Walden in north central Colorado is a town with a population of under 585 people and is the largest municipality in Jackson County. A small town just shy of the Wyoming border. I was passing through from Steamboat Springs, CO, through Poudre Canyon to Ft. Collins, CO when I saw the store and took a u-turn on Main.
Sweet Grass Market, Walden, CO
Sweet Grass is the liveliest little place in town with coffee and burritos for customers like me, feed for some of the locals. YUP! It’s a coffeehouse and feed store! Not to mention a few other gadgets around available for purchase like stained glass and beautiful framed photographs of animals.
Deb McGlaughlin started the business in 2012. She donates a majority of her profits to the North Park Wildlife Rehabilitation center, which she manages. She has a passion not only for community but for small and large animals that are injured, usually on the roadways. Most of the injured animals are birds like eagles and owls.
Pop in and visit them … and tell them I said “hi”!
Sweet Grass Market
420 Main Street
Walden, CO 80480
Rock Rabbit!!!! Makes me want to get up and dance 80’s style! The name is reminiscent of the 80’s song by the B-52’s, Rock Lobster.
Dan and his partners have created a space in Pinedale, Wyoming that screams music. They have a stage and several big monitors looping musical performances including Jimmy Buffet, The Doobie Brothers and Phil Collins. I was able to attend their Tuesday Open Mic Night and was simply blown away by the talent in that town with a population of 2,030. If you count the people who live in the outlying areas it goes over 5,000 of the most talented people per capita I’ve every been around (as if that accounts for much). Five musicians performed their own music with guitars or a keyboard … AMAZING!!! Oh, and one comedian who was allowed to give one joke (Jeff) LOL!!
They serve coffee roasted in Wyoming and make most of their goodies from scratch. I devoured “The Big Fat Rolled One” one morning that knocked my socks off; for some reason I took a nap shortly afterward.
Rock Rabbit Coffee & Bistro
432 Pine St
Pinedale, WY 82941
The guys at Metro Coffee Company in Casper, Wyoming take the afternoons off! Isn’t that great? Gotta love local business and the freedom they have to make executive decisions like this one 🙂 They’ve been doing it for over 10 years in downtown Casper. It gives them the the opportunity to be 100% for both the morning buzz rush and for the evening study groups and acoustic music stage.
The baristas there were some of the most attentive that I’ve met. They love pulling shots and being an integral part of the community. Cody said that it makes him happy to brighten the mornings of the customers … and he truly meant it!
The place is full of plants and local art. The most unique piece of art is their old Mac computers …. available for public use IF you can sit long enough to get online 🙂
Stop on in when you’re in the neighborhood!
Metro Coffee Company
241 S. David
Casper, WY 82601
PS – I will add the names of “the guys” once I find that little piece of paper with their names on it 🙂
Mirage Roasting Co.
17555 State Hwy 17
Moffat, CO 81143
The charming Mirage Roasting Company sits in the San Luis Valley in southwestern Colorado on Highway 17. One woman told me that there is 1 person for every 2 square miles of land out there, which makes it the least densely populated area in Colorado.
The entire valley consists of acres of farm land for potatoes, barley, quinoa, etc. and sits on top of Colorado’s largest aquifer providing life-giving water to this high desert landscape.
Mirage Roasting Co. also houses an art trading business and cafe where both the locals and tourists gather. Lisa, barista and roaster, explained that they purchased a roaster about a year ago and now roast several pounds a week. Several of the area’s restaurants are now serving their specialty, single-origin coffees. They are proud of their 100% organic, fair trade beans and so is the community. They wish to remain small and specialized and never compromising quality.
On my tour of the Valley I also discovered The Great Sand Dunes National Park, a restaurant that raises and serves grass-fed yak, an alligator farm, the international spiritual hub of Crestone, and a UFO lookout tower.
What a grand adventure! This is what road trips are for … to discover the uniqueness of our country.