The lenticular cloud formations light up like a giant marquee. The stage is now set for the opening of a new season in the Colorado high country. The warm days of Indian Summer have been wisely used, the wood is piled high and the plow sits ready to push back the spin-drift in the days and weeks ahead. No longer do we lament the passing of what was, we now look to the challenge of the future with eager anticipation, knowing that prosperity is the offspring of hardship.
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Taking advantage of the best weather that Indian Summer has to offer, we headed south this weekend, chasing the last remaining colors of fall into the great state of New Mexico. Our getaway took us to Taos via State Hwy. 64, then south along the Rio Grande River to Santa Fe. How lucky we are to be so completely surrounded by places to go and things to see and to have the ability to roll back the seasons a week or two simply by driving for a couple of hours.
Santa Fe is an artist’s mecca and there is no better way to feel the vibe than to find yourself on Canyon Road on a Saturday morning. Over 100 galleries line this street and just being part of the crowd will inspire you to do something creative as soon as you get home.
I think the pictures say it all, great weather, great places, great company and a great weekend. The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard!
“Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower” ~ Albert Camus
So bittersweet is this time of the year in Colorado. The moment I see the first signs of Autumn, I find myself crying out to the season, “I miss you already”. And as each week passes there is a sharpening of the senses, a greater appreciation for the gentle sound of the breeze rustling through the soft glowing leaves, the warmth of the sun, the length of the day. I have been witnessing this grand finale of the Colorado Summer for my entire life, yet each time I am actually surprised that nature has so many colors in its palette.
Summer has reached maturity in the Colorado high country and as we anticipate the annual explosion of colors that will soon take place, there is also a realization that the warm days and nights are slipping away, giving many of us incentive to get outdoors to enjoy them while we can. Getting out might mean golfing, hiking, fishing, taking a four-wheel adventure or simply having lunch on your favorite deck or patio. The next time you are in Cuchara on a Saturday, drop in and experience the Cuchara Produce Market. Jon and Ruth Ann Brandt of La Junta have been bringing the harvest of the plains to the high country each Summer Saturday for the past few years. Melons, fruits, vegetables and other tasty Colorado products are set out along the boardwalk in front of the Cuchara Inn and it’s a great place to meet folks. The Cuchara Produce Market is open Saturdays through mid-October.
The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard.
We are fortunate to live in the midst of one of Colorado’s richest art colonies, giving us the opportunity to be inspired by some incredibly creative people. We recently completed a profile video for gifted woodworking artist Annie Enke and hope that you will take a minute and a half to be inspired as well. Her work absolutely defines originality. Also, visit Annie’s website at http://www.AnnieEnke.com and see her work in person at the La Veta Fine Art Gallery.
The summit of Cuchara Pass is one of those spots that makes you feel like you are on top of the world. At 10,000 feet in elevation and far from the lights of Colorado’s more populated front range centers, this is absolutely one of the best spots to view the night sky over the southern part of the state as well as northern New Mexico.
Last week, around 400 hearty souls departed La Veta under the power of their own muscle and spirit to conquer a 102 mile, 7200 vertical foot bike ride over this lofty pass. This was the ninth running of the grueling Stonewall Century Ride and we were there to capture the smiles of the event volunteers, and the bigger smiles of a few of the participants as they approached the final uphill revolutions of their aching thighs. Congratulations Stonewall Century Riders! Check out the event website at http://www.spcycling.org/archive.php
“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.” ~ Nikola Tesla
I’ve been learning a bit lately about a pretty bright man who spent some time here in Colorado in the early 1900’s. It’s odd that I never learned about him in school, given the fact that he worked along side Thomas Edison and had some very original ideas that have shaped the world we live in, many more that will shape the world that is to come. Anyway, Nikola Tesla was all about energy and it was his dream that energy would someday be free to all. The energy that he envisioned would be completely self sustaining and independent from any requirement to deplete our natural resources. I thought this quote was particularly fitting for this post.to put into context the power that we can derive from quiet afternoon in the great outdoors.
The Purgatoire River runs off of the Sangre De Cristo range just a few short miles from our home and the North Fork Trail has become one of our favorite hikes. To get there, leave the pavement of State Hwy. 12 at Purgatoire Creek and follow the dirt road for three miles to the campground, which sets at about 8500 feet. The hiking trail is best described as easy to moderate with a gentle but steady incline for about three miles up to timberline. This is one of those hikes where there is so much to see that if feels more like a stroll in the park than a workout.
If you live nearby, or if you happen to be visiting this beautiful part of Colorado, grab the family and the camera and check out the Upper Purgatoire River, you won’t be disappointed. Also keep in mind that this valley is absolutely drop dead gorgeous in the fall. In any event, thanks for tagging along and don’t forget that The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard!
On a recent visit to Trinidad to gather material for the Highway of Legends Video, we had the good fortune of discovering a great little Archaeology and Geology Museum on the campus of Trinidad State Junior College. Thanks to the museum director Loretta Martin and Geology Instructor Debra Krumm for rolling out the red carpet and giving us the tour. TSJC is the oldest Junior College in the state and the immaculate grounds and the ornate historic architecture is worth seeing of its own merit. The museum is open to the public Monday through Thursday, 10am until 3pm and admission is free. Check out the museum website for more information and plan on spending an hour or two looking over the beautiful campus and visiting the museum the next time you visit Trinidad.
As a middle-aged Native Son of Colorado, I count myself as fortunate to have become intimately familiar with so much of this beautiful state. In my first 26 years I managed to scurry up to the top of exactly one half of Colorado’s fifty-four fourteen thousand foot peaks, an activity that has given me a lasting overview of the geographical, historical and recreational wealth of this region. The thing that impresses me most about Colorado however, is that no matter how familiar one becomes with it, there seems to be a never-ending supply of new experiences, new views, new discoveries and new adventures lying just around the corner.
June came and went like a thief in the night, stealing away the fresh youth of spring and bringing on the long hot days of summer as Tammy and I worked feverishly to film and edit this piece on the Highway of Legends. A special thanks to the directors of this Scenic Byway and an acknowledgement that the project was paid for by a grant from the National Scenic Byways Program, The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Scenic & Historic Byways.
The Highway makes a loop around the Spanish Peaks and threads its way along the Sangre De Cristo mountain range and it includes an alternate backcountry route over Cordova Pass. The cities and towns located along the way include Walsenburg, Aguilar, Ludlow, Trinidad, Stonewall, Cuchara and La Veta. Recreational opportunities can be found in the San Isabel National Forest, Trinidad Lake State Park and Lathrop State Park. Notable area attractions include the Rio Grande Scenic Railway, Grandote Peaks Golf Course, Cougar Canyon Golf Course, Monument Lake Resort and Blue and Bear Lakes. The promotional video will be available for viewing at www.spanishpeakscountry.com, www.historictrinidad.com, www.colorado.com, and hopefully it will be streaming live in the Colorado Welcome Center in Trinidad.
If you have never been to the Spanish Peaks Region in Southern Colorado, we hope that this film will entice you to plan a visit. If you have been here before, we hope that this video might give you a new perspective of the area. In any event, it is always our intent to remind you that The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard.