We arrived in Aspen, and wanted to drop off some of our luggage, so we checked-in to our new digs. Although I lugged a metric ton of camping gear, the wife was having too much fun being all bouzhie and wanting nice hotel rooms. So I jumped on hotwire five minutes before arriving in Aspen, and snagged a nice room at the Westin (they only use “The W” name in hip and trendy cities) for about $100 bucks. The hotel is actually located in the town of Snowmass, which is five miles outside of Aspen, and what a lovely town it was.
We got here at almost 2pm and our “king room” wasn’t ready yet. Not wanting to waste more time or argue with the front desk staff, I told them to give us whatever, and they gave us 2 queens, it’ll do.
We grabbed a quick bite and headed out to the most photographed mountains in North America, the Maroon Bells. Now, if you are planning on visiting the Bells, there is something you should know. The local government only allows people to use their own vehicles BEFORE 9am and AFTER 5pm (unless you have a child that is in a carseat, and a few other exceptions)….between the hours of 9am and 5pm, there is no access to the Bells, and you will be asked to turn around and leave by the Park service. Between 9 and 5, you must park in Aspen and take a shuttle bus. I also highly recommend that anyone that wants to take a road trip like this purchase the national park pass, which is $80 for the year, but grants you access to all federally run land without paying a fee. Between this trip and the Moab one, it paid for itself twice over.
Some people enjoy a nice horse and carriage ride on this road, so be careful
Unfortunately, we arrived a bit early (4:25) and needed to kill 35 minutes. I pulled over on the side of the road, near a creek, and relaxed to the sounds of nature. It’s nice having a Jeep full of gear. I didn’t have time to order my hammocks before we left on this journey.
I was about to take a nap when the wife informs me that there is a butterfly sitting on a flower. Without much excitement, I grab the SLR, slap on a 70-200, and go shoot it.
After killing all the time necessary, we pass the park entrance and head to the bells. This place really is something, and I am told in the fall it is even more jawdropping (more snow on the peaks and an explosion of orange and yellow foliage glistening off the lake.)
Gotta love carbon tripods. 😀
Picture reminds me of inception….or something…maybe Bill & Ted’s…who knows…a picture of a picture…
Place is truly spectacular…the wife shot a quick video of the sheer beauty of this place.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and walking around the town of Aspen
The town is SPOTLESS, and when I say spotless, I mean not a single piece of trash on the ground, no cigarette butts, NOTHING. Amazing.
There is however this problem…
We had our dinner here…great food, some of the worst service (technically, nonexistent service is a more accurate description) I have ever encountered.
After a forgetful dinner, we walked around a bit more and called it a night, tomorrow would bring new adventure and a new town.