Colorado Food & Wine Hotels Shopping The Rockies: Colorado Food & Wine Hotels Palisade Shopping The Rockies
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What a wintery time it has been here in Colorado! It even snowed on the western slope in Palisade/Grand Junction, an area known as the bread basket/banana belt of the state where it’s typically twenty degrees warmer than in the mountains. I did a getaway there with a friend over the weekend and reveled in exploring Colorado’s wine country; I loved seeing the vines beneath a frosty blanket of white. Vineyards the world over are picturesque, however, I find the contrast of the rows and rows of vines backdropped by the dramatic, buff-colored rock towers and cliffs here—known as the Book Cliffs—especially striking.
Colorado Colorado Springs Music & Dance Outdoor Adventures The Rockies Travel: Colorado Colorado Springs Music & Dance Outdoor Adventures The Rockies Travel
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In honor of Election Day, I thought I’d write about what’s really great about America—aside from our great democratic process. I could list a lot, but here I’d like to report on our breathtaking scenery, our magnificent vistas. There’s so much of it from sea to shining sea and most definitely here in the Rocky Mountain West. It was indeed from atop Pikes Peak, the 14,115-foot mountain in Colorado’s Front Range, just ten miles from Colorado Springs, that thirty-six-year-old English professor Katherine Lee Bates found inspiration for the poem “Pikes Peak” in 1893. This work would eventually be modified a few times over to become “America the Beautiful,” our National Hymn.
Colorado Colorado Springs Hotels Restaurants Shopping Spas The Rockies: Colorado Springs Shopping
Sometimes I feel so spoiled. Sure, the writer’s life that I’ve chosen is not an easy one, but there are many perks. And being the girlfriend of a hotel GM just doubles my luck, especially when it comes to experiencing luxury lodging, fine dining and unique travel opportunities. Take The Broadmoor, for example, the grande dame of the Rockies situated in Colorado Springs, Colorado where I’ve practically become a regular. Well, at least every October.
My love, Steve Togni, GM of Mountain Lodge Telluride, just announced to me the other day that he wants me to accompany him to this stellar resort again this year toward the end of the month. Well, I guess that takes the sting out of not making it to France as we had hoped. (A sick kitty has impeded those plans.) So this will be my fourth time accompanying him to this superlative property known throughout the world and my fifth visit in all. (I came once on my own steam before we were together.)
Aspen Beaver Creek Breckenridge Colorado Durango Hotels Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies Travel Trip Planning: Aspen Beaver Creek Breckenridge Colorado Durango Hotels Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride The Rockies Trip Planning
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As you can see from the photos featured in this post, we are in full fall splendor here in Colorado. The foliage is peaking now, yet there’s still a lot of green on the trees. So it should remain beautiful in the mountains for another few weeks. Now we’ve entered the autumnal phase of white beginning to replace the gold, russet, burnt umber and bronze that currently punctuate our alpine panoramas. Yes, as the snow fills in, this harvest of fall colors fades into the landscape and we’re left increasingly hopeful about the opening of our ski resorts and the promise of the winter season in the Rockies.
Colorado Hotels Outdoor Adventures Shopping The Rockies: Colorado Hotels Leadville Outdoor Adventures Shopping The Rockies
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While I’m enjoying some time with my parents in the Adirondacks, I’ve been marveling at the Facebook posts from friends and contacts in Colorado—an avalanche of images documenting the recent snowstorm across the Rockies. The first big snow always creates a stir, mostly since this indicates that ski season is only a handful of storms away.
From my viewpoint here in upstate New York alongside a glorious lake that I took a dip in just the other day (not intentionally mind you, but that’s another story), I shiver at the idea of snow. Yet when I think twice, the thought of it does excite me—even from afar—mostly because I do love to ski and also because there’s nothing like a crisp, white snowfall to top off an autumnal scene. The trees have barely begun to change in Colorado, so these sugar-coated panoramas will only intensify within the upcoming weeks.
To me, fall, a terrific season for hiking, biking and touring, may best be savored in a quaint town steeped in history, surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty. This describes a good number of destinations in Colorado, however, here I’m focusing on Leadville, an old mountain town I visited last summer and enjoyed immensely.
Aspen Colorado Cycling France French Life Telluride The Rockies Writing & Books: Colorado Cycling France French Life Telluride The Rockies Writing & Books
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I’ve been living in Telluride just over ten years now. And I’m still continually amazed by the number of multi-talented people living within our towns (Telluride and Mountain Village) of a combined population of about 3,200 year-round residents. Artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, you name it—T-ride boasts the crème de la crème of doers, adventurers and creative types from many areas. And Matt Beaudin definitely fits that profile.
I’ve always enjoyed the quality of writing in our local newspapers and came to know Matt through his stories when he was editor of the Telluride Daily Planet. After a nice stint at our local rag, Matt moved on—but not out of Telluride—to become a writer for VeloNews, one of the country’s top publications on cycling. Now after a year and a half at this post, I thought it was time to sit down and chat with Matt on Travel Fun, my talk show on KOTO. He’s passionate about cycling, has been to France a couple of times and covered the Tour de France twice, so I was sure we’d have a good exchange. I enjoyed what Matt had to say about the French, following the Tour and riding a mountain stage, recounting another impressive ride—Eider Creek—in Telluride and sharing his thoughts on the upcoming USA Pro Cycling Challenge that begins Monday, August 19 in Aspen, Colorado.
Colorado Denver Hotels Pet-Friendly Travel The Rockies The Southwest Travel Utah: Colorado Denver Hotels Pet-Friendly Travel The Rockies The Southwest Travel Utah
Warning: This story includes tons of adorable photos of pups.
Woof, woof. Bark, bark. I’ve never seen so many happy dogs in my life as those that have padded, trotted and trounced through our little mountain town of Telluride, Colorado these past weeks. Little, big, short-haired, long-haired, well-groomed or scruffy, they all have an air de vacances, a certain joie de vivre that makes it clear they’re happy to be a part of their mom and dad’s vacation as well.
As a confirmed cat person, I hadn’t had much experience traveling with dogs up until over a year ago when I went on a road trip with my friend Mary Dawn (MD) and Valentino, her beautiful Bernese Mountain dog. Our travels, which I recount in my story, Travels with Valentino, culminated with the choosing of DaVinci, a new brother for Tino. As of last fall, we thought DaVinci was big enough to accompany us on a couple more trips: one to Moab and Salt Lake City, Utah; the other to Denver, Beaver Creek and the Vail Valley. I tell you, these dogs get around. And wherever they go, they are greeted with a fanfare of enthusiasm that makes me happy to just be tagging along. Here are some of the highlights from the best pet-friendly properties we visited on our jaunts:
Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies The Southwest Utah: Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies The Southwest Utah
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The rivers are running hard and fast in Colorado and other parts of the West right now. As our snowpack melts, creeks and streams swell and massive quantities of water surge into rivers, splicing through red rock canyons and verdant riverbanks. Rivers such as the Gunnison and the Colorado render near barren lands fertile thanks to clever irrigation systems, many of which were created over a half century ago. Western states such as Utah, Nevada and California delight in and depend on Colorado’s winter snowfall. Indeed, the appetite for this pristine supply of water has become so great that by the time the mighty Colorado arrives in the Gulf of Mexico, it is nothing but a trickle.
Before this happens, however, our rivers provide fabulous recreation for river runners—from serious oarsmen to casual day trippers—all in search of a good time. Whether you’re looking for a jaw-dropping adventure over gnarly rapids or a casual float along a wide swath of still waters (often possible late summer), rafting on the river promises some of the best fun around. And you can bet that views from the water are often more glorious than those appreciated from land.
I try to get out on the river at least once a year, not much in comparison to many people that head out on week-long river trips as soon as ski season ends. But for some, a river rafting expedition represents a once-in-a-lifetime occurence. Either way, river trip memories rank as some of the best.