Travels with Marilyn

Marilyn Foster: Colorado’s gold is found in its history

On the recent Warther Tour to see Colorado’s Trains and Parks, Art Erickson (center) helped Tannir and Colton Roush hold up the Balance Rock in the Garden of the Gods.

On the recent Warther Tour to see Colorado’s Trains and Parks, Art Erickson (center) helped Tannir and Colton Roush hold up the Balance Rock in the Garden of the Gods.
Ronni Hannaman

By now, anyone who reads my travel column knows how much I like to travel. I just returned from a weeklong trip to western Colorado that has to go down as one of my favorite trips ever.
I had not known this part of Colorado was so spectacular and there were so many things to see and do.
The Warther Tours Colorado Trains and Parks excursion focused on the historic trains and the state and national parks within the area, and all I could do sit on our luxury motorcoach and exclaim at the beauty of the mountains, canyons, and charming mining towns so different from ours. I think my experience was echoed by 34 traveling companions ranging in age from 12-93.
I never tire of learning new history and experiencing what America may have been like during the early 1800s when so many fortune seekers tried to strike it rich mining gold and silver. While Nevada has a rich mining history, somehow our mining towns just can’t compare. California’s gold rush towns are more like what you see in these Colorado towns where there’s at least one historic hotel allowing you to experience what the 1800s would have been like. All our hotels were great! And, so were the historic trains where we chugged over steep bridges and up to tops of mountains like the famous Pikes Peak.
I just couldn’t get enough of the beauty of western Colorado and even though I just returned from this trip, I would go again in a heartbeat. Everyone loved the llama farm, a quirky stop on our trip. I can think of nothing I would have changed, and we all so enjoyed our tour operator Mark Warther and his wonderful driver and the various step-on guides who gave us the history of their park. I wish you could have seen the Colorado National Monument and the Garden of the Gods – but you can! We will plan another great tour to this beautiful state next summer. Yup, I’m ready to go back!
That being said, my next trip will be to Michigan in October to enjoy this lovely state and to experience the famous Mackinac Hotel. Recently, I put a deposit down to enjoy Spain next February.
I prefer traveling by land than by sea and I love the experience of staying in interesting hotels in the middle of historic cities. For those who prefer to immerse themselves in the culture of a country, traveling by a “land cruiser,” (motorcoach) affords one to touch, feel, smell, and hear the culture and get to know the people.
Yes, it’s nice to unpack once and you can do that on the European 150-passenger long ships where you enjoy a new port daily. But, to really see a country, you’ve got to go to the interior and see the “real” people. The large ships allow you a few hours in touristic ports and it’s just not the same.
As tour operators are figuring out this new travel reality, the Chamber Travel Club is booking some great adventure tours and continues to find more and more that might attract first time and experienced travelers.
I can personally vouch for the great tour operators used by the Chamber. I have been on many Collette Travel tours and loved this new tour operator who conducted our Colorado Tour and will be escorting a group to Ireland in late April. Mark Warther is truly first-class and bends over backward to make sure you’ll get more than you expected.
The Chamber is holding a free travel club meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Feature will be the new tours offered by Collette Vacations. Call the Chamber at 775-882-1565 to reserve your seat.
Marilyn Foster will be 94 in late January and still has the heart and will to travel and see wonderful new sites.

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