Happy Holidays to all.
May the New Year bring us light from within and extend to those people and blessings around us.
May we all share in the joy and abundance of the earth with all her creatures and creations.
Let us open our hearts, our acceptance and our minds, to loosen our particular prejudices and to breath deeply, expanding our limitless potential />a little more than we did last year.
Peggy and Lee Cloy

“Some places merely contain you but Willowtail Springs envelopes you in its warmth and charm. What a wonderful restorative stay.” Francis

We hear that CA is getting snow — so there is hope that it will find its way to CO. Forecasters have said this will be another year of drought, which makes the winter sports enthusiasts unhappy — and the same goes for the ranchers and farmers.

Bring your hiking boots –and you can rent skis!  Bicycles are a big deal in the county — and with the drought, it looks like folks can keep on riding!

This week Mesa Verde holds its annual winter open house on Dec. 6.  Drop in if you are in the area for a night time view of Spruce Tree House and Christmas music.

Each local community is promoting a “Shop Local” campaign, with Durango’s Noel Night this weekend.  The Durango train continues to operate through the winter with the Polar Express and trips to Cascade Village (rather than Silverton).  Dolores plans to light up the town for Christmas, and leave many of the lights on throughout the year.  It is a quaint town north of Cortez on the Dolores River at McPhee Lake; the light show should be a nice touch for the community.

Whether there is snow or not — we hope to see you in Mancos this winter.  Willowtail Springs and Sundance Bear are open all year and the rates are super in this slower season!

Countdown to Lift Off –
Mancos Valley – Mesa Verde Country Balloon Festival
Takes Flight September 23 – 25

Take your fun to new heights this month in Mesa Verde Country. On Sept 23 – 25, we’ll be launching the 7th Annual Mancos Valley – Mesa Verde Country Balloon & Art Festival. The high desert landscape of Colorado’s Four Corners region is the backdrop for a weekend of art and awe-inspiring sights. Balloonists paint the sky every color of the rainbow at dawn, while on terra firma musicians and fine artists showcase and share their talents. A celebratory Fiesta Dinner is held on Saturday, September 24, which includes music, dancing, and a silent auction.
More colorful than a space-shuttle launch, more climactic than New Year’s Eve on Times Square; this is one countdown you won’t want to miss:
21 – Balloons, including many special shapes
3 – Spectacular Mass Ascensions
2 – Magical Balloon Glows
1 – Breathtaking Fall Weekend
0 – Dollars — It’s Free!

If you’ve never witnessed a mass ascension, you’re in for a treat. Three mass ascensions are scheduled (weather permitting) at 7:00 AM each day. With the help of their crews, balloon pilots lift off from one of two staging areas, filling the early morning sky with a kaleidoscope of color. Have your camera ready for this can’t miss photo op.
Keep that camera handy for the balloon glows that take place on Friday and Sunday nights at 7:15 PM. As the burner on the balloons is fired they “glow” like giant lanterns. The effect is both spectacular and magical. Always a favorite, this event never fails to charm and enchant kids of all ages.
But to really let your spirits soar, take a hot air balloon ride navigated by an experienced pilot. Rides are available each morning during the mass ascensions (weather permitting). As the ground sinks away, the vistas of Mesa Verde Country unfold including views of Mesa Verde National Park and the La Plata Mountains. Tethered balloon rides are also available.

An article reporting who is enjoying a BNB stay and what they look for in the experience:

Insights June 2011

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June 30th, 2011 by Peter Yesawich


The terms “bed & breakfast” (B&B) and “inn” conjure up romantic images of stately Victorian houses nestled among majestic oaks, graciously operated by entrepreneurs we secretly admire because they finally decided to follow their dream!  Yet how do these seductive images translate into market appeal? The results of our just-released 2011 Portrait Of American Travelers™ reveal the answer.

Fully one out of every eight (13%) American leisure travelers stayed at a B&B or inn at least once during the previous year.  This incidence rises to one out of six (17%) among leisure travelers with an annual household income of $125,000 or more.  And a remarkable eight out of ten (79%) leisure travelers express interest in staying at a B&B during the year ahead!  Why is this notion so appealing?  Not surprisingly, it’s the lure of their distinctive ambiance.

When asked why they patronize B&Bs and inns, leisure travelers who did so during the previous year cited reasons ranging from the personalized service delivered by innkeepers, to the social aspects and “home-cooked food” as revealed below:

Very/Strongly Agree %





I enjoy the private, less crowded, quiet ambiance of small Inns/B&Bs 64
I like to try new things when traveling 56
Inns/B&Bs provide a better sense of the local culture 56
I enjoy the personalized service of the host innkeeper(s) 54
I like the unique architecture/décor of Inns and B&Bs 53
I like the home-cooked food 52
Inns/B&Bs are much more romantic than traditional hotels/motels 47
I feel more pampered at an Inn/B&B than in a traditional hotel/motel 45
I like to interact with other guests during breakfast or social hours 39
It’s a more affordable escape than I would find at a traditional hotel/motel 37
They generally have a pet-friendly policy 19

Among leisure travelers who express interest in staying at a B&B or inn on a future trip, the home-like ambiance and amenities they expect to find in these properties are the primary reasons why:

Attributes of B&Bs Rated Very/Extremely Desirable %





Comfortable bed/linens 92
Friendly staff 91
Complimentary, freshly prepared breakfast 88
Having time just to relax and unwind 87
Knowledgeable innkeepers 80
Opportunities to taste different or unusual cuisines 68
Free Wi-Fi 67
Romantic ambiance 63
Distinctive theme or atmosphere 59
Distinctive architecture 55
The ability to reserve a specific room with unique decoration or theme 53
Other interesting guests 41

Clearly, consumers believe B&Bs and inns offer an alluring residential ambiance that is not found in most conventional hotels and resorts.  When combined with the personal touches of the host innkeeper, this appeal is very alluring.

For further information on emerging lifestyle and travel trends revealed in the  Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2011 Portrait of American TravelersTM please visit the Publications section of

Info compliments of Mesa Verde Country:

Find Your Mountain Biking Nirvana in Mesa Verde Country
Rugged by nature, mountain bikers love the outdoors and all that goes along with it – fresh air, great views, and the exhilaration of going off road – mentally and physically. With 40 rides and nearly 500 miles of mountain biking trails that take riders from the canyon floor to the cliff’s edge, there’s a trail for every rider in Mesa Verde Country, from novice to pro. As the zenith of summer quickly approaches, now is the time to get out of town, get out of your head, and get in the zone; your personal mountain biking nirvana is located in Mesa Verde Country.

Some places in the southwest are known as mountain biking Meccas, drawing thousands of riders to a limited number of trails where the joy of a summer ride is tainted by the pressure to keep up, look good, or go along with the crowd. Relatively undiscovered, Mesa Verde Country’s single track, dual tracks and even paved trails offer miles of thrills and unmatched scenery, minus the pack mentality.
There are over 40 trails in Mesa Verde Country, here’s a quick glimpse at three of them:

Dolores River Canyon — Easy for the first eleven miles, then this trail steps up to an advanced ride for the next ten. This ride is also referred to as the Snaggletooth Trail and is perfect for exploring the scenic Dolores River. The first part of the trail is relatively flat with a few short climbs and downhill stretches. Riders can turn around here, or continue on for a more challenging ride.

Phil’s World — Ten miles of single track for intermediate and advanced riders. Look for lots of jumps and short hills that have been described as rollercoaster rides. The track is considered very fast and is well maintained by the local mountain biking club.
“Phil’s World is fast becoming a destination point for mountain bikers from around the country,” says Jimbo Fairley, co-owner of Kokopelli Bike and Board in Cortez. “The rolling terrain and layout of the trail make it a fun, fast, flowing ride.” “Whether a visitor participates in the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde relay race held every May, or just comes to ride, few places in the country can surpass the views and the rides found on Phil’s World and other area trails.”
Aspen Loop & Windy Gap — Spectacular views await riders on this 22- mile, intermediate dirt road trail, so be sure to bring a camera. Aspen groves morph into spruce and fir forests as the trail ascends. Be sure to look for the Jersey Jim fire lookout tower. After the 2,000 foot climb over 8 miles, the trail begins to descend.
Find your personal mountain biking nirvana on these and 37 other trails in Mesa Verde Country. Order your free Mesa Verde Country Travel Planner to find out where to bike, stay, eat and more on your next off-road adventure.


Many of our guests are taking advantage of our Rejuvenating Retreat which combines a stay at Willowtail Springs with either Tai Chi or Art lessons.  Deep discounts are offered all year for these Retreats!

Think of a 4 night or more respite at this beautiful place combining both rest and learning.  It could change your attitude and your outlook from a busy schedule.

Connect to our site on Abode at Willowtail Springs and check it out on “What’s New” or in more detail on the Workshop page of that site.

Sundance Bear Lodge
Willowtail Springs