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Archive for April, 2010

Colorado History

21 Apr

Here are some curious things you might not know about Colorado.

Highest Climb. The highest vertical climb is not on a mountain but up the north side of the Black Canyon.. Rising 1,700 feet, this sheer rock face is even higher than the famous Diamond on Longs Peak and was not conquered until 1969.

Deepest Snow. In 1899 Crested Butte recorded 254 inches of snow near the top of Kebler Pass. That year, snow buried a train near Leadville and left only stove pipes showing above cabins at many mountain towns. Usually, Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs gets the most snow in Colorado.

Oldest Hotel. The Peck House in the little town of Empire, near Berthoud Pass, is Colorado’s oldest hotel. It was built in 1859 by James Peck. Early guests included President Ulysses S. Grant and other famous people.

Highest Town. Leadville is the highest (10,200 feet) incorporated town in Colorado and the entire U.S. It has also had the highest rate of premature babies in the U.S. Researchers concluded that the altitude causes smaller babies.

Largest Nuggets. The biggest gold nugget in Colorado weighed 135 ounces and was found near Breckenridge in 1887 by miner Tom Broves. The biggest silver nugget weighed 1,840 pounds and was found at an Aspen mine in 1894.

Largest Elk Antlers. Measuring 52 inches at the widest point, the antlers of an elk killed in 1899 near Crested Butte are still on display at that town’s visitor center. In 1961, Boone and Crockett researchers declared it to be the largest elk rack in history.

Toughest Climate. No crops are grown around the town of Silverton, north of Durango. At 9,318 feet elevation, Silverton’s growing season between frosts is only two weeks. San Juan County there is reportedly the only county in the U.S. without a single acre of agricultural land.

Worst Drought. About every 40 years, Colorado experiences a drought, according to tree-ring researchers. The worst was in the 1200s. It lasted 25 years and may have driven the Indians from Mesa Verde. During the Dust Bowl on the eastern plains, one cloud of dust on April 4, 1935, gathered itself to 1,000 feet high and 200 miles wide. It traveled at 60 miles an hour, suffocated hundreds of animals and damaged many people’s health.
Driest Town. Delta, south of Grand Junction, gets less rain per year than Tucson, Arizona.

Musical Dunes. Winds blowing around the Great Sand Dunes near Alamosa create sounds resembling music. That’s how Music Pass above the dunes got its name.

Women’s Rights. Colorado was the second state in the U.S. to give women the right to vote. Wyoming was the first. You would think the eastern states would have been more progressive, but it took the frontier adventure to make men realize how strong and intelligent women were.

 

Riverside Lodge is born!

05 Apr

BY NICOLE FORMOSA
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

SILVERTHORNE – When Tamara Goodenbour walked into the former Alpen Hutte Lodge in Silverthorne last month for an annual Summit Dharma Center retreat, she was in awe over the transformation.

“Oh, I was floored. They totally re-did it, it looks so good,” Goodenbour said. “Before it was a lot of unnecessary stuff everywhere. Everything was disorderly and stacked up. It sort of reminded me of like an old fraternity house.” The lodge – renamed Riverside Lodge by new owner Brad Foreman – has been undergoing renovations for the past six months in an effort to change the 20-year-old hostel’s run-down image.

“What we’re trying to do is offer Summit County still an economical alternative for housing, but one that is clean, healthy and safe,” Foreman said.

Peak Investments, LLC – the company owned by Foreman and a partner – purchased the lodge for $1.315 million in late April, and has poured thousands of dollars into a facelift that includes new carpets, fresh paint and updated electronics in two large livings rooms, a handicap-accessible bathroom and two kitchens on the first level.

“The whole bottom floor was redone from tiles on the floor to the texture on the walls, plus we have artwork now,” said James Adams, of Vacation Rentals, who manages the property.

Renovations also included outfitting the kitchen with modern appliances, new countertops, tile floors, cooking utensils and pots and pans, and adding a second full-sized kitchen for guests of the lodge, which sleeps about 70 people.

All the beds in the lodge were also given new sheets and blankets.
Foreman is hoping the revamped Lodge will attract large groups, such as church groups, people in town for a family reunion or wedding, or perhaps ski teams in the county for training.

The lodge is also available to drop-ins – a bed in one of the dorm-style rooms runs about $25 to $30 a night – but in keeping with Foreman’s effort to attract more of a family-oriented crowd, guests must now sign a contract saying they won’t have drugs on the property or be intoxicated.

In the past, the Alpen Hutte had a reputation for allowing unhealthy conduct such as public intoxication and drug use, Foreman said,

Now, if guests do not abide by Foreman’s strict zero-tolerance policy, they will lose their deposit and be asked to leave.

Foreman envisions the Riverside Lodge developing a feel similar to Lodges in other countries that cater to cash-conscious travelers.

“What we tried to do is create that European thing where families could come cook their own meals and stay, save money and be safe, and it’s convenient,” he said.

Foreman’s philosophy also includes treating his guests right, a point Goodenbour didn’t miss during her recent stay.

“The new owners are very hospitable. It’s like what you’d expect from staying in a nice hotel, very customer service oriented,” Goodenbour said.

For inquiries about the Riverside Lodge, call (970) 468-0987 or visit www.summitpeakslodge.com.