The St. Paul Lodge was a labor of love by Chris George, and many wonderful friends. For many years, the lodge was home to Chris, wife Donna and their two oldest children. Now, many years later, Chris’s vision for the lodge has come full circle, as the George children, and now grandchildren regularly return to their special place. The lodge has spawned a growing family who all love the outdoors and respect the mountains. It was this desire to share the mountains that was evident during the thirty years that he ran the lodge. Maybe some of you had the pleasure of being at the Lodge while Chris was baking bread and telling stories.
Chris George came to America in 1968 and started working for Colorado Outward Bound School along with his best friend Brian Serff. Together these two had already climbed several of the North Faces in Europe, traveled through Afghanistan and South America. Chris brought a wealth of international climbing experience to his new home in the Colorado mountains.
Donna George grew up in California. Infected with the same wanderlust as her brother Tom, she followed on the heels of Tom and traveled through Europe, much of it on her bicycle. She ended up in Silverton Colorado to help work at her brother Tom’s restaurant -The French Bakery.
Lo and behold, the Bakery had an ex-pat for a chef, Chris George. The rest, as they say, is history. Donna rose to the challenge of raising their first two children at the Lodge. When Donna was pregnant with their third child she decided she wanted a place in the booming metropolis of Silverton Colorado. Can you blame her? She had at this time bathed, fed, nursed back to health two small children, all without electricity or running water. Cue the award for most respectable mama!!
The George’s currently have three children and three grandchildren.
Christopher George is the eldest son. He is the proud father of daughter Inari. He has worn many hats, but currently is proud to wear the helmet as firefighter for Durango Fire. Prior to that he served many roles – bike mechanic, Sports and Recreation manager for the town of Silverton, volunteer EMT, and worked with the Recreation Department at Kirtland Air Force base to name a few. Christopher is an alumnus of Fort Lewis College with a major in English. He also attended Texas State for a Masters in Outdoor Recreation Management. He exemplifies some of the core qualities his parents hoped to instill. He is a true steward of the San Juan’s, an exceptional parent and if any of you get the pleasure of him teaching you, whether it be climbing, skiing, or understanding English Literature then you are in for a real treat.
Tyler George is the middle child of Chris and Donna. He reminds his little sister of the character Paul Maclean in “A River Runs Through It”. He has a charisma that is undeniable to even the smallest of child. This makes his role as Uncle Tyler such an enjoyable one to watch. The dinner table is a little quieter and feels as though there is a void when he is not sitting at it. Tyler is a graduate of Fort Lewis College with a degree in Business. He has explored both self-employment as a caterer, as well as employment in many fine dining establishments. Following in his father’s footsteps, Tyler worked alongside Chris Senior restoring historic buildings throughout his beloved San Juan County, and now does so on his own. Currently he is working for Silverton EMS, hosting our larger groups at the St Paul Lodge and when he finds time loves to volunteer teaching sports to the school kids of Silverton. When he isn’t up in the high country of the San Juan mountains, you’re also likely to find him guiding on the Colorado River, putting many of his cooking, storytelling, music and fishing talents to work.
Vanessa George Moore is the youngest of the George siblings. Her arrival sparked the move to a more traditional home in Silverton. To say she was spoiled is an understatement – I mean they moved to Silverton! She was (and is) deeply loved by her brothers and parents. They taught her to climb, to ski, and to follow wherever the family roamed. She is the proud mama of Oliver and Kiri. Raising her family in Durango allows her to stay close to the San Juan mountains and her family. She had the tremendous privilege of attending Colorado Rocky Mountain School for her two final years of High School. This allowed her to perfect her skiing technique as a ski racer for the school. She later went to Fort Lewis College in Durango and graduated with an Exercise Science Degree. She and her husband Aaron Moore spent several years in Denver where she became a Registered Respiratory Therapist and now currently works at Mercy Hospital in Cardio Pulmonary Rehab.
Aaron Moore is the husband to Vanessa and has become an integral part in the George Family. Aaron grew up in Milwaukee and moved to Flagstaff with his family when he was in middle school. He attended Northern Arizona University where he got his Bachelor’s in nursing. Early on, Aaron recognized the special nature of the St. Paul lodge and has gradually been learning about the property. He has taken on the responsibility of managing the Hut on our AirBnB site. Aaron started a work weekend tradition to address both large and small projects by means of a “barn raising” effort. This idea we gladly adopted after installing solar on all of our family homes in Durango with the immense help of Uncle Tom. When Aaron isn’t out running ultras, or hiking in the San Juan’s, he is working as a nurse in the Operating Room at Mercy in Durango.
I hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit about us. The St Paul is not your average Lodge & Hut. This was a family home, and is a family’s passion. We long to take care of this land and leave it better than it was given to us. We are taking active steps to restore the old mine dump to which the Lodge sits on, to ensure the integrity of the watershed above the lodge, to study the science of the snow on Red Mountain Pass and to share this wonderful place with those that would appreciate it.