| PostIndependent.com

Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, Glenwood celebrate completion of newest South Canyon trails

Volunteers cleared debris as Guns N’ Roses “Welcome To The Jungle” blared over a loudspeaker at South Canyon’s cleanup and ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday evening to mark the opening of new trails.

Standing on a recently installed new bridge, Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes and Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA) Executive Director Mike Pritchard cut the red ribbon to celebrate the addition of three new trails to the South Canyon Trail System.

In 2015, RFMBA worked on a concept trails plan for areas surrounding the city. The plan studied how to evolve current trails, but also identified land for potential new trail systems.

Shortly after its completion, the city and Garfield County helped with getting the wheels rolling even more so by contributing funds to RFMBA and its partners’ efforts.

“We hired some professionals who helped us identify the unique opportunities and constraints within the canyon here,” Pritchard said of the way funding facilitated the South Canyon trails plan.

“We were able to come up with a trail system that’s maybe about 18 miles of trail, over the coming years,” he said.

A significant portion, 8.5 of those 18 miles, were completed last fall and include three trails known as Tramway Trail, Lightning Bug and Coal Camp.

Tramway Trail

Classified as easy, the shared use Tramway Trail features a 780-foot ascent spanning 3.2 miles. The two-way trail utilizes the Canyon’s eastern slopes with portions following the same route that was once used to transport coal to the railway at the Colorado River.

The Tramway Trail, in particular, begins with a repurposed bridge that was moved from its former resting place on Red Mountain.

“Part of the project was to install this new bridge and to get trailhead map signs in at two locations,” Pritchard said. “And, we have intersection signage at each of the trails so that people can find their way. The trails are bike optimized, but we do see hikers and runners enjoying the trails.”

Lightning Bug

With a 450-foot descent spanning 1.7 miles, Lightning Bug earns a “more difficult” classification and travels downhill only.

According to the South Canyon history description, Lightning Bug was the name given to the electric locomotive that ran on the original South Canyon coal mine tramway’s gauge tracks.

The name was coined by miners who saw sparks fly when the trolley’s overhead lines transitioned between circuits and wires.

Coal Camp

Also categorized as “more difficult,” Coal Camp ascends and descends 915 feet over 3.6 miles. The trail begins in the canyon’s lower meadow before a steep climb takes users through shady spruce and a pine forest. Coal Camp was a nickname given to the 1903 company town that took shape to support the area’s mining operations.

Future South Canyon trails, not yet completed, include the Alpine Slide, Red Onion, Gem Trail and Horse Mountain.

“It’s really awesome to see these dozens of volunteers just taking the bull by the horns and saying, ‘we want this asset to be nice, welcoming and safe for everybody.’” Mayor Godes said. “If you are going to take an area like South Canyon and develop something on it, having a low impact, non-motorized use is a great asset.”

According to Godes, all of the new South Canyon trails were designed to respect other uses and facets of the canyon, including the Glenwood Springs Gun Club, the city-owned landfill, historic coal mining artifacts and wildlife habitat.

mabennett@postindependent.com

Jazz Aspen’s June Experience moving from Benedict Tent to downtown venues this summer

The Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Experience is leaving the Benedict Music Tent in 2019 and planting its flag in downtown Aspen.

After a decade at the 2,000-seat West End concert hall that also is home to the summer-long Aspen Music Festival season, Jazz Aspen is reimagining its June event as a four-day, multi-venue festival featuring as many as 15 artists playing more intimate venues in the walkable downtown core.

Jazz Aspen President Jim Horowitz said Tuesday that the shows will be comparable with the ones featured in the nonprofit’s popular JAS Cafe series, which hosts artists working in jazz and related genres at pop-up venues like the Little Nell hotel and the rooftop cafe at the Aspen Art Museum.

This reimagined Jazz Aspen June Experience will run from June 20 to 23. Jazz Aspen will host concerts at the established JAS Cafe venues at the Nell and the museum, with hopes of confirming the Aspen Cooking School, St. Regis, Belly Up, Harris Concert Hall and adding other stages to the mix.

“We are looking for unique collaborations,” Horowitz said. “Hopefully a lot of things will pop out, in terms of collaboration, that we’re not thinking about yet.”

The festival’s long-running collaborative concert with the Aspen Music Festival, scheduled for June 29 with a yet-to-be-announced program, will stay at the Benedict.

In 2020, as Jazz Aspen celebrates its 30th anniversary, the festival is planning to host the downtown June Experience in conjunction with Benedict shows.

Festival organizers expect to tally a cumulative attendance that is on par with the crowds it has hosted since 2009 at the Benedict, only spread across multiple venues seating a few hundred people or less.

The decision, Horowitz said, was based on the popularity of Jazz Aspen’s seasonal JAS Cafe, which runs through the summer and winter high seasons. Horowitz said he and his team began mulling the June festival shift as they realized the season-long attendance of the JAS Cafe, totalling some 8,000 concert-goers, was nearly doubling the 4,5000 typically attending the June Experience at the Benedict.

“What’s driven this is the explosive growth of the JAS Cafe series,” he said. “It’s changed the way we approach June fundamentally.”

Horowitz imagines a long weekend full of concerts, with attendees walking from show to show.

He compared his vision for the multi-venue downtown festival to the old days of the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, when comics took over venues throughout town, and the way that the Food & Wine Classic fills the downtown core, when, as Horowitz put it, “You can’t be in town and not know it’s going on.”

He imagines people planning out a full festival experience, hopping from low-key afternoon panel discussions to vibrant concerts late into the night.

“We’re taking 2019 to establish ourselves downtown,” he said. “To let the town and the venues be the star, where you can’t go one block without running into music or hearing something. Music everywhere.”

The move downtown coincides with the nonprofit’s recently launched JAS Center plan for the Cooper Avenue pedestrian mall, which aims to open a music venue and education center there by 2021.

The new approach in 2019 will not include the big-name pop stars that the June festival has long relied upon to draw crowds.

“There will be no Joe Cockers or Tony Bennetts on the roof of the art museum,” Horowitz said.

The trade-off, he said, is rather than a handful of pop star headliners — last year they were Leslie Odom Jr. and Lyle Lovett — the festival will boast a greater number of artists from a variety of genres.

“It feels fresh for us, but it’s not out of thin air,” he said. “We’re taking venues that people know and programing them together over a couple days rather than every couple weeks. It’s like taking a whole season of the Café and cramming it into one weekend.”

Events will run from afternoon through early morning, including artist talks and staggered concerts featuring artists from jazz, soul, Latin, blues, funk and world music. Free performances, in the mold of the popular “lawn party” at the Benedict, also will continue downtown, according to Horowitz.

The lineup of June Experience artists is expected to be announced later this winter.

This move is the fourth change of venue for the June festival since it was founded in 1991. It had been held in the Benedict and surrounding environs of Aspen Meadows since 2009. Previously it was produced in Snowmass Village and in Rio Grande Park in Aspen.

Festival organizers have tinkered often with the format — adding the free lawn party concerts in recent years and, in 2018, bracketing two nights of concerts in the Benedict with JAS Cafe shows downtown and adding a free gospel concert on Sunday morning in the tent.

“It’s a metamorphosis that’s been underway for a while,” Horowitz said of the latest format.

General admission passes will allow attendees to access all venues. Some single-show tickets also will be made available.

The donor/VIP accommodations, which in recent years have offered patrons catered meals and an open bar in a tent on the Benedict grounds, will include a cocktail party or dinner at a different location downtown each night. VIP perks also will include reserved seating and artist meet-and-greets.

People who have already purchased “Blind Faith” passes for the festival — which offer a discounted price on tickets before artists are announced — may choose a three-day pass to the new festival, a full refund or a credit toward future Jazz Aspen tickets.

Jazz Aspen’s other big summer festival, the Labor Day Experience, is sticking with its long-established format in Snowmass Town Park. Headliners including Sting and John Mayer have already been announced.

atravers@aspentimes.com

Jazz Aspen Labor Day: Zac Brown Band’s Jimmy De Martini on this summer’s big stadium tour

Summer stadium tours are the stomping grounds of rock and pop star giants — an increasingly rare breed who can fill these huge outdoor sportsplexes with tens of thousands of fans in dozens of cities. The Zac Brown Band now walks among those platinum-selling, Grammy-winning mammoths of summertime.

Only a handful of acts can pull off a stadium tour these days — this summer, the other major ones in the U.S. were Jay-Z and Beyonce, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

Playing mostly baseball stadiums over the past three months, the Zac Brown Band has spent the summer on one of the season’s biggest and most popular tours. Their “Down the Rabbit Hole” run has the band headlining Safeco Field — home of the Seattle Mariners — on Friday before coming to headline the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience in Snowmass Village on Sunday night.

The Labor Day music festival, with a sell-out crowd of about 10,000 expected Sunday, is actually a smaller gig for the band these days when it mostly plays to crowds two and three times as big.

“I love playing baseball fields,” fiddle player Jimmy De Martini said in a phone interview from Atlanta during a recent tour break. “The atmosphere is amazing and our crowds really get into it when we play outside.”

They’ve set out to smash the perception of stadium shows as impersonal, cookie-cutter affairs. These big stages, De Martini believes, have had a positive effect on the band’s performances, inspiring them to make each night a unique and major event with a freshly crafted set list, surprise covers and new interpretations of their country rock catalog.

“Sometimes when you play amphitheaters, things look the same and feel the same when you go up there night after night,” he said. “But when you’re playing a baseball stadium there’s such a unique culture to each city that they put into the construction and the culture of baseball that you can feel you’re in a different spot every time you get onstage.”

The band last headlined Labor Day here in 2011 — a sellout that capped a major rebound event for Jazz Aspen, doubling the attendance from 2010 and launching its continuing partnership with concert promoter AEG. (The 2018 lineup actually includes all three main stage acts from 2011’s closing Sunday: Zac Brown Band; Fitz and the Tantrums, who play Saturday evening; and Michael Franti, who opens the festival today.) The dramatic mountainscapes surrounding the Jazz Aspen festival grounds in Snowmass Town Park — and the oxygen tanks backstage — made for a memorable experience for De Martini and his bandmates, he said.

“It’s an amazing landscape and great inspiration all around,” he said. “Everybody seems to be in good spirits and happy to be there.”

As musical tastes have splintered in the streaming era, Zac Brown Band is one of the dwindling number of pop acts pulling off a big-tent approach — making a bid to be the country band that non-country fans like, with a reputation for astonishing live show’s that anybody will love.

Ten years on from the band’s 2008 breakout hit, “Chicken Fried,” the Zac Brown Band’s sound is a country music that’s broadly defined and probably would have been called “rock” a generation ago. The Georgia-based, eight-man band ignores the traditional confines of the country label and is unafraid to experiment with the genre, digging into Allman Brothers-styled Southern rock jams and more far-flung territory. The band’s most recent album, “Welcome Home,” released last year, is a largely acoustic and straightforward rootsy record that followed 2015’s “Jekyll and Hyde,” which saw the band experimenting with the sounds of dance, pop and jazz.

De Martini, an Atlanta native, met Brown in 2004 when each of them were making the rounds on the local live music scene. After one gig, the bartender — Wyatt Durette, who has become one of Brown’s songwriting partners, including penning lyrics for “Colder Weather” — put De Martini in touch with Brown. De Martini sat in with Brown at a sports bar the following night, and after this unassuming gig Brown asked De Martini to join what would become Zac Brown Band.

“I knew there was something special the first time I played with Zac,” De Martini recalled.

Bar bands in Atlanta — like most everywhere — rely on cover songs to keep crowds engaged. Brown, for the most part, did not. That signaled to De Martini that Brown was on to something with his sound, his songwriting and his burly, bearded stage charm.

“With your originals, people don’t usually care too much,” he recalled. “The opposite was true of Zac. … I knew it was special. I don’t think I knew it would get quite to this level, because this is a dream come true.”

Ironically, now that the band is at the pinnacle of American pop music, cover songs are a staple of its vaunted live show.

On this summer tour, the band’s eclectic and unexpected choices of covers have drawn fans’ notice and sparked social media buzz. Sets have included inspired arrangements of selections far from Zac Brown Band’s country rock wheelhouse, like the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and Living Color’s “Cult of Personality.”

A handful of the stadium shows have also included their spin on the Dave Matthews Band’s “Ants Marching,” with which De Martini has a long personal history. He first made a living in music as the fiddler for the popular early 2000s Georgia-based outfit Dave Matthews Cover Band, playing the Boyd Tinsley parts.

“It’s cool, it’s a full-circle thing,” De Martini said.

When Zac Brown Band first played stadiums years later, it was opening for Dave Matthews. As they’ve returned to those venues this summer for the first time, they’ve honored those old days with “Ants Marching.”

“We were talking about it, like, ‘Remember the last time we played here we played with Dave Matthews Band? Let’s play ‘Ants Marching!'” recalled De Martini.

That spontaneity has been a cornerstone of the cover-heavy summer tour. The band spends an hour or so warming up in the tour bus before they take the stage and working on some surprises for each show.

“Sometimes we’ll have never played a song before and we’ll just run through it two times on the bus and then go play it in front of 20,000 people,” De Martini said. “It’s cool that we can do that.”

You can’t do that with some songs, though, he noted. Perfecting the mini rock opera movements and harmonies of their barn-burning take on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” for instance, required dedicated rehearsal time before the tour kicked off.

Meeting that challenge has impressed fellow musicians on tour. Nahko, the front man for Nahko and Medicine for the People, who opened for Zac Brown Band on three nights of the summer tour, recalled the first time he Brown and band attempt “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“He started playing Queen — anytime somebody starts playing Queen, you’re crossing your fingers that they don’t f— it up,” Nahko recalled this summer with a laugh. “And he slayed it. … That’s when you know a band can really play: when they can do a Queen cover really well.”

Sometimes nearly half the Zac Brown Band’s show is made up of covers, alongside older hits like “Knee Deep” and “Keep Me in Mind,” mixed in with a handful of songs from “Welcome Home” each night like the nostalgic trip to the band’s early days “Roots” and the father-son tearjerker “My Old Man.” They’ve been using the stadium spectacle to ratchet up the poignancy of “My Old Man,” shooting live video of fathers and sons in the crowd and playing it on the jumbo screens at stadiums along with old photos of the band members and their dads.

“It’s pretty emotional,” De Martini said.

The band has tour dates booked through October. After that, De Martini said, they plan to dig into their next album. They’ve already made progress on some songs — grabbing studio time between shows this summer. He is hopeful they’ll get a new record out in 2019.

“We’re definitely in that creative process now,” he said.

atravers@aspentimes.com

Native Son soars back after prolonged closure

With the help of search and rescue, both figuratively and literally speaking, Glenwood Springs’ Native Son has risen again.

The tapas bar, owned by Glenwood native Ricky Rodriguez, originally opened its doors in April. But when the local business lost its liquor license earlier this summer over a code violation that resulted in an extended closure, staying afloat proved challenging.

“We had to hustle into doing all kinds of different [catering] events from Eagle to, of course, the Roaring Fork Valley, and it was really good because it just showed the people that stayed with me how resilient they were and how resilient we became together to keep the brand alive,” Rodriguez said.

Alive and healthy, like the establishment’s Kombucha on tap, Native Son has reopened with the help of friend and search and rescue pilot Jack Montou.

The pilot, who flies for Classic Air Medical, and Rodriguez first crossed paths at a local gym where the two developed a close friendship. However, little did they know their coordinates would eventually land them as business partners.

“I’ve been flying for about 12 years,” Montou said. “I went to flight school, all civilian trained, and after that my dream was to do search and rescue work, and I think the most challenging terrain in the United States has to be right here in the heart of Colorado going over the Rocky Mountains.

“It’s challenging, but it’s definitely very rewarding, and I couldn’t beat it as far as a career goes,” Montou said.

While Montou flies in the front of the cockpit, he wanted Rodriguez to still ride shotgun at Native Son.

“I said, ‘I want this to be your baby,’” Montou said he told Rodriguez.

Native Son offers tapas plates, local libations and weekly entertainment in its Vegas-esque yet family-friendly atmosphere.

The revamped tapas menu offers everything from a cheese board comprising an artisan cheese trio, honey infused walnut, pepperoncini salsa and wild berry jam. One of Rodriguez’s personal favorite dishes is the pulled pork quesadilla featuring queso asadero cheese, tomatillo peach salsa and avocado crema.

“It’s a whole new tapas menu,” Rodriguez said. “It’s all local.”

Being a native, Rodriguez wanted Native Son’s menu to also showcase local gems.

Palisade fruit graces Native Son’s tapas menu while two nitro coffees, two mates, four Kombucha taps and an assortment of craft beer blesses its beverage selection.

“The entertainment is coming back too,” Rodriguez said. “We’ll be getting more live music in, and of course we have our DJs.

“We’re actually scheduling every night into more of a theme night. Wednesday we are going to be doing karaoke, and on Thursdays we are going to be doing a ladies night, where you buy a tapa and you get a glass of sangria on the house.”

With the layover now over, Native Son expects to be open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. until midnight.

“[Rodriguez] sometimes, I think is misunderstood because he has his tattoos and haircut,” Montou says with a laugh. “Anyone who really knows him, and he does know a lot of people in town, will tell you he’s just the sweetest guy with a heart of gold.”

After reaching cruising altitude, Rodriguez said Native Son will serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday before making it a permanent, daily installment.

“Jack definitely came in and saved the day,” Rodriguez said. “The whole vision that we have, it’s like we’re sitting on a gold mine.”

#FreeFridays: Two Free Concerts in Glenwood Springs 6/29

In Glenwood Springs, residents and visitors alike can enjoy a plethora of fun activities without breaking the bank. The GSPI created #FreeFridays as your hashtag guide to Friday activities.

Searching for affordable fun this Friday? Look no further than GSPI’s #FreeFridays. See below for free events you can enjoy with friends and family right here in Glenwood.

 

Wild West Fermentation Fest Friday Kick-off Concert

Where: Two Rivers Park, Centennial Dr & Devereux Rd, Glenwood SpringsCO 81601

When: 5 p.m.

The Wild West Fermentation Fest kicks off Friday night with a free concert in Two Rivers Park. There will be food and beverage vendors at the event. All ages are welcome until 8.p.m, when this becomes a 21+ event.

Learn more by clicking or here visiting WildWestFermentationFest.com

Friday Afternoon Club featuring Jill Cohn

Where: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood SpringsCO 81601

When: 5 p.m.

Best known for diverse stylings and heart-string-tugging ballads intermingled with humorous/quirky brighter side of things, Jill Cohn’s recent recordings have gained new notoriety with her songs placed in popular TV shows. You do not want to miss this amazing performance! Enjoy the views, kick up your feet and let the weekend begin.

Get into this event FREE with the Friday ad from the Post Independent for up to four people starting at 4 p.m.

To learn more, click here. 

Hope to see you out there!

– Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Trail talk: Grandstaff Trail a fast favorite in Glenwood Springs

The Grandstaff Trail is the newest experience on Red Mountain, and is quickly becoming a must-ride favorite for local and visiting mountain bikers. With big views, fun flow, big vertical and optional air time, it’s no wonder as to why! Most of the trail is open to two-way bike and foot traffic, but many people prefer to ride up Jeanne Golay because its grade is more consistent. Hit Grandstaff for the downhill.

Behind the name

The trail is named after William Grandstaff, a mixed-race man who moved from Moab, Utah, in the late 1800s. He lived in a cabin near the top of Red Mountain where he died in 1901. He was buried on the mountain under a cross-shaped tree that blew down sometime around 1951. The cross has been rebuilt three times and now is the iconic symbol that looks down upon Glenwood Springs. Learn more at tinyurl.com/pigrandstaff.

Don’t miss this

Also check out the Wulfsohn Trail System behind the Glenwood Meadows Mall, which offers more great single track for biking, running and hiking.

Share your favorite trail experiences at tinyurl.com/pitrailtalk.

Live Like a Local: Historical society founder’s guide to Battlement Mesa and nearby

Battlement Mesa Schoolhouse and its adjacent teachers cabin offer a look at life in the early days of Parachute and Battlement Mesa.

Judith Hayward isn’t a native, but she adopted west Garfield County as her home three decades ago. She was working for a national fundraising organization out of Atlanta, and an assignment brought her to western Colorado right after the oil shale bust. She continued to travel, but kept thinking of western Colorado. A job with the American Heart Association made her dream reality.

Judith Hayward

Hayward originally planned to live in Glenwood Springs, but while driving back to the Grand Junction airport, she remembered previous experience in Battlement Mesa. “They were giving places away,” she said.

After moving there, she met her husband, trail guide Lee Hayward, who she called her cowboy. She’s dedicated to the Battlement Mesa community, where her late husband was raised.

Now, in her retirement, Hayward is an active volunteer. Hayward founded the Grand Valley Historical Society in his honor in 1999. She shared several of her favorite places in and near Battlement Mesa.

Want to tell us about your favorite spots? Visit tinyurl.com/livelikealocal.

Let’s eat

“I enjoy Hong’s Garden (33 E. Second St., Parachute; 285-6888) and El Tapitio, the Mexican restaurant (393 E. Second St., Parachute; 285-7508), and Mama’s (103 E. First St., Parachute; 285-0210; search Mama’s Restaurant on Facebook) occasionally.”

Art

“We’ve had two artists in the schoolhouse (7201 Co Rd 300, Battlement Mesa; battlementmesacolorado.com) do a sale. The rec center (0398 Arroyo Drive, Parachute; 285-9480; parachutebattlementparkandrec.org) has some art on display.”

Turn it Up

Hayward drives to Glenwood Springs or Grand Junction for live music, and recently saw Three Redneck Tenors in Grand Junction. “Oh, could they sing,” she said. “I tend to go east more. That way I tell the commissioners I spend my money in the county. I’m really attuned to spending money locally whenever I can.”

Free time

Hayward spends much of her free time at Battlement Mesa School House and with the Grand Valley Historical Society. She’s also a member of Parachute Battlement Mesa Women’s Investment Club and involved in Grand Valley Days.

Don’t miss this

Battlement Reservoir. (off County Road 320, five miles east of Battlement Mesa Cemetery; fs.usda.gov) It’s 2.3 miles to the top,” she said. In the spring, the historical society will fund historical signage on the trails, with the first close to parking so anyone can easily see it.

Plan your weekend in and around Glenwood Springs, Colorado, 11/3/17

Visit tinyurl.com/postevents to see even more events and list your own.

Margaret Uribe

Friday, 5-7 p.m. Midland Arts Gallery showcases Silt-based pastels artist Margaret Uribe for the month of November. Her work is inspired by Colorado’s beauty. Her hand-carved stoneware tiles will also be available.

Midland Arts Gallery, 101 E. 3rd St., Rifle | Free | 625-3068 | midlandartscompany.com

Holiday Invitational at Carbondale Clay Center

Friday, 6-8 p.m. More than 30 local and national artists will display and sell functional pottery, small ceramic sculptures and jewelry. The show opens this week, but continues through Dec. 22, so you’ve got lots of time to shop.

Carbondale Clay Center, 135 Main St. | Free | 963-2529 | carbondaleclaycenter.org

Ten Thousand Villages Gift Festival

Friday to Sunday Get a jump on your holiday shopping while benefiting craftspeople around the world. This 31st-annual event offers home décor, jewelry, accessories, toys and more, all made by artisans in third-world countries.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1630 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs | Free | 945-6848

Bow Wow Film Festival

Saturday, 6 p.m. Hey dog fans—we know there are a lot of you out there. This Saturday film fest is for you. Celebrate the bond between you and your canine with a series of short, dog-themed films. Beverages and snacks will be available, and your pup is welcome. Proceeds benefit Colorado Animal Rescue.

Third Street Center, 520 S. Third St., Carbondale | $12, $7 children 12 and younger | bowwowfilmfest.com

Line of Totality

Friday, 6-8 p.m. Join the closing reception of this exhibit during First Friday. Chris Hassig’s drawings have taken on an abstract tone and suggest the landscape around us. Metal sculptor Elliot Norquist’s work explores shapes and how they relate to one another. The two exhibit their distinctive art in this Carbondale Arts exhibit. Through Nov. 8.

The Launchpad, 76 S. Fourth St., Carbondale | Free | 963-1680 | carbondalearts.com

PLAN AHEAD

Nikki Boxer

Monday, 7:30 p.m. Thunder River Theatre Company’s Diva Cabaret series continues with Nikki Boxer’s one-woman show, “Colored Lights: A Night of Music and Memories.” Riviera Supper Club and Piano Bar owner Jonathan Gorst will accompany on piano. Each previous show in the series has sold out, so plan ahead!

Thunder River Theatre Company, 67 Promenade, Carbondale | $25-$35 | 963-8200 | thunderrivertheatre.com

Live Like a Local: Food and shopping choice abound in and around Glenwood Springs

Sometimes childhood vacation spots become an adult’s everyday home. That’s the case for Jenell Hilderbrand, who grew up visiting her grandparents in the Roaring Fork Valley. Now Hilderbrand, a nurse who works for the VA Telehealth clinic, is a 24-year resident of the area. She shares her favorites in this week’s Live Like a Local.

Want to share your guide to living like a local? Visit tinyurl.com/livelikealocal.

Eat up

“I love Bluebird Café (730 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs; 384-2024; bluebirdcafeglenwood.com) for quiche and coffee. I love Rivers’ (2525 S. Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs; 928-8813; theriversrestaurant.com) fruit crepes, and Rosi’s (141 W. Sixth St., Glenwood Springs; 928-9186; rosisbavarian.com) has a variety of wonderful options. But my favorite is Daily Bread (729 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs; 945-6253). Lunch is Juicy Lucy’s (308 Seventh St., Glenwood Springs; 945-4619; juicylucyssteakhouse.com) for their prices and quality food. Dinner depends. I love a fish taco from Slope and Hatch (208 Seventh St., Glenwood Springs; 230-9652; slopeandhatch.net) and I love Colorado Ranch House (704 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs; 945-9059; coranchhouse.com) for a good local piece of meat. You can never go wrong with the family at the brewpub (402 Seventh St., Glenwood Springs; 945-1276; glenwoodcanyon.com) and the Riviera (702 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs; 945-7692; rivieraglenwood.com) is so fun with its piano bar.”

I have nothing to wear!

“Treadz (812 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs; 928-0620; treadzshoes.com) and Toad and Company (816 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs; 945-9778; toadandco.com) have quality clothing, casual and fancy.”

Gift shopping

“Downtown can meet any need for a good gift. Summit Canyon (205 Sixth St., Glenwood Springs; 945-6994; summitcanyon.com) is great for the outdoorsman or woman and factory outdoors has such great items for gifts.”

Turn it up!

“Rivers Restaurant is the place for music and open mic nights.”

Art

“(Cooper Corner Gallery, 315 Eight St., Glenwood Springs; 945-5199; coopercornergallery.com) downtown on the corner of 8th and Cooper features local artists and I recommend checking out that store.”

Cheers

“Happy hour at Rivers, Glenwood Springs Brew Garden (115 Sixth St.; 945-1005; glenwoodspringsbrewgarden.com) for quality beers, and Springs or Docs to mingle for a drink.”

Free time

“Outside on my bike or at the rec center (100 Wulfsohn Road, Glenwood Springs; 384-6301; glenwoodrec.com) playing tennis is where I spend a great deal of time. I also love the hot springs pools (415 E. Sixth St., Glenwood Springs; 947-2955; hotspringspool.com) and Iron Mountain Hot Springs (281 Centennial Drive, Glenwood Springs; 945-4766; ironmountainhotsprings.com) for an après ski soak.”

#optoutside

“Right now biking is the way to get around town to avoid the traffic from bridge construction. Also, there is a new amazing mountain biking trail up and down to the cross.”

Get culture

“[Glenwood Springs] Center for the Arts (945-2414; glenwoodarts.org), CMC (coloradomtn.edu) and Vaudeville (915 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs; 945-9699; gvrshow.com) offer a great deal of entertainment for all cultures.”

Don’t miss this

“CARE animal shelter (2801 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs; 947-9173; coloradoanimalrescue.org) takes amazing care of the animals up for adoption, and the Silt wildlife refuge (Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation, 5945 County Road 346; 876-5676; psswf.org) does an amazing job with wildlife in need. I recommend checking out those places for donations, volunteering and, of course, to adopt. The shelters throughout our valley do an amazing job.”

Gateway Canyons: The best kept secret in Colorado?

Where in Colorado can you see a one-of-a-kind 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car, take a fast sports car out for a drive, see the canyons from a helicopter, play outdoor laser tag, take a horseback ride amongst spectacular scenery, relax at the spa, mountain bike, hike or learn the history of the area from a Curator of Curiosity?

Most of the guests we spoke to during our visit felt as though they had also just happened to stumble upon this special place. One of the best kept secrets in Colorado, Gateway Canyons Resort is a luxury oasis in the middle-of-nowhere, Colorado.

Surrounded by canyons on all sides, this resort is an interesting blend of New Mexican design style and enchanting vistas mixed with Colorado colors and locale. Created by the founder of the Discovery Channel, this resort has unearthed the history of the area to make it an interesting place to visit.

Gateway Canyons Resort Located in Beautiful Colorado

The drive to Gateway Canyons Resort is spectacular. It is different from the many other beautiful resort and Front Range landscapes. This area south of Grand Junction feels like the middle of nowhere, on a winding road sandwiched between canyons. The area to the north of Gateway Canyons Resort has some of the most vibrant orange and red colors of fall in Colorado. The many rock formations are ancient. During the summer months Gateway Canyons is actually a short hour drive from Moab on a dirt road.

Gateway Canyons Resort Lodging

Gateway Canyons is a beautifully landscaped walking resort. Buildings built in an adobe Santa Fe style are scattered throughout the property. Its design maximizes outdoor living and the spectacular canyon views.

There are several different room types at Gateway Canyons Resort. They are all as beautiful as the exterior of the resort with thought to every detail. Some rooms even boast a private hot tub on the balcony. The casitas are set further back on the property for more privacy, spectacular views and are spacious. The outdoor showers in the casitas are a really lovely touch.

Things to Do at Gateway Canyons Resort

Don’t be fooled into thinking there won’t be much to do at Gateway Canyons Resort just because it is in the middle of nowhere. The resort was created by John Hendricks, the founder of the Discovery Channel. It seems he has designed it to share his interests and story with those who visit.

Gateway Canyons Resort Adventure Center

The Adventure Center is where you can arrange almost any type of group activity that you can imagine: off road touring in UTVs or Jeeps, sport shooting, high tech outdoor laser tag, archery, air tours in the resort helicopter and more.

On our brief visit, we only had time to take advantage of Palisade Ranch horseback riding, which we loved. After speaking to Mandy, the manager at the activities center, we were most disappointed that we didn’t get to try the outdoor laser tag. It does require a minimum of 10 people. Mandy excitedly showed us the high tech equipment while describing the experience as “freaking sweet.”

Gateway Canyons Auto Museum

An auto museum wouldn’t typically be on my to-do list, but without knowing much about it, I did know it was something my husband would love. As we were checking in we browsed around the lobby. A coffee table book immediately grabbed my husband’s attention — “The Performing Art of the American Automobile: The Hendricks Collection on Exhibit at the Gateway Colorado Auto Museum.” The auto museum is John Hendrick’s personal collection on display for resort guests. The highlight is the one-of-a-kind 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car.

Hiking, Biking & Climbing Gateway Canyons Resort

Gateway Canyons offers many different guided hiking, biking and climbing excursions. Or, depending on your ability level you could explore on your own. The morning after a full moon I managed to get out prior to sunrise and hike a trail starting right on the resort property. The sunrise and full moon both at the same time was quite a sight.

Enrichment at Gateway Canyons Resort

It was fascinating to take in a talk from the resort’s Curator of Curiosity, Zebulon Miracle. He is a wealth of information about the area. The oldest rock layer on the resort’s signature landmark, “The Palisade” is 290 million years old. People lived in the area 1,200 years ago. One of the West’s most famous outlaws may have committed one of his first bank robberies in the area. As fascinating as Zebulon’s talk was, I can only imagine what a treat it would be to take one of his excursions.

Gateway Canyons Resort Spa

Our visit was a short one so we did not take time to experience a luxurious spa service ourselves. All of the treatments sound wonderful. We did manage to find time to enjoy the state-of-the-art steam room, sauna and outdoor spa all of which are accessible to all resort guests at no additional charge. It was the perfect way to relax after any of the active adventures the resort offers.

Driven Experience

For the car lover, Gateway Canyons offers a fleet of luxury and sports cars available for rent. You can rent a Porche 911, Bentley Continental, Tesla Roadster and explore the windy mountain roads in a fast sports car.

Truly anyone would be hard pressed not to enjoy this oasis in the middle of beautiful Colorado. John Hendricks has managed to create luxury and every possible attention to detail in a magical place in the American West that otherwise people would never think or know to visit. I am very glad to know that most of the property acreage is under a conservation easement and that the resort is committed to energy conservation, protecting scenic landscapes and critical wildlife habitats.

For those who haven’t yet made Thanksgiving plans, it could be the perfect time to check out the resort. The chef is offering a special Thanksgiving dinner and there is a schedule full of special events available including a wine tour and complimentary excursions with Curator of Curiosity, Zebulon Miracle.

Liana Moore is Chief Mama Blogger at Insider Families and marketing director at Antlers at Vail. She can be reached at www.insiderfamilies.com, www.facebook.com/InsiderFamilies or liana@insiderfamilies.com.