Top Left: Capitol Peak, remote, precipitous, 14,000 foot monarch of the Elk Range, near Aspen, Colorado. The view was in Autumn, across Capitol Creek Valley.
The scenery was wonderful even though spring had not quite arrived there at that time. I was used to the Appalachian Mountains and they cannot compare with the Rockies, in either size or scenic beauty. I am aware that some might disagree with me on that. There are many lovely vistas in the Appalachians. We had a good visit with our friends; they took us to the health club attached to the ski lodge, and there I used a sauna for the first time. The dry heat nearly made me pass out at first, but I gradually got used to it. The hot tub and pool were real treats to have in April, as we were not yet members of any health club, and swimming was something we only did in the summer.
We did some sightseeing around the area, and we drove up to an elevation of 13,000 feet. The views were fantastic snow topped mountains and the valley still dotted with the snows of the winter. Most of the snow was gone, but the piles made by the snowplows were in some instances 8' tall. The town of Steamboat was charming. I am sure it must have changed a lot since I was there, but the small shops were wonderful for browsing. The restaurants were good too; both in the ski resort and on the main street.
We were there for 2 1/2 days and on the second day, we awoke to milder temperatures. The hillsides and meadows had blossomed overnight with wild flowers in shades of yellow, purple and blue. I was amazed that they could appear so quickly. We walked that day, and I got short of breath very quickly. We were used to elevations of either sea level (in VA) or 600' (in my home town), so the elevation didn't sit well with my lungs. I was still a smoker then, so I am sure that had something to do with it.
The next day, we had to go back to the airport to catch our flight to California. We got out of Colorado just in time; on the second day of May, they got 5" of snow. It started snowing just as we left there and by the time we had arrived in California, the whole 5" was on the ground. I hated to think of all those wildflowers, blooming their pretty little heads off, now buried in fresh snow. I vowed then and there never to live anyplace that could have snow that late in the season!