The first American explorers known to have seen the area that we now known as Colorado were members of the Pike Expedition, led by Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike.  Pike and his team’s journey began in 1806, leaving from Fort Bellefontaine near St. Louis, Missouri.  The journey took them westward into Thomas Jefferson’s newly acquired territory, the Louisiana Purchase. They reached the edge of present-day Colorado in November 1806. One significant landmark they encountered was Pike’s Peak, which Pike himself sighted on November 15, 1806. Pike named the mountain “Grand Peak,” and it later became known as Pike’s Peak in his honor.

Today more than 200 years later, just as Pike and his men did, we stand in awe of the same mountain peaks and the power that formed them.


While the snow globe paints an accurate picture of the cold, snowy winter months, after the snow melts, a beautiful new world comes to life.
The topography changes quickly from a small valley, to a huge rock formations that were pushed up by earthquakes and enormous pressure from below.
Just to the west of Glenwood Springs on the banks of the Colorado River, the red mountains emerge from the melting snow.
State Road 82 was carved out of the mountainside to run parallel with the Roaring Fork River.
Over the course of the week. we experienced beautifully sunny days, then the clouds came in an brought a light dusting of mid-April snow. and freezing temperatures.
The hour long drive along State Road 82 between Glenwood Springs and Aspen is amazing with a wide range of mother nature’s handiwork.
It was rather odd. Every picture we took that included a direct view of the sun, also came with a swooping horizontal reflection of light that we couldn’t see with the naked eye, but the camera captured it.
After navigating the twisty roads of State Road 82 at Snowmass, the four lane highway was a relief.
Carved into the rock along the Roaring Fork River, State Road 82 crosses over the continental divide at a place called “Independence Pass” at over 12,000 feet.  The road is closed east of Aspen f(rom October to May) due to hazardous driving conditions.
Depending upon the elevation, the snow can stay late into April and early May.
The weather takes its toll on State Road 82 between Snowmass and Glenwood Springs.
Heading towards the little village of Marble, the view ahead is stunning.  Imagine driving this in a blowing snowstorm!
Approaching Glenwood Springs, the mountains change in color and composition.  The color red would seem to indicate more iron in the rocks.  It’s even more pronounced as you get closer to the city and the legendary Colorado Hotel.
By June, this field will be alive with color as the leaves emerge from the trees, and the Colorado wildflowers burst through the thawed soil.
The Crystal River outside the little village of Marble, Colorado. Mining operations is Marble contributed the giant blocks used to create The Lincoln Memorial.
During the winter months, these slopes are filled with skiers.
Again, the camera picked up up what appears to be some sort of halo effect from the sun.
This was an hour later back in the rental unit.
The last remaining vestiges of the winter of 2023-24.
With the snow gone, the colors of spring appear.
Snowmass Village is a short bus ride from the Aspen slopes.
The last weekend before the slopes closed for the season.
With the snow gone, the valley inside Snowmass Village will soon be ablaze with wildflowers.
The purple mountain majesty that inspired songwriters.
The tall white Aspen trees will soon be covered in leaves.
Along Route 133 between Carbondale and Redstone is the neatly 13,000 foot tall Mt. Sopris.
Imagine living in this ranch, and every morning your view includes Mt. Sopris.


About Elizabeth Dougherty

Elizabeth Dougherty has been cooking and writing about food intensively for more than ten years. She is the fourth generation of chefs and gourmet grocers in her family with her mother, Francesca Esposito and grandmother, Carmella being major influences in her early cooking years. As a teenager, her family sent her to Europe where she became focused on French and Italian cuisine. She survived a year and half of culinary tutelage under a maniacal Swiss-German chef and is a graduate of NYIT, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations. Food And Travel Nation has won two news awards for content. Broadcasting LIVE each week, nationwide, on and on stations around the country.

Check Also


In this week's Food News, Elizabeth provides an update on the recent outbreak of Avian Bird Flu, and its unusual