Each year, we hold a conference at a different location within the Rocky Mountain Region. It’s an opportunity to meet new members, make new contacts, share experiences, enjoy local events and activities, learn from a variety of seminars and experts, and get new ideas and inspiration.
Each conference offers field trips and presentations unique to its locale, but there are some things we repeat. And some of those require your participation. Click here for a checklist of what you should be bringing to the conference.
Conference 2018 will be our 45th. We’ll headquarter in Alamosa, Colorado from September 23 to 26.
Most workshops and other sit-down presentations will take place at Adams State University, and lodging will be at the Alamosa Super 8, which has offered us a group rate of $89 per night for one or two adults. Don’t make your reservations yet, though – we haven’t gotten the contract.
Alamosa (www.alamosa.org) is about 235 miles southwest of Denver and 200 miles north of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The weather should be typically high desert autumn: cool-to-downright-chilly mornings and evenings, but warming up considerably in the afternoons. So layering is advised.
The schedule is in its infancy, but we hope to spend most of one day in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (www.nps.gov/grsa), ending with a BBQ dinner and photographing the dunes by the light of a full moon. The dunes are about 35 miles from Alamosa, but it will be worth the drive.
The other all-day event planned is a post-conference trip on the Cumbres and Toltec narrow-gauge steam train (www.cumbrestoltec.com) on Thursday, September 27. A National Historic Landmark, the coal-fired steam engine chugs up and over 10,015-foot Cumbres Pass and along the steeply deep Toltec Gorge as it zig-zags along the Colorado – New Mexico border. If the photography gods are smiling on us, the autumn colors will be at their peak, with the golden aspen shimmering in the sunlight against an azure sky.
Other area attractions include several national wildlife refuges (www.fws.gov/refuge/alamosa) and the Nature Conservancy’s Zapata Ranch (www.zranch.org), which offers tours to see its herd of some 2,000 bison. There are also historic museums, several hot springs, and southern Colorado’s famous alligator farm (yes, aligators – and even an emu or two) (www.coloradogators.com), and UFO Watchtower (www.ufowatchtower.com).
Additional details will be forthcoming, but in the meantime block out those dates!