SILVER! That was the dream that brought people to settle in this remote area of Colorado in the late 19th century. This little village was named Aspen in 1880 after the Aspen trees that populate much of the surrounding countryside. During its infancy the town lived and breathed mining. The federal government was buying silver, as much as it could, and as fast as it could, so finding a silver strike was like digging for free money. It was the get rich quick idea of the 1880’s. In 1893 the silver market collapsed and the population drained from Aspen like a downhill skier running from an avalanche.
For about fifty years the sleepy town dwindled in population, and upkeep, until the mid 20th century brought recreational skiing into vogue. With the help of people like Walter Paepcke, who founded the Aspen Ski Company, life slowly returned to the quiet hamlet of Aspen. Today, it has become a popular vacation spot for many celebrities and corporate executives. Now Aspen has the most expensive real estate prices in the United States.
Positioned 11 miles west of the Continental Divide and rising above sea level to just shy of 8000 feet, the city of Aspen sits at the base of Aspen Mountain which is nicknamed “Ajax”. We were headed up the ski trails, on our off road jeep tour, when I took this picture of the city snuggled in the outstretched arms of the mountains.
Nikon D800 Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ISO 100 f/11 1/125 sec (2 image pano)