Playground at Purgatory
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort is on track for a stellar season of skiing and riding in 2012-13. While the nation's ski industry was down some 17 percent last year, Purgatory was off by less than 1 percent. Why? The skiing was good! Several well-timed snowstorms, as well as improved snowmaking and grooming techniques, contributed, says Kim Oyler, the resort's media contact. The resort added snowmaking down the length of Pandemonium, Purgatory's signature front-side run, a few years back. In addtion, new high-angle winch-cat grooming machines and techniques allow more work to be done safely on steep black-diamond slopes. Crews were able to deliver corduroy to some of the mountain's steepest runs, such as Catharsis and Styx.
The Little Airport that Could ~Durango-La Plata County Airport
by Indiana Reed
Back in 2000, during an interview with a local business publication, Ron Dent, Durango-La Plata County Airport director of aviation, said, "We're a small airport that thinks like a large airport." It's a philosophy Dent has maintained since he assumed leadership of the airfield nearly 27 years ago. Without a great deal of fanfare, Dent has established his legacy building the Durango-La Plata County Airport into the successful regional hub it is today -- one that supports the economy across southwestern Colorado and the entire Four Corners region. As Director Dent retires from his position this year, he celebrates the 185,000 passengers that passed through the terminal in 2012, 100,000 more people than when he arrived in Durango in 1985. And the trajectory continues to point toward more traffic in the coming years.
Ice Play ~ A Vertical Adventure Sport
Traditional Beauties ~ Raising Awareness for Native Cultures
Not so long ago, places like Cascade Canyon, north of Durango, were a frozen Narnia to any who dared trespass in winter -- a beautiful but bitter land of frozen waterfalls and sharp, icy pinnacles. The now familiar crunch and crack of titanium axes and biting crampons echo through the narrow walls. Ice climbers rhythmically hammer and step their way up the slick ice in a methodical dance. Durangoans enjoy a wealth of easily accessible frozen waterfalls -- from Haflin Creek and Freed Canyon to routes along U.S. Highway 550. And depending on the temperature, many are in good condition from December through March. Year after year, however, the best ice is found at Cascade Canyon.
by Jen Reeder
The world was watching. It was April 28, 2012, and the winner of Miss Indian World was about to be announced. The Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, N.M., was being televised in 27 countries. Whoever won would have the responsibility of representing not just Native Americans but indigenous peoples worldwide. When they called the name "Jessa Rae Growing Thunder," the Fort Lewis College student ways she didn't even hear it. "I was just so happy to be there. I was just in the moment." Growing Thunder says, "It's a huge honor because no one from my reservation has ever won. I'm the first Assiniboine Miss Indian World." The 23-year-old hails from Poplar, Mont. and is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. Her traditional upbringing helped her win the title after five days of competition that tested her skills in tribal knowledge, dancing ability and public speaking.
World Famous Durango Train Offers Winter Wilderness Tours
The sweating, black, iron horse steams into the quiet beauty of a winter's day. A deafening whistle precedes its arrival, piercing the silent canyons and echoeing up the steep hillsides. Heated passenger cars brim with skiers taking a day off, holiday travelers, seniors, students on winter break, businessmen with an extra day's stay and locals celebrating something. It's the Cascade Canyon locomotive steaming into the winter season once again.
What's New to See and Do
First Lady Michelle Obama visits Durango; Silverton - Winter in a mountain valley; Capitol Christmas Tree makes its way to Washington; Lollapalooza defines season for symphony; Chimney Rock recognized as National Monument; Festival of Indie film unwraps eighth season; Snowdown banishes the winter blues; The Met: Live in HD; December opening at Mesa Verde.
Diversions ~ Selected Area Events
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.
Jean-Pierre Bakery and Wine Bar ~ by Indiana Reed
A little bit of France can be found in downtown Durango at Jean-Pierre Bakery and Wine Bar. Indeed, merely step through the door to be transported to an authentic French café. It's a place that encourages guests to slow down, relax, linger over the French country cuisine, perhaps enjoy a bottle of fine wine with a selection of European cheeses, or a freshly baked pastry and coffee. Indulge.
A complete listing of restaurants in Durango.
Plein-air Artist Sharon Abshagen ~ by Indiana Reed
Plein-air artist Sharon Abshagen grew up gazing at the mountains from afar. After Girl Scout camp in Rocky Mountain National Park, she found it hard to return home to Longmont, Colo. Indeed, even as a young girl she was entranced by the beauty, colors and light of Colorado's high country, and it's a fascination that has only grown stronger through the seasons of her life. Today, Abshagen paints passionately and prolifically -- and almost every day. She remains on the "hunt" for the next "study," or series of paintings that focus on a single theme, subject or landscape.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Features Local Author ~ by Rachel Rosenthal
Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Dog Did That! was published in September 2012, written and edited by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Jennifer Quasha. The latest in a series has more than 100 stories about "the crazy antics of our canine companions." The book features "one incredible dog story after another," according to the books back cover. One true story comes from local writer Rachel Rosenthal. Born and raised in Durango, the writer says she has "always felt a sense of pride that Durango is such a dog-friendly community." "The Other Woman" is Rachel's story of the two most important "people" in her life; her husband, Lee, and their six-year-old lab-mix, Nyko.
Giving In Style
Jazz on the Hill Supports Community Concert Hall ~ by Indiana Reed
Although the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College welcomes some 40,000 visitors a year, a limited number -- only 80 guests -- had the privilege of attending a unique dinner and concert held on Sept. 22, 2012. Jazz on the Hill was staged literally on the concert-hall stage to support the Russ and Bette Serzen Endowment Fund for concert-hall operations.
Gala Honors Racers in Pro Cycling Challenge
The white festival tent was erected in a beautiful mesa-top meadow on the campus of Fort Lewis College, home base for an award-winning Division I cycling team that boasts 19 national championships. The date was Saturday, Aug. 18, and the event was the Team Presentation Gala -- a kickoff for the USA Pro Challenge. Opening day of the prestigious seven-day bicycle race followed on Monday from downtown Durango, the 2012 official start city for the 683-mile, 12-city race.