Salt Lake City to Aspen

Salt Lake City to Aspen

We had another friend to visit, in Aspen, CO, scheduled for dinner on Tuesday. While we needed to get moving a bit, we weren't in a massive rush for this one. Nugget had noticed a Ferrari dealer in Salt Lake City, and not far from our hotel! So, hey, let's stop by! We found the correct city block, which was covered in various dealerships for various brands, but didn't see Ferrari. So what did we do? We turned in a random driveway! We drove through the parking lot looking for something that looked like customer parking or a Ferrari dealer, but as we drove we realized... that's a bunch of Mercedes vehicles, parked closer than normal... and oh we're in the Mercedes dealer's storage lot. A porter moved a car around, seemingly unconcerned that two random people in a vehicle of an entirely different brand were stumbling around the lot.

We managed to find the service department for the Ferrari dealership, but not the main showroom. Regardless, we checked on windshield availability for the Portofino, as ours was cracked during the Adventure. Checking back later, we learned the dealership was on the other side of that city block, but oh well, close enough. We moved on.

Asking our phones for routes to Aspen, we found three. The fastest, a more southern route, went back over roads we'd driven on the way in from Moab, and we'd rather not repeat if we could avoid it. A second route was only about 30 minutes longer, went on different roads, and looked more... direct. I know better than to expect the direct looking route to be the smooth/fast/optimal route in the mountains, but a quick glance over it looked sane enough and maybe with some more interesting roads than the southern route. The third offered route was more northern, significantly longer, and looked to be more on boring, straight roads. So middle route it was!

The Portofino still looked like a spotted, dirty mess. We weren't up for properly washing it, but at least a nice spray down seemed like a good idea. As we headed west Nugget was keeping an eye out for possibilities. As we were flying down the road, past a collection of houses on the left, Nugget spots the spray of a pressure washer. Someone is spraying down a four-wheeler. We'd passsed by the time Nugget realizes what he saw, but he decided he'd turn around and go back. As we turn off the main road we find to get to the house, we'll be going over a dirt road. Wash a car, drive on a dirt road... Well, we weren't going for "clean", just "less speckled", so it'll do! The people washing the four wheeler had already put away the pressure washer (I guess they were just about done as we drove past the first time), but offered a hose. After a spray the car looked... slightly less speckled. Still very dirty. We spoke with the folks who were staying in the house, playing with four wheelers in their summer, and maybe now they have a story about the weird people in the Ferrari who showed up and borrowed a hose!

We continued on US 40 into Colorado, and then the map app told us to turn. On... this little road? In the middle of nowhere? It's a dirt road. Surely not. We check again. Yup, Apple Maps wants us on this dirt road. It looks to be in good condition, sooooo okay!

We encounted a good amount of other cars on the road. The surface was in good condition, no ruts or other issues, and, at least at the pace we went, a minimum of crud was kicked up. Taking the Ferrari down the dirt road was completely undramatic in all ways except knowing it was a Ferrari going down a dirt road! But I don't see this sign often on asphalt roads:

In time we make it back onto asphalt, traveling next to a twisting river bringing green to its surroundings. Watching the environment around me change is one of the joys of road trips.

In the town of Rifle, as we stopped for drinks, we ran into this charming fellow:

At first glance, I thought that bag hanging over the radiator was a cute affectation. But then I took another look. It says "The Safari Water Bag", and the small text at the top says, "Soak well before using". The bag seems to be made of some sort of cloth, which presumably is not completely watertight. I asked the internet, and ran into this page. The non-water-tightness is intentional. The bag uses evaporative cooling, in this case to cool the radiator, but to cool whatever may need cooling (including the water itself). My grandfather told me about how, when he was a child, they'd soak canvas in water as they headed toward the field for a day of work. They'd put their food somewhere relatively high, where they're be a breeze, but in the shade (under a tree), and covered with the soaking wet canvas. The evaporative cooling would keep their food cool, and cheeses, etc. would stay fresh and ready for lunch. Thanks for bringing back that memory, to the car and its owner, out in Rifle, Colorado.

Not long after we left Rifle, I fell asleep. I woke up briefly on our exit from I-70, but then I was back asleep until Nugget stopped for fuel in Aspen. The city looked very much like a resort town as I threw away my trash in the bear-safe trash can. Still, it is green and it is beautiful.

We had dinner with our friends and walked the central part of the city. They told us about the various features, what's over here, what's over there. We heard tales of the airport, the shuttle to the ski slopes, the biking trails, etc. I'd love to come back.

The next day we would drive Independence Pass and see if we could make it from Aspen to Bulverde in a day!