Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Newfound friends on the Colorado Trail

Guest Article by Kris Ellis

When Glenn and I opened Platte River Outfitters in the fall of 2015 in our hometown of Bailey, Colorado, Carhartt clothing was our main product. Before we opened, you couldn’t buy a shirt or pair of pants without traveling at least 30 miles, so it made sense. 

We shared space with the owners of the Sasquatch Outpost, who were transforming from a country grocery store to a souvenir and gift shop. We shared a small area with some fishing and a few camping supplies in the store. 

It was going well and we had no intention of branching out. But, a funny thing happened the following spring that took us by surprise and inspired us to expand into a full outdoor gear store.

It was a pretty quiet day at the store when I looked out to see three “kids” (kids to me) hop out of the back of a pickup truck. They shook hands with the driver and proceeded to unload their huge packs, take off their boots and prop themselves up against our building in the warm spring sun. 

Well, I was curious!  Bailey was a town that people flew by on their way to the great outdoors. Sometimes stopping for gas, but rarely anything else. We’ve lived here for 21 years and that’s just the way it was and we were used to it.  

I headed out to find out what they were up to and, as a mother, if they needed help. Turns out they had just hitched in from the Buffalo Creek Trail Head off the Colorado Trail and were looking for a few supplies, a hot meal and a break from the trail for a night. I really had not heard much about the through trail experience from Denver to Durango up until that day and was fascinated by these three young people. They spent a good three hours at the store.

We had some of what they needed, filled their water bottles and offered a clean bathroom break. While talking with them, they gave us a ton of ideas for supplies to have on hand for folks on the CT. They told us about the “Hiker’s Magic Box” and gave us our first donation. That box was filled and emptied with goodies all summer long!

A hiker's magic box is a box found at some resupply points that hikers use to
exchange food or gear. If you are tired of eating the same old thing or are
carrying too much food, you can leave your extra food in the box for someone
else to take. If you see something in the hiker box that looks interesting,
you can take it. If you need a few ounces of stove fuel, and you can only buy it
by the gallon, you can leave the unused portion in the hiker box for someone else.

After some calling around, we found them a place to crash for the night as well. Lynwood Park B&B was just starting to experiment with opening a hostel and told them to come on down. They were offering cots inside or tent areas outside, laundry and a shower for just a few bucks. 

We had known Bill and Lyn for years and had no idea they were doing this! A great partnership began and we shuttled hikers from our door to theirs every week that summer.

From that day on, we made it a priority to become a resupply stop for hikers on the Colorado Trail. One side of the store is now fully stocked with things like sleeping pads, dehydrated food, insoles, meds and toiletries, water purifiers … you name it. 

We accept drop boxes and have even met people on the trail to deliver them. It amazes me how many connections have come about by meeting people from the CT in our store and we are thrilled with the direction it has taken us - thanks to those three kids!

Kris and Glenn Ellis are the owners of Platte River Outfitters in Bailey, Colorado.

Wilderness On Wheels

Colorado Caliber is proud to announce a brand new partnership with Wilderness On Wheels. We have developed a custom Colorado Caliber design for the non-profit. That design will be available on apparel later in 2017, exclusively at Wilderness On Wheels in Grant, CO. Also, we'll be donating a portion of every website sale made through this year to Wilderness On Wheels.

Wilderness On Wheels has been offering access to nature since 1986.

Nestled at the base of Kenosha Pass in Park County, Wilderness On Wheels offers hiking on an 8-foot, mile-long boardwalk up to 9,200 feet; and a half-mile long boardwalk along Elk Creek. There are also two accessible cabins available for a small fee; twelve campsites (some with raised tent sites) including fire pits and charcoal cookers; and 5 huts, built level for a wheelchair for easy access. 

The small pond is stocked three times a summer, and you do not need a license to fish in the pond or the creek; but you do need to bring your own equipment, bait, and take your fish home - or cook them on an open fire pit at Wilderness On Wheels. We also ask that you TAKE OUT what you bring in - we do not have trash service.

Wilderness On Wheels has operated for thirty years as a non-profit 501(c)3, with no paid staff - only volunteers who have put in over 115,000 hours to keep WOW the beautiful camping experience it is. Wilderness On Wheels has hosted as many as 2,000 visitors a year, from across the entire world, and the main reason being that families and friends of those with disabilities can hike, camp and fish together. No is left out!

Those visiting: the disabled, elderly, or family and friends, can walk or roll through lush forests with a view of the beautiful Rocky Mountains; have a picnic in areas covered with wildflowers and surrounded by majestic Evergreens and quaking Aspens; or listen to a bird chirp, watch a squirrel scampering, or watch the hundreds of hummingbirds that frequent Wilderness On Wheels throughout the spring and summer. You may also see deer, elk or even a bear!

Visiting Wilderness On Wheels is an awesome adventure for young and old, the disabled and the able-bodied. There are accessible public restrooms, but we do not have showers (except in one of the cabins). Reservations are not required, but are appreciated. The cabins and huts fill up quickly, so if you plan an overnight trip to Wilderness On Wheels, reservations should be made ahead of time.

Wilderness On Wheels is located 65 miles west of Denver, on Highway 285, just west of Grant. See you this summer!!

For reservations or more information, call 303-403-1110 or email us at

This guest article was written by Barb Cramer of Wilderness On Wheels.

Here is our custom Colorado Caliber design for Wilderness On Wheels:

And here's a story Colorado & Company did late last year:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Grand Opening at Arapahoe Sports

We were honored to be invited to the grand opening of Arapahoe Sports this past Friday evening. Arapahoe Sports is the retail store at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. The store went through a massive renovation during the off-season. Now, it's bigger and better than ever!

The crew up at A-Basin pulled out all the stops for the Grand Opening party, which was held on Friday, Dec. 9, from 4-6 p.m. A full gourmet spread, plenty of adult beverages, and a chance to mix and mingle with the staff, guests, and manufacturer representatives. It was a great time!

There was live music, too!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mad Jack's Mountain Brewery

What says "Colorado" more than a family-run brewery in a small mountain town?

Mad Jack's Mountain Brewery opened in April 2016 in Bailey, Colorado. The unique establishment is located at 23 Main Street in Bailey. Call Jack and Allison Hansell, owners, at 303-816-2337 for more information; or visit their website by clicking here.

We're very proud to welcome Mad Jack's Mountain Brewery to the Colorado Caliber family. We have partnered with Jack and Allison on a custom Colorado Caliber design for their t-shirts, hoodies, long-sleeved t-shirts, and women's v-neck t-shirts.

Here's the Mad Jack's design:

You'll find a beer for every taste at Mad Jack's. Food trucks rotate throughout the week to provide unique cuisine.

Three years in Germany inspired Jack and Allison to open Mad Jack's. They ate and drank their way across Germany during their three-year stay there; and were inspired by the German beers and beer gardens.

They've developed recipes over the years that will delight discerning beer drinkers from Denver and other Front Range communities - as well as the wealth of tourists that travel the US Highway 285 corridor every year.

Jack and Allison have been married for 33 years and have three sons - Nathan, Nolan, and Nick; along with daughter-in-law Lauren and grandson Wesley. Jack recently retired from Molson Coors.

During his 15 years of service at Coors, Jack learned a great deal about the beer industry both domestically and internationally. He held key positions in manufacturing, quality, distribution, packaging, and supply chain.

In 1990, Jack started home brewing and has been learning the craft ever since, with many successful brews. During his tenure with Molson Coors, he had the privilege of becoming certified in brewing and packaging through the Coors Brewery Institute and the International Brewers and Distillers Guild.

Jack holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University. He is a veteran of the US Army, having served 11 years as a Combat Engineer Officer.

Allison has held numerous Director level positions with local non-profit organizations such as March of Dimes, American Red Cross, and United Way. Additionally, she has served as an office manager for various doctors and lawyers.

The Hansells' three sons have a broad level of experience in the beer business as well. Nolan is currently a route salesman with a local distributor. Nathan has worked in operations for three distributors in Texas, Colorado, and Montana. He is an avid home brewer and blogs about beers. Nick has been learning the home brewing process for several years and is currently pursuing his degree at University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.

Allison serves a customer at Mad Jack's Mountain Brewery.

Outdoor seating and yard games are all the rage at Mad Jack's!
A sampling of souvenirs available at Mad Jack's Mountain Brewery.

Allison and Rocky during a recent visit to Mad Jack's Mountain Brewery.

Mad Jack's Mountain Brewery in Bailey, Colorado.

Even the garage door leading into Mad Jack's is special!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rocky Mountain Bar & Grill in Kremmling

We've teamed with Rocky Mountain Bar & Grill in Kremmling on a new, custom Colorado Caliber design! We took our Wildlife design and incorporated the establishment's logo and the Kremmling town limit sign! The shirts and hoodies are in stock just in time for this weekend's fair and rodeo in town.

Shea O'Hotto displays one of the new Colorado Caliber shirts available now at the Rocky Mountain Bar & Grill!
A closer look at the new design.

The new shirts are in stock just in time for this weekend's fair and rodeo!

Rocky Mountain Bar & Grill is located on the town square in Kremmling, at 207 Central Avenue. Give them a call at 970-724-9219 for more information! And join us in welcoming Rocky Mountain Bar & Grill to the Colorado Caliber family!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Colorado Gift Company in Westminster

We are happy to announce that Colorado Gift Company in Westminster is now carrying Colorado Caliber apparel!

Aimee Dorman is the owner of Colorado Gift Company, and she says her goal is to increase visibility for Colorado artisans and products. Everything in the store is made in Colorado!

The shop is located in the Walnut Creek Shopping Center. The physical address is 10442 Town Center Dr., Suite 400, Westminster, CO 80021.

At the Colorado Gift Company you'll find a wide selection of local gifts and souvenirs. Aimee specializes in putting together one-of-a-kind gift baskets for any occasion!

Aimee Dorman is the owner of Colorado Gift Company!

"We love buying and selling local products," Aimee said. "We love supporting small local business, and love helping people build relationships. Our goal is to increase visibility for Colorado artisans and products while enhancing relationships between businesses and their clients or individuals and their loved ones."

Thanks to Rosie McWilliams of Firestone for purchasing a Colorado Caliber t-shirt!

Aimee will build you the perfect gift for that special person's special day. You can also call her to open a business account and let Colorado Gift Company wow your employees and customers with beautiful customized gift baskets made of local products at reasonable prices.

Colorado Gift Company is currently carrying the Colorado Caliber WILDLIFE and CAMPING designs in men's, women's, youth, and toddler t-shirts. 

Call the store at 720-600-0505 for more information; or visit their website by clicking here!

Join us in welcoming Colorado Gift Company to the COLORADO CALIBER family.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Country Ace Hardware in Granby, Colorado

We're thrilled to announce that Country Ace Hardware in Granby now carries our Colorado Caliber apparel.

Country Ace Hardware is a beloved institution in Grand County - one that locals can rely on and one that visitors must see to believe! If Country Ace doesn't have it, you probably don't really need it.

It's not just a hardware store, that's for sure. They have all your 4th of July holiday needs, as well as your outdoor lifestyle needs. Departments include:

  • Automotive
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Electrical & Lighting
  • Fishing, Camping, Hunting & Athletic Supplies
  • Hand & Power Tools and Accessories
  • Hardware
  • Houseware & Small Appliances
  • Lawn & Garden
  • Marine & RV
  • Mountain Decor
  • Outdoor Living
  • Plumbing
  • Seasonal & Specialties
  • Storage & Organization
  • The Paint Studio
  • Toys
  • Winter Goods

The store has been an integral part of the Granby community from the town's beginning. It started out as Wright Hardware and has gone through many name and ownership changes over the years. Other names the store has gone by include Jack Ruelius County Hardware, Morris Long's Hardware, and finally Country Hardware in 1979.

Tom and Kathy McConathy purchased Country Hardware in 2001. At the time, it was True Value Hardware Store. Since their acquisition of the store, Country Hardware has gone through a number of dramatic changes.

In 2002 Tom and Kathy transitioned the store to Ace Hardware and completely remodeled the building. In 2005 they moved from the cramped 318 E. Agate Avenue space to the old Lever Foods building, which more than doubled the store's size.

Also in 2005, they opened a second business in the original location, called Country Home Outfitters. And finally, in 2009 they expanded the current 627 W. Agate Avenue location to include a full-fledged lawn and garden area AND to make room to bring in the Country Home Outfitters lighting and gift departments.

Country Ace Hardware is a family-owned and family-operated business. Today if you visit, you are liable to meet Tom or Kathy, who frequently work the floor. Their daughter, Amy, now manages the store. Go up the street to the original building and you can meet their son, Jason, who owns and operates New Mountain Design (kitchen and bath design) and the family's fireplace business. And drop in at Brickhouse 40 for a tasty lunch or dinner and meet Tom and Kathy's son-in-law, Dino, who owns and operates the restaurant.

Country Ace Hardware is all about COMMUNITY, because Tom and Kathy know that as a locally owned business they depend on the community. They achieve this in two ways - through events the store sponsors directly, and through partnerships with other community groups.

Some of the events the store participates in each year include:

  • Dog Days of Summer, where the store helps raise awareness and funds for the Grand County Pet Pals.
  • The store's Children's Miracle Network Icon and Bucket Sale to support local CMN hospitals.
  • The annual flower basket sale to support the Granby Elementary PTA.
  • The infamous Ladies'  Night (always the second Thursday night in November) where each year a local group is chosen to work the door and to collect all the proceeds from the door.

Also, since 2006 Country Ace Hardware has partnered with the Granby Public Library to provide over $500 in gift certificates every year to children who go above and beyond in completing the library's Summer Reading Program.

The store has also supported various groups' fundraisers, including the High School Athletics Program through the Grid Iron Club; Granby's Parks and Recreation Department's Granby Gut Buster; Habitat for Humanity's Habitat Hobble; and many other events.

Country Ace Hardware carries our Wildlife and Camping designs in Men's, Women's and Youth t-shirts. Stop by this weekend for all your holiday needs and to pick up a Colorado Caliber t-shirt! See if you can find the gnome during your visit. He hides out in a different department every day!

The store is located at 627 W. Agate Avenue in Granby. Call them at 970-887-3395 or visit their website by clicking here.