The shuttle from Denver International Airport took us along I-70 heading west before rumbling through Glenwood Springs and curving south along 82. We past the red hills of Basalt and winding mountain passes in Snowmass, blurring past the windows of the Colorado Mountain Express. By 5:30pm, we had reached Aspen with a towering natural landscape and 8,000 ft elevation that quite literally took our breath away.
I imagine the air in Aspen feels the way it wants to be felt: lighter, cleaner, and away from smog clouds and gas exhaust. The people here seem to feel it too. Families ride bikes along quiet neighborhood streets where pedestrians always have the right of way. Aspen’s downtown center is filled with upscale restaurants and luxury clothing brands, connected by cobblestone walking streets and outdoor seating. The grassy park in the center of the city is framed by looming mountains to the north and the south, regal protectors of the idyllic scene. I couldn’t help but marvel at the newness. I’m not in Kansas anymore.