Rio Grande Trail: Aspen to Glenwood, and Back
Taking what was going to be my one hour lunch loop, I got on my road bike and headed down towards the Catherine Store Road to ride up into Missouri Heights. I had a lot of work to do but was determined to fit in some exercise.
Being directionally challenged, I took a wrong turn onto Cattle Creek Road and my one hour ride turned into four. It’s a good thing, and to no surprise to anyone, that I have made a livelihood out of writing life travel stories. After all, being lost is a state of being for me. I am often made fun of that I carry a full pack of food and clothes wherever I go, as I am certain that I would be the first one to get thrown off the boat, or eaten because I couldn’t figure out how to catch dinner or make a fire if ever in a survival situation.
Upon reflection, I should have heeded the warning signs that yesterday would be a day destined towards lostness. It began with my missing an appointment that I was 30 minutes late for. Believe you me, I have had many a friend reprimand me for hours about my lateness, telling me that late people are just selfish people. My theory is that late people are the kind of people who live completely in the moment and have no sense of time, a difficult trait to live by when one needs to grow up and run a family, and a business. We are who we are and I blame it all on my mother. When we were growing up we learned to tell her to go left when she really needed to go right.
Parking my car at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel I biked down towards Carbondale, crossed the highway and headed up the hill to Missouri Heights. Lost in the moment as I passed fields with grazing sheep, horses and deer, I somehow ended up in Glenwood Springs.
Reaching into my survival pack, I was happy to find a shot of GU, the kind with a full cup of caffeine in it. Adjusting my head phones I gave in to the moment, gathering content as I rode back to El Jebel with Bald Eagles and Blue Heron flying over my head.
It was a fantastically wonderful, unexpected day and even though I am making up for it today with a double workload, I find that I am able to handle it all with much more clarity since the calmness of nature, with birds soaring and rivers flowing, untied the tight knots of clutter that were clogging my brain. I highly recommend that you too allow yourself to get lost so that you realize that it’s okay to walk away from the grind. The work will always be there, but the adventures might not be.
What and Where is the Rio Grande Trail?
The Rio Grande Trail is a 42.5 mile continuous multi-use trail completely protected from vehicular traffic except at intersections. It begins at one of our favorite parks for children in Aspen, Herron Park on Neale Ave. in Aspen., and travels all the way down to Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs.
There are many ways to get on the trail, but if one begins at Herron Park one will find people with their dogs, children, Striders and strollers heading towards Rio Grande Park, the John Denver Sanctuary – Rock & Perennial Gardens and the Theatre Aspen tent. The dog walkers will soon enough venture off and follow their own secret routes that travel to all the watering holes.
Past Cemetery Lane the path becomes more quiet and turns to gravel, and is where the wildlife becomes more abundant as the animals venture to the river to drink. Bears and Mountain Lions with their cubs have been spotted around there, as well as where the path travels past the serene and beautiful Rock Bottom Ranch and all their farm animals.
In Carbondale the path travels near the old train tracks and one will find paths to businesses located off the path, like True Nature Healing Arts whose path leads to their Peace Garden and deliciously organic Sangha Kitchen. Yesterday I rode through it all.