Friday, August 31, 2012

Rafting the Rapids

Now this was quite the adventure. We rafted down the Colorado River through the Shoshone Rapids; some were Class III rapids. Rich is in the front and I'm directly behind him. It didn't seem all that scary at the time but looking at these photos...terrifying! haha

Oh. My. Gosh. Here we go...No you can't hold on!...You have to paddle...

In these next two photos you can see that we did nearly fall out of the raft when it went up on its side against that rock and we were on the low side.

A camera guy rode a bicycle along the path above the river, getting in front of us as we approached each of the rapids. There were calmer spots in between. 

It was such a blast that we did it all over again! We pulled the raft out of the river just past the last of the rapids, loaded it back on the trailer that was waiting for us, drove back up to the input, and rode those same rapids a second time. That time, after we passed through the last rapids, it was just a float back to the rafting place and after all that excitement, it did seem pretty boring.

Speaking of boring, this afternoon was cleaning and laundry, talk about anticlimactic! But then it rained and just look what we saw...a complete rainbow with more layers of color than usually seen; the color even reflected on the hillside!

See all the layers in this zoomed shot?

Lovin' Life ~~ And More New Experiences

Snowmass Creek, Maroon Bells, Lunch in Aspen

Thursday, August 30, 2012

This is the first time we have ever visited this area for a whole week, except when we're here to ski of course. It's been great having time to explore some side roads.

Today we turned off Hwy 82 at Snowmass Creek and followed it back for miles on a good dirt road with huge homes and ranches on it. Here's a funny we were driving back out I noticed a cute, small home that was probably around 1,000 sq. ft., sat near the road, and had a for sale sign. I asked Rich to stop and back up so I could pick up the listing sheet. It seemed curious that it was two pages as I got it out of the box and WOW, the kitchen pictured at the top! You've probably guessed by now...that cute little house was the caretaker's cottage, the main house is not even visible from the road, and it listed for $4M...hahaha! In case you're interested, the most expensive Aspen listing I saw was for $29.5M. Who in the world would pay that much for someone else's dream house??? I have never understood that.

This is the Snowmass Ski Area in the background with Snowmass Creek running along the bottom of the valley. The views of our favorite ski mountain were just incredible from Snowmass Creek road.

This is the widest part of the ski area although out of sight to the left is the Elk Camp area, which we skied. Also out of sight are three different levels of black diamond runs on the back left side at Hanging Valley Wall and to the far right out of Sam's Knob. Rich has skied some of those but not I. What you see here from left to right are the runs out of High Alpine, Big Burn, and Sam's Knob. As you can tell, this mountain is huge with so many runs of such varied levels of difficulty. Rich loves skiing here.

As we drove around the mountain, we could see these runs which are the black diamond runs out of Sam's Knob where Rich has skied.

The aspens are always so lovely and many are turning golden already!

The road ended, unless you have four-wheel drive so we turned around and went back to the highway. Our next turn was onto the road leading to Maroon Creek and the Maroon Bells. You have to take a shuttle to the Bells from 9 to 5 but we drove back as far as we could.

Our first glimpse of The Bells today in the far distance.

This is the best shot we could get before we had to turn back around. The first time I ever saw The Maroon Bells was from the top of Elk Camp after we got off the chair lift. You see them a lot on post cards and other printed Aspen materials.

When we stopped at the ranger station, we learned that we could have ridden the shuttle, even with the Girls. This shuttle is the only bus that RFTA allows dog on, but you can bring them to The Bells. How about that? Have I mentioned that I love Colorado?

Driving back to the highway, we saw these riders in the valley on the other side of Maroon Creek. Do you know how to tell paid trail ride riders from those who are riding their own horse? You have to wear a helmet on a paid trail ride...gee whiz!

We stopped to take photos of Maroon Creek and listen to the water. It was flowing better than Snowmass Creek.

From there we drove on into Aspen and walked around the mall for quite a while, checking out some shops and just soaking in the atmosphere before we went to lunch. Here's a tour of Aspen, including shots of some of my favorite subjects!

We parked in front of the now-closed Palace which was a fun, bawdy, fabulous dinner theatre where Rich and I shared a special evening in January 1985.

A splash fountain on the mall with the face of Aspen Mountain in the background. Rich has skied Ajax but, again, not I.

Rich and the girls walking down one section of the pedestrian mall.

This, my friends, is a Cadillac Escalade; an honest-to-goodness Cadillac golf cart. I saw a black one too.

Another block of the mall.

See Rich and the girls at the end of this block?

They weren't offering drinks for us but the girls certainly enjoyed a fresh drink at the PISMO Fine Art Glass gallery. I wonder if our grands can identify the artist of the teal, yellow, and red glass pieces that can be glimpsed inside.

Here's another clue you three. You know who does these pieces! He's your favorite glass artist! Anyway, I was thrilled to see a few of Chihuly's pieces in a gallery. Ummm, no, there was no purchase made. But I would if I could; I do love his designs.

Enjoying an open space away from the fans, Rich and the girls were taking a break. I swear those three get so much attention when we're out in public. One woman even took pictures of them... hmm

You should also know that you can even take your dogs into most of the shops here.

We showed the girls the judge's office where we got married. They were so...speechless...teehee!

These gorgeous planters of flowers were outside The Wild Fig where we had our 25th Anniversary dinner in January 2011.

And, as most of you have already seen, we had lunch with the girls at The Hickory House, a long time favorite Aspen restaurant of ours.

It doesn't appear that we will be driving back down to Aspen this trip so I hope you enjoyed the photos of just a very few of our favorite places. Here are a couple scenery shots taken on our drive back to Glenwood Springs.

Rich stopped at Lowes after we got back to town. I was sitting in the car with the girls, looked out the windshield and this is what I saw...a chevron stripes design in the side of this mountain.

Later in the evening, Rich took the girls for a walk and had me come outside to see this Blue Grouse. We learned from the staff that his name is Frank...and he will peck you if you get to close...funny!

Lovin' Life ~~ So Many Observations & Experiences

A Lunch Trifecta

I had to look it up, but a trifecta isn't only about horse racing, it also means a series of three things. The Girls certainly experienced an amazing trifecta this week...lunching at three world-famous, world-class ski resorts in one week. Rich and I are so glad they included us...giggle!

The Stew Pot in Snowmass Village
The Ore House in Vail Village
The Hickory House in Aspen
Yesterday was about more than lunch but I didn't get a post up last night. This morning we are getting ready to go whitewater rafting...yikes! I have on my water shoes and bought a disposable waterproof camera. Let's hope I make it back with all my stuff intact!

Lovin' Life ~~ And New Adventures