Off the Clock in the North Fork Valley of Colorado

My parents rented a “tiny home” in Paonia for the month of August and of course, I visited. I stayed for a week and my husband, Ryan, joined us for two nights. It was good to see my parents and to see the North Fork Valley.

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I might have to start referring to the North Fork Valley as the Land of Rainbows. This was the view one night from the Creekside Tiny House.

I was technically “off the clock” but I am always the Mayor of HeidiTown, therefore I had to write a little about the trip.

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Taken during an evening trip for ice cream at Ollie’s in downtown Paonia, Colorado.

Here are some delightful photos and a little about some of the places we visited. Plus, I’ve added some news about the North Fork Valley.

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I love the drive over McClure Pass. To say it’s beautiful is an understatement.

In the meantime, the North Fork Valley is one-hour southeast of Grand Junction and just over McClure Pass from Carbondale and Marble, Colorado. The area encompasses the towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford.

RELATED: Must-Stop Colorado Ice Cream Shops

While I was in town, I attended one of my HeidiTown client’s event, Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival in Hotchkiss. In the next picture I am excited to try out the plums I just bought from a farmer at the festival.

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The North Fork Valley is truly is one of my most happy places and Ryan’s too. The tiny house is surrounded by running water and Ryan set up our travel hammock.

Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival in Hotchkiss includes great tunes, lots of vendors selling everything from spice to clothing and there’s loads of live music. They serve beer as well as local cider and wine.

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I visited the Delta County Fair which was happening in Hotchkiss while I was in town. There I witnessed a whole lot of cuteness in cowboy boots.

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When Ryan got to town we visited one of his favorite spots in the valley, Black Bridge Winery at Orchard Valley Farms.

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While Ryan visited, we took a field trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. This is one of the few posed shots we took during the trip.

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We visited Small Potato Farms for fresh veggies and fresh bread. They are a must-stop for us any time we’re in the valley.

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I made tasty things like this from the local foodstuff I bought. Tortillas from Farm Runners, cheese from Delicious Orchards and tomatoes from Small Potatoes. It was all sprinkled with some fancy pepper spice my mom picked up from Roaring Fork Co. at Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival.

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We attended Pickin’ in the Park in Paonia. It takes place each Thursday in August and features talented artists from around the country. My parents, who are both musicians, were very impressed. I was impressed with the music and the fantastic food selection.

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Our view each morning from the outside dining area of the Creekside Tiny Home was simply beautiful.

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We spent quite a lot of time on Hotchkiss during this trip, it’s only about 10 minutes from Paonia, and I got seriously obsessed with this field of blue flowers in town.

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On a Tuesday morning, I met a Paonia friend for a doughnut and coffee at the brewery. I met Lael on my first trip to the area and she was so right to recommend this meeting place. The brewery opens early on Tuesday to sell Sugar Fix Doughnuts and coffee.

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I visited Western Culture Farmstead & Creamery while in the area. They are a new creamery in Paonia that came to my attention because the wife and husband team are from Boulder and took classes at The Art of Cheese in Longmont. Some of you may recall our experience making cheese there and if not, you can read all about it here.

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After visiting the new creamery, I bought some cheese and ate it with an apricot ale from Paonia United Brewery. It’s located in the former location of Revolution Brewery.

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No trip to Paonia is complete without a visit to The Living Farm. Lynn Gillespie is one of my favorite people, and not just because she named a baby sheep after me. She is a star in the world of agritourism and has helped me out with quotes for several articles about the topic.

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The farm is not giving tours this summer because they have their hands full with other things but Lynn offered to let me visited with her flock one evening. Nothing makes me happier than hanging out at twilight in a field with sweet mamma sheep and their lambs.

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There are so many reasons to love the North Fork Valley. If you’d like to visit what I like to call “The Land of Milk and Honey” browse DeltaCountyColorado.com.

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Website Comments

  1. Jan VanDenBerg
    Reply

    Next time, pick up some hemp CBD preparations — tinctures, salves, capsules and suppositories — from Mountain Flower Botanicals in Hotchkiss!!

  2. Jay Bagley
    Reply

    Excellent article on many of the treasures found in the Northfork Valley. On your next trip please know that you are invited to Rubicon Roasting, the Northfork Valley’s own small batch coffee roastery. We are very excited to be Roasting single origin beans and creating wonderful blends of fair trade, organic coffe for Western Colorado and beyond.

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