Friday, September 27, 2013

on the road: Colorado Springs & Aspen

I had such a wonderful week in Colorado.  This was the perfect time of year for me to visit.  I'm not a huge fan of snow, but fall is my jam and the leaves were just starting to turn and the weather was perfect.  My first stop was Colorado Springs, CO.  I hadn't been here since I was 13 (my father went to the Air Force Academy, which is there and he took me once), so again, wasn't sure what to expect.  I actually spent a lot of this shoot indoors, but I managed to get out and eat one great meal and visit one great spot.  

First, I ate at this place called the Ivywild School.  It's a sort of food co-op space with different eating areas in an old elementary school that just opened up this year.  There are also live music performances, local art on the walls and a bi-weekly farmer's market.  It was a neat and unique idea and I really enjoyed the space (although someone on the crew said, "I feel like we're in Brooklyn.").


 (meat area, in the school's old cafeteria)

(the bar was aptly named "The Principal's Office." I enjoyed the paddles on the cabinets)

I also heard Garden of the Gods was a can't miss spot.  We drove by one evening and after that, I knew I had to go back the next morning for a run - it was truly something to marvel at and highly recommend it myself!

(this rock is called Kissing Camels - see?)

And in case you're wondering, I do work on these trips!  Just can't show you a ton of photos, but the light during one of the interview set ups here was so good, I'll give you a sneak peak. 

When my time in CO Springs came to a close, I had to drive to Aspen.  It's about a four hour drive and you go through the famous Independence Pass, which is a huge mountain you drive up and back down; it can get scary (especially when you're driving by yourself and it starts to downpour....).  This actually might have been my favorite part of my whole CO trip.  I really felt like I was driving through the heart of America - up rocky mountains, into wide open prairies and through multi-colored forests.  I passed by some signage gems - "Chapper's Wild Game Processing" and "Cowboy Church Here Sundays 10am" and "You and your horse could sleep here tonight!"  I even saw an elk buck by the side of the road - just hanging out, looking out over the plain with his tan, black and white coat and huge antlers, looking so majestic that I actually found myself whispering "wow" under my breath.  And the Aspen trees had turned such a vibrant shade of gold - I hadn't ever seen anything like it.  It was such a wonderful drive. As I was by myself, I couldn't take a lot of pictures, but managed to snap a few out the window and pulled over to get some better ones.

Oh, and did I mention the rental car on this trip?  A huge F150 4x4 truck.  Yeah.

Finally in Aspen, I wasn't so sure about it at first.  One of the first things I noticed was a huge Dior store, next to Prada.  Sure, I knew it was bougie, but this looked like the mountainous Rodeo.  But the more I spent time there, the more I got into it and the more I fell in love with it.  Like Lake Placid, the people were amazing - friendly and happy to be alive.

 (moon over Aspen)

 (Otis, the dog of the owner at Aspen Brewing Company)

(barbeque dinner at Hickory House)

And there are so many mountains in one area, it's hard not to constantly whip your head around to just LOOK.  I was staying in Snowmass and managed to take a work break to walk up the mountain.  I was all alone and it was so quiet and clear, again, I found myself whispering "wow."

I also had a little time on my last day, so I snuck over to Maroon Bells, which I heard is the most photographed mountain range in the U.S.  It was just so beautiful.  Again, we lucked out with the weather and I really kept saying out loud "it's just so beautiful here!"  I was so glad to make it over.

All in all, a wonderful week.  I'm definitely starting to feel very tired (and have a bit of a cold), but I can't really complain and have truly enjoyed myself.  One more stop - back to Park City!

(hope to see you again, Aspen)

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