Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Bear Basin Packtrips provides a gateway to the area’s best outdoor adventures. Horseback riding, guided elk hunting, fly-fishing excursions, and whitewater rafting are everyday options. Trips depart from their working ranch, a still-serviceable relic from the 1890s. For more adventurous riders, pack trips on horseback help visitors get up close and personal with the mountains. Two-, three-, and even five-day trips offer those of all experience levels the chance to feel like a modern-day cowboy riding as many as six or seven hours a day in search of spectacular views.
In true family style, brothers Nick and Kirby Kuklenski own and operate two “sister” Ace Hardware stores in Colorado Springs, keeping local homes beautiful with name-brand products and services. Lawns grow thick and colorful with Scotts fertilizers, plants, and seeds from the shops’ lawn departments, whereas computerized color matching in the paint aisles keeps outsides as vibrantly hued as flowers in a garden or a house fly strolling across an artist’s palette. Collections of DeWalt and Craftsman hand and power tools help homeowners assemble Weber grills, with staffers standing at the ready to build any piece bought at the store. Even autos can get in on Ace Hardware’s helpful services: keys are cut onsite, with Sidewinder keys including built-in chips that interact with car computers to ensure proper starts without feeding vehicles buckets of floppy disks.
Tansi's 6,500-square-foot boutique beckons to passersby with a showroom unfurling with a variety of home accouterments and women's apparel plucked from fashion's frontlines. Grant living rooms the gift of light with one of the globally inspired lamps hailing from the John-Richard collection ($129+) or accommodate standing houseguests with hand-carved, wood-wrought chairs by Maitland-Smith ($1,200+). Complimentary one-hour consultations deploy expert designers to clients' homes, houseboats or converted meat lockers, where keen eyes help construct room layouts to suit homesteaders' tastes and needs. Chic women's apparel by Katherine Barclay and Focus 2000 avail themselves to feminine silhouettes ($54+), and a vast selection of purses ($72+) and jewelry ($48+) occupy arms more pleasantly than a diamond-studded cobra.