If you’re looking for a 5k race opportunity in northern Colorado, throw a rock and you’ll probably hit one. However, I recently stumbled across a race with a very different angle from the others — one that even I could win, if I put my mind to it. (You may already know I love a 5k, but I prefer to keep to a pace where I can still chat with my friends!)
The Turkey-Donut Predict Run, hosted by the Fort Collins Running Club, works this way: runners estimate their finishing time before the race begins, and the top 5 people who come closest to their guess (without the use of timekeeping devices!) are crowned the winners. “So just because you’re fast doesn’t mean you’ll win this one,” says Fort Collins Running Club.
The race is completely free to enter, but canned good donations are being accepted in behalf of the Food Bank for Larimer County. The food bank also benefits from the purchase of raffle entries, and considering nearly 20 local companies have supplied the giveaways, that’s an easy sell.
The Turkey-Donut Predict Run
Saturday, November 23 | Location TBD | Race begins at 9am
Go earn your turkey and benefit the Food Bank!
Did you know that Colorado.com publishes “Colo-Road Trips“? These ready-made itineraries provide great information about how to string together some of Colorado’s best food, culture, history, nature and more into a memorable road trip packed with adventure and exploration.
For example, take a look at their “Days of Fun in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area.” Per the website, “From Fort Collins to Greeley and the villages of Laporte and Windsor, this northern Colorado region is packed with expansive views, welcoming locally sourced restaurants, frontier history and much more.” I couldn’t have said it better myself — and even though Northern Colorado is my stomping grounds, I still found plenty of new-to-me spots for my to-do list. It might be time for a staycation!
It’s difficult to believe it’s only 10 days to Halloween! Have you made your plans yet? If not, here are a few events in the Fort Collins area that have piqued my interest:
- Oct 25-27, Treatsylvania: “Children ages ten years and under receive treat bags to use for trick-or-treating at the storefronts… Participants also enjoy a pumpkin patch, hayride, a “not-so-spooky” barn, refreshments, and cookies.
- Oct 25-26: Holiday Twin Drive-In’s Spook-a-thon: “Side 1: Monster House, Jurassic Park, The Thing; Side 2: Ghostbusters (1984), Beetlejuice, Scream“
- Oct 26, Bow Wowvania: “Bow Wowvania is a dog-friendly trick-or-treat event at The Farm. Hundreds of dogs and dog owners will take a stroll down Trick-or-Treat Street dressed in costume and eager for treats.”
- Through Oct 27, Harvest Farm’s Fall Festival: Includes corn mazes, wagon rides, bonfires, pig races (?!), homemade kettle corn and more!
- Oct 31 (morning), Tiny Tot Halloween: “It’s time once again for the tiny ghouls and goblins of Fort Collins to invade Old Town for a safe and family-friendly trick-or-treating experience!” (Although my tot is not so tiny anymore!)
This last one’s more of a fall celebration than a Halloween event, but I simply had to include it — it looks too fun!
This week, the story that caught my eye was not about nature or food or even llamas but about architecture and history: specifically, the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver. Radio station KUNC took a tour with guide Ellen Stanton, and I loved hearing stories about the 1,700-pound chandelier, the hidden faces in the walls, and the missing portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Tours are free — I’ll have to take my tiny human before long!
The KUNC story inspired me to dig deeper. Here are a few more points of interest that I unearthed about the Colorado State Capitol:
- “The official elevation of Denver is measured on the West steps outside the building, where the fifteenth step is engraved with the words ‘One Mile Above Sea Level'”
- The Capitol’s dome was not always the stunning gold it is today; the gold was added to commemorate the Colorado Gold Rush of the mid-1800s
- The dome’s beautiful golden color comes from “copper panels that are gilded with gold leaf from a Colorado mine“
- Following a restoration project in 2012, the dome was re-covered in gold, a project requiring “approximately 65 ounces of .9999 pure gold … at the time of donation, the estimated value of the gold, refining and transportation was $125,000”
- The Capitol is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- “The inside of the building is adorned with what is believed to be the entire known supply of Colorado Rose Onyx, a rare rose marble from a quarry near Beulah, Colorado”
- The grounds of the Capitol display one of 53 full-sized replicas of the Liberty Bell — each state and the District of Columbia received a bell, and the other two bells have been lost
- You can request a ceremonial Colorado or U.S. flag be flown over the Capitol! The flag is later mailed to you with a certificate of authenticity
I love that you can learn so much about a building, a neighborhood or a city without ever leaving home! What would you like to learn about Colorado?
Honestly? I almost didn’t tell you about this one, because I wanted to keep it all for myself.
Welcome to Love-a-Llama Lodge, an 6-acre Airbnb dream in Clark, Colorado where guests can interact with and feed llamas.
According to the lodge description, there is even more fun to be had at Love-a-Llama Lodge: “…horseshoes; a fire circle, bench and glider swings, hammock in the trees, picnic tables and shelters, and a Weber BBQ grill. There’s also a short trail through our lovely aspen grove, and a rustic campsite ‘back in the trees’ with a table and chairs and tents to play or nap in, as well as a fire pit for an old-fashioned hot dog roast (we’ll provide the sticks!).”
But back to the llamas. According to Out There Colorado: “Currently, there are 7 llamas on the ranch. The place is also stylishly decked out in llama decor…”
You know where to find me this weekend while I’m studying up on Clark, Colorado.
Did you know that the City of Fort Collins offers tours of its public utilities? These free “Power Trip Bus Tours” visit Rawhide Energy Station (pictured), local energy sub-stations and more, all with the hopes of introducing the public to the different ways that electricity and water are generated and distributed through the city.
Fort Collins is also interested in how its citizens conserve energy, and provides a list of residential conservation programs for energy and water. According to the city, these programs saved over 200 million kilowatt-hours in 2019, enough electricity to power over 22,000 homes for an entire year — and they can save you a good deal of money at the same time.
Energy Conservation Programs
Efficiency Works Store: Get instant rebates on efficiency products at rebates.eworksstore.com
Efficiency Works – Home: Reduce costs and increase the comfort of your home with efficiency upgrades. Utilities customers can take advantage of a $60 efficiency audit (normally $600). fcgov.com/home-efficiency
Epic Loan: Competitive interest rates and no-money-down financing for up to 15 years on solar and water and energy efficiency projects. fcgov.com/financing
Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling (Efficiency Works): Recycle your old refrigerator or freezer and receive a $35 check and get it hauled away for free. fcgov.com/rfr
Clothes Washer Rebates (Efficiency Works): Purchase an ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washer and receive a $50 bill credit. fcgov.com/washers
Green Energy Program: Purchase Green-e Energy certified renewable energy for an additional 2.65 cents per kilowatt-hour on top of your normal utility bill. fcgov.com/green-energy/
Solar Rebates: Install a solar PV system and receive up to $1,500 cash back. fcgov.com/solar
Water Conservation Programs
Sprinkler System Audits and Rebates: Get a free sprinkler system audit and equipment rebates. fcgov.com/sprinkler-audits
Xeriscape Incentive Program: Receive rebates to create a healthy, attractive landscape that conserves water and receive a rebate up to $750. fcgov.com/xip
Toilet Rebates: Receive a rebate when you buy a 1.1 gallons per flush or less toilet and recycle your old one. fcgov.com/toilet
Thank you to the City of Fort Collins for providing this information on a recent Power Trip Bus Tour, and for encouraging citizens to save money and resources through conservation!
Today I stumbled on a link I had to share with you: the Cache le Poudre River National Heritage Area video archive. If you are curious about the cities along the Poudre River (specifically Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and Greeley), these 30+ videos create a wonderful way to learn about the area without ever leaving home.
History buffs: The Poudre NHA has created many videos looking back on the heritage of the river; try The Poudre River Flood of 2013 or A River Runs Through It. The NHA also offers a great series of conversations with Northern Arapaho leaders such as Mark Soldier Wolf.
My personal favorite: The animated history of the National Heritage Area. What can I say—it’s adorable!
Here’s an interesting development to keep an eye on: Montava! I can’t help but be intrigued by all of these examples of “New Urbanism” that I see popping up. New Urbanism focuses on walkable neighborhoods, diverse types of housing, and environmentally-friendly design. (Read my blog about Longmont’s Prospect New Town for another example of New Urbanism.)
Montava is located in Fort Collins, just north of Mountain Vista (near Budweiser). It calls itself an “Agri-Urban community,” saying, “There is a rich history of agriculture in Fort Collins. We are embracing this history by integrating true urban farming into the DNA of Montava. By setting aside land that can be used to grow a wide variety of produce, we can foster people’s connection with their food at this most basic level. With our partners at Native Hill Farm, Montava will become a sustaining influence for generations.”
The people bringing Montava to life keep their own blog, which includes stories about “Planning for People, Bikes, and Not Cars” and “Reviving Quaint.” You can also keep up on Montava’s development on Facebook or Instagram, or read more about their principles of human-scaled design and sustainable communities on their website.