With the day’s light gone, my descent into Denver last night showed only a glittering cosmopolitan mass amid blacker desert landscape; and left me with a treat for this morning, when I woke up early. I was keen to make the most of the little time I had to explore the city.
I was greeted by the full flush of an Indian summer, with blooming flowers, lush trees and an amazing clear blue sky resting between tall buildings. This is called a ‘Colorado sky’ according to the many friendly locals I chatted to along my way to the Denver Art Museum, the 16th street mall and the State Capitol building. Standing on the famous ‘one mile above sea level’ step, I couldn’t see the mountains, but the air was so fresh that I could tell they were nearby. Grabbing a mid-morning coffee at Union Street station, I took in the gentle buzz of Denver as I prepared for my onward journey to Snowmass.
The next few hours were spent on the road, heading up and up into the mountains. Passing red rocky landscape and countless Aspen trees, which adopted colours that varied from deep, dark hues to bright yellows, the drive took me through Glenwood Springs and along vast canyons with beautiful green waters weaving through them.
It was a beautiful evening as I arrived in Snowmass, so I dropped my bags and made my way through the village noticing the quintessential Alpine cabins and condos dotted across the hillside. After a quick pizza at Tasters, a wonderfully low-key local place, night had set in and I was primed to capture the ‘Glow Show’. This is part of the annual Snowmass Balloon Festival and is a beautiful display of hot air balloons moored near the main slope of the village – they reminded me of giant, luminous jellyfish glowing against the dark blue, starry Snowmass sky. The whole village was alive with the buzz of spectators eating and drinking, and it made for a magical introduction to the area.