Saturday, July 16, 2011

On the Road - Aspen II

Tuesday was the day that the majority of the family was in town, so most of us had brunch together at a cute little place called The Village Smithy, in Carbondale.
One set of the decorative gates to the Smithy yard.

The whole valley is very bike-friendly with good bike paths, and several members of the family drove part way, then cycled about the last ten miles or so (all downhill).
(I guess I could have stepped a little further to the side to get rid of the newspaper boxes!)

The food and company were good. I ordered steak and eggs, which was a bit ambitious. Fortunately, I had no problem finding folks who were willing to polish off the rest of the steak for me!
Tuesday evening was the "official" dinner. We had use of a pavillion in Aspen and had a great time visiting.

Milling about.

Chicken, burgers, brats, and salmon filets...and of course, family Funny Cake for dessert! Mmm...

On Wednesday, I got to do something really fun and different with the dogs. We took them on the gondola up Aspen Mountain for a hike. They have gondola cars that are designated for dogs. All three dogs went in the car without a struggle, though Seamus hid under the seat. He came out after a while to check out the view, and Dare did everything we asked of her without hesitation, but worried and panted madly the whole time. How tediously predictable. Bran was the most laid-back of the three of them. She still surprises me now and then with what she takes in stride.

This little peak is geologically interesting because it's "upside down;"
the oldest soil and rocks are on bottom instead of on top (or vice-versa).

Looking back at Aspen.

At the top of the mountain, we had lunch. I tied the dogs while we ate, and they gained lots of admirers.

"If only I had three hands..."

After lunch, those of us who were physically able went on a hike along the ridge--an easier hike than at the Bells. It was so nice that my aunt and cousin were each willing to take a dog, so I didn't have to try to manage all three on my own. We went went up far enough to find snow!

Me and my aunt alking about the different mountains visible from our vantage point,
and noticing a paraglider. Photo by Regina Ireland-Auer. 

When we got back to the gondola and restaurant area, I tried to hula-hoop and on my first attempt I flung the hoop around and whacked some innocent by-passer with it. They were very solid hoops and it was a good hit. At least he was good-natured about it!

"DOH!" Photo by Reg.

We headed down the mountain, walked the dogs through town, and I got on the road again.

Next: Independence Pass, and back to Monte Vista

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