Only in the Valley

We live in an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Options here are over-the-top crazy: bike riding, fly fishing, golfing, paragliding, hiking, skiing, ATVing on the Flat Tops, or just throwing a stick in the river for your dog. We all have one thing in common: As residents in the valley, if we can’t cram all our activities into one weekend or one…

Love Where You Live

For the past few months, vehicles with out-of-state license plates have lined my street in downtown Glenwood. Ohio, Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri, Maryland: all terrific places, yes, but ones where—c’mon, let’s be honest here—the landscapes aren’t quite as exciting as those in western Colorado.


In July, Wilderness Workshop hosted Wildfest at Owl Farm in Woody Creek. The celebration of the nonprofit's work to protect and conserve our public lands featured live music, food, art, kids' activities, and remarks from Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. 
Photography by Eric Allen Photo.

August 2017 Around Town

The Carbondale Clay Center (CCC) invites the community to mark it’s calendars early for the organization's 20th anniversary fête at their facility on Saturday, September 9 from 5-9 p.m. The CCC gallery will feature a visual narrative of the nonprofit's history with photographs, newspaper articles, event posters, and other materials collected from the past two decades.

Lift Off 4 LIFT-UP

LIFT-UP celebrated 35 years of service to the community in late June, hosting their annual hot air balloon festival, Lift Off for LIFT-UP, in El Jebel's Crown Mountain Park. Among other activities, two stunning morning ascensions delighted the event's balloon-gazers. Photography by Nicolette Toussaint.

Wild West Fermentation Fest

Roaring Fork Events, along with several local sponsors, recently hosted the second annual Wild West Fermentation Fest in Glenwood. 
Attendees enjoyed fermented Colorado beverages including craft beer, cider, and kombucha. A portion of ticket sales benefited the Glenwood Springs Historical Society. Photography by Bobby Burch and Hannah Arredondo.

Bridges and Broadcasts

Just as the Crystal River is a vital tributary that flows into the Roaring Fork River, the content provided by the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program (AZYEP) is a small but indispensable source of rapid information and entertainment that feeds into the waves of Carbondale’s well-known nonprofit radio station, KDNK. The substance is like water that nourishes, and the programs…

A ‘Great and Glorious’ Game

On a chilly evening in May 2008, during Carbondale’s annual Bonedale Bike Week, a group of bicycle fanatics with the self-proclaimed name Stomparillaz Brigade engaged in a team sport involving riding bikes and using long-handled mallets to hit a ball downfield into a net defended by the opposite team, also on bikes. Similar to horseback polo — the bikes are…

Musings of a Modern Forager

There is something indescribable and quietly special about foraging for wild mushrooms. It awakens a hidden drive so dormant that you might not have previously felt its existence. Perhaps it’s a nod to those ancient hunter-gatherer genes, or maybe it’s just one of the most fulfilling ways to experience the natural world as it was meant to be seen. Whatever…

Hold Onto Your “Kapp” – There’s Amish Tourism in Glenwood!

At a Carbondale rodeo, I sat behind a family in old-fashioned garments, the bearded dad garbed in a broad-brimmed hat and suspenders, the womenfolk wearing prairie dresses, white aprons, and starched bonnets. Solemnly pledging allegiance as a rhinestone-bedecked rodeo queen lofted the Stars and Stripes, these seven visitors could have been just another vacationing family celebrating America’s agrarian roots.

Hoppy + Fresh

Perfect for a fresh, deep clean scented with hops. For continuous upkeep and a quick and easy refresher.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Slippery, with bits of “resistance” in the chewing. Tender, juicy. Light; a crispy coating, similar to soft-shell crabs. Or, to others, somewhat like chewing on a slice of batter-dipped, deep-fried cartilaginous ear.

Love It or Hate It: The Roaring Fork Swap

If you’ve ever had something taking up space around your house, this is what many a local will advise you to do if you need it gone. Put that old refrigerator, mattress, camper, crib, bridesmaid dress, or lawn mower on the Roaring Fork Swap and kick back as the offers to whisk it all away come rolling in from across…

A Midsummer Night’s Scheme

On summer evenings, just as that friendly mountain shadow creeps across downtown Glenwood and brings its merciful shady coolness to all in its wake, I like to go for neighborhood walks. Sometimes I hoof it up the Doc Holliday trail or stroll along Grand Avenue and peek inside the shop windows, but mostly I just meander through the residential streets…

The Art of Preparation

Sometimes the adventure is not the activity itself, but the preparation that goes into getting ready for it. Before my kids left the nest, my wife and I had a family of six to get ready for any kind of trip. Our fondest memories include boating trips and beach camping at Lake Powell, which involved coordination with several other boating…

Dancers Dancing

The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts recently presented its 25th annual Dancers Dancing showcase. The event featured the talents of more than 100 young dancers, performing styles ranging from ballet and pointe to jazz, hip hop, and modern dance. Photography by Klaus Kocher.

Adventure Defined

Merriam-Webster defines the word adventure as both “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks” and “an exciting or remarkable experience.” Although a dictionary definition makes the concept seem a little dry or square, I do agree with it—especially the part about adventure encompassing not only dangerous pursuits but “remarkable” ones. This opens the door to a host of qualifying…

July 2017 Around Town

Two valley nonprofits have joined forces to offer locals a new grief and loss therapy program utilizing the healing power of horses. Together, Carbondale's equine therapeutic riding and educational organization Windwalkers and Aspen's cancer support program Pathfinders now offer the Roaring Fork Valley community an alternative, non-traditional approach to healing after loss.

River Center Spaghetti Fundraiser

In June, New Castle's River Center held its fifth annual spaghetti fundraiser in Burning Mountain Park. Proceeds from the home-cooked spaghetti dinner went to the nonprofit's many outreach programs including its community enrichment classes, back-to-school supply drive, winter coat distribution, weekly senior luncheon, and more. Photography by Karissa Feese.

So Many Trails, So Little Time

All Preston Files wanted was a quick way to learn more about all the trails in the Roaring Fork Valley. Was that too much to ask? Apparently, it was. When Files moved to Basalt from Texas about seven years ago, no such comprehensive online tool existed. So, he invented his own: “Like other transplants around here, I moved to…

Home Is Where the Trout Are Biting

If the thought of reeling in a gorgeous fish on a lazy summer afternoon gets your heart thumping, the Gold Medal waters of the Frying Pan River can make that dream a reality. But what if you could wake up and wet a hook every single day from the comfort of your own home? With about 400 feet of private…

A Pair Go Paragliding

Watching paragliders coasting on the thermals, the colorful shells of their sails holding them aloft in the blue, I have often wondered how they got up there in the first place. Did they learn to fly like fledgling birds in a nature film, dropping out of the nest with a thunk? Nope. It’s easier than that.

Important to Be Seen

Anyone who has ever been to camp remembers the adventure. Sometimes it’s filled with excitement about getting away from home, sometimes there are tears; for many there are both. Regardless of how it starts, by the end of the summer new friendships are formed and memories made that will last a lifetime.

“Tune In Next Time On…”

Carbondale’s population may be tiny, but its reach in the world of adventure audio is mighty. Outside magazine dubbed 2016 “The Year of Audio” due to the popularity of podcasts dedicated to sharing tales of outside adventure, and several of the most popular shows pipe right from the heart of Bonedale. Google “best adventure podcasts” and it’s a sure bet…

A Life Worth Living

It hits him. “Man. I’m skiing Highlands with two kids whose dads have died in the last two years in tragic accidents. I’m the only dad here, with three different families. What a strange feeling,” Nelson Oldham pauses, reflective. These two fathers aren’t the only ones. He recalls the local skier who perished on the Laundry Chutes of Mount Sopris.…

39 Hours

In the late hours of January 13, the team stowed the last gear by flashlight. Alternately sweating and shivering—overheated by heavy lifting in drysuits and chilled by the weight of responsibility—the eight were about to hurl themselves down the Grand Canyon in a headlong sprint. To topple a speed record set by kayakers two years earlier, they would have to…

Off the Map

I was riding bikes with two friends 15 miles up a narrow chipseal road north of Yaak, Montana, when we intersected the Pacific Northwest Trail and saw a sign for the Garver Mountain Fire Lookout. We were on a four-day bikepacking tour of fire lookouts in Big Sky Country and although we had purposely planned a short ride for the…

Building the She-Shed

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…

Festival las Americas

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.

CMC 50th Celebration: Uncle Jimmy’s Pig Roast

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.

St. Stephen Catholic School Spring Gala

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.

Sweet, Sweet Summertime

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,…

June 2017 Around Town

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…

Glenwood’s Big Three

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.

Sculpting A Sense Of Place

“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.”

Life Beyond the Mat

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…


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…

Flying Colors

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.

Muddy Hands, Happy Hearts

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.

Solar Energy 101

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…

The Osprey Has Landed

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…

Elevating Customer Success

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.

Nurturing Nature in our Valley

Ah, May: the month that truly brings the Roaring Fork Valley back to life. After a cold winter and the ever-unpredictable month of April, May ushers us from mud season to sun season in a mere 31 days. Cue the green trees, late hours of daylight, and picnics in the park.

Lon Winston Theatre Naming

Carbondale's Thunder River Theatre Company (TRTC) celebrated opening night of their recent production of Shakespeare's The Tempest by announcing the newly named Lon Winston Theatre. Winston, who directed and designed The Tempest and many other productions, founded TRTC more than 20 years ago. Photography by Beth White Photography.

May 2017 Around Town

Tom and Sarah Rumery, owners of New Castle's Osage Gardens, are celebrating 25 years of local, organic farming in 2017. Now the largest grower of fine organic culinary herbs in Colorado, the farm began with just six basil plants and now boasts nearly 6,000. Also grown on-site are over 20 other herb varieties including dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, tarragon, thyme,…

MFHC Dental Clinic Opening

In March, Mountain Family Health Centers (MFHC) celebrated the opening of the organization's new Mobile Dental Van in El Jebel. MFHC CEO Ross Brooks and others from the team welcomed the public to tour the van and learn more about its services. Photography by Garry Schalla.

Spring Green or Cone Orange?

Spring is a time when you usually think of new green sprouts poking through the soil—but for those of us who spend a lot of time in the car commuting, spring also means a fresh crop of attractive orange traffic cones lining the roads. Sometimes it seems there are more traffic cones than spring flowers, more orange than the poppy…

Spellebration: Literacy Under the Big Top

In April, Glenwood's Literacy Outreach hosted its annual adult spelling bee at the Hotel Colorado. The circus-themed event, benefiting Literacy Outreach and Colorado Mountain College's Learning Labs, featured outrageous costumes and 30 teams competing for bragging rights as the best spellers in the county. Photography by Susy Cota.

Pedaling Toward Sustainability—and Community

Creating community, one pedal stroke at a time: That’s the vision of Mirte Mallory, co-founder and executive director of WE-cycle, the Roaring Fork Valley’s nonprofit bike-share program that offers an efficient, simple, sustainable transit alternative for residents and visitors.

Couple Creates a Deep-Green, DIY Home in Satank

The modern, industrial-chic home that has taken shape on Pine Street in Satank is a dream made concrete by Steven and Bailey Haines. Handsomely finished with touches like weathered cedar siding and trendy concrete countertops, their “Hainestead” isn’t just a treat for the eye, it’s a better-than-net-zero house.