Until the "Lone Pine" on the High Drive blew away in 1949, it was the most photographed tree in Estes Park, possibly the most photographed tree in Colorado.
At the height of its popularity in the 1920s, the Lone Pine, an evergreen growing crookedly out of bare rock, served as a living symbol of the eternal struggle to overcome impossible odds.
The increased veneration and a gift shop built directly across from it likely hastened the Lone Pine's demise, as needles and pieces of bark were stripped away by souvenir seekers wanting to take this message of "life conquering death" back to their friends.
So the true lesson of the "Lone Pine" may be that fame kills, or that the toughest setbacks often come from those with good intentions.
Bring your photographs or postcards of the "Lone Pine" to the Estes Park Archives weekly meeting this Saturday, November 2. We will set them up in chronological order, and film a time lapse video of the short, not so wonderful life of the "Lone Pine."
The free program, at "Ten Letters" on 240 Moraine Avenue, begins at 1:00 p.m. Plenty of parking is available across the street. No reservations are needed and all are welcome, but if you have additional questions or need directions, please call 586-4889.
Estes Park's "Lone Pine" as it appeared (left to right) in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Photo courtesy Estes Park Archives