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Published: March 15th 2013
Musician John Denver lived in Aspen and will always be fondly remembered. A memorial has been set up next to Rio Grande Park in Aspen, along the Roaring Fork River, near the heart of town. The John Denver Sanctuary is peaceful with trees and rocks along the small hillside. Huge granite boulders are throughout the park with Denver's songs engraved on the stones.
Maureen Poschman of the Aspen Chamber says the sanctuary is one of Aspen's lesser-known attractions. "John Denver fans will search it out and sometimes get very emotional. Others happen upon it when walking along the Rio Grande Trail and are happily surprised by the Sanctuary."
Other smaller John Denver shrines can be found hidden on the Aspen area mountains. The shrine at Ajax is on the Bellissimo run. There is also a shrine on Buttermilk, and a plaque at Snowmass.
John Denver died in October 1997, in a plane crash off the coast of California at Pacific Grove. He recorded and released over 300 songs, many of which he wrote himself. One of the most famous is Rocky Mountain High, for which he was named Poet Laureate of Colorado
Fans gather at the memorial sanctuary every year, on the anniversary of Denver's death. It's a peaceful place to visit and worth visiting on your trip to Aspen. The Memorial Stone is inscribed, "I am a song, I live to be sung, I sing with all my heart." Underneath it says, "John Denver, Composter, Musician, Father, Son, Brother, Friend. December 31, 1943-October 12, 1997."
The rock garden has the boulders set in a circle, to represent the circle of life. Songs on the stones include Poems, Prayers, and Promises, Annie's Song, and Perhaps Love.
The Santuary can be found near Rio Grande Park in Aspen, Colorado. It is located near the Roaring Fork river. The address of the Sanctuary is 130 S. Galena Street, Aspen, CO 81611; the phone number is (970) 920-6010.
Visit the Sanctuary on the anniversary week of John Denver's death. The week is filled with concerts, memorials and other events.
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