We have walked this town from one end to the other, but not left a great deal of money. Lots of small shops with elegant clothing, furnishings and jewelry mixed in with ski shops, sports stores etc. This is the "end of the season" so many stores are closed or on reduced hours until the tourist season begins again in the winter. Even the gondola's to the top of the mountain shut down during the week and operate only on weekends. The people look young and athletic. The clothing sizes are not for people who look like me. My major purchase was a small key chain flat computer which has Obama's face and name with screens that count down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the election.
It turns out that Aspen is at 7,908 feet which explains why I have had a low grade headache, felt off and find exertion difficult. Fortunately the town features benches to sit on everywhere. Aspen is 200 miles southwest of Denver and is at the southeast end of Roaring Fork Valley. The permanent population is about 6000 and includes the homes of many celebrities such as Cher, Jack Nicholson and Goldie Hawn. The good news is that Pitkin county, where Aspen is located, is almost 100% democratic.
At one point Aspen had the largest silver production in the country, but when the United States returned to the gold standard in 1893 Aspen died. Then in the 1930’s skiing began here and by 1947 Aspen had opened the longest ski lift in the world at the time.
Since 1949 Aspen has a internationally renowned nine week music festival and music school. Musicians and teachers come from all over the world. One year, when Lita and I were here, we attended a piano teaching class done in front of an audience. The student was from South America and the teacher from Europe. The student would play a classical piece which sounded wonderful to us and the instructor would demonstrate how it should be played. The music festival is worth attending.
There was an international Rugby tournament here over the weekend which we did not watch. I wish we could have gone to nearby Maroon Bells which offers breathtaking views and wonderful color in the alpine meadows. The weather continually is changing from bright sun and hot to overcast. Rain looks threatening, but hasn't happened yet.
It was interesting seeing people. Dogs seem to be welcome inside stores and hotels here. A large one was laying down while the owner was having a drink. Lots of blue jeans. I bought a book in a small book store in the hotel from a man reading his newspaper who seemed irritated at having to be paid money and managed the transaction without saying anything. At lunch there was a man loudly telling the people at his table all about himself – I pegged him as a lawyer. At dinner that night there was a table of four people talking, but one of them, a young woman, was secretly working her Blackberry in her lap out of sight. The wait people at our hotel are from around the world with the majority from Romania. I've enjoyed reading the name tags and asking questions.
Tonight we attend a function the legal organization is putting on and leave the following morning for Scottsdale.