Last weekend my husband and I took an exhilarating road trip along the beautiful "Peak to Peak" highway in Colorado. This scenic and historic 55 mile highway was established in 1918, and is Colorado's oldest scenic highway. It provides magnificent views of the Continental Divide, national park forests, wilderness, and nature preserves.
If you click on this (and every photo in this post) it will enlarge. Then click on it again for easier viewing of the entire Peak to Peak Highway route and the towns it passes through or by.
Double enlarge this photo of a roadside placard that tells the story of the Peak To Peak Highway.
We joined the highway in the town of Blackhawk.
Blackhawk was once a mining town outside Central City, and now both towns are known for their casinos.
Once we hit the open road we could see the Rockies peaks in the distance. The weather up to this summer weekend has been hot and dry, and all the mountains were free of snow. We wondered if we were going to see any autumnal color change during our drive?
Every twist and turn of the highway lead us to beautiful vistas....
...and through deep mountain canyons
We passed deep green pine forests topped by distant mountain peaks.....
....and we saw many peaceful valleys.
When we approached this interesting building near the town of Allenspark, we pulled over to see what it was.
We turned into the Saint Malo Center, and learned there was once a retreat center on this property which was almost completely destroyed by a fire a few years ago. Mount Meeker looms in the distance.
This charming little church is visited by thousands who see it on their ride on the Peak to Peak Highway. It was also visited by Pope John Paul when he stayed at the Saint Malo Retreat Center during his visit for World Youth Day in Denver in 1993. He blessed the chapel and later hiked in the surrounding woods. My friend Betsy wrote more about the history of this beautiful church on her blog, Joyful Reflections, when she visited it a few years ago on a visit to Colorado.
An inspirational plaque that was on the wall inside the chapel.
We stopped again on the Peak to Peak Highway to enjoy this view of Longs Peak.
There it stands at 14,256 feet! Colorado has 54 mountains that are over 14,000 feet, more than any other state in the union.
...and we knew we we were getting close to our destination!
* Epilogue: As I wrote in my last blog post, my family is fortunately safe and sound, despite the record breaking and devastating rainfall that the entire Front Range of Colorado has received this past week. I had tears in my eyes as I looked at the photos I took of this trip along the Peak to Peak Highway and our visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, as I knew many of these areas were severely affected by the storms. An area the size of the state of Connecticut has been severely flooded in Colorado and there has been devastating loss of life and property. Major roads and bridges have been destroyed by all the rushing flood waters, and helicopter rescues by the National Guard have taken place in many mountain communities that have been cut off from civilization. This is being now called a rare natural disaster that occurs at most, every 500 years! The entire depth of the aftermath of this epic storm is still to be seen.
Estes Park has begun to clean up, and I know the resilient and resourceful people of Colorado will come together to repair and rebuild all that has been destroyed. Please keep those affected by the floods in your prayers, and know that the beauty of much of Colorado remains, and what was damaged will be restored. I love my new state, and I know it will be able to recover!
Photo source: CBS Denver
The CBS Denver webs site --click here--lists ways to help the people of Colorado who have been devastated by this catastrophic flood! An estimated 19,000 homes have been lost or damaged, 12,000 people have been evacuated and over twelve hundred people are reported missing!
I'm linking this blog post to the following blog events: Blue Monday, Our World Tuesday, Outdoor Wednesday, Oh, the Places I've Been.Thank you to all the blog hosts!