Arriving in Aspen after six days of traveling through the blazing desert, and leaving our drought-stricken California behind, we were stunned by the dazzling green hues of the Colorado Rockies as they welcomed us back. Aspenites had suffered through an unusually long, soggy spring here, and now they were being rewarded for their patience. We were also the fortunate recipients of Mother Nature’s gifts, which made us giddy, as did the numerous friends we bumped into immediately after arriving. No matter how long we’ve been away, Aspen will always still feel like home to us.
After spending the following morning cruising around and visiting with friends, I was itching to get out and run. Okay, I was also turning into a grumpy mom (gasp!) because I hadn’t had much alone time, nor had I gotten any exercise yet.
It was 1:00 pm when I started, the heat of the day, but since it was only 84 degrees, compared to 109-118 where we’d been just days before, it felt lovely.
Every run I’d done in the past week had involved significant hills (you can read about my runs in Palm Springs, the Grand Canyon and Arches National Park HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE if you missed it), I opted for a mostly flat 5 mile run along the Rio Grande Trail. This was one of my old favorites when we lived here and I wanted to journey along the Roaring Fork River once again. I left my peeps at Explore Booksellers, then I ran down to the post office, then hopped on to the Rio Grande Trail right behind it.
Aspen is 7,890 ft. so my legs and lungs still felt the altitude as I cruised along the trail, but it was easy to forget about them as I looked out at this.
Right after I snapped this goofy picture, I thought, What am I thinking? Why am I listening to music instead of the magnificent roar of the Roaring Fork River? I immediately took out my ear buds and soaked up the sounds around me.
After going down the Rio Grande, I turned off on Stein Trail, which took me down and across the river.
This is the old bridge crossing to the other side of the river.
From there, I scampered up the trail to the back of the Airport Business Center. This was the only steep part of my run today, and that was plenty.
Here’s the view from the top, looking back down to the river.
As I flitted through the Airport Business Center, making a big loop back to our hotel at Buttermilk Mountain, I swung by some dear old friends’ condo and surprised them. Long ago we owned a unit a few doors down from them, which we eventually just used for our photography studio. Our neighbors, Curt and Cindy, have been, and always will be, salt of the earth friends, so it was great fun to catch up with them. The beauty of running in Aspen is that it’s such a small town, no matter where you go, you’re bound to bump into friends.
Stay tuned for my next running adventure here in my old stomping grounds. My next runs take me up, up up!