Colorado’s Last Frontier

One hundred years ago, large ranches and open space filled Colorado’s landscapes. The Centennial state was the land immortalized in song, with purple mountains majesty.

While Colorado is still famous for its gorgeous forests and wilderness areas, expanding ski resorts and a growing population have led to the parceling of large ranches, making the cinema-worthy lifestyle virtually obsolete.

The days of working cowboys and herds of roaming cattle may be gone in most of Colorado, but one often unheard of county maintains its ranching heritage in unique and exquisite ways.

Custer County preserves its ranching culture through conservation easements, lighting ordinances, and annual events celebrating the ranching lifestyle. The result is a pocket of Colorado that remains virtually untouched, whose beauty and outdoor opportunities rival any other in the West.

Through a partnership with VistaWorks, I was fortunate to research and write about this remarkable area. The county’s “largest” towns, Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, are lesser-known compared to behemoths like Breckenridge or Steamboat. But like much of Colorado’s smaller treasures, they’ve recently been thrust into the spotlight.

Check out my newest project, www.VisitCusterCounty.com, to learn all about this amazing, up-and-coming Colorado destination. It won’t be secret for long so be sure to visit soon!

Get Higher on www.Leadville.com

snowmobile 1Another travel website launched. Another Colorado city for which I’ve become an expert. Seriously, ask me anything about Leadville–where to bike with kids, why the Ice Palace was built, what to do when it’s too cold to play outside–and I’ll have the answer.

Still, I’m as grateful as ever to have had the opportunity to research and write about Leadville, a Colorado city that truly surprised me (thank you VistaWorks!). Though I live 30 minutes south of the country’s highest city, I had no idea everything it has to offer.

Check out www.Leadville.com if you happen to be heading that way or are just curious to know how this little city was once the center of Colorado and the mining world.

www.RoyalGorgeRegion.com

Check out this awesome new website about the Royal Gorge Region. I wrote a large amount of the copy, which details the region’s history and recreational, cultural, and paleontological opportunities. There’s so much to do in Fremont County, and now there’s a resource that helps navigate it all.

www.RoyalGorgeRegion.com

I’m blessed to have opportunities to write about Colorado. It takes my appreciation of home to the next level!

PS – The girl sitting above the canyon in the home page is not me. Though, she looks an awful lot like me. It gives me the chills every time I look at it!

 

Think Colorado’s Local Secrets

coloradoThose that know me, know my love of all things Colorado—even these crazy late April snowstorms, or what I like to call, second winter. I’ve spent years traveling the state, exploring hard to reach wilderness areas, playing on snow, in water, and among towering mountain ranges, and more recently, learning about the multitude of kid-friendly attractions that blanket Colorado like seed. Recently, I’ve started writing blogs for Think Colorado, revealing all sorts of Colorado secrets to my readers, which has been such incredible fun, like taking some my trips all over again. The downside, or course, is that in writing about some of my favorite Colorado locations, I long to hit the road for days on end, to enjoy these awesome secrets alongside my readers.

Come learn about some of my favorite sites, events, and recreation areas with Think Colorado’s Local Secrets.

Van’s Machine Shop

Could the power of Ganesh be real? I may have doubted the spirituality of India’s many gods, but perhaps its most famous has some worth to him after all. The God of safe travels was not with us Saturday, but he now seems to have made his presence known.

Prior to our trip my sister gave us a sticker of Ganesh to put on our car. Having driven off without yet applying it, our trailer broke down and the engine to our Chevy Tahoe began to make a terrifying noise.

“It’s Ganesh, we need to put him on our car,” Alex declared yesterday as blowing snow raged through our over exposed, makeshift campsite in Cole Park.

After promptly displaying him in our window our luck began to change. This morning we woke to sunshine and melting snow and were soon met by the first of many strangers, whose fairy-like kindness made us feel as if we had moved into another world.

Although we had to tow our trailer to a machine shop, which currently serves as our campground, we thank Ganesh for the following good fortune:

1.    We broke down in a big park, only blocks from the repair shop.
2.    The damage was only 20% of what we expected it to be.
3.    The owner of the machine shop servicing our trailer is so incredibly kind that he put all other tasks aside to help us.
4.    We are waiting for only one part, which is due to arrive tomorrow morning.
5.    Tonight we have access to power and the most incredible machine shop I’ve ever seen.
6.    There is nothing wrong with our Tahoe. It was our nerves getting the best of us.

So, thank you Ganesh for we now know you are sitting comfortably on our shoulder.

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise” – Oscar Wilde

Business as usual. Alex working from Van's Machine Shop.
Our fearless watchdog


Where’s Ganesh When You Need Him?

Before you step out you know a test is waiting for you. You just hope it never finds you.

We weren’t so lucky. However, hard tests prove that you are stronger than you think.

Here’s what we are dealing with now…

We left Buena Vista yesterday morning to officially start our trip. Two hours of smooth driving and sleeping children left us relieved and excited to reach our destination Ojo Caliente. We stopped at a town park in Alamosa, CO to have a picnic when we noticed that the bearings had burst on our trailer. While repairable, this was Saturday at noon and the repair shop does not open until Monday.

So here we are, unable to move the camper from a town park and stuck in a snowstorm with very little to do in a town where most amenities are closed on Sundays. Again, not a big deal for adults who can occupy their time with books, computers, etc. But a rambunctious child is another story.

That being said, Elias had a lot of fun running around the laundry mat, nearly got booted out of the library for banging too loudly on the keyboard and chased Meta through snowy fields before passing out promptly at 7:30.

Now Alex and I did not plan on dry camping (no hookups) until we had gotten a handle on this camper and how best to manage a family of four in it. But fate had other plans and we were tossed into the fray a lot sooner than expected. We are making it work and feeling optimistic that the road ahead will now seem a whole lot easier.

Cross your fingers that we can get this repaired tomorrow and head down to Santa Fe!

Elias at Cole Park, Alamosa... before the snow.
Xavier staying warm in his bear suit