Glenwood’s St. Stephen Catholic School recently held its first annual Spring Gala Masquerade Ball fundraising event. Masqueraders enjoyed cocktails, live music, dancing, and appetizers from Food Network star Susie Jimenez. Proceeds benefited the school, which strives to provide competitive tuition for students from Aspen to Rifle. Photography by Andrea Palm-Porter.
Colorado Mountain College (CMC) continued its 50th anniversary festivities in late April with a celebration at the Spring Valley campus. College faculty and staff, community leaders, alumni, and students gathered for a fun-filled afternoon, which included feasting on a roasted pig donated by the Nieslanik family. Photography by Charles Engelbert.
On Cinco de Mayo, the Roaring Fork Rotary Club (“Club Rotario”) hosted its annual Festival las Americas in Carbondale’s Sopris Park. The bicontinental cultural celebration and scholarship fundraiser featured live mariachi, dancing, beer garden, kids’ area, and food from local vendors. Photography by Klaus Kocher.
Outdoor fun can mean different things to different people. The Roaring Fork Valley offers unlimited activities for locals and tourists alike. I personally prefer golf and fly fishing—every weekend could be filled with just those two activities if I had the choice. And I mean choice, because my wife had other plans for me this spring. After three years of asking for a potting shed, she finally put it at the top of her (read: my) list.
There are exactly 1,439,552 fantastic things to do outside in the Roaring Fork Valley this month. I, your editor, did the dirty work for you and counted.
Of course we have hiking, rafting, rock climbing, fishing, golfing, jogging, and all the other sports and physical activities we love—but what about festival frolicking, market strolling, rodeo gawking, sidewalk chalking, creek dipping, bird watching, cloud counting, wildflower hunting, hamburger grilling, or the all-important afternoon ice cream eating? (That can actually be an extreme sport unto itself; try finishing a cone in the heat without any drips on your shirt.) All of these activities increase the tally, too.
Almost a decade of designing blast-proof building interiors in faraway Iraq, from her office in Denver, was a challenge for Providence Apothecary co-owner Chrissy Lee Manes. It was distant—as a project, as a place, and from immediate interactions with people. Wanting to shift her career to something closer in all regards, Manes, a certified herbalist and holistic healthcare practitioner, and her husband John Lee, a Ph.D. candidate in geochemistry, chose to move in the fall of 2013 from Denver to downtown Glenwood Springs. Since opening their small business that year, they have successfully redirected their skills and passions and built a customer-centered shop that offers not only teas and tinctures for health and healing, but also a variety of outdoor classes ranging from yoga and Tai Chi Chih to guided herb walks in the area.
Sunshine, music, a maze of merchant booths, laughter, locals, tourists, and fried food galore: Nothing says “summer in Glenwood” quite like Strawberry Days. Now celebrating its 120th anniversary, the festival has brought family-friendly fun and excitement to locals for generations.
“The artists I know are attempting to understand a sense of place and living in the world,” muses Nancy Lovendahl. “My own career has been about a call and response, a sense of place and the landscape. I’m sure my art would be very different if I lived in New York or Beijing, which I did for awhile.”
It’s the place to be on Thursday nights! The Carbondale Wild West Rodeo rides into town once again on Thursday, June 1 and continues every following Thursday, rain or shine, through August 17. Spectators will be treated to the thrills and spills of cowboys and cowgirls of all ages competing in bull riding, ranch bronc riding, barrel racing, and mutton bustin’. Slack starts at 6 p.m. and the performance begins with the Grand Entry at 7:30 p.m. All events take place at the Gus Darien Riding Arena on Catherine Store Road.
Every spring, an itch crawls through my bones. As the snow recedes up the mountains, I look furtively out the window, an exile scheming my way back to them. Morning rises bright, musical, and inviting. The birds paint the branches: the bold yellow-orange body and black and white wing patches of the evening grosbeak, the yellow breast of the western meadowlark singing on fenceposts, the bright green of the hummingbirds buzzing by, even the stark contrast of the orange and sky-blue lazuli bunting up in a juniper tree. Yet there I pace through the kitchen, trapped in a desperate calculation of exactly how many miles are open on the running trails, versus precisely how low the reaches of skiable corn remain. Must go high. Must go fast. Must make it hard.
How do you foster a deep and sustaining sense of stewardship for the land? By getting your hands good and dirty in it. That’s the founding belief of the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV), the Basalt-based nonprofit that offers opportunities to pour your sweat equity into a full slate of trail work and ecological restoration projects from Aspen to Rifle.
Pam and Bruce Wood have been flying hot air balloons professionally in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1996. Their flying company, Above It All, brings immense joy to the Woods; so much so that they purchased the company outright when their business partner and original owner, Bill Hodgden, decided to retire in 2002.
They say that Colorado residents see 300 days of sun each year. Whether that number is factual remains open to a bit of debate, but there is no denying that we do indeed enjoy quite a lot of sunshine here compared to many other places in the U.S. Take a look out the window right now—is the sun shining? Your answer will most likely be yes.
Coupled with a mate for life, an osprey’s nest has been called its “center of gravity,” its place of reconnection and lifelong family home. Wherever it builds its nest, this is the place where coupled ospreys return after winters apart, year after year. Offspring, too, will return to the same area and begin their own nests. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology points out that it’s pretty likely that ospreys within a single area are related.
Collaboration: It’s a big part of what Integrated Mountain Group does. Founded by Roaring Fork Valley resident of more than 20 years Scott Key and a team of longtime local professionals, the company is delivering comprehensive services to the local community with more than a century of combined experience in real estate.