RIVER SURFING | 6 TRENDY BOUTIQUE HOTELS | 24 HOURS IN GEORGETOWN
WEST OF 1O5
THE BEST OF COLORADO
TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
THE WEST OF 105
DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX WESTOF105.COM 2
T’S so great that we have four distinct seasons in Colorado, but we really love the overlap between them, that period when we get a taste of what’s to come! This past summer felt like it was a particularly hot one, and while we are always thankful for the low humidity we enjoy in Colorado, we’d be lying if we said we were sad to see the back of summer! We’re looking forward to the changing leaves as well as cocktail and food menus across the state changing things up, too.
CO-PUBLISHERS BRITTANY PANTER & ROB MCGOVERN
GENERAL INQUIRIES HELLO@WESTOF105.COM
SALES & MARKETING
In the autumn issue we visited Crested Butte, Georgetown and took a road trip through the North Fork Valley. We have always loved CB, and we once again had a wonderful time. We also spent 24 hours in historic Georgetown and fell head over heels for what must be one of the quaintest towns in the state. The North Fork Valley is also the perfect place for an autumn roadtrip with so many great places to eat, drink and stay.
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We also took a road trip east of 105, venturing away from the mountains (we aren’t going to lie, driving without mountains filling the windshield was a bit strange) to visit our flatlander friends, and we had a fantastic time. Elsewhere, we fell in love with river surfing (check out Gear Anatomy to see the specifics of river surf boards), and we’ll be riding waves in one town until at least Halloween. We look at gravel grinding for those that simply need to be on a bike at all times, and we visited Rocky Mountain National Park. As for food and drink, we looked at the humble pear, rounded up some retro diners, and profiled Bosq in Aspen. And finally, we read all about the awesome transformation of a railroad water-treatment facility in Rangely and we were pleasantly surprised to see just how many bicycle-friendly communities there are west of 105. We hope you enjoy our second anniversary issue! The West of 105 team
PUBLISHED BY PERIOD COMMUNICATIONS, A COLORADO COMPANY PERIODCOMMS.COM HELLO@PERIODCOMMS.COM WEST OF 105 IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURY OR OTHER DAMAGE CAUSED PERFORMING ANY ACTIVITY DESCRIBED IN THIS MAGAZINE
WEST OF 105
OUTDOORS SURF’S UP Colorado has more than a dozen whitewater parks (and a few surfable waves outside parks), and so gearing up and getting on a board is a fantastic way to spend a few hours. While waves tend to tail off as we get further into fall, now is a good time to give it a go and pick it back up in spring. +Gravel Grinding, and how to enjoy fall at Rocky Mountain National Park
DESTINATION CRESTED BUTTE Known for being one of the state’s most picturesque mountain towns, fall might be the best time to visit before things get busier in winter. Autumn offers plenty of outdoor activities, great places to stay, and some truly great places to eat and drink. +We also spent 24 hours in Georgetown, explored the North Fork Valley, and headed east of 105
DRINKING & DINING PERFECT PEAR The pear is such an underrated fruit, yet it is diverse and delicious with different varieties offering different experiences. Amazing with cheese, perfect when poached, and a fabulous foil for savory dishes. Pears can also be turned into some delicious drinks, too! +We spoke to Barclay Dodge at Bosq in Aspen, and 7 retro diners to take you back in time
LIFESTYLE 6 TRENDY BOUTIQUE HOTELS The number of beautiful boutique hotels west of 105 continues to grow, giving visitors and those of us looking for staycations some truly amazing options. From high up in the mountains to sitting on the banks of rivers, the Colorado boutique industry is booming.
Photos (top to bottom): Period Comms, Danica Bona, Clem Onojeghuo, The Wyman Hotel
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
+Beauty brand Eossi, and fall fashion ideas
LEAVE ARE Y U NO TRACE –
COLO-READY? With a little preparation, a spirit of adventure, and a soft spot for nature and the past, you’ll be on the trail to exploring Colorado like a local. BEANIE
CARE FOR COLORADO PRINCIPLES
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
■ This land really is your land. Our state and federal agencies manage 42 percent of Colorado’s majestic landscape, and our cities and counties maintain even more. Learn about and respect the spaces we all own, share and sing about. ■ Stay back from the pack. Find your way to less-visited and off-peak destinations to minimize down time and maximize your connection with special places. ■ Bring along reusable water bottles or hot drink tumblers to limit waste and stay hydrated in our dry climate.
STICK TO TRAILS
■ With 39,000 marked trails and 13,000 designated campsites, there’s no need to venture beyond. By sticking to these areas and camping at least 200 feet from lakes, rivers and streams, you’re helping natural areas stay natural. ■ Even though shortcuts can be tempting, please don’t take them. A few extra strides on the path will protect plants and the homes of the true locals.
LEAVE IT AS YOU FIND IT
■ Leave plants, rocks and historical items as you find them so others experience the joy of discovery. ■ Any of our 750 different species of wildflowers will live forever in a photo. Snap away, but only with a camera.
■ Colorado is beautiful all on its own. Building structures or campsites on public land isn’t cool. Keep it pristine for everyone to enjoy. ■ Treat all living things with respect. Carving or hacking plants and trees may kill or disfigure them. ©Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
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TRASH THE TRASH
■ Pack it in, pack it out. Or pick it up to leave a place better than you found it. Put litter, even crumbs, peels and cores in your nearest waste/recycling bin. ■ Wash yourself, your dog or whatever else needs cleaning at least 200 feet from waterways, and use biodegradable soap. A bubble bath is no treat for fish.
ARE Y U
COLO-READY? With a little preparation, a spirit of adventure, and a soft spot for nature and the past, you’ll be on the trail to exploring Colorado like a local.
BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE
■ Colorado’s low humidity has perks, but can create dry, dangerous conditions. Keep campfires small and manageable to avoid sparking wildfires. HAT
■ When putting out a fire, water it until you can handle the embers. Never let a fire burn unattended. ■ Use care when smoking in Colorado’s dry climate. Always put cigarettes out completely, and don’t leave your butts behind.
■ Always check for local fire restrictions.
KEEP WILDLIFE WILD
■ Colorado is home to tens of thousands of furry, scaly and feathered creatures. To keep them – and you – safe, don’t approach them.
■ It is not adorable to feed wild animals. You could alter natural behaviors, exposing them to predators or even euthanasia. ■ Keep your furry buddies leashed when enjoying dog-friendly trails, and pack out their waste. All the way to a trashcan.
WAT BOTTER LE
SHARE OUR TRAILS & PARKS
■ Chances are you’re not out in nature to people watch, so try out the lesser-known paths and sites. ■ Silence your cell phone before stepping into nature, and speak softly without using the speaker function. ■ Be considerate when passing others on the trails and yield to the uphill hiker and biker – they need the momentum. ■ Listen to nature. Keep your voice and music soft so all can enjoy the peace of Colorado.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
SOAK AT DURANGO HOT SPRINGS RESORT & SPA Recently rebranded and expanded from the historic Trimble Hot Springs as the Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa, the new/old resort has 12 ADA accessible mineral pools as well as six ofuro tubs that can be adjusted to your desired temperature. There is also a new 25-meter, salt-water lap pool, and the property has two suites for overnight stays which include access to the hot springs during business hours; the Starlight suite also includes after-hours access to the ofuro tubs.
OUR WILD TAILS
This real-life dog and cat pair have delighted millions on Instagram, and now they have been immortalized in print. “Our Wild Tails” is a collection of never before seen photos of the pair of lovable rescues living their best lives!
Accommodation near ski resorts in winter can be expensive, but maybe that isn’t going to be the case in Avon this year thanks to Cohabit. The pod hotel is an affordable alternative to traditional hotels with the feel of a hostel but the privacy of a hotel. The private pods can sleep two people while the property has a communal lounge, lobby, restrooms, bathrooms and locker facilities. Now you not only get what you pay for, you only pay for what you need.
Photos (top to bottom): Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa, Cynthia Bennett, Cohabit, Breckenridge Brewery
Best peaches in the world? Check. Talented brewers? Check. Put the two together and you have the new Palisade Peach Wheat Ale from Breckenridge Brewery. This unfiltered American-style wheat ale is just 5.3% ABV making it a good session beer that is perfect for enjoying after an autumn activity!
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@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
AUT UMN BUCKET LIST OUR TOP AUTUMN BUCKET LIST ITEMS TO TICK OFF YOUR ITINERARY THIS SEASON 1 A LITTLE BUMP AND GRIND The love child of mountain biking and road biking, gravel grinding which is also known as gravel riding or sometimes adventure riding - is in essence a road bike with chunky tires which allows you to explore roads less traveled. And Colorado has LOTS of options for that. 2. LEARN ABOUT RANCH HISTORY The Ouray County Ranch History Museum in Ridgway procures, preserves, and exhibits items and artifacts related to educating the public about the ranch heritage of
the area. The museum regularly puts on shows that highlight various skilled artisans. 3. AUTUMN IN RMNP Rocky Mountain National Park is an incredible and busy place year round, but the changing of the leaves in fall is a special time. Venture beyond the well-trodden paths of the park and you will find solitude, too. 4. JOIN A CIDER CLUB The fabulous Fenceline Cider in Mancos has just launched a new cider club. Each shipment will
include special release ciders and tasting notes and will be shipped to your house every three months. $59 plus shipping every quarter (shipping doesn’t apply to local pick ups). 5, ALL ABOARD Book a seat on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad this fall to ride up into the San Isabel National Forest where you will be blown away by Mother Nature’s handiwork. Photographers might want to think about a spot on one of the Fall Photo Weekend journeys. 6. STAY IN A POD
Avon’s newest accommodation offering is budget friendly because some unnecessary extras have been stripped away. 7. GO EAST We took a road trip to the plains east of the 105th meridian and found a completely different Colorado experience. Expect delicious food and drinks, unique towns and a serious dose of history. 8. VISIT GEORGETOWN Quaint and historic, we took a whistle-stop tour of little Georgetown. See what we did, ate and drank in 24 hours on page 32. 9. WINE AWAY THE DAY Colorado wine is fantastic, and the North Fork Valley is home to a number of fantastic producers. Check out our road trip through the area on page 36.
8 Photos (clockwise from top): Zapata Ranch, Cake, Period Comms
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10. PEAR UP Often under appreciated and under utilized, there are creative types in Colorado that are turning the humble pear into delicious treats. 11. GO BACK IN TIME Colorado has a handful of vintage movie theaters that add an extra layer to the movie experience. Check a few this season. 12. GET SPOOKED Let Salida Walking Tours give you nightmares with ghastly and grizzly tales of spiritual goings on and good old fashioned murder as you walk around the state’s largest National Historic District. 13. CHECK OUT SOME BOUTIQUE HOTELS We have a growing number of super chic accommodation options west of 105. Check out the lifestyle section for a round up of six of our favorite properties. 14. ROCKY MOUNTAIN GLOW Eossi’s facial glow oil highlights the healing power of CBD to deliver hydration for the skin, a much needed feature for the Colorado beauty regime. 15. THINK TANK
these nearly two dozen towns that support those on two wheels. 17. SURFING SAFARI Colorado is home to some awesome spots for river surfing. While the season is tailing off, there are still a few spots to get a taste of it before next season!
18. BE AN ORIGINAL THINKER This year Original Thinkers Festival will take place virtually between October 1-11. There will be ten individual shows with speakers, art, music, and film that will attempt to address today’s issues. 19. SAMPLE ELK CHILI We recently visited Public House in Crested Butte where among other things we tried the fantastic elk chili. It’s rich and warming and perfect for chilly fall days. 20. GEAR ANATOMY We spoke to Black Canyon Board Design in Montrose who broke down some of the key engineering elements that need to be considered when designing a board.
A former railroad water-treatment facility and part of a firesuppression system, today the Tank is a performance venue and a recording studio. 16. BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES Colorado has 23 certified bicycle friendly communities, ranking us seventh in the nation. Grab a bike and get to exploring and supporting
Photos (this page and opposite page bottom): Period Communications (opposite page top): Cohabit
GEAR ANATOMY BLACK CANYON BOARD DESIGN River surfing has been around for a little while, but it is going to explode in Colorado in the next few years. As such, there are an increasing number of board shapers popping up, from bigger companies that also produce paddle boards and other bits of gear to those that both love the sport and have an engineer’s mind! Boards are a trade off, change one aspect to make it faster or more responsive and you lose something somewhere else. Finding the perfect board or you or for a particular
pursuit is where the experts come in. Black Canyon Board Design in Montrose is making waves - sorry - by making some awesome boards which we have no doubt will be all over the state in the next few years. We spoke to super shaper, wave rider extraordinaire and the mastermind behind BCBD, Hollis Brake for the 101 on river boards. Check out his work on Instagram @BCBDCO and by searching for Black Canyon board Design on Facebook.
Fins: Standard placement is between 1.25” - 1.5” from the rail of the board, but fins can be angled - around the Y axis is called cant and around the Z axis is called toe which affects the speed and responsiveness of the board. Increasing one decreases the other, so it’s a tradeoff. River boards typically have closer to 90 degrees of cant to allow for faster rides as you don’t ride down the wave like you do in the sea. And you can have three or four fins in the cluster, and that changes things again. When you get good enough, you can consider taking the fins off completely!
Shape: Generally river boards are wider and shorter than their sea equivalents. The narrower the tail across the deck - from left to right - the less stable it will be which means you can turn quicker but they’re also harder to stand up on. Another trade off. 10
Rocker: If you look at a board from the side, you’ll see the rocker which is how the nose and tail of the board rise up from the center of the board. The less tail rocker (ie the closer to the water) the faster the board and the better it will be for big turns. And then you can choose between a continuous rocker - essentially a smooth curve from nose to tail where they meet in the middle - or two different profiles, one for the nose and one for the tail.
OUTDOORS Rocky is the state’s mostvisited National Park, and for good reason. Find out why on page 20.
18 GRIND IT OUT
NATIONAL PARK SPOTLIGHT
We might be landlocked in Colorado, but that hasn’t stopped surfers figuring out a way to catch a wave.
If there is a better place to get your gravel grind on than Colorado, we’d like to hear about it. New to the sport? Check it out on page 18.
Rocky Mountain National Park is as popular as it is magnificent. Check out page 20 for a few tips on getting this best out of it this autumn.
1. Eggtronic | Power Bar $149.99 This wireless power bank can charge up to four Apple devices simultaneously including an Apple Watch thanks to a dedicated charger as well as two 7.5W Qi Apple Fast Wireless charging spots for an iPhone and AirPods (or two Qi-compatible smartphones) and a 30W USB-C outlet for a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro (or any other USB-Type C device).
2. GeeKey $26.99
With more than 16 tool functions on your key ring, the GeeKey is a really convenient multitool. From tools many people use every day, like wrenches, screwdrivers and the bottle opener, to more interesting tools like the file, spoke key, and scoring tip, it is a great tool for adventuring around Colorado. 3. Maloja | Multisport Rain Jacket $395 Made with GORE-TEX Paclite technology (read packable) the Ursulina M. hardshell is fully waterproof, windproof and breathable as well as being lightweight. It also has an adjustable hood with a solid peak, a zipable chest pocket, two front pockets with invisible zips, adjustable cuffs with Velcro fasteners, an adjustable waistband and a reflective print.
4. HydroFlask | Insulated Food Jars $34.94 & up
These handy insulated food jars are able to keep food hot or cold for hours. Made from stainless steel, which guarantees that flavors of whatever you put in there don’t linger, they also have leak-proof lids. We love the autumn-appropriate colors. 5. Machines for Freedom | Endurance Jersey $178 A classic short-sleeve endurance jersey, the Pebble Print has a very technical fit. High-performance fabric wicks moisture away but it is breathable and feels good on your skin. It also has UPF 50+ built in, and in addition to the regular three back pockets, this jersey also has a moisture-resistant zippable side pocket. 6. Primus | Campfire Cutting Set $ 69.95 A simple two-piece set made up of a razor sharp knife (with a 5.9” blade) and an oak cutting board (5.9” x 11” x 1.1”). The knife has an oak handle and the blade is made from high-grade full tang stainless steel. The set comes in a durable polyurethane-coated roll.
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7. Tarpestry Rugged Outdoor Blanket $149 and up A portmanteau of tarp and tapestry, Tarpestry was created by adventurers and festival goers who wanted a soft yet durable outdoor blanket. With rings on each corner so they can be staked down, they are UV- and water-resistant and have a corner Velcro pocket for easy storage.
8. GSI | Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle $44.95 The vacuum nature of the Glacier bottle means it can keep contents hot or cold for up to 30 hours. The stainless steel offers both purity and durability while a recess on the outside helps you grip the bottle in wet conditions. 9. Sena | R1 EVO helmet $159 Bringing technology to helmets, the Sena R1 EVO has, among other features, Mesh Intercom which allows you to communicate with other R1 EVO users within a half-mile. It also has nine channels so you can switch between individuals or groups. It also has voice command controls, and a built-in taillight, microphone, speakers, and it’s Bluetooth enabled.
10. Po Campo | Kinga Handlebar Bag 2 $49.99 Po Campo has introduced a reflective feature to its line of sustainable, gender-neutral commute bags. We love being able to zip around town as the days get shorter knowing that we are move visible than ever. The handlebar bag features exterior pockets which are great for quickly accessing your phone. 11. HydraPak | RECON $15 and up
The first bottle made from 50 percent certified recycled content in both cap and bottle, HydraPak claims the bottle is virtually indestructible. The RECON is dishwasher safe and available in two sizes - 750ml and one liter. 12. Orvis | Clearwater 2-Weight 10’ Fly Rod $336 Part of a collection of rods that were designed specifically for anglers who fish primarily in freshwater, the rod comes in several weights which will cover any freshwater fishing scenario. Also available in a variety of lengths, they were designed to balance strength and precision, allowing anglers to cast heavy streamers or tiny dry flies. 13. Danner | Logger 917 GTX $230 Inspired by Danner’s original caulked logging boots, the Logger 917 GTX were designed with durability in mind. They have a GORE-TEX waterproof liner and a Vibram midsole, but are still lightweight and comfortable. 14. Vermont Glove | Choppers Mitt $80
Made from goat leather, these mittens are rugged yet supple and soft. The mitten version keeps fingers nice and toasty while double-stitched reinforcement in heavywear areas ensures the gloves last longer, meaning enough time to give them a personalized patina. 15. Gear Lab | Malik Paddle $188 The first thing you’ll notice about the Malik is how slick it looks from a design perspective. A Greenland-style paddle (originally used by Inuit paddlers of Greenland) the Malik has replaceable tips and the shaft is made from fiberglass or carbon fiber and is lightweight and durable. We’ve even used it for paddleboarding.
SURF'S UP Colorado is pretty much paradise on Earth. Sure, we’re landlocked, but what does that really mean? Can’t get good seafood? No beaches? Can’t surf? No, no and hell no.
Photo: Period Comms
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS
River surfing was born, most people generally agree, in Germany in the 1970â€™s. The story goes that a group of surfers took to the cityâ€™s Eisbach River by holding on to ropes attached to a bridge. They balanced on wooden planks in the river and a new sport was born. The Eisbach wave is considered the mother of all river waves, and it is certainly a gnarly one (check it out on YouTube), but we have some awesome waves west of 105. We spoke to Mike Harvey from Badfish SUP in Salida, one of the pioneers of river surfing in Colorado and whitewater park designer extraordinaire, about a few of his favorite spots.
SALIDA WHITEWATER PARK The Salida Whitewater Park on the Arkansas River (one of two on the river, see Buena Vista below) is where Badfish was born. Good for everyone depending on the flow, it is bang in the middle of downtown Salida, making it super convenient. Outfitter: Totally Tubular is quite literally on the river
MONTROSE WATER SPORTS PARK Montrose Water Sports Park (designed by Harvey) is unique in Colorado thanks to its really long season which in turn is thanks to irrigation releases on the Uncompahgre River - it is surfable until around Halloween every year. There are six drop features which vary in terms of difficulty making it a great place for everyone, from beginners to more advanced surfers. Outfitter: Montrose Kayak and Surf
BUENA VISTA WHITEWATER PARK Also on the Arkansas River, the Buena Vista Whitewater Park (also designed by Harvey) is the largest whitewater park in the state. Home to CKS Paddlefest, a celebration of river sports, the park has five waves/holes with a couple of spots that are perfect for beginners thanks to moderate flows and good places for recovery. Outfitter: Colorado Kayak Supply
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photos (top): Scott Peterson; (others): Period Comms
GLENWOOD WAVE The Glenwood Wave (inside the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park) is an artificial wave that can be surfed in some capacity any time, but when it really gets flowing it is a true world-class wave that attracts surfers from around the state and beyond. Flow can vary from around 2,000 cfs to 20,000 cfs - which in case you aren’t familiar with cubic feet per second, is very high. There is another wave about three miles downstream that is an option to escape the crowds when the flow is over 3,000 cfs. Outfitter: Glenwood Adventure Company
BIG SUR Finally, there is Big Sur near Palisade. Harvey says this is the “mysto” spot in Colorado. It might only run every five years after a really 16
big winter, but when news spreads that it’s on, people drop everything to be there. As for how to surf, like most outdoor activities, getting some tips from the experts is, at a minimum, a good idea. All of the outfitters listed will either offer teachers or they can recommend one. Having someone who show you the ropes, will definitely make your surfing experience better. The sooner you can stay in the wave and get to your knees and eventually your feet, the sooner you’ll be hooked.
THE SHAKA Known as the “hang loose” sign, which is made with the thumb and little finger is inextricably tied to surf culture. From its origins in Hawaiian culture, it has made its way to the rivers of Colorado. Use it as a greeting or to say goodbye after a successful day on river. WESTOF105.COM
WHITEWATER PARKS And this is just a sample of places to go river surfing west of 105. In fact, there are more than a dozen whitewater parks across the state with many offering great waves for surfing as well as other aquatic activities. When it launches next month, the Colorado Whitewater Loop website will have the low down on all of the whitewater parks in the state. In addition to info on the parks, it will also have guides to the communities including listings for all the resources you’ll need to have a successful day on the water, including where to rent gear as well as where to get that sweet post-surf beer or cocktail, where to refuel, and where to sleep for the night. Look for @ColoradoWhitewaterLoop on Instagram and Facebook and bookmark www. ColoradoWhitewaterLoop.com
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS
Patagonia | 70L Black Hole Duffel $159 The perfect size for all your gear, Patagonia’s 70L Black Hole Duffel is made with 100 percent recycled body fabric, lining and webbing and is durable and weather-resistant. The full-access main compartment opens wide for quick access and a zippered side pocket can be reached from the outside or inside of the bag. There are also two mesh interior lid pockets as well as padded, removable shoulder straps. And it stuffs into its own pocket when not in use
Pro-Tec | Full Cut Water Wes Jacobsen 69.99 Wakeboarder extraordinaire Wesley Mark Jacobsen added his personal touch to a classic from the Pro-Tec line. The 1970’s skate helmet has ear protection, a two-stage open cell foam premium liner, stainless steel hardware, and soft tubular webbing. Protect your head and look good doing it. We also tried the Ace Wake and the Ace Water from Pro-tec which are both great, too, and may suit those with more introverted personalities
Mustang Survival | Khimera Dual Flotation PFD $199.99 This slim profile PFD makes this comfortable to wear and increases mobility, but the option to add an additional 13 lbs of buoyancy (to give 20.5 lbs of total buoyancy) with the pull cord gives great peace of mind. Initially designed for paddlers, the Khimera Dual Flotation PFD is gaining fans in other areas including sailing and for us river surfing
Xcel | Drylock Hooded 6/5MM fullsuit FA19 $390 and up Available in both men’s and women’s, the FA19 will keep you warm or at least your core warm down to as low as 38F which isn’t particularly necessary for surfing at the height of summer in Colorado, but with surf available until around Halloween in Montrose, it will be necessary if you want to do more than 10 minutes.
Hydrus Board Tech | Montrose Hyper $904 Lightweight and durable, the Montrose (named after the town) has parallel rails that maximize speed while the wide diamond-shaped nose and star tail means even though the board is relatively short its surface area is maximized. This board blends higher performance with a board that will stay in the wave. 17
18 Photo: Patrick Hendry
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Grind it Out Road cyclists don’t really like to get dirty and fear tiny rocks in the road, while mountain bikers on the other hand love to barrel down trails and don’t mind risking life and limb for a sweet ride. Then there are gravel grinders. Occupying the middle ground between the other two, and riding bikes with drop handlebars and chunky tires, they’ll take singletrack, asphalt or gravel roads, but preferably all three on one ride. Colorado is a gravel grinding wonderland with hundreds of miles of established routes across the state that are as challenging as they are beautiful. If there’s a better place for gravel grinding than Colorado, we haven’t heard about it. Here are a few routes that come recommended
Circle the Zirkel A northwest Colorado classic, the 153mile ride circumnavigates the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness area by traversing the Routt/Medicine Bow National Forest as well as backroads in both Routt and Jackson counties. Mostly dirt roads, the route will take you into the high alpine environment and over the Continental divide at Buffalo Pass and on to rangeland of North Park and the Elk River Valley. This route isn’t for the faint of heart, and it is very important to take adequate supplies as there are
no services along the mammoth route (although there may be places to stop a short ride from the route, just know before you go!). There are, however, plenty of places to camp. Routes of this nature are opened and closed depending on snowfall, so be sure to check.
The Crippler Normally, we’d be inclined to say don’t be fooled by the name, but with this one you should take the name quite seriously. The 67-mile loop gains 5,000 feet as it goes from Cañon City to Cripple Creek before finally descending to the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. Normally an organized ride (and technically a race with awards and cutoff times), it usually coincides with the winery’s Harvest Fest. In a normal year, this organized event takes place in September, but this isn’t a normal year, so if you want to punish yourself, you’ll need to do it in an unofficial capacity. Other events to think about next year include The Pony Xpress Gravel 160 which showcases the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as riders grind out the miles northwest of Trinidad, while the Gravel Grinder Tour of the Canyons starts in Grand Junction and ends in Moab, Utah, by way of Unaweep Canyon, Gateway, Paradox and along the Dolores River. Hosted by the San Juan Huts, the three day, two night tour is 165 miles and includes stays in the San Juan hut system.
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
La Strada La Plata At around 40 miles, this route has a net gain of just 13 feet but with some decent climbs, including a 3.6-mile climb with a 4.9 percent grade pretty much straight away, so don’t be fooled. Starting on Main Street in Durango, the route takes riders around the county in a counterclockwise direction before heading back to the start point. Part of the annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic event series, the ride has gained in popularity and even then there were 150 riders in 2017, its inaugural year.
Cyclocross or Gravel Grinding? You may have also heard of cyclocross, and you may be wondering what the difference is. Well, the answer, specifically if we’re talking about the bikes, is not much (but it is almost certainly enough to annoy the small percentage of disagreeable individuals in either group). Cyclocross came first, in fact it has been popular in Europe for a long time, specifically in Belgium and France where road cycling is hugely popular, but as the concept of gravel grinding grew, bike companies began to develop purpose-built bikes factoring in subtle differences that each sport needed. Both kinds of bikes have room for wider tires, both have disc brakes and drop handlebars, but there are subtle differences if you really get into the nitty gritty.
National Park Spotlight
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK Social distancing is the order of the season, and while Rocky is one of the most visited parks in the system it is also pretty big at 265,807.25 acres. With mile upon mile of hiking trails, you can easily find a slice of Rocky Mountain solitude, which at the moment is good for your physical health and has always been good for your mental health.
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS
Autumn in Rocky is a magical time. The contrast of impossible blue skies and an amazing range of autumnal colors make for a very Bob Ross-esque landscape and by extension makes Rocky a mustvisit stop on any autumn itinerary. The early morning air is crisp and cold and will jolt you out of your slumber - mental or physical - while the spectacle of the annual elk rut will leave you feeling awed by nature’s inimitable pageantry.
Take a Hike There is plenty to do in autumn in Rocky, but with such incredible scenery, hiking is the easiest way to enjoy the park. And there is quite literally a hike for everyone, from a stroll in the woods to multi-day adventures. Great day hikes include waterfall hikes to Adams Falls (0.3 miles one way) or Cascade Falls (3.5 miles one way), there are also lake hikes (Mills Lake is a 2.8mile, one way hike that gains 700 feet of elevation that offers incredible views of Longs Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds from Mills Lake) and summit hikes (Deer Mountain is a three-mile, one-way hike with 1,093 feet in elevation gain). The Coyote Valley Trail is a pretty place for families to enjoy a picnic. There’s also still great trout fishing to be had in the headwaters of the Colorado River.
In a Rut The most spectacular seasonal occurrence at Rocky is the annual elk rut. Typically taking place between midSeptember to mid-October in the park’s meadows and grasslands, bulls gather with their harems. The bulls’ distinctive bugling is quite the audio experience, but there is more to a bugle than meets the ear. Research conducted in Rocky suggests that bugles contain a wide range of information, from announcing the arrival of a bull and his harem (which is typically around 30-40 cows but has been known to reach 100) to voicing displeasure that a cow is straying too far from him. Another bugle is a warning siren to other bulls. Be aware that with rutting seasons comes seasonal closures, so be sure to stop at the visitor center or call before visiting.
Photos (top and right): NPS; (opposite): Period Communications
wildly from freezing to 80 degrees rapidly. Perfect fall days can and inevitably will be interspersed with frost and hail, so be prepared.
Autumn is already underway at Rocky. The jaw-dropping patchwork of fall foliage is thanks to the topography of the park, with different things happening at different altitudes. At the lower altitudes, around 8,000 feet, the weather from mid-September can swing somewhat
Move up another 4,000 feet to the Alpine Visitor Center and you may well see snow during this same period. After a hot summer, many people will be looking forward to frosty fall days and some snow, but periods of significant snowfall in September and October can result
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS in overnight and short term closures of Trail Ridge Road (the stretch of U.S. Highway 34 that connects Estes Park and Grand Lake through Rocky), so call ahead to check what your planning is actually doable. At this elevation, known as the tundra, when there isn’t snow, the area becomes a quilt of browns, golds, umbers and ochers.
Essentials Make sure cameras and phones are charged because you will absolutely want to remember this. On a more serious note, layers are the key to a truly enjoyable experience. Temperatures can change dramatically at this time of year, especially as you move up and down in elevation. Rain gear is a good idea, too.
Take The Rocky Pledge •
“To preserve unimpaired for this and future generations the beauty, history, and wildness therein, I pledge to protect Rocky Mountain National Park.” To prevent fire scars and human-caused fires, I pledge to never build a fire outside of a campground or picnic area fire grate. To protect plants, meadows, and alpine tundra, I pledge to park and drive only on designated asphalt or gravel parking areas, never on vegetation. To respect other visitors’ experiences, if I need to go but am not near a restroom, I pledge to leave no trace by stepping well away from the trail and water sources, burying my waste at least six inches deep or packing it out in a waste bag, and carrying out my toilet paper. To respect Rocky’s wild creatures and to protect myself, I pledge to watch wildlife from a distance that doesn’t disturb them in any way. I will never feed an animal—doing so causes it harm. To respect history, heritage, and natural processes, I pledge to remove nothing from the park except my own and others’ trash—not even a flower, pine cone, or rock. I will leave no trace of my visit so that the next person can experience the same beauty as I did. To keep my pet, wildlife, and other visitors safe, I pledge to keep my leashed pet only on roads, in campgrounds, and in picnic and parking areas. I will never take my dog on Rocky’s trails, meadows, or tundra areas. To preserve them for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations, I pledge to honor, respect, and protect all our national parks and public lands.
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DESTINATIONS Special Section: East of 105 - a threeday guide to exploring the other side of the meridian Page 41
Photo: Jack Affleck
DESTINATION CRESTED BUTTE
24 HOURS IN GEORGETOWN
ROADTRIP: NORTH FORK VALLEY
Many feared that CB’s authentic nature would be lost when Vail Resorts purchased the ski resort. That hasn’t happened, and we’ll tell you why
Quaint, historic and accessible, this little town just of I-70 has a lot offer. We spent 24 hours exploring, eating and drinking
From fantastic wineries and wonderful restaurants, to great places to rest and unbeatable views, this valley is ripe for a fall roadtrip
D E S T I N AT I O N CRESTED BUTTE
WITH NO NATIONAL CHAIN STORES AND ABUTTING TWO MILLION ACRES OF US FOREST SERVICE LAND, THE BIRTHPLACE OF EXTREME SKIING AND MOUNTAIN BIKING IS CLASSIC COLORADO Photo: Photo: 26 WilliamDave Woody Kozlowski/Crested / Visit Montrose Butte Mountain Photos: Vail Local Marketing District / Jack Affleck
Out of all of Colorado’s beloved mountain towns, Crested Butte has arguably the most preserved atmosphere. Walking down Elk Avenue, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were on a movie set crafted to recreate a bygone era if it weren’t for the modern storefront signs and the chic gear inside. Suffice it to say, Crested Butte is bursting with character and even after the ski resort was purchased by Vail Resorts in 2018, the town has done a great job of keeping it’s laid back vibe.
ACTIVITIES Crested Butte is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination. While activities abound year-round, autumn ushers in the chance to take a hike or a bike ride under a brilliant patchwork canopy of foliage that goes from ruby reds and ocher to brilliant yellows and golds. From road rides to gravel grinding, there are plenty of trails to explore on two wheels, including the beautiful gravel route that traverses Ohio Pass on country road 730. Less than 25 miles in length, the route ends on Hwy 135 outside of Gunnison where you can catch the free bus back to CB. If mountain biking is more your thing, there is no better place (CB makes a credible claim to be the birthplace of the sport, after all). Check out the Dyke Trail, a
Photos (unless noted): Period Comms
Photo: Dave Kozlowski/Crested Butte Mountain
tough 5.5 miles of stream crossings and climbing with some really fun descents. For an easier ride, try Strand Hill Trail which will lead you through a forest packed with aspen trees and great views of Teocalli Mountain. For roadies, try the 37-mile ride up to Taylor Reservoir or head toward Gunnison for 28 gradual miles of bucolic scenery. There is also a bike trail between Crested Butte and Mount Crested Butte which is short but a butt kicker.
For extensive trail coverage in the area, cbgtrails.com is your best bet. If you are looking for a guide to show you the ropes, Irwin Guides wonâ€™t disappoint. Other warm-weather outdoor activities include horseback riding (try Fantasy Ranch), fishing and climbing, while winter sports on offer include snowshoeing,
Hiking enthusiasts will not be left wanting when it comes to trail exploring in the area. One of the top autumn hikes is best done early in the season and starts at the Lost Lake campground, about 15 miles up Kebler Pass. Three Lakes Trail offers stunning views of the Kebler Pass aspen grove (the largest in the world, so itâ€™s said). An easier pick is the short hike up to Judd Falls. The trailhead starts just past the ghost town of Gothic and is an easy 2.2 mile out and back with an option to hike an extra 3.5 miles (one way) to Copper Creek if the weather allows. The drive toward Gothic itself is worth the trip thanks to the beautiful autumn foliage and great views of the winding East River in the valley below.
Nordic skiing and downhill skiing. Amid the pandemic, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, which opens Nov. 25, will be taking a number of steps to help curb the spread of the virus, including requiring face coverings in certain areas and requiring guests to make a reservation for their desired ski day.
DRINKING AND DINING It should come as no surprise that Crested Butte is home to a variety of delicious eateries, from casual breakfast joints to upscale steak houses. Your palate will not need to look too far to be tantalized. For a cozy pub-like atmosphere and warming, home-style fare, Public House is a great choice. A beautiful atmosphere compliments a hearty menu with autumn-appropriate dishes that include elk chili (a generous serving with a side of cornbread) and poutine. The chili is generous enough to serve as a main dish if you’re not too hungry, but be sure to share it so you have space for an entree. Speaking of, the fried chicken, which is served with a kale and kimchi slaw, is great, and the Park burger, which is made with a third of a pound of grass-fed, grass-finished beef and served with all the fixins’ on a brioche bun with a side of fries. For a liquid warm-up, the restaurant serves beer on tap from Irwin Brewing Company and a range of cocktails. We loved the Beast of Bourbon, a short drink served on the rocks that is made with Colorado bourbon, ginger beer and bitters. Fire on the Mountain, a spicy drink made with reposado tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime, jalapeno and served with a chili salt rim was equally delicious. If wine is more your speed, you must try the Public House Red. A collaboration between Buckel Family Wine and Public House, the cab franc is made with Colorado-grown grapes from this family-run vineyard. For pre- or post-dinner cocktails, look no further than The Dogwood. The interior has a rustic Alice-in -Wonderland vibe with fun and quirky touches that give the space an upbeat feel. Owners Sarah Jane and Drew have curated a delicious and creative cocktail menu that features some really good cocktails. A few of our favorites were the Porch Song (a ginbased cocktail featuring grapefruit, mint, honey with an IPA float) and Thor’s Hammer (made with Bulleit rye, ginger, and Peach Street Amaro). Be sure to order some house-made pickled eggs, too (creations vary and change every week or so). If you’re still hungry, the wontons and cheese plate are great picks. 29
For an upscale dinner, Elk Ave Prime is one of the best spots in town. Located on the main drag, owners Curtis and Julie Higgins have been searing up prime cuts since 2014. The interior is mountain chic and features a large fireplace that is perfect for chilly autumn nights. Expect a scaled down menu during the pandemic, with items being added back as they become available. The ahi tuna tower is a light but delicious way to start the meal. With tuna, crab, avocado, rice, smelt roe, and chipotle aioli, the dish is light but full of flavor. When it comes to entrees, a steak is a must. Elk Ave Prime’s hand-cut steaks are seasoned with cracked black pepper and sea salt and served with beurre monte. We went with the 16 oz wagyu New York strip and the 18 oz wagyu boneless ribeye. Both were cooked to perfection. A range of sauces are available and include the delectable cabernet demi-glace and a black truffle hollandaise, both of which are very rich but enhance the flavor of the steak Photos (toprather and bottom): Local Marketing thanVail overpower it. District; (middle) Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
For a side, the cauliflower gratin was fantastic. A robust combination of cauliflower, bacon and horseradish, it is a great dish that delivers a kick of heat and is large enough for two as a side. Other options include aged white cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese, jumbo asparagus spears with hollandaise, and smoked au gratin
potatoes with bacon. For the first time since opening, the restaurant will be closing from Oct.19th until Thanksgiving but will be open throughout the winter until mud season hits in April.
If you’re looking for a more laid back meal, pizza spot Secret Stash and Tin Cup Pasty are both great. The former offers great pizzas, pastas and salads while the latter has pasties of all sorts, and is particularly good as a grab-and-go option. For breakfast, try Butte Bagels. Baked
freshly every day, you can opt for the classic cream cheese filling or go with one of their creative offerings. “The Laverna” has marinated organic tofu, sautéed veggies, spinach, vegan pesto, honey, and hot sauce, while “The David” is filled with two eggs, grilled onions, avocado, greens, shredded carrots, honey mustard, and a latke. When it comes to drinking, the town has the requisite breweries (Irwin Brewing Company and the Eldo both serve up great brews) but what may come as a surprise is the town has had a rum distillery for nearly a decade. Montanya Distillers, which was “born” in Silverton before being relocated in 2011, and offers a range of delicious rum-based cocktails as well as Asian-inspired dishes. Try the ramen or pho - both are the perfect remedy for chilly autumn days. As for liquid nourishment, the Maharaja will hit the spot. Ten years in the making, owner Karen Hoskin has perfected the rum-based cocktail, which in its current iteration is a delightful combination of ginger syrup and a spice blend of cloves, cardamom, black pepper, and cinnamon. The winter menu will usher in warming cocktails, and to help with social distancing in the sub-zero temps, Montanya will offer clear, pop-up tents over outside tables to keep you nice and toasty.
LODGING If you’re looking to stay in Mount Crested Butte (just four miles and 700 feet above CB), the resort offers a range of lodges, many of which offer kitchenettes and larger suites. Among them is Grand Lodge, a well-located hotel just off Mountaineer Square, the centralized area that houses most of the drinking and dining options on the mountain. Around the corner from Grand Lodge is Coffee Lab where you can get caffeinated and fuel up before a day exploring. It’s worth noting that many drinking and dining establishments in Crested Butte and Mount Crested Butte will close for a few weeks in autumn, and while exact dates vary between businesses, a rule of thumb is the end of October until Thanksgiving. Upscale, in-town lodging includes Public House Lofts and Scarp Ridge Lodge. Both are owned by Eleven Experience and offer superlative accommodations.
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Sitting right off I-70, Georgetown is as historic as it is both quirky and quaint. A former silver mining town established in the middle of the 19th century, it may have a population of just around 1,000 people, but because it is such a popular spot, on any given day, especially in summer and autumn, it will be bustling.
7 AM | COFFEE, BREAKFAST & THE TRAIN
Photos: Visit Georgetown
For coffee and breakfast on the go, Georgetown Coffee and Tea on Sixth Street is a good choice. Then head straight to the Georgetown Loop Railroad for a leisurely ride on the narrow gauge steam train. It’s worth riding the narrow gauge at this time of year for the scenery alone, but those interested in history will also enjoy the commentary that tells the story of mining in Georgetown and how it became known as the “Silver Queen of the Rockies.” (Unfortunately, silver mine tours and gold panning are only available until the end of September). The ride lasts just under an hour, but all of the train cars are open air with no heat, so be sure to dress accordingly. There are two departure points, one just outside town and the other a few minutes down I-70 in Silver Plume, so be sure to go the right one!
12 PM | LUNCH Head back to town for lunch at The Happy Cooker on Sixth Street. Family-owned and operated, it is popular thanks to its down-to-earth menu of dishes. After skipping breakfast, we opted for the meatloaf sandwich with a side of green chili. The menu also has other breakfast and lunch classics including benedicts, biscuits and burritos. The Happy Cooker also has a patio for bright and sunny autumn days.
Photos (unless noted): Period Comms
Photos (this photo and above): Visit Georgetown
2 PM | MUSEUM Across the street from the Happy Cooker is the incredible Hotel de Paris. Dating back to the silver mining boom, the hotel was opened by Renaissance man and fugitive Louis Dupuy as a first-class French restaurant, showroom for traveling salesmen and luxurious hotel during the Gilded Age. Dupuy’s story is utterly fascinating and tours give great insight into the man himself and how he opened such a magnificent hotel in the Rockies. The museum is open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday until Sept. 28th and then on weekends until it closes for the season on Dec. 13th. There are five tours each day.
4 PM | EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS After a quick change into some sportier attire, head to the north end of town and Georgetown Lake. For a gentle stroll, the Tom Bennhoff Lake Trail is just over 1.5 miles and loops around the lake. The short Purdy and Dunbarton connector trails on the backside of the trail provide access to Silver Creek Trail if you’re looking for something more strenuous at 4.6 miles one way with almost 1,800 feet of elevation gain. Whichever hike you do, get a beer afterwards at Cabin Creek Brewery which just opened this past spring. Sitting pretty much on the lagoon next to the lake, the brewery has lots of outdoor seating and is the perfect spot for an autumn ale! With a good range of rotating and seasonal beers, Cabin Creek also has a full kitchen with artisan, burgers, sandwiches and salads etc. Georgetown’s other (and first) brewery, Guanella Pass Brewery is in town.
6 PM | SHOPPING Georgetown is very quaint, and Sixth Street is arguably the quaintest. The two blocks on Sixth between Taos and Argentine streets are great for strolling and window shopping with shops like the Georgetown Village Candy Co, Buckskin Trading Co, Stonhenge, the Georgetown Jerky Emporium (which makes for a great snack while hiking) as well as the visitors’ center and a few galleries. Then there is Shoppe International which is a year-round Christmas shop. At this time of the year it doesn’t seem that strange, but in June you may have to question the sanity of anyone shopping there, although they do also sell home decor as well as glass, fabrics and jewelry.
7 PM | DINNER Head to Cooper’s on the Creek for dinner. Serving elevated pub food, we started with the duck pot pie, which looked inviting thanks to the golden flaky pastry. The filling - duck carrots, peas, onion, mushrooms, potato - was fall in a pie. That was followed by a hearty, creamy and cheesy gnocchi with shrimp. The steak with potatoes (cooked in duck fat) and mushrooms with a rich demi-glace was also a perfect fall dish. The meal was wrapped up with a creme brulee, which was easily enough for two or even three. Suffice it to say, diners at Coopers this fall are going to leave very satisfied. There is also a daily happy hour between 3pm - 6pm, and if it’s warm enough, try to get a table outside where you can see and hear the creek. Photos (this page): Period Comms; (opposite page): 34 Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Photos: Period Communications
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Photos: Visit Georgetown
BEYOND 24 HOURS You can fit in a hike if you get up early enough on your day of departure, but with more restaurants to try and options for paddle boarding on the lake and lots of other hikes, you could stay at least another day here. Either way, an early morning hike up on the summit of Guanella Pass is a must. There is a short interpretive trail at the Guanella Pass summit and from the same parking lot is the trailhead for Square Top trail which leads to two alpine lakes. The trail is about 4.5 miles round trip. Get up early enough and you can get back to Rose Street BnB before breakfast which is served at your leisure. If you arenâ€™t up for a hike or the weather is inclement, drive along Guanella Pass Scenic Byway instead. You may see mule deer or bighorn sheep as you pass through spruce, lodgepole pine and aspen forests. The entire byway is 22 miles and should take around an hour.
Photos: Visit Georgetown
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3 DAYS IN THE NORTH FORK VALLEY
36 Photos (unless noted): Period Comms
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HOME TO THE QUAINT COMMUNITIES OF PAONIA, HOTCHKISS AND CRAWFORD, THE NORTH FORK VALLEY IS A CREATIVE COCKTAIL OF CHARMING WINERIES, CRAFTY ARTISANS AND ROLLING FARMLANDS. CRISP AUTUMN DAYS ARE PERFECT FOR EXPLORING THIS VERDANT VALLEY AND SAMPLING ALL OF ITS GASTRONOMIC OFFERINGS. @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
If Kebler Pass is still open (depending on the snowfall the gravel pass may close as late as November) start your road trip off in Crested Butte (see our main destination story on page 26) and traverse the 30 miles of the West Elk Loop scenic byway, which is hands down one of our favorite autumn drives. Colors peak at the end of September but can last into October if you’re lucky. If the weather allows, make a pit stop at Lost Lake and go on one of the numerous hikes in the area or even hit the water for some fishing or paddle boarding action.
Spend your first night at Kebler Corner, a haven tucked away on the North Fork of the Gunnison River. The property offers 22 full hook-ups, primitive tent sites, eight rooms and cabins and is open until November. Doc Holliday’s Cabin is large enough to sleep a family with a queen bed and a sleeper sofa in the living room and has a newly-renovated kitchenette and bathroom as well as a spacious deck with a large outdoor bed perfect for stargazing.
Photo: Danica Bona
After getting settled in, explore the property and head outdoors. You can try your hand at fishing, or there is always hiking with plenty of trails starting nearby. The folks in the office can point you in the right direction. There is a general store and liquor store on property, so we recommend having a riverside picnic for dinner if the weather allows. While the general store offers plenty of necessities we recommend bringing most of what you’re going to want with you.
Wake up with the sun and make the short 20-minute drive into Paonia. Nestled at the base of Lamborne and Lands End mountains, this part of Colorado is a verdant oasis where wineries, orchards and a plethora of public land offer an experience for everyone. Stop in at Paonia Bread Works for a quick bite to eat before you explore the valley and get to sampling some wine. Most wineries are open throughout the end of November, but be sure to check dates and exact opening times. Arm yourself with a map and perhaps a bike if you’re feeling particularly spry and get sipping. We recommend starting at Black Bridge Winery and working your way west through the valley toward Hotchkiss. Grab a glass of vino and stroll through the onsite orchards or relax down by the river and take in that crisp autumn air. Next up is Stone Cottage Cellars. Tucked away on Garvin Mesa, the quaint winery is, unsurprisingly, housed outside of an adorable stone cottage. After that, take the back road to Azura Cellars & Gallery which is a beautiful property perched right on the edge of the mesa overlooking the lush valley below. Azura exudes old world charm and is not to be missed. By now you’ve likely worked up an appetite, so head back out to Hwy 133 and stop in a Qutori Wines for more sampling and some lunch. The Greek Platter paired with a glass of their rose is the perfect lunch. Be sure to save room for a piece of pie, too, as autumn heralds the arrival of their pear and wine pie. Once you’re refueled, continue making your way toward Hotchkiss, stopping at Endless Endeavour Winery followed by an afternoon cider from Big B’s - be sure to inquire about live music that may be happening while you’re in the area. A stop in at Storm Cellar should definitely be on your itinerary. Offering high-elevation whites and roses, Storm Cellar was started
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by ambitious and talented sommeliers Jayme Henderson and Steve Steese. The couple have made incredible strides in the short time they’ve been open. You really can’t go wrong with anything they produce. In Hotchkiss, you have Evening Grace, Mesa Winds Farm & Winery as well as Leroux Creek Vineyards. If you aren’t too wined out (remember to take advantage of the spit bucket if you’re driving or on bike!), they are all worth a visit. If you’re ready for some dinner, PJ’s is a nice spot in Hotchkiss and the newly-reopened Flying Fork Cafe back in Paonia offers homemade pastas and pizzas. Another option is to reverse your itinerary and end your tour at Black Bridge where you can sit on the banks of the North Fork of the Gunnison River which is the perfect spot for an alfresco meal. Black Bridge offers all sorts of jarred goodies along with cheese and pick your own offerings. In October, they have a fun family-friendly pumpkin patch with wagon rides. Not a wine fan? No problem, the North Fork offers plenty to do beyond winery hopping. From mountain biking and hiking to river rafting and paddle boarding. Western Slope SUP in Hotchkiss will get you sorted for all your gear needs. There are also two breweries in town - Paonia United Brewing Company which is located in an old house on Grand Avenue as well as Chrysalis Brewery which is at the south end of Grand Ave. Chrysalis uses locally-grown ingredients to make barrel-aged farmhouse ales. After dinner, take the wine you inevitably purchased during your journey and enjoy a glass on the porch of Bross Hotel, an historic bed and breakfast located in downtown Paonia. Caretakers Mike and Suzanne are friendly and accommodating and will ensure you have a cozy stay.
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the base for exploring Crawford State Park and the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Not as developed as the south rim entrance, which is just 10 miles from Montrose, the north rim offers a lot more solitude due to substantially lower visitor numbers. Accessed via a gravel road from the east end of Crawford State Park, North Rim Road affords jaw-dropping views into the canyon with six overlooks, including the amazing North Rim Chasm View. Be sure to check nps.gov/blca before you venture out, as the road closes once the snow starts piling up. Crawford State Park offers warm and cold weather activities including fishing (catfish, bass and trout) and ice fishing when there is over six inches of ice. There is also crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing if there is enough snow to protect vegetation. Early autumn days are ideal for SUP boarding which gives amazing views of Needle Rock.
Wake up to breakfast down in the Garden Room, which will no doubt be delightful whatever is on the menu, but if you really luck out you may get the house pancakes, a sinfully delicious trifecta of lemon curd, blueberries and whipped cream. They are served with a side of bacon which is a winning combination and the perfect fuel for an afternoon of exploring the natural beauty of the valley. After checking out, head into Hotchkiss and stock up on supplies at Farm Runners Station for a picnic lunch before heading to Crawford,
40 Photo: Ken Papaleo /Colorado Parks & Wildlife
As for accommodation, the French Country Inn is located right at the Crawford Airport and offers nice accommodations with easy access to the above mentioned activities. If you’re not ready to end your road trip and still want to explore Crested Butte but Kebler Pass has been closed for the winter, you can continue driving along Highway 92 which will take you to Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water. Continue about 25 miles on Highway 50 where you’ll turn north onto Highway 135 at Gunnison and arrive in CB about 30 minutes later.
BEST IN SHOW Claiming victory of the 2019 Governor’s Cup gold medal, the 2017 Syrah from Qutori sold out months ago, but the award status is indication of how good the wines are. Purchased by the Bennetts back in spring of 2016, Julie, Richard and their son Kyle got to work and released their first vintage in 2017 as well as opened the Root & Vine Market in fall of the same year and just underwent a renovation this past spring. The newly expanded patio offers great views of the valley and is conveniently right off the highway. Be sure to try the 2018 bourbon barrel pinot noir which was aged in Breckenridge Distillery barrels and just released in September.
EAST OF EDEN
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A SHORT DRIVE EAST OF THE 105TH MERIDIAN AWAITS A VERY DIFFERENT COLORADO, ONE WITH TARANTULAS, SLOPPERS, AND THE BEST WATERMELONS AND CHILIS MONEY CAN BUY. @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photos (unless noted): Period Comms
We’ll be the first to admit that the idea of a road trip without mountains in the windshield might feel a little strange at first, but crossing the meridian comes with a feeling of space and openness unlike anything on our side of the meridian. Read on to see what else lies in the very near east.
Day 1 We eased ourselves into our pilgrimage east by spending the night at Gaylord of the Rockies, which is literally a few minutes from Denver International Airport in Aurora, making it the perfect place for those flying in from other states or countries. The property, fully titled Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, was built on the highest point in the vicinity which guarantees great views. With 1,501 rooms (including 114 suites) and more than 500,000-square-feet of meeting and convention space, it is very much a convention hotel. However, like many other businesses during these tough times, the Gaylord has pivoted expertly and has, 42
at least for now, become more of a family hotel (not that it doesn’t welcome families year round, but currently it is welcoming more than normal). There are eight dining options, including Mountain Pass Sports Bar which has a 75-foot TV (the largest in the state outside of a sports stadium!), a spa and salon, as well as indoor and outdoor pools and a heated lazy river (open until around Halloween). Inching our way east, next was Aurora proper, which, and this may come as a surprise to some people, isn’t actually Denver! In fact, with a population of over 325,000 Aurora is just outside the top 50 most populous cities in the entire country. Stanley Marketplace is one of Aurora’s coolest spots. Formerly home to aerospace company Stanley Aviation, the spot is now home to more than 50 businesses with some great places to eat and drink including Stanley Beer Hall which has more than three dozen pour-your-own taps, Rosenberg’s Bagels, and the Denver Biscuit Company. There is also WESTOF105.COM
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a range of other businesses, too, including the Zero Market where you can go to refill containers of household products among other things, as well as several places to burn those calories off! Bob Stanley (the Stanley of Stanley Aviation) was the first American to fly a jet plane and was the inventor of the ejector seat, and legend has it that he strapped a sedated bear into a prototype ejector seat and launched it into the air, a decision that in hindsight that can only be seen as a very misguided move. Long story short, the bear woke up, glided down to earth and proceeded to run around the neighborhood. The story, whether real or not, has been immortalized on the walls of the marketplace in a mural. A walk to digest “The Franklin” from Denver Biscuit Company was necessary before continuing eastward. Aurora is a hub for the arts with several institutions like the Aurora Cultural Arts District and The People’s Building. Perhaps the best introduction to arts in Aurora is the Colfax Canvas project. The series of 10 murals are dotted around the Arts and Culture District of Aurora; ColfaxCanvas.com not only has information about the artists and the murals, but it also has a map so you can go on a self-guided walking tour. Aurora is also home to the Aurora Plains Conservation Center, a 1,100-acre homestead that highlights the lifestyles of Colorado’s earliest pioneers. Want to emulate them? Head to Cherry Creek State Park where you’ll find horse stables in addition to a 107-acre dog off leash area and a model airplane field with two paved runways, paved taxiways and a pit area! About a dozen miles from the state line and as far east as we headed, Burlington has fewer than 5,000 people, and among them - and in fact up and down the eastern half of the state - are people who both love living here but are also open to bringing in new ideas and new concepts. Four years ago, Ezra Gutierrez and his wife Jenna Zimbelman opened the Dish Room with that sentiment. At first glance, the restaurant is reminiscent of a sports bar, but the menu, which is both sizable and eclectic with a lot of bar-style food (jalapeño poppers, burgers, and salads), utilizes a lot of products from the area including everything from garnishes and salad leaves to wagyu beef. Inline with using as many local ingredients as possible, the kitchen works from scratch as much as is possible, too. In addition to bar-style food there are also dishes like the Colorado Berkshire pork chop with apple, pomegranate, candied nuts, and rustic veg and butternut squash enchiladas served with a sweet corn tamale and fresh pico de gallo.
For an experience that is pure tourism, Old Town Museum in Burlington is a joy. The complex is more than six acres and has 21 fully restored buildings from the turn-ofthe-century and over 25,000 artifacts. From the wanted posters in the bank to the stocked shelves in the general store, the attention to detail is impressive. There are several mannequins in various rooms that will give you a fright, but if you really want to be scared half to death, the terrifying collection of dolls - especially the apple head doll - isn’t to be missed. The cavernous Old Town Barn, which started it all when it was moved in one piece by a 1940s Dodge truck to its current location, is used for weddings and other events. In normal years, the museum brings the west to life with live can-can shows and gunfights in the summer. Five minutes from Old Town is the Kit Carson County Fairgrounds which is home to one of the finest carousels in the country. There are fewer than 150 of this kind in the country, and this one is surely among the very best. Expertly maintained, it is nothing short of a work of art. The fully operational carousel still has much of its original paint and is the only surviving menagerie - and what a menagerie it is! We concluded day one with a wine tasting at Claremont Inn and Winery which is where we also slept. The wine tasting and dinner combination was a good introduction to the extensive range of wines produced on the property from grapes brought in from around the world. Made in batches of 30 bottles, you will likely find something new each time you visit. There are 10 guest rooms at Claremont that are all uniquely decorated and furnished and offer a comfortable night to sleep off dinner and drinks. One thing you @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
can always be assured of at the Claremont Inn is very friendly and personable service from charming owners Harry and Dave. One or other may even sit and tell you about the history of the property if you ask nicely. The pot of coffee outside your door when you wake up is a lovely touch. 43
Day 2 The drive down to Las Animas is very pleasant, there’s plenty of greenery and the roads are lined with sunflowers with the occasional building sitting somewhere in the distance. Eventually, you join the Santa Fe Trail Scenic Byway at Lamar and stay with it to Las Animas and a pair of Bent County heritage sites. The John W. Rawlings Heritage Center in Las Animas does what all good museums do, they preserve the past, put it into perspective and bring it to life. With exhibits including early 1900's storefronts of a post office, barber shop, jewelry store, candy shop, and the Bent County Bank, it is a window into the area’s past and shows how goings on here influenced the region and the state. A short drive outside town is the Boggsville Historic Site. The first settlement in Southeast Colorado, Boggsville was important for a few reasons, including being a resupply station for the Santa Fe trail after Bent’s Old Fort closed, but it was the women of Boggsville that are most fascinating. It was in fact the women - Rumalda Luna Boggs, Amache, and Josefa Jaramillo Carson - that made the settlement possible thanks to their land claims. And of these three women, Amache stands out. A full-blooded Cheyenne, Amache was a formidable woman who married a young trader called John Prowers in 1861. Amache’s father and several other relatives were killed at the massacre at Sand Creek, and the US government gave the relatives of those killed parcels of land by way of atonement. Amache, her mother and the Prowers’ two oldest daughters were given 640-acre parcels along the Arkansas River and that is where Prowers built his racing operation. Amache adapted to the Anglo culture she had married into, but only as much as she
wanted to. She would wear Victorian dress but refused to wear a corset. She is said to have loved to ride bicycles and skate, but she never gave up her Cheyenne ways. She would hunt buffalo, she spoke English but only when she wanted to, and there was a teepee on the property that she would go to when she wanted to escape. Boggsville has a self-guided interpretive tour that is open 24 hours a day, while the buildings are open until the end of September Twenty miles west of Las Animas is La Junta, which is a wonderful base for exploration. Just south of La Junta is Picket Wire Canyonlands, which is part of the Comanche National Grassland, where you can find a dinosaur track site that has over 1,500 prints (the site is considered to be the largest continuously mapped site in North America). Also on the Comanche National Grassland at this time of the year you can see the most amazing array of arachnophobic activity. From mid-September to mid-October, thousands of male tarantulas can be seen all over the area searching for females, sometimes traveling up to 20 miles. In town, the wonderful Koshare Museum is home to possibly the finest collection of Native American art in the state. A little further afield is Rocky Ford, the ‘Melon Capital of the World’ so where better to grab a watermelon or a cantaloupe? Visitors will quickly learn that there are lots of varieties of watermelon and the fertile area also produces so much more than melons. Be sure to grab breakfast at the Copper Kitchen before you leave town. The good old fashioned diner isn’t so much retro as authentic. Expect hash browns, eggs, pancakes and the like as well as a conversation as you will almost certainly be pegged as a tourist, but in the nicest way!
Day 3 Just outside Pueblo, the Excelsior Farmersâ€™ Exchange is a really exciting development. Farmers and food makers have come together and taken over the old Excelsior Middle School building and are working together to turn amazing produce into amazing products, including amazing small-batch, wild-fermented srirachas from Jojo's Sriracha! Home to the Pueblo Chili, no trip to this area is complete, especially at this time of the year, without some kind of chili experience. Crites Produce in Avondale is a farm shop and processing facility for the chilis that are picked from fields nearby. You can see them being fire roasted in baches before being chopped and bagged ready to be taken home. The Pueblo Chili is in fact so good that entire communities, including some from New Mexico, make an annual pilgrimage to get their supply. If youâ€™ve never been to Pueblo before, lunch has to be a slopper. A pueblo original, it is a cheeseburger smothered in chili (some say green, some say red). Some people go the whole hog and have a bun, freshly chopped onions and French fries, others have none of the above additions. Make it your own. Sloppy in both name and nature, sloppers are eaten with a fork or spoon. Head to Grayâ€™s Coors Tavern to lose your slopper virginity.
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If it is your first time in Pueblo, a wander is in order. The Pueblo Riverwalk, more officially titled the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, is at the center of life in downtown Pueblo. The 32-acre urban waterfront offers gondola rides and is lined with shops and restaurants. There are also 54 pieces of art along the river and it’s also home to festivals and various events throughout the year. A 10-minute walk from the river is Pueblo’s Neon Alley, an incredible collection of more than two dozen neon signs, both vintage and commissioned. The open-air museum comes to life when the sun goes down. For an afternoon drink, Eiler’s Place is the oldest family-run bar in Pueblo and a nice down-to-earth change from downtown. Doing a wonderful job of maintaining the Slovenian heritage of Pueblo, get a shot of slivovitz, but be sure to call it slivo! Twenty One Steak on the Riverwalk is a superb option for dinner. Named in memory of the 1921 flood of Pueblo, the menu is made up of steakhouse classics: there are steaks, of course, and chops,
there is also salmon and scallops, soups and salads and the like. Doc’s Flight of Filet is an interesting choice - three 3 oz cuts of filet served with a blue cheese cream sauce, a green chile coulis, and Twenty One butter. The wine selection is great and recommendations are very well informed. The meal was as delicious as it was indulgent. Fancy a nightcap? Look no further than La Tronica’s. The dirty Martinis are great, and the atmosphere is legit. It’s old school and awesome. For your final night’s sleep east of 105, the Station on the Riverwalk is a supercool boutique hotel. Repurposed from what was once the town police station and jail, the rooms or “cells” are modern but the design hints at the past. Cell Six is the smallest room but it has the original jail cell bunk beds and the lock-out solitary confinement door from the original jail leading to Cell Five which means they can be combined into a suite. The hotel’s lounge, the Clink, is a great spot for a drink.
DRINKING & DINING Celebrate the autumn harvest with a perfectly ripe, Coloradogrown pear
48 PERFECT PEAR
RESTAURANT PROFILE: BOSQ | ASPEN
Somewhat overshadowed by the itâ€™s pomme cousin, the apple, pears are more than capable of holding their own in the culinary world.
An Aspen mainstay, Bosq serves up dishes that combine international culinary experience with hyper local produce.
Step back in time at one of these retro diners west of 105 where nostalgia meets simple and hearty food.
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7 RETRO DINERS
THE PERFECT PEAR Pears arenâ€™t so much maligned as they are sidelined, with many people simply forgoing them without really knowing why. But pears are plentiful in Colorado, and a perfectly ripe pear is a thing of gastronomic greatness 48
Humble, varied, diverse and delicious, yet overshadowed globally by the apple and in Colorado by the peach, too, the pear is largely ignored. But for those in the know, the pear is a magical fruit that swings both ways - cooked it diverges from the apple with heady aromas of ethyl decadienoate while raw and slightly under ripe they add crunch while ripe pears are best eaten with juice flowing down your arm. In culinary circles, the pear is most famously poached, but caramelize some wedges in a pan with butter and sugar, top with shortcrust or puff pastry, bake and then turn upside down and you have a dessert that would wow the Tatin sisters themselves. Unadulterated, pears are the perfect foil for cheese - a chunky sliver of slightly under ripe pear with salty blue cheese is the perfect partnership - and when fully adulterated, by way of juicing, fermenting and distilling, they yield a liquor that is a joy to the taste buds and a delicious, and for many altogether new kind of, social lubricant.
EATING Poached pears are the classic pear preparation, but once you realize how versatile they can be the world is your... well, pear. For bright and warm autumn Colorado days, consider elevating the pear and blue cheese wine accompaniment above to a meal by layering slices of pear with chunks of blue cheese and walnuts on salad leaves then drizzling with honey and a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle over some fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper. Serving with toasted bread makes this a filling meal. Cooler Colorado autumn nights beg for a little spice, and pears are more than willing to be the medium. Pears are a great accompaniment to meat when married with spices like cinnamon and clove. Fry slightly under-ripe pears that have been peeled, quartered and cored in butter with the aforementioned spices as well as a generous grind of black pepper. Great with game or even lamb, but some will find this irresistible served over vanilla ice cream. Try the same spicy preparation with a pear Tarte Tatin. Barclay Dodge, chef and owner of Bosq in Aspen (see our profile on page 51), is a big fan of pears and uses them in a variety of ways including this very chefy way. “At Bosq, we love to lacto-ferment pears and use the juice that results during the process as a vibrant, slightly acidic seasoning to add to sauces, vinaigrettes, and dressings. We take pears (leaving the skin on) and cut them into 1” pieces, add two percent salt by weight of the pears then cryovac in sous vide bags and hold in a fermentation chamber set at 30˚C for 4-6 days. Afterwards, we remove the pears from the bags, extract as much juice as possible through a chinois and reserve the juice.” .
LIBATIONS Ripe pears give up their juice at the merest touch, yet while they are great for juicing, they rarely are. At least not at home. However, pears have a long and storied history when it comes to the magical process of turning 49
juice into booze. Fermenters and distillers all over the world have for time immemorial celebrated with perry and fortified themselves through long, cold winters with brandies and the like. In Europe, spirits like shlivovitza and rakija are sometimes made from pears and in Croatia kruskovac is pretty much exclusively made from them. For those who love to show off their liquor cabinet, Poire William is an after-dinner drink that is consumed in various parts of France and Germany that often includes an entire pear inside each bottle, a feat achieved by attaching the bottle to a budding pear tree so that the pear grows inside the bottle. And Colorado’s very own Peach Street Distillers have perfected the same technique for their Pear Brandy which won a gold medal at the American Distilling Institute’s 2020 Judging Awards earlier this year and gold at the American Craft Spirits Association Awards for best brandy in the United States. Pears grown a few blocks from the distillery in downtown Palisade are pressed, fermented, and distilled onsite before being aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of two years. Sure, you can sip Peach Street’s Pear Brandy over ice and enjoy the utter pear-iness of it, or you can follow in the footsteps of bartenders around the world who have used pears to make both original cocktails and interesting takes on classics. If you’ve never heard of the Kentucky Pear or the Juliette, maybe it’s time to up your cocktail game. Then there is perry. Also known as pear cider, perry has been common for centuries in parts of the UK as well as France. Perry producers in Colorado include the Colorado Cider Company which produces Pearsnickety, a seasonal made with Colorado-grown Bartlett pears; Stem Ciders have a pear and apple cider made from Bartlett pears; and Snow Capped Cider from Cedaredge have the slightly more exotic JalaPEARño. You can even mix the two. Although no name exists for the product of fortifying a perry with an apple spirit, doing so with apples is known as pommeau in France. And that’s not all. Where there are pears, there are pear products. Ela Family Farms in Hotchkiss sell pear jam made from organic pears from their orchards in addition to offering farm tours and fruit packs, and for those that want to make a day of it, you can pick your own pears and turn them into any and all of the above. The Colorado Farm Fresh Directory from the Colorado Department of Agriculture is a great resource for places to pick your own, but it also has a list of farmers’ markets, roadside stands, restaurants and agritourism activities!
SIDEBAR: The Perfect Pear - Pears are one of the few fruits that don’t ripen on the tree. When they are ripe, they are delicate and easily damaged, which all means that the pears you get in the supermarket are almost always under ripe so be prepared to wait a little while - but not too long as they tend to go quickly from hard to mush. A better idea is to go to your local farmers’ market or orchard and ask when they were picked or even pick them yourselves. You’re likely to find less common varieties this way, too.
Photo: Trevor Triano
BOSQ | ASPEN With a name that is derived from the Spanish word bosque, which means forest, it should come as no surprise that chef and owner C. Barclay Dodgeâ€™s Aspen eatery combines what can be found and foraged locally with international influences @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
Dodge’s resume is pretty impressive. It starts out pretty routinely with some kitchen experience and then formal training, in his case at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Dodge stayed in the city for a while, working at a number of different restaurants, but eventually something called out to him from across the Atlantic and he found himself touring around Europe and North Africa, specifically Italy, France, Spain, and Morocco. In what would be a turning point for him (and in fact would be for any chef), while in Spain Dodge spent time working at the legendary El Bulli where Ferran Adria was changing the food world. After a stint at another restaurant in Spain, this time at the two-star restaurant Can Caig in Barcelona, he decided to return to Colorado and Aspen where he would work under Charles Dale at Renaissance. He would go from cook to chef de cuisine in his three years there. Eventually, Dodge opened Restaurant Mogador which, like Bosq, was so named in honor of his international exploits, this one being the Portuguese name for the Moroccan city of Essaouira. Next was R Cuisine, and then four years ago Dodge and wife Molly opened Bosq on Mill Street. It’s hard to pigeonhole Bosq, which is a good thing, especially, we would imagine for Dodge, and that is surely down to his extensive experience in kitchens around the world as well simply being exposed to myriad cultural influences on his travels. Peking Duck is a Bosq specialty, and on a recent menu the dish was joined by a dish of Mayan pesto chicken. As exotic as both dishes sound, Dodge seems to be just as at home tramping through the woods nearby to a secret spot looking for porcinis as he is in a market in Marrakesh. Dodge is a forager at heart, which means the menu at Bosq on any given night or in any given week can be greatly influenced by what he finds on a jaunt or what he gets brought to him. A recent social media post showed a mouthwatering dish of venison studded with puffed grains and pine with wild watercress, while another recent dish of porcini dumplings in a forest broth alludes to both Dodge’s international culinary travels and his love for utilizing what is nearby. Bosq closes for the shoulder season. Call for exact dates. 52Photos (opposite): Matt Alberts (bottom left and middle
Photos Trevor TrianoJeff Fierberg, (all others): Bryan Redniss row, center:
To make a reservation visit bosqaspen. com/reservations.
WEST OF 105 | LIFESTYLE
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Retro Diners T H AT TA K E YO U B AC K I N T I M E
WEST OF 105 | DRINKING & DINING
An enduring symbol of American culture, the diner represents something familiar and homey. Simple and affordable food (and, let’s be honest, usually awful coffee), they date back to the start of the 20th Century and were popular during the Great Depression with other resurgences coming after the end of World War II and again during the 1970s. Immortalized in the arts with paintings like Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” and Norman Rockwell’s “The Runaway” putting them center stage, they have also played supporting roles in numerous movies and TV shows, notably “Twin Peaks,” “Seinfeld,” and “Pulp Fiction.” Here are several places west of 105 you can get a slice of Americana, both literally and figuratively.
Eagle Diner, Eagle
Just over 20 years old, the Eagle diner does what diners do, and that’s to offer a big menu of diner classics - pancakes, burgers, omelettes, sandwiches as well as milkshakes and malts. And the diner seems to attract all kinds of people with Shaq and Martha Stewart stopping by in the past. Eagle Diner also offers wine - according to the menu a Chardonnay and a Merlot - if you’re a drink-wine-at-a-diner kind of person!
Photos (top to bottom):Adrian E via Yelp, Ralph V via Yelp (opposite page): Runaway B via Yelp / Main St. Diner
The Little Diner, Vail
Located in Vailâ€™s Lionshead Village, The Little Diner is a popular option for breakfast and lunch in Vail. Serving breakfast all day, the bustling diner also has most of the diner classics the other places on our list have. They also have croissant, biscuit and bagel sandwiches, which are less common at other diners. Expect a wait during ski season (but who knows this year).
19th Street Diner, Glenwood Springs
Opened back in 1986 by Swannie and KG Schwanebeck before being taken over by former staff members Rick and Tonya Wernsmann in 2007, the 19th Street Diner was a ht when it opened and remains so. Slinging classic diner food as well as a few more unique items, such as deep-fried French toast, today, youâ€™ll find patrons enjoying pretty much the same menu as when it opened with a few additions. Stop in on Wednesday for Marvelous Meatloaf!
Photos (clockwise from top right) Joey B via Yelp, 19th St Diner, Khaled A via Yelp
Oscars Cafe, Durango
A staple in town for almost 40 years, Oscar’s is still regularly a hive of activity where people come together for a chat and a hearty breakfast (including no fewer than nine types of omelet) or lunch (Black Angus burgers, salads, chilies, as well as Ruben’s and the diner classic - the club sandwich). The shakes at Oscar’s were apparently voted best in town, too. With red and black floor tiles and neon lighting that lights the way for the model train (a nod to the area’s railroading heritage) that runs around the ceiling, Oscar’s is not easily forgettable!
Johnny B Good ’s, Steamboat Springs
Located in the heart of downtown Steamboat Springs, Johnny B. Good’s has a very distinctive 50’s style with murals of movie stars like Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe on the walls. Serving up classic diner fare - chicken fried steaks, biscuits and gravy, corned beef hash, Reubens, and gyros as well as huevos rancheros, burritos etc., Johnny B good’s also has a good range of cocktails and adult milkshakes as well as classic desserts, pies and banana splits
Photos (top to bottom): Oscars Cafe, Trevor W via Yelp, Peter S via Yelp
Main Street Cafe, Grand Junction
A GJ staple for over 30 years, Main Street Cafe originally opened as the 7th Street Cafe with 40 seats. Being on the “wrong side” of the tracks (access was restricted by coal trains for almost an hour every day in those days) didn’t stop word spreading and business grew. Fast forward to January 2000 and the business moved to Main Street. Stop in for steaks, burgers, soups, salads and the like.
Something of an anomaly on our list as it is part of a national chain, this Denny’s gets an honorable mention because it is so damn cool thanks to its Airstreamlike exterior. Inside, it is somewhat retro with the menu being the same as every other Denny’s, which means you can get the Denny’s classic moons over my hammy.
Photos (top): Runaway B via Yelp / (middle and bottom): Dennys via Yelp
LIFESTYLE Mello Moon Lodge in Del Norte is just one of many boutique hotels to check into this autumn
Photo: Mellow Moon Lodge
6 TRENDY BOUTIQUE HOTELS
Peruse our fall fashion guide for a seasonally appropriate selection of autumnal attire.
When you a really want to pamper yourself, check into one of these beautiful boutique properties.
We love it when wellness and beauty come together, which is exactly what Colorado company Eossi have done
FASHION | FOR HER
Mountain Hardwear | Ghost Whisperer UL $375 Made with 1000-fill RDS-certified down, this jacket is Mountain Hardwear’s lightest, fully featured insulated layer yet. The ripstop shell fabric has a DWR finish, while elastic cuffs help keep heat in. It also has two zippered hand pockets and a drawcord hem. WE love that it is also packable, stuffing into its own pocket with an internal carabiner clip loop!
Thousand | Chapter MIPS Helmet $135 A beautifully-designed helmet that you’ll actually be excited to wear, the chapter features MIPS for added protection and a few other great features including a 50 lumen tail light that magnetically attaches to the back of the helmet, and a hidden panel that allows you to lock your helmet along with your bike
Prana | Betania Long Jacket $449 Launching later this season, the Betania is part of the brand’s first insulated outerwear collection and features fleece-lined pockets and cuffs and a silkytextured interior to give a luxurious feel. Inside straps allow you to wear the jacket like a backpack instead of toting it around and side buttons along the bottom means it’s perfect for those cold morning and evening bike commutes to work!
Phoozy | Insulated Laptop Case: $59 Electronics tend not to like extremes of temperature and tend not to operate well (or at all) in them. This insulated laptop case does a great job and has proven to extend battery life while also providing an IP66 waterresistance rating and military-grade drop protection
Blundstone | Heeled Boots $199.95 Stylish with a touch of ruggedness (it is Colorado after all!), these heeled boots are lightweight yet durable and a dream to walk in. The oiled leather is weatherproof (another plus for autumn in Colorado) and the footbed and heel pad are excellent shock absorbers
Toad & Co | Earthworks Kick Flare Pant $85 Made from canvas, organic cotton and Tencel these cropped pants offer the perfect amount of stretch. With a cropped length, we love coupling them with a pair of Chelsea boots (see left!) for an effortless autumn style
Centric | Cece High Waist Everyday Leggings $72 With a flattering, high waisted cut and fourway stretch, these ultra soft leggings are perfect for yoga, an outdoor autumn jog and everything in between. The brand plays on the psychology of color to get you revved up and ready to go - we love the cobalt blue, which is said to fill you with energy and confidence
WEST OF 105 | LIFESTYLE
FASHION | FOR HIM
Fulton & Roark | Solid Cologne $42 and up
Fjällräven | Expedition Pack Down Jacket $250 These everyday jackets were inspired by the Fjällräven’s original expedition jacket that was launched in the 70’s. Retro styling, classic colors, recycled shell material, and ethically sourced down or recycled synthetic fill make these a great option for fall and winter
These concentrated solid fragrances offer a long-lasting and steady fragrance designed to keep you fresh. The solid metal containers travel easily in a gym bag, pocket or carry-on, allowing a man to smell his best no matter where he goes. For fall, the Sterling fragrance which has notes if leather, vanilla and tobacco, is appropriate. Each application lasts between 4-8 hours and with daily use you’ll use it all in about four months
Royal Robbins | Hemp Blend Shirt $90 Odor resistant, super soft and quick drying, this shirt is made from hemp which makes it really durable. It also has UPF 50+ and chest pockets with button closure. The external loop for hanging is actually more useful that you might think.
Ombraz | Dolomite Sunglasses $140 With distinctive circular frames and small side visors to reduce peripheral glare, the Dolomite sunglasses are stylish and practical. It is, however, the armless nature of them that really sets them apart. Available in Slate or Charcoal frames and gray, brown, and yellow polarized lenses (which are smudge and scratch resistant), they also have a 100 percent recycled nylon cord
Feetures | Crew Socks $19.99 Patara | Cacao Nubuck Nomad $128 A coastal-inspired redesign of the classic derby silhouette, the upper is made of vegetable tanned nubuck while the insoles are made from cork and recycled foam making them really light. They are very comfortable and were designed to be worn both with or without socks
Snow Peak | Nylon Power Wool Easy Pants $300 Offering the movement of jersey fabric with the durability and temperature regulation of wool, these pants feature an elasticated waist with hidden drawstring, zip front with snap closure, slant side pockets, dual back pockets and a slightly tapered leg with a straight hem
These left/right specific socks have targeted compression to ensure areas that need more support get them. All Feetures socks include moisturewicking fibers and a seamless toe which can help prevent blisters. New for this autumn, the Everyday Crew socks are made with a blend of recycled fibers called Repreve 61
Photo: Surf Hotel & Chateau
WEST OF 105 | LIFESTYLE
BOUTIQUE HOTELS Full of charm and individuality, boutique hotels continue to pop up all over the state. Here are half a dozen west of 105 that we love
STAY AMIGO MOTOR LODGE | SALIDA With 17 rooms and five renovated Airstreams (the latter of which makes Stay Amigo fairly unique among the boutique hotels on our shortlist), Rooms (and Airstreams) at Stay Amigo have modern furnishings with a minimalist design that creates a relaxing environment. The property also has a hot tub, a sun room and fire pits among other amenities. Amigo isn’t a full-service hotel, so while there is generally someone around, you will be pretty much left on your own. Just think of it as a fancy Airbnb.
1 MELLOW MOON LODGE | DEL NORTE
Built in the early 1940’s as the El Rancho, what would become the Mellow Moon was abandoned for 20 years before it was purchased in 2018. It opened just a year ago as the 10-room boutique hotel. Minutes from the Rio Grande River and on the Continental Divide Trail, Wolf Creek Ski Area and Great Sand Dunes National Park aren’t far away either. There is also a bike shop onsite, a fire-pit to gather around in the evenings and a wood-fired hot tub that is scheduled to be up and running this winter.
THE NIGHTINGALE MOTEL | PAGOSA SPRINGS Located in the heart of downtown Pagosa Springs, the Nightingale has 17 beautiful guest rooms (including a couple of suites that have kitchenettes) as well as the Neon Mallard cocktail lounge (which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary). The decor and style is meant to evoke the atmosphere of 1950’s roadside motels, which can most obviously be seen in the cool neon sign that tells motorists if there are vacancies or not, the Nightingale has plenty of modern touches, too.
Photos (top to bottom) Stay Amigo Motor Lodge, Mellow Moon Lodge, The Nightingale Motel
WEST OF 105 | LIFESTYLE
SURF HOTEL & CHATEAU | BUENA VISTA Sibling properties, the Surf Hotel and Surf Chateau are both on the Arkansas River overlooking the whitewater park in BV’s South Main neighborhood. With 42 guest rooms, the Surf Hotel may push the limits of what a boutique hotel is in terms of size, but it is beautifully appointed yet understated. Located next door and continuing the style of the hotel, the 20 guest-room Surf Chateau has fireplaces, canopy beds, clawfoot tubs, and chandeliers. The Wesley & Rose Lobby Bar serves both properties.
4 SPOKE & VINE | PALISADE
In the heart of Colorado’s wine country, Spoke & Vine is a 17-room property that is less than 18 months old. With a range of room types, including a full one-bedroom apartment, the property is within walking distance of Palisade’s downtown. With a name like Spoke & Vine, it is no surprise that there is a fleet of cruiser bikes that are available for rent and are perfect for touring wineries. A simple breakfast of locally made granola, Greek yogurt and locally roasted coffee is delivered to your door every morning.
THE WYMAN HOTEL | SILVERTON The 15-room Wyman Hotel is a fantastic addition to Silverton’s downtown and gives the small town a welcome alternative for those who may want a dash of modern style while enjoying the town’s more historic aspects. Named for the building it occupies, which was built by businessman Louis Wyman in 1902, the property was thoroughly and expertly renovated and today is a beautiful property with modern furnishings. The Wyman also has a suite that can sleep five, making this a great place for small groups.
Photos (top to bottom) Surf Hotel & Chateau, Garner&Co Photography, The Wyman Hotel
OMEN operated, Denver-based Eossi creates affordable, luxury plant-based beauty products. Founded by Shannon Kaygi and Rochonne Sanchez, who combined their experience in finance, hemp wholesale and cannabis technology services to create a line of skincare and cosmetic products featuring hemp-derived compounds and other botanical ingredients.
Eossiâ€™s Facial Glow Oil #8 is the companyâ€™s flagship product. With a base of organic Moroccan argan oil, it also contains grapeseed, rosehip, coconut, and a hemp-derived, broad spectrum CBD oil among other ingredients. It promises to leave your skin feeling hydrated and glowing, and it was specifically formulated to be fully absorbed and not leave an oily residue. Each full dropper of the oil contains 20 mg of CBD. For every bottle purchased Eossi will donate eight meals to Food Bank of the Rockies.
CULTURE & EVENTS With 23 official ‘bike friendly communities’ autumn is the perfect time to explore Colorado on two wheels
Photo: Nikolay Dimitrov
VIRTUAL FRIGHT NIGHT
BUILT LIKE A TANK
The annual Telluride Horror Show returns, but this year they’ve gone virtual with a “Shelter-in-Place Edition.”
Put a disused water tank in the hands of a bunch of creative types and you end up with the incredible TANK in Rangely.
With 23 designated bikefriendly communities, autumn is the perfect time to explore Colorado on two wheels.
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS
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S U P E R S O N I C 70
Sitting on the side of a county road up in the north west part of the state, the TANK Center for Sonic Arts is a former railroad water-treatment facility that was lovingly and expertly turned into one of the most unique performance venues in the state.
WEST OF 105 | CULTURE & EVENTS
The story of the Tank dates back to 1976 when sound artist Bruce Odland was shown around by two locals. Odland was immediately enthralled with the acoustic possibilities. The Tank became a secret performance venue and recording space for a small and select group of sound artists and musicians. In 2013, the owner of the tank considered selling it, and so the artists and other friends of the tank banded together to save it. Two Kickstarter campaigns and plenty of donations later, and the Tank and the land it is one were secured. Improvements were undertaken and eventually the Tank was officially recognized as an assembly hall and received a certificate of occupancy. Since then, the Friends of the Tank haven’t looked back. In the intervening years, the Tank has welcomed performers from around the country and the world and has secured
artists for various kinds of residency. Obviously, this year has taken its toll on performance venues around the county, and the Tank is no exception, but even though live concerts have been cut back they haven’t been canceled altogether. On the autumn equinox, violinist Joshua Hill will be performing in an outdoor concert there, and moving forward there will likely be more events. Recording sessions have also continued. Moving forward, the organization has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for a concert of music and film that is set for Memorial Day Weekend next year. If you’re curious and in the area, the Tank is open from 9am to 1pm every Saturday through October to the public who can explore the facility free of charge.
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Discover Coloradoâ€™s Bicycle Friendly Communities
72 Photo: Tiffany Nutt
WEST OF 105 | CULTURE & EVENTS Designated by the League of the League of American Bicyclists, the league’s Bicycle Friendly America program helps communities make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option for all people The League of American Bicyclists is a cycling advocacy group with a history stretching all the way back to 1880 when “wheelmen” in Newport, Rhode Island came together as the League of American Wheelmen to advocate for the improvement of roads and highways in the United States. The organization has several key programs, including the aforementioned Bicycle Friendly Communities program. Ranking seventh in the country with 23 bicyclefriendly communities, 108 bicycle-friendly businesses and seven bicycle-friendly universities, the most recent round of awards saw Montrose added to Colorado’s ever-growing list. In June this year, the League designated Montrose as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community, highlighting the efforts both the city and bicycle groups like the Montrose Area Bicycle Alliance (MABA) have undertaken to make Montrose a better city for bicyclists. The bronze award recognizes the effort and commitment to improving conditions through investments in bike education
programs, regular bike events that promote and encourage people to choose biking, probike policies, and bike infrastructure. “Across the country, we have seen so many Americans biking during the pandemic. It’s critical that there are communities like Montrose taking the steps to make biking a safe, accessible option for people, whether they are commuting to essential jobs or looking for recreational options outside their homes,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “This award is the culmination of years of work put in by Montrose and its citizen advocates for better biking." The Five E's For a Bicycle Friendly America Engineering: Creating safe and convenient places to ride and park Education: Giving people of all ages and abilities the skills and confidence to ride Encouragement: Creating a strong bike culture that welcomes and celebrates bicycling Enforcement & Safety: Ensuring safe roads for all users Evaluation & Planning: Planning for bicycling as a safe and viable transportation option There is actually a sixth E, and that is Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
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Bike Friendly Communities: PLATINUM BOULDER FORT COLLINS GOLD STEAMBOAT SPRINGS DURANGO ASPEN CARBONDALE BRECKENRIDGE SILVER DENVER SUMMIT COUNTY SILVERTHORNE ARVADA LONGMONT GOLDEN GUNNISON VAIL GLENWOOD SPRINGS COLORADO SPRINGS BRONZE MONTROSE LAKEWOOD GRAND JUNCTION FRUITA GREELEY PUEBLO
Destination Crested Butte, 24 Hours in Georgetown, 6 Trendy Boutique Hotels + much more!