Wednesday, August 24, 2011

USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Aspen

Yesterday, downtown Aspen felt like off-season was already here. Today, downtown Aspen is filled with cyclists, families, fans, sponsors, all following the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Stage 2 as it progressed from Gunnison to Aspen.

In order to accommodate the event, and the uncertain number of people expected to descend upon Aspen, the City of Aspen closed off most of the downtown core to traffic. It's interesting to walk around and see that absolutely everyone is either walking or bicycling. For at least a day, downtown Aspen has more of the feeling of "funky vitality" that used to characterize this small city that's now more super-wealthy shopping and high culture destination than locals-hangout.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Skiing in Aspen?

Well, it's not about walking, but this little video clip is intriguing. Some folks are worrying about the cost of knees, and others will be cheered to know that there's a way to "power through", as Rachel used to say on Friends. Check it out:

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Fountain at Hyman Ave & Mill Street

Mill Street Fountain, Aspen CO
In the morning, it's just a splashy thing that puddles the brick pavers, entertaining locals walking to work.

Come the sunshine and the late-rising tourists, though, and the fountain comes alive with kids of all ages who try to "game" the computer program that decides when each spout will shoot up in the air.
Mill Street Fountain, Aspen CO

Everyone gets wet, and all the jumping and giggling keeps the adults entertained as they relax in their cafe chairs, watching the show.
Mill Street Fountain, Aspen CO

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Starting out on the Rio Grande Trail from the Post Office in Aspen CO

An easy way to experience the immediacy of moving between sophisticated urban life and the natural world in Aspen is to set off on the Rio Grande Trail from the Post Office on Puppy Smith Street.
Rio Grande Trail, Aspen CO
Almost immediately, you come upon the Jennie Adair wetlands preserve.

Rio Grande Trail, Aspen CO
According to the ACES (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies) Web site, "This small park overlaps ACES’ Hallam Lake property and protects a place of historical value (the Jennie Adair sawmill site). The park was recently renovated by the City of Aspen into a wetland ecosystem in order to protect the Roaring Fork River from storm-sewer runoff contamination."

For the recreational walker, it's simply a peaceful place to pause and enjoy the sounds of water and birds. When I pass by, I remember the charming donkeys (or were they horses?) that used to munch tall grasses quietly next to the marshy pond below.
Rio Grande Trail, Aspen CO
Moving along, over the wide footbridge that allows bicyclists and walkers to pass easily, the rushing sound of the ever-present Roaring Fork River accompanies you as you start to leave the everyday world behind and surrender to the beauty of nature all around you.
Rio Grande Trail, Aspen CO

Mixed with the fresh mountain air is the scent of sage, which you'll find in abundance further down the trail.