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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aspen Summit and Gondola Ride, Highway 133, Scary Moments, and drive to Tulleride

Hello Everyone! I didn't make any cards this evening. Our day was filled up and after we got back from eating dinner, I was too lazy to make any cards.

Well today was an adventurous day. We checked out of our hotel in Snowmass Village in Aspen. We decided to head down to downtown Aspen in the morning to go shopping. We also decided to ride the gondola to the top of the Aspen mountain.

Here is my daugther posing for the camera. We were on the gondola on the way up to the top of the mountain.

Here is the view from the gondola as we were working our way up to the top of Aspen.

Here is my stepson standing at the top of Aspen. Again, as always, it was absolutely beautiful even in the summer. I can imagine how it would look during the winter. This view is at the back of side of the mountain in Aspen.

This is the view overlooking the west side of Aspen.

This picture was taken at the edge of the road on highway 133 from Aspen to Tulleride at the highest point of the paved road. It was a stunning view but a little unnerving considering how high we were and there were no railing to prevent us from driving over the road.

Three fourths of highway 133 is absolutely beautiful, the last fourth is agricultural and not very impressive. The 3/4 that is beautiful is one of the most beautiful route I've been on so far.

Okay this view of the mountain may be beautiful but a very scary thing happened to us on our way from Aspen to Tulleride. This picture was taken in the wilderness in nowhere land. We were about 80 miles away from Tulleride and we were trying to get off highway 50 and get on hwy 62.

Because we had set the GPS to the "shortest route". . .well, it decided to cut through the mountain leading us into what could have been a disastrous situation.

Well, to make a long story short. . .our GPS lead us into the Uncompahgre Plateau. . .deep into the back woods with no paved roads, just gravel and dirt. We kept thinking that highway 62 was going to show up somehow. For the first 20 miles, we were beginning to wonder if the GPS was leading us somewhere we didn't want to be. There was no highway in site, no houses, no nothing. We were in the middle of NOTHING. We didn't want to turn around because we kept thinking highway 62 was going to show up in any minute.

After an hour of driving, we realized we were in a bad, bad place. I didn't want to panic but I was beginning to get a bit scared when our GPS lead us to a dead end road in the middle of no-where deep, deep inside the plateau. We finally decided to change the GPS to just lead us back to a main road besides highway 62. We decided to take the chance and not listen to the GPS and follow a more paved road and within 15 minutes of driving without paying attention to the GPS, it finally lead us on a road that we felt made more sense. . . meaning the road was somewhat paved and looked like it was driven on.

It was already close to 4:30 and we were still an hour away from Tulleride and we were worried that it would begin to rain and the road will turn muddy or we'll get stuck in an area that no one could find us. Luckily, we finally made it out of the plateau. For a moment, I thought we were doomed and eventually someone would have to rescue us. Be careful with the GPS when traveling. I believe the GPS knew what it was doing but it can't tell the difference between paved roads, gravel, or dirt or whether you're in the middle of no-where. Eventually, I believe the GPS would have lead us out of the woods but who knows how long that would have been and what if we ran out of gas. Sheeeeesh, I don't want to even think about it.

This is the view as we were heading towards Tulleride. Tulleride is a beautiful town located deep in the valley and mountain. It's an absolutely lovely town and ski resort. It's a great alternative to Aspen. Tulleride is located in the picture right within the valley below the "whitish" colored mountain in the background.

We rode the gondola at Tulleride up to the village located at the summit. We ate a restaurant called Allred. Yummy but pretty pricey. The average meal runs $30+ to $75 not including the appetizers and soup/salad.

This picture is the view from the gondola. This ride is a lot steeper than that at Aspen and in my opinion, a prettier view. If you don't like heights, I don't recommend the gondola ride at Tulleride. . .it can be pretty scary but there's a complete village at the top so if you don't ride the gondola, you'll miss out on the restaurants and shops at the top of the mountain.

Anyway, tomorrow we'll hang out in Tulleride for part of the day, then head to Mesa Verde to look at the ruins. I'll update my blog tomorrow.


Teresa said...

Hello. I wanted to say you did a beautiful job on the pictures I am a native of Colorado and was just there for a family reunion on the 18th thru the 24th. I grew up in Idaho Springs, Georgetown. I didnt want to come back to Arizona. I think with in the next 2 yrs I will be moving back. It is the most beautiful State. And there is so much to do. Thanks For sharing with everyone

Michelle said...

holy wow, those are some fabulous photos!