The Heart of the World

Colorado is truly the Wild West. It is an astonishingly immense and majestic state and I am so glad I have been able to call it my home this winter and spring. Although I have spent most of my time here in the Fraser Valley, I have had the opportunity to travel around a large portion of the state and see the wide range of beauty in the peaks and plains, mountain ranges and deserts of this incredibly diverse place.

Some places I’ve gone and some things I’ve seen:

Snow Mountain Ranch

Granby, CO

This place has been my home for the last four months and will be until I leave in mid May. As the seasons begin to change, I am watching the landscape transform from a winter wonderland to a beautiful spring in the mountains. More and more is appearing from underneath the snow everyday. This place has so much natural beauty and I will sorely miss these trees and mountains when I leave.

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Kremling, CO

Kremling is just a short drive away from my home and has been a thoroughfare to many other places on my many adventures. On my way through to visit Steamboat Springs a few weeks ago, we saw a giant bald eagle resting on a fence post. We stopped to observe him for a bit and eventually watched him take flight.

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Mount Whitely,

Oustide of Kemling, CO

I have renamed this peak Baby Matterhorn, because it always reminds me of a tiny version of the Swiss monstrosity.

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Arapaho National Forest, CO

Veiw of mountains in the Arapaho National Forest on the way to Vail, CO.

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Glenwood Canyon,

Glenwood Springs, CO

This was at a rest stop halfway through one of the prettiest stretches of highway I have ever driven on. For 12.5 miles, you drive through towering canyon walls alongside the Colorado River.

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Hanging Lake

Glenwood Springs, CO

Just a short drive from the Glenwood Canyon rest stop is the trail for Hanging Lake. This hike was only a mile up into the mountains, but with the snow and ice it was a difficult climb and an even more difficult journey down. It was well worth the trek though; Hanging Lake is an untouched oasis of natural beauty.

Not a joke.

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View of Glenwood Canyon from the top of the trail

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3/4 mark. One of the few non icy spots on the whole trail.

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The lake water was so pristine and such a beautiful color.

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The Falls

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This chipmunk was quite friendly and had found some leftover bread to stuff into his cheeks.

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The Stellers Jays were also quite friendly.

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A small cave we found along the trail.

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Not sure what this was built for, but I liked it.

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Telluride, Co

Telluride is a gorgeous little ski town 12,000 feet in the San Juan Mountains. We didn’t spend too much time here, but it was a nice visit and I would love to go back sometime.

View of the San Juan Mountains and Downtown Telluride

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Dinosaur Hill

Fruita, CO

This is the dig site of an Apatosaurus discovered in 1900. Spend an afternoon here and you can easily imagine dinosaurs making their home in this place.

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The Colorado National Monument

Fruita, CO

This is by far my favorite place in Colorado. None of the pictures can do justice to the grand nature of this place. People, buildings, cars, and even the entire city of Grand Junction are dwarfed by the magnitude of this ancient place. The monument is 20,500 acres of massive canyons cut deep into granite and sandstone rock formations. The landscape is comprised of beautiful red dirt and rocks, gnarled juniper trees and a wide array of wildlife including: ravens, canyon wrens, coyotes and bighorn sheep. John Otto first explored the monument in the early 20th century. Before he explored the park, settlers in the Grand Junction area believed the canyons to be inaccessible to humans. He began building trails and is responsible for getting the monument made into a National Park, and in 1911 became the parks’ first ranger. He was the first person to climb independence monument and eventually married his sweetheart at the bottom of it. This guy and I are definitely kindred spirits and I am so grateful for the love and work he put into this beautiful place.

“I found these canyons, and they felt like the heart of the world to me.”

Entrance to the Monument.

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Independence Monument, Monument Canyon

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Alternate views of Monument Canyon

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Window Rock with a view of Grand Junction in the background

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Juniper Trees

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Raven, Redlands View

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Balanced Rock

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Mountain Blue Bird

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A few of the many beautiful plants we saw.

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The closer I get to the end of my contract, the more I look back on these adventures and think about how much I will truly miss Colorado. I already have so many fond memories of my time here in this beautiful place with all the incredible people I have met. If you haven’t spent much time in Colorado, I highly recommend you make time to visit.

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