Answering the Call of Colorado

by: Marylaine Viernes

Since emigrating to the United States of America three years ago, I would say that I have grown in various aspects of my being, and I am certainly grateful that the past three years have been very kind to me, enabling me to remain faithful to how I identify myself. This travelogue is an ode to the coming winter season and to the one State that is both mine and my son, Godric Matthew’s favorite: The Centennial State, Colorado!

Colorado was conscripted from Color + Rado (the latter meaning the Spanish word for “ruddy,” referring to a reddish-brown color), early Spanish explorers gave this name initially to the Colorado River (Rio Colorado) only, which does emit a ruddy color in many parts because of a huge silt and sandstone content.

This moniker was unofficial but prevalent to refer to the entire area after the discovery of gold in the Pike’s Peak region and it was only in the year 1861 that its name became official when Congress chose this name and made it into the 38th State.

As for me, knowing its history is interesting, and throws in some color, so to speak when it comes to my love for this particular State. However, scarlet or a brownish-red tone is not what comes into mind when I dream of this place, but pristine, pure, dreamy, snowy white!

I remember the very first time that we drove to Colorado. My family and I just drove there, and I was asleep for most of the trip, but my wide-eyed son, Godric had been taking in the grandeur of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains since we hit the boundaries of Utah and then Idaho! Colorado in the wintertime is unlike anything else in this world. Endless rows of snowcapped mountains everywhere and while I have been there twice and looking forward to spending this year 2020’s Christmas there too, it always is so surreal, like walking through a Christmas commercial or a postcard, the ones I would watch or post in my wall and dream about, when I was a child!

Here are my Top 3 Favorite Sights in Colorado:

• Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs
My family and I went in for a half-day hike and photo-taking spree with its glorious red rocks as our backdrop. It was so breathtakingly beautiful that it inspired renowned professor and poet, Katharine Lee Bates to write the poem, “America the Beautiful.” It was when she became part of a Colorado College summer expedition to the summit of Pikes Peak in a private wagon that she penned these famous lines. It’s definitely worth the drive. Adventure-seekers can also choose from a variety of exciting local events and activities. They have fun runs, cycling tours, rock climbing, hiking activities and more all year round. The Garden of the Gods Nature & Visitor Center also has an interactive museum and an awesome souvenir area. Admission is free until further notice.

• Buttermilk Ski Resort in Aspen Snowmass
For kids and first-time skiers, I definitely recommend the Buttermilk Resort! It’s the most popular skiing mountain in the Aspen area, located in Pitkin County, Colorado. It’s where my son and I learned to ski. It has a mild slope that is definitely inviting and thrilling for all newbies. Winter sport Pros love this place too; in fact, the Buttermilk has hosted the ESPN Winter X Games many times now. After a long day of skiing, you can head over to the Inn at Aspen at the foot of the hill, where you can stay and enjoy a nice, warm cuppa

• Penny Hot Springs in Carbondale, Colorado
One word: Free! Yes, as you drive away from Aspen and head on over to Carbondale,
in only 15 minutes you should be able to find the Penny Hot Springs located on
Highway 133. Named after the little girl who discovered it, this primitive natural hot
springs is sectioned off with large rocks to keep the cold water from flowing in and lessening
the heat of the hot mineral water that feeds the pools, which would be about 21 feet across and
around 3 feet deep. It wards off the cold and douses away the blues! Just a caveat: you might
not have internet connection in that area so make sure to post a selfie before lazing the day
away in these luxurious – and gratuitous – hot mineral pools!

This coming winter season, treat yourself to something extra special – memories of soft snow
and great bed weather... give in to the call of Colorado