I have been to Colorado many times. There is something in me that has to see mountains. Every once in a while, when the urge gets too strong - boiling over - I take off across Missouri, Kansas and eastern Colorado before they start looming into view. You come into Denver and there they are... majestic and beckoning you to go further in, to climb and explore.
I'm going to blame it on the fact that the Rocky Mountain National Park is there just to the north on being why that's where I have always headed that direction; making the drive through Boulder, Loveland or Lyon and the pass up into Estes Park to enter the National Park proper. And it's an incredible drive, so much beauty to see, finally cresting the Continental Divide and further down to Granby and Grand Lake. Truly one of America's treasures.
This time I stayed away from all of that and wanted to explore the southern half of the state. I made a rule to not go any further north than I-70 and stay south of Colorado Springs on the eastern side. This rendered a trip of all new places to see and explore. I knew it would be beautiful but I don't think I was expecting to be that blown away by many of the places encountered. In a lot of ways I don't even know what to write, I guess that's what the sublime can do to you. There were several moments of gaping mouth wide open, laughing all alone, because of the awe-striking vistas that would come into view. I have driven Beartooth Pass outside Yellowstone, Going to the Sun Road in Glacier; the drive north from Durango through Silverton and on to Ouray was just as spectacular. I saw a sign claiming it was "The Switzerland of North America", and i don't think i would argue.
Colorado, I felt like i knew you, but you just showed me a whole another side to what you hold. Anyone who happens to read this and, like me, hasn't taken the time to venture the southern byways connecting so many national forests and wilderness areas, ( to name a few; San Isabel, San Jose, Mesa Verde, Uncompahgre, Gunnison, Black Canyon, Grand Mesa, Colorado National Monument ) next time you are thinking about spending some time in Colorado, spend it on the south side.