Not Grand But Rocky

Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall Preview

Though there isn't much fall color in this picture, there is fresh snow on what is probably Chief's Head Peak. In the early morning hours a storm left a mantle of white on this 13,579' alp. The tree line begins just about where the snow is the palest.


If the internet allowed it, this would be a 20 mile wide panorama. A few of the big peaks can be seen at right. Colorado has over 700 peaks over 13,000' and of that number, 54 are over 14,000'.

Fall On The Ground

One of the reason that there wasn't much color to see in the upper altitudes was that leaf peeper season in Colorado in general was early this year. There were plenty of seasonal shades on the valley and canyon floors.


Not only color but animal behavior was on display in the valleys,. Rocky Mountain National Park is home to a specie that takes on the name of the area: Rocky Mountain Elk. Bigger in rack size than its more westerly cousin the Roosevelt Elk, the bulls use these Aspen trees to shed their velvet in the Fall. Most every tree in this grove was marked. 



The Stately Stanley 

There are two "Stanley Steamers." One is the carpet cleaning company that many of us are familiar with; the other is an early automobile that not many of us have seen. Unlike the later cars that Henry Ford and Walter Chrysler built, the Stanley Motor Carriage Company made popular early steam powered automobiles.

1909: A Car & Hotel

The Stanley Hotel came about when one of the founding Stanley twins, Freelan, plagued by tuberculosis, followed doctor's orders to seek out a drier and higher climate. He and his wife Flora came to Estes Park and thrived. Took just two summer seasons to build the hotel

So THIS is Neo-Georgian!

With a touch of Rocco. For many years it was a seasonal hotel - when the first snows came, they shuttered in Inn - it had no room heat! This from a man who well understood steam. Just out of sight at left is an expansive sculpture garden full of bronze animals.

Copper Everywhere

This is the bar. Both tables and ceiling are copper clad. The piece at far right is a translucent silhouette of the nearby Rockies. The hotel sits close to the boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Music Room

Imagine John Philip Souza lighting up this room with a band-full of sound. He did so annually for almost 25 years. Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan made trips here. More recent visitors have been novelist Stephen King and actor Jim Carrey. The Stanley Hotel has a big following among those who come to study its reputation as being haunted by multiple ghosts. Some have checked in but have never checked out.


Yes, It's NOAA

How'd That Weather Satellite Get In My Building?

This is an example of one of the three GOES satellites that are parked high in the atmosphere over the US. They send streams of data captured by cameras and sensors back down to regional weather offices.  There are also several environmental satellites that orbit between the poles and what appears to be several dozen other weather satellites run by other countries. 

Our military has their own system which can "see" object as small as an oil tanker. The military satellites can also "see" at night, unlike NOAA's spacecraft.

Though this building does house the local NOAA regional weather center, it is much more than that. Located adjacent to (and partnered with) Colorado University in Boulder, Colorado, the Earth Sciences Research Laboratory is a major center for atmospheric exploration and conditions. The center is currently running major studies on Arctic air, ozone, carbon dioxide and global modeling.

On the broadest end of the spectrum, the ESRL keeps a watch on weather in our solar system. One of the areas of keen interest is tracking solar storms and the impact they have on the earth. In years past solar flares have produced enough radiation to fry many electronic components. This room contains all the inputs currently measuring activity on the sun.

On the other end of the spectrum, this woman is analyzing local conditions. If you are a weather nut like me, then you may be familiar with something called "Forecast Discussion." At the bottom of every National Weather Service online page are a series of links to more information about the daily weather.

I look at Forecast Discussion quite often. The lead forecaster on every shift writes up a synopsis of his or her predictions that usually expresses varying degrees of confidence in their forecast. Kind of a big picture sort of thing. This woman was getting ready to write the forecast discussion for this day. As the weather gets trickier (whether it be tornado or winter weather seasons) the room fills with more forecasters attempting to nail down what is coming our way next.

Tours are free but limited to just one day a week. Me? I think it's going to rain this winter.


Is It The Water?

Or something else?

For Coors it used to be about the water. Now it's about anything that a beer manufacturer can do to draw attention to the brand. Coors doesn't just have a single slogan anymore, it has four or five, depending on the who they are trying to reach. 

The Coldest Tasting Beer In The World (for Coors light)
It Won't Slow You Down (light)
This Is Our Beer
Turn It Loose! 
Brewed With Pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water

Coors also has another, truer, claim to fame - their brewery in Golden, Colorado, is the largest single site brewery in the world. Since 2007 Coors is now known as MillerCoors as they have joint ventured with Miller Brewing Company. Tours are free and self guided. Like many breweries, there is a tasting room where you can sample any of their 17 kinds of beer. There are no restrictions to the number of times you can take the tour so every day there are students from the Colorado School of Mines who zip through the tour and congregate in the tasting room for their daily free beers. 

Note one of Coor's earliest slogans "Pure Mannah".

During Prohibition Coors produced the malt that went into milkshakes everywhere.

Today these are all the Coors brands that are sold. Just don't say, "Make Mine A Bud."


3 Shots 3 States

Nice Rack

Talk about niche businesses, this guy has quite the operation. I went to the website (seen at the bottom of the gate) and was impressed with what was offered. Yes, you can get anything you can imagine built with antlers or horns, but it is far more than than. Old style lanterns - the kind you used to see used on the railroad - wagon wheel chandeliers and rustic table lamps and of course any of the above with antlers. His creations have been featured in movies, Budweiser commercials and more. Almost as remarkable was the distance found between this place and any town - easily 75 miles to either Ely, Nevada or Delta in Utah.

Open Space

Though much of highway 50 through Nevada was certainly open space, it was a series of large basins rimmed with mountains. Crossing into western Utah and punching through the southern edge of the Wasatch mountains, the land really opens up. This vista is of South Salt Wash, which leads down to Capitol Reef National park. The man squatting down on the slab of stone isn't contemplating the view but communicating with the larger world via a smart phone.

Red Space

Don't imagine this image needs any introduction. Taken near Glenwood Springs, Colorado.