I Love Colorado!

IMG_4131
Close up shot of Pike’s Peak from our home.

I wanted to take some time today and share the beautiful state where I am from.  Where we are from is a huge part of who we are!  From culture to climate and everything in between, where we are from tends to shape our lives in one way or another.

It has always fascinated me that we all end up where we do.  Why was I born smack in the middle of the United States of America and not say India or Azerbaijan?  I don’t know, but I know God has a plan for all of us!  You are all beautiful souls and I love you in the Name of Jesus!

Most of us have people from all over the world reading our blogs.  It is so fun to see where God takes my site next!  I’m sure you all feel the same.  My Mom sent me a really nice large map, so I could keep track of all of the places where all of you live.

Blog map

Hello to all of you beautiful souls out there all over the world!  Hopefully you can zoom in on the map and find your pin, enjoy!  We are not so far apart are we?  Hey don’t forget, you can see Russia from Alaska!  One funny side note real quick: my father in law was once elected to the Alaska State House of Representatives and he actually knew and worked with Sarah Palin!  He has pictures with her and everything.  Anchorage is like a small town.  Just some cool family history.  Many of you know my wife is from Alaska.  Anyway, the world is not that big.  It is very small and I love connecting with you all!

So, about that tour of Colorado, the state I love, let’s go!

Welcome to colorado sign

You will see these signs at the borders of the state.  Welcome to colorful Colorado!

Pike's Peak from God's Garden

Let’s head south about an hour from here to Colorado Springs.  This is another shot of Pike’s Peak as seen from “Garden of the gods” or what Christians in Colorado call “God’s Garden.”  It is a beautiful area of natural rock formations at the base of Pike’s Peak.  It is fun to go hiking the trails through the park!

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods 2

Garden of the Gods balanced rock
Famous “Balanced Rock”

Garden of the Gods aerial view

Cool place!  A few hours south of Colorado Springs, are the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Mesa Verde National Park!  Here we go!

Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park

I have lived in Colorado for over 32 years of my 40 years on earth, and I still have never visited the dunes!  There are still so many places I want to visit in my own state!

Great Sand Dunes NP elk

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is nestled in the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado.  Beautiful!  For more information check out: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm

Even further south in Montezuma County, Colorado is Mesa Verde National Park.  This is one of the places our whole family wants to visit!  I pray we can go here someday.  It is just a few hours south of us in the very southwestern corner of our state near Cortez, Colorado.  It is very close to the “four corners” area where the borders of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona meet.

Mesa Verde

“Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years.  Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.”

https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm

This is an amazing archeological site!  They have done an excellent job preserving it too!  I encourage you to research it.  It’s very cool!

Mesa Verde 2

Heading several hours back north, we will find Denver–my neck of the woods!

Colorado where I grew up

This is a picture of one of the roads in the town I grew up in near Denver.  Quite a view!  We can see God’s majesty every day, and the mountain peaks belong to Him!

Denver big view

The mountains are in the West, so it is always easy to know directions.  I grew up just a few miles south of Denver near the base of the Rocky Mountain front range.  You can see my hometown just to the upper left of the city.

Salt Lake City Skyline

Denver skyline

I am excited to take you up to Red Rocks Amphitheater!  It is one of the most famous concert venues in the whole world!  I have been there several times, and it is awesome!  It is an open air amphitheater that is nestled between natural rock formations that provide incredible acoustics.  It sits only 15 miles west of Denver in Morrison, Colorado.  It is very close to our home and I grew up seeing shows there!

Red Rocks entrance 2

Red Rocks sign

Red Rocks entrance

Red Rocks 2

Red Rocks sunset

Red Rocks 3

Red Rocks at night best

Red Rocks at night

Yes, it is an incredible place!  I saw George Thorogood there when I was a kid (he sang “Bad to the Bone”).  In college, I even got invited to see a great Irish concert there once with Sinead O’Connor, Great Big Sea, and The Chieftans.  It was so much fun!  It reminds me of the old Roman amphitheaters in Ephesus!  It is a lot of fun to see your favorite band play here!  My sister and her husband flew all the way from Illinois one time just to see a show!

No trip to Colorado would be complete without visiting our world class ski resorts and Rocky Mountain National Park!  Let’s start with the Park since I lived up there in the summer of 1998 (yes, the same summer I had my angel encounters).

Rocky Mountain National Park elk

Rocky Mountain National Park is a must visit place on this earth!  It holds the Continental Divide, many 14,000 foot mountains, and a plethora of wildlife and natural beauty!  I lived up there when I worked at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park as a camp counselor in the summer of ’98.  It was a blast!  I worked with 2-4 year old kids and we did pony rides, nature hikes, and lots of arts and crafts!

Estes Park
Estes Park, Colorado

YMCA EPC

When I lived there, a giant elk affectionately named Samson by the town folk roamed freely on the grounds of the YMCA.  He was magnificent!  That little guy in the picture is not Samson.  I wish I had a picture of him!

YMCA 2

Here are the grounds of the YMCA with the lodges and staff dorms.  I stayed in the dorms over to the left.

YMCA 3
YMCA Grand Lodge
YMCA 4
Many great church services and weddings are held here!

I want to take you up to Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park now!  The entrance is very close to the YMCA!

According to the National Park Service:

“Covering the 48 miles between Estes Park on the park’s east side and Grand Lake on the west, Trail Ridge Road more than lives up to its advanced billing.  Eleven miles of this high highway travel above treeline, the elevation near 11,500 feet where the park’s evergreen forests come to a halt.  As it winds across the tundra’s vastness to its high point at 12,183 feet elevation, Trail Ridge Road (U.S. 34) offers visitors thrilling views, wildlife sightings and spectacular alpine wildflower exhibitions, all from the comfort of their car.”

It is an amazing drive I have done several times!  I highly recommend it!  Come vacation in Colorado and be amazed!

Trail Ridge Road 3

Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road Big horn sheep
Say Hi to Mr. Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep!

Trail Ridge Road sign

Trail Ridge Road big view

Trail Ridge Road snow wall
Trail Ridge Road in winter
Continental Divide RMNP
The Continental Divide

Continental Divide sign

Long’s Peak is also in Rocky Mountain National Park.  I climbed that with my friends the same summer I worked at the YMCA.  It was incredibly difficult and I almost died twice reaching the summit!  People die all the time trying to climb this mountain.  Another man just died this summer.  Let me show you why.

YMCA 5

That is a picture of Long’s Peak as seen from the YMCA.  It is the big mountain on the left with the notch in it.  That notch is called the Keyhole.  It is 14,259 feet of pure danger, and my friends and I made it to the top in July of 1998!  I will do a full blog post about that someday, but for now here are a few pictures.

Long's Peak 2

Long's Peak

It is like a mini Everest when you are up there.

Long's Peak Keyhole
The boulder field and keyhole. That little castle building is for protection from deadly lightning storms.
The Ledges on Long's
This is what you see once you go through the keyhole. It is the back side of Long’s called “The Ledges.” People fall here all the time.
The Trough Long's Peak
After the ledges, you have to climb “The Trough.” I saw a little rock bounce down this slope while I was climbing it, and it hit a guy in the hand and broke his finger.
The Trough on Long's
Top of the trough looking back down at the ledges.

After the trough is the scariest part of the climb.  It is called “The Narrows,” and you are literally inches from falling 14,000 feet.  Clouds were going by my head and I could feel them on my face.  They had a coolness and grit in them.  It was so cool!

Long's Peak the Narrows
The Narrows! That is a picture taken looking back at the point where the top of the trough is (at the top of the trail).

If you make it through the narrows, then you have to face “The Homestretch” to the summit!  I started sliding backwards while I was climbing this, but the tip of my boot caught a little rock that was sticking out and stopped me!  It is so slick and there is not much to hold onto!  We should have had ropes and pick axes!  Crazy!

The Homestretch on Long's

If you survive the homestretch, then you make it to the summit of Long’s Peak.  Welcome to a 14,259 foot view of Colorado and the entire Rocky Mountain range!

Long's Peak Summit view

Do you want to know what I learned climbing this enormous deadly mountain?  It is summed up in one great verse!

“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.”

Psalm 95:4

No trip to Colorado would be complete without visiting a few of the ski resorts!  I would like to show you Breckenridge, Vail, and my favorite resort Winter Park!

Breckenridge.png

That is Breckenridge.  It’s a cool town and a great resort!

Vail at night
Vail, CO is a chill place to vacation.
Winter Park at night
Winter Park, CO

This is my absolute favorite mountain town!  Welcome to Winter Park, Colorado!  My Uncle and Aunt used to run a bed and breakfast up here.  It has two parts to the resort: the Winter Park side and the Mary Jane side.  Both are awesome for snowboarders like me!

Winter Park Village at night
Beautiful Winter Park Resort Village
Winter Park perfect powder
Oh man, that is soooo sweet! Check out the fresh powder (a.k.a. pow or freshies)! That is Winter Park white gold!

Winter Park is also home to Parsenn Bowl which is above 12,000 feet.  It is an amazing 1700 vertical feet of phenomenal skiing and riding!

Parsenn Bowl
Snowboarders on the rim of Parsenn Bowl

Parsenn Bowl description

Ryan boarding Feb 2000
Ryan riding Parsenn Bowl in Feb. 2000

Well, that just about does it!  I hope you enjoyed your trip to Colorado!  If you have never been here, I pray you get to come visit us someday!

God bless you all and may God bless the state, city, and country where you live!

Colorado big view

Psalm 121 v 1 & 2 lift up your eyes

 

 

Author: Author Ryan Callahan

Hello, and welcome to my site! I am an Independent Christian Author (One Man's Very Strange Supernatural Life) and Freelance Writer, and most importantly I am an every day Minister to whomever God sends my way. My main goal with this blog is to help people come to know the Lord Jesus and help them understand the Bible and apply it in their every day lives. This site is about hope, new beginnings, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love! I'm glad you are here, enjoy!

17 thoughts on “I Love Colorado!”

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