8.20.2007

Colorful Colorado

Posted by Tammy

(Alternate title: Learning about pretty new places in the state I've lived in since birth....)

Mike and I took the day off on Thursday to go into the mountains with his dad and step-mom (Jim and Bev). When we were planning this, Jim told us he wanted to go to the
Maroon Bells. Now, I've lived in Colorado my whole life, but I'd never heard of them... Turns out they are gorgeous - totally worth seeing - BUT, VERY far from home, and a very long one-day trip!

We started out at about 8 a.m. and headed for Aspen which is the nearest town to the Maroon Bells.
Aspen is also somewhere I've never been. I hear about it - isn't that where all the celebrities hang out in Colorado? It is a really gorgeous town, and I'm sure the skiing is wonderful (although, I wouldn't know this either, since I've never skiied... I know... I'm a native Coloradoan, I should be an expert... yeah, whatever!) Mapquest tells me that it should take FOUR hours to get to Aspen... well.... yeah, in a perfect world. Add in that wonderful summer phenomenon in Colorado - Road Construction - and it took more like SIX hours! Yikes!

Once there, you catch a shuttle bus into the Wilderness area - which is great - no car traffic is allowed in order to preserve it. I like this idea actually. They scare you though with stories of missing the last bus down - I can tell you I didn't like the idea of being left behind!!

It is truly a gorgeous area. We spent about an hour wandering around taking photos and enjoying the relative silence (save for some rumbles of thunder....) and the amazing views. The lighting was a little odd because of the clouds rolling in, so the maroon color of the Maroon Bells wasn't as bright as would normally be. It started raining pretty good, so we caught the second-to-last bus back to our car at that point! We're at our car ready to head home at about 4:30 p.m. with a six hour drive ahead of us... again... YIKES! And it rained - and rained hard - we're talking torrents of water, water standing on the road - cars ahead of us spinning out of control and losing their bumpers in the road... yeah, fun rain. I was glad Jim was driving (I'm not sure he was at all happy about this though!)

We made it to Dillon - about 3 hours from home and had dinner at the
Dam Brewery - yummy! We headed out on dry roads and made it to Jim and Bev's at 11 p.m. Mike and I headed out from there - and guess what? More road construction - we were delayed a bit more as we both tried to keep our eyes open - wishing for bed!

All in all though, in spite of the long drives, the rain, etc., it was a nice day. I would highly recommend going up to see the Maroon Bells for yourself if you're ever here! It's beautiful. I would suggest, however, making it a TWO day event, rather than one! :) Now here is a collage of the photos of the day. You can see them all over at my
flickr.

4 Opinions:

Janet said...

We lived in CO for several years and I've never heard of the Maroon Bells either. Your photos are beautiful and make me long for the mountains back there. But I also remember the rain!! CO gets some real gully-washers!

Tammy said...

Well - it's a well kept secret I guess. It's gorgeous!!

This summer we have returned to the every afternoon thunder showers - and a few gully washers too. But, over the last few years (maybe even 10) we have had so little rain that pattern was broken. I like the rain! (I don't like the thunder, but I'm looking into working on that particular phobia!) :)

Vedrana M. said...

beautiful photos, looks amazing :)

Carmen said...

Colorado is beautiful!!!
I stopped there last week and I love it!!!