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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

A Greener, Cleaner Valley

Long ago, eight-year-old Davey Reindel would lurk in his Ohio ‘hood with a BMX posse, “raiding trash cans for cool stuff on pick-up day—our scores would then migrate to the woods to build forts,” he remembers. By the time he was eleven, Dave was collecting recyclables from construction sites for nickels and dimes.

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.

The Air We Breathe

It’s a delight to call the Roaring Fork Valley home. We enjoy beautiful vistas, a plethora of outdoor activities, and excellent community events. Our love of the outdoors generally comes with an appreciation for a clean environment and a healthy place to live. However, we often don’t pause to think about how our daily activities can impact air quality, both…

Of Riddles, Rivers, and Cutthroats

Enjoy solving riddles? Try this one on for size: The beautiful greenback cutthroat trout, native to the eastern slope of Colorado, is declared extinct in 1937. In the 1950s, it is rediscovered. By the 2000s, it is found across the western slope. How?

Rising Up by Rooting Down

What brought me to the Roaring Fork Valley eight years ago was a deep longing for a place to root down. Having lived in multiple countries, I had encountered many of the world’s treasures but didn’t find “home” until coming here. I landed a position with Colorado Mountain College (CMC), but perhaps it was Mother Sopris that drew my family…


Full of beautiful colors and bright blooms, spring is a flower lover's dream come true. Follow these simple steps to create a beautiful centerpiece everyone can enjoy this season.

West Canyon Tree Farm

Longtime locals may recall spring and summer days spent strolling the grounds of West Canyon Tree Farm years ago, selecting shrubs or flowers to plant at home with their families. From 1980 to 2007, the farm was a bustling center of activity that served green thumbs and gardening novices alike.

Wild at Heart

In a watershed surrounded by national forest and wilderness, steeped in both prosperity and nonprofit initiatives, it would be easy to presume that money flows from one to the other as freely as the rivers and streams within. But this isn’t always the case.

Blooming Where You’re Planted

What does home mean to you? What about community, neighbors, or friends? In the five years that my husband and I have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley, we’ve thought a lot about what these words mean to us. We spent our twenties bouncing from place to place, exploring what the world had to offer, and found ourselves here unexpectedly…

A Transition of Talent

Many of our readers know that we are transitioning between editors at Roaring Fork Lifestyle. My friend and highly respected journalist, Nicolette Toussaint, is moving on to new opportunities. These opportunities include pursuing an artist’s residency, travel, and spending more time with her husband and best friend Mason. Nicolette will continue to have an important presence as a writer with…

April 2017 Around Town

Carbondale's 5Point Adventure Film Festival returns for its 10th year this month, featuring more than 50 films on April 20-23 at the community center downtown. The multi-day event includes additional annual festivities such as panel discussions, spoken word, music, live podcast recordings, art demonstrations, book signings, dance performances, and appearances by filmmakers and athletes from around the globe. Executive director…

Cirque d’Sopris

Carbondale Arts presented Cirque d'Sopris in February, featuring the talents and fashion designs of young Roaring Fork Valley creatives. For this year's theme, "7th Generation Rising," local youth explored what life could look like after the environment has drastically changed. Photography by Tyler Stableford.

Youth Poetry Slam

In February, Aspen Words hosted its fourth annual Youth Poetry Slam at the Third Street Center, with spoken word performances by local high school students. This community event was the culmination of two weeks of intensive poetry workshops held in schools from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. Photography by Michael Stevens.

PRO TKD Empowerment Events

PRO TKD Martial Arts Center recently invited world champion power breaker Master Sloane Cameron to help lead a series of events for female empowerment, including the center's 20th annual Kick-A-Thon. The event raised funds to help students attend the U.S. Open Taekwondo Hanmadang. Photography by Master Fuechsel and Carolyn Oswald.

Liquid Gold in Snowmass

Pondering this question, the honey-making family behind Wild Bear Bee Farm in Snowmass recently presented to the Cornerstone Classical School in Basalt. Co-owner Chris Stoner looked to scripture for answers. For her, the Bible’s teachings “show that God cares about how we behave. He expects us to be good stewards of His creation.” Indeed, her family business has worked hard…

Delicious Delivery

If you’ve ever wanted to get more involved with the valley’s farmers and food producers but haven’t known where to start, Isaac Foust wants to help. “We have a lot of people around here who want to buy local and support growers, but they just don’t have the time,” he says. “Some families have the ability to take a trip…

Farm-to-Table Fresh

Lifting the seedling to your mouth, you marvel at its perfection: an achingly green, luminous sprout with a pubescent white root. It’s still alive. Liquid spurts across your tongue as its flesh bursts, and lingering notes of flavor hint at summer, earth, and mystery.

Calling all CSAs

Imagine the flavor of local peaches, crisp greens, sun-warmed apricots, slicing tomatoes, eggs with creamy golden yolks, and meats raised humanely just a few miles from your house: hungry yet? The Roaring Fork Valley’s farms are rich with the freshest and most delicious foods. But how can we get our hands on what they have to offer us? Enter the…

Planting the Seeds of the Future

Mrs. Glenn loved my first-grade class. So much, she told us, that she just couldn’t let us go. She graduated along with us, becoming our teacher for the second grade too. That allowed me to proudly bring the pumpkin seeds for Mrs. Glenn’s final year of teaching.

Backyard Goodness

There is nothing better than fresh food you grow yourself. Our daughters were raised picking peas and digging carrots and potatoes. Teaching children how to grow and harvest vegetables can be fun, really; you reap the benefits of time spent together outdoors, being productive. Below are some suggested practices my family uses for growing organic produce at home.

Welcome Home

Uncork the wine, light the grill, and call up your friends and family: this River Valley Ranch showstopper was built to entertain. Test your culinary prowess in the roomy chef’s kitchen while guests enjoy the main floor’s spacious open floor plan. Is warm springtime weather beckoning the group outside, or is it just the spectacular view of Mount Sopris? Either…

Moving In, Moving On—
My Parting Thoughts

You hold in your hands the 27th monthly issue of Roaring Fork Lifestyle. It's the last one I will edit. So far, this publication has had but one editor, yours truly. But next month, I will be moving on, and Caitlin Causey will be moving in. Caitlin's name should be familiar; she has been writing for this publication virtually since…

Ski for Sisu

In February, the 25th annual Ski for Sisu ski-a-thon, sponsored by the Mount Sopris Nordic Council, raised funds for Spring Gulch Cross-Country Trails. More than 100 participants raised pledges and skiied 3.5K, 10K or 12.5K long-distance loops. "Sisu" is a Finnish word meaning to persevere when the going gets tough.

Down 25 Points in the 3rd Quarter—Time to Move & Shake!

A "Mover & Shaker" is usually the owner or manager of a company or organization, the person who plans and orchestrates its direction and growth. This person must be a leader who can keep a calm hand on the controls. I watched one of the calmest performances of leadership under pressure that I have ever seen on Super Bowl Sunday…

Steve Beckley’s Dream: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has been honored with four Post Independent Locals’ Choice Awards and a 2016 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. In 2001, the Beckley's exemplary environmental preservation efforts were recognized with the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative.

Colori Mixes Creativity & Community in Basalt

“My focus is to create a safe place to bring artists together, a place where people can see great work, try classes, be social and have fun,” says Von Fumetti. Since the Colori Gallery & Studios opened in December 2015, artists and locals have been doing just that.

March 2017 Around Town

Carbondale Arts' 9th annual Green is the New Black Fashion Extravaganza: SHE brims with locals, performance art, multimedia, inspiring sustainable fashion and an intriguing storyline. The show, always a sell-out, raises money to educate youth in the Roaring Fork Valley. This month, ticket prices are $45 for members and $50 for non-members online at

Kjell Mitchell – Forty Years in Hot Water

Kjell Mitchell doesn’t look like an executive. For a conversation with this magazine, he arrived Colorado-casual, bundled in a softly worn coat, a jaunty scarf about his neck, his cheeks rosy from the winter walk over. Sporting spectacles and blonde stubble, tall and lean, he lacks the paunch often typifying success. Affable and self-effacing, Mitchell seems more ready for a…

Michael Lowe’s Learning-By-Doing Philosophy

Michael Lowe is on a mission. With a lifetime of adventure in the natural world under his belt, he strongly believes in the transformative power of experiencing. Not just talking about it, watching it or reading about it—or even just learning about it—but doing it.

Step It Up with Midland Shoe

Health experts often recommend taking 10,000 steps per day. In a place like the Roaring Fork Valley, where a vigorous level of activity is central to our mountain lifestyle, many locals easily surpass that number on a daily basis. Whether walking the neighborhood, strolling the bike path with friends or hitting the town after work, quality footwear is an important…

Swimming Against the Tide – Pools in Colorado

"I enjoy torturing Steve and Ashley with my new design ideas for pools, spas, and water features. Unfortunately for them, they always rise to the occasion..." —Landscape architect Shannon Murphy Steven Simons is a third generation, Texas-bred pool contractor. His mother and father met building pools. His father soon started his own company, with Simons practically cutting his teeth on…

The Long and the Short of It

I've had long hair most of my adult life, but in January, I cut my hair. The reason: I learned that the type of chemotherapy that I will be treated with over the next few months is going to cause hair loss. I should explain that while casually putting on lotion last November, I discovered a bump in my breast.…

Touring Colorado’s Hot Springs Loop

Thermal springs flow abundantly throughout western Colorado. Five hot springs along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop are particularly enticing: Glenwood Springs, Ouray, Pagosa Springs, Chaffee County, and Steamboat Springs.

Made in and for the Roaring Fork Valley

Most months, my editor's letter explains how the articles we've picked relate to a theme, and this one is no exception. I'm going to tell you how my favorite local product, this magazine, came to be. But let me start with a confession: when it came to selling "beat tags", I was a waste of space. "Beat tags" were little…

Roaring Fork Leadership Grows Community and Leaders

Each year, the Roaring Fork Leadership (RFL) program adopts civic projects that strengthen communities all up and down the Roaring Fork Valley. RFL is sponsored by the Roaring Fork Center for Community Leadership (RFCCL), and it provides more than 100 hours of training and dialogue designed to enhance personal, professional and community problem-solving and effectiveness. Over the past 28 years,…

February 2017 Around Town

The Rocky Mountain Institute's Innovation Center, a net-zero energy demonstration conference center located on Two Rivers Road in Basalt, continued to rack up awards all through 2016. Fast Company recognized the building with an Honorable Mention in their 2016 Design Innovation Awards. ZGF Architects, the Portland firm that designed the building, was named “Top Firm Overall in Sustainability 2016” by…

Travel Edit | Steps of Style

Travel Edit- Hit the slopes with Steps Of Style blogger, Amy Dreyer, as she shows you her picks for staying warm while keeping it cool in Aspen.

United Way Benefits from Sunlight Mountain Bash

Sunlight Mountain Resort and United Companies recently sponsored their annual Skier Appreciation Day, a benefit for United Way Battlement to the Bells. The day included $20 ski tickets, a 1960's theme, a hippie costume contest and a prize drawing that include specially-designed ski and snowboard equipment commemorating Sunlight’s 50th anniversary.

Small Businesses – the Stars in Our Local Economy

The theme of this issue is “home grown”. That term makes many people automatically think of our locally grown produce; the valley is full of many quality growers. When I think of “home grown”, I look at a bigger picture. Wherever you’re standing, look down the road. Just glance at the businesses to the right or left. Most of what…

The Nieslanik Clan: Three Generations of Ranchers

It’s 8 a.m. Christmas morning. The thermometer hovers at four above. The black cattle are silvered with frost. Oblivious to the fact that it’s a holiday, they trail inquisitively along behind a green tractor carrying a 1,200-pound hay roll. The massive round bale is speared through like a spool of thread, and every few feet, the tractor shakes it, winnowing…

I Love You More Than Words Can Say

In the bottom drawer of a dresser in my bedroom, I store some of the most precious items in my possession. This drawer holds a couple boxes of old faded photographs, a few mementos from the lives of my family members, some tattered birth announcements, wedding invitations, and funeral programs—nothing of any particular value beyond the sentimental. And yet, these…

Sunlight-Powderhorn Trail Maintained by Local Snowmobile Club

After Steve Burns nimbly maneuvers the snowcat up a bank and to the side of the snowbound Sunlight-to-Powderhorn (SP) trail, half-a-dozen snowmobilers zip by. “I bet if you asked them who maintains this trail, they’d tell you it was the Forest Service,” he says.

Happy Hogs Grow Fat on Stillage from Marble Distilling

Along Carbondale’s Main Street, the Marble Distilling Company (MDC) cranks out internationally award-winning spirits. They also crank out tons of an aromatic by-product. “In the vodka distilling process you do a 500-gallon mash,” explains co-owner and Head Distiller Connie Baker. “It then goes into the strip still. From that, we pull off 125 gallons of low wines. That’s the start…