While the weather swings from snowflakes to sunbeams, from frosty mornings to deliciously warm afternoons, and back again, the trails in and around town create a cyclic phenomenon known as "mud season." This is the time of year when the river flows wild and silty, inviting kayakers to play in the revived roiling currents; it's the time of year for mountain bikers to stay diligent about keeping their chains clean; and it's the time of year to embrace other options when you're just not feeling inspired to play outside.
Introducing 10 of our favorite outdoor and indoor activities for April and May. When the wind starts a-blowin' and the skies turn grey, fret not; wildflowers and bluebird days are just around the corner, so enjoy whatever these fickle days present.
1. Roll with it: For seasoned kayakers, Durango's Whitewater Park near Santa Rita Park is the place to be this time of year. The Animas River flows mightily with spring runoff, and the water is cold as, well, the snow that's causing the swiftness, so if this is just too much nature for you, check out Open Kayak Night at the Durango Recreation Center on Tuesday’s from 6:45pm till 8:15pm. BYO kayak, $3-$9 (depending on membership status), and practice your rolls before soaking in the hot tub.
2.Ski corn: It ain't over till it's over. With snow still in the forecast, spring skiing could last well into June this year, so don't put those skis up yet. While backcountry enthusiasts plot big adventures to take advantage of stable snow conditions, Purgatory Resort invites weekend warriors to indulge in groomed runs and sloshy corn through April 30th. Open 10am till 5pm Friday through Sunday.
3. Ride a bike: Tis the season for all things desert! With the usual suspects still drying out (Skyline, Test Tracks, Telegraph), most of Horse Gulch, Sailing Hawks, and all of Raider Ridge are offering prime conditions for after-work riders. Animas Mountain and Twin Buttes still have a few weeks to go before taking down their wildlife closure signs, so if you're seeking variety, don't forget about Alien Run 30-minutes south of town outside of Aztec. And if you want to join the masses, head straight to Phil's World or Moab. Regardless your adventure, make sure you’re keeping up with bike maintenance.
4. Get dirty: If you appreciate the hard work of local nonprofit organization, Trails 2000, in keeping our trails in tip-top shape, then April and May provide the perfect opportunity to give back. Click here to find out when trail workers will meet at the 8th Avenue switchback of the Nature Trail to work on Project Sky Steps, a town-to-sky stairway connecting Durango to the Fort Lewis College campus. 4pm till 6:30pm. No experience necessary. All tools, instruction, water and snacks provided.
5. Get rid: Ah, Spring cleaning. Feels so good. Check the City of Durango website to see when they'll be swinging through your neighborhood and what they’re currently collecting. For instance, old hot tub covers, unwanted furniture, and tree trimmings are acceptable, while electronics, tires, and stumps are not. Spring is also the perfect time to clean up your winter toys (snowmobiles anyone?), top them off with stabilizers or oil, and tuck them away till next season. Optional checklist: giveaway clothes that haven't been worn, dust baseboards, and definitely throw out those Thanksgiving leftovers that you're obviously not eating.
6. Dig it: For many, garden plotting and compost prepping have been on the agenda for awhile now. For the rest of us green thumb hopefuls, it's not too late to do some research, pick out some seeds, and start digging. If this is the year for you to finally start composting, check out these websites for helpful tips and local options: Durango Compost Company, Table to Farm Composting, or Durango Urban Composting.
7. Get pricked: While you're out in the yard or kicking up dust on the trail, those pesky seasonal allergies might be having a heyday with your sinuses. Don't suffer needlessly; book an appointment for Acupuncture at one of Durango's many certified establishments, like Surya Wellness Center with Megan Lott or Durango Community Acupuncture, which is open Monday to Friday (by appointment only).
8.Cross train: Spring is a great time to focus on building up your core strength for the next round of outdoor adventures. Take a month to practice both the yin and yang as you find your way onto a yoga mat at one of Durango's many locations. Pilates and CrossFit classes are also available around town, while the Rec Center and Durango Sports Club offer awesome alternatives for those dreary days. Who knows? This could be the season you learn how to swim finally!
9. Create: If you're looking for something totally different, why not sign up for an art class? Or learn about photography, cooking, a new language, a musical instrument, computer coding, or hula-hooping? The world is your oyster. From DurangoLearns! to the Durango Arts Center, options abound for cultivating that other side of your brain. If painting could be your jam, don’t miss “Elements of Landscape Painting,” a three-day workshop at Sorrel Sky Gallery (828 Main Ave) April 28th through Sunday, April 30th. Open to artists of all abilities.
10. Let the good times roll: If you're striking out on these options or really just want to kick back, grab a couple of friends and head to Sky Ute Casino Resort for bowling at Rolling Thunder Lanes. From Fiesta Nacho Night on Monday’s to Cosmic Bowling on the weekends, find something to fit your group or family’s desires any day or night of the week. Call 970.563.1707 for more information.