wilderness, mountains, and entertainment in the rocky mountain valhalla of Aspen, CO

Archive for December, 2008

Aspen Views From The Top of Ute Rock

Looking down on the City of Aspen, from the top of the Ute Trail.

Looking down on the City of Aspen, from the top of the Ute Trail.

In my previous post, I mentioned the Ute Trail, and I included a link to a video, which helps to give an idea of the hike; but I wanted to share a good still image of the view from the top of Ute Rock (taken on the same day as my previous post). It’s pretty amazing to look out over the whole city of Aspen like this. On the right, you can see the blue roofs of Centennial, and Hunter Creek just to the left of that. On the far left is the Red Butte, where the Rio Grande Trail and Roaring Fork River intersect with Cemetery Lane. And, of course, the beautiful fall colors accent the top of Red Mountain.

Taken 9/28/2008.


Forever In Our Hearts

Memorial bench for my friend Chuck "Montana" Carlson

With everything happening here in the community, following Bryan Sax’s tragic death, I can’t help but remember my friend and fraternity brother Chuck “Montana” Carlson as well… Chuck also died tragically young, from cancer at 36, almost the same age as Bryan. Chuck was a long-time Aspen resident, ski instructor, and hockey coach. He also left hundreds of friends here wondering how something like this could happen to such a great guy.

One day a few months ago, I was out riding my bike around town, taking pictures of the amazing fall foliage, after a great hike up the Ute Trail to the top of Aspen Mtn with some friends (see my 2nd ever photo on this site “Fall In Full Color“). After riding a fair bit up toward Independence Pass, and taking some pics at the North Star Nature Preserve (pdf), I came back into town and found that the East of Aspen Trail ran into a small winding trail leading to the new Snyder Park, which I’d never seen before…

As I was admiring the park and water feature there, I saw this bench! I didn’t even know there was a memorial bench for Chuck, and here, at the end of a perfect fall day, the setting sun shone right on it. It brought me a sense of peace, and really just made me feel so at home here, like I really do belong in Aspen.

Taken 9/28/2008.


Beacon In The Night

In memory...  Cross and steeple of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, on Main Street in Aspen.

In memory... Cross and steeple of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, on Main Street in Aspen.

On the night when I took this photo, the illuminated cross and steeple of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, on Main Street in Aspen, served as a beacon to me…

On this night, I hope faith is with our friends… While I was coaching an out-of-town hockey game today, we received some awful news: a parent of a boy on the team was told that her husband was killed in a small plane crash. So, tonight I pray that Christy, Dante, and the rest of Bryan’s family and friends can find their own light amidst the darkness of their loss.

Taken 12/1/2007.


Misty Mount Daly

Snowmass Creek valley and Mt. Daly on a fall hike, while visiting Aspen in '07

Snowmass Creek valley and Mt. Daly on a fall hike, while visiting Aspen in '07

I took this photo before I moved out here, when I was interviewing and finalizing housing. This was a nice hike just outside Snowmass Village: starting at the Campground parking lot, I took the easy Ditch Trail, which connected to the East Snowmass Creek Trail in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, then continued along this trail for an hour or so, looking at the back of Snowmass ski area (ridge of Sneaky’s) from across the valley. This was taken the same day as my “Last Fall” post here.

Taken 9/29/2007.


Bridgework And Snow

the railing along the Rio Grande Bridge gives a nice patterned contrast to all the white snow.

the railing along the Rio Grande Bridge gives a nice patterned contrast to all the white snow.

Since we got more snow again last night… here’s another fun, snowy shot. The dark, shadowed pattern of the bridge provides great contrast against the sunlit white snow along the river.

Taken 3/3/2008.


Snow, Horses At Dusk

Horses at Owl Creek chillin' out on a nice spring evening with snow all around.

Horses at Owl Creek chillin' out on a nice spring evening with snow all around.

I encountered near whiteout conditions driving home from Snowmass this evening, and as I passed the barn on Owl Creek Road, I kinda’ wondered if the horses were braving the snow…

I took this shot in the spring, on my way back from skiing (I think), and I really just liked the light as the sun was getting low in the sky; it lit up the mountains across the valley, and even enhanced the fence posts in the foreground. In fact, it almost looks like the horses are looking back into the setting sun… that, or someone had a carrot over there!

Taken 4/12/2008.


Morning Full Moon

Colorful landscape against a clear morning sky and full moon.

Colorful landscape against a clear morning sky and full moon.


This photo was taken toward the end of a long journey, as I was driving from Illinois to Colorado, moving to Aspen. This shot, approaching Glenwood Canyon, was taken on the same day as my earlier “Full Moon Sunrise” photo here on “Aspen Views.”

Taken 10/27/2007.


Oh Deer

The happy couple continues with their lunch as I rumble through.

The happy couple continues with their lunch as I rumble through.

In preparation for my birthday climb of Pyramid this past year, I did some trail running around the area. This shot was taken on Difficult Trail, just outside of town as you head up Independence Pass, after “camping” with a big group of friends (not exactly roughing it) the night before.

Apparently, these deer were hard of hearing, because I could not have been all that quiet! I saw them immediately as I came upon this clearing, and slowed enough that they didn’t bolt, but just kept grazing; so I was able to get a pretty close-up shot.

Taken 6/28/2008.


Total Lunar Eclipse

The shadowed full moon, with Saturn above and Regulus below left.

The shadowed full moon, with Saturn above and Regulus below left.

I was rather sad not to have my camera with me tonight… as there was a very cool crescent moon in close proximity (from our perspective) to the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter… it was particularly striking when seen just above the ridge of Aspen Mountain in the early evening sky (just after 5pm local time).

So, since I wasn’t able to capture that image (but I hope you did!)… I’m sharing a shot from last winter, showing the last total lunar eclipse until Dec. 2010. “During the eclipse, the Moon will be in Leo. Saturn and bright star Regulus are only 3 degrees east and west, respectively, of the Moon.”

Taken 2/20/2008.