Balanced on the apex of Monarch Pass, the Monarch Crest Scenic Tramway sweeps sightseers up to loftier heights along the crest of the Continental Divide. A string of six spherical gondolas serenely ascends to and docks at 12,012 feet above sea level, approximately 8 feet below sky level. A sweeping outdoor viewing area has views of the Rockies from Pikes Peak to Uncompahgre Peak of the San Juan Mountains, each fervently campaigning for presidential engravings. Focus eyeballs on vistas more than 100 miles away aided by stationary binoculars scattered throughout the observatory, or exercise unaided eyes on the sweeping pine forests of Monarch Crest.
This business opened on April 1, 2005 as a premium retail yarn, fiber and gift boutique serving the discriminating buyers & fiber artists of central Colorado. It also carries fine personal gifts such as bath products, jewelry, home decor & greeting cards. Large ranges of classes are scheduled.
Like the Benedictine Fathers to whom his winery pays homage, Matt Cookson upholds tenets of concentration and discipline as he makes his lauded varietals. He’s been following these principles throughout his extensive winemaking career, which began in New York state and the Napa Valley. In 2002, he relocated to Cañon City and co-founded The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. Since then, his wines have racked up more than 100 awards at various international competitions. The vino ranges from a dense 2010 merlot reserve to a light and fruity apple-blossom wine made with juices from five apple varieties.
Matt and his team dole out sample flights beneath the sweeping arches of the winery’s tasting room, a 1911 cottage that also stocks travel books and pottery imported from countries such as Spain and Tunisia. Outside, picnic tables at a tree-shaded park accommodate scenic meals surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and Wet Mountains. Every autumn, Matt shares more of his handiwork during the winery’s annual Harvest Fest, where guests can taste wines, sample local produce and cheeses, get their faces painted, or showcase their air-sax abilities as live jazz and blues music plays.
It was the perfect setting for inspiration to strike. Four friends had gathered for a barbecue?sharing beers, food, and dreams. Specifically, one that they had in common: the desire to open up their own brewery. Elevation Beer Co was born from that backyard conversation. The brewery welcomes in visitors for tours and tastings of its signature brews, such as a Little Mo? Porter, whose name pays homage to a nearby Monarch Mountain ski run. The brew stays true to its cool inspiration, pairing well with vanilla ice cream.
Operating out of Alamosa and La Veta’s train depots, Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s 100-year old steam engine pulls a long line of comfy coach and observation cars on a scenic journey over the mountainous La Veta Pass. Seasonal themed trains complement the route’s tunnels and horseshoe curves with holiday décor or stops at an alpine concert venue.
Independent Records & Video stocks a superb selection of new and used CDs and LPs, DVDs, and games. Invite the eccentric musical stylings of Erykah Badu's New Amerykah Part Two ($9.95) into your eardrums, pick up Jimi Hendrix's recently released posthumous studio album, Valleys Of Neptune ($6.97 used), or pan for gold in stacks of classic and contemporary blues, jazz, electronic, and pop music. To rest eyes weary from searching old copies of National Geographic for photos of giant pinecones, take a look at Independent's stock of movies, which are available on DVD and Blu-ray and span every genre and time period. Classic comedies such as Caddyshack ($9.99) line shelves alongside newer releases that dive deep into unexplored depths of Earth and man (Oceans costs $28.99, season seven of Curb Your Enthusiasm costs $32.99.) Though stock varies in each store, Independent is committed to customer satisfaction and will place a special order at no extra charge.