This is Colorado's big year. In a blaze of fireworks and historical confusion that gave added zip to New Year's festivities, the outdoor-minded state on January 1 launched its Rush to the Rockies Centennial. The fact that the state has been in the Union only 83 years deterred no one. The year 1959 was going to be terrific, and Colorado aimed to celebrate with a 12-month orgy of sports calculated to delight the tourists and the home folks. As usual, the people of Colorado started off the year by moving outdoors. And, as the pictures on these pages show, when Colorado goes outdoors it goes out into some of the finest mountain scenery and deepest powder snow anywhere. The state boasts no less than 20 ski resorts. Some of them, like the multimillion-dollar complex surrounding the town of Aspen (SI, Jan. 13, '58), are designed to tempt ski travelers from all over the continent. Others, such as Denver's own Winter Park (see cover) and Steamboat Springs, built by local businessmen, were created just to give Coloradans and their children a winter playground. Later on in the centennial year the state will play host to the National AAU Track Championships, the National Amateur Golf Tournament and, perhaps, a heavyweight title bout. But for the next few winter months the people of Colorado will be doing what comes most naturally in this Rocky Mountain state—having outdoor fun in some truly beautiful snow country.
Happily braving a sudden storm that turns the woodland a misty gray behind the falling snow, a party of riders explores a mountain road that winds through the Rockies.
Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs, 200 miles northwest of Denver, marks peak of season for this ski-loving Rocky Mountain town, and it brings out swarms of school kids and local ranchers for the celebration. At upper left, youngsters squirm under barrier during obstacle race down the main street. Below left, bright-robed high school coeds carrying sparklers prepare for coronation of carnival queen, and above, skier Bruce Cardy hangs grimly to towline of galloping cow pony as he tries to spear ring with pole.
Visitors Steve Watkins and Marion Palmer, with a pet poodle, prepare for a sleighride on the C Lazy U Ranch, while in the background three other guests practice skating on a frozen pond.