The National Park Service marked its 100th anniversary on August 25, and admission to all 413 national parks is free through Sunday, August 28. Colorado is home to four national parks — Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the Great Sand Dunes — as well as numerous national historic sites, including Bent's Old Fort. Although you can now make a virtual visit to Bent's — the immersive tour was just introduced Thursday — it's still better to get out and see the place.
And there are so many places to see. Says Vern:
I had as a child growing up every summer the opportunity to get to Rocky Mountain National Park, grew up knowing what real life in the wild looks like, as unspoiled by humans as possible. Estes and the RMNP was a yearly trek. I can never replace these experiences — and now I have seen all of the great Western Parks. Now the last ones I have to see are Redwoods and Crater Lake. The last park I experienced was Lassen, like a Yellowstone on a smaller, more intimate scale.... But there is still in my heart nothing to equal the sheer majesty of Rocky Mountain National Park and the highest highway in the U.S.:
Tis the land where the columbines grow,
Overlooking the plains far below,
While the cool summer breeze in the evergreen trees
Softly sings where the columbines grow.
Colorado is an awesome place to spend your vacation. Fresh air; passing through mountains of gold, silver, copper; and different colorful stones along the Colorado river. Aspen trees, blue spruce and wildflowers naturally preserved and propagating along the sides of the mountainous rocks of Colorado.
Then there's this from John:
I had dreams of heading west when I was a young man — i.e., Colorado. However, over the last few decades, all of the progressive liberals have left California and moved east!! Now there's gun control and legal dope in beautiful, pristine Colorado. I guess there's still Alaska!!
What do you see when you travel around Colorado? Get up and get out there this weekend!