The Shrines of Aspen Mountain

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Tucked in the woods surrounding the many ski areas around Aspen, in the US state of Colorado, are countless shrines and memorials. Hidden among the trees and other secret spots, these shrines were put up in honor of all kinds of different things ranging from people, places, things and events. There are shrines to celebrities, actors, musician, as well as shrines to local people; shrines to cartoon characters and movies; shrines to pets and toys; shrines to different sports or stadiums; shrines to beer; shrines to 9/11; and shrines to miscellaneous other things.

Most shrines consist of a few laminated photos, or license plates, or brass memorial plaques, along with beads, wind chimes, sculptures and other memorabilia attached to tree trunks. Others are more elaborate and have log benches on which devotees can rest. Some shrines even have small cabins built with all sorts of secrets stacked inside.

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Photo credit: blog.coloradoski.com

The shrines started appearing in the late 1970s, originally to memorialize musicians. It is thought that the Elvis Presley Shrine was the first, others think it was Bob Marley or Jerry Garcia. In any case, the peculiar tradition has now expanded well beyond that and become a sort of folk art. There are now shrines to Marilyn Monroe, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Calvin and Hobbes, Snoopy, Yankee Stadium, Burning Man Festival, auto racing, football, baseball, gold, hockey, and more.

Most of these shrines were created anonymously and they were never advertised. There are no maps showing their locations or direction pointing to them. With over a hundred shrines in the woods, finding them is a challenge. But that’s all part of the allure of Aspen. Those lucky enough to stumble across these mysterious sanctuaries have put in the effort to find them, or had someone show the way. The majority of people, however, have skied on never knowing about their existence.

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Photo credit: blog.coloradoski.com

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Photo credit: blog.coloradoski.com

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Photo credit: blog.coloradoski.com

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Photo credit: www.startribune.com

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Photo credit: rootsrated.com

Sources: www.aspensnowmassshrines.com / rootsrated.com / Road Trippers

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