Redstone Rendez-Vous

Redstone Inn:  One of Colorado's Best-Kept Secrets

Redstone Inn: One of Colorado’s Best-Kept Secrets

After having been away a month, I couldn’t wait to get back to Telluride.  I just wanted to sleep in my own bed with my two kitties and bury myself into the quiet of my little mountain nest.  The drive from Denver to T-ride is about seven hours and since I’m not much of a car person, I like to break it up with a stop at my brother David’s house.  He and his wife, Geri, live in Redstone, Colorado, a charming little town very much at the halfway point of my Denver/Telluride journey.  Normally I would stay overnight, giving us plenty of time to catch up; but the three of us were rather pressed for time, so they suggested we lunch at the Redstone Inn instead.

This historic inn anchors the village of Redstone, a National Historic District, situated in the Crystal River Valley, less than an hour from Aspen and Glenwood Springs.  Built over one-hundred years ago by John C. Osgood, a coal tycoon, the inn is actually currently owned by the former owner of the Hotel Jerome in Aspen.  The accommodations exude the feel of a beloved mountain inn where couples and families have been coming “to get away from it all” for generations.  And the food is exceptional!  This is a great place for exploring Pitkin County, its wonderful shops, restaurants and outdoor life.  There’s actually a lovely little artists’ community in Redstone and you can discover most of their works in the galleries and shops lined up along the main street.  For those looking to delve more into the history of the town, erected by one of America’s foremost industrialists, visit Redstone Castle to learn about the fascinating tale of Mr. Osgood’s fortune and his many wives.

Redstone Castle

Redstone Castle

Winter activities in the area include sleigh riding, dog sledding, ice climbing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.  In the summer, it’s hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking and fly fishing or just relaxing poolside.

That’s exactly what I did with Dave and Geri on the patio of the inn over some tasty sandwiches and iced teas.  We talked some about The Adirondacks, a region they also hold dear to their heart.  But in the end, we all concurred that we were happy to be living in two very special places in the Rocky Mountains.  I gave them hugs goodbye and embarked upon the homestretch.

I drove through this most picturesque valley along the winding road that borders the Crystal River, the first part of the West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway along Route 133.  Towering sandstone cliffs dwarf this craggy couloir south of Redstone, yet I still slowed to see if I might spot a big horn sheep. I had caught  glimpses of a few perched on the rocks above in the past; but no luck today.  The valley widened again and I soon passed the sign for Marble, Colorado, another quaint village some ten miles off the road where most of the marble for our nation’s great monuments has been harvested.  From here, I embarked upon the ascent to the summit of McClure Pass, one of the most scenic mountain passes in Colorado.  I was grateful it was summer and there was no fear of avalanches.  I pressed down on the gas to give Misty Dawn (the manufacturer’s name for the color and yes, it is also the name of a porn star), my old Subaru, a little oomph.  The odometer registered just over 213,000 miles and I knew I was already slightly overdue for a tune up, so I said a little prayer and urged her on.  We sailed down the ascent into Paonia and Hotchkiss, bombed through Delta and Montrose and were thankfully later delivered home safely.

Upon arriving in Telluride, I remarked the same thing to myself that I say every time I return from travels as I gaze up at that quintessential Telluride view of our boxed canyon framed by majestic peaks.  This is truly one of the most magnificent places on earth.  Boy, am I glad to be home.

Redstone Inn, 970-963-2526, www.redstoneinn.com

Redstone Castle, 970-963-9656, www.redstonecastle.us

 
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