Autumn in Colorado is never going to be the same as autumn on the east coast. We just don’t have as many trees that turn so many vibrant shades of color. But we do have cottonwoods and aspens and willows, all of which turn yellow… usually some time around mid-September. As we probably should have expected, given the utter chaos that was 2020, the status of Colorado’s fall colors was thrown into question when the mountains got a dusting of snow at the end of August. And then another storm rolled in immediately after Labor Day weekend and dumped up to 14 inches of snow. The cold and snow – coupled with the previous two months of drought – meant we were now at risk of the trees turning from green straight to brown. But all hope was not lost.
The first time I heard someone mention “the troll” I had absolutely no clue what they were talking about, but a little research quickly uncovered the mystery of this unusual hiking destination. This is one of those silly and cliché and popular bucket list items, but I still feel like it was worth it.
Isak Heartstone is a giant troll built by Danish artist Thomas Dambo in 2018 for a Breckenridge art festival. He was then partially rebuilt and relocated (due to his popularity, he needed a new home) in summer 2019. Dambo specializes in making sculptures out of materials that would otherwise be discarded; there are many wooden trolls, as well as other sculptures, in various locations around the world.