Things We Love This Month

cliff-camping

Photo by Dan Gambino

LIVING THE HIGH LIFE
Bungee jumping? Easy. Skydiving? Child’s play. If you’re looking for a truly heroic, adrenaline-filled feat, try cliff camping with KENT MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE CENTER. Spend an entire night sleeping on a portaledge, suspended in thin air, hundreds of feet above the ground. You’ll be paired with a professional guide who will set up your penthouse in the sky, teach you mountaineering skills—even cook you a steak dinner on a “vertical grill.” 

PEEK-A-BOO Telling “stories of the everyday,” Denver artist (and high school art teacher) Annie Scaglione captures simple objects (hot dogs, baseball mitts, Coleman stoves, Cracker Jacks) in her nostalgic but contemporary paintings. 

GOING VERTICAL
Altius Farms, coming to RiNo this August, joins Denver’s ever-expanding urban agriculture market under the management of CEO Sally Herbert, a University of Colorado alumna and Air Force Reserve veteran. The “vertical” farm produces lettuce, arugula, leafy greens and herbs in a 7,200-square-foot greenhouse outfitted with 340 aeroponic towers—tall columns that grow plants hydroponically, without the use of soil, saving up to 90 percent of the water and space required for conventional farming. Herbert plans to sell the crops to local restaurants and to Denver residents through CSA (community-supported agriculture) programs. 

SURPRISE A FRIEND
Handmade is always better. That’s the idea behind Manofatto Giftboxes + Blooms, a Denver business that lovingly creates gift boxes for a variety of occasions. Launched in late 2014 by Katelyn Lobascio Stalowy, whose husband, Craig, hand-builds the Baltic birch boxes, Manofatto fills its boxes with American-made products from small businesses, Etsy shops and Denver florists. Boxes are customizable—or send a “spa night” box, a honeymooners’ special or one that simply says, “Thanks!” 

colorado-book-award-winners

Photo by Jeff Nelson

WONDERFUL READS
COLORADO BOOK AWARD WINNERS The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom, by Helen Thorpe, $28; Dead Stop, by Barbara Nickless, $16; Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel, by Matthew Sullivan, $17; When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon, $18; The Blue Hour, by Laura Pritchett, $25; and Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture, by Chip Colwell, $30, all available at Bookbar, 4280 Tennyson St.

3 questions with…
“The Spirit of the Trail” author Carrie Morgridge
In her new book, The Spirit of the Trail, Colorado author Carrie Morgridge recounts an epic adventure she undertook in her 50s: 2,774 miles along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the most challenging bicycle journey in North America. We tracked her down to ask her about the book.

What inspired you to set out on the journey?
My husband was my inspiration for biking across the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. His parents had biked across the country three times in their 60s. To add to my motivation, I had put on some weight during my recovery from back surgery, and biking across the country sounded like a great way to get back in shape. I was rock solid when I finished.

Give us a little teaser of an exciting moment readers can look forward to.
When we hit the Great Basin of Wyoming, we didn’t see a human, a phone line or anything manmade for a long time. We experienced the solitude, the grand expanse of the United States. There were wild horses running freely, right next to us. We were on top of the Continental Divide for many miles and the views were 360 degrees. It was breathtaking.

What is the most important thing readers will take away from the book?
I hope that the reader feels part of our journey. I want readers to embrace our sense of adventure, to break out of their comfort zone and just get out there and do it!

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