Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Postcards on Parade ~ Colorado

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.
Top Right: Downtown Denver (1979).
Bottom left: Steamboat Lake and Hahn's Peak, elevation 10,839 feet above sea level, and located 27 miles from the village of Steamboat Springs. Bottom right: Ski Town, USA, as Steamboat Springs is known. At an elevation of 6,683 feet, located on US Route 40, at the foor of Rabbit Ears Pass in the Yampa River Valley. The town is known for its Winter Carnival and skiing, of course. Mt Werner is in the background.

In late April of 1979, we were going to La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA for a company trip. We had friends in Steamboat whom we had not seen in ten years. So we decided to stop off in Steamboat on the way to CA. We flew into Denver, and then hopped a small plane to Craig, CO., the nearest airport to Steamboat. The airline was called "Rocky Mountain Scareways" (by the locals) and I had to agree with that name. During that flight, I saw my drink lift out of my cup about 10" and then fall back into the cup without spilling a drop. Flying over the Rockies in anything smaller than a 747 is a no-no in my book. Once we landed, I very nearly kissed the tarmac in Craig. Our host met the flight and settled us into his car for the 90 mile trip to Steamboat.

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!


Weary Hag said...

Pretty postcards! Judy you've sure gotten around ... how fortunate for you.

I cracked up about your drink on the plane and I love the nickname the locals assigned the airline. Too funny!

(wayyyy back I made a comment about someone's audience yelling out "Play what you want, man." That was supposed to reference Joni Mitchell. You must have thought I was a knucklehead leaving that part out!)

Jamie Dawn said...

We lived in the Denver area for nearly two years early in our marriage. The view of the Rockies every day was such a great thing to see. They are truly gorgeous. said...

I was looking at the wrong postcard for Denver. I was going nuts at how tiny it used to be! LOL!

Peter said...

Hi Judy, you missed your calling, should have been a travel agent, loved "Scareways"

srp said...

My my you have been around and must have friends all over the place. I've been in Colorado camping twice but in a very remote part.....only two cars by the camp site the whole week but plenty of deer and beaver around. It was great, even if it was with my ex...(before he was an ex). Beautiful country. Utah is really beautiful too.

About the east coast. The Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge is absolutely beautiful in the spring with the dogwood in pink and white and in the fall it is like a symphony of color. The Peaks of Otter near Bedford, Virginia are great and they have a really nice lodge too.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, well, see, that's why Coors claims it's so good: snow makes springs which makes Coors. (Not only that, but Budweiser puts RICE in its beer. Can you imagine? Rice in beer? And they don't even call it sake. I am full of tidbits like that. Full of lots of things...)

netchick said...

Hi Judy! Thanks for coming by my site yesterday!

Those postcards are getting me all excited about going away in 3 short weeks! Thanks for posting them!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Pretty Postcards Judy! I wish you had some photo's of those sweet little wild flowers..and I bet you do too! (lol)...I'm with you on the snow in May...No, No No...I don't think I'll do that!

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

You are right about the Rockies vs the Appalachians. I've only seen the former a few times from my plane window, sadly, but I'm intimately familiar w/ the App. Mts. Someday, we hope to travel more. My husband used to climb mts.