Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Staff writer The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, founded in 1936, calls itself a unique cultural pillar of the Rocky Mountain region. In its early days the center, then the Broadmoor Art Academy, operated from the home of philanthropists Julie and Spencer Penrose. Alice Bemis Taylor later established the Taylor Museum as an independent entity and donated her Southwestern art collection and 6,000 volumes of books on Americana. In the…

November 16, 2011
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Colorado Springs history

President Theodore Roosevelt visits Colorado Springs
November 16, 2011

By Sue Deans Colorado Springs, originally a community of miners, was first known as Colorado City. But in 1871, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad passed through the area, and Gen. William J. Palmer followed with a plan for boulevards, schools and parks. Soon the beginnings of a town arose, taking its name from Colorado City, its predecessor, and from the mineral springs six miles west. Palmer invited his rich…

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Grandote Peaks Golf Course

Staff writer The Grandote Peaks Golf Course, designed by PGA golfer Tom Weiskopf, calls itself one of Colorado’s most affordable courses. That may be, but there’s a million-dollar view from the course at the base of the Spanish Peaks. Details Grandote Peaks Golf Course 5540 US 12 La Veta CO 81055 719-742-3391 800-457-9986 Website

November 3, 2011
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La Veta and Cuchara history

Cuchara Valley in southern Colorado
November 3, 2011

Staff writer The town of La Veta dates back to 1862, when Fort Francisco was built. Col. John Francisco came to the valley in 1840 from Fort Garland, building his plaza as a ranch headquarters. The adobe fort, which still exists, was also the railroad station and the post office at various times. The railroad came through in 1876 and the town was renamed La Veta, Spanish for “the vein.”…

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La Veta

Spanish Peaks near La Veta
November 3, 2011

By Sue Deans La Veta is a little jewel of a town, rough around the edges but shiny inside. Dusty streets and some empty storefronts are the rough spots. But lovely Victorian cottages, some good restaurants, shops and galleries are a bright plus that only adds to the beauty of the setting. Known as an artists’ colony, La Veta is enough off the beaten track to stay quiet and picturesque….

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Alamosa hot springs and water parks

Staff writer The Alamosa area is home to several hot springs and water parks: • Joyful Journey Hot Springs is at the northern entrance to the San Luis Valley, 30 miles south of Salida on Hwy 17 and one mile south of Highway 285. 719-256-4328 (HEAT) 800-673-0656 Pin # 4328 • The clothing optional Valley View Hot Springs, operated by Orient Land Trust, lies where river rock creates pools of…

October 24, 2011
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Colorado Gators Reptile Park

Colorado Gators Reptile Park near Alamosa
October 24, 2011

Staff writer The Colorado Gators Reptile Park – yes, gators, in Colorado! – features more than 400 alligators. It started as a tilapia farm in 1974, where the African perch were grown as food in warm geothermal waters. In 1987 the owners purchased 100 one-year-old alligators to dispose of fish remains. The facility opened to the public in 1990 and even took in overgrown alligators and other reptiles such as…

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Adams State College

Adams State College in Alamosa
October 24, 2011

Staff writer Adams State College offers daily tours, largely aimed at prospective students. Classes are in session from September to mid-December and mid-January to mid-May. The Adams State College Theatre has a growing national reputation, with award-winning productions staged in its state-of-the-art theater building. Also on the Adams State campus, the Luther E. Bean Museum features Native American pottery, Navajo and Rio Grande weavings, and paintings and bronzes by locally…

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San Luis Valley Museum

Staff writer The San Luis Valley Museum illustrates the diversity of the area’s history. Artifacts of Indians and frontiersmen, farmers and ranchers, a typical old schoolroom and a traditional trading post are included. Railroad memorabilia, arrowheads, exotic insects, also are on display. And a veterans’ memorial wall shows uniforms of those who served. Details San Luis Valley Museum 401 Hunt Ave. Alamosa, CO 81101 (719) 587-0667 Website

October 24, 2011
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Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway
October 24, 2011

Staff writer The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is an 1880 narrow gauge train between Antonito, 28 miles south of Alamosa, and Chama, N.M., calling itself America’s highest and longest coal-fired, steam operated, narrow-gauge railroad. Now operated by the states of Colorado and New Mexico through the nonprofit Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission, it travels over 10,015-foot Cumbres Pass, the highest mountain pass reached by rail in the United…

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