Refresh and Renew ~ Get Outside!
by Benjamin Brashear
Sitting anywhere along the 7
miles of the Animas River
Trail in Durango, one sees an
obviously urban culture rooted
in recreating outdoors. With more
than 300 days of sunshine each year,
nearly 300 miles of multiuse trails
within 30 minutes of downtown, and
the Gold Medal waters of the Animas
River, it's no wonder.
Locals and visitors alike face the same daily dilemma — not
if the family will go, but when, where and how much can be done
in a single day. Weekends are short, and the average family excursion
to Durango in the summer is not much longer. Several local
families offer advice that can help keep a vacation on point and
stress free. ...
Twin Buttes ~ Naturally Durango
by Indiana Reed
he sleeping giant has awakened.
Twin Buttes, the ambitious
just two miles west
of downtown Durango on Highway 160,
is now a flurry of activity, with the first
Annexed to the city of Durango and
approved for up to 655 homes (plus 135
accessory dwelling units), Twin Buttes has
a focused mission to embrace nature and
create a sustainable community — as well
as to honor Durango's active lifestyle and
agricultural and mining heritage."We see Durango as a community rising,
increasingly a place where innovators
will come to live," says Bob Delves, chief
operating officer and a part of the development
team behind Twin Buttes' return
to life. He says the goal is simple: "We
really want to build the best community
in Durango." ...
Building Boom to Continue in 2017
As the construction cycle continues into 2017, the Pioneer Townhomes are underway at Three Springs. More than 30 homes are currently being built in the subdivision with an
apartment building planned as well. The Mercy Hospice House, also at Three Springs, plans to open early fall. Multi-family housing is also being built at the corner of College Drive and Florida Road.
At Edgemont Highlands, the Timbers has 15 homesites offered in 2017. Edgemont Meadows phase one's infrastructure construction is underway for 82 lots. Near Escalante Middle School, the Rocket-site Apartments are 194 units planned by NE Development. In "uptown" Durango, the new corporate headquarters for Mountain Capital Partners, which owns Purgatory Resort, is 16,000 square feet. The main floor is Purgatory Sports Main Avenue, with retail, rental and repair shops. Further north about 15 miles is the Glacier Valley Clubhouse, a new event and fitness center at the former Tamarron Resort site.
Counselor for Peace ~ Buckskin Charlie of the Utes
by Christine Goold
In the old portraits, his eyes draw you in.
Gazing out above the sculpted cheekbones,
the proud mouth, the deep-set
lines of a weathered face, Buckskin
Charlie's eyes seem softer, somehow. Soulful.
And no wonder. By the late 1800s, this
Southern Ute chief's eyes had witnessed
radical changes from his early days as a
young warrior — when the Ute tribe roamed
over most of Colorado as a nomadic hunting/
gathering people — to the near-eradication of his culture, as white settlement forced the various Ute bands onto smaller and smaller reservations.
As head of the Mouache band, Chief Sapiah helped negotiate treaties with the U.S. government that were later amended and broken, and he shepherded his diminished band into a new life on the roughly 1,000-square-mile Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Southwest Colorado.
Encouraging the practice of farming and the preservation of cultural traditions, Buckskin Charlie had become a highly respected leader by the time he died in 1936, in his mid-'90s "Buckskin Charlie ably guided his followers in the ways of peace, friendship and agriculture," remembers his brother-in-law Isaac Cloud in Helen Sloan Daniels' book, The Ute Indians of Southwestern Colorado. "He was loved and respected by all who knew him." ...
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Andrew Gulliford, Ph.D., is a professor of history and environmental studies at Fort Lewis College.
Paige Gray, Ph.D., is a visiting assistant professor at Fort Lewis College in the English Department.
Ben Brashear is a professional photographer and writer who feels lucky to have lived in Durango most of his life.
Indiana Reed is a communications professional who has researched, interviewed, promoted and chronicled Durango for more than two decades. Christine Goold, freelance writer, has lived in Durango for four decades. Kennan Harvey has been searching for the perfect adventure photo for 25 years.
Contributing Photographers: Jim Bommarito, Paul Boyer, Julie Engelken, Yvonne Lashmett, Rob Littfin, Lisa Mackey, Christopher Marona, Paul Pennington, Branson Reynolds, Scott Smith, Claude Steelman, Steve Yabek.
Durango's Premier Attraction
A train depends on routine. This reliability — the very consistency
of standardized stops, departures and arrivals — enables
thousands to ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge
Railroad every season. To be precise, 154,431 passengers rode the
train in 2016, making it one of Durango's largest attractions.
But don't confuse routine for monotony. "Every day is different,"
says Avery Martinez, a Fort Lewis College student who's worked as
a brakeman for the train since 2014. The routine provides a basic
formula, but when you add in the variables of weather, mechanics
and passengers, the resulting product always comes out unique.
Although with each train ride passengers discover something new, the D&SNG recognizes the need to introduce different ways of enjoying it, especially to appeal to different generations, like
millennials and families. "For some younger generations, 'train' isn't even in their vocabulary," says Christian Robbins, marketing manager for the D&SNG. To bring in and excite new riders, the
company finds ways to "take something that's popular in culture," says Robbins, "and then go forward, infusing it into the train." ...
Top Picks ~
What's New to See and Do
Marona Photo in Collection ~ local photographer Chris Marona's image, Riders on the Edge of Night, included in the U.S. Arts in Embassies program; Annual Bike Tour Stops in Durango ~ beginning in Alamosa, traveling west through Pagosa Springs, then up over Wolf Creek Pass, the 2017 tour heads into Durango on Day three, Monday, June 12; Mushrooms and Wine, A Match Divine ~ each year wild mushrooms are paired with divine wines at the Purgatory Mushroom and Wine Festival; Art Presented to Members ~ local Alice Crapo's gorgeous, colorful rendition of the meadows leading up to Engineer Mountain was chosen as the 2017 Durango Chamber of Commerce membership plaque; Cowboys' Celebration ~ Durango artist Elizabeth Kinahan contributed her artwork, Sammy, to the 2017 Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering; Concert Hall Welcomes Garrison Keillor ~ to celebrate its 20th anniversary, a special event featuring Garrison Keillor is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 10; American Flies to LAX ~ for a second consecutive year, American Airlines offers Saturday nonstop service to Los Angeles International Airport, June 3-Aug. 19; The Power of Superb Music ~ considered one of the longest running classical-music festivals in the southwestern states, Music in the Mountains is slated for its 31st season July 9-30; Durango Pride Festival ~ hosted by the Four Corners Alliance for Diversity, its mission is to create a safe, welcoming and empowering community for all LGBTQ people in the region; Steel Figure Graces River Trail ~ Graceful is one of three new sculptures that are a part of Durango's public-art collection.
Looking at Books ~ Delivering Dreams by Lori Preusch
An imaginative young girl comes to realize her grandfather's travels, and his letters about them, have opened up the world. She travels the "mailbox" in her mind with him to strange and exotic locales. "Oh Grandpa," she cries, "send letters to me every day, of every adventure you have on your way!" From riding the range to sailing the oceans blue, the girl travels with her granddad to the faraway, beyond her wildest dreams. Until his letters stop. This wondrously captivating children's book is written and illustrated by Durangoan Lori Preusch and published by her own company, Dandelion Press. A gold-medal
best first picture
book from Moonbeam's 2016 Children's
Book Awards, Delivering Dreams is rich with
dozens of original works of art — painted in
acrylic on canvas — making up the rhyming
book and the wildly imaginative roamings
of the artist and her characters. ...
Diversions ~ Selected Area Events
Galleries and Goods ~
Eye on the Arts Scene
This department offers a listing of shopping options in Durango that feature fine art or unique accessories plus events in the world of arts and crafts.
Fast and Casual Mexican ~ Nini's Taqueria
by Indiana Reed
When visiting new towns, the most memorable experiences are often those that are relaxed and casual, and which
provide a sense of belonging. When it comes to Durango's restaurants, Nini's Taqueria is among the most popular for just that. Celebrating 15 years in downtown Durango, Nini's is the passion of longtime locals Andy and Abby Snow, who take pride in ensuring that their place is both relaxed and fun. The décor conjures the festive ambiance of Mexico (though memorabilia on"The Wall" in the restaurant does reflect Andy's cycling enthusiasm and experience as a triathlete — and he's always happy to chat about Durango's cycling culture). Nini's is about getting fresh food fast, but then enjoying it as leisurely as desired, as if lounging on a beach in Baja California. Even Nini's logo portrays this theme — a bull reminiscent of Ferdinand, the fictional character that preferred to relax in the field and smell the flowers rather than compete in the bullfights. ...
A complete listing of restaurants in Durango.
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LIVING IN STYLE
Living her Passion ~ Artist Veryl Goodnight
by Indiana Reed
There are people who do what they do because they are spiritually and emotionally in touch with who they are, how they feel and what they inherently know. And, their lives then can't follow any other path. One of these special people is area artist Veryl Goodnight.
Goodnight is celebrating 70 years on the planet, 50 years as a professional artist, and, among her many honors over the years, her induction in October 2016 into the national Cowgirl Hall of Fame. She still works seven days a week, admitting that her friends are not surprised to see emails sent at 4:30 in the morning. Her passion, and it's an intense passion, has resulted in a life of producing monumental art — both figuratively and literally, And yet she still seeks to learn, and to contribute a legacy of art that will preserve history and enrich generations to come. Asked about her inspiration, she responds simply: "I live." ...
Getaways ~ Mysterious Chaco
by Andrew Gulliford
Chaco Canyon is like no place else. The
architectural ruins beckon travelers.
A World Heritage Site, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northern
New Mexico — about a two-hour drive from Durango — was the ceremonial center for the ancestral Puebloan culture a thousand years ago. High, dry, with almost no surface water and few trees, Chaco remains isolated and remote. Yet in this barren landscape, the ancestral Puebloan people flourished. From A.D. 900 to 1150, these enterprising people built an extraordinary urban complex out of hand-quarried stone. Their buildings were aligned to solar and lunar cycles and required over 100,000 trees as roof beams for storage rooms, habitation rooms and ceremonial spaces known as great kivas. Pueblo Bonito had walls four to five stories tall — a feat unequaled in America until brick apartment buildings were built in Philadelphia in the 1850s. Using what is called temple architecture, the structures included corner windows so difficult to design and implement that even modern buildings almost never have them. Since it was first discovered and described by a U.S. military expedition in 1849, Chaco has become a mecca for American archaeologists. ...
Creative Craftsman in Traditional Neighborhood ~
Reynolds Ash and Associates Mackay Home
The custom Craftsman-inspired home on 16th Street fits perfectly into its traditional westside Durango neighborhood. With plenty of triple-pane windows, a gabled roof supported by tapered columns, a porch and shingle trim, the home is fresh, new and comfortable. The Mackays are active empty-nesters who wanted to relocate to town from their country home. Their new home, which blends well with neighboring 80-year-old larger Victorians and smaller bungalows nearby, is just a few blocks from the swinging bridge over the Animas River, close enough to walk to the sophisticated restaurants and vibrant nightlife of downtown. Neat, grass-lined sidewalks shaded by large trees lead to the nearly 1-acre Vilas Park. For these homeowners — avid cyclists and walkers — easy access to the many established trails surrounding town is a bonus. ...
Giving in Style
Furniture As Art Auction
by Indiana Reed
items of texture
and dimension, color
and creativity. These
were the "stars" of the
show on stage at the
Durango Arts Center,
802 E. Second Ave., for the 16th annual Furniture
As Art Auction, held March 16. Tables, chairs, decorative occasional pieces— even a chess table and a wet bar — were conceived and crafted by 34 community artists, then donated to the auction to raise funds for KDUR, Fort Lewis College Community Radio, 91.9 FM and 93.9 FM....
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