Tag Archives: History Colorado

Endless Winter in Colorado’s Iconic National Park

Trail Ridge Road just opened for the park’s centennial summer.

Logo_FINAL_BLUE_4CP_NEWTrail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park between Estes Park on the east and Grand Lake on the west is one of the country’s iconic drives. Cresting at an elevation of 12,183 feet, the road is usually plowed out by Memorial Day. But not this year — the park’s centennial — when high road opened today but with probably night-time closures for a while.  The snows have been coming, and the plows and shovelers are still at it.

May 29, 2015, on Trail Ridge Road.
May 29, 2015, on Trail Ridge Road.
Still all sorts of snow at the Alpine Visitor Center.
Still all sorts of snow at the Alpine Visitor Center.
Aerial view of Trail Ridge Road today.
Looking down at Trail Ridge Road today.

The park’s centennial celebrations kicked off in low gear last fall, were confined largely to historic exhibits, workshops, presentations and such that lent themselves to indoor venues.  An RMNP exhibit  will continue for some indefinite time at the History Colorado Center in Denver, the state’s wonderful historic museum.

Rocky Mountain National Park artifacts and memorabilia.
Rocky Mountain National Park artifacts and memorabilia.

With the approach of summer, summer events are coming into view.  A group of Model T enthusiasts plans to car-camp in August with old-style canvas tents; the Colorado Mountain Club is organizing a series of hikes, climbs and wildflower walks, and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy has a passel of commemorative activities planned too, including a John Denver tribute concert by local musician Brad Fitch in Estes Park on July 25 and in Grand Lake on August 1.

Click here FoMoInfo on Centennial celebrations, which conclude with a rededication of the park at Glacier Basin Campground on September 4, the Friday before Labor Day. I plan to be there. You too?

‘The American Soldier’ at History Colorado

Traveling exhibition at Colorado history museum until September

AmericanSoldierHow appropriate that The American Soldier: A Photographic Tribute opened at History Colorado just before Memorial Day weekend, kicking off a summer of exploration of local and national military history until it closes on September 2. This national traveling exhibition features 116 enlarged photographs that capture unforgettable images of American soldiers—beginning on the Civil War battlefields in 1861, when the new medium of photography first documented the grim realities of war, to the War in Iraq when images could be instantly flashed around the world.

In the first comprehensive photographic record of the men and women in uniform, this exhibition offers dramatic images that convey the danger and frustration, humor and beauty, victory and loss of soldiering. “Spanning nine wars, I’ve often wondered what the exhibition photographs have in common,” said exhibition curator Cyma Rubin. “These photographs have power. They have an ability to reach people, to get through, to communicate—each image has a life of its own.” Rubin, a theater and film producer, director and writer, also curated Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs and is the editor of a companion book to the exhibition and naturally available in the museum’s gift shop.

In conjunction with the exhibit, History Colorado Center visitors have an opportunity to see a display on loan from the Center for American Values that highlights the four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from the “Home of Heroes,” Pueblo, Colorado. Also, throughout the summer, the center presents lectures by military historians; artifacts and photographs from the museum’s own extensive collections, and activities such as a 10th Mountain Division touch cart. Visitors have the opportunity to write letters to Colorado soldiers in Afghanistan.

This compelling exhibit has been on tour since 2007 and will stay on the road through 2015. The next two stops after Denver are the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas (November 11 to February 3) and Florida’s St. Petersburg Museum of History (March 1 to June 30). History Colorado is a Blue Star Museum from Memorial Day through Labor Day, which means free admission of uniformed service personnel and their families. Otherwise, adult admission is $10; 65-plus and students aged 18 to 22 with valid ID, $8; children aged 6 to 12, $6, and 5 and under free. The museum is at 1200 Broadway, Denver; 303-447-8679.