THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO
As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.  
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
Guide Notes: 
snowdown.org
More event pictures.
More parade pictures.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL SNOWDOWN - DURANGO, COLORADO

As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.

Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.

With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point. Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College. 

Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume.  This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.

Guide Notes

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).

Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.

Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.

Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.

Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

INSECTS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO 

In all sections of the State are bugs and beetles, varying in size from the two-inch dark-shelled cockroach to the small round ladybird decked in her bright colors.  (…) 

Butterflies, moths, and flies of many colors and varieties occur throughout the State.  (…)  Lightning bugs hover over the prairie meadows, and Colorado’s dry sunny climate and abundance of flowers find favor with more than seven hundred kinds of bees.

—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

A bug-eye level look at Colorado State insects for Field Assignment #2 - Flora and Fauna from Amadee Ricketts, your Guide to the West:

Southwest Colorado is a funny mix of high desert and mountains. With milder winters and fewer violent storms than the Front Range (east of the Rockies), it is home to an incredible variety of insects and spiders, though most of them aren’t as showy as these.

In summertime, bees and butterflies are everywhere, drawn to wildflowers and waterAnts and ant mimics, dragonflies, weevils, and sneaky little mosquitoes turn up where you least expect them. Flies and spiders stay around even after the first frost. 

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…

—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
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MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 

Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains

If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.

During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.

Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.

Guide Note:

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
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MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 
A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.
Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.
At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966.  
Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.
Guide Notes:
Mesa Verde National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK - SOUTHWEST COLORADO 

A visit to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is a trip into two very different historical periods.  With over 4,000 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, including the famous cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde has been recognized as one of the world’s premier archeological destinations since before it became a national park in 1906.  But the park got a great deal of its charm and infrastructure in 1933-1942, when it hosted a Civilian Conservation Corp camp as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

The CCC transformed the rustic park into what it is today.  They built roads, fought fires, landscaped, saved trees from insect and porcupine infestations, and built the infrastructure that is still in use.  One of the most beloved projects left from their time at Mesa Verde is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum near the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.

The museum, though a little worn around the edges, is a time warp of Art Deco/Great Depression era beauty.  The centerpiece is the dioramas.  Built with the hope that they “will enable thousands of park visitors to visualize ancient life and people as they existed in those early days and be able to view the ruins with better understanding and greater appreciation,”  five dioramas were in place by 1939.  They depict daily life during five different periods between 13,000 BC and 1200 AD.

Each display is four by five feet and four feet deep.  Every item inside was handmade, down to the tiny pot shards and rocks.  The figures are made from beeswax and balsam wood (around the scale of a Star Wars action figure).  The Step House diorama alone took eight CCC men more than 1,100 hours of work.

At the beginning of this summer, Mesa Verde held the official grand opening of a new 23,620 square foot visitor and research center.  The new visitor center has its own displays of life-sized dioramas, and replaces the Far View Visitors Center that was built as part of the Mission 66 plan to expand visitor services throughout the national park system by 1966. 

Many people were concerned that this current round of park updates would spell the end of the Chapin Mesa Museum.  Happily, even the National Park Service understands the beauty and historical significance of the site and chose to leave the museum as it is.

Guide Notes:

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO

Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.

I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 

I have not done any of those things.

For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.

Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 
Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.
Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.
This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons.  
As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.
The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.
Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.
Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.
Guide Notes: 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
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BLUE MESA RESERVOIR - CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WESTERN COLORADO 

Blue Mesa Reservoir rises out of the bone dry high desert canyon and mesa country of central western Colorado like a mirage. As blue as the sky above it and ringed by a yellow circle of snakeweed, it looks impossibly brilliant set against the endless sea of khaki dirt and gray-green sage.

Being Colorado’s largest lake at 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it was created in 1965 by the completion of the Blue Mesa Dam. The dam was the first and largest of three that would be built along the Gunnison River to make up the Wayne N. Aspinall Storage Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project.

This rugged desert has long been a popular tourist destination. In the 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railway ran through the Gunnison River valley. Later, in the infancy of the automobile age, a scenic section of road known as the Rainbow Route wound through the canyons. 

As the railroad ceased operation in the 1950s and the uranium mining boom that started during World War II began to slow, it was the construction of the reservoirs that breathed economic life back into the area.

The Curecanti National Recreation Area was established in 1965 to manage the land in and around the newly created reservoirs. With weather running from over 100 degrees to below zero, the park offers a full range of outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the summer and ice fishing and skating in the winter.

Adjacent to Curecanti is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which along with hiking and camping also offers boat tours of the river gorge with cliffs nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.

Remote, open and quiet with dazzling night skies, these parks highlight exactly what makes the landscape of the Western Slope of Colorado special.

Guide Notes: 

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO
The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 
Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.
Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

ANIMAS RIVER - DURANGO, COLORADO

The Animas River runs just over 120 miles from its headwaters high in the San Juan Mountains to its end, flowing into San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.  The Animas was the last free-flowing river in the state of Colorado and is now being tamed by the Animas-La Plata Water Project, a federal dam building project 45 years in the making. 

Near the midpoint of its journey the Animas, also known as Rio de las Animas Perdidas  (River of the Lost Souls), snakes its way through Durango, in southwest Colorado.

Like any good water-starved western town, Durango comes alive when the river comes alive.  As the snowpack melts and the river begins to run, tourists turn up for the state’s best white water rafting and the entire town turns its attention to a summer of floating, swimming, and fishing.

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”

-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.

What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.

Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 

Because wow, America.

Guide Notes:

Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 

Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

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Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.