Monday, December 10, 2012

Aspen Colorado Activities -- Cross-Country Skiing 2012

Cross-Country Skiing in Aspen, Colorado December 9, 2012
Cross-Country Skiing in Aspen, Colorado December 9, 2012 (Photo credit: richpalpine)
Well, it finally snowed again here in Aspen, Colorado. The timing couldn’t have been better because I, like many visitors and locals, was beginning to get cranky from the lack of snow.
Thankfully, I at last got to engage in one of my favorite wintertime Aspen activities – cross-country skiing.

I was pleasantly surprised that enough of the white stuff fell over the weekend so that even though the actual ski tracks were not yet in place, the basic cross-country skiing trails at the Aspen Municipal Golf Course could be laid out.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Aspen Hotels & Ski Techs – Winternational World Cup Alpine Ski Races 2012

Aspen Events - Aspen 2012 Winternational World...
Aspen Events - Aspen 2012 Winternational World Cup Ski Races (Photo credit: richpalpine)
What does it take to win a World Cup alpine ski race? One of the old-time Aspen hotels knows.

I found out a little bit more about this subject last Friday at the Mountain Chalet Aspen, where the main ski tech room labyrinth was set up once again for the NatureValley Aspen Winternational women’s World Cup alpine ski races.

A given athlete’s performance obviously depends largely on how well they’ve trained, how they feel that day, if a specific course fits their skiing style, and on how well their skis are tuned and waxed. What I did not know was just how big a production it is to get these skis in shape.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Aspen Colorado Activities – So Many Things to Do and See!

2012 USA Pro Challenge Aspen - Stage 4 - Heading up Aspen Street
Aspen Events - 2012 USA Pro Challenge - Stage 4 Heading up Aspen Street (Photo credit: richpalpine)
What a busy summer and fall this has been for me here in Aspen, Colorado. There are always so many varied activities to enjoy and participate in that it’s just impossible to partake of all of them.

I guess I really should be grateful that I have so many to choose from, and as I look back at this past summer and fall, I realize how many activities I actually was involved in.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Colorado Fall – Snowmen, Bears, and Pumpkins

Nothing Beats an Aspen Colorado Snowman in October
Aspen Snowman - Taking A Break (Photo credit: richpalpine)

One of things I love most about fall in Colorado is the diversity in climate, weather, and all of the variety of activities available at this time of the year.

Last week my step-daughter, Michelle, and her two children, Elizabeth and Sean, traveled from Corpus Christi, Texas to visit us here in Colorado.

The plans were to “see snow falling” in Aspen and to carve pumpkins later on at their cousin’s place in Palisade. I was also hoping that they might be able to get a glimpse of one of Aspen’s infamous bears.



Monday, October 8, 2012

Aspen Garden - Putting it to Bed for the Winter

Ah, it’s that bittersweet time of year again for our Aspen garden.

One of my favorite things to do in Aspen is to grow and tend to our vegetable garden. Now that it's Fall though, it’s not only time to enjoy the fruits of our spring and summer labor, but it's also time to say goodbye to a treasured summer friend.

The temperatures have finally reached below freezing at night and early morning in Aspen, Colorado, and the hours of sunlight have greatly diminished, so it’s time to put our put our beloved garden to bed for the winter.

What a great garden it’s been this summer – from the asparagus to the strawberries to the peas and beans, squash, and finally to the potatoes, carrots, onions, and tomatoes (Actually, the lettuce and spinach weren’t so hot this year, but that’s another story).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Aspen Events – Balloons, Fall Colors and Rugby

Aspen Events 2012 - Fall Colors, Balloon Festi...
Assorted Aspen Events 2012 - Fall Colors, Balloon Festival, Rugby IMG_1126 (Photo credit: richpalpine)
After a busy summer, I sometimes lose track of the fabulous Fall Aspen events that we have available as well.

I know – it’s still technically summer -- but here in the mountains of Colorado, once September hits it begins to feel like Fall, especially with the coolness of early mornings and late evenings.  Still, the daytime temperatures often remain quite warm, so we can continue to enjoy the signature events that make Aspen so special.

The Summer to Fall transition begins with the annual Labor Day Aspen events such as the Motherlode Volleyball Classic and the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival. We missed these this year because we were hiking Huron Peak, but we made up for it last weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hiking and Hot Springs

Full Moon near Huron Peak - Colorado
Full Moon near Huron Peak - Colorado (Photo credit: richpalpine)
My girlfriend, Jo, and I were looking for something fun to do over Labor Day weekend - my only real “vacation” opportunity for the summer. We thought we would head over Independence Pass from Aspen to the Buena Vista, Colorado area to do a little hot springs soaking and some hiking in an area we had not explored before.

We hadn’t really planned on hiking all the way up one of Colorado’s 54 (some say 58) 14ers, but that’s what we did!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Aspen Events – 2012 USA Pro Challenge Bicycle Race in Action

Ok, so I got more than just “helmet shots” at the first Aspen stage of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge Bicycle Race. I also got over my resentment of having my optimum viewing location blocked by the VIP tents.

Even though I still couldn’t see the much-anticipated Aspen events right from in front of my house, only one-half block away from the finish line, I had only to move less than one-half block up the course to find just a little room to get a few decent shots of the events – in particular the women’s Aspen Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge  race. I did manage to get a couple of decent photos of the men sprinting to the finish line.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Aspen Events – Bicycle Races - Coors Classic to USA Pro Challenge

USA Pro Challenge Bicycle Race - pre-race fina...
USA Pro Challenge Bicycle Race -  Aspen Event
Pre-Race view (credit: richpalpine)

Now that the 2012 Aspen Music Festival season has officially come to an end, the town has been focused on the next big event, the 2012 USA ProChallenge premier bicycle race. 

Nicknamed “America’s Race”, this event has created a frenzy of pre-race activity and anticipation in Aspen, as well as all of the other Colorado host cities. For the next, few days, activities in these towns will concentrate on the preparation for and execution of this event, hoping that it will bring some much-desired exposure to the state and what it has to offer outside of  the perhaps better-known winter outdoor activities of skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

While an event of this nature is relatively new for many of the hosting Colorado communities, in Aspen it offers the opportunity to resurrect summertime bicycle race glory of bygone days.  Remember the Coors Classic?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


English: Artist's rendering of a Mars Explorat...
English: Artist's rendering of a Mars Exploration Rover. Français : Vue d'artiste d'un Mars Exploration Rover (litt. « rover d'exploration martienne »). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"We’re Safe On Mars!”

Ok, actually I am safe in Aspen and this blog is supposed to be about Aspen – so why am I writing about the Mars Curiosity Rover?

Although I haven’t yet been able to find any direct ties between Aspen and the current Mars Curiosity Rover mission or the 2012 London Summer Olympics, the concurrence of these momentous events just begged for a post with this title.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


My back hurt, my feet ached, and I was exhausted – oh boy did I have a great time at the latest Aspen Community Social Dance! No, really – I had a blast.  The aches and the tiredness resulted from having loads of fun at this dance – I didn’t want to sit down to take a break!

Last Saturday (like every third Saturday of the month), organizers, Junee Kirk and Mel Taylor, and the rest of the crew treated us once again to one of our favorite Aspen activities, the monthly Aspen Community Social Dance, this time preceded by intermediate cha-cha-cha and beginning Foxtrot/Two-step lessons from instructor, Susan Kosch.  A birthday party even broke out!

Unfortunately, we were not able to make it to the cha-cha-cha lesson, but we did arrive in time for the foxtrot/two-step lesson which was great for us  because it not only helped solidify our basic foxtrot steps, but it also allowed us to practice these steps (and turns) to country-western Texas two-step tunes.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Aspen events are always fun and entertaining and the 2012 4th of July was no exception.  One of my favorite activities is the annual Aspen 4th of July parade. Here were some of the highlights:

Some pretty interesting critters were floating around the 2012 Aspen, Colorado 4th of July parade

Created with flickr slideshow.
More 4th of July Parade 2012 Photos from Aspen, Colorado 
  (Love having the front-row view!)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


A Type 2 Incident Management Team takes contro...
A Type 2 Incident Management Team takes control of a fire emergency. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wildfire prevention, preparation, and emergency plan funding and execution were the themes at a recent emergency Aspen City Council meeting called by Aspen Mayor, Mick Ireland.

Pitkin County Sheriff and Incident Response Team Leader, Joe DiSalvo, referring to the roles of Pitkin County and the City of Aspen, stressed that during the first 24 hours of a wildfire emergency, “We are responsible”. 

Mayor Ireland assured the sheriff and other attendees that the local incident response teams will, “have the funds to do whatever is necessary”, in the event of an actual emergency, and then opened discussion regarding additional, specific funding for public outreach about the danger and what one can do to be prepared.

Sheriff DiSalvo, Aspen Fire Marshal Ed Van Walraven, White River National Forest Public Affairs Officer Bill Kight, and several other area officials discussed the wildfire issue in some detail. 

They outlined the current fire conditions in the county, the history of wildfires in the Aspen and surrounding area, the city and county’s emergency response structure and current level of preparedness, and steps they have taken to inform the public about the current fire danger, including what preventative and preparatory measures individuals and entities can take to be ready for a local wildfire emergency.  They also relayed their personal experiences in this arena.

White River National Forest Public Affairs Officer Bill Kight said that he, like many people, used to think that having to be evacuated would never happen to him. After experiencing it twice himself, he now knows it can happen to anyone at any time.

Monday, June 25, 2012


The Yellow Roses of Aspen.  Just like everything else, they arrived early this year but were as spectacular as usual!

Yellow Roses of Aspen, June 2012 - Assorted As...
Yellow Roses of Aspen, June 2012 - Assorted Aspen Yard Flowers (Photo credit: richpalpine)
Assorted Aspen - Yellow Roses of Aspen June, 2012
Assorted Aspen - Yellow Roses of Aspen June, 2012 (Photo credit: richpalpine)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 22, 2012


Aspen Astronomy Crowding Around For Nitrogen I...
Aspen Center for Physics Summer Solstice Party - Crowding Around For Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream (Photo credit: richpalpine)

The crowd was eager, the ice cream was cold, and the stories were, well… spellbinding at the Summer Solstice 2012 party hosted by the Aspen Center for Physics in cooperation with the Aspen Science Center and Spellbinders Storytellers!

Last Wednesday, the Aspen Center for Physics was the scene for some entertaining amateur astronomy and summer fun as the Center celebrated 50 years of physics in Aspen by co-hosting an evening of stellar storytelling, interesting related cosmic facts from Center physicists, and of course ice cream. Telescopes were also set up on the site.

We joined the eager crowd, comprised mostly of families with children, in order to learn a little bit more about the lore of the cosmos.  I felt like a kid myself – giddy with anticipation of the activities to come.

While we waited for darkness to fall, our hosts brought out the some treats – cookies and ice cream. The liquid nitrogen-cooled creation was smooth and tasty, very cold, and very popular with this particular crowd. The kids seemed to like it too!

As darkness began to fall, we settled in at one of the Spellbinders story stations to listen to some cosmic yarns.  The storytellers wove tales about the Pleiades, the Big Dipper, and the origin of the Milky Way as seen in our night skies.  Visiting astrophysicists then answered questions and doled out interesting facts about the cosmos.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Clint Black
Cover of Clint Black
What is the difference between Nightclub Two-Step and Country-Western Two-step? And, what’s up with the Country-Western Triple Two-Step

They are all fun dances, but sometimes I get them mixed up - too many two-steps!

I have been exposed to all three at one time or another at previous Aspen Community Social Dance events, but with my still-limited dancing experience, I found it challenging to remember the differences.

Fortunately, the last two Aspen Community Social Dances featured two-step lessons.  In May, we learned the Nightclub Two-Step, and this past Saturday we were taught the Country-Western Two-Step and were given the opportunity to go over the Country-Western Triple Two-Step. 

We were reminded that the Country-Western Two-Step and Triple Two-Step are progressive dances, meaning that couples travel counter clockwise around the dance floor’s edge, while the Nightclub Two-Step is danced primarily without “traveling”. I was still a little confused as to which of these to use for a particular song (they all rely mostly on a 4/4 signature), but it seems that the tempo and feel or mood of the music dictates the appropriate style. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Aspen Yard Flowers - June 3, 2012


 Despite the lack of rain, our columbines are coming into their own for this year and the peonies and irises are still putting on a great show!

Assorted Aspen Columbines
Assorted Aspen Columbines (Photo credit: richpalpine)            
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, May 28, 2012


I took the opportunity over the Memorial Day weekend to capture some images of the beautiful flowers in our yard.

From the peonies to the irises to the lilacs, the show was spectacular!

Assorted Aspen Irises

Assorted Aspen Lilacs

Assorted Aspen Peonies and Irises

Assorted Aspen Peonies

More Assorted Aspen Irises

More Assorted Aspen Peonies and Irises
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Spring sprung early this year in Aspen, Colorado and so did my gardening itch.
Since spring arrived here a bit earlier than usual this year, my thoughts (and muscles) were drawn to gardening in early May and I got started early – maybe too early with the planting.

As in the past few years, I am involved in two gardens, my mom’s and my girlfriend, Jo’s (located at the Aspen Community Garden). The Aspen Garden Chronicles sub-theme of this blog will track our progress, trials, tribulations and successes as we plow our way through (pun intended) through the process. 

While Jo's garden appears to be on schedule, we may have planted my mom's garden too early. Even though the daytime temperatures have been higher than they usually are in May, the mornings are still very cool, and only a few plants have sprouted -- grudgingly at that. 

Here’s a photographic journal of what we have accomplished to date: 

5/6/2012 – Jo’s Plot at the Aspen Community Garden
After a lot of grunt work (dig, dig , sift, sift, repeat) - we’re getting there! 

Aspen Garden Chronicles - Jo's Aspen Community Garden Plot from the Front 5_6_12
Trying to figure out how to maneuver the wheelbarrows had become a little bit like working a jigsaw puzzle. 

5/13/2012 – 5/15/2012 - Jo’s Aspen Community Garden
The Garden’s finally being laid out 

Aspen Garden Chronicles - Jo's Aspen Community Garden Plot 5_15_12
Finally have the layout completed

Aspen Garden Chronicles - Jo's After Planting

Pea fence in place and Reemay spread over recent plantings to help keep them warm enough for the next few days.

Mom’s Garden – 5_12_12
We may have planted too early? 

 Aspen Garden Chronicles - Mom's - Before Planting – 5_12_12 

 Aspen Garden Chronicles - Mom's 5_12_12 – Planting 

As of today, my mom's garden is showing a little more growth, but we are planning to re-plant the lettuce and spinach on Monday -- maybe then it will truly be garden time in Aspen.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Every Blog Has To Have A First Post!

Here are some Aspen daffodils and lilacs in our back yard.