Colorado roadtrip

Last night I got a text from travel friend saying she might be in Aspen, Colorado. I look at the map and see that it’s a nice mountain town about three hours from here. Even though I’m not sure if she’ll be there today, I think it might be fun to check it out. First I hang out with Wes and Amy in the morning until Wes leaves for a golf game with friends and Amy gets to work. I pack my car again. I’m happy to have more clean clothes again, because I could do laundry here. I also practice my sowing skills by fixing two shorts that were ripped during some hikes here. I might buy some new ones later in the trip, but for now it’s handy to have them fixed. It’s not pretty, but they’re good enough again.
While Amy is working at her home office, I do some writing and e-mails. I think the drive of today will be about four or five hours with a few stops in between, so I can take it easy.
Around 10am I say goodbye and start driving west. It’ll be quite a zig-zag trough Colorado, but since I wanted to see more of this state on this trip, that is a good thing. I love driving here, the scenery with the green mountains is very beautiful. When you have a drive of a few hours ahead you can think ‘How long do I have to drive to get there?’, but I’m thinking about how great it is that I get to drive here. After about two hours I go through Independent Pass, I think one of the highest mountain passes here at about 12000 feet / 3600m high. This area looks familiar to me and I’m quite sure I’ve also driven on this road last year. I get out at the pass for a while to enjoy the view, but my legs are a bit tired from yesterday and so I don’t feel like going on a longer hike today. I drive further to Aspen. Wes and Amy had already told me that it’s a place where a lot of rich people and movie stars live and that is indeed the vibe there. It’s basically a town in the mountains with a lot of expensive houses and luxury brand stores. I walk through the town for a while and see a place called “The crepe shack” and get myself a nice crepe with berries for lunch. I feel like I don’t need to spend much more time in this town and continue driving. When I’m on the highway again I pass a small airport filled with private jets, I think it shows what kind of money is around here. I continue driving to Vail, another town that people mentioned is worth visiting. It’s a pretty drive of about two hours and when I arrive there I can see why people like it. It looks a lot like a town from southern Germany or Austria. I park my car and walk around. It’s a very touristy place with mainly a lot of stores and hotels. While walking here I suddenly get a new appreciation for Europe. We have towns like this nearby and in my opinion better and more authentic than Aspen or Vail. I think I’ll do more traveling in Europe after this trip, but I’ve thought that before and usually end up going back to America anyway. I realize that there is another big factor why I keep coming to America and that’s the people. There are so many friendly and outgoing people here and it helps of course that everyone speaks English. I find that’s a bit more challenging in Europe, since my German is not as good as it used to be and I don’t speak French or Italian. I’m learning a little bit of Spanish and plan on putting more effort into that when I’m back home.
After visiting Vail I drive further to a campsite I found on the map, but it turned out to be closed. I drive another 1-2 hours or so and end up at a campsite not too far from Woodland Park where I started this morning. I drove about 360 miles (580 kilometers) today and it was basically a big loop. I like it though, because I got to see a lot more from Colorado. The campsite is in the middle of the forest and it’s nice and quiet out here. For a moment I think about setting up my tent, but since I’ve been driving so much today and am a bit tired now, I decide to just easily sleep in my car tonight. It was another beautiful driving day in Colorado.

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