Thursday, June 23, 2011

O Beautiful For Spacious Skies

Welcome to breathtaking Colorado! I just got back last night from a week stay in the land of "spacious skies", and it was a great tour. The first thing I noticed about Colorado is how the sky meets land, never have I seen such huge clouds hovering so close to the ground, and since there is nothing but open space, the sun never seemed to be hidden by them.
It amazes me how people live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by so much open land, but having a landscape such as the one above as your backyard, it kind of makes sense.
Mountains can be found all around, the Rockies, the Sangre de Cristo, and other monumental mounds. The image above is a little creek leading to the Natural Water Slides of the San Isabel Mountains. This was a tremendous hike, one that if you're not careful and don't watch where you step you might get killed...I almost did! That didn't matter much to me, I was surrounded by beautiful views from every point.
Destination spots for hikes and other natural outings are many, but the great thing about Colorado is that you don't need to go very far to experience the greatness of the land, you can just drive for a few minutes and encounter landscapes like the one above.
A nice surprise was going to a dessert like area, known as the Great Sand Dunes National Park, located in Alamosa. The dunes, the tallest in North America rise from the floor of the San Luis Valley and stretch to the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The dunes also feature a number of small streams coming down from the surrounding mountains. This little bit of water makes it a fun alternative to a beach, you can dig into the sand and water comes up to the surface creating pools.
When the sun goes down the dunes become more beautiful with rich colors. The San Luis Valley (bellow) also comes alive, and to see it all happen is pure magic.

Driving away from the Great Sand Dunes you can see more of the spectacle of the surrounding landscape. I believe that everything at sunset looks more beautiful, but nothing has been as beautiful as the vast landscape of Colorado at sundown.

As I mentioned before, driving from point A to B can still provide the traveler with captivating sceneries, such is the case of the view above, a drive at sunset from the Sand Dunes back to the town of Pueblo.
More mountains and grasslands can be seen on your way from Pueblo to Denver, and the scene above, again at sunset, was quite stunning.
This is Denver, the Mile High City, a beautiful town that offers its residents the best of city and outdoor life. A quick half hour drive from downtown Denver puts you at the foot of the Rockies. My short stay in Denver made me realize just how high above sea level we were, it almost felt like you could touch the clouds, something that was amazing and freaky at the same time.
The Colorado sky is something this city boy has never experienced before, it opens up, becomes heavy with clouds, and it opens up again, and then colors change, and so on...it's a dance of colossal scale.
Even from the heart of Denver one can experience the beauty of the Colorado sky, and the picture above can explain it better than I can. It is no wonder that America the Beautiful was written high atop Pikes Peak overlooking Colorado.

1 comment:

Akhurnu said...

It's nice to see Colorado described by a non-native. It gives me a new perspective on my state. I've lived here since I was three, and I'm not sure I really appreciated the beauty until I realized we may be moving to Texas. Suddenly I'm eager to go on every hike that I can!