Window on Winter: Rich Mountain Scenery in the Colorado Rockies

The window of a century-old miner’s cabin frames a peak in Mayflower Gulch, near the Copper Mountain ski area in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. ©Ken Aikin

The window of a century-old miner’s cabin frames a peak in Mayflower Gulch, near the Copper Mountain ski area in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. ©Ken Aikin

There’s gold in them thar hills—but it’s covered in snow. During the Colorado gold and silver rushes, the beautiful mountains of Mayflower Gulch were valued for their precious ore; today, the ski industry is far more lucrative.

However, there’s no fee to enjoy Mayflower Gulch. A scenic snowshoe or cross-country ski trail—located just six miles south on Highway 91 from the Copper Mountain ski area—offers a relatively easy, four-mile route. Its payoff for skiers, snowshoers, and hikers is a spectacular view of the Ten Mile Range.

A natural amphitheater, created by a horseshoe of jagged mountains, makes a stunning backdrop for ruined miners’ cabins from the early 1900s. The blend of natural scenery and the ruins of the old Boston mining camp make this a fascinating trip. Keep an eye out for tailings from old mines and a dilapidated ore chute.

Looking through a dilapidated cabin window, you behold a wealth of high-altitude wilderness, but in past the century, folks came here with dreams of finding gold and silver. For skiers, the exhilaration is in the snow on a sunny, Colorado day.

Click here for info on the Mayflower Gulch trail.

The jagged schist-rock ridge with 13,995-foot Mount Fletcher is a great spot for Telemark ski runs. ©Ken Aikin

The jagged schist-rock ridge with 13,995-foot Mount Fletcher is a great spot for Telemark ski runs. ©Ken Aikin

Laurel Kallenbach, freelance writer and editor

 

Obama Speaks in Boulder—and My Husband Plays at the Event

President Obama visited the University of Colorado campus in Boulder on April 24, 2012, to talk about reducing student loan rates.

Obama waves to a crowd of 10,000 people at the Coors Event Center on the CU campus. Photo © Ken Aikin

Ken Aikin, my husband, was one of the brass quintet members who performed before the president’s speech—and they got front-row seats during the speech. Afterwards, as the president made the rounds through the crowd, Ken got to shake Obama’s hand!

Ken (in the dark suit with the toothy grin) is just reaching his hand around to shake with the president. The woman in the yellow dress sang the national anthem at the beginning. Photo © Glenn Asakawa. You can see this photo and others from the event on the CU website: http://www.colorado.edu/news/multimedia/president-barack-obama-visits-cu-boulder

Here are some other photos that Ken took on this exciting day.

Members of the Boulder Brass Quintet: Ken, Dawn, Bill, and Mike. Photo © Ken Aikin

 

Ken and the quintet were sitting just 20 feet from the podium where Obama spoke. He told the story of ordering pizza at The Sink restaurant on the Hill—and the very excited student who accidentally spilled yogurt on him. Photo © Ken Aikin

 

The Secret Service men in attendance were all business. Photo © Ken Aikin

After the speech, Obama shook a lot of hands—including Ken's. Photo © Ken Aikin

 

Students were very excited to shake the president's hand. Photo © Ken Aikin

Obama (in shirt sleeves) shakes more hands beneath the flag—and then left the Coors Events Center. Photo © Ken Aikin