June 2010


Colorado History and Homemade Pie

Echo Lake Lodge Sign

It took me 47 years but I finally stepped foot into Echo Lake Lodge, a traditional stop before or after a trip up Mount Evans. It wasn’t an intentional avoidance we had simply never visited the seasonal gift  shop/restaurant. It won’t take us 47 years to return.

Constructed in 1926, many features of the log lodge still reflect that era. 2010 visitors Echo Lake Lodge Ext. appreciate the modernization evident in the remodel restrooms. Stepping into the gift shop feels like a step back to a curio shop of my youth. Sweatshirts, “Hike Colorado” hats, postcards, vials of gold flakes – souvenirs galore fill the racks, shelves and cases. Kids are sure to find something they really “need”.

 

Homemade Pie - ELL

Since the time was 3pm and we had yet to have lunch we were more interested in the restaurant. Years ago I read about Echo Lake Lodge’s homemade pies. The same concessionaire has carried on that tradition for decades. The critical decision is which one to order – apple, peach, cherry, blueberry, butterscotch or chocolate peanut butter. Bob chose cherry with vanilla ice cream while I devoured a slice of butterscotch – crust and filling were both winners.  The peach pie with cinnamon ice cream sounds like a choice I might have toCherry Pie try next time.

Bob preceded the pie with a chicken fried steak sandwich. I opted for a cup of buffalo chili. Both tasty and satisfying. Echo Lake Lodge is open from 8am-8pm, serving breakfast daily until 11am. How about Rocky Mountain trout and eggs for a Colorado breakfast entree? The large Mt. Evans cinnamon roll looks like something one should plan to share.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or a piece of homemade pie – we will be back.

When You Go: Echo Lake Lodge is open seven days a week from mid-May into October. Opening and closing dates determined by weather conditions. Call 303-567-2138 for information.

Visitor Centers and Information Resources

Glacier National Park

St[1]. Mary VC No matter how much pre-planning I’ve done before a National Park visit once I arrive one of our first stops is usually the nearest visitor center. Whether it’s watching an introductory film, learning from interpretive displays, getting answers to specific questions or purchasing a hiking guide or detailed map an official visitor center provides the orientation and background for a successful park experience.

Three centers provide information and visitor services in Glacier. St. Mary Visitor Center welcome those entering the park from the east, Apgar Visitor Center serves those arriving through West Glacier and Logan  Pass Visitor Center stands atop the Continental Divide on Going-to-the-Sun Road. The parking lot for Logan Pass VC often fills to capacity mid-day in the summer. To ensure access plan to arrive early morning or late afternoon.

Logan Pass VC

Logan Pass Parking Lot

During our most recent visit to Glacier we found the rangers and information desk staff especially friendly and helpful. They were eager to share the latest trail conditions, wildlife sightings and even where to get the best cinnamon roll in Montana.

The Apgar center is extremely busy yet the personnel stayed cheerful and responsive to each individual’s specific questions. I recall the pleasingly plumb lady in front of me inquiring about a hike. She was from Ohio and had a four year old with her, the family clad in sandals. She had already Apgar VC selected a particular trail, insisting that she could walk at a rate of 5 miles per hour. The ranger tried his best to explain that altitude, elevation gain and trail conditions were not the same as circling a track in Ohio. He suggested attractive alternatives but she wasn’t budging from her decision. I only wished I could have applied a tracking collar to see how far she got.

Many Glacier Ranger Station In addition to the visitor centers there are two staffed ranger stations to provide information on specific areas, backcountry permits and book/map sales -Many Glacier, Two Medicine. Both are open from late May to late September, 7am-5pm. Backcountry permits are also available at the Polebridge Ranger Station.

Glacier joins with across-the-border neighbor Waterton Lakes National Park to form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Parks Canada operates a Waterton Visitor Center.

Take advantage of the visitor centers and ranger stations during your Glacier National Park visit. You too may be directed to an appropriate trail or enjoy a yummy cinnamon roll.

GNP Sign

National Treasure

Glacier National Park at 100

 

The grandeur of Glacier National Park ranks as one of our valued national treasures.The natural wonders of peaks, lakes, forests. flora and fauna in northwestern Montana were set aside as a National Park in 1910. A century later thankful visitors can experience the park in a multitude of activities and awe-inspiring scenery.

Glacier Road Tunnel

In the coming days I’ll share photographs and useful details for planning a Glacier visit:Bear Grass

  • Lodging Overview
  • Glacier Park Lodge
  • Lake McDonald Lodge
  • Many Glacier Hotel
  • Prince of Wales Hotel
  • Going To The Sun Highway
  • Red Bus Tours
  • Boat Tours
  • Activities
  • Ranger Programs
  • Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

Nearby: Boat on Many Glacier

  • Izaak Walton Inn, Essex
  • Polebridge Merchantile, Polebridge

Red Bus

 

 

 

Water and Moss

 

 

 

Many Glacier Lodge across Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake from Prince of Wales Hotel

Colorado Weekend Ten To Do

June 25-27, 2010

 

 

             June 25 & 26 – Whitewater Kayak Recreation

                                        Park, Centennial ParkKayayer

                 Pro kayak and raft races,

              plus hometown throwdown

              kayak and raft rodeos the

              new whitewater park. ByOB

              – Build Your Own Boat Race, games along Riverwalk, live

              entertainment in Veteran’s Park, beer garden and food vendors.

 

             June 26 & 27 – Town ParkCrested Butte Sign

                 Louisiana cuisine, beer garden, wine

             garden, three bands daily plus

              local talent celebrates Michaela

             Marchitelli’s 3rd Annual Louisiana

             Swamp Party. Chow down on gumbo,

             jambalaya and crawfish etouffee. A

             lively wrap-up for Crested Butte’s 30th

                Fat Tire Bike Week.

 

 

          June 26 & 27 – DowntownCripple Creek Overview

              The biggest, most popular

            Cripple Creek annual event

            celebrates its 79th year

            honoring the town’s resident

            donkey herd – FREE.

            Pancake breakfast, Saturday noon parade, entertainment,

            contests, donkey rides; and, yes donkey derby races.

 

             June 26 & 27 – Between 19th & 20th, Lawrence &

                                        Larimer

               Japanese-American culture highlighted with music, dance, art,

             drumming, martial arts, Japanese beer garden; and, of course

             food. Demonstration and religious topics include bonsai, ikebana,

             religion, origami and even cooking with Spam. FREE admission.

 

             June 26 & 27 – Bond Park

                Scandinavian traditions honor the summer solstice with raising the

             Maypole, folk dancing, musical performances, crafts, food and a

             Viking encampment. Raffle to win two round-trip tickets to

             Scandinavia, donated by Icelandair. Free admission.

 

 

             June 26 & 27 – Civic Center Park, Downtown

               Three tasting sessions highlighting over 50 Colorado Breweries

            accompanied by two stages of Colorado music, food and fun.

            Advance tickets $25, limited number per session. Non-drinkers

            $10.

 

 

             June 25-27 – Colorado Railroad Museum

             The weekend combines the best of two worlds – German heritage

             and historic railroading. While passengers experience a ride on a

             narrow gauge train pull by steam and diesel locomotives the

             German village entices with food, music, dance.

 

             June 24-27 – I-70, Exit 11, 22 miles west of GJ

             Music, music, music – Country Jam comes to the Western Slope

             for an incredible weekend of country music, camping, food and

             adult beverages under bright Colorado skies. This year’s lineup

             includes Lee Ann Womack, Trace Adkins, Miranda Lambert and

             Keith Urban.

 

             June 25-27 – Whitewater Park – Fri. & Sat.

                                     Taylor Canyon & AlmoWhitewater Raftingnt – Sun.

            Water, water everywhere

            for the 8th annual family-

            friendly River Festival.

            Saturday starts with the

            River Parade followed by raft

            rodeo, freestyle kayaking, big tricks and the HOOLIGAN race.

            Action moves to Almont on Sunday with races on the Taylor River.

            In addition to water events there’s plenty of food, beverages,

            music, art and “Fun Zone” for kids.

             June 26 & 27 – Lincoln County Fairgrounds

             Competitors are teams of working cowboys, ranch owners

             and ranch hands. Events center on skills traditionally required for

             Western ranching – bronc riding, team branding, team sorting,

             trailer loading, wild cow milking, and team doctoring. Plus a ranch

             horse show with reining, cow work and roping.

 

Click on each event name to open website.

Check back each week during the summer for a potpourri of Colorado events and festivals for the upcoming weekend.

 

Exploring Connecticut’s Farmington Valley

With friends flying to Hartford, Connecticut I can’t resist the urge to recommend a number of attractions, activities and historic sites we’ve experienced and enjoyed in the nearby Farmington Valley.

 Hill-Stead Exterior

  • Hill-Stead Museum – history, art and gardens. The home of the Alfred Pope family during the first half of the 20th century is a National Historic Landmark complete with the family’s furnishings, sculpture, photographs, ceramics and art.  I Hill-Stead Interior loved seeing the extensive  French Impressionist collection –Monet, Degas, Cassatt – hanging in a home environment instead of a sterile gallery. The Sunken Garden blooms from mid-April into October with flowers and plants historically based on the original garden plan. Guided tours of the house give insight into the Pope family, art, collectables and architectural details.  A Poetry & Music Festival highlights five Wednesday evenings during the summer.

 

Christ Church

  • The town of Farmington has a fascinating history from early Colonial settlement dating to 1640, the Revolutionary War, Underground Railroad and the Amistad. Learn about many of the interesting citizens of the past during a historic walk through the Riverside Cemetery. The hospitality of local inns and restaurants make Farmington an ideal hub for a visit to the region.

 

  • House Guards The 1st Company Governor’s Horse Guard, in Avon, is the oldest continuously mounted Calvary unit in the US. The public is welcome to watch them drill on Thursday evenings at 7pm.

  Phelps%20Tavern[1]

  •  Phelps Tavern Museum in Simsbury provides a look into the home of Capt. Elisha Phelps where three generations of innkeepers (1786 – 1849) welcomed travelers arriving by stage, canal boat or horseback to the tavern and inn. One can imagine historical figures from America’s early years seeking respite from their journey between Boston and Philadelphia.

Stanley - Whitman

 

  • Stanley-Whitman House Built circa 1720 the Colonial home relates aspects of everyday life during that period in Connecticut. The living history center and museum encourages an interactive experience for visitors.

  • Canton Historic District Canton Historical Museum This place is chuck full of  "stuff" and every item has a story that one of the volunteers is eager to share. Collinsville was just what I expected from a New England village. The nearby LaSalle Market makes a good sandwich and salad for lunch.

 

  • Pettibone TavernAbigails Grille and Wine Bar,  – because of the building’s history. It was built in 1780 as a stage stop between Hartford and Boston. Abigail is the guest who won’t go away – tales of Abigail give lots of haunting history. This was known as Pettibone Tavern when we were there and has since experienced a fire, come under new management and been renamed so I don’t know about the food, service, etc. today. I loved the building, haunted tales and sense of stepping back in time to walk in the footsteps of earlier guests such as John Adams.

 Auction Barn Sign

  • A real piece of New England is the Canton Auction Barn. When one goes the first thing you want to do is reserve a piece of pie from the night’s selections. They’re homemade, very good and sell out. I’m not really an auction aficionado and didn’t buy a thing (my house is already filled to the brim) but this was still a fun experience. Housed in a circa 1820 barn the Saturday night weekly auction attracts Canton Barn Auctionserious collectors and casual observers. No reserves or buyer’s premiums; all items are owned outright by the Richard Wacht and Susan Wacht. Doors open at 5pm for inspection of items up for sale that evening – the Wachts encourage questions before the auction begins at 7:30. Reserve a seat by placing a cushion on a chair. Don’t forget to indulge in a slice of pie. 

  • Salmon Brook Salmon Brook Historic Society – Buildings include the Abijah Rowe House (circa 1732), Weed Enders House (circa 1790), Cooley School (circa 1870), and the Colton/Hayes Tobacco Barn (circa 19114). Located in Granby, the National Register of Historic Places site  is open Sunday afternoons from June through September.

 

Avon Old Farms

 

  • Old Avon Farms School – The buildings and grounds of this private boy’s boarding school makes one think they will meet Harry just around the next corner.

 

  • Flaming Lamb Flamig Farm – Young and old learn about farm life at Flamig Farm. Who can resist the Farm Animal Zoo populated with bunnies, piglets. llamas, peacocks, emus, ducks, draft horses and sheep? Plus, happy egg laying chickens. Open April through November, pony rides on weekends, old fashioned hay rides by reservation. Fresh eggs for sale in the store.

  • Kayaking Kayak the Farmington River with a guide from Collinsville Canoe & Kayak. See the Farmington Valley from a new perspective – meadows, farmland and Hublein Tower atop Avon Mountain during a gentle 8.5-mile flat water paddle. Numerous other guided trips available as well as equipment rental and sales.

  • Air Museum New England Air Museum  – Aviation buffs will love the collections including over 125 aircraft, 200 aircraft engines and outstanding array of aviation artifacts. The museum is located at the Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks.

Each of these recommendations brings back treasured memories of an area rich in natural beauty, historic preservation and cultural enrichments. I’m ready to plan a return visit to Connecticut’s Farmington River Valley.

Colorado Weekend Ten To Do

June 18, – 20  2010

Focus on Dads this weekend with stereotypical manly interests – car shows, barbeque or the buzz of a chain saw. Add plenty of food, wine and music for a successful event.

            June 18 – 20 – Around Town

            Indulge at the yearly premier Food and Wine Classic. Over 80

            seminars led by top chefs – Mario Gatali, Rick Bayless, Tom

            Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Jacques and Claudine Pepin; and, wine

            experts including Thomas Keller and David Lynch. Grand Tastings –

            food and wine for the 5,000 ticketed attendees.

             June 19 & 20 – Breckenridge and Area

             The Kingdom of Breckenridge celebrates its 151-year

             heritage with Wild West gun fights on Main Street, gold panning,

             historic hikes and walking tours, storytelling and mine tours.

             Gather a team, build an outhouse, then push or pull it to the finish

             in the 4th annual outhouse races. Dozen of FREE events,

             activities for all ages.

             June 16 – 19 – City Park

        A dozen carvers from around the country compete for cash

        prizes while turning tree stumps into 3-dimensional works of art.

        The craftsmen rev up their engines starting Wednesday; work

        continues until Saturday afternoon judging. Saturday brings arts,

        crafts, food vendors, silent auction and live music, ending with

        awards and a FREE public concert by Blue Oyster Cult.

  • Denver – Greek Festival

             June 18 – 20 – Alameda Ave. & Leetsdale Dr.

             One of Denver’s largest and longest running  ethnic festivals

             features traditional Greek music, folk dancing and tons of good

             food (love the Greek fries). Events include a Greek boutique and

             tours of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Don’t miss the

             homemade desserts including baklava. OPA!

             June 18 & 19 – Main Street

             Frisco’s Main Street fills with 68 teams competing in the 17th

             annual event sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

             Tastings, entertainment, games, cooking demons and pig races

             ensure a smokin’ good time.

             June 18 – 20 – Throughout Town

             Colorado’s oldest community festival, 113-years-old, includes

             carnival, entertainment, parade, Kids Fest, arts festival, pie eating

             contest. Free hometown ice cream social. The 2010  events

             celebrates the city’s 125th birthday.

            

             June 18 – 20 – Lincoln Park

              Cruise night Friday, June 18. Feature class for the 2010 weekend

              is the Chevrolet Corvair 1960-69. Exhibits include domestic, foreign,

             antique, classic, custom rod, motorcycles, tractors,  and trucks plus a

                      special teen class.

 

             June 17 – 20 – Riverside Park

             America’s oldest, boldest and largest whitewater festival in its

             62nd year with events from international competitors to pancake

             breakfast, carnival to mountain bike races. With lots of fast

             moving snow melt 2010 should be an exciting year for “First In

             Boating on the Arkansas”.

             June 17 – 20 – Meadows Parking Lot & Downtown

             Mustangs of the motorized variety not wild horses. Autocross

             events on Friday, Show ‘n Shine along Lincoln Avenue in 

             downtown Steamboat from 10am-3pm on Saturday.

             June 17 – 20 – Telluride Town Park

             Hugh festival weekend in Telluride’s summer of festivals. Ten

             thousand fill venues all over the mountain valley. Music, music,

             music from returning favorites and rising stars – dozen of

             groups playing the main stage or jammin’ around campfires.

Above all remember and celebrate Dad!

Click on each event name to open website.

Check back each week during the summer for a potpourri of Colorado events and festivals for the upcoming weekend.

New Visitor Experiences

Mesa Verde National Park – Summer 2010

 

18 - Long House

 

Mesa Verde National Park visitors find three new experiences available during the 2010 summer season. In partnership with the nonprofit Mesa Verde Institute the park expands their visitor programs to include guided hikes to Spring House, Mug House and a Wetherill Mesa Experience. The hikes, which begun Memorial Day weekend, will continue through Labor Day. The Spring House trip will be offered until September 30th.

“We want visitors to know that there’s more to Mesa Verde than Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Spruce Tree House,” says Acting Superintendent Bill Nelligan. “This is a great opportunity to learn more about Mesa Verde National Park.”

  • Spring House – This very strenuous hike is an 8-hour, 8-mile trek for the physically-fit adventurist. The unpaved, uneven trail includes steep drop-offs and switchbacks with a 3,000-ft. elevation change. In addition to visiting Spring House hikers will view Buzzard House, Teakettle House, Daniel’s House and archeological sites in Navajo and Wickiup Canyons. Lunch is included.

  • Wetherill Mesa Experience – Introduces the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here from early pithouse to cliff dwelling occupancy (A.D. 600 – A.D. 1300). Hikers will learn about The Wetherill Mesa Archeological Project during the 6-mile, 6-hour easy to moderate hike. The joint effort between the National Park Service and The National Geographic Society was one of the largest archeological projects ever conducted in the United States.
  • Mug House – Is a 2-hour, 3-mile round trip on an unpaved, uneven trail with a 100’ descent. The strenuous hike involves a ladder, knotted rope, steep drop-offs, switchbacks and scrambling over boulders. When Mug House was excavated three mugs tied together were found hanging on a peg inside one of the rooms.

06 - Tour Group The three new adventures are limited to 14 people per tour. Tickets for the Spring House and the Wetherill Mesa Experience may be purchased online. Mug House tickets are only available at the Far View Visitor Center up to 48 hours in advance.

The Mesa Verde Institute continues to hosts Cliff Palace Twilight Tours between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Led by historic characters from Mesa Verde’s past, the 90-minute evening tours begin at 7pm. Tickets, purchased at the Far View Visitor Center, are limited to 20 participants each evening.

 

Previous Related Posts

Mesa Verde Mystique

Lodging in Mesa Verde National Park

National Get Outdoors Day

June 12, 2010

Utah Kayakers

Get outdoors! A great idea for a June Saturday. More than 90 events in 33 states and the District of Columbia encourage Americans to spend the day in a healthy outdoor activity. Organizers hope to introduce first time visitors to public lands and connect today’s youth with the great out-of-doors.

Rock Climbing - Along Taylor River The US Forest Service, city and state parks, mountain clubs, recreation equipment companies, sport associations – dozens of organizations sponsor activities, workshops and guided hikes/rides/paddles. Log onto the Get Outdoors Day website to locate an event near you; or, create your own outdoor discovery.

Colorado Events

   National Get Outdoors Day events for 2010.

 

  • Colorado Springs – Hike for Habitat at American the Beautiful Park
  • Denver – Dozens of activities at Denver’s City Park – geocaching, Junior Ranger camp, rock climbing walls, low-ropes obstacle course and more.
  • Ft. Collins – Mountain biking, hiking with a naturalist, rock climbing, kayaking and more located at the open space south of Hughes Stadium
  • Morrison – Expert guides along the Dinosaur Ridge trail and hands on activities at the visitor center

Colorado Weekend Ten To Do

June 11-13, 2010

 

Last Steep Sign

Soupcon

             June 11-18 – More than CB 20 Restaurants

              It’s a great week for foodies in Crested Butte. The magic number

             is 8885, saluting the town’s altitude. Parties of four will savor

             multi-course meals for $88.85; smaller parties will pay $22.21 per

             person. Each restaurant presents special week-long deals –

             sometimes including wine or alcoholic beverages. Taxes and

             gratuities not included. We see many of our CB favorites on the

             participant list – Slogars for family-style fried chicken dinner with

             all the trimmings, Donitas for killer margaritas and Mexican, pasta

             and desserts at Marchitelli’s Gourmet Noodle and good old 

             reliable The Last Steep. Also check out $88.85 lodging specials

             and Denver to Gunnison airfare.

            June 11–13 – Animas River, Whitewater Park & 

                                    Santa Rita Park

          Get wet and wild as Durango celebrates the recreational

          opportunities provided by the Animas River coursing through the

          city. River rodeo and river slalom races, costumed river parade,

          workshops, events and music. Sunday river cleanup contest and

          BBQ. Reel Paddling Film Festival with award winning whitewater

          short films.

            June 12 & 13 – Fairgrounds at Stanle06 - A Man and his Llama 2y Park

            In its 20th year one of the

            largest all-natural fiber

            markets in North America 

            focuses on everything from

            on the hoof to off the loom.

            Workshops, demonstrations,

            vendors, sheep dog herding, sheep shearing and children’s tent

            with hands-on activities – something  for everyone. Competitions

            for sheep, llama, alpaca, Cashmere & Angora goats.

            June 11 & 12 – Downtown, Island Grove Park

            Free music downtown on Friday – family appropriate until 8pm.

            Family friendly all day Saturday at Island Grove Park, age 12 and

            under free. At the “Blues 101 Stage” learn about the style of

            music considered our national heritage.

            June 12  – Atlas Valley (95th St. & Arapahoe Rd)

            Kids are the focus on Saturday as families head to Atlas Valley

            for free activities and entertainment from 10am-3pm. Tethered

            hot air balloon rides, cooking demos, hula hoop contest, magic

            show, K-9 demonstrations, gymnastics, yo-yo clinic. Bounce

            House and Bungee Trampoline available for a small fee.

            June 12 & 13 + Weekends until August 1

            Harken back to the 16th century with a day at this 34rd annual

            popular festival. Music, games, entertainment, crafts and food –

            including turkey legs. Open Saturdays and Sundays until Aug.1st,

            each weekend is themed; such as, Wine Revelry, Love and

            Romance, and Mardi Gras Style Carnivale. Opening weekend

            features a "Buy One get One Free" coupon offer from Wendy’s

            Restaurants.

            June 12 & 13 – Limon Depot & Fire Station

            Rail buffs head to Limon this weekend in celebration of the 

            Rock Island Limon Depot’s 100th anniversary. See operating

            layouts of N-scale, HO-scale, Lionel and a garden railroad. Free

            admission to Limon Railroad Museum and depot railcars. Enjoy

            dessert on the dining car. Swapmeet and train show at the fire

            station $3 admission.

            June 11-13 – Throughout the Town

            Oskar Blues Brewery sponsors an active weekend of outdoor

            sports, live music, bbq and beer. Competitions, exhibitions and

            opportunities to learn from elite pro athletes in kayaking, fly

            fishing, mountain biking dirt jump, pump track and short track

            skating. Dog competitions, chainsaw carving and a 5K Dash and

            Bash.

             June 11-13 – Riverbend Park

             A weekend of music along with songwriter and banjo workshops,

             jam sessions and activities for the kids on the banks of the

             Colorado River. Enjoy local wines, beers and spirits while

             listening. Onsite camping is available. Sunday afternoon

             culminates with Asleep at the Wheel.

             June 11-13 – Historic Downtown

             A weekend celebrating Trinidad’s past includes Hispanic Art, car

             show, pancake breakfast, reliving the “Old West” and live music.

             Sport events range from a 5K race and golf to a competitive

             horseshoe tournament.

     

Click on each event name to open website.

Check back each week during the summer for a potpourri of Colorado events and festivals for the upcoming weekend.

17th Annual National Trails Day

Dick on Trail[1]

Take a hike! Build or maintain a trail, learn about the latest in outdoor recreation equipment, attend a workshop, learn about a new trail. The first Saturday of June is designated National Trails Day across the country. Organized by the American Hiking Society hundreds of local events encourage Americans to get physical in the great out-of-doors.

It’s also a day to recognize and thank volunteers, organizations, businesses and agencies for their efforts and support in developing and maintaining the thousands of miles of trails available to the public.

Check the website for an event near you; it’s the day to hit the trail.

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