Courier December Courier - Page 49

The Rockies COMPILED BY PAT HENDERSON Colorado National Monument Having a grand time in Grand Junction TOP: GRAND JUNCTION VCB, BOTTOM RIGHT: CC FLICKR/LOCO STEVE: Situated in western Colorado where the Rockies meet the high desert, Grand Junction offers a mix of activities for travelers. “You can savor your adventure each day with culinary experiences that include our produce and locally crafted wines, beers and spirits,” says Barb Bowman of the Grand Junction VCB. “Take a stroll in Downtown Grand Junction to view Art on the Corner, with its 100 mixed-media works along our tree-lined Main Street.” Groups typically flock to the Colorado National Monument, which boasts steep cliffs and red rock canyons. As they follow the 23-mile historical Rim Rock Drive loop, they can see monoliths and other unusual rock formations that are spread across the park. Another way for visitors to relax and take in the sweeping views is by having a gourmet meal on a patio overlooking the canyons. “This culinary adventure has become one of our most soughtafter options,” says Bowman. “There’s something surprising about the beauty of the red rocks, coupled with a wonderful meal, that just makes it the perfect combination.” Guests also can mix sightseeing and culinary options at Sprigs and Sprouts of Western Colorado. This lavender farm is located in nearby Palisade, a town known as Colorado’s Napa Valley based on its numerous orchards and vineyards. During tours, the farm’s owners—Ruth and Linda— educate visitors on how they distill essential oils and hydrosols, propagate lavender and grow vegetables in a closed irrigation system via aquaponics. To learn more, contact Bowman at or go to visitgrand “Chrome on the Range II” is part of the city’s Art on the Corner project. 45