July 15th - Quiet in Aspen

Aspen is a very cute town (maybe a little too cute) with a ton of old and old-styled buildings.

We were told that the hosts in Aspen wouldn't be ready for us until 4:00pm. Since the ride is only 30 miles, we choose to hang around Aspen for the morning and head out at 1:00 or so for Carbondale. As a test, the Carbondale folks bought us all lift tickets for the gondola in Aspen. 

Helen and I spent the morning tooling around, then hung out at Starbucks for a while appreciating Helen's birthday present (a gift card) and writing up posts not unlike this one. We all meet up at the gondola around 11 and the leaders passed out list tickets. (I slightly regret only using the all-day pass once and not riding up and down all morning. 

The gondola ran at 1000fpm and took about 12 minutes to reach the top. Assuming I remembered those two numbers correctly, that's just shy of 3 miles of cable. We had great views the while way up - both of Aspen and of the mountains. At the top, we wandered around a little and found a playground, two more chairlifts, a restaurant, nature interpreters, and some ski slopes. There were a few ski slopes. 

Nature walks ran every hour, and a bunch of us went on one. Among other oddities, the guide was reticent to use the word "evolved", lest he offend someone. We heard a lot about how the trees, shrubs, and animals had" engineered themselves "to survive in the harsh landscape. 

Around 1pm, we regrouped at the church for the daily route meeting. The ride, Alex warned, was 30 miles of trail and all downhill. Even with a forecast of afternoon storms, we had an easy ride. 

She was right. If not for the storm, I could've coasted the whole way. Instead, I worked a little to go 20+mph. 

I wrote about the hosts in the SC2SC journal, which is cross-posted here. I'll change the timestamp to make things chronological. 

As always, enjoy the photos!