July 7, 2020 Glenwood Springs, CO (Day 2)

(New development: We have a moth infestation in the motorhome. All of a sudden, we have had moths show up at night in the bus. Yesterday, we had 6 and the day before that we had 2. Hopefully, we won’t find too many more.)

We had a leisurely morning getting ready for our drive to Aspen today. It was 69 degrees outside, but the sun was HOT! The campground was full last night, but emptied out this morning. Bob took the Jeep to the car wash in the nearby town of Silt. Yes, I said Silt, as in “fine sand or other material carried by running water.” He came back around 10:30 and we started our 42 mile drive through the Roaring Fork Valley to Aspen.

The drive through the valley was fabulous! Absolutely gorgeous!

The highway follows the Colorado River.

There were people rafting and fishing, enjoying the river. It was a steady climb uphill from the valley into the canyon.

The highway took us through the town of Glenwood Springs with a lot of historic buildings on the main street through town.

We spotted this cool “ski fence” at a home in town similar to the ones we saw in Steamboat Springs.

As we went higher into the canyon, we got a better view of the snow-topped Maroon Bells. The name Maroon Bells comes from the word Bell that refers to the shape of the mountain and the word Maroon refers to the oxidized iron (reddish) color.

Bob spotted a thin black line that went from one mountain peak to the other and when I zoomed in with my camera, we could see it was a snow-filled mountain cornice.

There were so many different views of the mountains as we continued our ascent up the valley.

Soon we were able to see Snowmass Ski Area.

It still had piles of snow on it.

Next up, was Ajax or Aspen Highlands Ski Area.

Then came Buttermilk Ski Area, considered a beginners area.

As we entered the town of Aspen, traffic was heavy.

Parking was at a premium, but we were lucky to find an open parking space on the street. From there, we walked up to the “mall” area, set aside for pedestrians.

It was a lovely area with shops and outside cafes. Flowers were planted everywhere.

But in all, Aspen was pretty unrecognizable from the days when we had skied and spent time there in the late 80’s, early 90’s. We searched out some of the old buildings that might have been around back in the days when we were there and found these.

Wheeler Opera House
Courthouse
Hotel Jerome

We walked up closer to Aspen Mountain.

From there, we spotted the Silver Queen Gondola.

People were riding the gondola to the top of the mountain.

The mountains always look so different in the summer.

Everyone in the town was wearing a mask and there were signs everywhere encouraging people to to be responsible.

We felt very comfortable and safe walking in town under those circumstances. Even this statue of a skier was wearing a mask.

Before leaving town, we had to use the restroom, but it was very difficult finding one. We finally spotted one at Francis Whitaker Park.

From there, we headed down the mountain. Traffic was even worse now trying to get into town. The sun was lighting up some of the red cliffs as we made our descent.

On our drive back, we stopped in the historic district of Glenwood Springs. I wanted to check out the hot springs area and the Hotel Colorado, established in 1893.

The hot springs pools are located across the street from the hotel.

It is a huge complex now with 2 large mineral pools of varying temperatures. Fifteen minerals in the water energize tired muscles.

A lap pool, deep diving area, and water slide were added.

They also have a kiddie area with a wading pool and splash zone. It looked like a great place to spend an afternoon. Our last stop was in downtown Silt. I wanted Bob to show me the town where he went to get the Jeep washed. He said the town was very small, but he thought this little bar, the Miner’s Claim, was neat.

The town didn’t have much, but it did have 2 marijuana dispensaries.

Back at the campground, we checked out how many people had left today and we wanted to see the new “cabins” they were building in the campground.

They were more like stick-built tiny houses, but they were nice looking.

We got back to the campsite and relaxed outside in the shade. The wind had really kicked up on our drive back down the mountain, but we really saw how strong it could be. All at once as we were sitting there, a HUGE gust of wind blew through the campground unexpectantly, causing awnings on campers to retract, tablecloths to blow off tables, and dust to swirl. It blew HARD and then it was gone. We had dinner and did our evening walk with Auggie. We walked down to the intersection of the Little River and the Colorado River right here in the campground where the Colorado River was really moving dangerously fast!

From there, Bob spotted a bald eagle in a dead tree across the river from us. How awesome!

Tomorrow we take a short drive to Grand Junction for a few days and soon my brother and sister-in-law will meet us! We are looking forward to that!

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