Hello Durango Visitors! My name is Julia Grace Volzke and I thought because I’ll be leading you on the straight and narrow on what to do on your visit here, it might be good to get to know me a little bit. I was born on December 26th, 1993 and I was raised in Arvada Colorado which is a suburb of Denver. Now, just so we are all clear, I have wonderful parents that separate the Christmas and my birthday, so we are all peachy. I’m the middle child with an older brother named Owen who graduated from UNC about a year and a half ago, and a younger sister Claire who is just about to start at, shocker, UNC as well. My dad is an adorable engineer who designs the computer systems that go into can plants around the world. You heard right, can plants. Like beer cans and pop cans. Yeah bring your kid to work day was not as much fun with dad as it is with mom... Mom is a preschool teacher and she loves it. I come from a big family that is pretty much the German/ Swedish version of the family from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. We are all loud and in each other’s business all the time. But I love them more than anything else

These are just some of my cousins and my siblings on Easter together. Yeah were a pretty silly bunch. From left to right we have my brother Owen, Bradley, Amanda, my sister Claire, Courtney, Justine, Devon and Brynna.

I came to Durango originally because my parents decided a few years ago to go on the “Great American College Tour”. We visited a few universities around Colorado, but Fort Lewis College just seemed to be the best fit for me. So after I graduated from high school, our Dodge Durango filled to the brim with my excessive shoe collection, I moved down here. Fort Lewis has been a great fit for me not only socially but also academically. A lot of my friends and I are in similar classes and we get to know our professors better because the class sizes are so small. Some of my favorite professors up at Fort Lewis are Dr. Leslie Blood, Dr. Steve Meyers and Dr. Marc Walters. Dr. Blood i've had every semester for the past two years as a professor and she is the faculty advisor of the Independent. And for the lucky few of us that have been in mutiple classes with her she takes on  the role as our adopted mother. Dr. Meyers I just recently got to know through my Mountain Sports Writing class and Dr. Walters is the current band director. I play the bassoon believe it or not and this will be my I believe 12th year playing it.  Oh I forgot to tell you my major! I’m an English Communications major with a Spanish minor. I’ve always been enamored by words and language and in this ever changing world, being bilingual gives you a leg up.

These are some of my friends at a film festival that the English department put on, and a film that I made was featured. The guy on the far right is a student ambassador for the Durango Tourism Center and he is one of my good friends. His name is Carter and you might get to meet him if you stop in and if you have any questions about Fort Lewis College he is a great resource. The girl to the right of me is another great friend of mine. Her name is Deanna and if you ever stop by the Diamond Belle Saloon she is a cocktail waitress there. From left to right we have Gabby, Me, Deanna, Lainey who is Ms. Newhampshire Collegiate, Tirrell, Stephanie, Mike, who is an extra in Jurassic World, Allie and Carter. Most of these people I am extremely close with and have worked on the Independent with. 

I’m also an editor on The Independent News Magazine. I am currently holding the position of Online Design Editor so I make all the graphics for the Independent that is online. So if you want to get to know about some Durango issues go to https://www.theindyonline.com/ or http://www.durangoherald.com/. The Durango Herald is Durango’s newspaper while The Independent is based on the Fort Lewis College Campus.

This is from a color capture the flag tournament that many staff members from The Indepdendent participated in. We actually won a round if you can believe it. From left to right we have Luke, Me, our Editor in Cheif Trevor, Deanna, my roommate Annamarie, Catherine, Carter and then laying down is Mike.

So blogging experience? I’ve had a personal blog since the age of 16 and this year I’ve started daily blogging. I enjoy writing down my thoughts and making it into something that people can enjoy. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I think being able to eloquently convey my point in a concise manor is one of my strong suits.

Some of my favorite activities include eating, eating and more eating. Just kidding but I do like food a lot. If you have any suggestions on places you’d like me to try or review please let me know below! I’m up for just about anything! I also enjoy hiking and being outdoors. Growing up our family vacations would consist of going to a new national park we had never been to before and hiking around and exploring it for a few days. The most recent adventure was a cruise down the Rhine river of Germany over Thanksgiving break last year. It was pretty great and getting to go back to where 75% of my heritage originated was just magical. Plus there was a ton of medieval castles and incredible food to eat, so I was pretty much in heaven.

Oh my vice of choice is either dark chocolate or a glass of white wine which can be interesting when your dad is a mini brew master. He just loves his beer and I just love my wine. I love to wake up to the sun and also I feel safest with the mountains to the west. If you are outdoorsy and have found yourself here, this is like an oasis for you. Ask any local what trail would be good or places to find gear and you’ll have a list!

So my dear reader if you have any more questions about me whether it be getting to know me better or about what to do in Durango  let me know. Suggestions are welcome and if you have any questions or concerns on what would be good to do, just email me at juliavolzke@msn.com and I’ll send you in the right direction.


These are my siblings and myself in Cologne Germany over Thanksgiving break last year.


This is my family in Zion National Park last summer. From left to right we have my Dad Kevin, Owen, Me, Claire and my Momma Suzanne.