THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info
THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING
To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.
* * *
Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.
Zoom Info

THROUGH SYBILLE CANYON - WHEATLAND and LARAMIE, WYOMING

To get to Laramie by way of Wheatland in Wyoming you take Highway 34, a route traveling through Sybille Canyon. It’s also called the Wheatland or Laramie Cut Across. Starting out in farm country, the highway eventually climbs to over 7,000 ft at Morton Pass and the canyon walls give way to a sparse, almost perfectly flat landscape. Weather rarely cooperates during the winter and Sybille Canyon is closed on occasion. Snow, wind and fog will keep you on your toes.

* * *

Wyoming guide Christine Tharp is a photography, history, and cycling enthusiast living in Gillette, Wyoming.  When not working, she travels the open roads of northeast Wyoming in search of curiosities old and new.  More of her work can be found at FROM THE PLAINS and she’s recently started a Tumblr for The Rockpile Museum in Campbell County, Wyoming.

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.

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.
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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.

HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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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HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
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

HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 

Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.

Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.

The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.

After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   

Editor’s NoteRead More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com

Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself —

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532

Phone: 435-686-2250

Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *

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.

KIRWIN, WYOMING

The booming of the avalanche, flung back and forth between mountain walls, resembles heavy cannonading.

Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

Established in the late 1800s, Kirwin was a small gold mining town located in the remote Wood River Valley in northwest Wyoming. At its peak the town had 200 residents and 38 buildings, including a hotel, sawmill and post office. In 1907 a devastating snowstorm dumped over 50 feet of snow in 8 days. An avalanche rushed down the mountainsides burying the town and killing several residents. When the pass was cleared, the remaining residents quickly abandoned the town with only what they could carry, leaving sheets on the beds and dishes on the tables. Today remnants of the mining equipment and a few structures remain, offering the hearty traveller who makes the trek up to Kirwin, a unique look into the past.

* * *

KC O’Connor is a Guide to Wyoming for The American Guide. He’s a writer and photographer based in Lander, Wyoming. Follow him on Tumblr at kcowyo.tumblr.com and on Twitter.

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.
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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:

* * *

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.

SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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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SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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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SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

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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SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 

Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.

County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).

But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.

* * *

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.

THE LOLO CREEK FIRE COMPLEX - NEAR MISSOULA, MONTANA 
Wildfires in the West are on par with death and taxes as something you can count on. A few are caused by people, but most occur in the days following electrical storms. A lightning strike can burrow into the roots of a tree, smolder and start a fire up to a couple weeks after a strike.
Some fires are far removed from people back in the wilderness and others — such as the Lolo Creek Complex fire in these photos, just outside Missoula, Montana, in Lolo — are in the urban interface.
It’s this blurry edge between the human population and forest where it’s more likely forest dwelling folks will encounter wildlife, enjoy the solitude, and on occasion have their homes devoured by wildfires. It comes with the territory.
Presently, people are being evacuated as this fire has grown to over 8,600 acres in just a few days following a storm.
Websites such as Inciweb.org show what is burning where, the fires’ sizes and whether a particular fire is active or not.
Guide note: Chris will be selling prints of the above photos at his website, chrischapmanphotography.net, and donating 50% of the sale price to the Red Cross. Prints are available in four different sizes, priced from $8 to $50.
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
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THE LOLO CREEK FIRE COMPLEX - NEAR MISSOULA, MONTANA 
Wildfires in the West are on par with death and taxes as something you can count on. A few are caused by people, but most occur in the days following electrical storms. A lightning strike can burrow into the roots of a tree, smolder and start a fire up to a couple weeks after a strike.
Some fires are far removed from people back in the wilderness and others — such as the Lolo Creek Complex fire in these photos, just outside Missoula, Montana, in Lolo — are in the urban interface.
It’s this blurry edge between the human population and forest where it’s more likely forest dwelling folks will encounter wildlife, enjoy the solitude, and on occasion have their homes devoured by wildfires. It comes with the territory.
Presently, people are being evacuated as this fire has grown to over 8,600 acres in just a few days following a storm.
Websites such as Inciweb.org show what is burning where, the fires’ sizes and whether a particular fire is active or not.
Guide note: Chris will be selling prints of the above photos at his website, chrischapmanphotography.net, and donating 50% of the sale price to the Red Cross. Prints are available in four different sizes, priced from $8 to $50.
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info
THE LOLO CREEK FIRE COMPLEX - NEAR MISSOULA, MONTANA 
Wildfires in the West are on par with death and taxes as something you can count on. A few are caused by people, but most occur in the days following electrical storms. A lightning strike can burrow into the roots of a tree, smolder and start a fire up to a couple weeks after a strike.
Some fires are far removed from people back in the wilderness and others — such as the Lolo Creek Complex fire in these photos, just outside Missoula, Montana, in Lolo — are in the urban interface.
It’s this blurry edge between the human population and forest where it’s more likely forest dwelling folks will encounter wildlife, enjoy the solitude, and on occasion have their homes devoured by wildfires. It comes with the territory.
Presently, people are being evacuated as this fire has grown to over 8,600 acres in just a few days following a storm.
Websites such as Inciweb.org show what is burning where, the fires’ sizes and whether a particular fire is active or not.
Guide note: Chris will be selling prints of the above photos at his website, chrischapmanphotography.net, and donating 50% of the sale price to the Red Cross. Prints are available in four different sizes, priced from $8 to $50.
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info

THE LOLO CREEK FIRE COMPLEX - NEAR MISSOULA, MONTANA 

Wildfires in the West are on par with death and taxes as something you can count on. A few are caused by people, but most occur in the days following electrical storms. A lightning strike can burrow into the roots of a tree, smolder and start a fire up to a couple weeks after a strike.

Some fires are far removed from people back in the wilderness and others — such as the Lolo Creek Complex fire in these photos, just outside Missoula, Montana, in Lolo — are in the urban interface.

It’s this blurry edge between the human population and forest where it’s more likely forest dwelling folks will encounter wildlife, enjoy the solitude, and on occasion have their homes devoured by wildfires. It comes with the territory.

Presently, people are being evacuated as this fire has grown to over 8,600 acres in just a few days following a storm.

Websites such as Inciweb.org show what is burning where, the fires’ sizes and whether a particular fire is active or not.

Guide note: Chris will be selling prints of the above photos at his website, chrischapmanphotography.net, and donating 50% of the sale price to the Red Cross. Prints are available in four different sizes, priced from $8 to $50.

* * *

Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.

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: 

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: 

* * *

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.

SWAN VALLEY - NORTHWESTERN MONTANA

North of Holland Lake, State 31 runs through the heavy Flathead National Forest of the Swan Valley, a wild land with fish and game, rude trails, and lookout stations. The road is poor with an average of 20 curves to the mile. There are only occasional glimpses of the majestic Mission Mountains (L) and Swan Range (R). The forest silence is broken only by the calls of wild things, the splash and gurgle of tumbling streams, and the sound, like surf on a far shore, of wind flowing smoothly through the tops of tamaracks and firs. Nevertheless occasional cabins beside the road indicate that a few hardy human beings attempt to live here.
—Montana, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Sandwiched between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Mountain Range is the north-south oriented Swan Valley. It’s a place of many waters. The Swan River flows north to Flathead Lake. The Clearwater River flows south to the Blackfoot River. Both are filled with cold mountain run-off from countless drainages. Timbering was once a mainstay of the local economy and from space you can still see the human imposed grid system of clearing timber—called checkerboard clear-cutting—across the width of the valley, stretching to the mountainsides.
A highway runs through the area—Highway 83—and in the summer that strip of asphalt shuttles vast schools of recreation and solitude seeking people to the chain of lakes and beyond: Salmon Lake, Seeley Lake, Lake Inez, Lake Alva, Holland Lake, and Swan Lake, to a name a few. Opportunities for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are scattered over millions of acres. To the east, the Scapegoat Wilderness runs to the Bob Marshall Wilderness which runs into the Great Bear Wilderness. From there Glacier National Park takes over and completes the stretch to Canada. These wilderness spaces, along with various National Forests, create a corridor all the way to Yellowstone National Park.
These upper stretches of wilderness have some of the greatest densities of grizzly bear in the lower 48 and they commonly traipse across the valley floor. Grizzlies need a lot of space. Valley and mountain visitors are wise to keep this in mind when backpacking and camping. Wolves, mountain lions, and black bear round out the top predator list—they all find space here, too.
The town of Seeley Lake has a population fewer than 1,700 folks year around, but swells substantially each summer with boat pulling, rod wielding, camera toting, backpack wearing tourists. Seeley Lake has groceries, gas, lodging, medical help, sporting goods and rentals, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars for all types. There’s also a golf course for folks who are either multi-faceted beyond my comprehension or simply cannot tolerate a landscape un-manicured by mankind. 
Twenty miles to the north is Condon, an unincorporated town. Its amenities include various lodges and B&Bs, mountain lakes, vistas, trails, campgrounds, wilderness access, forests, wildlife, the Swan River… you get the picture. 
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info
SWAN VALLEY - NORTHWESTERN MONTANA

North of Holland Lake, State 31 runs through the heavy Flathead National Forest of the Swan Valley, a wild land with fish and game, rude trails, and lookout stations. The road is poor with an average of 20 curves to the mile. There are only occasional glimpses of the majestic Mission Mountains (L) and Swan Range (R). The forest silence is broken only by the calls of wild things, the splash and gurgle of tumbling streams, and the sound, like surf on a far shore, of wind flowing smoothly through the tops of tamaracks and firs. Nevertheless occasional cabins beside the road indicate that a few hardy human beings attempt to live here.
—Montana, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Sandwiched between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Mountain Range is the north-south oriented Swan Valley. It’s a place of many waters. The Swan River flows north to Flathead Lake. The Clearwater River flows south to the Blackfoot River. Both are filled with cold mountain run-off from countless drainages. Timbering was once a mainstay of the local economy and from space you can still see the human imposed grid system of clearing timber—called checkerboard clear-cutting—across the width of the valley, stretching to the mountainsides.
A highway runs through the area—Highway 83—and in the summer that strip of asphalt shuttles vast schools of recreation and solitude seeking people to the chain of lakes and beyond: Salmon Lake, Seeley Lake, Lake Inez, Lake Alva, Holland Lake, and Swan Lake, to a name a few. Opportunities for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are scattered over millions of acres. To the east, the Scapegoat Wilderness runs to the Bob Marshall Wilderness which runs into the Great Bear Wilderness. From there Glacier National Park takes over and completes the stretch to Canada. These wilderness spaces, along with various National Forests, create a corridor all the way to Yellowstone National Park.
These upper stretches of wilderness have some of the greatest densities of grizzly bear in the lower 48 and they commonly traipse across the valley floor. Grizzlies need a lot of space. Valley and mountain visitors are wise to keep this in mind when backpacking and camping. Wolves, mountain lions, and black bear round out the top predator list—they all find space here, too.
The town of Seeley Lake has a population fewer than 1,700 folks year around, but swells substantially each summer with boat pulling, rod wielding, camera toting, backpack wearing tourists. Seeley Lake has groceries, gas, lodging, medical help, sporting goods and rentals, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars for all types. There’s also a golf course for folks who are either multi-faceted beyond my comprehension or simply cannot tolerate a landscape un-manicured by mankind. 
Twenty miles to the north is Condon, an unincorporated town. Its amenities include various lodges and B&Bs, mountain lakes, vistas, trails, campgrounds, wilderness access, forests, wildlife, the Swan River… you get the picture. 
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info
SWAN VALLEY - NORTHWESTERN MONTANA

North of Holland Lake, State 31 runs through the heavy Flathead National Forest of the Swan Valley, a wild land with fish and game, rude trails, and lookout stations. The road is poor with an average of 20 curves to the mile. There are only occasional glimpses of the majestic Mission Mountains (L) and Swan Range (R). The forest silence is broken only by the calls of wild things, the splash and gurgle of tumbling streams, and the sound, like surf on a far shore, of wind flowing smoothly through the tops of tamaracks and firs. Nevertheless occasional cabins beside the road indicate that a few hardy human beings attempt to live here.
—Montana, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Sandwiched between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Mountain Range is the north-south oriented Swan Valley. It’s a place of many waters. The Swan River flows north to Flathead Lake. The Clearwater River flows south to the Blackfoot River. Both are filled with cold mountain run-off from countless drainages. Timbering was once a mainstay of the local economy and from space you can still see the human imposed grid system of clearing timber—called checkerboard clear-cutting—across the width of the valley, stretching to the mountainsides.
A highway runs through the area—Highway 83—and in the summer that strip of asphalt shuttles vast schools of recreation and solitude seeking people to the chain of lakes and beyond: Salmon Lake, Seeley Lake, Lake Inez, Lake Alva, Holland Lake, and Swan Lake, to a name a few. Opportunities for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are scattered over millions of acres. To the east, the Scapegoat Wilderness runs to the Bob Marshall Wilderness which runs into the Great Bear Wilderness. From there Glacier National Park takes over and completes the stretch to Canada. These wilderness spaces, along with various National Forests, create a corridor all the way to Yellowstone National Park.
These upper stretches of wilderness have some of the greatest densities of grizzly bear in the lower 48 and they commonly traipse across the valley floor. Grizzlies need a lot of space. Valley and mountain visitors are wise to keep this in mind when backpacking and camping. Wolves, mountain lions, and black bear round out the top predator list—they all find space here, too.
The town of Seeley Lake has a population fewer than 1,700 folks year around, but swells substantially each summer with boat pulling, rod wielding, camera toting, backpack wearing tourists. Seeley Lake has groceries, gas, lodging, medical help, sporting goods and rentals, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars for all types. There’s also a golf course for folks who are either multi-faceted beyond my comprehension or simply cannot tolerate a landscape un-manicured by mankind. 
Twenty miles to the north is Condon, an unincorporated town. Its amenities include various lodges and B&Bs, mountain lakes, vistas, trails, campgrounds, wilderness access, forests, wildlife, the Swan River… you get the picture. 
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info
SWAN VALLEY - NORTHWESTERN MONTANA

North of Holland Lake, State 31 runs through the heavy Flathead National Forest of the Swan Valley, a wild land with fish and game, rude trails, and lookout stations. The road is poor with an average of 20 curves to the mile. There are only occasional glimpses of the majestic Mission Mountains (L) and Swan Range (R). The forest silence is broken only by the calls of wild things, the splash and gurgle of tumbling streams, and the sound, like surf on a far shore, of wind flowing smoothly through the tops of tamaracks and firs. Nevertheless occasional cabins beside the road indicate that a few hardy human beings attempt to live here.
—Montana, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Sandwiched between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Mountain Range is the north-south oriented Swan Valley. It’s a place of many waters. The Swan River flows north to Flathead Lake. The Clearwater River flows south to the Blackfoot River. Both are filled with cold mountain run-off from countless drainages. Timbering was once a mainstay of the local economy and from space you can still see the human imposed grid system of clearing timber—called checkerboard clear-cutting—across the width of the valley, stretching to the mountainsides.
A highway runs through the area—Highway 83—and in the summer that strip of asphalt shuttles vast schools of recreation and solitude seeking people to the chain of lakes and beyond: Salmon Lake, Seeley Lake, Lake Inez, Lake Alva, Holland Lake, and Swan Lake, to a name a few. Opportunities for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are scattered over millions of acres. To the east, the Scapegoat Wilderness runs to the Bob Marshall Wilderness which runs into the Great Bear Wilderness. From there Glacier National Park takes over and completes the stretch to Canada. These wilderness spaces, along with various National Forests, create a corridor all the way to Yellowstone National Park.
These upper stretches of wilderness have some of the greatest densities of grizzly bear in the lower 48 and they commonly traipse across the valley floor. Grizzlies need a lot of space. Valley and mountain visitors are wise to keep this in mind when backpacking and camping. Wolves, mountain lions, and black bear round out the top predator list—they all find space here, too.
The town of Seeley Lake has a population fewer than 1,700 folks year around, but swells substantially each summer with boat pulling, rod wielding, camera toting, backpack wearing tourists. Seeley Lake has groceries, gas, lodging, medical help, sporting goods and rentals, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars for all types. There’s also a golf course for folks who are either multi-faceted beyond my comprehension or simply cannot tolerate a landscape un-manicured by mankind. 
Twenty miles to the north is Condon, an unincorporated town. Its amenities include various lodges and B&Bs, mountain lakes, vistas, trails, campgrounds, wilderness access, forests, wildlife, the Swan River… you get the picture. 
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info
SWAN VALLEY - NORTHWESTERN MONTANA

North of Holland Lake, State 31 runs through the heavy Flathead National Forest of the Swan Valley, a wild land with fish and game, rude trails, and lookout stations. The road is poor with an average of 20 curves to the mile. There are only occasional glimpses of the majestic Mission Mountains (L) and Swan Range (R). The forest silence is broken only by the calls of wild things, the splash and gurgle of tumbling streams, and the sound, like surf on a far shore, of wind flowing smoothly through the tops of tamaracks and firs. Nevertheless occasional cabins beside the road indicate that a few hardy human beings attempt to live here.
—Montana, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Sandwiched between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Mountain Range is the north-south oriented Swan Valley. It’s a place of many waters. The Swan River flows north to Flathead Lake. The Clearwater River flows south to the Blackfoot River. Both are filled with cold mountain run-off from countless drainages. Timbering was once a mainstay of the local economy and from space you can still see the human imposed grid system of clearing timber—called checkerboard clear-cutting—across the width of the valley, stretching to the mountainsides.
A highway runs through the area—Highway 83—and in the summer that strip of asphalt shuttles vast schools of recreation and solitude seeking people to the chain of lakes and beyond: Salmon Lake, Seeley Lake, Lake Inez, Lake Alva, Holland Lake, and Swan Lake, to a name a few. Opportunities for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are scattered over millions of acres. To the east, the Scapegoat Wilderness runs to the Bob Marshall Wilderness which runs into the Great Bear Wilderness. From there Glacier National Park takes over and completes the stretch to Canada. These wilderness spaces, along with various National Forests, create a corridor all the way to Yellowstone National Park.
These upper stretches of wilderness have some of the greatest densities of grizzly bear in the lower 48 and they commonly traipse across the valley floor. Grizzlies need a lot of space. Valley and mountain visitors are wise to keep this in mind when backpacking and camping. Wolves, mountain lions, and black bear round out the top predator list—they all find space here, too.
The town of Seeley Lake has a population fewer than 1,700 folks year around, but swells substantially each summer with boat pulling, rod wielding, camera toting, backpack wearing tourists. Seeley Lake has groceries, gas, lodging, medical help, sporting goods and rentals, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars for all types. There’s also a golf course for folks who are either multi-faceted beyond my comprehension or simply cannot tolerate a landscape un-manicured by mankind. 
Twenty miles to the north is Condon, an unincorporated town. Its amenities include various lodges and B&Bs, mountain lakes, vistas, trails, campgrounds, wilderness access, forests, wildlife, the Swan River… you get the picture. 
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info
SWAN VALLEY - NORTHWESTERN MONTANA

North of Holland Lake, State 31 runs through the heavy Flathead National Forest of the Swan Valley, a wild land with fish and game, rude trails, and lookout stations. The road is poor with an average of 20 curves to the mile. There are only occasional glimpses of the majestic Mission Mountains (L) and Swan Range (R). The forest silence is broken only by the calls of wild things, the splash and gurgle of tumbling streams, and the sound, like surf on a far shore, of wind flowing smoothly through the tops of tamaracks and firs. Nevertheless occasional cabins beside the road indicate that a few hardy human beings attempt to live here.
—Montana, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Sandwiched between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Mountain Range is the north-south oriented Swan Valley. It’s a place of many waters. The Swan River flows north to Flathead Lake. The Clearwater River flows south to the Blackfoot River. Both are filled with cold mountain run-off from countless drainages. Timbering was once a mainstay of the local economy and from space you can still see the human imposed grid system of clearing timber—called checkerboard clear-cutting—across the width of the valley, stretching to the mountainsides.
A highway runs through the area—Highway 83—and in the summer that strip of asphalt shuttles vast schools of recreation and solitude seeking people to the chain of lakes and beyond: Salmon Lake, Seeley Lake, Lake Inez, Lake Alva, Holland Lake, and Swan Lake, to a name a few. Opportunities for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are scattered over millions of acres. To the east, the Scapegoat Wilderness runs to the Bob Marshall Wilderness which runs into the Great Bear Wilderness. From there Glacier National Park takes over and completes the stretch to Canada. These wilderness spaces, along with various National Forests, create a corridor all the way to Yellowstone National Park.
These upper stretches of wilderness have some of the greatest densities of grizzly bear in the lower 48 and they commonly traipse across the valley floor. Grizzlies need a lot of space. Valley and mountain visitors are wise to keep this in mind when backpacking and camping. Wolves, mountain lions, and black bear round out the top predator list—they all find space here, too.
The town of Seeley Lake has a population fewer than 1,700 folks year around, but swells substantially each summer with boat pulling, rod wielding, camera toting, backpack wearing tourists. Seeley Lake has groceries, gas, lodging, medical help, sporting goods and rentals, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars for all types. There’s also a golf course for folks who are either multi-faceted beyond my comprehension or simply cannot tolerate a landscape un-manicured by mankind. 
Twenty miles to the north is Condon, an unincorporated town. Its amenities include various lodges and B&Bs, mountain lakes, vistas, trails, campgrounds, wilderness access, forests, wildlife, the Swan River… you get the picture. 
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info
SWAN VALLEY - NORTHWESTERN MONTANA

North of Holland Lake, State 31 runs through the heavy Flathead National Forest of the Swan Valley, a wild land with fish and game, rude trails, and lookout stations. The road is poor with an average of 20 curves to the mile. There are only occasional glimpses of the majestic Mission Mountains (L) and Swan Range (R). The forest silence is broken only by the calls of wild things, the splash and gurgle of tumbling streams, and the sound, like surf on a far shore, of wind flowing smoothly through the tops of tamaracks and firs. Nevertheless occasional cabins beside the road indicate that a few hardy human beings attempt to live here.
—Montana, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Sandwiched between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Mountain Range is the north-south oriented Swan Valley. It’s a place of many waters. The Swan River flows north to Flathead Lake. The Clearwater River flows south to the Blackfoot River. Both are filled with cold mountain run-off from countless drainages. Timbering was once a mainstay of the local economy and from space you can still see the human imposed grid system of clearing timber—called checkerboard clear-cutting—across the width of the valley, stretching to the mountainsides.
A highway runs through the area—Highway 83—and in the summer that strip of asphalt shuttles vast schools of recreation and solitude seeking people to the chain of lakes and beyond: Salmon Lake, Seeley Lake, Lake Inez, Lake Alva, Holland Lake, and Swan Lake, to a name a few. Opportunities for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are scattered over millions of acres. To the east, the Scapegoat Wilderness runs to the Bob Marshall Wilderness which runs into the Great Bear Wilderness. From there Glacier National Park takes over and completes the stretch to Canada. These wilderness spaces, along with various National Forests, create a corridor all the way to Yellowstone National Park.
These upper stretches of wilderness have some of the greatest densities of grizzly bear in the lower 48 and they commonly traipse across the valley floor. Grizzlies need a lot of space. Valley and mountain visitors are wise to keep this in mind when backpacking and camping. Wolves, mountain lions, and black bear round out the top predator list—they all find space here, too.
The town of Seeley Lake has a population fewer than 1,700 folks year around, but swells substantially each summer with boat pulling, rod wielding, camera toting, backpack wearing tourists. Seeley Lake has groceries, gas, lodging, medical help, sporting goods and rentals, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars for all types. There’s also a golf course for folks who are either multi-faceted beyond my comprehension or simply cannot tolerate a landscape un-manicured by mankind. 
Twenty miles to the north is Condon, an unincorporated town. Its amenities include various lodges and B&Bs, mountain lakes, vistas, trails, campgrounds, wilderness access, forests, wildlife, the Swan River… you get the picture. 
* * *
Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.
Zoom Info

SWAN VALLEY - NORTHWESTERN MONTANA

North of Holland Lake, State 31 runs through the heavy Flathead National Forest of the Swan Valley, a wild land with fish and game, rude trails, and lookout stations. The road is poor with an average of 20 curves to the mile. There are only occasional glimpses of the majestic Mission Mountains (L) and Swan Range (R). The forest silence is broken only by the calls of wild things, the splash and gurgle of tumbling streams, and the sound, like surf on a far shore, of wind flowing smoothly through the tops of tamaracks and firs. Nevertheless occasional cabins beside the road indicate that a few hardy human beings attempt to live here.

Montana, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Sandwiched between the Mission Mountains Wilderness and the Swan Mountain Range is the north-south oriented Swan Valley. It’s a place of many waters. The Swan River flows north to Flathead Lake. The Clearwater River flows south to the Blackfoot River. Both are filled with cold mountain run-off from countless drainages. Timbering was once a mainstay of the local economy and from space you can still see the human imposed grid system of clearing timber—called checkerboard clear-cutting—across the width of the valley, stretching to the mountainsides.

A highway runs through the area—Highway 83—and in the summer that strip of asphalt shuttles vast schools of recreation and solitude seeking people to the chain of lakes and beyond: Salmon Lake, Seeley Lake, Lake Inez, Lake Alva, Holland Lake, and Swan Lake, to a name a few. Opportunities for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping are scattered over millions of acres. To the east, the Scapegoat Wilderness runs to the Bob Marshall Wilderness which runs into the Great Bear Wilderness. From there Glacier National Park takes over and completes the stretch to Canada. These wilderness spaces, along with various National Forests, create a corridor all the way to Yellowstone National Park.

These upper stretches of wilderness have some of the greatest densities of grizzly bear in the lower 48 and they commonly traipse across the valley floor. Grizzlies need a lot of space. Valley and mountain visitors are wise to keep this in mind when backpacking and camping. Wolves, mountain lions, and black bear round out the top predator list—they all find space here, too.

The town of Seeley Lake has a population fewer than 1,700 folks year around, but swells substantially each summer with boat pulling, rod wielding, camera toting, backpack wearing tourists. Seeley Lake has groceries, gas, lodging, medical help, sporting goods and rentals, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars for all types. There’s also a golf course for folks who are either multi-faceted beyond my comprehension or simply cannot tolerate a landscape un-manicured by mankind. 

Twenty miles to the north is Condon, an unincorporated town. Its amenities include various lodges and B&Bs, mountain lakes, vistas, trails, campgrounds, wilderness access, forests, wildlife, the Swan River… you get the picture. 

* * *

Montana State Guide Chris Chapman was born and raised in the fields of Indiana, spent time in Michigan, California, Washington and Maryland, but has called Montana home since the days before it had speed limits or open container laws. Now married with two young kids, he documents family friendly adventures: canoeing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, throughout the state. Chris’ Tumblr home is j-appleseed.tumblr.com. His other web home is ChrisChapmanPhotography.net.