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Jessica.Olson's blog

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Aspen Brewing Company Moves Downtown

Aspen, CO – Many people come to Aspen to “live the dream” or to follow their passion; skiing or riding, hiking, biking…the list is endless. For the owners of Aspen Brewing Company, and for me, these passions include beer. I’m not talking about a Bud Light drinking binge, I mean flavorful, innovative, locally crafted beer.

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Tempranillo Restaurant in Basalt

Basalt, CO – I was a bit hesitant to walk into Tempranillo with my boyfriend, John. As a chef, he is very particular about his food. He had already developed a negative perception of Tempranillo, although it is a popular restaurant that has received many positive reviews. He still had lowered expectations, but he decided to give the restaurant a try.

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Columbian Mammoth Bones Discovered Near Snowmass Village

Mammoth mandible: The mandible (lower jaw) with one tooth attached found in Snowmass Village. Next to it you can see another tooth coming in. Mammoths have six sets of teeth, so they lose them often.Mammoth mandible: The mandible (lower jaw) with one tooth attached found in Snowmass Village. Next to it you can see another tooth coming in. Mammoths have six sets of teeth, so they lose them often.Snowmass Village – The Snowmass Village Water and Sanitation (and Paleontology?) District has usurped the community spotlight, even as elections loom. It may not have been in the original job description, but recently the Water and Sanitation District employees have taken on the roles of paleontologists and museum curators. While working to enlarge Ziegler Reservoir above Snowmass Village on October 14th, a machine operator noticed something odd emerging from the ground. Upon further examination, he realized that they were very large bones.

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Conquering Mount Sopris near Basalt, CO.

View near summit of Mount Sopris: View near summit of Mount Sopris near the Basalt.View near summit of Mount Sopris: View near summit of Mount Sopris near the Basalt.CARBONDALE, CO - In most of the Colorado mountain towns where I have lived, there is one peak that dominates the skyline. In Norwood it is Lone Cone Mountain, in Colorado Springs it is Pike’s Peak, and in my new home of Basalt it is Mount Sopris. Driving into the Roaring Fork Valley one cannot miss the stunning view of this peak. It rises over 6,000 feet in less than three miles to its twin summits, both at exactly the same height of 12,965 feet. For me it is a rite of passage to summit the peak that towers above the town in which I live. Not only does this help me to understand where my town lies in relation to the surrounding peaks and valleys, it also affords a familiarity with the mountain that makes gazing up at the peak even more enjoyable and meaningful. Last weekend, I conquered Mount Sopris.

I chose a date and invited some friends, sure that we would have to set several dates before the weather cooperated and we were able to summit. That morning, we woke up to a cloudless blue sky and the weatherman predicting that it would remain that way throughout the day. We drove to the trailhead munching peanut butter and apples, and energetically began the hike. Not long after we began, we passed a gnome, sitting quietly next to his pet chipmunk slightly off the trail. After about two hours of hiking under a canopy of yellow aspen leaves, we reached Thomas Lakes. They were so still that we could see the twin summits of Mount Sopris reflecting in the water. A small pond between the two lakes was covered with a thin sheet of ice, reminding us that winter was on the way. Our midmorning snack refilled our tanks and allowed us to continue onward and upward, constantly marveling at the beauty of our fall-colored valley.

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1st Annual Big Aspen BBQ Block Party – BBQ, Beer, and Blues Create Camaraderie in Aspen

Street View: BBQ Pits line the street, each offering a unique BBQ specialty from various restaurants around the U.S.Street View: BBQ Pits line the street, each offering a unique BBQ specialty from various restaurants around the U.S.ASPEN, CO – Residents and visitors venturing into the chilly fall morning air of Aspen on August 28th were met with the strong scent of a variety of meats being smoked and grilled. Throughout the day, the scent only strengthened. The source was not difficult to find. A quick scan of the sky above Aspen directed those who were curious to the First Annual Big Aspen BBQ Block Party, a sister event to the Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York City. The inescapable smell, sight, and sound of the event were, in my opinion at least, what made the event as successful as it was. The whole thing seemed last-minute. There was no advertising until just a couple of weeks before the event. The week before, not too many had heard about it. Many people seemed to come from the Aspen Saturday Market directly to the BBQ, just following the scent.

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100 Mile Dinners at Restaurant SIX89

Front of Restaurant SIX89: View of the front of Restaurant SIX89Front of Restaurant SIX89: View of the front of Restaurant SIX89CARBONDALE, CO - RESTAURANT SIX89, CARBONDALE, COLORADO – Wiping the sweat from my palms, I slowly formed a fist and tapped on the door. I was meeting my boyfriend’s mom for the first time. The worst part – my boyfriend would not be there to ease the tension and help us to get to know each other. The best part – he was working at Restaurant SIX89, where he would cook us a fantastic dinner. The woman who opened the door looked reassuringly familiar from pictures. “Hi, I’m Cyndy,” she announced, holding out her hand. After introductions and a slightly tense drive, we arrived at the restaurant.