Monday, August 14, 2017

The John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen, Colorado



We had friends visiting Colorado from New York for a month this summer. Their first grandchild was born to their son and daughter-in-law, who live in a suburb in the Denver area, and they were excited to spend time with the new parents and grandbaby.  While they stayed nearby, we had a lot of fun showing them some of our favorite Colorado sights, and also some sights that were new to us.  One of those new sights for us, that I had heard about and wanted to see, was the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen, Colorado.  (This photo, and all photos in this post, can be enlarged for easier viewing by clicking in them.)


Our drive west to Aspen took a little over 3 hours. We took the beautifully scenic Independence Pass to cross the Continental Divide. (See a prior post--click here--we made over the pass in June)  When we entered Aspen we could see the ski runs in the mountains.  Aspen attracts people from around the world for it's year round recreation and renown festivals, and it has some of the highest real estate property in the nation.


Aspen is also known for its high end restaurants, boutiques and landmarked buildings dating back from its Gold Rush days. We had a nice time walking around the town to look at the sights and to have lunch.


I always wanted to see the John Denver Sanctuary, so after lunch we headed towards the eastern end of downtown Apen near Rio Grande Park, where it is located along the Roaring Fork River.

John Denver, whose real name was Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., was one of the most famous best selling acoustic singer/songwriter of the 1970's in the United States. He, and his first wife, Annie, moved to Aspen in 1971, just as his recording career was beginning to be a success.  Although they divorced in 1982, they both continued to live in Aspen.  Sadly, at age 53, John Denver was killed when the small experimental plane he was flying crashed on October 12, 1997 near Pacific Grove, California.


Walking into the sanctuary area we were greeted by this stone, surrounded by flowers, which stated:  
John Denver Sanctuary
 Earth, Water, Mountain, Sky, Pause, Reflect, Enjoy


 The sanctuary path was lined with both boulders and flowers and accented by the sound of water and ...


...small gentle waterfalls.



It was serene and beautiful.


We approached steps that had a boulder on top that announced "John's Song Garden."


There, arranged in a circle formation, were large and small boulders that were inscribed with song lyrics that John Denver wrote.....


...and included this tribute stone to his life, which stated: "I am a song, I live to be sung, I sing with all my heart.'



One of John Denver's most popular songs was "Rocky Mountain High."  

 Please click on to enlarge.

Other boulders contained other song lyrics.  I think bedsides Rocky Mountain High, "Annie's Song" is one of my favorites, as well as "Take Me Home, Country Roads."  Do you have a favorite John Denver song?  

I'm sure I missed a few boulders with lyrics, as we spent quite a bit of time reading the ones we saw, and enjoying the tranquility of the area. All too soon it was time to head back to the garage where we parked our car, as we had a long drive back.


I was glad to have spent part of the time I had in Aspen at the John Denver Sanctuary. Every year in October, there is a remembrance celebration held here and in other areas of Colorado, for John Denver. This will be the 20th anniversary of his passing and with the area's surrounding aspen trees turning autumnal colors it must be very beautiful to visit at that time.


Driving back east on Interstate 70, with mountains on the horizon--a sight that still fills me with awe!

It is hard to believe that summer will be coming to a close soon and my grandchildren will be heading back to school. It will be a busy time for my family and I am anticipating that I may take a little blog break, but I will be back soon!

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42 comments:

My name is Riet said...

What à beautiful post. John Denver is my al time favoriete singer and one time hè came to Holland to give à concert. Of course i was there and i will never forget iT. Hè was far too young to die and is still missed by zo many people.
And what à beautiful sanctuary. Annie is my favoriet song too.

Mersad said...

Aspen has been on my bucket list (with Colorado) for a longer time now. Thanks for your images.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I always enjoy your posts but this is my favorite. I'm a big fan of John Denver, love parks and flowers. I love the concept of this memorial park and your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing with us. If you go back in the fall, I'd love to see it with the autumn leaves.

Tom said...

...Pat, what a glorious park of the world, nature makes me want to sing! Thanks for sharing all this inspiration of this Monday morning. Enjoy your week.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the scenic drive is beautiful. I would love to visit this John Denver's Sanctuary. It looks beautiful, lovely flower images. Annie's Song was one of my favorite, it is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your visit. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

April S said...

Love this! I know this will be the prettiest, most informative, uplifting blog post I will read all day. These photos!! I learned a lot here today. Thanks!

Cathy H. said...

Wonderful post! I loved seeing a little of your part of the world. The John Denver sanctuary is beautiful and peaceful.

Linda said...

I've always loved John Denver! We are in Gulf Shores, Alabama for a beach vacation but I love the mountains even more! We actually have several John Denver CDs in the car! My favorite music memory of him is when my older children - now 53 and 50 years old - and I were on vacation in Colorado. We were listening to his music - no CDs back then - do you remember the 8 track and cassettes? - as we drove through the mountains and it felt like we were drifting and floating with his music! Such a loss to lose him so early in his life.
I enjoyed getting to see all the beautiful photos! Thank you!

Tamar SB said...

What a stunning place! I'd love to see Aspen one day!

Felicia said...

Always enjoyed John Denver's music. Rocky Mountain High was my favorite of course.

Beautiful sanctuary. Thanks for sharing.

NC Sue said...

What a nice place! Glad you guys enjoyed your visit.
Thanks for joining us at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/08/oooh-baby.html

ellen b. said...

What a beautiful place to visit. It was such a shock when we heard about John Denver's crash. I like the songs you mentioned, too.

jeannettestgermain said...

The name Aspen alone sounds so romantic! Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience with All Seasons - I liked his musical style - had no idea he had a German background! Certainly a place worth visiting:) Have a beautiful week, Pat!
and thank you for your comment - yes, I'll be glad to have my photos back, because they were able to save the data of the old computer!

Ruth Hiebert said...

John Denver had some beautiful songs.The sanctuary looks lovely.

Linda W. said...

I always loved John Denver's songs. What a lovely memorial.

Rambling Woods said...

Pat..I am so sorry that the linky wasn't showing...I don't know why but thank you for coming back. This is a beautiful area.I remember when John died in that aircraft he was trying....Michelle

Fun60 said...

A wonderful tribute to a fantastic composer. I love his songs and would enjoy visiting the sanctuary.

Kay L. Davies said...

I remember how wonderful it was to hear a John Denver song. I remember how sad I was when he died.
This memorial area is beautiful, and I hope I get to see it some day.
Kay
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Enjoyed this post. I always liked John Denver...and clearly remember hearing of his fatal accident. We sang a lot of 'Rocky Mountain High' as we traveled in Colorado. :) We also really enjoyed the John Denver tribute show at Branson not so long ago.

Here's a bit of trivia. John Denver's background on his grandmother's side was Russian Mennonite...and his grandparents attended a Mennonite Brethren church.

carol l mckenna said...

You have more fun and see more sights in Colorado ~ loved John Denver and skied once in Aspen ~ (altitude was a bit much for me) ~ gorgeous photography ~ thanks, ^_^

Michelle said...

I love me some John Denver. What a peaceful, talented man. This sanctuary looks like a respectful/beautiful place to honor him.

The Furry Gnome said...

We sang along with John Denver on our camping trips across the country with the kids 30 years ago. One of their big memories - Gramma's Feather Bed!

Lady Fi said...

Such a scenic spot!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I enjoyed this visit so much! Our kids" took us to Aspen the first time we visited after they moved (so long ago now!...). but either they didn't know about this lovely sanctuary or (possibly) didn't care about John Denver. I loved his music especially 'Annie's song.' The Sanctuary is a beautiful and fitting tribute ... thank you for showing us!

Lowcarb team member said...

Such a beautiful post. John Denver's Sanctuary looks so beautiful.
Your photographs are just lovely.
Annie's Song was one of my favourite's.

All the best Jan

bettyl-NZ said...

What a wonderful place! How awesome that they post his lyrics around--although, I know them all by heart!!

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Thank you for introducing me to the John Denver sanctuary, Pat. I now have a new goal to go to Aspen! I enjoyed your photographs. The flowers and water garden are truly beautiful. I want to read the boulders with lyrics in person. As a teen, I loved Sunshine on my Shoulders so much. Compelling travel piece!

Aletha Cress Oglesby said...

One of my favorite places and one of my favorite singers- I want to see this if I ever make it back to Colorado. Thanks for sharing.

Tanna said...

Sunshine on My Shoulders is one of my favorites, too. Such a beautiful place!! Enjoy those grands, Pat!! blessings ~ tanna

Rajesh said...

Great tour of the place. Very beautiful.

Rhonda Albom said...

I was not aware of the John Denver Sanctuary and think it is very appropriate for his songs and memory. I will have to visit if I get back to Colorado. I always take pause and think when I hear one of his songs on the radio.

Betty said...

I remember going to a John Denver concert in Norfolk, VA when we lived in VA Beach. It was sometime in the 1970's. I think Annie's Song is one of my favorites too, but I don't recall him singing it after they were divorced. I liked West Virginia too. I remember driving through West Virginia and automatically humming that song.

Michelle said...

Thank you for linking up today!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

What a beautiful sanctuary! The boulders with the song lyrics are very cool. When I was first learning to play acoustic guitar, I bought a couple John Denver songbooks go get me started! Great songs and great memories.

annie said...

I am so glad you shared this. What a wonderful place.

Angie said...

Pat - kudos to the landscape designer - he clearly captured the essence of John Denver - serenity, beauty, natural resources ... I will definitely put this on my bucket list. Thank you for including so many photos in your mosaics!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I had no idea there was a John Denver Sanctuary. Thanks for enlightening me. Thanks for linking to Blue Monday!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a beautiful place, Pat. I've been to Aspen but it was before John Denver died, so of course, there was no sanctuary. I am so impressed by how many places you and Vinny visit in your new state.

Light and Voices said...

I have been a long time admirer of John Denver. Never knew of this place. It is on my "Bucket List" now. Thank you for showing us all these beautiful photographs week after week. You are an amazing photographer and you always include information. Nice job!

Jan Robinson said...

I loved John Denver's music and still do today. I would enjoy this garden and to see the mountains.

eileen gunn said...

seems like a really beautiful place and the right way to remember John Denver.

Jim Vail said...

I haven't heard of this before now, but it is definitely on my site list now! It looks so peaceful and serene. Thanks for linking in to #wkendtravelinspiration