“Pic of the Week”, October 16, 2015: Fall Colors, Colorado Rockies

Summer 2007A 430

Fall is my favorite season, largely because of the beautiful transition of colors in the vegetation.  Whether it’s grasses, small bushes or large trees like these aspen, the forests are even more beautiful as the seasons change from summer to winter.

These photos were taken not far from Vail.  The colors here, while vivid, aren’t as diverse as those in the forests of the eastern USA or eastern Canada, consisting mostly of shades of yellow.  But they’re beautiful none-the-less.  And they’re set in the majesty of one of the world’s greatest mountain ranges!

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

Signs of Aspen

01 Signs of Aspen

The small town of Aspen is a beautiful if somewhat unusual place to visit. The gorgeous mountain setting is something you’d never tire of, but the town is quirky.  It’s a blend of hippy, cowboy, the frontier, and recently a lot of Hollywood (I don’t believe I’ve ever driven by an airport with more private jets parked in it than Aspen airport).  Aspen’s transformed itself from being a rather simple mountain town to an upscale trendy resort.

The town is well know for it’s great winter skiing and in the summer has become a popular family vacation destination.  It’s got excellent restaurants, all types of shops, and lots of outdoor activities.  For me it’s a fun day-trip destination.

Since I’ve started collecting …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 11, 2015: Dinner at the Boulder Farmers’ Market

12 Boulder Farmer’s Market (2)

My son is a doctoral student in physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, so I’ve had the opportunity to visit this small college city several times recently.  Last year we attended the lively Boulder Farmers’ Market on Saturday, which you can read about at this link.  This year we went to the Wednesday evening market specifically for dinner.

We’d heard rave reviews about the tamales at the market so that’s what everyone had,  and they did not disappoint, especially smothered in a tasty chile (mild or hot) sauce.  Like hundreds of others at the market, we took our dinner into the nearby park and sat on a bench munching on our tamales and drinking fresh squeezed lemonade.  It was …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

The Colors of Summer, Colorado Rockies

007 Betty Ford Garden 07-2015.

I love summer in the mountains, short though it may be.  Winter has its own charm, especially if you like playing in the ice and snow, but summer is my season.  Days are long and the weather is pleasant — sometimes even warm.  People who live in the mountains know how to squeeze the most out of their short summer.

I recently spent more than 2 weeks in the American Rocky Mountains, much of this time in Colorado at altitudes between 6000 and 8500 ft above sea level.  I was very impressed by the widespread planting of flowers in the small towns of the region.  Blossoms were everywhere — planters, gardens, window boxes, hanging pots.  The colors were beautiful, cheery and, …

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A visit to Minturn Market, Colorado

01a Minturn Market

Among the pleasures of summer across the northern hemisphere is that farmers markets spring to life for a few months, serving a bounty of fresh produce along with other items people buy at a market, like handicrafts, baked goods, snacks, jewelry and the like.   I’ve grown increasingly fond of these markets over the years, visit them frequently — especially when I’m traveling — and like to share them with my fellow travel lovers!

Minturn is a small sleepy town of just over a thousand residents a few miles west of Vail and a few miles east of Beaver Creek, Colorado.  It’s built along the Eagle River, a popular mountain river with fly-fishermen.  Each Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm …

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Silver Plume, Colorado

01 Silver Plume

I love going on leisurely road trips — the kind where you’ve several spare hours to pull over somewhere and explore.  If a place seems interesting, I like to check it out.

So it was this past summer while we were visiting Colorado.  We were heading east to Boulder, with a planned stop for lunch in Georgetown, and were cruising on I-70.  We starting to look for the Georgetown exit when immediately ahead was an exit for “Silver Plume”.  Great name, got to explore it!

Silver Plume is located in Clear Creek County and is a former silver mining town.   It’s just 46 miles (74 km) from Denver, but worlds apart from that huge busy city.  The town is situated along gushing Clear Creek …

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Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument 011c

While many of the units of the US National Park system are frequently visited and very busy, there are also a few less crowded places.  Colorado National Monument (known to locals as “The Monument”) falls into the latter category.  Situated just south of the city of Grand Junction in western Colorado,  it’s part of the high desert lands of the Colorado plateau.  The Monument is know for its colorful sheer canyons and unusual rock formations, carved by wind and water from the red rock sandstone so characteristic of Utah and western Colorado.  The Monument is not large by American Park standards, just 32 square miles (20,500 acre), but there’s a lot of great scenery packed in.  Besides the red rock, …

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A Stroll through the Betty Ford Alpine Garden, Vail, Colorado

001 Betty Ford Alpine Garden 09-2014

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the world’s highest botanical garden, situated at the foot of Vail Mountain in the Colorado Rockies, in gorgeous Vail Valley.  The Garden rests at an altitude of 8,200 feet (2,500 m) and is named in honor of former First Lady Betty, the wife of President Gerald Ford.  The Fords had a home in Vail as the President was an avid skier, and both were very active in the Vail community.  Ford Park consists of this alpine garden, a fairly large amphitheater complex, a children’s play area and a large grass field for soccer and such.  As you’d expect, these attractions are very popular in the warm Rocky Mountain summers.

While it’s currently likely under a blanket of snow, …

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