5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on Your Radar

I’ve stayed at four out of five of these inns, and I toured the other one, so you can be assured that there is an authentic voice behind this post. These Colorado inns are all quite varied in price and ambiance, but they are each one-of-a-kind.

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on your Radar. The Distillery Inn partio. HeidiTown

Photo courtesy of The Distillery Inn.

The Distillery Inn at Marble Distilling Co. – Carbondale

The Distillery Inn is the most luxurious property on this list. I had the great pleasure of staying there last month. When I say it’s “unique,” I’m not exaggerating – it’s the only distillery inn in the world.

The five rooms, located above the distillery, are top-notch. The ambiance of the entire place is laid back, yet elegant. My favorite detail of my room, the Ginger, were the daffodils in the bathroom and tulips in the main room. Continue reading

These Colorado Winter Festivals Will Make You Feel like a Kid Again

I love things that make me feel like a little kid again; things like magic, 50 pound bags of popcorn at Costco and fresh snow. There’s something nostalgic about being truly awed, and as we get older that feeling happens less frequently.

Three Awe-Inspiring Colorado Winter Festivals, Kids Ski Joring Leadville CO 5 - by Lake County Tourism Panel

Crystal Carnival & Ski Joring Weekend in Leadville. Photo provided by the Lake County Tourism Panel.

However, these three Colorado winter festivals are sure to amaze even the most stoic adult. And if you bring along the kids, they’ll have memories to last a lifetime.

Telluride Fire Festival

January 20-22, 2017

The fire arts seem to have gained popularity over the last five years or so. Fire performers combine the entertainment style of Cirque de Soleil with the power of combustion. It’s sort of like magic because most of us have no idea how they do what they do.

FractalTribePerformer#2ByRyanBonneau (1)

Photo provided by Telluride Fire Festival. Photo by Ryan Bonneau.

Telluride Fire Festival is in its third year. It takes inspiration from Burning Man, and has been created by an incredible group of dedicated people in Telluride.

I attended the first-year event and I can tell you from personal experience that Telluride Fire Festival will make you feel like a kid again. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, spontaneous fire performances occur around town. From art cars to fire-breathing sculptures, it’s truly spectacular. Best of all, these events are free.

Additional ticketed events and workshops take place at various venues around town throughout Telluride Fire Festival. Explore their event calendar to learn more.

International Snow Sculpture Championships

Sculpting Week – January 24 to 28, 2017

Viewing Week – January 28 to February 5, 2017

I had heard about this Breckenridge event for years before I actually attended it in 2015, and I can honestly report that it lived up to the hype. The sheer scope of these snow sculpture is astounding, but then when you see the detail the artists are able to render in snow, it’s downright incredible.

Walking among these giant, snowy effigies gives me that spine-tingly excitement that’s a reminder of childhood.

Three Awe-Inspiring Colorado Winter Festivals_CarlScofield

International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo by Carl Scofield.

I recommend attending the International Snow Sculpture Championships towards the end of the sculpting period when the artists are finishing up their sculptures. Watching the sculptors work gives real insight to the difficulty of this competition. I also encourage you to visit once at night too. Darkness adds a certain level of magic to this event.   

Crystal Carnival & Ski Joring

March 3-5, 2017

Last, but certainly not least, I can almost guarantee that you’ll verbalize some “oohs” and “ahhs” at Crystal Carnival in Leadville. The ski joring competition at this festival is one of the most hair raising events I’ve ever witnessed in person and I’ve watched ice climbing.

Three Awe-Inspiring Colorado Winter Festivals, Ski Joring Leadville by Lake County Tourism Panel

Crystal Carnival & Ski Joring Weekend in Leadville. Photo courtesy Lake County Tourism Panel

The ski joring competition at Crystal Carnival is the real deal. This isn’t a stunt performance for the crowds. These are real cowboys, cowgirls and skiers who come to Leadville to compete for real cash prizes and bragging rights.

Leadville’s main street, Harrison Avenue, is transformed into a snowy raceway for the ski joring competition that occurs throughout Crystal Carnival weekend.

I recommend checking the schedule and arriving early so you can get a good spot to watch, preferably around the jumps.

Other events take place during Crystal Carnival including a night mountain bike ride in the snow called the Mineral Belt Mayhem, and there’s usually an evening dance at the local Elk’s Club with a live band. However, the highlight at this festival is definitely the ski joring, so don’t miss it.

Going Back to Golf at the Highest Course in North America

The title of this blog post may be misleading as I am not entirely sure that I am in fact “going back to golf.” Some of you may be surprised to learn that at one time I was a competent golfer. Of course, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it was a very long time ago.

Going back to golf. Mount Massive Golf Course, Leadville, Colorado.

During high school I worked at Avalon Golf Club (now Avalon Golf Links), which was down the street from my house in Western Washington. I worked in the clubhouse and after work I’d often go and play a round in the twilight hours.

Last month, on a trip to Leadville, Colorado, I was invited to play at Mount Massive Golf Course. There were two reasons I couldn’t say no. First, at 9,680 feet above sea level, this is the highest golf course in North America. Second, it was established in 1939, which means it has to be one of the oldest courses in Colorado.

Going back to golf. The view from the Mount Massive Clubhouse.

The view from the Mount Massive Clubhouse.

I was booked for a late afternoon tee time after a busy day, and as I drove to the golf course, just nine minutes outside of Leadville, I was buzzing with anxiety. Continue reading

A stay at Colorado Trail House in Leadville

 Colorado Trail House offers something new to the traveler in a home that rings with echoes of the past.

Steeped in history, Leadvillle’s lively past is palpable on every visit to the town, and whether a visitor cares a whit about history or not, it’s all around them.

A stay at Colorado Trail House in Leadville.

I have been visiting Leadville for nearly a decade, and on my most recent trip, I experienced many new Leadville sites and sounds that held echoes of past visits. This is the first in several posts about my latest Leadville adventure.

The first harmonization of the past and present was my booking at Colorado Trail House, a brand new lodging destination in Leadville that’s located in a not so new building. The Victorian home at 127 E. 8th Street has stood for more than 100 years, and while researching Colorado Trail House online before my visit, I realized that I’d been there before. Continue reading

HeidiTown on the Radio – Colorado wine & food festivals & more

wine glassIt’s time for another HeidiTown segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.

This week I cover food and wine events in Fort Collins, a unique festival high, high, high in the Rocky Mountains and much more.

Hear me on KRFC 88.9 FM on Wednesdays prior to the Bikes & Beer Show at 6 p.m. and on Fridays at 5 p.m.

OR, listen HERE!  

Where to walk amongst the dead in Colorado

Most of us have visited a haunted house at least once, but we usually only visit the cemetery when absolutely necessary. Halloween, however, provides the perfect time to visit a local cemetery and discover what legends surround those who now reside six feet under.

A cemetery isn’t just the resting place of the dead, it tells the story of a town. Several local communities will be opening the gates to their cemeteries this weekend for tours with the spirits. In Longmont, Colorado the St. Vrain Historical Society will be hosting a Spirit Meet & Greet at Mountain View Cemetery on Sunday, October 31. Walking tours take place from 4 to 7 p.m. with the last tour departing at 6:45 p.m.

Participants on this walk will be treated to the stories of local people who are local legends, even in death. Mountain View Cemetery is located at 620 11th Avenue in Longmont. Tours start from the west side of the cemetery at 11th Ave., and cost $15.50 for a single, two for $30 and 12 and under are $8. A portion of the ticket sales will go to St. Vrain Historical Society.

Golden, Colorado will be giving cemetery tours on Saturday, October 30. Visit for times. This 60-minute tour includes a vast array of ghosts and accounts from Golden’s rich past. Like that of Oscar Goetze who worked at the town newspaper and was given the task of pacifying Golden founder Edward Berthoud when he would storm into the newspaper office demanding to know why his long-winded articles weren’t printed.

Visitors will view the grave of Willie Russell and learn of his tragic death at the Golden Paper Mill. Some stories along this tour will delight and others will give visitors’ the chills. Advanced registration for this tour is required. Call (303) 278-3557 to purchase tickets to Golden Cemetery Tours. Ticket prices are $7 to $15.

If you’d like to participate in one of the longest running and most well-known cemetery tours in the State of Colorado, join Judge Neil Reynolds at the Evergreen Cemetery in Leadville this weekend. Tickets are $10/person and reservations are required for this famed walk, so call (719) 486-3900 to reserve your spot. Many other Halloween events take place in Leadville over the holiday weekend, and for a full calendar be sure to check out

Cemeteries aren’t the only haunted places, and this year many Colorado towns are offering ghost tours on Halloween weekend. Fort Collins hosts Terror Tours, departing nightly on Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30, from the Fort Collins Museum at 200 Matthew Street.

This is a 60-minute walking tour of downtown, and as I learned from personal experience, by mixing legend with historical fact, your tour guide will introduce you to an entirely new side of Old Town. You will never look at Fort Collins the same way again. This spine-tingling tour is more than worth the cost of admission. Advanced tickets are $4. Tickets purchased the day of the tour are $5. Visit for all the details.

Breckenridge, Colorado hosts a walking haunted tour of their charming historical downtown, complete with mysterious and unsolved stories of the town’s salacious past. Reservations are required and space is limited. Visit for more information.

In Denver join local author Phil Goodstein as he conducts walking tours of various ghostly sites around the city. On Oct. 29, 30 and 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. meet in front of the statue of the Indian on the east side of the Capital building. The cost of this tour is $15. For all the details call (303) 333-1095.

**Also appearing in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor.

A Festival of Asses

Burro Days, Fairplay, Colorado. (Photo from Burro Days on Facebook)


A preview of the 62nd Annual Burro Days, this weekend in Fairplay, Colorado.

Click here for all the details.

Two New Reviews

GO ROCKIES!!      What a great day to be a Colorado Rockies fan!

I   have posted two new reviews under Restaurant Reviews  and Movie Reviews.

Please feel free to leave me comments!!

Weekend in Leadville

Ryan and I spent a great weekend in Leadville, Colorado.     The highest town in the USA (10,000 feet above sea level).   We woke on Sunday morning to six inches of snow.  

See Photos:

Leadville,  Colorado, photo of one of the historic blocks on main street

Book  Mine, a cute and well stocked independent book store

Main  Street, colorful buildings on main street

Silver Dollar  Saloon, Doc Holiday killed a man at this saloon that was built in 1879

The Leadville  Inn, we stayed at this historic bed & breakfast

Read my review of the Leadville Inn at Trip Advisor:

 We also ate at Quincy’s Steaks and Spirits – read my review here:   Quincy’s

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