Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in the Rockies: November

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in the Rockies: November

Article excerpt

NEAR BRIGHAM CITY, UT SWOON OVER SWANS

Making their way from Alaska to central California, the graceful, black-billed tundra swans stop in Northern Utah-where they munch on the plentiful sago pondweed found at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. And, during the second and third weeks of November, when their numbers peak, you get to view upward of 30,000 long-necked creatures perform nature's own version of Swan Lake. You can watch from the warmth of your car as you drive the refuge's 12-mile tour loop-but if you happen to catch a flock inflight, pull over, step outside, and listen to the sound of wind blowing through millions of feathers. Closed Sun; free; James V. Hansen Wildlife Education Center, 2155 W. Forest St.; 435/723-5887. -VIRGINIA RAINEY

DENVER

STARGAZING WITH PROS

Crisp fall nights mean clear-and star-studded-Colorado skies. Wander beyond your backyard for a serious glimpse of the galaxies through the prized 1894 Alvan Clark 20-inch refracting telescope at the University of Denver's historic Chamberlin Observatory. Weekly public viewings combine talks geared toward astro newbies with out-of-this-world observation of celestial luminaries. On select Saturday evenings, members set up shop around the observatory's park perimeters and share their enthusiasm as well as their 'scopes. Get up close with nebulae and cosmic vagabonds and you won't care that Pluto's no longer a planet. Tue and Thu $3, Dec 2 open house $1; 2330 E. Warren Ave.; www. du.edu or 303/571-5172. -TED ALAN STEDMAN

DENVER

WINE FEST FOR THE REST

True, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is considered the Rockies' culinary red carpet for enophiles looking to sip and sup with star chefs-but the price of admission is as steep as Aspen Mountain. The rest of us palate pleasure seekers prefer the walletfriendly Denver International Wine Festival: three days of tastings from 80 wineries, as well as pairing competitions and Colorado's top toques dueling for the Chef of the Year title. …

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