Ouray Hotel has long provided a soothing relaxing atmosphere!
Long before the area was discovered by two miners in search of gold, the tiny canyon now known as Ouray served as a sacred spot for the Ute Indians. Some people speculate that perhaps the name "Uncompahgre", or dirty water, was given to the area to protect the secret of the hot springs.
Once gold had been discovered though, the soothing waters of the natural springs were an added perk to living in the area, offering a soothing respite from days deep in the earth searching for treasure.
In 1877, a newspaper article mentioned the vast number of bath houses in Ouray and their popularity. While several places took advantage of the warm waters for recreational purposes, it was not until the early 1900's when a facility was opened which brought to light the healing properties of the hot springs.
Rich in a variety of minerals, particularly helpful in soothing rheumatism and skin problems, the first sanitarium was developed.
Richard and Bessie Cogar purchased the land which now houses the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, as well as its neighboring hotel in 1913, with the intention of building the first sanitarium in Ouray.
In the early 1900's, the term "Radio Active" had an entirely different connotation than the post World War Two use of the word, as did the term "Sanitarium".
The Cogar's Sanitarium and "Radio-Active Baths" were incredibly successful, and men and women came fraom all over to take advantage of the treatments provided at the facility.
In 1927, after the death of her husband, Bessie had remarried and left Ouray, selling the sanitarium to Mr. C.W. Kent, of Peoria, Illinois. Mr. Kent maintained and invested in the sanitarium, which he re-named "The Sweet Skin Sanitarium", until 1946. During his residence and ownership of the hot springs, he added five cabins to the property to accommodate the growing tourism and declining mining industry.
In 1945, Mr. Kent sold the land to the Idarado Mining Company, who re-named it the "Crystal Court Bathhouses", and rented cabins to local miners.
Sometime around 1953, the original 35 acres were parceled out, and on July 9, 1959, The Ouray County Herald announced the opening of the Box Canyon Motel. Long term residents, Tommy and Della May (or Sally) Fellin had built a two story hotel with ten complete units. This building is the first of three expansions over the year, and is on the Southwest side of the property. When John Ray and Mary Joyce Scoggins purchased the property in 1964, there were fourteen completed units available for rent.
During the five years they owned the hotel, the Scoggins added another eight rooms to the property, and moved the front desk to the front of the hotel, facing the street.
Joseph and Viola Muse purchased the Box Canyon Motel in 1969, selling it again in 1972 to Kurt and Margaret Kircher. When the Kirchers sold the property to Thomas and Nancy Borman in 1975, there were twenty two rooms. During their time at the Box Canyon, the Bormans added eight more units, and built the four mineral hot spring tubs which still provide hours of relaxation and pleasure to our guests.
When John and Barbara Uhles purchased the hotel in 1986, they immediately set about making the property their own, renaming the Property "Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs", and completely refurbished the original 14 rooms. They purchased the parcel of land between the Box Canyon and its neighboring hotel, the Chief Ouray Gun Club, and added eight rooms, including the two large suites, each with a fireplace, and the Honeymoon Suite.
In May, 2007, Rich and Karen Avery purchased the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. With 39 beautifully maintained rooms, including five suites and a fully furnished two bedroom apartment, it was easy to fall in love with. The four mineral hot spring tubs still stand on the hillside. The tubs themselves have been replaced once or twice, still as cedar tubs though in order to best compliment the majesty of the views.
Every year, the Averys follow the tradition of upgrading and maintaining the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. The Averys expanded increased use of the hot springs by converting the entire property to geothermal, using the natuaral heat to warm the guest rooms and tap water. Every time a guest returns, whether it is weeks, days or even years later, the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs provides the perfect escape. The love and passion put into the property from the very beginning shines through in every portion of the grounds and rooms.
Come see us soon!
Driving the Scenic Highways of Southwest Colorado is not as scary as you think.
The 76 miles of US Highway 550 between Durango and Ouray, Colorado, often referred to as the Million Dollar Highway, is a combination of three (3) mountain passes accross some of the most breathtaking scenery the country has to offer. One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our guests is whether the road will be open when they are planning to visit.
Our answer, regardless of the time of year is almost always YES. Because it is a State highway, and the only means of accessing the town of Silverton, nestled between Molas and Red Mountain Passes, the highway is maintained as a priority by CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation).
Of course, given where we live, and the fact that the summit of Red Mountain Pass is at over 11,000 feet, there are obviously times the road may have to be closed due to Mother Nature, who often likes to throw little "road blocks" at us. Of course, she doesn't take into consideration the tenacity of our amazing road crews. Typically, if the road has to be closed, it is only for a couple of hours while snow is cleared, or maintenance is performed. Whenever possible, maintenance is done during the wee hours of night so as to disrupt the least amount of travelers.
Frankly, who would want to drive this road at night anyway? With its dramatic drops and breathtaking views, this is a drive to be experienced in the full light of day! Regardless of the season, driving in Colorado is an adventure and a feast for the senses. All you need are a few things to make the drive safe and fun no matter what Mother Nature throws at you:
Believe me when I say, your camera will be your best friend on Highway 550! Whether you live here, or this is your first visit, there are so many sights to see and capture. Around each bend, your breath will catch at an entirely new view. Every season is rife with opportunities to exercise your photographic abilities, and you don't have to be a professional because it is close to impossible to take a bad picture here! Driving along the Million Dollar Highway, panoramic views are all there are. From following the curves of the road behind you, to wildlife who seem to be waiting for you to get their best angle, your camera is your best friend as you traverse every curve.
2. Good Tires
It doesn't matter where you are traveling, good tires should always be foremost in your mind. First of all, a good all season tire gives traction and control to the driver that may contribute significantly to the amount of enjoyment you get from the drive. Winter travelers might consider more specialized tires, designed for snow travel, but this is often an unnecessary expense if you are visiting for just a couple of days, then heading back to Phoenix. Surprisingly, snow chains are moderately affordable, and will provide any additional traction and security for traversing the high mountain passes in wintry weather. Another thing to remember is that good tires actually help increase gas mileage and decrease wear and tear on your engine.
3. Front Wheel Drive
Believe it or not, everyone in Colorado does not own a four wheel drive vehicle. Front wheel drive cars are usually more than adequate for travel any time of year along scenic highways. Granted, four wheel drive or even all wheel drive vehicles are great to have, and will add to your confidence in extreme weather conditions, but honestly, adverse weather in Colorado doesn't actually last all that long. There is a saying in Southwest Colorado, "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes, or drive ten miles." It couldn't be more true! Highway 550 is also an extremely popular scenic byway for motorcycle enthusiasts in the summer months. With its twisting, well graded meandering, it is an ideal adventure for any driver!
4. Windshield Washer Fluid
Sounds silly, but trust me. There is nothing worse than running out of windshield washer fluid as you are following along a string of cars on a rainy day. Almost instantly, the back splash from the car in front of you has mixed with highway dust, and created close to no visibility. Make is a point to top off before getting on the road, and always have an extra gallon in the trunk.
5. Common Sense
This is not meant to be insulting, nor to discount that sometimes accidents just happen. But, you wouldn't put your head in a tigers mouth(unless you are Siegfried or Roy), so consequently, when the sign says 15 miles an hour with a drawing of what looks like a pretzel, go ahead and slow down. I once asked a police officer, and he told me the largest number of accidents that occur on the Million Dollar Highway involved locals who have taken the road for granted, and forgotten how deceivingly beautiful it is. The fact is, just around any blind corner, there is always the possibility of some surprise waiting for you. Now, when approached at the specified speed limit, you will have more time to react to the Bambi convention at the summit by slowing down without a screeching of locked brakes and smoking tires.
The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, nestled in the southwest corner of Ouray, is the perfect resting place after a day of exploring the outstanding beauty of the San Juan Mountains! Let us be your home away from home, as you soak away the open road in our all natural mineral hot spring tubs, then stuggle up in your room to enjoy a movie or two chosen from our video library. Let our helpful front desk staff assist you in planning the perfect escape in this remarkable mountain town!
Festivals, Hiking, Biking, Historic Mining Highlight ‘Switzerland of America’
Winter won’t last forever (really). Despite the low temps, short days and seemingly endless snow shoveling ahead for much of the country, it is never too early to start dreaming about your summer vacation plans. Here are five reasons to put Ouray, Colo., the top of your to-do list this summer.
#1 - The Road Less Traveled
One of the most enjoyable ways to explore the beauty that surrounds Ouray is to take a tour into the mountains – via jeep, ATV or off-highway motorcycle. Ouray is such a hotbed for this action that it’s been nicknamed “Jeep Capital of the World.” Bring your own, rent a vehicle in town or hire an experienced, knowledgeable guide to show you the sites along the old wagon roads prospectors and miners built in the 1800s and 1900s. Off-road staging areas are available at Eureka, Hensen Creek near Lake City, Canyon Creek, half a mile southwest of Lake San Cristobal and on Highway 550 south of Ouray at the Engineer Pass turnoff. ATV enthusiasts will not want to miss The Alpine Loop Back Country Byway system, a 60-mile road carved through the San Juans that connects the towns of Lake City, Ouray and Silverton.
#2 - Lore and Legend
Not all of the mines in the area are completely abandoned. You can see firsthand the underground world of the hard-rock gold miner on one of two authentic mine tours. Just north of Ouray is the Bachelor-Syracuse Mine Tour (www.bachelorsyracusemine.com). Here, you can enjoy a delicious miner’s breakfast, take a gold panning class and tour 1800 feet into Gold Hill on a tram. Near Silverton, visit The Old Hundred Mine (www.mintour.com), where you can climb aboard the mine tram for a tour inside and see mining equipment in action. Afterward, try your luck as you pan for gold, silver and semi-precious gemstones in the miners’ sluice box.
The Ouray County Museum, is housed in an old mining hospital. Featuring mining, ranching and railroading history, containing many artifacts dating back to Ouray’s earliest days. You also can browse through the research center, which contains books and other written artifacts and photos.
#3 - Single Tracks and Trails
Ouray also offers well-rounded, off-road experiences for mountain bikers in search of the perfect single track. Bikers of all levels can access numerous back roads and trails that wind above and around Ouray. Whether you are hammering on the single track of Portland Trail, grinding away on Imogene Pass, or taking your time on the easier River Road, there is something for everyone. Box Canyon Falls Park in the southwest corner of Ouray is a must-see. This natural wonder was formed when the rushing waters of Canyon Creek eroded a deep and narrow boxed canyon through fault-weakened limestone. The lower trail, an easy 500-feet hike via a walkway and suspension bridge, will lead you straight into the belly of the falls. Enjoy Mother Nature’s orchestra as thousands of gallons of water per minute roar through the canyon.
You can also take a short (but steep) hike to the bridge above the falls and look down on the fury of the water as it plummets into the canyon – and as an added treat, enjoy beautiful views of Ouray. The area, designated an important bird watching area by the National Audubon Society, is the preferred habitat for the state’s largest population of Black Swifts, a protected species.
For other hikes, visit http://boxcanyonouray.com/activities/summer-activities/hiking/ the Ouray Perimeter Trail guide and look to our blog for more information on hiking trails.
#4 - “Hot” Springs Eternal
The Ouray Hot Springs Pool is the second-largest natural hot springs in the world with nearly a million gallons of water, fed by two local springs. In addition to several soaking sections at a variety of temperatures, the pool has a lap swim section, diving area, large slide, shallow section for youngsters, and game area for water volleyball. Floats are available for rent at the pool. In addition our hotel has natural hot springs onsite. Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs four redwood tubs terraced on the mountainside offer panoramic views.
#5 – Festival Fun
Ouray’s locals know how to have a good time, and they enjoy sharing the spirit of celebration with visitors. Here is a sampling of the festival fun on tap this summer.
June 4, 11, 18, 25 – Mountain Air Music Series: Enjoy free music each Thursday night in June at the town park in Ouray. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs, your dinner, or purchase food and drink from one of the many vendors onsite.
July 4 – Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration – Main Street: This celebration includes parades, kids’ games, fire hose water fights, the Elks Club BBQ and spectacular fireworks display.
July 31 – Aug. 8 – 55th Annual Art Show – Community Center: A nationally juried exhibition, this art show is open to all artists in several mediums, including oil, watercolor and pastel.
Sept. 12 – 42nd Annual Imogene Pass Run – Main Street: A rugged 17-mile race from Ouray to
Telluride, via a 13,120-foot steep mountain pass, Imogene Pass Run is one of the top mountain races in the United States. (www.imogenerun.com or 970-728-0251)
Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help you to plan your ideal getaway in Ouray this Summer. Our knowledgable front desk agents are witing to help arrange everything from jeep tours to dinner reservations.
When is the Best Time for Taking Pictures in the San Juan Mountains? You Decide!
Southwest Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Of course, I may be a little bit biased, but there are thousands of people who agree with me. Regardless of the time of year, there is something spectacular to be seen wherever you look. From abundant wildlife to breathtaking views, it is difficult to say what might be the best.
Winter in Ouray boasts a peaceful serenity. Snow falls for perhaps a day or so, then the sun returns, shining brightly on the snow blanketed mountains and town. A sense of timelessness prevails, and the opportunities to capture this feeling abound. Walk to the Box Canyon Falls, or the Ouray Ice Park to capture images of the Uncompahgre Gorge; ice lines the sides of the canyon, and prisms of color glint in the crisp winter air. Ice climbers traverse the terrain in a spectacle of silent activity. From images of deer and elk grazing at the park, to the rainbow of colors in a frozen waterfall, there may not be enough memory in your camera!
Springtime in the Uncompahgres is a season of renewal and beauty. As the snow begins to thaw in the high country, seasonal waterfalls can be found virtually everywhere. The weather begins to warm and the world turns green and fresh. Wildflowers begin to blossom, and soon will envelope entire valleys in a spectrum of colors that must be seen to be believed. Yankee Boy Basin is one of the most popular areas for wildflower viewing and photography. Just a short drive from Ouray, yet worlds away, this valley has a little of everything. The Twin Falls are surrounded by shades of green with interspersing yellows, purples and reds from the flowers dotting the rivers edge. Between hills overflowing with color to the waterfall, this place is truly a photographers dream.
Summertime brings opportunities for exploration! As the four-wheel drive trails open, photographers are able to venture deep into the high country. The panoramic views above timberline give the impression of eternity. Explore old mines and ghost towns, capturing a taste of life in the early years in Southwest Colorado, as hardy settlers tamed the mountain. Marvel at the dramatic scenery as you travel over Imogene Pass, open only a few months out of the year, as the trail takes you from Ouray at 7500 feet to a peak of 13,000 feet before dropping back to 8,000 feet in Telluride. The variety of scenery, wildlife and history are sure to please any photographer.
Fall begins usually in mid to late September, and as the leaves change color, the entire landscape becomes a pallette of red and gold many a painter has tried to recreate. Drive The Million Dollar Highway from Ouray to Durango, hardly need to get out of the car to fill a memory card with images leaving you hungry for more. The Last Dollar Road travels from Dallas Divide, just outside of Ridgway to Telluride, and is one of the most beautiful drives at the peak of Fall Colors. Parts of the road travel through a grove of aspen; at certain times of the day, as the sunlight filters through the trees, with random leaves floating down from the heights, words cannot describe the surreal beauty.
It is difficult to settle on one specific time of year for capturing the beauty and majesty of the San Juans. Each season holds her own appeal, and it is up to you, the individual, to decide what you most desire. Once that decision has been made, book your next visit with us at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, and Ouray will take care of the rest!
Warm Weather and April Showers Bring Promise of a Spectacular Season in Ouray County!
As we move into April, saying goodbye to a mild winter, Mother nature teases us with the promise of warm weather activities.
Part of us knows that we need some more moisture, hoping the overcast skies will fulfill a promise of snow or rain. At the same time, when the clouds break, and the sun shines down, bathing your face in much missed vitamin D, it is indeed difficult to be disappointed.
With temperatures reaching into the 60's at times, it is no surprise that our mind travels into the high country.
How are those trails looking? Is it time?
A quick drive this weekend told me what the websites had said, but I refused to believe.
Yes, there is in fact still snow out there. And it is slushy. Which means I couldn't get to my favorite springtime picnic spot yet. Sad day.
As much as Spring Fever has taken over, begging us to travel into the hills, this time of year it is very important to remember that nature can be treacherous.
Any time of year in the high country, the weather can be misleading. One minute, the sun is shining, but a few minutes or miles later, things have drastically changed. As the snow melts, it becomes less stable. The top layer is crunchy and hard, while underneath it is melting. It is very important when out hiking, jeeping, and exploring that you let someone know where you are. Not enough traffic is out yet to be able to depend on someone happening by if you get stuck in a snow drift.
Now that's not to say that exploration cannot happen. Hiking trails are ready to be traversed at lower altitudes. Perhaps a quick stop in to Ouray Mountain Sports on Main Street is a good idea. Because they specialize in renting and selling a variety of outdoor equipment, they often have the most up to date information on the conditions of different trails and activities. You can also check their wall for people looking for someone to partner up with in the high country. What a great way to meet people and safely experience everything this area has to offer!
Spring in Ouray is a great time for wildlife viewing. Bighorn Sheep dot the hillsides, often right beside, or even in the highway. Foxes and deer roam the streets, oblivious to the humans in their midst as they go about their daily life.
Soon, the bear will be venturing out as well, in search of an easy meal. A little more shy than the deer, it is still quite common to catch a glimpse. Just remember our four legged neighbors are wild animals, not house pets.
As the snow melts, suddenly waterfalls appear as if from no where. Seasonal falls surprise you at almost every turn. water cascading from the cliffs and mountains creating a pallette of color against the sunshine and canyon walls. the Box Canyon Falls become a sensory explosion - heard long before actually seen. Spring thaw creates a roar as the river swells with branches and minerals shed with the snow.
Finally, there are the flowers. The first blooms of the year have some special something. Vibrant colors forcing their way into once white fields. The fresh green of new grass, and the leaves on the aspens as they begin to wake from a long winter nap.
April is a gateway month for us. We never know what to expect from one day to the next, which adds to the mystery and magnificence of Ouray. It is a perfect time to escape from the day to day, and slow down. Spend a morning exploring the Perimeter Trail, then a liesurely walk along Main Street, followed by a soothing soak in the mineral hot springs before walking to dinner at one of the wonderful restaurants on Main Street.
At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, our goal is to make your time with us memorable. Let us help you find the perfect activities for your visit.
It's Easy to be Green at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs!
With our all natural mineral hot spring tubs tiered on the hillside in the courtyard, The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is like an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For the past several years, The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs has worked diligently to make the lodge what it is today, earning a four key rating from Green Key, a well know eco-rating program. With a passion for reducing a carbon foot print, we have made improvement upon improvement to the property, many of which we wouldn't even notice if we didn't know about them!
Three years ago, new windows were installed in every room to conserve both heat in the winter, and to keep the rooms cooler in the summer months. New doors were also installed for the same reasons.
Each of our rooms has a motion detector installed in the heating and cooling system. This senses when there are no guests in the room, and automatically adjusts the temperature to conserve energy.
Our new key card system implements recyclable key cards. These are not the magnetic key cards that de code if they get too close to your cel phone, but a sturdier type of key that can be reprogrammed again and again, while still providing a new level of security to our guests.
As often as possible, we stay away from strong cleaners that are known to be hurtful to the environment, while still maintaning an exemplary reputation for our clean rooms.
As strong supporters of community and supporting local businesses, as many products as possible are purchased locally. Even down to the new soap dispensers in the rooms, Colorado products are prevalent.
Serving coffee freshly roasted in Ridgway both in the lobby and in the rooms, we focus on the marvelous talents of the area to compliment the hotel.
The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is proud to use geothermal heat exchangers.
The source of our hot springs is located above the tubs in a securely fenced off area as it comes out of the ground at about 140*. We pump the water straight from the earth and use that hot water to heat our tap water. We also use the heat from the mineral hot springs to warm all of the rooms on the property!
Often, even if the heat is turned off in your room, warmth will emanate from the panels; a side effect of the geothermal hot water heating system. It's actually not unusual to have to open a window when the geothermal is in full gear!
Recycling bins are in every room, and our housekeeping staff, as vigilant about being green as they are about a meticulously clean room, has been know to pull recyclable items from the trash and place in the appropriate containers.
From energy efficient washers, to geothermal heat; recycling bins and local vendors, the Box Canyon Lodge continuously works to protect our environment.
There are a variety of things our guests can do as well to help us on this mission, and we are always happy to hear your feedback and suggestions on ways we can further the cause.
April 22, Earth Day, we want to reward those guests who have gone the extra "mile". Every Earth Day, we offer a 50% discount on your stay if you come see us in your hybrid car. Just let the front desk agent know when you check in, and she will apply the discount for you!
Every day it is important to remember to take care of our planet, which is why we also offer a 15% discount for guests with a hybrid vehicle any other day of the year!
Come share our passion! Enjoy the natural serenity of our mineral hot spring tubs. Surround yourself in the majestic beauty of the San Juan Mountains as you relax away the day to day!
See You Soon!
A Culinary Delight in Ouray!
Forkfest is presented by Weehawken Creative Arts and a lot of community volunteers. ForkFest is designed to promote local food producers, chefs and restaurants. Weehawken is committed to bringing great educational events to the Western Slope, so this year we are adding a great seminar on wine and cheese making as well as paring wine with food.
ForkFest begins with a Restaurant Crawl on Friday May 8th from 5-9 pm. Tickets to the Restaurant Crawl are $25 and include 10 tickets to be used as you choose at participating restaurants in Ouray. Saturday morning begins with a wonderful Champagne Brunch at the Ouray Community Center from 9-11 am. The brunch includes crepe station, omelet stations as well as a mimosa bar and pastry and cereal bar. Tickets for the brunch are $20.
At 10 am also at the Community Center Chef Demonstrations begin. Each chef will demonstrate some food preparation using food from a local food producer. Demonstrations will be 30-45 min interspersed with a 15 min presentation from the food producer. The food producers will be set up in the Brunch room throughout the day for people to purchase produce as well as sign up for a CSA or order local meat. Chef demonstrations are free.
At 5 pm the wine and cheese seminar begins. We will have a Colorado cheese maker talking about how cheese is made and a Colorado wine maker talking about making wine. Then we will have someone talking about paring wine with food. The seminar will end with a time for tasting several Colorado wines and cheeses and experimenting what you just learned. Tickets for the seminar are $30.
If you purchase tickets individually the cost of the weekend will be $75, however, we are offering a weekend pass which will be $60 per person. Weekend pass holders will have preferred seating at the chef demonstrations as well as receive a souvenir ForkFest reusable cotton bag.
Stay Friday and Saturday and complete the weekend with a Weehawken Dance performance at The Wright Opera House on Sunday afternoon showcasing dances of the past.
Guests at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs will enjoy an additional 10% off of their stay when they purchase a weekend pass to ForkFest!
About the Author: Ever the wine enthusiast and farm to table promoter, Faith Parry is the brains and brawn of the Ouray Wine, Chocolate and Cheese festival, and current president of the Weehaken Creative Arts Board. She tirelessly explores hidden gems, and shares with us experiences and adventures that otherwise we wouldn't know were so fabulous! Southwest Colorado is a treasure trove of talented people all eager to share their passion for a variety of creativity from wine and cheese, to the Ridgway MoonWalk.
Celebrate the History of St. Patricks Day in Southwest Colorado!
With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching we thought it might be fun to delve into some of the history and traditions associated with this most fun holiday.
While St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he was not actually Irish. Patrick was the son of Calpurnius, a Roman-British army officer, and was born in either Scotland or Roman England. His real name was probably Maewyn Succat. Though Patricius was his Romanicized name, he later came to be familiar as Patrick.He was growing up as naturally as other kids in Britain, until when he was about 16 years old, when one day a band of pirates landed in south Wales and kidnapped this boy along with many others. Then they sold him into slavery in Ireland. He was there for 6 years, mostly imprisoned.
Eventually Patrick did escape and went back to Britain and then on to France, where he joined a monastery and studied under St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre, for around 12 years. Once Patrick became a bishop himself he was said to have had a dream that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to teach them about God. So with the blessing of the Pope he returned to Ireland and began converting the Gaelic Irish to Christianity.
Patrick was very successful at winning converts. Through active preaching, he made important converts even amongst the royal families. This fact upset the Celtic Druids who had Patrick arrested several times, though he escaped each time. For 20 years he traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries, schools and churches across the country which would aid him in his conversion. He developed a native clergy, fostered the growth of monasticism, established dioceses, and held church councils.
St. Patrick is believed to have died on March 17th, 461A.D. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. There are many legends associated with St. Patrick. The symbol of the shamrock used for St. Patrick's Day comes from the story of St. Patrick using the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant coincided with the Pagan religion's sanctity of the number three and is the root of the green color theme.
St. Patrick's Day was first celebrated in America in 1737, organized by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, including a feast and religious service. This first celebration of the holiday in the colonies was largely to honor and celebrate the Irish culture that so many colonists had been separated from.
In New York, the first celebration took place as a small gathering at the home of an Irish protestant. St. Patrick's Day parades started in New York in 1762 by a group of Irish soldiers in the British military who marched down Broadway. This began the tradition of a military theme in the parade, as they often feature marching military units. The holiday eventually evolved from the modest religious dinner into the raucous holiday we know today. Parades and wearing green have always been a traditional part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations, but the events will vary based on the city.
Here in Ouray we have several locations for you to enjoy the holiday; if you are so inclined to start your holiday with a St. Patrick’s Day Mass check with St. Daniel’s Catholic Church, or you can start at O’Brien’s Pub with a traditional meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage and a freshly built Guinness to wet your whistle. On a typical day, Americans drink about 600,000 pints of the Dublin-based beer. But on St. Patrick's Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are downed, according to Guinness.
If you keep a close eye out you might just find the elusive Shot Fairy running around town with a bottle of Jameson Whiskey. If you can’t find her around town make sure to duck into the Silver Eagle Saloon and have a shot or two and maybe shoot a game of pool on the only pool table in town. Just don’t forget to wear your green or you may just get pinched!
About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle. Morgan is also the newest member of our front desk team at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.
Come in and say hello!
All the Comforts of Home and More at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs!
Recently, while picking up some supplies for the hotel, the cashier realized where I was from, and began gushing about the Box Canyon Lodge.
"My sister and I just came back from a weekend stay with you," she began, "And we spent hours in the tubs discussing how the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs would be the perfect spot to wait out a Zombie Apocalypse."
Well. This is why I love my job.
She continued, describing our natural hot springs, and the natural cold springs in Ouray, our location, tucked into the mountainside as we are, is easily defended. Because we heat our water and rooms with geothermal energy, and have made so many green upgrades, the property would be more sustainable than many other places, and so on. Not to mention the spectacular beauty of Ouray. Who wouldn't want to wait out an apocalypse here?
Being an avid Walking Dead fan myself, she got my creative juices flowing with this chat. We held up the line for a few minutes discussing the validity of her and her sisters analysis of the property and the city of Ouray.
It also got me to thinking that quite a few of us are inextricably tied to the fantasy worlds created by a good T.V. show. We watch. We comment. We take lines from our favorite movies and shows, and find a common thread. Some of us are obsessed with sports. The possibility of missing that play off, or epic game is daunting. Nerves become frayed at the possibility of missing the winning goal.
The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs just upgraded our cable package for our guests. We now offer a couple of movie channels and several sport stations, as well as AMC, making a Sunday night visit possible for guests not wanting to miss the newest episode of their favorite show or sporting event. Now, after a day of outdoor adventures and an evening of soaking and dining in town, you can snuggle in your bed, and not worry whether you set your DVR at home.
For ages, I have been of the mind that having television is relatively unimportant, especially while on vacation. Who wants to sit in front of a box of moving pictures when there is so much to see and do right outside their door?
We write blogs, and post on Social Networks, letting our guests know everything we can that will make their visit memorable. Recently, I came to the realization that in addition to the plethora of adventures to be had throughout the day and early evening, relaxing at night in comfort, with a favorite show playing in the background does in fact make the unfamiliar familiar.
As we have entered into the age of electronics, it is no secret that almost everyone has at least one or two devices that are linked in to the Web. The Box Canyon Lodge has provided complimentary wifi to our guests for years, however, located as we are in a wonderfully defensible box canyon, there are indeed times when the wifi has been a little frustrating. The signal may fade, or too many people log in at once, kicking someone off. Recognizing that our smart phones and tablets are also our primary method of communication these days, we have taken steps to upgrade and improve our connectivity. Every room has been equipped with additional power strips, so that no one has to crawl behind the bureau to plug in their laptop.
At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, our guests are our number one priority. We take pride in clean, comfortable rooms. Our rustic decor is a testament to simple pleasures, outdoor adventures and relaxing soaks in the mineral hot springs. At the same time, we do recognize and accomodate the need for modern technology, and strive to combine the two in a comfortable blend.
All of us enjoy learning from our guests. We love to hear what you think about the property. What you would like to see happen here, or stay the same, and of course, whether you would like to stay with us in the event of a zombie apocolypse!
Since 1994, the Second Chance Humane Society has worked in Ouray, Montrose and San Miguel Counties to provide a safe refuge for lost and displaced pets.
With strong community support, they have grown from a small group of volunteers offering foster services, to a new facility able to provide shelter to a large number of pets as they wait to find their forever homes.
In October, 2011, the Second Chance opened a new Animal Resource Center at Angel Ridge Ranch, a 52 acre property located just outside of Ridgway. Here, they are able to provide care to more animals, as well as a broader scope of educational opportunities to the communities they serve.
It is that time again, Second Chance is presenting its 8th Annual Wine & Whiskers Weekend.
Community donations and interest are the bread and butter (or Kibbles & Bits) of the organization. Without the generosity of the areas it serves, Second Chance would not be able to consistently maintain its exceptional record of rescuing and caring for dogs and cats.
Available auction items for bidding typically include golf, balloon, horse, sleigh, and bike adventure packages, a variety of wonderful art pieces, restaurant and get away packages, and hundreds more quality items and gift certificates from regional generous merchants, restaurants, artists, and service providers.
Thursday March 19th from 6:30 – 8:30 PM is the Opening Night Mixer geared toward those who are most interested in seeing the fashion & dance show. The performance combines fashion (straight from the Second Chance Thrift Shop), dance, and music for a high energy performance best described as “Attitude at Altitude”. Although there will be a small silent auction prior to the show on Thursday the focus will be on the roof-raising show.
Saturday March 21st (5:30 – 11:30 PM) remains the Gala Event: the fun packed bursting at the seams evening includes the delectable catered fare, well stocked silent auction, lively live auction, the famous fashion & dance show, concluding with a dance party!
Offering decadent food with a Louisiana Flare prepared by Chef Sid of Cavallo's http://cavallosrestaurant.com/Restaurant, music and mountains of fun, this is an event to mark on your calendars!
Tickets will be limited for both evenings to assure that all have a seat this year - so get your tickets today! They are $15 in advance for Thursday night ($20 at the door) and $40 in advance ($45/door) for Saturday night. They are on sale now on their secure website or shortly at the Second Chance Thrift Shop in Ridgway.
Get an early start on Thursday, and enjoy an evening at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center; enjoy a fashion show unlike any other, as local models sport ensembles straight from the Second Chance Thrift Shop!
On Friday, take the day to enjoy the splendor of the San Juan’s. Scenic Drives, frozen waterfalls and a plethora of outdoor activities abound between enjoying fabulous food and shopping on Ouray’s Main Street.
Saturday have your dancing shoes on, and be prepared to bid on some awesome items!
Let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs help arrange your visit. Spend a relaxing three day weekend! Start your break with a soothing soak in one of our natural mineral hot spring tubs. Bask in the beauty of the southwest as the steam surrounds you in a picturesque setting.
About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle.