Thursday, October 10, 2013

Maroon Bells in Aspen

I wanted to get in a fall bike ride in Colorado to enjoy the changing colors of the trees.  With a suggestion from Bryan I discovered the Maroon Bells road in Aspen, CO.  Additional research indicated the beginning of October was generally the time the trees change in Aspen.  I was a bit nervous about driving the Independence Pass due to a snow storm that hit a few days before the weekend but figured this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The morning started in the low 20F temperatures with 15 to 20 mph winds.  So I began the cold drive glad that I books a cheap room (for Aspen) instead of camping.  The four hour drive was filled with sweeping patches of colors, vast skylines of mountains, and snow dusted firs.  Descending Independence Pass the aspens could be seen sparkling gold. 

Due to the government shutdown, the road leading to the Maroon Bells lake was completely closed to cars leaving an open road to only hikers and bikers.  Cars were parked on the side of the road near the gate.  With no cars, trees full of color, and the snowy mountain peaks this has been my favorite 10 miles of biking.  The views were like an avalanche of colors down the side of the mountains with only sounds of flowing water in the valley.  With the sun shinning and diminished winds the weather was perfect for the five mile climb up to the Maroon Bells lake.  The five miles back down did not require any pedaling although the cold winds detracted from cruising fast.

I went for a short walk around downtown Aspen before heading to the Snowmass resort to check into my room.  The room had an amazing over look of a small park.  However, with the sunset closing in, I quickly hiked up a muddy ski slope for a decent view.

Sunday I took advantage of the free gondola ride up Aspen Mountain as advertised due to the government shutdown of Maroon Bells road (bonus #2).  After putting a few discs, spending devotional time, and eating lunch on the mountain it was time to head home.  The views were just as grand heading home. 

Back in Colorado Springs safe and sunburned I finished the weekend with some delicious P.F. Changs with Caleb.  Now to start packing for a bunch of moves this weekend.

"31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!"

 -     1 Chronicles 16:31-34

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Widefield and the Bizarre

The past two weeks have been somewhere between bizarre and surreal.

While playing disc golf at Widefield Park I met Jeff and Alex.  Jeff explained that he was a pantheist, that everything is god. 

My car gave me (yet another) warning of low tire pressure on my way to the Denver SQL Saturday.  Thankfully I was able to inflate the correct tire for the drive home.

After a few days while getting a new tire pressure gauge for my car I helped out Daniel and Colleen.  Trying to help them trade their car battery at Walmart made the evening extremely bizarre.  From this evening I was extremely tired and came down with a small cold.

Finally, more on the sane side an unfortunate soul, Greg, had his car break down at the top of Independence Pass.  He had been on a road trip for the last month and just arrived in Colorado to climb some mountains.  There was no signal at the top of the pass so I gave him a ride down to Twin Lakes, CO where he could get reception on his cellphone. 

More to come on my trip to Aspen.