Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies The Southwest Utah: Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies The Southwest Utah
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The rivers are running hard and fast in Colorado and other parts of the West right now. As our snowpack melts, creeks and streams swell and massive quantities of water surge into rivers, splicing through red rock canyons and verdant riverbanks. Rivers such as the Gunnison and the Colorado render near barren lands fertile thanks to clever irrigation systems, many of which were created over a half century ago. Western states such as Utah, Nevada and California delight in and depend on Colorado’s winter snowfall. Indeed, the appetite for this pristine supply of water has become so great that by the time the mighty Colorado arrives in the Gulf of Mexico, it is nothing but a trickle.
Before this happens, however, our rivers provide fabulous recreation for river runners—from serious oarsmen to casual day trippers—all in search of a good time. Whether you’re looking for a jaw-dropping adventure over gnarly rapids or a casual float along a wide swath of still waters (often possible late summer), rafting on the river promises some of the best fun around. And you can bet that views from the water are often more glorious than those appreciated from land.
I try to get out on the river at least once a year, not much in comparison to many people that head out on week-long river trips as soon as ski season ends. But for some, a river rafting expedition represents a once-in-a-lifetime occurence. Either way, river trip memories rank as some of the best.
Colorado Durango Hotels Outdoor Adventures Travel: Colorado Durango Hotels Outdoor Adventures Travel
Spring has sprung here in southwestern Colorado, although there has been snow on the Peaks these past couple of nights and frost on the ground this morning. These dustings just make for prettier panoramas, something we’re not lacking here in Colorado. The leaves have popped within the past week and the tourists are beginning to arrive from nearby and far flung destinations.
If you’re looking to maximize your sightseeing and experience something real old timey in the process, I recommend you book a trip on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the most exciting train rides in the world. The train rattles and chuffs along tracks as narrow as 36 inches wide (along the mountain passes) from May through October, offering breathtaking views to visitors from all over the world.
The first train arrived in Durango, Colorado during the summer of 1881. Within less than a year, workers managed to lay track all the way to Silverton, an almost unfathomable feat accomplished largely by the quest for gold and silver up in the mountains. Yes, these were the boomtown days of mining and during that time this narrow gauge railroad between Durango and Silverton played a pivotal role.
Colorado French Provinces Paris Travel Trip Planning: Colorado French Provinces Paris Travel Trip Planning
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I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks planning trips for people. Did you know I do that? I don’t publicize it much since it’s sometimes hard to juggle the time required to set up a wonderful trip for someone with my ski instructor/travel writer life, but I’ve decided to put the word out more about this service.
My forte is arranging travel for people to France (Paris and the French provinces, bien sur) and, of course, Colorado. Those are my two loves and having lived eleven years in France and now the same amount of time in Colorado, I know my subject matter. At the risk of sounding immodest, I know these destinations as an expert, as someone that has authored five books on France and blogged about Colorado and other parts of the American West for almost five years. Voilà, those are my credentials. And with all the research I’ve done for myself to travel and experience these different places, you can bet I’ve organized countless trips. It has been fun doing it for others as well since in most everything I do, I try to share my passion for my favorite lands.
Aspen Colorado Skiing & Snowboarding Travel Vail: Aspen Colorado Skiing & Snowboarding Travel Vail
How do you book travel? Do you go directly to websites such as Expedia.com to check out any alluring offers they’re showcasing? Or perhaps you’re more destination or theme oriented and and you sift through info. at sites such as Ski.com and On the Snow.com? Do you troll the Internet for stories from travel publications and blogs to read about places from a firsthand perspective? Or maybe you flash on video and photo postings your friends have put up on Facebook?
All the above are valid ways to research and book travel and it should come as no surprise that people are turning even more to the Internet and social media for all, including travel planning. This is some of what I gleaned last week from the Mountain Travel Symposium (MTS) I attended in Snowmass, Colorado. The largest gathering of mountain travel professionals in North America, MTS also marks the beginning of the sales cycle for the next ski season. Attendees come from around the world to conduct business and to learn about what’s new and happening in the snowsports industry. This year’s 38th annual MTS brought together leaders and innovators from the ski and travel tech industries to provoke conversation and solution-seeking ideas for the1,200 professionals gathered at this dynamic event.
Aspen Beaver Creek Colorado Restaurants Shopping Telluride The Rockies Vail: Aspen Beaver Creek Colorado Restaurants Shopping Telluride Vail
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Ski season might be winding down, although there’s little letting up on the wining and dining scene in Colorado’s top mountain destinations. To the contrary—with the window of prime skiing narrowed down during most spring days—it seems like visitors and locals alike allot even more time for socializing off the slopes during this fair weather season.
If you’re anywhere near Summit County, be sure to put Bagalis in Frisco at the top of your list. I love the warm, inviting decor of this chef-owned and operated restaurant. Chef Michal Ulehala and his wife, Joyce, opened this fine Italian restaurant two years ago and the accolades have been growing ever since. Copper-topped tables, subdued lighting, wood beams and lots of style-y touches such as rectangular white plates come together to create a look that feels like old mining town meets Euro lounge. A large communal table serves as center stage for diners looking to mix and mingle, however, you might want to tuck yourself into one of the more quiet corners of this handsome restaurant. Plan to while away a good amount of time here over beautifully prepared antipasti such as an olive and meat plate comprised of the finest products sourced with care. Indeed, Chef Michal and his team are proponents of the Slow Food Movement and here everything they serve—from shrimp polenta to artisan pizzas to housemade desserts—is made from the finest ingredients, many of which come from local purveyors. Expect an excellent price/quality relationship on all, including their wines by the glass and the bottle—all of which have been selected with great expertise. Bagalis also opens for lunch, offering the perfect time to enjoy their outdoor patio beneath sunny Colorado skies.
Colorado Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies: Colorado Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies
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Whoa, what a busy ski season it has been! I can’t believe it has been over a month since I last posted a story. If you’ve followed my blog and read my bio, you know that I’m a ski instructor at the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School. This year has been especially busy for me for a variety of reasons, largely because although we had a slow start, we’ve had some great snow here in Telluride this season. (So much so, in fact, that they had to bomb Ajax the big mountain at the far end of town as you can see in the two photos included in this post.) And when the snow comes, so do the skiers.
I completed a twenty-five day stint of working as an instructor early March, then had a couple days off before the first big wave of spring breakers arrived. After another eight days in a row, I felt pooped—utterly exhausted. I checked out for a few days to catch up on rest, laundry and other necessities of life and now I’m back for round two of the hectic spring break crowd.
It looks as though we’ll be busy here in Telluride through the end of the season, especially since Easter lands on March 31st. Fortunately we have a lot of snow remaining—some of the best in Colorado—so we should be able to keep vacationers happy until the mountain closes April 7.
Colorado Food & Wine Shopping Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride
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Hello all Valentines! What a great way to celebrate love, ladies and wine, three very vital components of life—wouldn’t you agree? And I say let’s celebrate all three all year round—or at least throughout the weekend.
I’ve been teaching Women’s Week here in Telluride all week, so I’m pretty hyped up on girl power and, of course, wine has been a big part of our après ski program. I wanted to take a couple of minutes to share with you, however, two of my most recent wine discovers: Big House and Juicy Details Wines.
Actually I’ve known about Big House for a while and have been a fan of these delicious and most reasonably priced wines since the beginning. It recently came to my attention, however, that the winemaker behind this Monterey County brand—just a short escape from a state correctional facility—is the lovely Georgetta Dane. Who would have guessed it? Wouldn’t you have imagined some burly guy? It’s no wonder these wines embody such a noteworthy blend of New World winemaking style and Old World finesse. Georgetta and I became friends on Facebook and I was instantly impressed to find such a lady behind such a heavy-hitting wine. (Note the recurring prison theme emblazoned on all The Big House labels.) You go, girl! And I hope next year you’ll make it out to ski with all of us unchained zinners.
Colorado Shopping Telluride: Colorado Shopping Telluride
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There’s still time to remember special people—whether it be your sweetheart, mom, dad, son, daughter, aunt or pet—with something from the heart. Distance separates many of us, so sending a little something often takes on more meaning, especially if it arrives unexpectedly.
In this post, I’m highlighting the boutiques featured in the Online Shopping page at BonjourColorado.com. Peruse their sites and you’ll find a great many gift ideas for the loves in your life. All offer 10% discounts on online shopping to Bonjour Colorado readers, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully and type in the Bonjour discount code as specified.
Chocolates, chocolates, chocolates. For extra good ones in a variety of forms—from truffles to chocolate sauce to the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever tasted—order a slice of Telluride from Telluride Truffle. Perhaps granny has more of a penchant for toffee. If so, I’ve found the best from Ruth’s Toffee, another excellent confectioner of the region.