Day 3: Dillon to Carbondale via Independence Pass and Aspen
Dillon is on Interstate 70 on the prime ski corridor, fairly uninteresting in the summer. The good part is that this east-west corridor is thin: you dont go too far north or south before theres nothing but that damned cat again. Next morning we toured the nearby Country Boy goldmine just outside of Breckinridge. Breckinridge has taken cute to a new high or low, with block after block of stores selling, er, stuff.
Heading south into the vasty gray, we passed what looked like a strange, sick lake at altitude. Turned out to be the processing settling ponds for Climax Molybdinum. If that place were anywhere near any other place, there would be angry crowds with torches and spears rushing the gates, demanding they fix the landscape. We woulda, but it was getting rainy. Pulled into Leadville for lunch and a visit to the National Mining Museum, which had surprisingly good mining displays, a fine mineral collection, and a third floor completely comprised of plaques to mining leaders and/or despoilers. We didnt see one of Mr. Climax.
Turned west and passed over one of the most impressive passes at Independence, over 12,000 ft. Shortly thereafter was the (ghost) town of Independence, sitting by the road at a breathtakingly high altitude. Eventually came to Aspen through the mist, but all the signs spelled "money" and our internal ones spelled "cheap." Didnt stay, but continued northwest to Carbondale.
Carbondale is a charmer with a small two-block downtown with movie theater and a couple of restaurants. I ignore the new part, the El Camino Real part, with all the gas stations and the like. Ate dinner at the "Ship of Fools". No one at the restaurant knew if it was named after the novel or the song by the Dead.
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