The Pole
Ear to the ground:
“Pueblo never looked so good.”
– Former Colorado Springs resident on the bright side of the Waldo Fire

Like a pro
Everyone from weekend warriors to Tuesday night “A” riders can live the dream. On Sun., Aug. 19, the Pro Challenge Experience comes to Durango, giving mere mortal cyclists the chance to “ride like a pro.” Following parts of the USA Pro Challenge Stage 1 route, which takes off the following day, the Experience comes in two sizes: stout (45 miles) and super stout (72 miles.)

Details on the route were sketchy, but from what we could discern from the press release, both “experiences” will start at 7 a.m. in downtown Durango. From there, riders will head up Wildcat Canyon and “past the breathtaking scenery of the San Juan Mountains and San Juan National Forest,” which we suppose is what the rest of us refer to as “Rafter J.”

From there, the route could possibly include the “breathtaking scenery” of Lake Nighthorse, with riders returning to town, before climbing to DMR via CR 250 and Shalona Hill. At this point, cyclists participating in the 45-miler, or anyone who’s worked up a mean thirst, can party down at DMR. Those wanting to continue the joy ride can take the return 27-mile trip back to Durango, with a bonus grunt up to Fort Lewis College followed by a post-race party.

The cost of riding in the pros’ saddles? A mere $65, which includes an “exclusive” commemorative shirt. A portion of proceeds from the fee goes to either America’s Road Home, a nonprofit dedicated to ending family homelessness, or Durango’s very own Trails 2000. But hurry – spots are limited. Go to

River time
Love ’em or hate ’em, national lists have featured our fair town as of late. And now, Durango may be headed for one more.

On June 12, Outside magazine announced its “Best River Town” competition with ours truly in the running. And this time, they’re putting it to the river rats, eddy flowers, SUPers, TUBers and other assorted river jetsam and flotsam. The winning town will be featured on the October magazine cover, Outside Online and Outside Television (an oxymoron if ever there was one.)

For the contest, Outside teamed up with American Rivers and “scoured the nation for burgs that have both the usual dreamy quality-of-living criteria and also an active recreational engagement ... and a positive environmental story.” When the whitewater settled, Durango had risen to the surface along with Hood River; Nevada City, Calif.; Milwaukee; Asheville, N.C.; Nashville; Boise; Missoula; Ithaca, N.Y.; and Richmond, Va.

If you think Durango is the “Best River Town,” be sure to vote by July 10 at And if you’d rather have your favorite play/swimming/ fishing hole to yourself? Vote for Milwaukee.



In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows