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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We just returned from a 5-day trip to Aspen. Wife was doing a work conference and we brought the grandparents along for quality time with the kids (aka free babysitting :) ) which left me with a good chunk of time for riding and running every day.

Seems like now a days the millionaires live down in Glenwood, the multi-millionaires live down in Carbondale, and the princes from the Middle East live in Aspen. With armies of low-wage folks driving hours from down the road where they can afford to live, the town has every stone in the river hand placed, every weed plucked, and every blade of green grass perfectly trimmed.







But, if you don't think about how it all works too much, it actually makes a damn fine place to visit. You can find downright world-class classical music on the streets every night and parks for the kids that rival Disneyland. I found hoards of folks in the first mile of dirt -- then like magic they all disappeared. In two big days of mt biking I crossed paths with exactly 3 other riders!

Does your local City Park look like this?





We drove over the pass through hours of rain and fog, and the rain continued into Saturday and Sunday so those days set up nicely for trail runs. But Monday dawned clear, so I headed out on the bike and discovered they named the place "Aspen" for a reason:





I managed to find a combination of sweet trails, awe-inducing views, and solitude that left me with a nice endorphin-supplemented buzz.





Tuesday set up perfectly for a 16 mile round trip hike/run to a (normally overcrowded and) famous hot spring pearched up at 11,200 feet.







Then Wednesday morning before heading home I hit the Government Trail -- Aspen's most talked-up and hyped mt biking spot. I road from Aspen on paved trails that seemed to wind all over hell and gone, but with nice scenery and including a little mini Alpe d'Heuz-esque set of steep switchbacks. Then jumped on single track back to town. Even with the hype, I was impressed. This is a great trail with outstanding flow, scenery and variety. I imagine in mid-September when the leaves change, this trail must be that much more spectacular.





Near the end of the ride I flatted when a arrowhead-shaped piece of shale was somehow shot into my tire. :confused:



All-in-all a great trip. Not exacty a mountain biking mecca, and attitude everywhere, but a facinating visit for arts and culture with loads of great outdoor spots to explore
 

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Homer's problem child
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I lived in up the Frying Pan in Basalt for almost 3 years. It was great and I miss the trails and the skiing and snowboarding Aspen has to offer, and the Frying Pan and most of the Roaring Fork are gold medal fly fishing rivers. The Roaring Fork Valley has everything, and everything is really really good. But the powers that be know how good it is and charge a hefty price for admission, and that keeps a large portion of the population away. If you can eek out a living and don't mind being looked down upon buy the super snobs it is paradise. If you have thin skin and strive to fit in but just don't have the means it can drive you crazy. I liked it because I didn't have to work in the service industry so I didn't have to deal with the ultra rich jerks that walk all over the local "servants" to some extent. That and the CEO of the company I worked for was a super into biking and skiing so riding and powder days were a regular occurance. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss it sometimes.

Although now I feel I have found even greener pastures, a bit more crowded but I am happy I moved, the snow is better where I am at and the trails are still great, and I can afford to live much more comfortably. Although if I ever become stupid rich I could settle back in the Roaring Fork area.

Nice pics and thanks for the trip report.

B
 

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Great report! Sounds like you found Conundrum and Govie. One of those pictures looks like the turn off to Anaerobic Nightmare, and now with a second look, I see that it is. I literally live on the Government trail route, so I know how much fun you had. It flows like no other, and once you ride it 100 times, it becomes mind-bogglingly fast. That is just the beginning of the trails up here as you can imagine. I'm so glad you got a chance to get out and see what it is all about outside the attitude that exists here.

You are so right about the fall colors as well. The Government trail gets covered in the small, yellow aspen leaves. Many times I have swerved off the trail from my head swiveling around as I ride. The colors and the terrain/trail become out of this world. It makes the rock garden euphoria inducing. Man, I love that rock garden.

I thought the "Alpe d'Heuz-esque" description of the switchbacks on Owl Creek road from Aspen up to Snowmass was great! If I have to ride pavement, I want it to be like that all the time! They are some great fun up, and down. You must have ridden up Tom Blake and Anaerobic Nighmare? More GREAT climbing. I wish you had a chance to climb the Rim Trail switchbacks. They are so fun to climb that I laugh out loud sometimes. The Rim is one of the best. If I wasn't resting my wrist, I would go hit it right now!

Thanks for the report! It really makes me want to get out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Man - living on the Government Trail...doesn't get much sweeter than that.

and, yep, I came up Tom Blake and up "Anaerobic Nightmare" -- tough climb for sure, but at least it's relatively short.
 

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noMAD man
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Aspen...RIP...as far as I'm concerned. First off, very nice pics and a good story, Dino. I guess Aspen is one of my sore spots in the timeline of human existence IMO. I'm old enough to remember when Aspen still had a soul and a lifestyle that mere mortals could semi-afford and enjoy. To me Aspen represents all that is wrong with the American lifestyle. Ha, ha...I sound like some green, eviromaniac when really I'm just a Texas *******. I'm sure most of us with any years under our belt have seen the steady change in Aspen's character to its current totally yuppified, developer's dream...with gold plated dollar signs attached. I'm glad that Moab doesn't have skiing or an environment that supports the life-sucking softies so prevalent in many of the now-posh ski resorts, or it would have already succumbed to the black hole of money and elitism...though I see some slowly creeping development making some inroads even there.

Geez, I sound like some kind of Naderized curmudgeon...LOL! I just have fond memories of actually enjoying Aspen with "real" people around instead of the synthesized, sanitized, and expensive "thing" that exists there now. This is just my opinion, of course, which is worth about 2 cents...or maybe only .125 cents in Aspen. Thanks for the beautiful pics, Dino.
 

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nice marmot.
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aspen... where the beer flows like wine and the women flock like the salmon of capistrano:cool:
 

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aaahhhh how do i miss the days of my youth in aspen and snowmass..

i love that place but as teh others have so knowledgeable stated its a difficult place to live for most, i lived in 7 places in 2 years, but i rode my dirt bike on the most spectacular single track i have ever know and snowboarded more days in those two seasons then in i ever though posible or have been able to since.. fantasic place but too many rich douchbags..
 

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34N 118W
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thanks for the virtual visit! Sounds like y'all had a great time. Did you go to the music tent? I haven't been back since my dad sold his place on Original Curve a couple years ago. I still seek out what's left of the locals spots - Cooper St. Pier, Little Annies, etc.(plus the LBS', natch') for that feeling of the "old" Aspen as others have mentioned. Then when I'm bored with that I walk over to Chanel and buy a $500 pair of socks. :rolleyes:

glad you saw places as a guest that most rich homeowners will never see.

Jeff

PS - Gov't is a blast!
 

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That entire area is great if you can look past the crap. It took some getting used to, but I never fell into the lifestyle that others did. The bikiking and hiking opportunities are endless. My inlaws live in nearby Snowmass and I was able to spend several weeks there last summer. 29COLOSSUS is right, I love the Rim Trail too. I'll be back the first week in September.
 

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Non Dual Bliss
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29Colossus said:
Great report! Sounds like you found Conundrum and Govie. One of those pictures looks like the turn off to Anaerobic Nightmare, and now with a second look, I see that it is. I literally live on the Government trail route, so I know how much fun you had. It flows like no other, and once you ride it 100 times, it becomes mind-bogglingly fast. That is just the beginning of the trails up here as you can imagine. I'm so glad you got a chance to get out and see what it is all about outside the attitude that exists here.

You are so right about the fall colors as well. The Government trail gets covered in the small, yellow aspen leaves. Many times I have swerved off the trail from my head swiveling around as I ride. The colors and the terrain/trail become out of this world. It makes the rock garden euphoria inducing. Man, I love that rock garden.

I thought the "Alpe d'Heuz-esque" description of the switchbacks on Owl Creek road from Aspen up to Snowmass was great! If I have to ride pavement, I want it to be like that all the time! They are some great fun up, and down. You must have ridden up Tom Blake and Anaerobic Nighmare? More GREAT climbing. I wish you had a chance to climb the Rim Trail switchbacks. They are so fun to climb that I laugh out loud sometimes. The Rim is one of the best.
I rode both Government and the Rim trail last weekend. IMHO, the Upper Rim trail is kind of lame. The lower Rim is better with the last descent down to 82 or whatever it is being very cool, lots of speed, nice flow, excellent turns that get tighter and tighter as you get to the bottom. The Government Trail on the Aspen side is very cool, on the Snowmass side, not so cool. In all, I didn't get the hype about either. Don't get me wrong, I'm not turning my nose up at them, and maybe I'm spoiled from living in CO, but neither of these trails were as cool as say Searle, or Commando, or Monarch, most any trail in CB, or even some Front Range trails for that matter. I have no doubt that there is great riding in the area, but I ended up getting the feeling that these trails are decoys to keep us out-of-towners from sniffing out the good stuff. :)
 

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Preemptive Revenger
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upmtnsinbreck said:
aspen... where the beer flows like wine and the women flock like the salmon of capistrano:cool:
Last weekend, while in Crested Butte, I heard that an underground 'Butte marketing slogan is:

"Crested Butte: everything Aspen used to be, and Vail never was."

It's just a joke, kids. Please don't go to CB, it's not at all as good as you hear. There are no good restaurants, no shopping, the mountains suck, the trails are all open to motorcycles, and the flies and mosquitos are numerous and relentless.
 
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