Virtual Travel – Colorado

Colorado is another of my favorite states. With it’s towering mountains and sunshine it is a majestic place.

Our visit starts with a 1948 Colorado map. Much like many of the western states Colorado was a very different place 70 + years ago. When this map was published there was less than 1.2 million Coloradans. Today it is nearing 6 million.

Government State Colorado 1948.jpg

 

 

The state is filled with amazing natural wonders. The backside of the 1948 map details many of these.

Government State Colorado 1948 2.jpg

 

 

 

 

Colorado however is not all mountainous. In fact the eastern 1/3, including Denver, is located on the high plains. It is most impressive where the plains reach the mountains, as in this scene where the newly completed Denver to Boulder Turnpike shows.

The turnpike was opened in 1951, just in time to make the cover of this 1953 map.

Government State Colorado 1953.jpg

 

These photos from 2012 show a similar scene.

2012 07 04 8 Boulder CO

 

2012 07 04 14 Boulder CO.jpg

 

2012 07 04 4 Boulder CO.jpg

 

 

 

As we move into the 1960s the cover scene is Maroon Lake, near Aspen.

Government State Colorado 1964.jpg

 

Founded as a mining camp for the Colorado Silver Boom, Aspen later found the real money was in snow – for skiing. Around the time this map came out Aspen was becoming a destination for the rich and famous, resulting in some of the most expensive real estate in the country. The photo below is representative of the wealth in Aspen, with a line of private jets at the airport – in the summer!

2012 07 06 5 Aspen.jpg

 

 

Buttermilk Mountain – where I learned to ski a lifetime ago, as part of a group trip with a bunch of people from Chicago. Nothing like being 22 years old, crashing down a mountain in the day and partying in Aspen at night. There were about 15 people in a house designed for 8, but it worked.

2012 07 06 11 Aspen.jpg

 

As you leave Aspen heading due east you cross Independence Pass. This pass is closed in the winter because of the heavy snow, but is beautiful in the summer.

2012 07 06 19 Independence Pass Colorado.jpg

 

 

Independence Pass – the treeline is very clearly in evidence here as you peak out at 12,095 feet – 3686 meters to my metric friends.

2012 07 06 51 Independence Pass Colorado.jpg

 

 

 

The mountain scenes continue in 1965 with Berthoud Pass. The pass is named for Edward Berthoud, the chief surveyor for the Colorado Central Railroad in the 1870s.

As with most roads through the mountains in Colorado, the routes were originally blazed by the railroads.

Government State Colorado 1965.jpg

 

 

 

 

For 1966 and 1967 unidentified mountain scenes grace the cover.

Government State Colorado 1966.jpg           Government State Colorado 1967.jpg

 

 

It isn’t hard to find great mountain scenes in Colorado – this view is going up Mt Evans.

2012 07 05 51 Mt Evans Colorado.jpg

 

 

 

 

The mountain scenes continues throughout the 1960s and 1970s

Government State Colorado 1968.jpg        Government State Colorado 1969.jpg

 

Government State Colorado 1970.jpg      Government State Colorado 1971

 

Government State Colorado 1972.jpg      Government State Colorado 1973

 

 

All of the maps from this era featured the state symbols on the reverse side.

Government State Colorado 1974.jpg        Government State Colorado 1974 2

 

 

 

Colorado is known as the Centennial State, as it was admitted to the Union in 1876. The country’s bicentennial year in 1976 was more special for Colorado as the state celebrated it’s 100th anniversary.

The cover of this year’s map shows just how tough it was for those early travelers.

Government State Colorado 1976

 

This view of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon shows how much easier travel is today. This section of Interstate is known as an engineering marvel, it’s design took into consideration the flora and fauna, and natural surroundings, while providing a much needed transportation route through the mountains.

2012 07 05 226 Glenwood Canyon.jpg

 

 

 

The late 1970s continued the mountain scenes.

Government State Colorado 1977.jpg    Government State Colorado 1979

 

 

 

Denver is featured in 1978. One of America’s great cities, Denver has a feel like no other – very young and energetic.

Government State Colorado 1978.jpg

 

2012 07 07 12 Colorado Springs to Denver.jpg

 

2010 05 21 Colorado 22 Denver.jpg

 

 

2010 05 21 Colorado 25 Denver.jpg

 

 

Union Station is a classic train station. It has been remodeled since these photos were taken in 2010.

2010 05 21 Colorado 12 Denver.jpg

 

 

2010 05 21 Colorado 15 Denver.jpg

 

 

Denver International Airport – the roof represents the mountains of Colorado.

2010 05 21 Colorado 34 Denver.jpg

 

 

2010 05 21 Colorado 36 Denver.jpg

 

 

 

Aspen is again featured in 1987.

Government State Colorado 1987.jpg

 

 

 

For 1988 Garden of Gods is on the cover, with Pike’s Peak in the distance.

Government State Colorado 1988.jpg

 

 

We made a stop at the Garden of the Gods in 2012…

2012 07 06 263 Garden of the Gods Colorado.jpg

 

 

In 2012 there were a number of very large forest fires impacting Colorado. On the afternoon we visited Garden of the Gods the first rain in weeks had just occurred, a huge thunderstorm that soaked everything. The entire state smelled of a campfire that had just been put out with water. Not only did it greatly aid in the forest fires, but it gave the wildlife a much needed drink.

2012 07 06 295 Garden of the Gods Colorado

 

2012 07 06 266 Garden of the Gods Colorado.jpg

 

 

2012 07 06 271 Garden of the Gods Colorado.jpg

 

2012 07 06 282 Garden of the Gods Colorado.jpg

 

2012 07 06 290 Garden of the Gods Colorado.jpg

 

2012 07 06 299 Garden of the Gods Colorado.jpg

 

2012 07 06 303 Garden of the Gods Colorado.jpg

 

 

 

 

Telluride is another ski town that has a number of tourists in the summer for the ranch life.

Government State Colorado 1990.jpg

 

 

Coincidentally the next Colorado map in my collection is from 1997, and again features the area around Telluride.

Government State Colorado 1997.jpg

 

 

 

Pawnee Buttes is featured in 1999. This geologic feature is not located in the mountains, rather it is located in far northeastern Colorado on the prairies.

Government State Colorado 1999 2.jpg

 

 

The landscape is mostly flat, until you come across this area.

2010 05 23 Colorado 26 Pawnee Bluffs.jpg

 

 

Rising out of the prairies are two 300′ high buttes.

2010 05 23 Colorado 3 Pawnee Bluffs.jpg

 

 

The buttes are a result of erosion of the surrounding high plains.

2010 05 23 Colorado 47 Pawnee Bluffs.jpg

 

 

2010 05 23 Colorado 8 Pawnee Bluffs.jpg

 

 

2010 05 23 Colorado 29 Pawnee Bluffs.jpg

 

 

2010 05 23 Colorado 33 Pawnee Bluffs.jpg

 

 

 

Chautauqua Park in Bolder is on the 2002 cover. The Chautauqua society was an adult education movement from the late 1800s.

Government State Colorado 2002 2.jpg

 

Boulder is home to the University of Colorado. Situated at the base of Boulder Mountain, it is a great little city with some impressive parks.

2012 07 04 35 Boulder CO.jpg

 

2012 07 04 37 Boulder CO.jpg

 

2012 07 04 39 Boulder CO.jpg

 

2012 07 04 40 Boulder CO.jpg

 

 

Interestingly there was a second edition map printed in 2002 featuring Lake Isabelle.

Government State Colorado 2002.jpg

 

 

 

Mesa Verde National Park is the 2003 subject.

Government State Colorado 2003.jpg

 

Mesa Verde is not only a national park, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has some of the best Ancestral Puebloan archaeological dwellings in the United States.

For thousands of years the area was inhabited by Paleo Indians. There are over 600 cliff dwellings in the park, including the one featured here – The Cliff Palace.

A visit in 2015 gave lots of photo ops at this amazing place.

2015 09 19 16 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

2015 09 19 21 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 50 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 51 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 66 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 97 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 112 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 113 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 122 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 139 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 152 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 182 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 189 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

2015 09 19 211 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

Some people apparently can’t read….

2015 09 19 171 Mesa Verde National Park CO.jpg

 

 

 

 

In addition to the regular road map Colorado for a few years published an Educational Map, highlighting areas that can be used as a teaching opportunity for young people.

Government State Colorado 2008.jpg

 

We had the opportunity to observe rafters on the Arkansas River during a trip on the Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad…

2012 07 06 179 Royal Gorge Railroad Colorado.jpg

 

 

2012 07 06 187 Royal Gorge Railroad Colorado.jpg

 

 

The Royal Gorge Bridge. Built as a tourist attraction in 1929 as the world’s highest bridge, suspended 955 feet above the river. It held this title until 2001.

It is still the highest bridge in the United States, although it is primarily a pedestrian bridge.

2012 07 06 189 Royal Gorge Railroad Colorado.jpg

 

 

 

For much of the ‘teens’ the return to generic outdoor scenes returned.

Government State Colorado 2010 Educational.jpg      Government State Colorado 2010.jpg

 

Government State Colorado 2012.jpg      Government State Colorado 2014.jpg

 

 

 

Our last stop on this tour is Red Rocks Amphitheater. This natural bowl provides the perfect setting for concerts; numerous artists have recorded live albums here.

We had the opportunity to see the Blues Travelers here for a 4th of July concert.

Colorado – easily one of the 5 best states in the country to live, or visit.

Government State Colorado 2019.jpg

 

 

2010 05 20 Colorado 77 Clear Red Rocks Park.jpg

 

2010 05 20 Colorado 82 Clear Red Rocks Park.jpg

 

2012 07 04 127 Red Rocks.jpg

 

2012 07 04 128 Red Rocks.jpg

 

2012 07 04 140 Red Rocks.jpg

 

 

2010 05 20 Colorado 79 Clear Red Rocks Park.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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