SHOTThe hills are aliveEver since I first saw "The...

MY BEST

May 16, 1999|By Special to the Sun

MY BEST SHOT

The hills are alive

Ever since I first saw "The Sound of Music," I dreamed of traveling to Austria to see if the hills really are alive. This picture -- which I call my "lucky shot" -- doesn't lie. The beauty captured in it is present throughout Salzburg and the mountains do sing to you. Look closely at this shot and you can almost hear the von Trapp children laughing and splashing around in the lake.

Beverly A. Bauhof, Catonsville

A MEMORABLE PLACE

Colorado sidetracks

By Susan Sachs Fleishman

Special to the Sun

Cruisin' Colorado in a rental car, Don' know where I'm goin' but I'm gonna go far ...

Interstate 70 west from Denver, ringed by towering rock mountains, inspires me to compose fragments of country songs as I drive to visit friends near Grand Junction. Nonstop, the 269-mile drive takes about 4 1/2 hours; but this time, I am taking two days, traveling at my own speed -- which fluctuates from 80 miles an hour to a leisurely stroll through a rustic shop to a complete standstill at a rugged canyon.

This is a first for me. I've traveled by plane, boat, train, bus and camel. I've traveled by car with my parents when that was the only travel we could afford; with my husband; and, single again, with friends. But this time, I choose to drive solo for several days, guided by maps and personal whim.

My first stop is Georgetown, about 60 miles west of Denver. Lacy Victorian moldings and boxes of jewel-toned flowers decorate the shop-lined streets, all in the shadow of the great mountains. Bypassing glitzy Vail, I turn south on Route 24 to picturesque Minturn, where I will spend the night. A rainbow shimmers above the mountains.

After a cozy autumn night under handmade quilts at the Minturn Inn, I drive one of the country's most costly stretches of highway. As it passes through Glenwood Canyon, Interstate 70 divides, rises on pylons, snakes over rivers and around rocks -- engineered to complement the landscape, not ravage it. I stop to hike along Grizzly Creek, watch kayaks and snap pictures of water coursing along walls of sheer rock.

A half-hour later, I reach Glenwood Springs, an attractive tourist destination featuring restorative mineral baths. I drive past boutiques and espresso bars to the Frontier Historical Museum and admire a portrait of Doc Holliday; and the bed of Baby Doe, who lived extravagantly, then died a pauper, frozen at the mouth of the mine that made her husband rich.

I detour south, stopping often to photograph streams and mountains.

Shadows lengthen as I barrel west on I-70. By sunset, Meg, Dave and I are sitting on their patio in Clifton, just outside Grand Junction. Sipping local wine, we finish conversations started at our last visit, several years before. For the next four days, these transplanted Baltimoreans show me street sculpture in Grand Junction, the rocky heights of the Colorado National Monument and nature's spectacular carvings at Arches National Park in Utah. A fine visit with friends but, as it ends, I am eager to return to the road, tracing a different route back to Denver, finishing a much-needed visit with myself.

Susan Sachs Fleishman lives in Baltimore.

READERS RECOMMEND...

IRELAND

"If you really need to find out whether 'a little bit of heaven fell from out the sky one day,' then put your life on hold and go look for it in Ireland. At the end of last November, our family took off on its own grand adventure with 10 adults, three babies under 18 months, three rental cars and two advance B&B bookings. Heaven is in Ireland and you don't have to look very far to find it."

Kathleen Corletta, Annapolis

LAS VEGAS

"Just back from the city that never sleeps. There are sightseeing, golf and amusements during the day and gambling, shows and clubs at night."

Dino Luzzi, Lutherville,

LET US HEAR FROM YOU

We want to know about your travels, your experiences, your memories, your pictures. Here's how to participate in this page:

* Give us your recommendations of places to visit. Where are you just back from? Tell us where you've recently visited and what tips you can pass along about your trip to other readers. Or tell us about your favorite destinations. Our current question: Where is your favorite spot in New York City?Please answer in 50 words or less.

* In 500 words or less, tell us about a travel experience that changed you, about the nostalgia a certain place evokes, about the power of a favorite beach, the mountains, a city cafe. (Cash value: $150)

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