival in May.

May 3 - 5 Fat Tire Festival is the state’s premier mountain biking event held in Fruita. May 17 - 19 Grand Junction Off-Road & Four Peaks Downtown Music Festival brings together off-roading and music for a block party-style celebration.

DAY TRIPS


Palisade Home to wineries, cideries and a quaint downtown, Palisade is a must-visit on any trip to Grand Junction. A major reason many people visit Palisade is to visit the wineries, and the best way to do this in spring is by e-bike. Hire a bike from Rapid Creek Cycles & Paddleboards on Main Street and effortlessly glide around town enjoying the fruits of the region - literally. Colterris Winery is a short ride down a frontage road. Scott and Theresa have some truly good wines and the tasting room is where you get to try them all. Be sure to take a few of their “can-terris” cans of wine with you for a post-dinner quaff. There are several other wineries within the range of your e-bike, including Plum Creek, as well as Talbot’s cider, Peach Street Distillery and Palisade Brewing. Meadery of the Rockies is also nearby as is Graystone Winery who specializes in port.

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For food, Palisade Cafe 11.0 is a delicious option. Owner John Sabal is not only personable, but he has a story and he can cook. John and his wife have Spanish heritage which is why you will see variously sized paella pans hanging around the restaurant. Otherwise, the menu is eclectic with a combination of things you will probably know and a few you might not be so familiar with. The cocktails here are excellent, too. If you do spend the night in Palisade, the Wine Country Inn is a good choice. Surrounded by 21 acres of vines, the Victorian-style hotel will get your Colorado wine country excursion off to a good start. Minutes from two wineries and a few minutes more from downtown and the rest of what Palisade has to offer, Wine Country Inn is a good base. There is also Spoke and Vine Motel, a boutique offering slated to open soon.

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Gateway Canyons A bit further afield, Gateway is an unincorporated town that these days is essentially synonymous with Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa. Built by John Hendricks, founder of the Discovery Channel, Gateway Canyons offers amazing opportunities to interact with the surrounding area, an area the property was built to blend in with. And for a fivestar, award-winning resort, it has done an admirable job. Gateway is just an hour’s drive from downtown Grand Junction but it is a world away.

WEST OF 105 | DESTINATION Options abound for both the energetic and the those who want a more leisurely day. There is horseback riding, from beginners and guided tours to those who want to learn to cattle drive, and guided tours of local dinosaur tracks for those who want a more leisurely but still active excursion. To truly relax, there is a full-service spa at your disposal and an on-site helicopter that offers aerial tours of the canyons and surrounds. Read more about stay at Gateway in the haven section in our autumn issue here.

365 Summer

Once summer hits, the valley can be stifling. Temperatures soar and afternoons outdoors can be pretty intolerable. If you are going to plan on a hike, ride or any other exerting activity, schedule it for the morning or evening. Now would be a great time to head to the water. There are plenty of water-based activity opportunities between the Colorado River, Connected Lakes and Highline Lakes. And amazingly, Grand Mesa boasts 300 lakes (but of course not all of them are fit for activities).

Don’t miss: Fans of country music will already know that the area hosts Country Jam. Held in mid-June, this country music festival brings some of the most popular acts in the genre to town. There are camping and VIP opportunities available

Autumn

Winter

Don’t miss: Colorado Mountain Winefest. From Sept. 19 - 22 the area is a celebration of all things wine along with live music, a grape stomp, chef demonstrations and seminars.

Don’t miss: Grand Mesa Nordic Council hosts a range of events throughout the winter months, including a classic 10k race and freestyle 10k.

Color change hits the Grand Valley pretty late in the year, with the possibility of seeing leaves changing well into October and possibly November. The fall climate in the area is usually warm and dry meaning this is an amazing time to get out and explore (even better than spring as the wind is usually not as strong). Hike the National Monument, stroll the quaint downtown art district or hop on a bike to explore the wineries in Palisade, plenty of them have patios to take in the glorious Colorado weather. This would also be an amazing time to explore the luxurious Gateway Canyons, as the foliage peaks and daytime temperatures are very tolerable.

Grand Junction typically doesn’t get that much snow, but it’s a different story less than an hour away on Grand Mesa. The largest flat top mountain in the world gets more than its fair share of winter precipitation which means a whole range of winter outdoor opportunities await. From skiing the slopes at Powderhorn to snowshoeing and Nordic skiing the many trails on the mesa, you can go from a relatively mild day in the valley to a winter wonderland in a short drive. Mild weather in the valley means you’ll likely be able to find biking, hiking and other outdoor pursuits which are only available in summer in the high mountains.

Photo: (this page above) Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa (this page below): Rob McGovern; (opposite page above and below): Visit Grand Junction; (opposite page below): Colorado Wine

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Photo: Carbondale Arts

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Hours IN

CARBONDALE CARBONDALE IS (OR AT LEAST WAS) THE ROARING FORK VALLEY’S BEST KEPT SECRET. SITTING BETWEEN ASPEN AND GLENWOOD SPRINGS, THE TOWN OF AROUND 6,000 IS SURROUNDED BY AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF NATURAL BEAUTY AND HAS A THRIVING ARTS COMMUNITY AND SOME GREAT PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK. WITH SO MANY AMAZING OFFERINGS IT’S HARD TO WHITTLE A TRIP DOWN TO JUST 24 HOURS, BUT WE’VE ROUNDED UP SOME OF OUR FAVORITE PLACES IN TOWN.

SPRING EDITION

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9 AM | GET ACTIVE Suitably fueled, it’s time to explore the beauty of the area. One of the best things about Carbondale is its proximity to a wealth of outdoor pursuits (like all places West of 105). During the spring months expect anything from cold and snowy to hot and dry days. Thanks to the indecisiveness of Mother Nature in Colorado, you can go from Nordic Skiing at Spring Gulch’s more than 13 miles of free, groomed trails (a local favorite) to paddle boarding or fishing in the Roaring Fork River. Late spring brings rafting and kayaking opportunities as snow melt fills the waterways. Mountain biking at Prince Creek and road cycling on the Rio Grande Trail are other top spring picks if the weather allows.

7 AM | WAKE UP CALL Start your day at the centrally-located Bonfire Coffee shop on Main Street. With a roasting facility in Glenwood Springs, coffee at Bonfire is roasted in small batches from beans that have been consciously and ethically sourced. Offering freshly-brewed coffee, including premium single-origin pour overs, as well as espresso-based drinks along with smoothies and food, Bonfire is the quintessential local coffee shop.

7:30 AM | BREAKFAST Ask any local in town for a breakfast recommendation and they’ll likely point you in the direction of Silo. A trendy, upscale eatery located on the fringes of the town’s creative zone, Silo offers up a straightforward all-day breakfast menu with traditional American fare - think French toast, granola and eggs (both chicken and duck any style). While we love the simplicity of their breakfast dishes, we hear lunch is also outstanding, with the Silo burger and the Cubano coming highly recommended.

If you’re looking for a more sedate activity, driving a portion of the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway guarantees beautiful scenery. With the imposing Mount Sopris, which is just shy of being a thirteener, on your left, you will follow the Crystal River past Penny Hot Springs and the town of Redstone (which is worth a stop) before arriving at the turn off to Marble and the start of the ascent up McClure Pass. With just 24 hours, it is here that you might want to turn back to Carbondale. For something even more relaxing, call Avalanche Ranch to see if they are offering day passes to soak in their hot springs (read more about almost two dozen hot springs West of 105 here).

12 PM | REFUEL Roaring Fork Beer Company was founded by husband and wife team Chase Engel and Aly Sanguily back in 2013. Since then, the brewery has expanded into a tap room and restaurant right on Main Street called Batch. The wellappointed space practically doubles as an art gallery with plenty of works by local artists, including Chad Stieg. A handful of flagship beers include Flip IPA (named for the head chef at The Way Home), Freestone Extra Pale Ale and Hoppa Road, a double IPA or as it is rendered at Batch IIPA. Small batch brews change seasonally. One of our favorites was the Fat Pagan barley wine, a dangerously drinkable brew at 11 percent. Not a beer fan? On top of a handful of non-alcoholic drinks, including locally-roasted nitro coffee and kombucha on tap, Batch also offers a selection of delicious hard seltzers. For spring, try the refreshing hibiscus rose. If you’re not done exploring the area by lunch time, call Batch ahead of time and order your lunch to-go. Be sure to get a couple of crowlers (32 oz cans) when you pick it up (obviously being mindful of where you crack them open).

Photos (left): Kristofer Noel / Telluride Ski Resort; (right): Matthew Inden / Miles

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2 PM | GET CREATIVE Being a certified creative district, it’s no surprise that Carbondale has a dizzying array of art-centric offerings and activities. Located just out of town is the Powers Art Center. Housed in an amazing building designed by architect Hiroshi Nanamori, the center will celebrate its fifth anniversary this summer. The art center is a memorial to the life of John G. Powers who, along with his wife, collected a broad array of contemporary art. One artist that they particularly admired was Jasper Johns, one of the most influential contemporary artists of the mid- twentieth century. The Powers Art Center showcases limited edition works on paper by Johns as well as exhibits of other artists prominent in the Powers art collection. Entry is free. Back in town is the Studio for Arts + Works (SAW), a collaborative studio for mixed media artists. Artists come and go, but it’s worth popping in for a chance to buy from them directly. The Launchpad on South 4th Street is a community space for the arts. It is home to R2 Gallery and Artique gift shop as well as being the home of Carbondale Arts. There is also the Carbondale Clay Center and the studio workspaces in the barn at Cedar Ridge Ranch. To find your zen after a busy day, head to True Nature Healing Arts. Offering a range of yoga classes throughout the day, from stretch yoga to vinyasa, the amazing complex offers peaceful and invigorating spaces to train along with a luxury spa (Page 96) that offers Ayurvedic treatments, an organic cafe, a thoughtfully-curated boutique and a beautiful

Photos (this page above): Powers Art Center; (this page below): True Nature Healing Arts(opposite page, clockwise from top): Erin Danneker at EyeDrop Design; Rob McGovern; Silo

garden. Owners Eaden and Deva have created a haven right in the heart of Carbondale where passersby are more than welcome to stop in and walk the reflexology path and labyrinth or just relax and take in the picturesque peace garden which should start blooming in April or May. History buffs should consider a self-guided walking tour. Carbondalehistory.org offers a downloadable PDF that maps out a suggested route and gives information and history on the main sites in downtown Carbondale.


5 PM | PRE-DINNER DRINKS

6 PM | DINNER

Carbondale Beer Works offers a selection of around ten house brews (depending on how busy they have been) along with a few guest taps. Family friendly with a full dining menu, the brewery offers plenty of nighttime fun and events from live music to bingo and trivia. When the weather warms up the patio is the place to be.

One of the newest additions to Carbondale is The Way Home. This upscale eatery is located in a century-old house right downtown and offers modern decor and delicious drinking and dining options. There is a full service bar, but to help them cope with hectic summer rushes there are four casked cocktails on the menu, but feel free to order whatever you like from the experienced mixologists. Chef Flip Wise serves up tasty dishes with as many locallyand regionally-sourced ingredients as possible. The menu is small enough to not be overwhelming but large enough to offer a good choice. We recommend starting out with a plate of oysters. Delicious in their own right, the tiny dab of scotch bonnet puree works well with the briny liquid of the oyster. The burrata delicata salad is a delicious and delicate combination of burrata, chioggia beets and pistachios. For something heavier, a pasta dish should hit the spot. We got a sneak peek of a filled pasta dish with scallops that was topped with toasted breadcrumbs; it was a winning combination of textures and flavors. For entrées, the pork cut (a large pork chop with guajillo, forbidden rice and hominy) is rich and flavorful and almost enough for two, while the trout with cauliflower, pancetta and parsnip was equally good and a bit lighter. Both the trout and pork were sourced within state. An expansive patio will open during the warmer months practically doubling the seating capacity. As of now, the restaurant is only offering dinner, but the owners are considering lunch and weekend brunch services in the future. A more family-centered experience can be found at White House Pizza where a hefty menu includes a range of appetizers, salads, pizzas, pastas, calzones and sandwiches. Peppino’s is another pizza joint that offers pizza by the slice in a more casual, grab-and-go setting.

8 PM | POST-DINNER DRINKS The sleek tasting room at Marble Distilling Co. features a range of handcrafted cocktails using spirits distilled right in the building. Be sure to try the Gingercello and the Moonlight EXpresso, a coffee liqueur that uses roasted Bonfire Coffee’s Guatemalan beans and Ugandan vanilla. And be sure to check their Facebook page to see if they have any special events; they are known to bring in a mechanical bull from time to time.

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EVENTS Green is the New Black Fashion Show March 14 to 16 An annual fashion extravaganza showcasing sustainable fashion. 5Point Adventure Film Festival April 25 to 28 Colorado’s leading adventure film event. First Friday First Friday of the month from 5 pm to 9 pm Walk down Main Street and explore art offerings, delicious food and drink specials and mingle with the locals.

9 PM | LIVE MUSIC Steve’s Guitars is an intimate space that regularly offers live music. Guests are even welcome to bring their own drinks. Tickets go on sale the night of the event at the door with most acts beginning at 8:30 pm, however, doors open around an hour beforehand.

Dandelion Day May 11 A celebration of all things spring! Bonedale Bike Week May 17 to May 23 A celebration of bikes and cyclists. Thunder River Theater Co. Performances are held throughout the year, including a cabaret production in March, improv shows and an annual gala in May.

REST YOUR HEAD Cedar River Ranch, located about 15 miles from downtown Carbondale, is a true hidden gem. With stunning views of Mount Sopris, Pam and Randy Johnson, along with their daughter Merrill, have carved out quite a paradise for themselves and their lucky guests. Located in the middle of their working ranch, guests have the opportunity to get their hands dirty while unwinding and being in nature. Read more in our havens feature on page 88. If you are looking to stay right in the heart of Carbondale, the Distillery Inn, located above Marble Distilling Co., has five well-appointed rooms while The Way Home has the Sopris Room and Red Hill Room, two beautiful-restored but simplydecorated guest rooms upstairs. Photos: (this page clockwise from top left,): Renee Ramge; Cedar Ridge Ranch; Lauren DeFilippo / The Way Home; opposite page clockwise from top left): Lauren DeFilippo / The Way Home; Marble Distilling Co; Lauren DeFilippo / The Way Home

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FIND YOUR PARK Spring

COLORADO HAS FOUR INCREDIBLE AND UNIQUE N AT I O N A L P A R K S W H I C H A L L H A P P E N T O B E W E S T O F 1 0 5 , A N D W I N T E R I S A G R E AT T I M E T O V I S I T T H E M . V I S I T O R N U M B E R S A R E N O T O N LY AT T H E I R L O W E S T , B U T D R A P E D I N S N O W, T H E P A R K S A R E B R E AT H TA K I N G . T H E R E A R E VA R I O U S P R O G R A M S THROUGHOUT THE SEASON AS WELL AS PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR WINTER ACTIVITIES. AND BE SURE TO READ ABOUT SOME OF THE ANIMALS YOU MIGHT SEE IN THE PARKS THIS WINTER ON PAGE 128.

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FIND YOUR PARK WEST OF 105 | DESTINATION

COLORADO’s four national parks are all incredible and unique in their own ways. Although winter is a magical time at all four parks, spring is when the parks, and all the life that resides within them, returns. The snow at last begins to melt as temperatures rise and the parks take on another personality. Photo: Rob McGovern/ PComms

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GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK & PRESERVE One of the youngest and most unique national parks in the system, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has 30 square miles of sand dunes, including the tallest dunes in North America as well as grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and six 13,000-foot mountains. The park attracts a somewhat modest number of visitors in early spring (see right). As for what to do, climbing the dunes is a must, and spring offers a great opportunity to do that thanks to lower temperatures (in summer the sand can get extremely hot during the day). High Dune on the first ridge is a 2.5-mile round trip that will take around two hours. Star Dune is the tallest in the dunefield at 755 feet and will take closer to five hours. Two sand wheelchairs are available for loan at the Visitor Center, one designed for adults and one for children. Twice a year - in spring and autumn - the San Luis Valley plays host to a spectacular sandhill crane migration. One of 250 bird species found in the park and preserve, over 20,000 cranes spend part of their spring and fall each year in this valley. They typically

SPRING VISITORS* begin to arrive in the San Luis Valley in early February before renewing their bond with their mate through a courtship ritual that includes dancing, bowing, chortling, and throwing tufts of grass in the air. They leave again by late March for the northern U.S. and Canada. While hundreds of cranes feed and roost in wetlands within the boundaries of the national park, this area is currently not accessible to the general public. There are several other areas nearby that offer great viewing opportunities including Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge and San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area. Read more on page 14. Medano Creek is a popular seasonal creek that begins flowing through the park by late April. It reaches peak flow in late May or early June. This means, however, that weekends at this time are extremely crowded. Plan to visit on weekdays at this time of year for a more pleasant experience. And while nighttime can still be chilly, especially in early spring, hiking the dunes at night, particularly with a full moon, is an experience you are unlikely to experience anywhere else in the country.

March: 26,422 April: 20,934 May: 63,998

SPRING HIGHLIGHTS Medano Creek

CAMPING

Spring is a great time to camp at Sand Dunes. PiĂąon Flats Campground reopens April 1. Camping is permitted anywhere in the dunefield (outside of the day use area) but you need a permit.

MORE INFO nps.gov/grsa

*All data is based on 2018 figures

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK Spring is stunning at Rocky Mountain National Park. Migrant bird species return, elk and sheep give birth and begin moving toward their summer ranges, and streams begin to swell with the melting snow. However, spring at Rocky isn’t all frolicking in the sunshine. Lower elevations can bring warm and sunny days but at the same time higher elevation parts of the park can be frigid with plenty of snow (in fact, some of the biggest snowstorms of the year at Rocky happen in March, April and even May), so plan accordingly, particularly if you are planning on exploring different areas of the park. Those warm days at lower elevation are when the aspens, one of the park’s signature species, begin blooming and later in April wildflowers begin blooming at lower elevations.

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SPRING VISITORS* As for particular hikes, Mills Lake is a 2.8mile hike that starts at the Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead. With an elevation gain of 700 feet, this shouldn’t prove too difficult for those with relatively good fitness levels. The hike is particularly noteworthy thanks to the view of Longs Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds from Mills Lake. Alberta Falls is another very popular hike. At just 0.6 miles and with a couple of hundred feet of elevation gain, this hike affords views of Glacier Creek pouring down over the falls. This one also starts at the Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead. Interested in a longer hike? Ask for a hiking brochure at entrance stations, visitor centers or at staffed trailheads.

These variable weather conditions also mean that trail conditions in the park vary from day to day and you can easily experience more than one season in the same day.

Be sure to check trail conditions online or at a visitor center. RMNP has seven different visitor centers. Some are open year round (and even then have reduced hours for part of the year) but others are only open seasonally.

With 355 miles of hiking trails that range from flat lakeside strolls to steep mountain peak climbs, RMNP literally has something for everyone.

RMNP also offers Ranger-led programs throughout spring including Snowshoe Ecology Walks, Winter Wonders and the Junior Ranger Program.

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March: 156,514 April: 152,045 May: 306,483

SPRING HIGHLIGHTS

The reopening of Trail Ridge Road. The highest continuous paved road in the United States, reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet.

CAMPING

Moraine Park campground is open all year. All 77 winter sites are first come first served. Park dump stations are closed. Other sites open later in the season.

MORE INFO nps.gov/romo

*Data is based on 2018 figures


WEST OF 105 | DESTINATION

Photos (this page and opposite): NPS

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MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK

SPRING VISITORS*

Unique in the park system, Mesa Verde National Park offers a look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made this area their home for over 700 years from 550 AD.

by 18-inch wide tunnel, and climb 60 feet up an exposed cliff face using two 10- to 12-foot ladders and a series of stone steps. Tours of Balcony House are by ticket only and take place in spring from April 15. Tour times vary.

Protecting nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde, along with sites in the Four Corners area, have allowed archaeologists to compile the story of one of the most significant chapters in the story of ancient America.

Away from organized tours, Mesa Verde offers the chance to explore on your own. There are exhibits at the visitor center and Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum that provide insights into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo, and for something a bit more active, the Petroglyph Point Trail, a 2.4-mile moderately strenuous trail that leads to a large petroglyph panel, begins near the museum.

Spring is a great time to visit Mesa Verde as warmer temperatures make it much more pleasant to explore the park, whether on guided tours or on your own. While Spruce Tree House remains closed for the foreseeable future due to continued safety concerns relating to rockfalls, overlooks near the museum offer superb views of the cliff dwelling. Balcony House, however, is open for tours. The one-hour tour involves climbing a 32-foot ladder to enter the site. You will also crawl through a 12-foot long

Twelve miles from Far View Lodge (the only lodging inside the park) is Wetherill Mesa and Long House cliff dwelling. The five-mile Long House Loop, which can be explored by foot or on bicycle, offers the chance to see several cliff dwelling overlooks. Tickets for a twohour ranger-guided tour of Long House can be purchased at the visitor center. Wetherill Mesa will open April 29 or as soon as weather and road conditions permit.

March: 21,336 April: 35,099 May: 65,855

SPRING HIGHLIGHTS Wildflowers that begin to bloom later in the season

SPRING TIPS

The popular Spruce Tree House is closed due to safety issues so tour Balcony House instead

CAMPING

The campgrounds inside the park are closed between November and April.

MORE INFO nps.gov/meve

*Data is based on 2018 figures

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BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK One of the smaller parks in the system, the Black Canyon nevertheless packs a lot in. Elevation in the park ranges from 5,400 feet at the bottom of the canyon to 8,775 feet on Signal Hill and as such the flora and fauna are varied. The rims of the canyon are dominated by scrub oak and pinyon and juniper forests as well as some high-desert sagebrush while the north-facing slopes have Douglas fir and Colorado blue spruce. Down in the canyon and near the river it is a different story with deciduous trees and shrubs. Spring and summer rains bring most of the park’s annual precipitation, so always check the weather before you venture there, but unless it is particularly heavy, you will be able to find somewhere to hike. Rock climbing and kayaking are also available but both pursuits require a significant level of expertise and experience. As an International Dark Sky Park there are numerous viewing opportunities, both self-guided and as part of programs organized by the park. While the park is at the mercy of the elements, at least when it comes to when roads open and close, at some point in spring

SPRING VISITORS* road cyclists will take on the challenge of the five-mile, 2,000-foot ascent to the entrance gate (around mid-April you can continue on into the park and along the six beautiful miles of South Rim Road to its terminus where Warner Point Nature Trail starts). Spring in “the Black” also offers opportunities to fish certified Gold Medal and Wild Trout waters. The easiest access to the Gunnison River is via East Portal Road which is extremely steep (15% grades) with hairpin curves. Vehicles with an overall length (including trailer) greater than 22 feet are prohibited. East Portal Road also leads to the location of the start of Gunnison Tunnel, a technological marvel of its day. The nearby East Portal Campground is technically located within Curecanti National Recreation Area, but is adjacent to Black Canyon. The North Rim of the Black Canyon is much less visited and offers a different experience. It is accessed via North Rim Road (which is itself accessed from CO Hwy 92 at Crawford) which is closed in winter and reopens in spring when weather and road conditions allow.

Photos (this page): NPS / Victoria Stauffenberg; (opposite page): Mile High Fungi

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March: 7,687 April: 11,728 May: 48,554

SPRING HIGHLIGHTS Budding trees and greenery of all kinds

SPRING TIPS

Early spring is great for snowshoeing while later spring is great for hiking. Call ahead to see which shoes to bring!

CAMPING

All of the campsites open in spring at some point. Call or visit the park’s website to check when exactly that is.

MORE INFO nps.gov/blca

*Data is based on 2018 figures


DRINKING & DINING

Page 68 - Spring Cocktails Five great bars recommend their top three cocktails to sip on this spring

Page 74 - Colorado Proud

Wagyu beef, camel milk and quinoa are just three of the interesting things grown or raised in Colorado

Page 83 - Spring Spread

Take a look at what Colorado products you should pack in your picnic basket this season

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PUT A in

YOUR STEP

We spoke to five different bars and asked them to come up with three cocktails made with a different base spirit; two classic preparations to give choice to finicky cocktail drinkers, and a third, more obscure or inventive cocktail. So whether you’re looking for something refreshing after a long day in the saddle or something slightly warming after a day of spring skiing, you’ll find it here. 68 Photos: Chris Wiman of Mountain Motion Media / Ore House

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Ore House

Ryan Cleveland

Durango

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The Scofflaw

This cocktail dates back to the 1920’s and was named after the frequenters of speakeasies and general naysayers of the National Prohibition Act. The only alteration to the traditional recipe is that instead of rye whiskey Cleveland substituted Earl Grey-infused bourbon. 2 ozs Earl Grey-infused Colorado straight bourbon (Peach Street Distillers) 1 oz Carpano Dry vermouth .75 ozs fresh lemon juice .75 ozs real pomegranate grenadine Method: Shake all of the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Fine strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist. Click here to get the recipes for the Earl Grey-infused bourbon and the pomegranate grenadine.

Meunier’s Vieux Carré

This next drink is essentially a white Vieux Carré. A traditional Vieux Carré consists of rye, sweet vermouth, Cognac or brandy, Benedictine and bitters. It is one of Cleveland’s favorite wintertime cocktails, but substituting bianco vermouth and Singai (Bolivian white brandy) make this an incredible light springtime whiskey drink. 1 oz Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey 1 oz Singani 63 1 oz Contratto Bianco Vermouth 1 barspoon Leopold Bros. Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur Method: Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass for roughly 40 seconds. Strain over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon and a brandied cherry.

You Me & Génépi

Cleveland opted for A.D. Laws Whiskey House Secale Straight Rye whiskey. This whiskey has incredibly rich flavor and is 100 proof which is great for mixing drinks. It is a slight riff on a whiskey sour with the addition of Golden Moon Distillery’s Ex Gratia, a génépi. 1.5 ozs Laws Secale Straight Rye whiskey .75 ozs Golden Moon Ex Gratia .75 ozs fresh lemon juice .5 ozs simple syrup 1 oz egg white Method: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice vigorously for at least one minute to create a froth. Then add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with two dashes of bitters on the foam. Be creative and make a design using a toothpick.

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The Way Home

Kade Gianinetti

Carbondale

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The Colorado Dirty Bird

More commonly known outside of Colorado as the Jungle Bird, the original version of this tiki cocktail was said to have been invented at the Aviary bar in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton in 1978. The Dirty Bird goes better with hiking boots and flannel, than flip flops and swim trunks. The Way Home version follows tradition pretty closely but with a few ounces of pure Rocky Mountain rum. 1.5 ozs Montanya Oro .75 ozs Campari .5 ozs lime juice .5 ozs simple syrup 1.5 ozs pineapple sage shrub Method: Add all of the ingredients to a shaker, add ice and shake until desired dilution is reached. Pour into a Collins glass with crushed ice.

Rum Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is an absolute classic. It is said to have been created by James E. Pepper in Louisville, Kentucky who then took the drink to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. When it comes to the Old Fashioned, there are “fruit forward” people and there are those that enjoy a pared-back version. This one will surely divide opinion as it doesn’t even contain whiskey. 2 ozs Montanya Exclusiva .25 ozs demerara syrup 4 dashes Strongwater Orange Cocktail Bitters Method: Add ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir until desired dilution is reached. Strain into a double Old Fashioned glass with a large ice cube and garnish with a preserved lemon wheel.

This cocktail is also good frozen.

The Daiquiri

The classic Daiquiri is made from nothing more than rum, lime juice and sugar shaken with cracked ice and strained. It takes its name from the place it was invented, the mining town of Daiquiri on the southeastern tip of Cuba. Said to have been created during the time of the Spanish-American War, in 1898, by Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer, to protect his workers from yellow fever. Another theory is that he ran out of gin at a party and began shaking rum cocktails instead. 2 ozs Montanya Platino 1 oz lime juice .5 ozs simple syrup Method: Combine all of the ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail coupe. The Daiquiri is such a classic cocktail and with rum this good it is best to let it be the star. Classics are classics for a reason.

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Marble Bar

Matt Kyllonen

Aspen & Carbondale

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Marble Mule

Spicy Marble-Rita

The Gilligan

Moscow Mules may be all the rage this spring, but you don’t you have to go to Russia for great vodka or a great Mule. Using fresh juices and homemade syrup are the key to ensuring a ginger punch with an all-natural, fresh flavor.

If you aren’t a tequila drinker, try the Marble-Rita in place of a traditional Margarita. This spicy cocktail will make you feel like you are on the beach in Mexico.

Not to be confused with the Gilligan’s Island, a tiki cocktail with all kinds of tropical flavors, Kyllonen’s Gilligan is a summer pleaser that doesn’t require any fancy equipment - all you need is a mason jar. Light and refreshing, it is equally perfect on an a sun-drenched beach on your back deck.

1 oz Gingercello 1 oz ginger-infused Marble Vodka* .5 ozs ginger syrup .5 ozs fresh lime juice 1.5 ozs cold seltzer .5 ozs Q Gingerbeer (Q is a Colorado all-natural mixer company) Method: Mix all of the ingredients in a rocks glass and stir gently. Fill to the rim with ice, and garnish with a lime wedge. *Macerate two cups of fresh ginger then add one 750ml bottle of vodka and rest in sealed container for at least one week (or longer) before straining.

1 oz Gingercello .5 ozs Marble Vodka .5 ozs pepper-infused Marble Vodka .5 ozs fresh lime juice 1.5-2 ozs Stripped Margarita Mix (Stripped is an all natural, Colorado craft mixer) Honey and crystallized ginger Method: Add all of the ingredients to a shaker with ice. Rim a rocks glass with honey and crystallized ginger. Shake and strain the mixture over ice and pour into the glass. Garnish with a jalapeño slice and a sprig of mint.

1.5 ozs Gingercello 1 oz Marble Vodka .75 ozs lemongrass syrup .75 ozs fresh lemon juice Shake and strain all of the ingredients into a mason jar filled with ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.


The Bookcase and Barber

Collaborative effort

Durango

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Rosemary’s Baby

The “Classic” Gimlet

Gözlü Dilber

Named after Roman Polanski’s 1968 psychological horror film “Rosemary’s Baby,” the Bookcase version of this cocktail uses houseinfused rosemary vodka to give a Bookcase take on the classic vodka martini.

The Gimlet was promoted and drunk by British naval officers back in the 19th Century as the vitamin C in the lime prevented scurvy.

A Bookcase original collaboration, the Gözlü Dilber is named after the Turkish term for hazel eyes and is a nod to Turkey, using pistachio, rose, and orange blossom water are all quite common in Turkish cuisine, specifically baklava.

2 ozs rosemary-infused vodka .25 ozs Luxardo Maraschino .25 ozs Damiana Carpano Bianco to rinse Method: Add all of the ingredients into a glass and stir. Double strain into a Nick and Nora set-up (see image) that has been rinsed with dry vermouth. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary via a clothespin on the glass. This Nick and Nora set-up is how The Bookcase and Barber present their martini cocktails. The rest of the cocktail is chilling as you sip it, so you get that perfect crisp taste with each sip.

Said to have been named after Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette, the use of lime to prevent scurvy is how British sailors became known as Limeys. For this version, The Bookcase and Barber uses Goat Vodka from Peach Street Distillers in Palisade and serves it in a large chilled coupe. 2.5 ozs vodka .5 ozs lime juice .5 ozs simple syrup Method: Add the ice, lime juice, vodka and simple syrup to a metal mixing tin and shake with a Boston shaker. Strain into a large coupe glass if served up or over a large cube in an old fashioned glass if on the rocks. Garnish with a lime wedge.

2 ozs pistachio-infused vodka .75 ozs creme de rose 1.5 ozs Poli Miele .25 ozs honey simple syrup .75 ozs egg white .75 ozs lemon juice 4 dashes orange blossom water 1 dropper of cardamom bitters Method: Add the lemon and egg white to the shaker with the spring from a Hawthorne strainer and shake. Add the remaining ingredients and a small scoop of ice and shake again. Strain onto fresh ice in a bucket glass. Garnish half the cocktail with pistachio dust and the other half with fresh petals.


Phelanies

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Juan Collins

This strawberry and cucumber Juan Collins is an agave variation of the classic Tom Collins, the “gin and sparkling lemonade” drink, as it was described in 1876 by Jerry Thomas, “the father of American mixology.” The Juan Collins that Phelanies came up with is going to be a good drink for spring, particularly as the weather warms up as we move toward summer. 2 ozs Storm King Agave Blanco 1 oz Lemon Juice .5 ozs Simple Syrup Method: Muddle the strawberries and cucumber before adding the wet ingredients. Shake and strain over ice into a Collins glass and top with club soda. Garnish with a strawberry and a slice of cucumber.

Collaborative effort

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Agave Old Fashioned

Another take on the Old Fashioned, this time perhaps even more controversial as it uses agave. In this case, Phelanies uses agave from local distillery Storm King Distilling Company which produces both agave blanco and agave especial as well as gin, barrelrested gin and vodka. 2 ozs Storm King Agave Blanco .125 ozs agave syrup 2 dashes black walnut bitters Method: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass pour over large ice cube and garnish with a cherry and an orange swath

Montrose

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Tamarind Margarita

A cocktail classic, one origin story for the Margarita claims that it was invented in 1938 at Carlos “Danny” Herrera’s restaurant in Rancho La Gloria for a customer who was allergic to many spirits, but not tequila. Either that or it is a reincarnation of a drink called the Daisy but with tequila instead of brandy and using the Spanish version of the name - Margarita is Spanish for Daisy. In the Phelanies incarnation, the Cointreau of the classic is switched out for tamarind syrup. 2 ozs Storm King Agave Blanco 1.5 ozs tamarind syrup .75 ozs freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice Method: Shake all of the ingredients and strain over ice into a Margarita glass with a salted rim. Garnish with a lime wedge.


COLORADO

PROUD

COLORAD O P R O DUCE S A W IDE R A NGE O F PR O D U C E A ND OT HE R E DI BL E PROD UCTS . S O M E A R E W E L L KNOW N, OT HE R S L E S S S O. I N T H E PAG ES O F TH E FIR ST T WO I SSU E S O F W E ST O F 1 0 5 W E HAV E H I G HL IG HTE D W IN E M A K E R S A ND C HE E SE PR O D U C E R S, A ND W E AI M TO CONT IN UE TO S H OW O F F T HE A M A Z I NG A ND D I V E R S E RANG E OF T H IN G S P R O DUCE D I N CO LO R A D O.

Photo: Colorado Potato Administration Committee

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MUSHROOMS MILE HIGH FUNGI Mushrooms are the missing link between vegetables and meat. There are thousands of varieties, each with its own flavor and texture, and they’re also healthy. Really healthy. They’re low carb, they have practically no fat but they do have protein. They have more than a dozen vitamins and minerals. They’re also rich in antioxidants and they’re one of the few foods that has vitamin D. There are several mushroom farms in Colorado, including Mile High Fungi.

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Michael and Liz Nail started Mile High Fungi in 2014. They both foraged for mushrooms in college, where they studied sustainable agriculture, and what would eventually become an obsession started to grow. They eventually began incorporating mushrooms into their home garden - an inoculated stump here or a myceliated wood chip pathway there.

After moving back to Denver they wanted to start some kind of farm, and eventually realized that they could produce mushrooms in the city from waste materials, so that’s what they did. When they first started they were producing 50 pounds a week (they currently produce around 300-500 pounds a week), but they soon realized that they didn’t have as much room as they would like, so they embarked on an ambitious expansion plan. That plan will come to fruition when they move into a new facility in Conifer. Their “new” (it was actually built in 1955) autoclave (a machine they will use to sterilize more substrate more efficiently) should be up and running by early to midspring. When that happens (in conjunction with other efficiency measures) they hope to reach around 1,000 pounds a week.


P OTATO E S

WEST OF 105 | DRINKING & DINING

S A N L U I S VA L L E Y Potatoes are a big deal. Taken from the Americas, the humble spud has made its way to pretty much every corner of the globe. Potatoes are the top vegetable crop in the United States and the fifth most important crop worldwide. They supply every vital nutrient except calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D, and, much like mushrooms, they are delicious. One of the better-known Colorado products, the San Luis Valley is a monster producer of potatoes with around 124 farms on 52,000 acres producing roughly 1.45 billion pounds of potatoes - yes you read that correctly. And among all of those potatoes there are more than 70 varieties grown (although some will be grown only for seed).

It’s no coincidence that the San Luis Valley produces so many potatoes. Nestled between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains along the Rio Grande River, the San Luis Valley is the perfect setting for growing potatoes. At 7,600 feet, summer temperatures are mild and the altitude naturally decreases the likelihood of disease and pests. The nearby mountains provide plenty of water from snow melt, and because the valley was an ancient lake bed, the soil is rich. In fact, the San Luis Valley is so perfect the region is the second largest fresh potato growing region in the country. And to celebrate this starchy bounty, a potato festival is held every year on the first weekend of September in Chapman Park in Monte Vista.

Photo: (this page): Colorado Potato Administrative Committee; (opposite page): Mile High Fungi; South River Aquaponics

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CAMEL MILK

C A M E L M I L K C O . I M U D I TA C A M E L COLORADO CAMEL MILK For some people, the idea of drinking milk from any animal other than a cow may be off putting. Goat and sheep milk are certainly more palatable when made into cheese, but overall, cows are kings when it come to drinking milk. However, in cultures around the world, milk comes from numerous sources including yaks, buffalo and camels. And as unlikely as it sounds, camel milk is being produced in the Centennial State.

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The Camel Milk Co. started in 2015 in Washington when Ryan and Lauren Fee saw a need for camel milk after talking to Somalians who missed it from home. They connected with Kyle and Holly Hendrix of Camelot Camel Dairy in Colorado, and began selling their camel milk to Somali shops and restaurants. From there they started selling to health food shops in Seattle and eventually went national. Last May the Fees decided to relocate to Colorado to be closer to the dairy to manage distribution.

Things are going well. Camelot Camel Dairy now has around 60 camels, up from 15 when Kyle met Ryan, and The Camel Milk Co. has invested in camels themselves, recently purchasing 20 pregnant camels. In a normal month, Camelot Camel Dairy produces 7,000 bottles for the Camel Milk Co. who distribute them to various regional and national markets. And they aren’t the only camel milk producers in the state. Colorado Camel Milk in Longmont is run by Joseph and Nicole Henderson. They owned camels for seven years before starting their dairy. Committed to organic farming, the camels are never fed grains or GMO feed. Then there is Mudita Camel Dairy. Owned by Matt and Meghan Stalzer, the six-camel operation recently moved to Conejos County. On top of selling milk, they also knit with the camel fiber and offer farm stays and farm tours.


WA G Y U B E E F

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E M M A F A R M S WA G Y U C AT T L E | D E V I L’ S T H U M B R A N C H R E S O R T & S PA Wagyu, the king of beef, which literally means Japanese cattle, is essentially a breed (or more accurately one of several) of Japanese cattle that produces tender and marbled beef that contains a high percentage of saturated fat. Which is to say, more flavor. There are several ranches in Colorado that raise Wagyu cattle, some for specific clients and some to sell themselves. Among them are Devil’s Thumb Ranch and Spa in Winter Park and The Little Nell in Aspen. In fact, Devil’s Thumb Ranch may well be the first ranch resort and restaurant in the country to raise its own Wagyu cattle for use in its restaurants. The first Ranch-to-Table operation, you

could say. The resort, through an agricultural program it started in 2013, now has 16 full-bred Wagyu cattle. This way the resort is able to control the entire process, which they say ensures the most ethical and humane treatment possible for its animals. Perhaps vying with Devil’s Thumb is The Little Nell in Aspen. While The Little Nell don’t directly manage their Wagyu cattle, they do have a herd of 100 under an exclusive contract with Emma Farms Wagyu Cattle. The program was introduced by The Little Nell Executive Chef Matt Zubrod who utilizes the Wagyu frequently on his menus in a variety of creative dishes, including Wagyu steak, Wagyu torta, Wagyu burgers, Wagyu tartare, Wagyu hot dogs and Wagyu tacos.

79 Photos: (this page above): Jamie Fletcher / The Little Nell; (this page below): Devil’s Thumb Resort & Spa (opposite page above): The Camel Co.; (opposite page below): Colorado Camel Milk


GREENS

SOUTH RIVER AQUAPONICS Water, or the lack of it, is a very big deal in large parts of the US, particularly the west. Conservation of water has for some time been a topic of debate and water intensive crops only exacerbate the problem. Aquaponics is one way in which we might be able to have our lettuce and eat it, too. Fundamentally, the technique is both ancient and simple - a closed system where waste produced by farmed fish is used as nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purifies the water. South River Aquaponics in Montrose is one of a handful of aquaponic farms in Colorado and the only one on the Western Slope. South River Aquaponics in Montrose started in 2014 and the first crops came 18

months ago. They produce a range of products at their 14,040-square-foot greenhouse facility, including organic fertilizers, organic cloning gels as well as a few various mushroom varieties (currently they produce around 300 pounds a week in a 20’x40’ mushroom den) and various salad leaves, arugula, basil and whole butter crunch lettuces. They also have 24 vertical grow towers designed for garlic, shallots and onions. All of the greens are distributed to various places in Telluride, Carbondale, Crested Butte, Aspen, Vail, Grand Junction and Montrose with some of the oyster mushrooms making it as far as Denver. In production year round, South River Aquaponics were recently awarded a grant by the State of Colorado to expand production.


Q U I N OA

W H I T E M O U N TA I N F A R M | ROCKEY FARMS Quinoa, the seed of the humble goosefoot plant, sprang onto plates all over the US and Europe around 2006 and was the superfood of choice for the next six or seven years. Back in 2012, at the height of the quinoa craze, Americans were consuming more than half the global production which totaled 37,000 tons that year. But even so, there was only one sizable operation in the entire US that was growing quinoa, White Mountain Farm in Mosca in the San Luis Valley. The farm has been in the same family since the 1930’s, and was growing wheat, alfalfa and raising sheep until 1984 when

they started experimenting with quinoa. Things went well and three years later White Mountain Farm was incorporated and they started growing certified, organically-grown quinoa and potatoes. Still, at the time owner Ernie New said there was no demand for quinoa. And there wouldn’t be for quite some time at that point. The quinoa craze came and eventually passed, but White Mountain Farms is still growing, as they should because there was a reason the craze started, and that is because quinoa is very high in protein, essential amino acids - lysine, methionine and cystine - calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin E.

Photos (this page below): Rob McGovern/ PComms; (opposite page): South River Aquaponics


FISH

C O L O R A D O C AT C H Colorado is an angler’s paradise thanks to waterways that are teeming with fish, many of which can be caught and taken home, but for a slightly easier catch there are also a number of aquaculture operations here producing several kinds of fish. Colorado Catch just outside Alamosa is one of them. The second-generation owned farm has been raising hybrid striped bass since the early 90s. A cross between a white bass and a striped bass, the hybrid striped bass is a popular fish for aquaculture all over the US. This crossbreeding isn’t genetic engineering, and in fact it can occur naturally where white bass and striped bass populations overlap. The fish at Colorado Catch are white with a mild flavor and firm, medium-textured fillets which makes them popular for raw preparations such as sashimi or crudo. When cooked the fillets are flaky so lend themselves to more traditional preparations, too. As hybrid striped bass are non-histamine producing fish, they do not have to be frozen before being consumed (a process many other fish are required to go through) and so can be bought fresh which increases overall quality. Owners Tyler and Rochelle Faucette also pride themselves on being stewards in the aquaculture industry with a firm belief in the importance of producing a sustainable bass. They also believe it is important to take pressure off the oceans. And they are doing just that. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, which helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean, hybrid striped bass that are raised in ponds (scoring 6.71) and recirculating systems (scoring 7.66) are both considered green or best choice overall. Colorado Catch is currently in the process of building a new state-of-the-art facility that will allow them to continue to produce a sustainable, pure tasting bass. Colorado Catch uses Denver-based Seattle Fish Co. to distribute its fish to retailers across the state

Photos: Rachael Adams of Rachel Shoots / Food Seattle Fish Co


Spring Spread

WEST OF 105 | DRINKING & DINING

Elevation Meats

James Ranch

Heady without being overpowering, this Colorado Blue is a great cheese just by itself. There are hints of cream and smoky mushroom.

Calabrese

Mole

Elevation makes a range of tasty salamis, but we’re loving the Calabrese salami made with Calabrian chiles and local wine, mole salami made with local chocolate stout and sour ale salami made with Trinity 7 day sour beer.

Sour Ale

Enstrom Handmade in Grand Junction, the almond toffee is made from fresh dairy products and is, simply put, divine.

James Ranch

Durango Artisan Foods / O’Haras

Aged nine to 12 months, the mature Belford has a sharpness that is balanced out by a rich, creamy texture. Pair it with the cherry habañero jam to kick it up a notch.

Made with local cherries and spicy habañero flakes, this jam offers a touch of heat but not too much. Delicious when paired with the Belford.

Durango Artisan Foods Part spicy part sweet, this delicious mustard is made with Ska craft beer from Durango (a West of 105 favorite!). Put a dab on some bread and salami for picnic bliss

Bread

A picnic staple, thankfully there is no shortage of fantastic bakers West of 105. Just a small sample of what’s on offer includes: Blue Grouse out of Norwood, Baked in Telluride, Bread in Durango and Mountain Oven out of Paonia.

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Colterris Wines This estate wine has a strawberry and raspberry aromatic profile and a clean finish. We love it paired with the James Ranch Colorado Blue and the Calabrese salami

Pendleton The perfect size for a picnic, the motor blanket comes with a handy leather carrier and can be stashed in the car for those glorious Colorado spring days.

Shopping List

Picnic tip

Enstrom

MILK CHOCOLATE ALMOND TOFFEE $47.50 / 2 LB. BOX

O’Hara’s

CHERRY HABAÑERO JAM $7.95

Pendleton

MOTOR ROBE WITH LEATHER CARRIER $99.50

Elevation

IT’S NO COINCIDENCE THAT THE ASPEN TRIMAX INSULATED BOTTLE FROM ECOVESSEL HOLDS 750MLOF LIQUID. PERFECT FOR STASHING YOUR ROSE OR WHITE, THE ASPEN FROM ECOVESSEL WILL KEEP YOUR WINE CHILLED FOR HOURS - 100 TO BE PRECISE. BRING IT ALONG WHEN GLASS ISN’T ALLOWED OR IF YOU’RE TRYING TO LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD.

James Ranch

SALAMI $28 & UP/ TWO

MATURE BELFORD $17.80 / LB.

Durango Artisan Foods SKA TRUE BLONDE HONEY MUSTARD $7.95

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Colterris Wines

James Ranch COLORADO BLUE $21.90 / LB.

CORAL WHITE CABERNET SAUVIGNON $22

EcoVessel THE ASPEN $31.95

Company on a mission! Read more on page 118


LIFESTYLE

Page 86 - Spring Fashion Our top apparel and accessory picks for her and him this season

Page 88 - Haven

Cedar Ridge Ranch is located just 15 minutes away from Carbondale but feels a world away

Page 92 - Top 10

Ready for a new spring coiffure? We round up some of the top salons and barbershops

Page 96 - Beauty

Tucked inside the kiva at True Nature Healing Arts is one of the most luxurious spas in the state Photo: Cedar Ridge Ranch

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FASHION

What we love: On top of the trendy design, we love these sunglasses for their ability to handle a bit of action. If you’re trekking up a fourteener or cycling around town, the nose pads keep the frames in place.

FOR HER

What we love: A perfect spring jacket, light insulation provides adequate warmth without being too bulky. We love the longer torso length and the high neck. Insulated patches on the shoulders and collar add a nice rugged touch while the knitting details add femininity

Native Eyewear | Four Corners Sunglasses $129 & up What we love: At just a touch over 4 ozs, this durable, packable tote is perfect for stashing away in your bag. Made with Cordura fabric, a durable, waterproof nylon, and with a water resistant zipper, the tote is great for all seasons. With an 18L capacity, it’s been our go-to farmers’ market bag.

Matador Transit Tote $39.99

Spyder Lolo Stryke Jacket $199

What we love: Made from a wrinkle-resistant fabric, this top is part of Patagonia’s new line of sustainable hot weather clothing made from 100 percent Tencel lyocell. It is great for spring break getaways or any trip for that matter. The flowy fit of the shirt keeps you cool and the patterns are on point for spring and summer. Patagonia June Lake Top $79

What we love: Part of the new Fjord Til Fjell collection, this vest, along with all the other pieces, were inspired by the Norwegian identity essentially from the fjord to the mountains. While we’ll be going from the lakes, rather than the fjords, to the mountains this spring, we love this lightweight piece that is practical, functional but stylish.

Teva Terra-Float Churn $100 What we love: The perfect choice for spring adventure (and summer and autumn!) this lightweight shoe features a breathable mesh upper that dries quickly and keeps feet nice and cool on warmer days. If any shoe is designed for puddle splashing it’s this one - the midsole features drainage holes and the outsole pushes water out of the shoe.

What we love: These ultra-comfy relaxedfit jeans offers a slimmer fit and thinner material which allows for more stretch than standard jeans (we recommend sizing down). We like the jeans cuffed and paired with a low profile sneaker or boot.

Carve Designs Carson Jean $98

Movatn Wool INS Vest Helly Hansen $170


What we love: The vintage-inspired screen printed T-shirt features one of our favorite areas in the state. The shirt is eyecatching and supremely soft, but our favorite feature is that The Landmark Project supports the US Forest Service by donating money to help wildfire prevention education - sadly something that greatly concerns our beautiful state.

FASHION FOR HIM

What we love: It’s made from a medium-weight acrylic which is great when the days are transitioning into spring.

What we love: This brand new performance merino wool top is designed to go from bike to bar. With techy features that are great for spinning around town, but without the look of a standard cycling shirt it’s stylish enough to wear out. Features include reflective elements, a slight drop tail and it’s antimicrobial.

Headsweats Pom Beanie $25

Pearl Izumi Blvd T $80

The Landmark Project Maroon Bells T-Shirt $29.95 What we love: Fabricated with organic cotton, recycled polyester and elastane, these jeans offer a 360° stretch which translates to the most comfortable jeans we’ve worn. Quite possibly our favorite pair of jeans, in part because of the philosophy of the company and part because the quality and comfort of the jeans. We are excited to see what reDEW8 comes out with next.

What we love: Lightweight (an incredible 6.3 ozs) and windproof, this is a good jacket for spring outdoor activities. Of course the lightweight nature of the jacket makes it feel as if it might tear easily, but it is made with durable Pertex Quantum fabric making that very unlikely. Insulated on the front with Polartec Alpha padding, the jacket actually packs into one of the pockets and zips closed (it even has a loop for attaching to a bag or hanging in a closet). Adidas Agravic Alpha Shield Hooded Jacket $159

What we love: Lightweight and flexible, these are technically climbing pants but have been our go-to casual pants for the warmer months. We love the deep pockets on the front with a zipped lower pocket on the upper thigh. The material is ultra comfortable but durable thanks to the blend of Cordura nylon, spandex and cotton. When you do decide to hit the rocks, the pants feature a gusseted crotch, extra knee space and plenty of stretch.

What we love: Super lightweight as well as being clean and simple, the Tree Runners are a great all-around warm weather shoe. The upper is made from eucalyptus tree fiber which we are told has an overall cooling effect. It’s nice that it is naturally-derived and renewable, too. Designed to be worn sock less (if you choose), the merino wool insoles are said to reduce odor.

reDEW8 Men’s Råk Jeans $149 & up

Allbirds Tree Runners $95

Outdoor Research Wadi Rum Pants $99

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HAVEN JUST A STONE’S THROW FROM CARBONDALE, CEDAR RIDGE RANCH HAS SEVERAL GLAMPING OPTIONS THAT MAKE IT PERFECT FOR A SPRING WEEKEND GETAWAY OR A WEEK-LONG RETREAT FROM MODERN LIFE

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TARTED 20 years ago as a horse boarding facility by Pam and Randy Johnson, with daughter Merrill in tow, the family fell into farming when composting got out of hand. Large Black pigs were next and the rest is history. While the expansive property is open to visitors year round thanks to a quaint cabin at the rear of the farm, this working ranch - with all that it entails - really comes to life when the snow melts and the two safari tents and the yurt open for business.

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Both glamping tents come with tasteful furnishings and Instagram-worthy decor. One caters more to families (with one queen bed and two singles) while the other would be ideal for a romantic couples getaway with one king bed. The yurt, which is located near the ponds, can host an entire family with one queen bed and two twins. It also has a family dining area and a large deck. The tents, yurt and cabin all have bathrooms in tents located next to them.

getaway. There is a grill on the tiny porch, the former perfect for cooking a zebu burger and the latter for enjoying a classic Colorado sunset.

The aforementioned cabin is what might be best described as rustic chic. The bathroom is outside in its own little tent, although there is a shower and kitchenette inside. Tastefully decorated with a menagerie of antiques and knickknacks, the cabin is the perfect place for a spring

There is plenty to do at Cedar Ridge Ranch if you don’t want to take it too easy, including ranch tours, alpaca yoga, fiber felting and horseback riding. Ranch tours are also available for day visitors as is alpaca yoga which will start back up again in late spring.

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@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian All photos: Cedar Ridge Ranch

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Photos (all): Gateway Canyons 90

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TOP 10: SALONS & BARBERSHOPS WHERE TO GO WHEN YOU’RE READY FOR A NEW SPRING CUT

92 Photo: Salon Polished

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SALON POLISHED Montrose

LANCE MICHAEL SALON Glenwood Springs

Opened by Erin Liles in 2012, Salon Polished strives to give customers a ‘big city vibe’ with a hometown feeling. Salon Polished offers a full range of hair services, including cuts, colors, advanced color techniques like balayage, extensions and perm/texturing services. They also offer eyelash extensions, acrylic nails and pedicures. There is a permanent make-up artist that offers microblading, lash line enhancement and skin micropigmentation. Liles also ensures her team is on the top of trends. They just got back from an event in New Orleans where the Salon Polished team learned about some looks and techniques for the upcoming year.

Located in a beautiful red brick building in a pathway just off Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs, Lance Michael Salon is owned and operated by Lance Diehl. Just over three years old, expansion, at least in terms of staff numbers, came quickly for Diehl when he hired three additional stylists within a few months of opening. At the salon, which contains a menagerie of curios and looks very much like an antique shop, Diehl offers a full menu of salon and barber services including cuts and colors for women as well as beard trims, shaping and grooming for men. Aveda certified, Diehl specializes in coloring services.

REYLYNN’S BARBER LOUNGE & HAIR STUDIO Durango

Opened in 2015 by Kelly and Ben Martinez, ReyLynn’s offers a professional, upscale and unique his and hers environment. With a range of services for both men and women along with complimentary snacks, beverages and hand massages, ReyLynn’s barber services extend to both modern and old school haircuts, hot towel straight razor shaves and facial waxing, while the salon offers a full range of cuts, colors and facial waxing services. An established stylist long before opening ReyLynn’s, Kelly graduated from the Aveda Institute of Atlanta in 2009. Ben attended barber school after trying a few other career paths. ReyLynn’s started with just Kelly and Ben, but now has a staff of eight.

INDUSTRY HAIR STUDIO

JUL SALON Basalt

After working at a salon in town for a decade, Heather Perry wanted to branch out on her own so she opened Industry Hair Studio. That was two years ago, and by all accounts things are going pretty well. Initially, it was just Perry, but now there is a second stylist, a makeup artist and an apprentice. Industry Hair Studio offers all manner of services, including cuts, colors and extensions, but they specialize in bridal hair. Committed to providing clients with an elevated experience, Industry Hair Studio also boasts some of the best views you’re likely to see from a salon chair: Mt. Whetstone and the Slate River.

Originally from Chicago, Julie Metallo has been in the hair and beauty industry for the past 15 years in Colorado. Metallo has traveled the world and has worked at Milan Fashion Week among other places. At JUL Salon, Metallo and the team offer a wide range of services including cuts for men and women, extensions, color and color corrections and wedding hair services. Away from hair, they also offer makeup design and eyelash extensions among other things.

Crested Butte

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STEAMBOAT BARBERSHOP Steamboat Springs

The Steamboat Barbershop specializes in authentic straight razor hot soap shaves and gentlemen’s haircuts. Owned and operated by John Greco, Steamboat Barber Shop is the newest barber shop in town. Opened last summer, it embraces the old-world style of male barbering with a pair of vintage Koken barber chairs from the early 20th century. The small shop specializes in traditional men’s haircuts, tapers and fades, but their signature service is the authentic straight razor wet shaves. Being a small operation, and with Greco wanting to offer a relaxed and professional service, Steamboat Barbershop is by appointment only, but you are welcome to call or stop by to see if any times are available that day.

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THE BOOKCASE AND BARBER Durango The “front” for the what is behind the bookcase, the Barber in front of the Bookcase is the epitome of a front for a speakeasy in that it is not only a fully functioning barbershop, but it is a successful one, too. In the last three-and-ahalf years the Barber has grown from one barber to three - Pedro Vigil has since been joined by Patrick Sundahl and Brendan Vlass with all three having slightly differing skill sets. At any given time appointments are around two weeks out. Each guest receives a complimentary beer, but with one of Colorado’s finest cocktail bars behind the bookcase, many order a cocktail too. Kids are welcome in the Barber (and parents are welcome to wait behind the Bookcase).

7 8 9 1 THE GENTLEMAN’S BARBERSHOP Frisco

Another old-school barbershop offering a range of services from throwback styles such as the pompadour to pretty much anything you want. Much like the other barbershops on our list, the Gentlemen’s Barbershop combines the best of traditional barbershops with modern additions. They offer the classic straight razor shave, as well as beard trims and free neck trims. They are also happy to cater to kids. They also offer a shave class every few weeks where you will learn proper shaving techniques, caring for your razor and other shaving tips that will help eliminate razor burn and irritation. Also, much like several other barbershops, this one is also appointment only.

THE MEN’S ROOM Grand Junction

FOUR SEASONS BARBERSHOP

Opened in late 2018 by brothers Brent and Shane McNicol along with Brent’s son Cody, The Men’s Room is a traditional barbershop offering classic men’s hair cuts along with shaves and beard services. A few of the services on offer include hot lather and straight razor shaves and beard trims with shears or clippers. There are also a few old-school treatments where you’ll get the works: a hot lather, steam towel, straight razor shave, cold towel, facial massage and aftershave. The Men’s Room takes appointments and walk-ins.

As Vail’s only dedicated barbershop, barber Guy Bruha gets everyone through his doors - male and female, young and old. While the menu is geared mostly towards men, the Spa Bar offering will appeal to anyone who has just spent their day enjoying the outdoors. Guy and the team will freshen you up before dinner while you enjoy a liquid refreshment. Other menu options include the Executive Shave, which includes a deep cleanse, an exfoliation, a hot shave and an eye and face treatment.

Vail

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Photo: Four Seasons Resorts and Residences Vail

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BEAUTY Spring is all about renewal and rejuvenation and the best way to get ready for the new season is to spend some time focusing on health and wellness. The holistic approach at True Nature Healing Arts might just be what the yogi ordered

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rue Nature Healing Arts is inconspicuous to the point where you may not even know it is there at all. An oasis on the fringe of town, owners Eaden and Deva Shantay have created a full blown sanctuary with no expense spared (just check out the bathrooms in the kiva). Self-care and holistic wellness are at the center of what they do at TNHA, and to that end they offer daily yoga classes, movement and meditation as well as personal growth workshops among other things. They also have a socially conscious gift boutique and an organic café. At the center of TNHA is the Peace Garden. Created by Eaden and Shantay as a gift to the community, it began life as a functional garden with edible produce and medicinal botanicals for the center’s café and spa but has since evolved into a serene and popular spot for people to come and relax, both mentally and physically. It is a place where visitors can walk the reflexology path and labyrinth and contemplate in the Zen Garden. At the center of the Peace Garden is the kiva. Opened in the spring of 2018, this subterranean meeting space and spa is the spiritual center of the Peace Garden. Able to accommodate up to 100 guests for retreats, seminars, workshops and classes, the kiva also has state-of-the-art lighting, sound, acoustics and the capability to live stream events. The spa inside the kiva is modest in terms of size with four treatment rooms, but it is otherwise a giant in the spa world when it come to facilities and overall concept. Along with a full complement of traditional spa offerings, TNHA also offers ancient Ayurvedic therapies.

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Photos (this page):True Nature Healing Arts; (opposite page): Theatre Aspen


CULTURE & EVENTS

Page 98 - Q&A: Klaus Obermeyer

We spoke to innovator and ski industry legend Klaus Obermeyer about his business, Aspen and apple strudel

Page 100 - Mountain Theater

From professional Broadway acts to community theater, we round up some amazing shows worth catching West of 105

Page 106 - Event Spotlights We profile three must-attend festivals or events this spring

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Q&

A

K L AU S OBERMEYER

Founder and CEO of winter sports apparel brand Sport Obermeyer, the eponymous Klaus Obermeyer is a man of seemingly indomitable spirit. We sat down with him in his office at the Sport Obermeyer headquarters in Aspen.

MAKING HISTORY Born on December 2, 1919 in Oberstaufen, Germany, Klaus Obermeyer was destined for a life on the slopes after fashioning a pair of skis from pieces of wood and nailing his shoes to them when he was around three years old. Ninety-six years later and Obermeyer still skis regularly in Aspen “when the weather is good.”

He laughs as he continues, “and like an idiot, I didn’t buy!” He also arrived at an opportune time. “When I got here in 1947 it was the first full ski season [for Aspen Skiing Company] with the new lift.” It was the world’s longest single chairlift and it had been built by his friend Friedl Pfeifer.

Mid-afternoon on a typically blueskied Colorado February and Klaus Obermeyer is where he is most weekdays, sitting behind his desk in his office at Sport Obermeyer’s headquarters in Aspen, the company he founded back in 1947. He is reading the Wall Street Journal and lamenting there is nothing good in the newspaper today.

Obermeyer, an aeronautical engineer by training, came to the US when he was 27. He made his way to Sun Valley, Idaho where Pfeifer was working, but as Obermeyer was crossing the county, his friend had found himself a new job running the ski school in a new resort in Colorado. Obermeyer stayed in Sun Valley where he met Warren Miller and worked for a season. Obermeyer was eventually hired by Pfeifer to be one of the first ski instructors at the fledgling resort in Aspen, and the rest is history.

Obermeyer has been a fixture around Aspen since the former mining town began its transition into the Aspen of today. He remembers that Aspen was practically deserted when he arrived. “It was a ghost town when I got here. You could buy a house for $300 or $400 dollars in back taxes,” he says.

Obermeyer is now the last of the old guard, those people who helped build the resort and the town, either with money, grand ideas or with sweat equity out on the slopes teaching people how to safely maneuver themselves down the mountain - or a combination of them. Modern Aspen was created by

Photos: Sport Obermeyer

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these people, by the likes of Chicago industrialist Walter Paepecke, Austrian skier Friedl Pfeifer and people like Klaus Obermeyer, among others. Obermeyer repeats again and again that back in those days everyone who worked at Aspen resort wanted all of the guests to have good time. They all loved skiing and they wanted everyone else to have that same experience. He also talks about how skiing back then helped bring people together and how any two people could be sat on a ski lift together. “The dishwasher could be sat next to Gary Cooper,” he says. If the ski lift is the great leveler, he says, the slopes themselves don’t see wealth or status either. “Whoever is fastest down the mountain is king,” he says. Obermeyer was an innovator and an entrepreneur from the very beginning, starting his company the same year he arrived in Aspen after seeing there was basically no ski wear at all. This lack of appropriate attire along with other factors - ungroomed trails and large skis - meant that people would come to Aspen for a week or two but end up leaving after a few days.


WEST OF 105 | CULTURE & EVENTS

The now legendary Obermeyer downfilled parka was the first innovation born out of necessity. Obermeyer says that back in those days you would wear a winter coat on Aspen’s single chairlift but you couldn’t ski in it, instead you just hoped it was on the lift when you got to the bottom. He wanted something warm to ski in, so he cut up the down blanket his mother insisted he take with him from Germany and stitched it together. That Sport Obermeyer has become such a success isn’t down to just the parka, however. Innovation is one thing, but manufacturing something that has never been done before is another. Enter Obermeyer’s engineering background which ensured that ideas jumped from paper to the factory floor. Then there is the Obermeyer business philosophy: “Create a win-win scenario for everyone involved,” he says, and when problems inevitably pop up, “welcome them, they are opportunities to learn” he says likening the process to falling when you are learning to walk. While there was a need for these innovations in the early days, Obermeyer also says that it was as much about making sure everyone who visited had a good time. Everyone was invested in the success of Aspen and ensuring everyone had a good time, and staying warm was a big part of that. Sport Obermeyer today is a ski apparel company, but that hasn’t always been the case. The company has created

several other innovative products that all skiers use or have used including mirrored sunglasses, high-altitude sunscreen, light ski poles and the ski brake, which is part of every binding these days. In fact, if you have ever skied, you will almost certainly have used or even owned an Obermeyer innovation, even if it isn’t an Obermeyer product.

glances forward to the 2022-23 ski season when he will be 103. His first run of that season will almost certainly make him the first person to ski every season for a century. It is also a record that will likely not be broken for some time after. Aside from the record, Obermeyer says he still loves to ski and at his age “it is easier to ski than to walk.”

The company also dabbled in other areas, but eventually decided to pull back and focus solely on apparel. Obermeyer explains why by using a German proverb: “Man kann nicht auf zwei hochzeiten tanzen,” which translates as “You can’t dance at two weddings at the same time.”

January 29, 2019 was proclaimed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis as Klaus Obermeyer Day, saying “[Obermeyer’s] work and success embodies not only the American Dream but really, truly our national treasure that is this great state.” It is one of many recognitions and awards Obermeyer has had bestowed on him over the years. When asked about it, he says that Colorado has always been good to him.

THE SECRET TO LONGEVITY A cursory search on the internet for Klaus Obermeyer will bring up images of him skiing - hundreds of them including doing his Umsprung maneuver, but there are also plenty of images that show him rock climbing, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, practicing aikido and windsurfing. And many of these images are not from the long past, rather the much more recent past, weeks past in many cases. While Obermeyer is happy to chat about the past and the future, he stresses that he tries to live in the moment, saying that you can’t change the past and you can’t see the future. Even so, he has on occasion been known to tell reporters that he occasionally

Just over a month before that, Klaus Obermeyer celebrated his 99th birthday in the same way he has for years, surrounded by friends, family, employees and well wishers at Sport Obermeyer in Aspen with an Alpine band and apfelstrudel mit schlag always mit schlag, he says. And while he admits he misses the bratwurst and pretzels from Germany, he very delicately sidesteps a question about whether the local strudel compares to the ones in Germany. “All apfelstrudel is different, but there is a Swiss guy here in Aspen that makes a very good one.”

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If there is one thing you can be sure of in Colorado, it is that there is a surprise around every corner. It could be that the state is one of the world’s premier sites for dinosaur trails, it might be that the highest sand dunes in North America

are here, or perhaps that the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado have in their midsts a treasure trove of boardtreading thespians and all the talented technical staff needed to bring big budget Broadway musicals to life in the Rockies

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C O L O R A D O M O U N TA I N T H E AT E R T O U R The Colorado Mountain Theater Tour, comprised of four repertory theater groups - Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Thingamajig Theatre Company in Pagosa Springs, Creede Repertory Theatre, and Grand Lake’s Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater - have banded together to encourage theater lovers, whether they live in Colorado or are just visiting, to consider adding their amazing little towns and their incredible theater troupes to their itineraries.

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN REPERTORY THEATRE Founded in 1966 as The Troupe of American College Players, theater came and went from Grand Lake over the years until 1995 when it returned for good. More changes came over the next 15 years until a new theater space opened in 2011 after fundraising efforts brought in over $5 million. Today the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre uses only professional actors with the addition of some college students that study theater. They hold auditions in Denver, Memphis, Chicago and New York to

find the 25 actors and 25 supporting professionals for the summer season. Those auditions sometimes unearth talent that goes on to star on Broadway and beyond. This summer season, the RMRT will put on “Sister Act,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Always...Patsy Cline” and “Disaster!” The summer season at RMRT runs from June to September and is on a repertory schedule. For New Years Eve, the theater puts on a special alumni show for which they pull from past actors.

Photos: (cover spread, this page top, this page bottom left): Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre; (bottom right): John Gary Brown / Creede Repertory Theatre; (opposite page top): Silverthorne Performing Arts Center; Thingamajig Theatre


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CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE The Creede Repertory Theatre have a year-round staff of just eight people, but in the summer that number swells to almost 100 when seasonal staff actors, directors, designers, production staff, auxiliary education staff and patron services staff - join the team for the summer season. Casting calls are put out in November and the rest of the winter is spent gathering the summer company from all over the US. While the CRT brings in all kinds of people from all over the country, there are some stalwarts. Actor Christy Brandt is one of them, having acted with the company for over 40 years. She will be one of the leads in “Ripcord” this year, and she will be joined by local Annie Butler who will take the lead opposite Brandt in the play.

Visitors to the CRT come from across the US (indeed they have had visitors from just about every state in the Union at one time or another), but it is particularly popular with surrounding areas and states. The CRT had an impressive 125 shows in 2018, but not content with that, they will have over 130 in 2019 including performances of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Ripcord,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Hazardous Materials” as well as Boomtown Improv Comedy and The KID Show. This year, the season opens on May 31 with a season poster unveiling, a party in the lobby, and the premiere of “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

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LAKE DILLON THEATRE COMPANY This year is a milestone for the Lake Dillon Theatre Company as it celebrates its 25th anniversary, but it is also celebrating its second full season in the beautiful Silverthorne Performing Arts Center. At nearly 16,000 square feet, it is the largest new construction theater in the state. The complex is home to numerous public indoor and outdoor spaces that will be utilized for all kinds of events such as summer music and theater performances. The spaces will also be available for hire for weddings and community programs. The indoor lobby will host art exhibitions and short preperformance programs.

The $9 million project is a result of a public/private partnership between the Town of Silverthorne and the Lake Dillon Theatre Company and it is the latest project in Silverthorne’s strategic vision to further establish the town as a vibrant cultural hub. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the LDTC has announced an impressive lineup of shows with the theme “connection.” The season will kick-off on March 15 with a production of “The Cake,” a new comedy from the Emmywinning writer of NBC’s “This is Us,” Bekah Brunstetter and continues with “Tell Me On A Sunday,” “Mama Mia!” and “Every Brilliant Thing.”

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THINGAMAJIG THEATRE Thingamajig Theatre, a nonprofit company in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, also brings in professionals from across the country for their Broadway in the Mountain Summer Season which runs from May to mid-September. Casting calls are conducted in Denver, New York City and Memphis, and professional performers descend on the small town to take part in a variety of five repertory musicals including “Mamma Mia,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Jekyll and Hyde” for 2019.

Thingamajig also offers educational opportunities for children through classes and camps and it holds a variety of plays and musicals throughout the rest of the year, too. The Thingamawhos is an educational program for teens that offers them the chance to work alongside professionals to learn the ropes. Thingamajig’s summer season runs between May and Sept.15 and starts with “Ring of Fire” and will be followed by “Mama Mia.”


On top of the theaters that make up the Colorado Mountain Theater Tour route, there are dozens of other theater production companies West of 105. Below is a small sampling of them. Stay tuned as we cover more amazing community theaters in Colorado.

THUNDER RIVER THEATRE COMPANY Thunder River Theatre Company started 23 years ago and has been at its current location for the last 13. It offers four productions in its main season as well as an annual production geared towards a younger audience. After a successful first half of the 2018-19 season with “Equus” and “Kimberly Akimbo,” the second half of the season, from Feb. 21 to June 29, will feature “Of Mice and Men” and “Tribes.” In March the TRTC will also present Consensual Improv and a “Cabaret Performance Workshop”

with the former being in the style of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and the latter being performed by workshop participants. Also in March, the company will head to the Collective Snowmass, a new community hub at the heart of Snowmass Base Village, to perform a cabaret production called “A Day of Sky.” The TRTC will host its annual gala on May 4 at the Orchard in Carbondale. The group also reaches out to the community in several ways. One outreach effort to the Hispanic community are the Dia de Los Muertos performances.

THEATRE ASPEN Originally founded as the Theatre Under the Jerome (because it was housed in the basement of the historic Hotel Jerome), the group eventually left due to rennovation work. Eventually, permission was given to use a small plot of land used as a snow dump by the Rio Grande Trail. A second-hand circus tent was purchased and erected during the summer months, and the Aspen Theatre Company was essentially born. In 2005, the company became Theatre Aspen and the rest is history.

Photos (opposite page): Telluride Theater 104 (this page above): Theatre Aspen; (this page below): Mike Lyons Photography; WESTOF105.COM

This year, Theatre Aspen will kick off its summer season with the Tony Award-winning musical “Guys and Dolls” which will be directed by Tony Award-nominee Hunter Foster who returns to Theatre Aspen for his second summer. “Little Shop of Horrors” and “God of Carnage” will also feature this summer. Theatre Aspen’s Summer Conservatory will also present a student production of “The Wizard of Oz.” All Theatre Aspen productions take place in the Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park.


TELLURIDE THEATRE Formed in 2011 as the result of a merger between the Telluride Repertory Theater and the SquidShow Theater, the former being known for community productions of existing plays while the latter was known for more avant-garde work, Telluride Theatre has since become an innovative nonprofit model that aims to grow Telluride into a recognized destination for theater. The company is proud of many of its achievements, among them that it pays most of its artists, but another thing that they are also rightly proud of are the efforts to keep ticket prices low so as to be as accessible as possible. Some tickets are given away while they max out at around $25 with fundraising events being understandably more. Each year, the season in Telluride starts in March, and this year there will be six main stage productions. Opening March 6 with “Since I Dreamed,” an original

production that is part theater, part dance and part installation art and running through March 15, it is, they say, “unlike anything you have ever dreamed.” Then there is a burlesque show at the end of March which also happens to be the group’s biggest fundraiser. The event takes place at the historic Sheridan Opera House where they first had burlesque in the early 1900s. July sees the Midsummer Night’s Gala, a secret party with a secret location that includes a performance and an auction with food and drinks, as well as Shakespeare in the Park which takes place on the stage at the Town Park. This season it is the “Tempest.”

CRESTED BUTTE MOUNTAIN THEATRE Born in the summer of 1972 by an enthusiastic group of people who wanted their community to provide some of its own culture, “Dark of the Moon” was the first performance of Crested Butte Mountain Theatre and it was played out against the backdrop of a full moon rising from behind Crested Butte Mountain. In the intervening period, CBMT has survived and thrived, and although they have added state of the art lighting in a newly-designed theater, that original enthusiasm is still the main driving force.

can to encourage as many people as possible to get involved, whether that be as an actor, writer, director, dancer, artist, musician or technician.

In the 40 year history of the company they have produced over 200 plays and each one has been centered in the community. In fact, the CBMT does as much as it

This season will see the CBMT once again put on a raft of shows including the Teens on Stage production of “She Kills Monsters” and the Ten Minute Play Festival.

Through its Arts in Education Program, CBMT is committed to bringing Crested Butte’s next generation into the theater. Youth theater programs are aimed at exposing children to a wide range of ideas and experiences while ensuring future participation in the theater both on and off the stage.

Telluride Theatre doesn’t have a permanent venue, instead they utilize several venues around town including the Palm Theater, the Sheridan Opera House and the Town Hall Stage.

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Photo: Taste of Vail

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Taste of Vail APRIL 3 - 6 VA I L

Showcasing more than 30 of Vail’s finest chefs and restaurateurs alongside owners and winemakers from nearly 50 of the country’s top wineries, Taste of Vail is an event that aims to promote the Vail lifestyle. One of the nation’s top spring food and wine events, this year Taste of Vail will have

among its guests Ashley Hausman, Colorado’s first Master of Wine. She will be moderating a discussion about Greek wine called “It’s all Greek to Me.” Signature events include the American Lamb Cook-off on Thursday and the Reserve Grand Tasting and Auction on Saturday.

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5Point Adventure Film Festival APRIL 25 - 28 CARBONDALE

With a laid-back vibe, the 5Point Adventure Film Festival is four days of outdoor films, art, conversations and performances. Unlike other traditional film festivals, there are not multiple venues or screenings, instead everyone watches together. Founded in 2007, the

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mission of the festival is to inspire adventure of all kinds, to connect generations through shared experiences, and to engage passion with a conscience through film. 5Point also organizes the Dream Project, a scholarship program for high school students.

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Photo: 5Point Adventure Film Festival

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Photo: CKS Paddlefest

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CKS Paddlefest M AY 2 4 - 2 7 B U E N A V I S TA

CKS Paddlefest is Buena Vista’s way of welcoming summer. An interactive and hands-on experience, Paddlefest offers opportunities to demo 2019 paddle gear, participate in a range of on-water, kayak and SUP workshops and talk to industry experts about this year’s new gear. The festival also hosts professional and amateur kayak and SUP competitions; running, bouldering and bike races; river

competitions; kids’ clinics and fitness and yoga workshops as well as free flatwater and whitewater demos. There will also be a flat-water demo center at the town lake, a playpark on the Arkansas River and a Main Street event location. And, if that isn’t enough, the festival also raises funds and awareness for local nonprofit organizations. This year’s beneficiary is The River Fund.

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Photo: Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

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MUSIC CITY U.S.A.

FIVE WAYS N ASHV ILLE HAS EV ERY THING F ROM RAUC OUS HONK Y TONK S TO HIGH CULTURE - AND EV ERY THING IN BET WEEN. WE EXPLORED THE C IT Y FROM F IV E D IF F ERENT PERSPECTIV ES . MIX AND MATC H TO F IND THE PERF ECT MUSIC C IT Y ITINERARY FOR YOU. 113


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Always a good bet, Kimpton’s Aertson in the city’s SoBro area doesn’t disappoint. It’s modern, comfortable and reasonably close to the Honky Tonks. In-house restaurant Henley is a modern American brasserie and will please those looking for something Southern and modern at the same time.

Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre may not offer award-winning cuisine, but combining theater and dinner is an experience you can’t have just anywhere, and as far as southern fare goes, well you can’t really just get that anywhere either. Opt for smoked brisket with braised southern greens, potato salad and mac-n-cheese with your performance.

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The Beaux Arts-style Hermitage hotel is the city’s grandest hotel. Tennessee native James Carpenter (who trained as an architect in Paris) brings classical Italian and French Renaissance features together for a property that offers a nice respite from party-focused Nashville.

The Frist Art Museum is a world-class art center dedicated to presenting an ever-changing schedule of exhibitions from local, regional, national and international sources. The award-winning Martin ArtQuest Gallery has 30 interactive art-making stations and educational programs among other things.

The world’s only fullscale reproduction of the Parthenon, the Nashville version was originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. Located in Centennial Park it houses the city’s art museum and a colossal statue of Athena which at almost 42 feet is the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world. 2

The 132-acre Centennial Park features the iconic Parthenon, a one-mile walking trail, Lake Watauga, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center, a beautiful sunken garden and sand volleyball courts. There are also festivals and performances throughout the year, including Shakespearean plays and puppet shows

The Old Town Trolley is an ideal way for the whole family to see the best that Nashville has to offer before choosing what to revisit. The conductors give you a potted history of the city and you can hop on and off as you please.

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Gaylord Opryland Resort is great for keeping kids amused thanks to a four-acre indoor/ outdoor water park called SoundWaves. It is right next to Grand Ole Opry House, the home of the Grand Ole Opry radio show, too. And don’t be too worried about booking too far in advance as it has over 2,800 rooms.

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Practically on top of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Omni has nicely appointed rooms as well as a rooftop pool to cool off in on hot Nashville summer days. It is also particularly large with 800 rooms and 54 luxurious suites. If you really want to relax, try the Mokra Spa.

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The Hutton Hotel in the city’s West End has 250 stylish rooms as well as the very stylish Westend Kitchen and Bar. There is also a live music venue called Analog. For those who want to “lay down a track” while they are in Music City, the hotel has two studios that are essentially mini sound9 recording studios.

Consider a food tour as a way to orientate yourself in a new city. The Gray Line Taste of Nashville walking tour will give you a taste of the culture, history and food of Music City on a one-mile stroll through downtown while sampling some southern classics (think pralines and barbecue) at five local restaurants.

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Nashville’s oldest movie theater, the Belcort has been around since 1925 and even acted as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1934 to 1936. A nonprofit cultural institution, the Belcort is dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary, world, repertory and classic cinema.

Wander around WeHo. The Wedgewood/Houston area of Nashville is an up-and-coming neighborhood that is home to dozens of galleries. You can also stop in at Fort Houston, AR Workshop or Hip Hues and create something yourself. Nashville’s first and only craft cidery, Diskin Cidery, is here, too.

The Johnny Cash Museum is a must for Cash fans and music lovers in general on a trip to Nashville. With thousands of artifacts and pieces of memorabilia, including never-before-seen historical documents, letters, awards, costumes and instruments, spread out over 18,000 square feet, there is no better homage to Cash anywhere in the world.

Take a look behind the scenes at the Grand Ole Opry House - the venue that still broadcasts the Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running radio broadcast in US history. Knowledgeable guides will tell you stories about the country music legends that have performed there.

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Photo: (in order from 1 - 9): The Hermitage; (photos 2 - 3): Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.; Marriott Hotels; (photos 5 - 9): Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

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Photo: (in order from 1 - 9): Peg Leg Porker; Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.; Martin’s BBQ 116 Joint; Hattie B’s; Elliston Place Soda via Yelp; Liz J via Yelp; John k via Yelp; Black Rabbit via Yelp; Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

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For classic (and delicious) Nashville barbecue look no further than Peg Leg Porker in the trendy Gulch area of the city. There will be a line, but that is a good thing. Carey Bringle has been cooking barbecue for 30 years and it shows. Served canteen style, just grab a tray, line up, tell the folks behind the counter 1 what you want, pay and enjoy.

Mint Julep Experiences offers a few tours, but for lovers of Tennessee Whiskey or those who want to learn, the Tennessee Whiskey Adventure tour takes you to both Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel distilleries in Lynchburg (which is about 90 minutes outside of Nashville). These tours also take you to Jack Daniel’s 2 grave for a “salute.”

Opened in 1910, the Capitol Grille is Tennessee’s oldest and longest-running Southern restaurant. Literally offering farm to table dining (the restaurant serves beef from its own Double H Farms red poll cattle), the restaurant sticks to the recipes, flavors, and farming approaches that have served it well for over a century.

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is so old that it was where Willie Nelson was discovered. Originally called Mom’s, Tootsie Bess bought Mom’s in 1960 and gave it its new name after finding that a painter had painted it a shade of orchid. Tootie’s isn’t refined, but you will likely have a raucous good time.

Marathon Village is a group of 100-year-old beautiful brick warehouse buildings that were originally the home of Marathon Motor Works. Today, it is home to artists, photographers, designers, distilleries, coffee shops, a candy company, jewelers and more. Market Street Mercantile is a southern gift shop if you want a Nashville keepsake.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is a Nashville institution with three locations across the city. Good old fashioned fried chicken done right with six heat levels from mild to Shut the Cluck Up. Be sure to leave room for peach cobbler and banana pudding.

Elliston Place Soda Shop is a grocery store-turned-pharmacy-turned soda shop that has been a Nashville staple since 1939. Come for breakfast or lunch, but stay for the malts, milkshakes and sundaes. Not from the south? Get some biscuits and gravy or try the Tennessee Round Steak - a thick slice of fried Bologna.

Germantown is one of Nashville’s most historic neighborhoods and it is a designated arboretum by the Nashville Tree Foundation. It is also home to Nashville Farmers’ Market and several places to get a sweet treat. Try the Cupcake Collection or Sweet Creations Pie Bakery.

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Martin’s BBQ Joint is another great place for barbecue. The small shop inside the restaurant offers the sauces and rubs - Dixie, Big Hoss and Yella’ Stuff among others - that they use in the restaurant so you can recreate the flavors of Nashville barbecue back home.

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Merchants Restaurant opened in a beautiful and historic threestory building (the restaurant uses all three floors) that was at one time or another a hardware store, pharmacy and wholesale drugstore and a hotel. Merchants offers unfussy American-style bistro food on the first floor while upstairs is slightly more formal with three-course options. 7

Black Rabbit in the Printers Alley neighborhood of Nashville has a speakeasy vibe and offers a menu of around 20 cocktails, many based on classics with a twist, think mezcal old fashioneds and fermented Bloody Marys. There is also a menu of small plates such as oyster mushrooms with pumpkin, sage and sherry. There is also occasional live music, too. 8

The 12 South neighborhood is the place to go if you’re looking for upscale restaurants, designer boutiques and hipster general stores. The “I Believe in Nashville” mural is also here. In the middle of Sevier Park is a mansion formerly known as Sunnyside. The home sat between the lines during the Battle of Nashville in the Civil War.

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Acme Feed & Seed on Broadway is 22,000 square feet of cocktail, culinary and entertainment space over three floors, the first of which is an updated take on the classic honkytonk with fast-casual cuisine and live music featuring local musicians. The second floor has more of a lounge feel with craft cocktails and the third floor is a large event and music venue.

There is only one place for music lovers to head to for a few drinks and some live music, and that is the Honky Tonk Highway, Nashville’s row of more than a dozen honky tonks. With live music from 10 am to 3 am at most if not all of them, this is the place to go for a raucous time. And, you may even spot a country singer or two as they are known to occasionally make surprise 9 visits.

The Ernest Tubb Record Shop has been in operation on Lower Broadway since 1947. Opened by the Texas Troubador himself, he promoted the shop through a live radio program called the Midnight Jamboree. Still broadcast weekly, it is the second-longest running program in US broadcast history.

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POSITIVE VIBES Whether you’re buying a beer, a new pair of trail-running shoes or a new bike, there are a lot of choices, but when all (or at least most) things are equal, how do you decide which company to give your hard-earned money to? Increasingly, consumers are choosing companies that are more sustainable, more environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, fair trade and overall more ethical. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies out there doing great things. We’ve picked a few Colorado examples.

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BIG AGNES Based in Steamboat Springs, the camping gear company has been around for two decades and has been committed to playing their part in conserving the amazing natural landscapes everyone in Colorado loves so much. Back in 2008, the company launched the Re-Routt collection, a group of products that are constructed using recycled fabrics, fills and hardware and/or environmentallysensitive manufacturing practices.

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Photos: (clockwise from top): New Belgium Brewing Co.; EcoVessel; RMU; Big Agnes / CDT; Pearl Izumi

More recently, the company donated $30,000 to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC), the nonprofit group that helps to promote and protect the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). The company implemented several initiatives in 2018 to raise money for the CDTC, including creating a collection


of CDT-inspired sleeping bags, adopting a 75-mile stretch of the trail and raising funds at industry parties during Outdoor Retailer trade shows. More than $25,000 of the total donation came from sales of the 1101 Collection of sleeping bags sold in 2018. The collection, featuring 80 percent recycled PrimaLoft insulation, was inspired by the rugged, scenic and iconic CDT. The 1101 trail is part of the CDT that winds through the mountains above Steamboat Springs. The funds will help the CDTC reroute a 14-mile section of the CDT from roadway to single-track along Hwy 14 and Hwy 40 near Rabbit Ears Pass.

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ECOVESSEL Started with a vision to replace wasteful, single-use plastic bottles with insulated bottles made from stainless steel, Boulder-based EcoVessel is striving to make a difference one refill at a time.

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One way in which they are striving to make a difference is by supporting Water For People, an international nonprofit whose mission since 1991 has been to provide sustainable solutions to the water and sanitation problems in developing countries. Water For People works with communities all over the developing world to construct safe water and sanitation services, provide hygiene education, and empower communities to choose and invest in the right systems for themselves.

From January this year, the brand will only attach one card to each garment for critical information at the smallest size that can still be recycled. The new tags use 19,400 lbs less paper, saving 165 trees, 68,082 gallons of water and 4,503 gallons of oil annually. In addition, all new polybag packaging shifted to 100 percent recycled plastic, which itself can be recycled.

NEW BELGIUM BREWING CO.

PEARL IZUMI The Louisville, Colorado-based apparel company is making a push to be more friendly to the environment its customers love with a range of social purpose initiatives. One of these initiatives is eliminating hang tags, the mostly superfluous tags that, well, hang from your newlypurchased bit of kit and end up in the recycling (hopefully) minutes after getting home.

Other initiatives include new sustainable technical fabrics made from responsibly-sourced merino wool and Repreve, a fiber made from recycled plastic bottles that was introduced this spring. The company is aiming to have 30 percent of its line be made of recycled materials by 2020, and 90 percent of the total product line made from recycled, renewable or organic materials by 2022. A partnership with The Renewal Workshop to repair and resell Pearl Izumi warranty returns will give gently-used products a second life instead of adding them to the landfill.

EcoVessel donates funds to Water for People through special edition bottles, event sponsorships and direct donations.

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New Belgium Brewing Co. is a B (Benefit) Corp-certified company that has, to date, donated more than $8 million to communities where their beer is brewed and sold. Beginning in 1995, New Belgium’s local grants program declared that for every barrel of beer produced, it would donate $1 to nonprofit organizations. New Belgium is also a member of 1% For the Planet, donating one percent of sales to environmental causes. Tour de Fat, New Belgium’s philanthropic festival of beer and bicycles, has raised more than $4 million for bike and environmental advocacy groups since its inception in 2000, and the brewery’s Clips Beer & Film Tour has raised more than $650,000 in its first five years for local nonprofits. New Belgium is also committed to the environment and has worked hard to minimize resource consumption,

WEST OF 105 maximize energy efficiency and recycle at every opportunity. An efficient production facility has allowed the company to achieve a four-to-one water to beer ratio (significantly lower than the industry average) produce 15 percent of its electricity needs through two combined heat and power (CHP or cogen) engines that burn the methane-rich biogas that is produced by the onsite water treatment plant. And, thanks to the 1,235 solar panels that cover the roof of the packing hall, the company produces around 4.5 percent of its annual electricity needs. Since January of 2013, the company has been tasking itself on purchased electricity consumption. The “tax” will be used in the near future to invest in other efficiency improvements.

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN UNDERGROUND Starting out in a garage in Frisco in 2008, RMU has since moved into a very nice spot in Breckenridge that serves as the company’s first retail outlet and bar which also serves as the company’s outdoor hub - think clinics, outdoor education classes, fundraisers, ski demos in winter and bike rentals in summer. Since 2015, RMU has been employee owned and each of its just over two dozen staff are subject to the “50+ days on snow” policy as a job requirement! Founded with a vision of fulfilling a greater purpose, RMU aims to make a difference in other people’s lives by creating quality products that are domestically sourced and produced and by giving back to organizations that are important to them. The company aims to host two fundraisers a month for organizations large and small and local and international. This past winter, RMU held a series of events to benefit AIARE, the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education and it also held a fundraiser for a local company that focuses on teaching women outdoor and backcountry skills. Proceeds from sales of certain beers from the bar are regularly donated to charities. To date, RMU has raised over $300,000 for nonprofits.


PARTING WORDS

I CAME HERE LAST YEAR AND FOUND THESE CANYONS, AND THEY FEEL LIKE THE HEART O F T H E W O R L D T O M E . I ’ M G O I N G T O S TAY AND BUILD TRAILS AND PROMOTE THIS PLACE, B E C A U S E I T S H O U L D B E A N AT I O N A L P A R K . - JOHN OTTO

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Profile for West of 105 magazine

Spring 2019