Keystone to Leadville to Aspen to Vail and Back
Today being my Birthday, Moni had planned a road trip from Summit County, Keystone to Aspen in the wonderful state of Colorado. The skies were blue and the temperature rising as we set of early this morning.
Day 147 – July 27th.
I’m writing this having only just got back from an awesome road trip eclipsing what was our highest peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park two days ago by a whopping 2 feet haha yes I know but hey it’s still another record for us.
Driving out at 8am we headed towards Aspen, taking highway 6 then onto I70 then I91 down to or up to Leadville where we stopped and had breakfast, passing Copper Mountain which looks like a great ski area.
We had no idea where we would end up for a stop and by chance Leadville was a place at the right time. Leadville has quite some history, in that six US presidents have visited this town, it has the country’s highest golf course, Doc Holiday had his last shot out here and much more (I got that info off the menu).
So with Moni having parked the car we crossed the road to this place for breakfast. The Golden Burro happens to be quite famous as well, it’s been open 75 years without clossing except for a power outage, never closed it’s door folks, one of three in the Colorado state apparently.
The menu reads like a story book and they sell them for 10 bucks if you wanted one, we just read them at breakfast. Our meals were great and the place was very busy, no wonder with good prices and tasty food, big serves that most people here like.
The place has a live webcam inside the cafe if you want to see when the next president visits for breakfast.
After breakfast we continued on past Granite and Twin lakes towards Aspen on the I82.
The I82 takes you up and over the Independance Pass at 12095 feet even at this elavation we pass quite a few cycling fanatics.
Standing at the highest point on the Independance Pass which incidently is now our highest point that we have been, we stopped for some photos before making are way down the very windy road with great scenery.
Check out this awesome panorama photo Moni took.
The road down from the top is just as good as going up we pass wonderful scenery again as the road winds around the mountains.
Passing by streams and a grotto where people were jumping in from a great height on through the small village of Twin Peaks as we make our way to Aspen.
The drive takes us right on into Aspen where we circled a few times till we found a park. It was very busy being a Sunday and also because Aspen was holding the Anual Arts Festival this weekend.
Aspen is very beautiful, tidy, neat almost like a backlot to a movie scene in places. I grab a coffee and then we take in the atmosphere of the art festival before stopping by a couple of shops. It was very hot and Moni caught the sun.
Driving on Moni had a few seconds black out so we pulled over and changed driver… A bit of a scare for sure, so we stopped and got some chocolate and powerade drinks which helped, not sure why that happened, maybe heat stroke, lack of water, the car being hot, altitude sickness who knows, but all is well now.
Driving on from Aspen we continued our round trip on the I82 to Glenwood Springs joining the I70 towards Vail, even though this is the main highway the scenery is great as the road runs paralel to the rivers and railway in many stages.
Ariving at Vail we park the car in the undergound parking at $17.00 for two hours and walk out into the Solaris Plaza in Vail, which is where they are going to hold the opening ceremony for the upcoming ski championships in early 2015.
This place is beautiful I must say and very Swiss or Austrian, like being in a real Alpine area which it is of course. Moni adds that it is the playground to the rich and famous, a bit like Aspen, did I mention that I had to fend off Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock from harassing me… NOT ok we didn’t see any famous people. If you are planning a visit to Vail then this website might be good value.
We had a burger to eat which was very yummy and then had a walk around the area. This place is very nice, quaint, picturesque call it what you want but it’s nice. It happens to be the biggest ski area in the USA and is holding the Official 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
The trip back to Keystone was only 50 minutes which is good to know if we want to do a day trip from here again. Or if anyone is going to go to Vail and Beaver Creek for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships you might want to stay somewhere cheaper and just drive in, me thinks is a good idea.
So that was my birthday round road trip to Leadville, Aspen and Vail back to Keystone all up 12 hours on the go, time for a Guiness and then some shut eye.
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