Tag Archives: CO

Avalanche Ranch

Avalanche Ranch in September

Avalanche Ranch

A trip to Avalanche Ranch in September is food for the soul. Nestled between Redstone and Carbondale, Colorado, you will be swept away by the breathtaking scenery. The cabins are rustic; if you are looking for a Marriott experience this probably isn’t the trip for you.

It is hard to select from the cabins and shepherd’s wagons at the ranch, they are all so adorable. After perusing the website, I went with the Bird’s House #12. The cabin was spacious for two people and can accommodate five. The cabin is filled with bird items: pillows, artwork, sculpture, etc.
Bird's HouseShepherd's WagonBirds
Farm Animals

Resident sheep dogs herd sheep and llama to alternate pastures in the mornings. Wakening to the sounds of sheep baaing is such a pleasurable experience. And watching the free-range chickens scurry around the pig pen is also quite fun.
Sheep at Avalanche Ranch
Hot Springs

One of the most delightful aspects of staying at Avalanche Ranch is access to their on-site hot springs. They also offer day use of the hot springs. The best time to hang out in the pools is after 5 pm, when the day users leave. The pools never close. I can imagine they are quite marvelous during a full moon.
Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs
Hidden Hot Spring

There is a romantic hot spring tub at the top of the property hidden in a cute wooden shed. If you don’t know about it in advance, you could easily miss it.
Private Hot Springs Tub
Carbondale, CO

If you go to Avalanche Ranch, you should visit Carbondale, CO. I didn’t realize it was such a charming town. Carbondale Beerworks has some tasty brews and I love the beer sign in the bathroom.
Beer Sign
Carbondale has created unique branding for the town. They use fun graphics on the trash cans located throughout the downtown area and the same graphics are used on their buses.
Carbondale Trash Can
The Way Home

A highlight of an evening spent in Carbondale is dinner at a new restaurant in town, The Way Home. They are doing everything right. The atmosphere is sophisticated, and they offer lots of patio seating under strings of lights. The head chef is Flip Wise. I was blown away by the elk and pasta dishes.
The Way HomeOutside Dining - The Way Home
Marble, CO

You will want to add Marble, CO to add to your itinerary. There is not much going on in this tiny town, other than lots and lots of white marble and white marble statues. Slow Groovin BBQ & Catering is located in the middle of town. The place is always packed and the BBQ is exceptionally good.
Slow Groovin BBQ
Coke Ovens

On the way to Marble, Co, you will see coke ovens in Redstone, CO. The “beehive” coke ovens were constructed in the late 1890’s to carbonize or “COKE” coal mined in coal basin for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company.

Coke OvensCoke Oven Historical Plaque


Halloween Fun in Downtown Loveland

Downtown Loveland was alive with Halloween fun activities this past weekend. People were beginning to get into a festive spirit on Friday night and continued throughout the weekend.

I entered The Flipside, located at 140 E. 4th Street in Loveland, on Friday evening. There was a large Halloween cake, baked by Renee Buzzell of Starlight Dessert Bar and Bakery, located on the bar. The cake was served at 9:30 pm as a pre-Halloween celebration. The Flipside is an arcade and is filled with pinball machines.

Starlight Dessert Bar & Bakery Cake
I had not played a pinball machine since the 1970’s. I was having a great time with the pinball machines and decided to try my hand at a Pac-Man machine. A four-year-old boy, Dallas, wanted to play the game. I really didn’t remember how to play the game. This young child was kind enough to coach me. He was dressed up as a Mario Brother and was cute as could be. He ended up winning quite a few rounds. The number of families that frequent Flipside was a surprise to me. As downtown Loveland continues to grow, I believe that Flipside will be a wonderful addition to 4th Street and a place that will be known for family fun.

Pin Ball at The Flipside
I was back downtown on Saturday dressed as Queen Amidala. The Loveland Museum/Gallery was holding their annual Halloween Family Fun Festival from 10 am to 2 pm. It was shocking to see the thousands of children trick-or-treating throughout the downtown area. If I had not seen this for myself, I would not have believed the number of children and parents who come to this event. Most of the shop/restaurant owners had plenty of candy to give out, right up to the end of the event.

Elephant Family
There were vendors, costume contests and kid’s activities at the Loveland Museum/Gallery. Some of the costumes looked like they took hours to create. My favorite two outfits were a family dressed as elephants and two children dressed in steampunk costumes.

Many of the shop/restaurant owners and their staff were dressed in costumes. Annalise Lundeen had one of the most creative costumes. Her facial makeup was stunning. Annalise is new to 4th Street. She will be having a grand opening of her new shop, Annalise The Amaranth, this Friday, November 3, 2017 at 5 pm. The shop is located at 342 E. 4th Street in downtown Loveland.
Annalise Lundeen & MA
Loveland Aleworks had a Halloween Party on Saturday night. I haven’t seen photos posted from the event yet, but I am sure fun was had by all.

Today is Halloween. Enjoy the trick-or-treaters and be safe out there.






Transformer Box Artwork

Transformer Box Artwork – Art in Common Places

Don’t you love driving by a transformer box that an artist has turned into public art? I have been taking photos of the “transformed” boxes for quite some time. They aren’t always that easy to get to. I catch a glimpse of cool artwork out of the corner of my eye, as I am zipping by in my car. The trick then is to find a parking spot. Some of the best artwork is on very busy streets. This may need to be added to my bucket list…get to those hard to access boxes. That could also be worked into my exercise regimen.

Loveland Transformer BoxesLoveland and Fort Collins, CO have remarkable artwork on their transformer boxes and I am so happy that someone made the decision to add this form of artwork in common places.

Loveland Transformer ArtLoveland is particularly good at spotlighting historical aspects of the city in their transformer box artwork. The above box has a splendid illustration of The Rialto Theater.

Loveland Feed & Grain BuildingThe Loveland Feed and Grain building is an excellent example of showcasing a local landmark that was constructed in 1892.

BeetsSugar Beets – The Great Western Sugar Company opened a sugar factory in Loveland in 1901 and it was called the “mother” sugar factory of the Front Range. This company referred to the sugar beet as “white gold.” The factory closed in 1985, but the building still stands on Madison Avenue in Loveland, CO. Sugar beet factories strengthened local economies during this period of history. It is sad to see the crumbling factories that dot the Front Range. It is too bad that money wasn’t found to stabilize these buildings before they fell into such disrepair. If you are a history buff, you may enjoy reading the Silver Wedge, produced by the City of Fort Collins.

Painted transformer boxes will have to be a continuing series. I will set out again, once the snow clears, to get more shots of these local beauties.




4th Street Chronicle – The Next Phase

4th Street Chronicle Newspaper

When I read the latest issue of the 4th Street Chronicle, at first I was sad to see that the founding members (Erin Borsdorf and Jenna Gronberg) were turning the newspaper over to Robbyn Wood. But then I saw a full page article written by Erin Borsdorf about her recent trip to Homer, Alaska. Erin will be writing the travel column for the 4th Street Chronicle. I know that Erin’s plate is quite full, running her successful restaurant/bar – Generations Wine and Martini Bar. I hold Erin in high regard; she has worked diligently in her business since opening in January 2012. You can find an article that I wrote about Erin at: LCBD Rising Star.  I am happy to see that Erin will be squeezing in time to be a contributing writer for the newspaper and that Lauren Stevens will continue to proof the paper.

Robbyn Wood has several years experience publishing local community newspapers and is a former resident of Loveland, CO. It is heart-warming for me to look through the 4th Street Chronicle, as I always see Loveland Center for Business Development (LCBD) clients in the articles and advertisements. It thrills me to see the businesses get recognition and exposure.

The cost of print advertising is so high that most small businesses can’t afford to enter that area of marketing. The 4th Street Chronicle has reasonable rates and those ads encourage people to get out and spend their money in Downtown Loveland.

I believe in having multiple sources for getting local news. We tread on dangerous ground when there is only one voice being heard. The first issue of the 4th Street Chronicle was distributed in November, 2013. I hope to see the paper thrive and continue to exist for many years to come.

Art in Common Places – Look Down

Storm Drain Cover

Sometimes you can find art in the most common places. Try to really concentrate and look for art objects as you travel about. This storm drain cover is located in the PF Chang’s parking lot in Loveland, CO. The artwork shows water running from open hands and reads “City of Loveland Storm Water. Share the Earth. Don’t Pollute. No dumping. Drains to Waterway. East Jordan Iron Works, Made in USA.” It is marvelous that someone decided to make this a  beautiful piece instead of the typical designs that one normally sees. I will be looking for more of these treasures during my travels and will be posting as I find interesting covers.



Walkabout May 6, 2015

It’s hard to get me motivated to drive to downtown Loveland during the week. I drive in the opposite direction when I leave work. The event that sparked my interest yesterday was the screening of the 2015 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts at the Rialto Theater. The screening was part of the Phyllis Walbye Film Series. If you missed this event last night, you have another opportunity to see the Live Action Shorts on June 10. I would highly recommend attending. I am a huge fan of animated shorts and have only viewed them on my computer. Seeing them on a big screen was fantastic. It is a real toss- up which film was my favorite – A Single Life and The Dam Keeper were a tie, in my mind.

Origins Wine Bar and Wood Fired PizzaMy husband and I had time to kill before heading over to the Rialto last night. First stop, we dropped by The Laureate for a Cider and a beer and to see what fabulous dessert Chef David made that day. We always try and make time to visit with Jacki Marsh at Rabbask Designs when we are downtown. On the way to Rabbask Designs, we noticed a great deal of activity at Origins Wine Bar and Wood Fired Pizza, which is slated to open soon. What a great surprise awaitePizza from Originsd us when we walked through the front door of Origins. Karin Vandermerwe, head chef, was  cooking sample pizza to test out the new wood fired pizza oven. Karin was a delight to talk to and had some great stories about the origin of the Margherita pizza. The pizza oven is a work of art. We have eaten at many fabulous pizza restaurants in New York City, when we lived in Connecticut. The pizza we sampled last night was as good, if not better, than any we have had in the past.

After leaving Origins, we stopped to look at a bronze sculpture on the way to the Rialto Theater. We are truly blessed to have a large number of public pieces of sculpture and artwork in Loveland. This is a favorite of mine, located on Lincoln Ave. (across from Carl’s Canteen). If you are attending an event at the Rialto, make sure you take a few minutes to walk around and enjoy the beautiful public artwork in the downtown area.Bronze Sculpture