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Madison, USA

Departure Thursday, September 03, 2009
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Early Fall Trip To Aspen

Labor Day was late this year, falling on the first week after September began. Over the past few years, I've been trying some Colorado resorts as a pre-trip to Europe (Switzerland). First was Beaver Creek, then Telluride, and this one to Aspen. I've never been to Aspen, but it was recommended to my by a friend, so I thought I'd try it out. I looked up flights on Kayak and Expedia, then booked directly with United. They have a direct flight from Madison to Denver, which is very convenient. Since all the connecting flights to Aspen were booked, I decided to rent a car from Hertz and drive there. I was also trying several iPhone apps on this trip, specifically TripIt, AAA, and Kayak. The use of live maps and positioning on iPhone is fantastic.

Boarding the Flight in Madison

The United commuter jet was pretty cramped, but was only a 2.5 hour flight to Denver. Baggage is checked planeside.

(click to enlarge)

When I'm packing, I lay everything out, roll, rubberband and pack.

For this trip, I packed my roll-aboard, and my daypack. I use the waist pack very little now, just opting to take the daypack everywhere. Within the daypack is a breathable raincoat and vest.

All packed. Travel light, you'll be rewarded as you travel.

Pepe and Renee on the flight.

Trip To Aspen

Aspen Summer Pass

Our flight was on-time and when we landed in Denver, we took the Hertz shuttle to the satellite lot. Our automated sign-in took a few minutes and we were off in our Mazda SUV to Aspen. The 5pm rush-hour traffic delayed us a bit in Denver, but soon we were out in the mountains. As we stopped for dinner we discussed our route to Aspen, and the person suggested we stay on the interstate and two lane highways instead of going via the mountian pass. It was a good suggestion. It took us 5-6 hours to get to Aspen. The vilalge is really dark - they turn off many of the city lights making seeing pedestrians very difficult. Once there we checked into The Gant. One our way to the condo unit, we were greeted by a large black bear wandering between the buildings. The bellhop was nice enough to chase him away for us.

(click to enlarge)

I the condo I booked had two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

TV in the master bedroom.

Master bath shower.

Master bed.

Guest bedroom.

Guest bedroom TV and dresser.

Guest bath - had a tub/shower combo and laundry.

View into the large living room with fireplace and porch.

Kitchen.

The kitchen is great for breakfasts and late night snacks.

The condo was clean and well organized.

Large couch.

The Gant

Fireplace

The Gant is a really great place to stay in Aspen. It has roomy, well organized condos for a reasonable price. I booked early in August, but checked back a few weeks later to find they had reduced the price by 1/2 for Labor Day weekend to fill rooms. I requested, and got the same discount. When we were there, the place was full for the weekend.

(click to enlarge)

End of Travel Day

Traveling to Denver was remarkably fast and easy. The drive to Aspen took a long time. I would opt for flying there, if there were flights. If you book enough in advance, it's cheaper to fly. But on busy weekends, the fares go up and availability go down.

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