While struggling to renovate their mountain cabin in the dead of winter, Kristian and Kimberly Naslund caught sight of the snow-covered pines outside their window, swaying in time to music softly playing in the background. Today, the husband-and-wife team has immortalized this shared placid moment through the very name of their craft distillery, bringing along Kristian's father Chris into the business as the trio fashions small-batch whiskeys, rums, liqueurs, and gins of the highest caliber. Since the distillery is a working production facility, visitors and tourists are likely to witness workers filling, labeling, and numbering each bottle by hand in the bottling area or berobed and bearded alchemists turning mash into spirits over the artisanal copper-pot still. Each powerful sip of bourbon and sweet mouthful of liqueur is culled from all-natural ingredients, free from artificial extracts, flavorings, or coloring agents.
At five Chipper's Lanes FUN Center locations, colorful balls sail down glossy lanes, overseen during weekends and birthday parties by the center's mascot, Chipper the Chipmunk. During special events, guests can go to Chipper for a warm hug and supplement bowling fun with occasional live music performances and cosmic bowling at select locations. Between frames, players restore energy with burgers or pizza at the full-service, onsite restaurant.
Terry Sandmeier, informally known as Captain Sandy, began cultivating his lifelong passion for sailing as a boy growing up on the Gulf of Mexico. He first acquired the taste for sailing while cruising along the gulf coast from Texas to Mississippi. Today, with more than 35 years of experience, Captain Sandy alternates between sailing Colorado's mountain lakes and the warm waters off the Florida Keys. He imparts his experience to burgeoning sailors aboard his US Yachts 18, teaching them skills from interpreting the wind to lassoing passing clouds on breezeless days.
The mountain-savvy staff at Apex Ex equip people of all skill levels with the knowledge, gear, and plans necessary to explore the wilderness all year round. Seasoned guides and instructors, many of whom are trained by organizations such as the National Outdoor Leadership School and the American Mountain Guides Association, lead classes that teach students important lessons ranging from backcountry snow basics to avalanche rescue. In summer months, the experts lead guided climbing and backpacking trips and teach riders to careen down rocky paths of every sort during mountain-biking lessons.
At Little Chaps Riding School, all horseback riding lessons are one-on-one-on-one. That is to say, every time a young rider arrives at the Loveland-based ranch, he or she teams up with a horse named Misty and a 20-year veteran trainer. Because every lesson is private, kids get the full attention of Misty and the trainer.
As the star of the show, the child develops at his or her own pace during lessons tailored to individual goals, whether they include riding in shows or for pleasure. Youngsters typically start out with basics such as safety guidelines and anatomy in 60-minute beginner lessons, before moving on to more advanced riding technique. Though topics may change along with the child's goals, all lessons feature the common themes of instilling a commitment to safety and nurturing an abiding love for the animals.
Cody Walker muses that within the stillness of Rocky Mountain National Park, "You get a sense that it's the way it should be." His father, Rex, grew up on a steady diet of cowboy films, eventually following his dream to Colorado where he met his wife, Queeda. Queeda was born into a family of homesteaders who caught and broke wild steeds. In 1959, they channeled their passion for the old-west lifestyle into Sombrero Ranches, eschewing souvenir-shop gimmicks for horseback expeditions that, much like avalanches of super glue, bond visitors with their steeds and natural surroundings.
Today, Cody carries on his parents' legacy with a staff of ranch hands from nearby homesteads and college students participating in equine-science programs all across the country. After training in a vigorous program that's evolved during more than 50 years, his employees launch short rides or lengthy adventures. Cody distinguishes the Continental Divide ride as one of the most awe-inspiring; it begins at Bear Lake at 6 a.m., wending across the Continental Divide and to Grand Lake during a nine-hour stretch.