Favorite winter hangouts in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

Favorite winter hangouts in Glenwood Springs

Stina Siegssieg@postindependent.comGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado Summer of Jazz. Strawberry Days. Mountain Fair.Do you sense a trend here?Though this valley is definitely well-known for its romantic, sparkling-white winters, some of its biggest, most social events take place during the summer. When the air is warm and there isnt a snow shovel to be seen, somehow its just easier to find things to do, places to be, ways to meet people.But dont plan on playing solitaire in your room for the next few months not just yet. Here, thanks to some of the folks at the Post Independent, are a few suggestions about how to spend your wintry days.Enjoy and get out there.

By John GardnerReporterIf youve seen one ski resort bar, youve seen them all. But the one thing that makes Sunlights Last Turn Lounge stand out among the throngs of ski-resort bars in the western United States is the same thing that makes the mountain itself stand out from the variety of expansive, high-dollar resorts that sprinkle the state. Its the people who lounge there.The Last Turn Lounge is the locals watering hole at the locals mountain. It may not be the biggest or the fanciest, but there is no more chill a place to hang out on the slopes at least for the locals of Glenwood Springs.Relaxing in the sun after a few runs and cooling off with a nice, frothy one is only better with friendly community faces.No matter what day, or time, you will always see someone you know hanging out there, regardless of whether its the first, or last, turns of the day. Either inside the lounge on those snowy days between fresh runs, or lounging on the sun deck during the sunny ones, the Last Turn Lounge lives up to its name.With the sun deck literally on the slopes, it makes for easy access anytime during the day to relax and have a drink before heading out to a run again.Plus, the views of the mountain give an exceptional vantage point to watch as skiers and riders make tracks, while youre basking in the warm sunlight.If youre into skiing, or just into lounging at a ski mountain, this is the place to be during the winter months.

By Baron ZahuranecSports writerWhile it may not be a heavily visited social site, our local waterways can provide some exceptional trout fishing opportunities in the winter. As stated, you wont be running into all that many people at the waters edge. Frankly, it may even take a trip or two before another actual fisherman is in the water with you.But the fishermen arent the only important part of a winters day of fishing. Its all the other people you run into. In town here, a lot of the fishing access spots have a bike path right beside anyone trying to catch some trout.It wont be too cold to walk the dog or go for a light jog, but when they see someone standing in the river, a good number of them will inquire as to how the day went. Dog walkers and runners see their kind every two minutes on the trails, but they dont get to see many fishermen.The conversation may only be a couple of short sentences, but its nice to hear someones voice over your shoulder saying, Hey, you know it is cold out here? followed quickly by, So, are you doing any good?

By April E. ClarkColumnistWhen it comes to swimming, Ive always either been hot or cold about the idea.Sure when summer temps are near boiling, Im all about a refreshing dip in a cool pool. But Im not really a swimmer, and Ive never grasped the diving thing. If its not super hot outside, Im not too interested in the getting-out-of-the pool process thats inevitably necessary.Unless I prefer to turn into a prune, as my mother would say.Imagine my excitement the first time I took a soak at the Hot Springs Pool. Not only did I avoid the freezing chills I always experience when getting out of a pool, but I coupled it with the magic that is the bubble chair.Hot Springs, take me away.This fantastic invention involves a reclining position which I personally enjoy and 104-degree, mineral-rich water.Thats my kind of therapy.Last year I found particular pleasure in soaking in the therapy pool and taking a dip in the main pool, a lovely 90 degrees Fahrenheit, after skiing at my favorite local mountain, Sunlight. Especially after powder days when my muscles were as tight as my jeans after Christmas dinner.Its always nice to get loose.The Hot Springs Pool experience is made a little more magical, and affordable, when soaking at night. From 9-10 p.m. the price goes down to around $10, depending on if its peak season. Its a great deal for a healthy, rejuvenating experience that the rich and famous used to flock to Glenwood Springs to enjoy.Not to mention a guy named Doc.Just another reason to love wintertime in Glenwood Springs.

By Stina SiegA & E editorI feel like Ive written a lot about contra dancing this last year. Thats only because I cant get enough. Before you write it off as hokey, complicated, dorky, lame or some other completely inaccurate adjective, hear me out. Contra is, at its core, pure love.At least around these parts.When I first arrived in the valley, it was one of the few activities that made me feel really, truly welcome here. In fact, since my introduction to it, back in December 2007, I havent missed a dance. Not one.Its ingredients are simple. Its got great, live music (thanks to the valleys own, awesome Last Minute String Band), a bunch of couples and a caller. The caller walks everyone through the dance, which usually includes a few swings, some turns and a ladies chain or two (Dont worry youll know what that means soon enough). You usually end up swapping partners more than once, as well. The moves arent complex but do require concentration. Sometimes it isnt until nearly the end of the song that everyone in the room really knows what theyre doing. The great thing is, no one minds.In fact, during the dance, almost everyone is constantly smiling. They might be messing up or learning as they go, but it doesnt matter. Theyre all supportive and upbeat and just happy to be there. Its like everyone is making a magical environment together and they know it. Offhand, I cant think of anything else that creates such a surge of positivity.I know I always feel lucky to be part of it.And I know Ill feel that way this Saturday, during what will probably be my last contra dance ever in Glenwood Springs. Ill be sad to be leaving, of course, but Ill also be beaming.Thats just what contra does to you.(Note: The next Community Contra Dance will be held Saturday at the Masonic Lodge, 901 Colorado Ave. in Glenwood Springs. A beginners walk-through begins at 7:30 p.m., and the dance starts at 8 p.m. The event continues the first Saturday of the month until its annual summer hiatus. Admission is $7.)

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