Saturday, July 22, 2006

Days 1 & 2

Day 1 - Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Dallas to Denver: 801.1 miles

A showed up at a little after 7:00, and we loaded my two bags and down pillow into his car. After stopping briefly at Starbuck’s for a little caffeine fortification to go, we drove out of Dallas on Hwy 114, eventually making our way to 287, which we took to Amarillo, in the Texas panhandle. From Amarillo, we took 87 and 64 to Raton, NM, then 25 North, all the way into Denver. We arrived at Brad & Susan’s house in Aurora at a little after 8:00 PM, Denver time. We’d made good time, managing to drive just over 800 miles in about 13 hours, including a brief stop for lunch. Brad provided some much appreciated gin and tonics, and Susan had prepared a delicious dinner of paella with brown rice, which we devoured as their daughter, Molly, told us about her latest adventure, being a Rocky Mountain Roller Girl (not to be confused with her day job).

Day 2 - Thursday, July 13, 2006
Denver to Mesa (via Leadville and Aspen): 280.2 miles

"Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best."

After breakfast, we drove approximately 100 miles (via I-25, 6, 70 & 91), to Leadville, Colorado, the highest city in the United States (10,152 feet, or almost 2 miles above sea level). Leadville has fallen on hard times, but in 1880 it was the site of one of the world’s biggest silver camps, with a population of over 40,000. Many celebrities visited Leadville at that time, including Oscar Wilde, who claimed to have seen the words quoted above on a notice printed above the piano in a local saloon.

From Leadville, A drove almost 60 miles, up Highway 82, over
Independence Pass (12,095 feet) and down into Aspen
. Independence Pass was as narrow as I remembered, but incredibly lush and green.

In Aspen, we had lunch on the deck of
Ajax Tavern, at the base of Aspen Mountain (aka Ajax). We began with prosciutto wrapped figs stuffed with pecorino (delicious). A then had a steak salad, which he liked, but the smoked chicken salad that I ordered was only OK. We shared a side order of the restaurant's trademark parmesan/truffle fries (french fries topped with shaved parmesan and white truffle oil, very Aspen) which were fragrant and fabulous. We washed it all down with ice tea.

After lunch, we drove to the little miner's house that A's lawyer father had bought after winning a case in 1948. A subsequently sold the house, 50 years later, in 1998.

Like almost everything in Aspen, including the tourists, it's been remodeled to the point that it's almost unrecognizable.

By 4:00 we were on the road again, driving Highways 82 and 70 approximately 120 miles, from Aspen to Mesa, where we met Laurie, Louis, Nathalie and Laura at Nathalie's rustic cabin just outside Mesa.


Tammy said...

Sounds fabulos so far :) Those fries sound like heaven :)


Judith said...

... "Like almost everything in Aspen, including the tourists, it's been remodeled to the point that it's almost unrecognizable."

Say it's not so! :)

Lightyears2venus said...

Thanks for taking us along for the ride. You've posted a lot since I last stopped by and am salivating already!