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5280 Magazine March 2021

Founded in 1993, 5280 is the largest local magazine in Colorado. The magazine's stories often make national headlines, and since 2005 5280 has been nominated for four National Magazine Awards. Get 5280 Magazine digital subscription today.

United States
5280 Publishing, Inc
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
first in flight

If you’re looking to excite kids, aerial wrecks are not a bad place to start. U.S. Drone Soccer, Colorado’s newest youth league, checks that box—and more. “It looks a lot like Quidditch,” says Kyle Sanders, vice president of education and development for U.S. Drone Soccer. “I would have called it drone hockey, because it’s a fun, physical game.” The rules are simple: Two teams of three to five drones apiece enter a caged arena, while pilots are just outside the field of play. Each squad’s designated “striker” tries to pilot her drone through the opponent’s goal (a hoop suspended at the opposite end of the “field”) while the rival side’s drones try to stop it—that is, smash it into oblivion. But the game’s technicalities are, well, technical, and part of…

2 min
stitch fixed

FRUSTRATION Adaptive fashion—clothing options made specifically for people living with disabilities and medical conditions—is difficult to find and often drab when you do. “Most of the fashion industry isn’t even thinking about functionality,” Patti & Ricky founder Alexandra Herold says. FIX: Herold launched Patti & Ricky, an online marketplace featuring chic adaptive fashion brands, in 2017. Named after two of Herold’s late family members with disabilities, the Denver-based website carries jeans with an elastic waistband for people who use wheelchairs, dress shirts with easy-close Velcro fasteners, emergency alert pendants that look like jewelry, arm slings with cute patterns, and much more. pattiandricky.com Women of all sizes have small chests, but the bra industry clearly hasn’t noticed: Cup sizes typically increase with band length, forcing someone with a larger torso to settle for a cup…

1 min
stemming the flow

Ashley Beirne can’t recall one time during her teenage years when the tampons she used weren’t donated. Back then, she didn’t have stable housing and lacked the money to buy her own menstrual products, a problem two-thirds of low-income women in the United States experience. “Not being able to afford products for something that you have absolutely no control over—it feels inhumane,” says Beirne, now 30. Determined that others shouldn’t feel that shame, in 2019 Beirne and her friend Geoff Davis started Period Kits, a Denver nonprofit that supplies free period products for Coloradans experiencing poverty. Before the pandemic, the organization hosted events at local spots like Copper Door Coffee Roasters, where volunteers packed three months’ worth of tampons, pads, liners, and underwear (worth roughly $27) into bags, which Period…

1 min

Landing your dream backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) isn’t quite as unlikely as winning Mega Millions—but it’s always been difficult. Peak-season permits go on sale March 1 at 8 a.m. sharp, and in a normal year, dozens of diehards would be lined up outside the park’s permit office near the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center for the in-person lottery, hoping to gain a needed edge (one the National Park Service says doesn’t exist) over the thousands of would-be adventurers booking online. But 2021 isn’t a normal year. Not only has COVID-19 forced RMNP to suspend in-person reservations, parts of the park were devastated by the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires, meaning dozens of Rocky’s 270-plus backcountry campsites are closed due to fire damage. With that in mind, Joshua Baruch,…

2 min
if you’re looking for

A Quick Escape Indian Peaks Wilderness This 73,391-acre wilderness is basically Denver’s collective backyard, so you likely know that backcountry camping permits have been mandatory since the mid-1980s. What you might not know is that no permits are needed for groups of seven or less between September 16 and May 31. Better yet, autumn sees far fewer crowds. We love the eight-mile, waterfall- and wildflower-lined climb to Upper Diamond Lake for a speedy overnight trip. A Thrill Flat Tops Wilderness Just three feet wide at its narrowest, with 80-foot-tall cliffs falling away on either side, Flat Tops’ Devils Causeway gives RMNP’s Keyhole Route a run for its money in terms of sheer pucker factor. The reward for those brave enough? Views of Little Causeway Lake, stunted basalt domes, and alpine meadows below. Baruch suggests adding…

3 min
dry times

It all started with a bad joke. “As much as I might think [alcohol] is essential for me,” Mayor Michael Hancock said during a March 23, 2020, press conference announcing a stay-at-home order for Denver County, “it’s not essential for everyone.” Minutes earlier, the city attorney had explained that liquor stores and recreational dispensaries would temporarily shutter, starting the next day at 5 p.m., as part of the city’s COVID-19 response. So, the mayor continued, people should stock up before prohibition went into effect. The wild scene that ensued forced the administration to reverse the ill-considered decision after only a matter of hours. To toast the one-year anniversary of that tipsy-turvy day, we asked those behind the scenes to recount the crazy afternoon. Mayor Michael Hancock: We should’ve said, We’ll get…