Sunday, February 11, 2007

Aspen Trip - Day 1

Friday night we get into town, meet up with our temp room mates / land lords, stay up and chat with the lady of the house, and I finally gave up on staying up late and passed out.

The next morning, we got up and hung out for a bit. Moto and I hash out what the hell we're gonna do today. The only thing we decide on is to go get breakfast at
Johnny McGuires. Go for the Desayuno in burrito form. OMFG!

So, we head back to the house and chow. Moto and I keep going back and forth on what we wanna do. The one thing I know I want to do is to go ice skating in Aspen, and I found a time on Sunday over at Lewis Arena. Bird had also recommended earlier on that we hit Marble and I kinda wanted to do that, but the lady of the house was saying that there wasn't anything but snow to see so that kinda dampered the spirits a bit. Moto and I was having no luck with either of us making a decision. Screw it, we're going to go over to Buttermilk to see the Nissan Aspen Open, with a half piple and a jump. That was pretty fun, got some good pix, nothing interesting, but it was cool. We signed up for some Nissan marketing thing and got a free shirt, Moto picked up a free
Larabar Pecan Pie thing, and then we're off to Marble. Hop in the car and head up to get some coffee and then to Carbondale, eventually back down towards Redstone. I was supposed to see the Redstone Castle, but I didn't wanna after we got there.

We hit
Marble, population 85, and found the street sign towards the quarry. Oh yeah. The quarry was 4 miles up the hill which was a single lane road with the occasional switchback, with a good size snow bank on the edge of the road which was the only thing keeping me from freaking out while driving next to the occasional 8 million foot drop off the side of the mountain. We make it up the mountain super easy, regardless of the ice packed road covered with snow. I swear, 2 inches of ice all the way up.

On the way up, we're doing a good clip of about 20-25 mph, and we literally almost run into a Toyota SUV coming down the mountain. I come to a sliding stop as I watch the Toyota attempt to come to a stop. He finally came to rest after sliding down the road for about 20 feet or more. They looked a little concerned that they weren't going to stop that truck. Moto and I giggled as we watched the truck slide toward us. I start backing down the mountain to try to get out of the way, and eventually have to pull towards to truck to let them by. A matter of inches seperated the vehicles as we started to pull up the rest of the mountain. A few cars and trucks along the way on the side of the road appears to have people skiing up on the mountain.

15 minutes later we are at the end of our journey. I am bummed to found out that we get to go no further. Dammit!

So all that marble that we wanted to see in the quarry was not going to happen. The only marble we were gonna get to see up on the hill was a few blocks that are right next to the gate.

Moto stands for a shot against the marble.

So, we get in the car and back down the road a bit and find a spot to flip around. We flip the car around and start down the hill. Almost instantly I have a new appreciation for going down this hill. Instead of this being a brief trip down the hill, Moto makes the comment that this is going from 4 miles to about 18. Yeah, oh yeah, just wait.

We get down the mountain a bit with the occasional high pucker factor from the rear of the car sliding around every once in a while due to ruts in the road or due to stupid gravity combined with ice.

There was a wonderful spot where the road goes through a nice set of trees where I wanted to stop and take a few photos. So we slide to a stop and get out. The first spot I stopped at didn't frame enough trees in the shot so I moved the car down further. Slid the car to a stop again and get out. I bent down and take a few shots. Turned out pretty good.

I get my shots and head down the hill. Still slow as ever.

At the bottom of the hill, where we had passed the once active mill site for the marble, we go back towards the old mill site where there are towers covered with marble. It was pretty interesting. You have to understand that the marble for the Lincoln Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and hundreds of other buildings, was quarried and finished here. They no longer finish the marble here, they just pull it from the quarry and take it else where to have it finished.

The coolest part was that they decided to put in an ice rink in the middle of the old mill site. How sweet is that....oh wait, son of a bitch, I took my skates out of the car before leaving for Marble. Shit!

So we get out and see the ice rink, and see an old Zamboni next to the rink. There's a couple of kids skating on the rink and I continue to cuss myself for not having my skates. Dammit.

Then it happens, as I do often I check my waist to make sure my phone and Blackberry are still there, and the phone is MIA. I have a small panic attack. Start looking through the car and near it and it's nowhere to be found. Shit, I'm in my head about having to explain how I lost my stupid phone. Moto is like, dude, it will only take 15 minutes to go find it, it has to be up on the hill. How fucking dreadful of a feeling that is. I'm at the bottom of a big icy fucking mountain, and now I have to go back up. Shit.

So, we haul ass back up the mountain to try and find the phone.

We're doing well and we stop at what is our official second stop when coming down the hill where I stopped to take the photo of the trees. As I stop the car slowly, Moto makes a comment that it's probably up the road where he can see a dark something on the side of the road, but I blow that off as probably being a rock. So I get out and look around where I took the photos near the 3 spots where I knealt down and took the photos. I don't see it. As I'm standing in front of the car, the most scary thing begins to happen.

The car.

The car!

The car begins to roll down the mountain!!! Fuck!!! I screamed at Moto that the car is moving. All Moto says is something like, oh shit and watches me as I run towards the car. I run around the back of the car, it's rolling towards me now, I get around the car, and I stop on the side of the car as it continues to roll toward me. I ready my hand to open the car door. I have to pull a stunt whereby I get in a moving car and attempt to stop it. It's absolutely something out of a fucking movie. I open the car door and literally jump in. The second my ass hits the seat, my foot slams on the brake with the door still open. You see the goddamn wheels are turning, and the car is in park, but no, the parking brake was not on. But truly, I don't believe it would have helped. So, with the wheels turning, hitting the brakes was the logical thing to do, so I did. The brakes engaged and the car and I slid to a stop but not before sliding toward the snow embankment. The car door digs into the embankment a bit, but is unhurt. I scream, "What the fuck!!!"

I think I had 15 different emotions in less than 30 seconds. I got mad and put the car into drive and drove fairly fast up the mountain road towards a spot in the road that has bare ground, no ice, just a little mud. I stop the car and get out. I walk in circles for 2 minutes looking at Moto every once in a while and just start to panic in my head as my hands and legs start to shake.

OK. The car is safe and I'm calming down. I look up towards the spot that Moto saw the stupid black thing in the road, and it's my stupid phone (black spot, bottom right in the snow).

Shit. I pick it up, and the phone thankfully it is in power save mode. Good thing too, since it was about to be lost for a long time. But I will say that I'm very glad it's not up at the top near the gate to the quarry.

I grab some Ibuprofen from the first aid kit cause my head is pounding at this point. We turn the car around again and drive down the mountain. Slowly.

We come across this asshat in an old VW Rabbit with chains on the front wheels, and he is being a bit of a dick coming up right in front of the car where I can't go anywhere but back. Fucker. So, get a little pissed off and drive backwards back up the mountain at least half a mile. Pull over on the road near a wider part of the road and let cock monger pass. This time, we finally get down the mountain successfuly with all parts in hand and no need to go back up. We are back down in 'town' and decide it's time to head back toward Aspen. I'm not feeling well, so it's best. We have a quiet drive back to Aspen.

We get back to the house and relax. Not much going on, just talking.

I'm starting to feel a little better and we begin to decide on dinner. After much talking, we decide on some Thai. Now, there's two lovely little girls who live here too, and the youngest one was so much fun. She and I were wrestling on and off during the day. When we got back from Marble, she came in a couple of times with her friend from down the road. Now, all I can say is that this little girl is like most others, she likes to laugh and play and wrestle, ya know, why not right? She's just a little girl, but the most interesting thing about her is her heritage. The following picture should kinda say a lot:

It's dark out by now, and they are supposed to go back to her house, and she says that she is scared. She didn't want to go by herself, so the lady of the house volunteers me to walk her home since I have my coat on. I put my shoes on and walk the girls to the other house. The sweetest thing, she grabbed my hand while walking down the path to the other house. Very sweet little girl.

I walked back and we got ready to go eat. We went into town and parked and then walked over to
Sesame Basil. Had some Phad Thai which was pretty good. They also had some Indian cuisine, so Moto ordered some Indian curry with chicken. That was so good. I've had better Phad Thai, but the curry was so freakin' good. Nice work.

We all leave there and walk over to
Boogie's. Moto gets a $8 malt shake. Eventually head back to the car. It's been a long day, so I don't really feel too bad about this, but I realized about half way back to the house that I'm riding in a BMW. I've never in my life been in a BMW and it was pretty nice little car. It was about a 3 year old car, and the strangest thing about it was the car stereo. It was physically huge, taking up about 2 times the size of a normal car stereo. But it's a nice vehicle and can see why folks want one. When I get my bank roll, maybe I'll score one. Ya never know.

It was quite an interesting day.


Bird said...

Yikes! Glad you and moto are safe, and that you got to see a bit of Marble. Even though you didnt go, Redstone (and that drive from carbondale to marble) is so neat right? especially in the fall...

rocks said...

That's insane! I can only imagine being white knuckled the whole trip.