Summer 2017

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The Fastest Growing Real Estate Agency in Colorado

{ Summer 2017 }



Jim and Nancy Carpenter dreamed of a cabin in the mountains—and built this beautiful, eco-friendly retreat in Livermore.

By christy lejeune


Research shows that kids who spend more time outdoors are more well adjusted. Here’s why—and a realtime example to prove it.

By Tracy ross


A Fort Collins photographer commits to a 100-day challenge in hopes of reconnecting to her passion.

by caramie Petrowsky

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Lakes at Centerra

{ Summer 2017 }




Faces of NoCo / retro travel trailers / gear for on-the-water fun / more
By Cara McDonald, Allison LeCain and Chryss cada


A local metalsmith calls on auras and earthy touches to create one-of-a-kind jewelry.
By lisa blake


Fort Collins’ leading ladies on two wheels reflect on equality of the sexes in mountain biking.
by Julie dugdale


How car tech is driving us nuts.
By jeff rundles


Keeping kids safe from toxic toys and finding healthy replacements.
By Michelle theall


DIY furniture design / custom woodworkers / more
By dana r. butler


You think you can’t change your perspective, but you can. You think you’re alone, but you’re not.
By Ana Maria Spagna


Dreamy ice cream / culinary walking tours / Decadent Saint sangria / more.
By shawna jackson van and Lisa Blake


Libby James, the world’s fastest 80-year-old woman.
by corey radman

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Locality Bar

{ Summer 2017 }

Letter from the editor

For years I operated under the mistaken impression that I was a Type A extrovert, full stop. I’m tall. I can project. I’m a talker and love sharing a good, raucous laugh. Anyone who’s ever met me at party would assume I’m the kind of person who would grab the mic at open mic night and easily talk her way out of a traffic ticket (sad note: never have).
It took a radical lifestyle change—marrying, becoming a mother, leaving a management-level editorial job and moving from the city to a house in the woods, all in the space of a year—to realize that though I was a lover of people’s stories, I was socially exhausted. That though I COULD multi-task and overperform, it shredded my creativity and focus. And that what I really, really wished for was to be quiet, to quit trying to please the unpleaseable in my world, and to hear my own thoughts.

Finding my inner sensitive person was, frankly, a shock. The long quiet hours working from home, the emotional mushroom cloud of motherhood revealed a rawness and vulnerability that hit like a gut punch.

But it was the start of a new life, an understanding of who my inner being really was: an observer, an absorber, a connector, a feeler. A crier of tears at small-town parades and Christmas pageants and during certain Hallmark channel commercials.

When writer Caramie Petrowsky first wrote me about photographer Erin Thames and her recent decision to work with animals, the initial, obvious hook was the irresistible photo of Clover the hedgehog perched in a coffee mug. But the deeper tug for me was about Thame’s inner world, her intune-ness and sensitivity. These qualities have a profound effect on her animal subjects, letting them revel in her accepting energy and show their true characters. That hard-to-define touch shines through in her work, and led Thames from a career funk to a deeper calling that so suited her intuitive nature.

In a society where bombast and power and influence are increasingly admired and aspired to, where a “look at me” culture is on a troubling ascendancy, it’s soul-affirming to connect with the art of a watcher, a seer, an allower like Thames. Being behind the lens instead of in front of it can be a gift to the world—and a beautiful relief.

Cara McDonald, Editor / Fort Collins Magazine /[email protected]

Summer 2017
volume 6 • issue 2

Amy McCraken

Cara McDonald

Contributing Writers
Aaron Bible, Dana Butler, Lisa Blake, Andra Coberly, Christy Lejeune, Corey Radman, Shawna Van, Carrie Visintainer

Shelley Lai

Contributing Photographers
Steve Glass, Matthew Graves, Stephanie Powell, Erin Thames

Advertising Sales
Amy McCraken, Tim Matthews, Melanie Mitchell, Saundra Skrove

Advertising Design
Anne Marie Martinez

Ad Sales Coordination
Allison LeCain

Social Media
Lisa Blake

Andrew McCraken

Printing & Pre-Press
Ovid Bell Press, Inc.

For advertising or editorial inquiries
[email protected]

For subscriptions call 970-797-9200 or visit

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All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part with express written consent is strictly prohibited. Evergreen Custom Media does not assume responsibility for the advertisements, nor any representation made therein, nor the quality or deliverability of the products themselves. Fort Collins Magazine is printed on 20 percent recycled (10 percent post-consumer waste) paper using only soy-based inks. Our printer meets or exceeds all Federal Resource Recovery Act (RCRA) standards.

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Lincoln Center

{ Tips, Trends, Stuff We Love }


That’s So NoCo

Time-warp Trailers

After Lindsey Gillette, her mom Anita Cordova, and their husbands restored their first camper, “Patches,” they were hooked. Next came “El Mojito,,” “Buttercup,,” “La Jolla,,” and “Rocky,”—all colorful trailers from the 1960s. Soon after, a family business was born. Rescued Relics Rentals in LaPorte has renovated these gems for comfort and charm, making them perfect for couples or small families. Campers rent from $85 per night and are easily pulled by a small truck or SUV, but some towing experience is necessary and you’ll need to temporarily add the trailer to your insurance (the safety of Buttercup and friends depends on it). For reservations and pics of your colorful vintage options, visit —LAURA RESAU

{ News & Notes }

On The Water
The best gear for your long weekend getaway to the river.
No matter what passion you ply on the Poudre this summer—from whitewater rafting and kayaking to playing bean bags and making cocktails at the campsite—these hot gear picks will keep your game elevated.
1. RovR CampR Cooler
Sure, we love Yeti as much as the next guy or gal, but here’s something totally new in coolers. The RovR CampR cooler is not only made in Colorado—bonus—but it features mountain-board wheels to move 80 quarts of food, microbrews and party supplies easily to your riverside campsite. This beast is packed with extras like a removable dry storage bin and can even hook up to your bicycle. ($449)

{ News & Notes }

Drinking Games
At the new Pinball Jones 2, Campus West gets its own version of the underground Old Town Square arcade bar, with a twist. This second location offers much of the amenities of its Old Town elder (free popcorn, friendly gamer staff), but it also features a full bar with mostly Colorado spirits and an elevated menu of batched, aged and infused craft cocktails. Here’s a little guide to get your inner gamer started at the bar. —Josie Sexton
If you are: An old-school pinballer…

Order up: A Temple of Doom, made with Breckenridge Bourbon, brandy, black walnut bitters, lemon peel, and sweet vermouth

If you are: Just here for the photo booth…

Order up: A round of Ms. Pac-Mans, featuring Montanya Rum, Midori, Luxardo liqueur, pineapple and coconut

If you are: Creepily hanging around the claw machine…

Order up: The Creature from the Black Lagoon — on tap and essentially a Dirty Girl Scout

If you are: Socializing over skee ball, air hockey and pool tables…

Order up: The Oaxacan Dead, with State 38 Agave Spirit, Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, rhubarb bitters, ginger beer and lime juice

{ News & Notes }

Faces of NoCo
Adam Lega
As part of our ongoing people-on-the-street series, we found Adam Lega setting up small soccer goals in a field along the Poudre River Trail, his young children kicking soccer balls alongside him.

Name: Adam Lega

Where he’s coming from/what he’s doing: “I’m coming from work—managing building information modeling at Farnsworth Group, a design services company—to coach soccer. Believe me, I’m not qualified for the coaching thing, but basically, when we registered our son, he was assigned to a team that said: NEEDS A COACH. So, well…”

What else he does: “I’m an artist and pet lover, and I do comic book and pop art of people’s pets.” (As seen at

What he likes best about FoCo: “Truly, the small-town feel.”

Where he’s often found: “Dog parks, bookstores, and mostly, at home, on the front porch, with the family and talking to neighbors.”

What he’s reading: “Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, a science fiction adventure writer who really is worth checking out. Also, I’m rereading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.”

What he’s listening to: “RUSH, a Canadian band.”

Why he moved here: “Well, it’s a long story, but I’d summarize it as this: A lifestyle change. We moved from St. Louis for a big overall lifestyle change.”
—Laura Pritchett

{ Style & Shopping }

One to Watch
Jane E Roberti Artisan Jewelry & Accessories
Fort Collins metalsmith calls on auras and earthy touches.
Self-described nature girl and literary geek Jane Roberti has creative visions. They come on as migraine aura scenarios.

“When I have a migraine, I doodle and these shapes come into designs,” she says. “I get auras, seeing patterns and lights. You can’t ignore it.”

So she files and saws and sands. She bends and burns metals and cozies up to the radio in her Fort Collins basement studio, using hand-tools to craft jewelry and accessories for men and women.

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Screamin Peach
Bohemian Nights

{ Adventure & Travel }

Ride Like A Girl
Fort Collins’ female riders relect on equality of the sexes in mountain biking.
By Julie Dugdale
Today women are still fighting for fair and equal treatment in fields from business to politics to sports—and this being summer in Colorado, there’s one sport that’s on many a mind as trails fill with riders. So, we wondered whether mountain biking still feels like a boys’ club around here. A few noteworthy tidbits on the big picture:

Ratio: More men than women ride bikes in the United States. The stats vary—a 2015 study commissioned by People For Bikes says men outnumber women cyclists by about 30 percent—and that includes all types of cycling, but the bottom line is the same: You’re more likely to share the road, path or trail with a guy on two wheels than a woman.

Representation: The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)—the world governing body for the sport of cycling—has a Mountain Bike Commission with six members. Only one is female (who happens to be Fort Collins’ own decorated World Championship rider and Olympic bronze medalist Georgia Gould). On the plus side, a recent overhaul of the UCI Athletes’ Commission includes an equal distribution of men and women.

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

The Cupboard
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
John Fiedler Photography

{ Auto }

Driven to distraction
High-tech options in cars look good but can take our eyes off the road. Here’s a list of what’s hands free and what’s hands off.
By Jeff Rundles
Technology is nearly omnipresent in our world today. This is all especially true when it comes to our cars, as they have become virtual offices and command centers that also happen to act as personal transportation.

Much of the technology in cars, of course, has to do with connectivity—hooking up apps from our smartphones, with hands-free Bluetooth, and voice commands for navigation, radio channels, finding restaurants and more. Not to mention entertainment systems so rear-seat passengers (read: kids) can engage with movies or video games and cease with the “when are we going to be there?” questions. And then there’s all the stuff for comfort: heated and cooled seats, seats that contour to our bodies and massage our tired muscles, lights that intuitively come on at night as we approach, keyless entry, lift gates in the back that open with a wave of a foot.

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Rodizio Grill

{ Health & Wellness }

Despite increased regulation, our babes still live in a toxic toyland. Here’s how to avoid chemicals in your GI Joes and Elmos.
By Andra Coberly
When you become a parent, you begin to see your possessions as grenades disguised as houseplants, electrical cords, lamps and throw pillows.

Seemingly, everything within a little arm’s reach can pose a threat. As parents, it’s your job to protect your kiddo from the constant presence of these domestic landmines, and nowhere is that threat more real than in your toy box.

While the U.S. has focused on mechanical safety—such as choking hazards—regulators have given less attention to the toxins within toys. Chemicals that have been found in toys at dangerous levels include lead, flame retardants, Bisphenol A, certain dyes and phthalates, an additive that helps PVC plastics become flexible and that may affect human reproduction and development.

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies
Kirk Eye Center
The Light Center
Royal Vista Vets

{ How We Live and Grow }


object of desire

fine art with function

Anne Bossert’s original fine-art furniture designs are a fresh take on color and pattern and many include her own handwoven textiles as a design element. Colorado-based Bossert believes that even functional objects should be interesting and beautiful, a principle that shapes her work. “I appreciate the imperfections that result from a human’s touch. And I think that living with handmade things makes our lives softer and creates connections between us.” Her childhood on a Midwestern farm surrounded by rows of corn and soybeans informs her predilection for stripes, an effect she gets from laminating high-end plywoods and incorporating the same dyes in her woven fabrics. —Dana R. Butler

{ Home & Garden }

what we’re buying now
The trends of the season are all about color and texture.
Feathering Your Nest
The Nido wicker chair from RH, Restoration Hardware gives a nod to the 1970s, while its geometric details maintain a modern edge.$1,295;

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Four Seasons Vets
City of Fort Collins
Royal Vista Vets

{ Home & Garden }

Garden Inspiration
Blooming Brilliant
This native perennial is good for just about everything and everyone.
By Cara mcdonald
On any wildflower walk, I love to keep an eye out for the poofy, Dr. Seussian blooms of native bee balm, or Monarda fistulosa L. So many reasons to love it. For one, it’s goofy showiness and long-lasting blooms on tall (three foot!) stems make a statement in dry grassy meadows. When it comes to usefulness, what a show-off: Bee balm, a member of the mint family, is both edible (the flowers make lovely salad garnish) and medicinal, with leaves, stems and blooms used to lower fevers, calm gastric disorders, soothe sore throats, heal skin infections and many more applications. In fact, the red variety common back East is known as Oswego Tea—it was dried, steeped and used as a tea substitute after the protesting colonists pitched their supply in Boston Harbor.

But perhaps the most charming aspect of this native perennial is the hazy purple wildlife oasis it creates. Observe one long enough and you’re guaranteed to spot bumblebees, moths, butterflies and hummingbirds frantically working the blooms for nectar.

Bee balm is easy enough to find in the wild, but also will take to a mountain home garden like crazy—the best way to start a patch is by buying healthy adult plants and planting in early summer; they tend to spread more easily than planting by seed, but if it’s seeds you’ve got, hold on until fall to scatter, and reap your reward next summer.

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Reba Tipton
Ace Hardware
C3 Real Estate Solutions
Manweiler Appliances
Jim and Nancy Carpenter always wanted to build a log cabin in the mountains. Their Livermore retreat—a beautiful, eco-friendly haven on the Front Range—ended up surpassing their wildest dreams.
By Christine Lejeune
photography By daniel o’conner
Jim and Nancy Carpenter always knew that they’d end up in the mountains. No matter that they were born and bred Midwesterners; they’d both had spent significant time in Montana growing up, and they’d bonded early in their relationship over their mutual love of the natural beauty and grandeur of the West. They dreamed of one day building a log cabin with a view of the Rockies.

For years, the Carpenters—who’d settled, raised a family and built a business in a pretty little suburb of Indianapolis—had simply gotten their mountain fix with vacations, traveling out West whenever they could. “But we always had that idea in our minds,” Jim Carpenter says. “Wouldn’t it be great to have a place out here somewhere?” It wasn’t until 2008 that the dream actually took root at Phantom Canyon Ranch, the massive Livermore ranch-focused development with some 1,100 acres of The Nature Conservancy’s protected Phantom Canyon Reserve at its center.

“It was awe at first sight,” Carpenter says. “There were these beautiful granite boulders all around, the Ponderosa pines, the vistas that go on and on.” They couldn’t imagine a better fit for themselves. The lifelong nature-lovers, both of whom are biologists and steadfast conservationists (in 1981, Jim founded the nature shop Wild Birds Unlimited), were drawn to everything about the place.

Fort Collins Magazine / Summer 2017

Research shows that kids who spend time outdoors are more well adjusted. Here’s why—and a real-time example to prove it.
by Tracy Ross
A couple of years ago, when my oldest son was 13, he came to my husband, Shawn, and me with an interesting proposition.
Scout has long been an admirer of people like Ed Abbey, Jon Krakauer, and Peter Matthiessen. He fancies himself like them: a true adventurer. He’s read all of the books—Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, The Snow Leopard, Freedom of the Hills. He’s also done his fair share of outdoor travel, with us, his parents, by foot, by bike, by skis, raft and duckie. And now he wanted to lead three of his best friends on an overland journey that would start approximately 20 miles from our house—in the middle of Roosevelt National Forest—and traverse rugged kind of terrain. They’d go by foot and mountain bike with exactly zero adults.

Shawn and I thought this over and had different reactions. His was, “That’s a big adventure to bite off for a bunch of 13-year-olds” and mine was “Oh, hell yeah. Let them do it!” It’s not that Shawn is more cautious than I am (quite the contrary). I simply shouted yes because I believe—like a growing number of scientists, researchers, pediatricians and child psychologists—that the more time a kid spends doing outdoor sports, the happier, more well-rounded, more confident and more competent that kid will be.

A Fort Collins photographer commits to a 100-day challenge in hopes of reconnecting to her passion.
By Caramie Petrowsky
Scrolling through her Facebook feed one gray day in early January 2016, photographer Erin Thames paused on a post, intrigued.

She’d been feeling restless; whereas her longtime photography passion had once satiated her, it now felt like she’d reached some sort of plateau. Pulling her Canon out of the case didn’t excite her the way it once had.

The post challenged members of a private photography group to participate in a 100-day passion project where they committed to spending 10 minutes a day, 100 days in a row, on a chosen project. It offered a way for artists to tackle a meaningful project, while holding each other accountable and sharing valuable feedback along the journey.

Thames mulled the idea over for an afternoon, trying to envision a project that would help her rekindle the flame.

“Animals are the one subject I never tire of,” explains Thames about her decision to pursue what she called her 100 Days of Animals project. “It’s kind of hard to explain but I’ve always felt like I could communicate with them on an energetic level.”

That’s not surprising, considering Thames’s naturally intuitive, gentle disposition. She’s been volunteering her time at local animal shelters, taking photos of orphaned animals for years now. Even animals that suffered previous abuse and distrusted strangers have been known to sidle up to her in two sniffs. Perhaps its because Thames has battled chronic pain for a dozen years and knows what it’s like to hurt.

And maybe that was part of the impetus for her project as well, even if she didn’t realize it at the time. Behind the lens, the hurt fades away.

Thames has gravitated toward nearly every animal she encounters since she was a tiny, tow-headed toddler. She’s drawn to their unconditional love, and vice versa.

The Melting Pot
Keri Olson
Chrissy Barker

{ Essay }

Away from Shore
Here’s the truth. You think you know a place inside out. You think you can’t change your perspective, but you can. You think you’re alone, but you’re not.
By Ana Maria Spagna
When I was a kid , I swam all summer in backyard pools and at the city park, lessons in the morning, wildness all afternoon. My bare feet grew calluses, my hair turned brittle green, my shoulders got broad, my Lycra suits disintegrated. And then I left home.

I’ve lived in this mountain town for a very long time now. There’s no pool here, no pool for miles. There is a beautiful lake, sure, gorgeous. The water reflects tall firs and blue sky and mossy cliffs, but it is very cold. Jump in on the hottest August day, and you’ll lose your breath. You can’t stay in five minutes. Sometimes you can’t jump in at all.

There are problems with living in one place too long. You know everyone, and they know you. You carry grudges from battles long forgotten. Sometimes you get bored. Sometimes you sit around the campfire telling stories about people and realize they have all left or died, and you think: I am way too young for this. Something has to change.

Laura Pritchett
Great Western Bank
Vern's Toffee
The Group Inc.
The Group Inc.
The Group Inc.
The Gardens on Spring Creek

{ News, Brews, Delicious Discoveries }


dish to die for

With so much to keep us busy during summer in NoCo—fests, farms, beer, bikes, art, live music—often what we long for most on a hot day is something uncomplicated. A cone at Dairy Delite in Loveland somehow encapsulates all that is lovely about summer’s more easygoing pace. The retro vibe, homey service and creamy cones at the family-run joint get raves. Our go-to? A twirled, custard-like soft-serve cone in anything-but-plain vanilla. Trust us, it’s enough of a treat. But if you want a little more flavor variety, get your cone dipped—whole peanuts or toasted coconut add a delightful crunch. Open seasonally, April to October, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 3080 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland. 970-667-2111 —Shawna Jackson Van

{ Food & Drink }

Keep on Truckin’
We pulled over with a few of Fort Collins’ top roving restaurateurs to talk summer menus and the key to winning in the walk-up window business.
Food trucks take al fresco dining beyond patios and rooftops and into parks, brewery lots, along the river and on the walk back to the office. The Fort Collins fleet is edging 41 registered outdoor trucks and carts—a number city officials expect to soar as summer permits are granted.

There are some successful running themes wheeling around town. There’s the sustainable-farm-fresh-Colorado niche. The barbecue pitmasters, the taco slingers, indulgent kettle corn poppers and ice creamers, the coffee stops, the global creatives. And then there’s the funky, rolling-on-their-own types, like the Mile High Lobster Shack.

All good news for locals, who are eating up the mobile food trend, loving the picnic vibe and the point-n-grab gratification, and washing it all down with NoCo’s current brewery boom. Let’s highlight a few of our faves.

Advanced Hearing Services

{ Food & Drink }

dining trend
Tours with Taste
Finding NoCo’s culinary gems with Megan Bucholz.
By Shawna Jackson Van
Fort Collins has long been known for fantastic local beers and microbreweries, but more recently that renown has spread to craft distilleries, specialty food shops, innovative restaurants and great coffee. It seems a shame to be out of the loop on any of it, but thanks to Local Table Tours, the brainchild of Megan Bucholz, you don’t have to be. It’s her mission to make the Northern Colorado food and drink scene available to the curious local, the new-to-towner, or the out-of-towner.

Bucholz started Local Table Tours six years ago after a conversation with a friend, and it is a marriage of all the things she loves—a great food and drink scene, educating patrons, and relationship-building with local restaurateurs and bartenders. However, she originally moved to Boulder to earn a masters degree in Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice from CU—a very different path. Though she thought she would end up at some point working for the government creating educational policy, fate had other plans. Already a foodie and a blogger, Bucholz found Boulder and its culinary scene a kind of utopia, and when her friend suggested she start a company providing tasting tours, Bucholz called a lawyer the next day and her business was born.

Furniture Consignments
Laura Pritchett

{ Food & Drink }

Just Add Water
A Colorado start-up peddles sangria and mulled wine concentrates to adventurous drinkers.
By Andra Coberly
There are two kinds of drinkers. There are the reliably unadventurous. They like their wines red, their gin paired with tonic and their beer served in a silver can.

And then there are people like Michael Hasler. He is an innovator, a rebel and a change agent for the drinking crowd. A long-time winemaker who’s worked around the world, Hasler moved to Colorado about five years ago, got married and started a little winery with his wife, Carolee Corey.

However, he sought something different.

“I take a lot of pride and dedication in making great wine,” Hasler says. “I love making wine, but I really love making something that hits a new note.”

That new note is Decadent Saint, a line of sangrias and mulled wine named after the sweet St. Bernard that lopes throughout the tasting room. What makes them so innovative is that Hasler’s products are concentrates. In fact, they are the only sangria and mulled wine concentrates on the market.

Infinite Wellness Center
Tribal Rites Tattoo

{ 5 Minutes With… }

Wisdom from the fastest 80-year-old woman in the world.
Interview by Corey Radman
Longtime Fort Collins esident Libby James is the fastest woman her age in the world. Competing in the 80- to 84 age group, she holds the USATF Women’s Masters records for 5k and 15k races, with times of 25:11 and 1:25:06. She shared a bit of her dry wit and wisdom.

So, you’re 81?
I’m only 80. Don’t rush it!

What’s your secret formula for success?
There’s no secret formula. I don’t eat weird. I eat fairly healthy. I think one of the secrets is consistency, particularly as you get older. If you lay off for four or five days, it’s harder to get started again. So, I’ve taken to not running very far, but doing it pretty regularly. Almost every day, usually four miles.

Oracle Escape Rooms
University of Colorado

Summer 2017

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