Having lived in Colorado for five years, I’ve (regrettably) explored far too few vistas that pepper this amazing state. When I received a call from Kathleen, Diva extraordinaire, offering a chance to do a girl’s trip to the Western Slopes, I jumped at the chance. I looked forward the experience—Colorado wine country—in the fall.
It was early morning when the car arrived at my mountain home. Hastily shoving my bags on top and around the existing luggage, I hopped into the car giddy with anticipation. With camera in hand and a good supply of munchies close by, we headed west.
I hadn’t met Susan, one of the threesome, and was delighted to get to know this feisty little sprite as we maneuvered out of the foothills and into the mountains.
Driving through the glorious weather that marks Colorado autumns, I had an inkling that this was going to be another trip to register in the Diva Chronicles.
Crossing the state was awe inspiring … an incredible unfolding of changing topography and color; from the evergreen foothills to the arid majesty of the western slopes sprinkled with nostalgic mining towns and old abandoned homesteads.
We drove leisurely, with no set plan and stopping as often as we wished to snap pictures of the ever changing topography.
Ok, so here’s Susan getting creative shots while doing her version of the refrigerator repairwoman thingy … only you have to admit, she’s much cuter.
Whenever we parked the car to view a particularly lovely vista, it seemed reasonable that we should also take time to stretch and restore ourselves. We would open the trunk; pull out our spare munchies and partake in chunks of creamy, warm cheese and a robust glass of local wine. (Of course, we repeatedly congratulated ourselves on having the foresight to pack these travel necessities.)
As we crossed the continental divide the sun was setting softly behind the lofty peaks that sheltered Colorado’s wineries. Although we were getting a bit travel weary, we decided to take a quick detour and head for the wine tasting houses before they closed. Since Susan was not one to imbibe in any form of bubbly brew, we basked in the good fortune of having our own designated driver.
Our first stop was at Carlson Vineyards in Palisade, CO. (Visit them at www.CarlsonVinyards.com). Once nestled into their lovely mountain tasting retreat we were happily introduced to their decadent cherry dessert wine lavishly rimmed with … CHOCOLATE. Delightful, Decadent and soooo Diva!
As for those wine snobs or skeptics (as you prefer), the hills and valleys of Colorado’s western slopes have the perfect climate for growing grapes. They routinely make countless award winning wines, giving some stiff competition to that little wine producing state on the other side of the Rockies.
We closed out day at the Whitewater Hill Vineyards which produce luscious varietal wines at the quaint winery which overlooks the broad vista of the Grand Valley bordering the Colorado River. We really enjoyed kabitzing with the owners. You can visit this lovely winery at WhitewaterHill.com.
During the day …
We played tourist …
Continued sightseeing …
Power thrift shopped … ate more chocolate…
And threw in just a tad bit of R & R.
As each day gently unfolded we stood, each in our own separate peace, inspired by the majesty of this land we call home.
Our adventures soon drew to a close. On the last day as the sun settled behind the peaks, we came upon this incredible scene. Although I always loved the words to America the Beautiful, I never realize how incredibly perfect they were. The verses played over and over as we viewed the majesty of this country.
At every bend, stunning canyon and mountain peak we visually celebrated the magnificence of this nation.
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!