I always found it a little bit ironic that as you cross the border into the eastern most part of the state of Colorado, you pass a sign proclaiming “Colorful Colorado!” with great enthusiasm. What’s ironic about this proclamation is that as you drive through the plains and sand flats of eastern Colorado, you are surrounded by varying shades of brown.
Sandy brown. Chocolate brown. Dusty brown. Rusty brown.
It’s not until you reach the foothills, just west of Denver, that you begin to catch glimpses of the deep reds, leaden grays, rich greens, and vibrant blues that make up the rugged terrain. As you follow I70 west through the front range the colors change, allowing your mind to wander; twisting, turning, imagining the stories told by the colors on the hillsides.
A rusted, old truck laying claim to a now decrepit gold mine whose sign declares the vibrancy of a life during its heyday.
A waterwheel slowly spinning, bathing itself in the steady stream of icy blue water pouring from the edge of a rocky cliff.
Slight, yet robust, orange and pink and yellow blossoms blooming among a harsh, unforgiving precipice.
Rocky outcrops frosted in pure, untouched snow. Snow that provides a guise to innocent bystanders, admiring the awesome regality of the Rocky Mountains.
And as the sun drops, slowly, just below the peaks; the landscape’s vibrancy is toned down. Down to muted, dreamy variations of the original colors. It’s then, in that jewel-toned moment, that the colors of Colorful Colorado come alive.