Category Archives: History

Creating a Scenic Byways Travel Guide

While I’ve finished the byways and don’t have any other travels planned at the moment, I decided to create a travel guide (of sorts) to highlight the 25 scenic and historic byways of Colorado in one place.

I used a trial software package that is typically used by instructional designers (my profession) in developing web-based training courses. The travel guide is not a training course, but the software offers some powerful features that made it easy for me to pick this software to create the guide.

Sooner or later, I will create the guide using InDesign, but for now, I’m happy with the results using Storyline2.

Without further ado…here’s the guide:

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Woohoo! I’m Published!

Well ok…so it was a spot photo…the smallest photo type in the 2013 Colorado Vacation Guide. But…one of my photos is in there on page 40A. And yes, I’m smiling. 🙂

Here’s the photo…

Cumbres and Toltec Narrow Gauge Railroad in Antonito, CO during the Conejos County Sesquicentennial in November, 2011.

What’s a ‘spot’ photo? It’s the smallest photo space in the magazine. The coup de gras is getting on the cover, then there’s a spread, a full page, 3/4 page, 1/2 page, 1/4 page and then the spot. Either way, this thrilled me and I can’t wait to explore more of Colorado soon. Maybe I will get another photo placed in the 2014 guide.

This is my brain on nature…

Spending time in nature and in the mountains is my way to let go…to release the pressures and stresses of my everyday life and let my mind be free. The feeling is like that bald eagle I saw flying over Lake Irwin on my first anniversary. The feeling is almost indescribable. Imagine, if you will…being somewhere you feel most free, whether in the woods, at home, where ever it is you feel calm and serene.

I know, I don’t need to be anywhere to create that feeling of serenity, but it doesn’t hurt to be in nature. Just check out the research on the correlation between nature and the positive effects it has on your mind and body….

And people think I’m a nature ‘nut’…the secret is out!

The reason I love my Colorado Mountains, the Rocky Mountains is because of every physiological benefit I get from being in them. Of course, I don’t always consider this reason when I’m dying to get back to nature. It’s more like a drive…a yearning to enjoy the beauty and serenity and leave the concrete jungle behind.

A first year celebration

Recently, my husband and I celebrated our first year anniversary. Yes, it’s our second time being married and yet, it feels like the first. For our anniversary, I didn’t want to do just a nice dinner, or a movie…I wanted to be just a tad different and I wanted to enjoy time alone with him. So, we spent a couple of nights in Marble, Colorado at the Chair Mountain Ranch and enjoyed time together in the Colorado outdoors breathing in the autumn air and reveling in the colors of fall.

The view from our balcony at Chair Mountain Ranch.

Colorado color

Coloradans don’t need to be in New England to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves. We just escape to the mountains to view the changing colors of the aspen. Of course, we don’t get the dramatic colors of the Northeast, but Colorado has a way of making up for that with dramatic mountain peaks as a backdrop to the yellow, gold and orange hues of the aspen forests.

Marble and beyond

As for our anniversary celebration, we spent time wandering, hiking, 4-wheeling, fishing around the Kebler Pass area, Lake Irwin, Crested Butte, and the old town of Crystal. The natural high that I…both of us got from enjoying the mountains with its fresh carpet of musty aspen leaves and golden color against a bright blue sky was unmatched. This particular area of the Colorado Rockies has a plethora of aspen forests that seem to go on endlessly. Not to be outdone by the aspen, the geology itself has amazing color, which can go from deep dark red, to bright red and then pale pink and white. So, imagine golden leaves against a pale pink mountain peak as a backdrop with a bright blue sky above.

I guess it’s about time for some photos to share my imagination with you…

Ruby Range as a backdrop to the golden hues of the aspen in the foreground.
McClure Pass in the evening…shot from my passenger side window as we drove back to Marble to make our anniversary dinner.
Marcellina Mountain sits on the west side of Kebler Pass.
Watching my husband fish on the other side of Lake Irwin as I hiked the trail around the lake.
Capturing a bald eagle taking flight over Lake Irwin.
The road to Crystal Mill is a rocky 4-wheel drive road. Don’t let others try to talk you into taking your 2-wheel drive as the road changes with the weather and can expose huge boulders with enough rain and snow.
The old mill, or Crystal Mill which was built in 1892 still stands with the aid of donations and lovers of history.
Crystal Mill.
Mountain range along the west side of Kebler Pass looking southeast.
Ferns grow amongst the stately aspen along Kebler Pass.