(advice from “newcomers” and Kremmling natives!)
by Christy Parrott
Families new to the area may not be aware of all that Kremmling has to offer. Beyond the outdoor activities that make Kremmling a destination for tourists year round, living in a small, rural town can pose challenges. Natives and longtime residents offer their advice: Lori Birch, biology and robotics teacher at West Grand high school, insists, “Kremmling is a fun place. If you embrace it with your heart, it will give back. Don’t consider it being isolated, consider it an opportunity to get to know people and build relationships.” Chamber Event Coordinator, Kendra Holmes suggests the best way to build relationships is, “Don’t be afraid to get involved with the community.”
Getting involved means different things to different people, depending on abilities and interests, and unlike a large city, where opportunities are dispersed across a broad area for thousands, Kremmling’s events and activities are likely a short jaunt from home and available to all. Former nursing educator Kim Shepton encourages everyone to get a library card and a tour of what the library has to offer, which includes an adult book club. Lacy Stovner, 4-H coordinator, suggests signing up kids with the CSU extension Office for 4-H and other youth programs. Girl Scout leader Katie DeBell offers a wealth of ideas (particularly for parents): storytime at the library, Thursdays at 10:15 and 11:15; Kremmling playgroup (a locally-based Facebook page or call 970-724-1189); local sports, such as dance classes, T-ball, adult and youth volleyball, softball, water aerobics, and the new rec center; hikes along Cataract lake, the Cretaceous Ammonite site, and Adam’s falls; pontoon rentals at Wolford; fly fishing or horseback riding at Rusty Spur ranch; join a veteran’s group, girl scouts, or volunteer at the BLM; visit the local history museums and learn more about our fascinating town; cool off at the splash pad (located at the high school).
ROWAN director Kelsey Hargadine adds, “The most underutilized spot in town is the tennis courts.” Everyone is encouraged to volunteer at the
Last Time Round thrift store.
Beyond the numerous local activities (far more than mentioned above), there are innumerable places to explore. Matt Kroschel, Mountain Reporter for CBS 4 news, says, “Inspiration Point around sunset never disappoints, unless it’s windy, then you will need to tie off a rope to your car to keep from blowing over the edge. Still worth it for the views.” West Grand graduate, CSU student and Colorado track and field record holder, Tabor Scholl shares her favorite spots for a great run: “My favorite running route in the Kremmling area is a scenic out and back along SkyLine Road and atop the Cliffs. To access this breathtaking running route, drive approximately 2 miles west outside of town and park at the beginning of Skyline Road, from there you can run up and along the ridge and then connect to the Cliffs. This route provides a panoramic view of Kremmling as well as the surrounding mountain ranges, making for a run that flies by due to the scenery.”
When you are out and about, Laura Pettett, owner of West End Liquors, asks, “Don’t feed the bears, especially things like bird seed and hummingbird nectar, but do stop and appreciate the wildlife, as well
as any non-windy moment.”
More than staying active and involved, learning the town’s nuances is an important step in making a place home. Hargadine advises, “If you hear planes flying low, get inside.” (The aircraft is likely aerial spraying for mosquitoes.) Former chamber director Shelly McManus notes, “Don’t pack away your winter gear before May 31st” Kremmling’s First Lady, Sara Pryor agrees:“Buy the fanciest Bogs, you will need them year round.”
Hargadine adds, “Always leave the house dressed, because you will always see someone you know.”
That being said, rancher, singer and songwriter Caitlyn Taussig explains, “Don’t expect people to call a business by it’s current name. Locals stick stubbornly to old titles, so study up on what that business was called twenty to thirty years ago to avoid confusion. (Many still refer to the Grand Old West as The Quarter Circle and The Dean West as The Wagon.) Speaking of The Dean West, Kroschel insists everyone try the ginger beer, “It’s homemade and it pairs great with Jameson.”
In fact, Kremmling offers a variety of dining options, though Slopeside Counseling Founder, Andrea Brown, teases, “Dear lord, don’t ask anyone what their vegan options are.”
Equally smart advice comes from The Well owner, Kim Douglass: “Be kind to your post office employees, remember that he who gets the last parcel locker wins. Don’t head east on Sundays, stay off the cliffs when lightening, and don’t criticize the Chamber unless you’ve volunteered.” Douglass adds, “Don’t trust the crosswalks and always return your shopping cart.” In Kremmling, residents become a part of the community, simply by living in it. Shepton suggests,
“Prepare to spend a little extra time at the grocery store because you will see friends and neighbors.”
Hargadine jokes, “If you lose your dog in town, don’t worry, that goes viral.” How so? A Facebook page, started by Court Reporter Rosie Stahl, who explains, “The Kremmling online garage sale started five years ago. You can post that you need a cup of sugar, and someone will give it to you. It’s one of the most useful tools for surviving Kremmling, because it connects you to the community.”
Community connections are what keep Kremmling more than a drive-by town on the way to somewhere else. The people who live in Kremmling are proud of their community and put effort into maintaining relationships. Pettett says, “Some of the kindest gestures come from the most unexpected individuals, so give everyone a smile and some time to listen to them.” Still, ranching legend Pat Pryor insists, “Respect the natives, respect the ranchers. This area’s beauty is because of their stewardship and conservation.” That respect and effort will come back in a full embrace, as Taussig shares, “When you lose a loved one, prepare to have the coroner, sheriffs, and staff provide all the support and hugs you need. And know that the community will wrap you in its arms and help in every possible way.”
One of the reasons Kremmlingstands as a community is because of it’s rich history of people working together through hard winters, mosquito-filled summers and mud in between, because in the midst of this valley amongst the epic cliffs are people who want to be here. Hargadine, who hosts The Gathering Sunday nights at 5, sums it perfectly, “Community is inevitable but it needs to be intentional.”
For more information on how to get involved, including activities and events not listed, Contact the Chamber of Commerce at 970-724-3472.