Ghost towns like Ironton Park and Animas Forks are quite fantastic, drawing travelers from near and far to witness the last remains of a not so distant past. Adventurers wander the empty buildings and paths imagining the people who once there. It is almost as if you can see the spirit of the mining community walking beside you as you explore.
Recently, a different kind of spirit has gained popularity in Colorado, as a variety of independent distilleries are making their homes in towns like Ouray. We are all fans of Breweries, and craft beer will forever have a place in the hearts of every traveler, however the clear, distinct flavor of an excellent craft beverage also has a little piece of my heart. Offering a variety of liquors created with their own special flair, a distillery offers a new experience.
The Spirit Trail was organized by the Colorado Distillers Guild for adventurers to explore the beauty of Colorado one local distillery at a time. The map crosses the state from Durango to Fort Collins, marking the location of about 50 distilleries participating in the fun. As guests visit each one, they are given a stamp, and start winning prizes! Of course, just the pleasure of travelling through the state and enjoying a visit with these distinct businesses is a pretty awesome prize!
Listed as Distillery number 21 on the map, KJ Wood Distillery here in Ouray is indeed a great experience. The rich wood staircase leading to the tasting room establishes and expectation of greatness, which will soon actualize. With two excellent whiskeys, vodka, and a distinctive gin, the tasting room offers an exquisite variety of craft spirits.
Loved for its breathtaking beauty, dramatic peaks, mild weather and friendly locals, it seems Colorado has yet again embraced the adventure, and found yet another way to welcome the “spirit” of this colorful state!