Obscure shrines found in mountains around Aspen

KUSA - A former lawyer and history buff has taken his hobby and turned it into a quest to document shrines on ski hills in the Aspen area.

David C. Wood, 73, works closely with the historical society in Aspen and has created a website documenting shrines hidden within the trees of several ski hills in the Aspen area. Wood splits his time between Iowa and Aspen, and skis nearly every day in he’s in Colorado in the winter.

Last week, as he was looking for a different shrine, he skied across one dedicated to President Donald Trump.  He took some pictures, and skied down the mountain, eventually posting the pictures on his website. 

Wood says he didn’t think about it very much, but once he posted it to his Facebook page, it starting attracting a lot of attention. 

“I’ve received many, many messages from people wanting to know where it is so they can go tear it down, and asking me why I didn’t tear it down, and I try to explain to them, well, it’s not my role. I don’t tear down shrines, I never have, I never will.”

David says it’s part of history, whether people like it or not.  He says his Facebook page has become a forum for the ‘pro-Trump’ and ‘anti-Trump’ people to duke it out. David has taken pictures of, and documented dozens of shrines in the Aspen area. 

Most are for people who have passed away, or famous artists who are also no longer with us.  He says the Trump shrine is different, because the President is still living, it’s unlike any he’s seen and has gotten a lot more attention than the shrines typically receive.

“It’s created the biggest stir of anyone, that’s for sure, most of them are the people like Hunter S. Thompson, Jerry Garcia, or Jimmy Hendrix, that kind of thing.  Some people are interested in those people and others are not, but this one – I don’t know that there’s ever been a shrine up there that has this political relationship to it, and so many people seem to be interested in it, that wouldn’t normally be interested in shrines.”

David says if you’re following ‘general shrine rules’ a person must be dead in order to have a shrine – the only other living shrine he’s found, is dedicated to Jimmy Buffet.

David says he’s skied every ski area in the west and has never seen any like those in the mountains near Aspen.  He says you have to really look for them in the trees, but don’t ask him for directions for how to get to any --- he won’t tell you.  David says the local code is that you don’t give directions, or you just make it pretty general – because it’s a mystical thing that’s unique to Aspen.          

David wrote a book about the shrines he’s found in the mountains around Aspen, all the proceeds go toward a scholarship fund


© 2017 KUSA-TV


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