Way back in 1970, I travelled through Colorada and other interesting states on a trip to Alaska. In preparation for my trip I succeeded in borrowing a first edition copy of A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Lucy Bird from Trinity College Library in Dublin, which was so unknown that it did not seem to be in the UK library system. I was transfixed by her descriptions of the mountains and her stories of Rocky Mountain Jim and her unstated feelings for him. Years later, this was discovered by the feminist press and many editions are now readily available. I recommend it to you but not for papermaking.
But there are a number of ladies making paper in the Rocky mountains and two of them were instrumental in organising a retreat for the board and advisers to Hand Papermaking. Susan Mackin Dolan chairs HPM and she and her husband Charles kindly put me up for an extra night at their lovely house. Helen Hiebert invited all of us to visit her studio in Redcliff, an old mining town. At 8,750 feet, Helen's studio must be one of the highest in America. She makes a variety of artworks, mainly from very wet beaten abaca. This is too hard to describe so do visit the Helen Hiebert website.
Helen started recording podcasts of various papermakers some time ago and was kind enough to ask me to record one with her. You can listen to it here.
If you wonder why we would all travel to the high mountain town of Vail, visit Hand Papermaking to find out. But of course in late September the mountains are aflame with the fabulous fall colours of aspen and many other trees and shrubs.
You can visit Helen by attending one of her courses.