"May the Peace of the Wilderness be with you"

Rumor has it - When God takes a vacation, he goes to a Colorado Wilderness!


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John Fielder

The following is a quote from Colorado resident John Fielder, renowned photographer and 1993 recipient of the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams award for photography. The quote is found in the FOREWARD of "The Complete Guide to Colorado's Wilderness Areas".

"I have hiked mountains throughout the West and seen many more around the globe in pictorial essays, and I think I am correct when I say that there is no place like Colorado. Our mountains are neither the oldest nor the youngest - in fact, they are about 65 million years old. What is remarkable is that they have weathered and crumbled to exactly the right degree to make them the most beautiful mountains in the world."

How can one make such a bold statement? Well, here is my explanation: no other mountains contain such an interesting and diverse combination of ecosystems. By interesting I mean visually exciting and by diverse I mean replete with many species of plants and animals. From scrub oak and mountain mahogany to the largest aspen forests in the world to colorful alpine ecosystems, one can easily understand why our state is called Colorado. Our mountains have eroded just enough to make fertile soils at high elevations. Towering above limitless fields of tundra grasses and wildflowers stand some of the most majestic peaks, ridges and ranges on the planet, their lower slopes cloaked with vast forests of spruce, fir and aspen.

Colorado's many mountain ranges are part of the southern end of the Rocky Mountain chain, far enough south to enjoy the heavy afternoon rains of summer's Southwest monsoon season and yet far enough north to store winter's deep snows. Water is abundant here and continuously feeds the fertile mountain soils with moisture to sustain this plethora of plant life. In addition there are glaciers, jagged spires, ice-carved valleys with lakes, creeks and waterfalls galore, making as primal a landscape as any on earth."

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