a trip to aspen

Posted on July 27th, 2015 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »


Yesterday we went to Aspen, Colorado for the first time!


The drive was about 3 1/2 hours long and very breathtaking.  That mountain in the background above is Mount Ebert–the highest peak of the North American Rocky Mountains, and the highest point in the state of Colorado and the entire Mississippi River drainage basin. It towers 14,439 ft above sea level.


There’s Mount Ebert again, in the distance. I took this photo from up on Independence Pass, a paved road over 12.000 ft high.  It followed a cutaway cliff, snaking along the very edge of the mountain–with no guardrail.  It was a little hairy at times. 🙂


Staying as far from the edge as possible.  Pardon our lovely bug-spattered windshield.


Indian paintbrush and other wildflowers were everywhere.


Here we are, above the treeline and the snow!


Aspen, at last.


Roberto Dutesco, the Romanian-born Canadian photographer, had an opening at a gallery in Aspen this weekend.  We went because he set up an event for kids to annotate the borders of Love, his most well known photo of the Wild Horses of Sable Island.  The piece will be auctioned to benefit a children’s non-profit.


After I first saw Love hanging in a house (online) I remembered it for months, and then searched until I found it again. Dutesco’s work became one of my favorites, and David got me a copy of his book last year for my birthday.  This spring, I received permission to make an artist’s rendering of his work, and made an oil painting of Tenderness.


After poring over Dutesco’s work for so long, it was amazing to meet him in person and have my kids work with him on one of his own prints.



These are Zia’s drawings, around Dutesco’s signature.



And a few drawings he made with Cash’s hand.



Here we are, in front of a print of the real Tenderness. I think the price tag on it was $28,000, but he had others there for nearly twice that.


By the time the kids finished, we were starving.  We walked to Brunelleschi’s Pizza for lunch, then checked out an art fair a block or so from the gallery.

Aspen was nice to visit, but different than I thought it would be.  It seemed a bit out of reach and in a world of its own–not a cozy, touchable ski town like Winter Park or Breckenridge. But it was a brief visit, and I could be wrong.


Heading back home–a different route.  These high canyon cliffs followed the river and then opened into an expanse of rolling hills and red dirt mountains.


We saw lots of water, both going and coming. The colors everywhere were amazing–red and yellow wildflowers, blue lakes, bright green mountain slopes, every shade of earth from white to red, and light green high-altitude foliage I’ve never seen in lower areas.


We got home after dark, were welcomed by a hungry choir of goats, and fell into bed.  Hope you enjoyed this little tour of our Aspen trip!

6 Responses to “a trip to aspen”

  1. Kim says on :

    Wow, what a day! That is quite the scenic drive.

  2. Mimi says on :

    I can’t believe you met THE photographer of the Tenderness painting you did!!!! Not quite, but ALMOST like meeting Michelangelo, haha. What a great opportunity for you and the pics were amazing with him and the kids, wow! You should have showed him a pic of the painting!!!! Your bros and sisters have left after a nice visit and Hans will come tomorrow. It will be in the high 90’s today. Loved the scenery pics…how was the breathing up there? Love, Mimi

  3. mountain girl says on :

    I know–really great to meet him. The kids had fun and he was so nice to them, though I’m sure he was nervous about them drawing on the borders of his print. He “accidentally” found a completely worn out pen to give Cash–“Here, this is the perfect pen for you!” Haha. Glad the kids had a good visit!

  4. mountain girl says on :

    I couldn’t tell if it was harder to breathe–I didn’t go running up any mountains either, though. 😉

  5. susan says on :

    What incredible scenery, Mia – absolutely spectacular! And what a thrill it must have been for you to meet and have your children work with this incredible artist.
    Wow – What a day!

  6. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Susan! It really was a fun trip!