Saturday, January 19, 2008

Grab your skates!

Today, Kimerra and Jessi were skating at Rotary Park. These two gals live in Ridgway but came up for the afternoon for some fun outdoors. The ice is in the best shape that it has been in for years. The surface is well plowed and the ice is very smooth. Will Clapsadl is the official "Ice Man" at Rotary Park and we are so grateful that he is taking such care. Thanks Will!

Karen @ Box Canyon Lodge

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Morning, Ouray Ice Fest

It is Saturday Morning at the Ouray Ice Festival. On the lower bridge, you can see there are numerous vendors and climbers from around the world. People can demo all the latest in equipment.

Here is a gal, climbing on the Kids Wall, just learning how to do it.

Spectators watch as the competition heats up

New at the Ice Park this year is the Kids climbing wall. It is easily accessible from the road, has a great pitch, beautiful ice and you can come and test drive the sport before you commit to loving it.

See all the people on the kids wall. In fact, it isn't just for kids anymore! Adults of all ages are learning to climb.

This lady is descending into the gorge before she starts up.

We have competitors from around the world that come to Ouray to compete.
More spectators watching the early morning competition

Jodi from La Papillion Bakery cooks up some warm food for the spectators and participants. He makes a fantastic gumbo.

Just another perfect blue sky day in Ouray. We received about 4 inches of snow last night and it left the landscape with a brilliant white sheen. The red building is our beautiful county courthouse.

Getting ready for the gorge.

Vendor tents along the road in the ice park.

Participants watch from viewing stands funded by gifts from Asolo, one of the main sponsors of the event.

Climbing clinics abound during the festival. There are over 80 different clinics sponsored by the various vendors. There is also a bunch of gear that can be demoed for free.

The Ouray Elks Lodge made breakfast this morning for those that wanted to eat pancakes, sausage, bacon and biscuits and gravy. This is Phil Martinez. He is one of the Trustees and loves to cook. He also works at the Ruby Trust Mine.

Manette Steele is the District Deputy for the Western Slope. She also loves to cook and loves early morning gigs.
The Ouray French Team was also part of the fun. They are raising money for a trip to Paris this coming March and worked to serve the ice fest participants a hearty breakfast.

This is Tom Tyler performing cleanup. He was there early but refused pictures until the coffee had been built up in his system. He is not a morning person :-)

All in all, another great day in Ouray!

Karen @ Box Canyon Lodge

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Evening at the Ouray Ice Festival

Tonight the Ouray Volunteer Fire Department hosted a dinner with the Ice Park at the Ouray Community Center. Vendors set up tables and booths and folks browsed all the new equipment. There was a silent auction that went off without a hitch. Here are some pictures of the evenings events.

Here are Patrick Rondinelli and his son Brian. Patrick volunteers on the Ouray Fire Department and is our distinguished City Administrator.

Here is Mel Rajokowski. She works for the Ice Park and is in charge of all the merchandising. She is hanging onto her little baby Connor who is just about 8 months old now.

Here is Hans from Denmark. He is here at the festival enjoying all the clinics. This is his fourth or fifth trip to Ouray.

Peter is trying out a sleeping bag that was donated to the silent auction. He is trying to decide if he wants to bid on it.

This is Ken Garard, Sandy and Mike Macleod. They put together the silent auction and without all their hard work, it would be hard to pull it off. You can see they are enjoying a cool one before the bidding begins.

Here is Erin Eddy. He is the Executive Director of the Ouray Ice Park. When he is not helping with the Ice Park, he is a real estate agent too.

Here is Carol Garard with Jason Stadler. Jason works for Asolo, one of the main sponsors of the entire event.

Kevin Koprick of San Juan Mountain Guides and Ouray Entertainment talks with a Vasque Representative

Tomorrow, the big competition begins at the Lower Bridge. It starts at 9:00am. I hope to get up there early and grab some great pictures.

Karen @ Box Canyon Lodge

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ouray Ice Festival -- It's Here!

Rob Megna and Eryn Bond who own the Backstreet Bagel on Main Street are out and about checking out the fun!

All of this is in preparation for the Ouray Ice Festival. Tents are being set up today for the vendors and activities really get going tomorrow.

Spectators on the expanded viewing stands with funds provided by Asolo.

Climbing in the snow!

Early pictures from the Ouray Ice Festival!

Rich is out on the Green Barron trying to keep up with the mounds of snow that keep coming. Talk about a winter wonderland. The forecast today is for up to 15 inches of the white stuff. It is getting harder and harder to find places around Ouray for all this snow. There are places just off of Main Street where snow hills exist that are 15 feet high.

Karen @ Box Canyon Lodge

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cross Country Skiing - A Ton of Fun!

Kathleen, Sandra , Dianne (Pictured) and Karen go skiing! Fabulous Day

Sandra and Dianne taking a short rest!

Laughing as we head up!

Today, Sandra Boles, Kathleen Norris Cook, and Diane Correl went cross country skiing in the Amphitheater. We had a dandy time with Yankee Boy and Nala Dog. We made fresh tracks as we started out at 8:00am.

I took my little camera along for the fun of it, but, it was a bit intimidating taking pictures with Kathleen along. She is, of course, a fantastic photographer and I have such limited capabilities. But, I did capture a few fun shots.

The temperature was a crisp 12 degrees but the sky was a brilliant blue even though we were in the shade most of the time. The snow was about 8 inches deep but it was light champagne powder. Watch my little video of our trip.

Karen @ Box Canyon Lodge

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ouray Express Comes to Life!

Ouray now has a shuttle service between Ouray and the Montrose Airport. Why rent a car and leave it parked when you can contact Switzerland of America and arrange your pickup?

This shuttle service could also be used to move people between Ouray and Telluride. Since discounted Telluride lift tickets are available to people that stay in Ouray, a nice shuttle service over to the area might also be a nice treat.

Karen @ Box Canyon Lodge

PS Please feel free to leave a comment. We love your input!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Recycling Program Works

At the Box Canyon Lodge, I wanted to start an in-room recycling program for our guests. All I could see was the cost of getting it implemented so I was a bit slow in getting it going. I needed some way to collect the recyclables in the room, was going to need some company to collect the stuff, and needed to explain to our guests how it would work.

Initially, I didn't think that Waste Management would collect the stuff as I was a commercial operation. With the help of one of the towns people, Rick Lane, I received a visit from the Operations Manager of the local office. He indicated that they would pick up our recyclables, no problem! About three weeks ago, I received my green container. I spent the next few weeks refining the process and obtaining the necessary equipment.

I spent about $400 on blue recycling waste baskets for each of the rooms, created my own in room placards to explain our program, trained my housekeeping staff and then implemented the program.

It has been 4 days and the response is overwhelming. I already have filled my 96 gallon container. I am amazed and pleased. Now I need to order a second recycling bin to accommodate all the waste. If I can keep two containers per week from going into the regular dumpster, I think it is possible that my direct costs for waste disposal will be 40% less after implementing this program. How exciting! We help the earth and we help our bottom line. What a great combination.

Karen @ Box Canyon Lodge

PS. Please feel free to post a comment - we love to hear from you!

Great Skiing!

Yesterday, Sandra and I went X-country Skiing up in Ironton. We took Nala too. It was fantastic. We arrived about 9:00am and we were the only ones there! We had about 4 new inches of fresh snow. It was a heavy snow but that made it extra nice to ski without tracks. It was snowing lightly and yet there was no wind.

One lap around the town circuit and one lap north in the willows was sufficient as we had some time pressures. Nala ran well, but, seems like she might have strained a ligament in her hind leg. We were going to go enjoy some snow time on the Amphitheater Road today but I decided she needed to take it easy.

Red Mountain Pass was closed later in the day on Saturday so the skiing is going to be great once the road opens. It isn't supposed to open until sometime Monday or maybe even Tuesday. What a storm!

Rich & I worked hard in the snow today. Shoveling turns out to be a thankless job. He is ready to make snow removal a sport so that you can spend a bunch of $$ on equipment.

Karen @

PS. Please feel free to post a comment - we love to hear from you!