crossing the Divide

crossing the Divide

Half-day work day, picked up Stephen at DIA, then hit the road Friday noon – destination: Aspen.  Saturday marathon plans – running point-to-point on bike trail, Aspen to Basalt.

Stopped in Georgetown (hour west of Denver) for a late lunch, veered south off I-70 thru Leadville, then west to Aspen ‘cross Independence Pass (snow-closed during winter & spring seasons).

UP, UP, UP winding roads, landscape lined with pine & patches of glacial snow remnant.  Nothing like a little July snow to center/provide balance.  Big grin.

Parked at the Divide.  Enjoyed a short walkabout in thin air, elevation 12,000ft+.

Mountain descending, only 45 minutes further to Aspen.  Bib pick-up, followed by a short half-mile trek to John Denver Sanctuary.

Been to Aspen once before (Fall 2013) – Sanctuary return, top of my list 🙂

John Denver Sanctuary is a scenic, highly desirable venue located in the heart of downtown Aspen next to the Roaring Fork River. Within the sanctuary is the largest perennial flower garden around, which attracts visitors from around the globe. Amidst the gardens you will find an environmentally sound wetlands filter system. Artistically placed engraved landscape rocks add to the overall ambiance and story behind the sanctuary. This location is also the home to Theater Aspen in the summer, providing live stage entertainment to hundreds.

Booked ski lodge digs in neighboring Snowmass Village (20 minutes west, not crazy pricey in the summer).  Bratwurst & German fare for dinner.  FAAANNNNTASTIC!

Tomorrow morning, I work to keep the streak alive – my 32nd consecutive month marathoning.  AND at 7900ft elevation…will be my 3rd highest altitude-run after Angel Fire (NM) & Steamboat Springs.

 

 

Aspen road trippin’ (via Independence Pass)

 

Like the close of the Olympics, always sad when the torch is extinguished – official end of the Games.

Lotta laughs, lotta activities, WHOLE LOTTA FOOD…but St Louis Reunion 2016 ultimately came to a close.  Expect we’ll next get together for Ash & Tom’s wedding, May 2017 in Silverthorne (Colorado).

That said, ya’ll know there’s always a marathon (or 2) on the list which brings Family my way.  Lucky in life 🙂

Goodbye St. Louis.  GREAT job Sis – super FUN weekend!

 

 

Haga-Greco Family Reunion (St Louis 2016)

 

Last day in St Lou-ie.  Grant’s Farm – Sis pulled out all the stops.

…one time owned by Ulysses S. Grant and prior to that, by the Dent family.  It is now owned by the Busch family, who owned the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company for many years until it was sold to InBev in 2008.  Grant’s Farm has been an animal reserve for many years and is open to the public for free.  The farm is home to such animals as buffalo, elephants, camels, kangaroos, donkeys, goats, peacocks, the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales and many more.  Most of these animals can be seen by visitors on a tram tour of the deer park region of the park, while the Clydesdales are found in their nearby barn and pastures. The farm also contains a cabin called “Hardscrabble,” which was built by Ulysses S. Grant on another part of the property and later relocated to Grant’s Farm.  It is the only remaining structure that was hand-built by a U.S. president prior to assuming office.

Started off the day with a tram ride thru Deer Park – where deer, buffalo & native birds roamed the grounds free.  Additionally, snapped a sweet shot of Grant’s Cabin, early home to our 18th President Ulysses S. Grant.

Disembarked in Tier Garten, where for a $1 the family got to bottle-feed baby goats.

Price was certainly right – everyone joined in the fun.  Highlight of the day 🙂  From there, things turned animal-exotic.  Grant’s Farm houses elephants, kangaroo, zebra, camels, llamas, lemur & multiple varieties of birds.  Much to see.

 

The Bauernhof

German for “farmstead”, The Bauernhof was built in 1913. It surrounds a beautiful courtyard typical of a 19th century Bavarian farm, complete with stables, a carriage house, and offices and quarters for those who lived and worked there. Today, it houses the Busch family’s world-renowned carriage collection and stables.

Sis’ husband (a St Louis native) provided historical facts ’bout the Busch family, as we stable-walked by horses & carriages of days past — all started with German-immigrants Adolphus Busch & his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser in 1879.

‘Over 21s’ paused at the Budweiser Brewery trailer – chilled in the cooler & free sample imbibed 🙂

Finished?  Heck no.

No Anheuser-Busch trip is complete without visiting the world famous Clydesdales.  MASSIVE creatures — WOW!

The Clydesdale is a breed of draught horse derived from the farm horses of Clydesdale, Scotland, and named after that region. Often bay in color, they show significant white markings due to the presence of sabino genetics. The breed was originally used for agriculture and haulage, and is still used for draught purposes today.  The Budweiser Clydesdales are some of the most famous Clydesdales, and other members of the breed are used as drum horses by the British Household Cavalry.

Rain started falling as we began our goodbyes.  Michaela’s trip ended first, home on a 3pm flight to Connecticut.  The rest of us however kept adventuring – day’s last stop: Fitz’s Bottling Company.

[while waiting for a table] Watched a line of black cherry soda being bottled.  Crazy busy joint.  My food memory?  the Mt Everest Special – Fitz’s famous draft Root Beer topped with vanilla & chocolate ice cream PLUS whipped cream.  H-U-G-E!

 

Sadly all great vacations come to an end – but for Team Colorado, still one more show to go.

Landed in Denver at 9-ish.  On the 45-minute drive home, saw no less than 10 firework displays – brightly colored explosions from both sides of the Interstate.  No exaggeration…most every Foothills community was celebrating the 4th under clear Colorado skies.

Happy Independence Day, USA!

 

St Louis Reunion 2016

St Louis Reunion 2016

 

 

Grant’s Farm (St Louis 2016)

 

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