Touring Colorado

Share this:

For two weeks, my family turned its world on its ear, dropped its normal routines, and did something completely different.  It was an incredible, uplifting, and energizing time.  Realizing my eldest daughter had just graduated, and it would likely be the last ‘family’ road trip together, we set course for Colorado.

My own travels to Colorado in recent years had purely been for business.  Over 20 years have passed since my last ‘vacation’ minded visit, so this was as much a ‘fresh’ trip for me as for my family.

We had a blast!  However, rather than risk causing nausea by telling you endless stories, I’d rather share some pictures.  Feel free to download them, share them, pass them around.  Attributions are always nice…  The biggest challenge?  What pictures to not share.  There are just so many gorgeous ones to pick from:).

jtpedersen_Colorado_RMNP (1b)Rocky Mountain National Park
This park is among the most photographed for a reason.  The views are rich in texture, color, depth, and lighting extremes.  It also is home to America’s highest paved through road.

 

jtpedersen_Colorado_RMNP (2b)Want to create a traffic jam? Let a herd of elk start grazing near the road.  People literally stop their cars in the middle of the road, get out, and go take pictures.  Mindlessness sets in<g>.

Highest paved road not high enough for you? You can always take the road (one-way, single lane) less traveled, another 1,000 feet (or three) above.

jtpedersen_Colorado_RMNP (3b)

Mesa Verde National Park
You’ve seen the pictures. You’ve marveled. You’ve wondered.  And, you should go see for yourself.  These are the structures the Pueblo Indians built a millenia ago…abandoned over 900 years ago.

jtpedersen_Colorado_Mesa Verde (1b)The approach, the drive up, is jaw dropping.  The mesas (flat-topped mountains) are massive monsters that rise up out of an otherwise flat valley for 100s of miles around.  As you get to the top, you can, as shown in the pictures, look out at least 100 miles.

Once you get to the top of the mesa, they’re not small places.  Instead you are presented with many square miles of surface area.

jtpedersen_Colorado_Mesa Verde (2b)Getting to actually tour the various developments requires a degree of physical effort.  You need to climb ladders (and not short ones), crawl through narrow openings.  And, stoop a fair amount<g>.

Once you’re there…

jtpedersen_Colorado_Mesa Verde (3b)jtpedersen_Colorado_Mesa Verde (4b)

jtpedersen_Colorado_Someplace (1b)

 

 

 

 

Wildlife
Of course, the state of Colorado is very concerned about the introduction of non-indigenous wild animals.jtpedersen_Tigger_Wild Animal (1b)

 

 

 

 

 

speaking of wildlife…

The Wild Animal Sanctuary is about a 40 minute drive northeast from Denver’s center.  Their mission is to provide sanctuary to large carnivores rescued from around the world.  An overly simple idea is as a global ‘humane society’ for meat eaters…except that adoptions aren’t permitted.  This site sits on 720 acres of land and provides haven for animals that would otherwise be destroyed.

jtpedersen_Colorado_Wild Animal Sanctuary_Tiger (1b)You’re able to tour a large section of the sanctuary via an extensive system of raise boardwalks.  While the dried-out background doesn’t do much for photography, you can get close enough to see the individual hairs of a tiger’s fur (with a decent lens<g>).jtpedersen_Colorado_Wild Animal Sanctuary_Tiger (2b)

 

jtpedersen_Colorado_Wild Animal Sanctuary (1b)

Wildlife Animal Sanctuary (3b)

And, finally, I’d like to thank my family.  The trip would not have been half what it was without them.

jtpedersen_Colorado_Family (b)

 

Perhaps tomorrow, I’ll share a few more pictures. We’ve not even scratched Pike’s Peak and the Royal Gorge!