Aspen Getaway

Rusty here.

I surprised Tara this year for her birthday with a Fall trip to Aspen.  I made arrangements to fly Susan out to watch the kids.  Susan arrived on Sunday afternoon. A snow storm blew in on Sunday night and covered the ground in a few inches of snow. We woke up to a blizzard. It did not make it sound too exciting to go to Aspen. But we waited until about 10am and went and we had to take the loud truck the whole way! It was driving through a blizzard, through I70 it was pretty white knuckle 4 wheel drive. And then when we got through the tunnel things started to clear up. Quickly we began to realize we were going to miss the leaves. On the way up I told tara that often I have “goals” when I go on vacation – to have this much fun, do this many things, etc.  I told her that my only goal this trip was to be close to her. I think it was good, but she also laughed because “who has goals on their vacation!”. So over Independence pass we went and it got snowy and the road got icy and cars started to slide off the road. We stopped to help one but were afraid to turn around so just passed the rope to someone who was going up. I followed them up to get the rope off and 4 more cars slid off the road. Luckily a sheriff came in just in time so we didn’t have to stay for so many cars!
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Into Aspen and the drive was beautiful, in the valley I was so happy the trees were still bright yellow, although up on the hillsides the leaves had fallen, but this first day they were covered in snow so it was beautiful. We tried to check in, but room wasn’t ready. So we walked around town and got a bite at 520 grill and then tried to find Tara a swimsuit because she had forgotten hers!  So we went to the few sports stores in town and one of them had a couple fancy prana swimsuits that were just okay but then we went to North Face and found a cute pair of shorts that she could wear with a sports bra (there weren’t that many people in town so it would be pretty private). We got in our room which was a cute condo that had antlers and wood and a wood burning fireplace.
Then we unloaded the bikes and went for a drive / hike. We went up Old Mine road and saw the view and then over to brush creek side of the mountain and saw the view there. I tried to drive us up even further but the road was closed. We passed beautiful cabins. We tried to hike for a bit but things were covered in mud and snow.
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We came down and rested for a bit and then went to dinner. We went to White House Tavern and had a good salad and fries and tabulah. Then we explored a couple of the art galleries.  One of the galleries had these wire mesh nude women that would cast amazing shadows on the wall. We were both actually impressed. We were going to go to a movie (Battle of the sexes) but we thought we would have more fun watching a movie at the condo by the fire. Also, the name of the movie theater is pretty disturbing.  2017-10-09 19.38.44

So we hopped in the hot tub, it was just us and a boy who was happy we we were there because his mom wouldn’t let him swim when there was nobody there. We weren’t quite as happy he was there stealing our romantic hot tub time. We hopped out of the tub into the heated pool. We talked and laughed and had fun. We showered and built a fire and watched a cheesy 90’s movie my best friends wedding. Then we snuggled and slept.

We slept in and went to breakfast – my favorite place Peach was closed so we had to walk across town back to where we came from and a place right next to the hotel. It was just okay. We loaded up the bikes and went over to SnowMass village for our first mountain biking adventure. I tried to take her on the Tom Blake trail which is just covered in leaves but it was all snow and the leaves were already gone. So instead we drove through the village to the Snowmass Village rec center and from there got on our bikes and went on the seven peaks trail which was really muddy at the first but then dried out a little bit. Tara did amazing. I was really impressed with what a great mountain biker she was. (We had borrowed Amber M’s mountain bike). It was really fun with her, she did so good.
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We played a little tennis at the rec center, on beautiful courts surrounded by snow capped mountains and fall leaves.


And then we went to the Maroon Bells. We only had $5 in cash, and it costs $10 so luckily the ranger was nice to us! We went to the top it was beautiful, the leaves had fallen off the trees but it was a beautiful clear day and the peaks were covered in snow and it was just really nice. So we hiked aroumd and I told tara about one of my business ideas (parent filter for cell phones) and she was really good to listen. And give feedback.
2017-10-10 14.13.322017-10-10 14.44.43Back to town for a nap and then back on bikes to grab some lunch and go eat it on the trail. We grabbed some trail mix and bannanas at king soopers and then biked down to the main “sante fe” trail that runs on the outside of town past the john denver sanctuary. It was beautiful, right next to the river but it was a little cold! Luckily we found a bench right in the sun (even though it was cold, that didn’t stop us from getting sunburned!) and ate our trail mix while we talked about high school. A little chipmunk came up behind us and kept stealing little pieces of our trail mix. We were starving and almost ate the whole big bag!
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We came home and got ready for dinner and then went to the meat and cheese place which was SO SO GOOD! We had a meat and cheese plate, chicken wings with ginger sauce, and then Carrots 3 ways – fried, roasted, and mixed with quinoa. It was great!
Walking back home we stopped at one more art gallery – this one had pictures of aspens and zebras. We picked out our favorite. Then we went to the Peter Lik photo gallery. He has sold the most expensive photo ever for 6 million. And we explored the photos and talked to the guy who was really nice. Then shopped for breakfast at City Market and back to the house for a repeat of the previous night – hot tub (nobody but us this time!) and then cheesy 90’s movie – 10 things I hate about you by the fire. Cheesy but funny to relive the 90’s.

We slept in the next morning and then lounged around reading for awhile. We made our own breakfast, sweet potatoes with avocado and hot sauce packets that we had gotten from city market. And we fried a couple eggs. In butter, because that’s what we had! We were stuffed. We packed up and it was time to check out 😔 So we wanted one last activity to do and I suggested an epic bike ride and Tara was on board. I thought that the hunter creek trail wouldn’t be wet if we started on the jeep road that was on the NW side of the creek so that it faced the sun. So we parked at the BLM parking lot and had to bike STRAIGHT UP the roads to get to the trailhead which was miserable and we made it to the trailhead and from there it was pretty and beautiful and a great time and mostly flat. We biked a long ways, past the bridge, past hummingbird rock, and into the “great valley”. It was beautiful but MAN if the trees on the hillside still had their leaves then Tara’s leaf-o-meter would have been totally full! Even so it was still really nice. We biked back in like 30 minutes after it took us almost 2 hours to bike up.

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(The road behind us is a private road that leads to a beautiful house secluded back in that tree grove.  I want to live there.)

We started the long drive home. After circling to find gas which took forever. We stopped at Independence pass and looked around for a bit. We listened to a couple conference talks on the way home. It was just nice. We had a great time. We came back much closer than when we left. It was just good. And then the real world came! We got home and the kids were watching Nightmare before Christmas with Susan so we had a chance to unpack all our stuff and had some tacos that Susan had made.  The kids had such a great time with Grandma and we were so grateful for the time away!
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