Our first significant stop in Colorado was the beautiful little touristy town of Aspen.
Dumb & Dumber comes to mind when I think of Aspen, check out the video below if you need a recap.
An interesting fact about Aspen is that its recognised as having the most expensive real-estate in the US with the median listing being in the four million dollar range and the occasional estate asking as much as $135,000,000 (2006 Price sought for the thirty-two room mountain top mansion owned by Prince Bandar of the Saudi Royal Family)
The town was nice but I couldn’t help but feel I needed a significantly deeper pocket to truly enjoy the place so we headed to the mountains and did a nice walk from Maroon lake.
This area has the famous and very photographed Maroon Bells, two fourteen thousand foot peaks that are very photogenic and enjoy posing for reflection photographs in front of Maroon Lake. Unfortunately on our visit there was a light breeze which rippled the water and stopped me from getting my postcard Maroon Bells shot on this day trip.
The area surrounding Maroon Lake is all very beautiful and a lush contrast to the terrain we’d just come from in Utah.
Renee shot this fun photo (below) of a Marmot hanging out on the roof of the visitors centre – the visitors centre is pretty well disguised as a rock in this photo.
Here is another photo (below) Renee took which shows another part of the visitors centre (bottom right), partially built into the ground with an organic roof. Its actually pretty similar to a hobbit house less the round door.
There were plenty of Aspen trees on the walk so the area lives up to the name of the town. The weather was overcast but pleasant and from the visitors centre/car park we had a pleasant walk up to another small lake.
After enjoying the Maroon Bells and having our fill of the touristy town of Aspen we departed via Independence Pass, the twelve thousand foot mountain pass through the Rocky Mountains. Its steep with a 6.5% gradient, windy and very narrow at times which meant I had to be paying attention when passing oncoming traffic in our Chevy camper. We were pretty happy when we reached the 12,095 foot Continental Divide car park, we stopped to stretch our legs and admire the view.
To my amazement we then saw this guy on a unicycle pedal up the pass from the same direction we’d just come, he made a quick lap of the walkway without stopping or getting off his unicycle and then promptly headed over the top and down the other side. What a legendary unicyclist.
Heading down we gave the unicyclist an approving nod as we passed him. Further down the pass I stopped briefly to capture this shot of the valley before we kept going, next stop – Rocky Mountain National Park.
Sometimes the overcast skies can be much more interesting to photograph than the clear blue skies we naturally associate with good photos.
Can you unicycle? I’ve only tried it the once while purchasing my mountain bike in Salt Lake City, in the five minutes I tried I don’t think I managed a single full pedal. It’s not easy.