8.5 Hours to Aspen


Photos by Liz Mallen


At least I didn’t forget my panties. Talk about your chaotic roadtrip embarkments. Three times I had to drive back to my house before I was finally on the road to Aspen. So instead of a 9 a.m. start it was more like 11:30 a.m. Then with three kids and a puppy, the 6 hour drive brought us to the Molly Gibson Lodge at 8 p.m. We were already late for the 8 p.m. Welcome Reception and I had missed cocktails with Promo Communications- the PR agency that had invited me out to this exciting event.

The reception for Outside in Aspen at the Sky Lodge was a mix of Aspen locals and out of town guests. I ran into Chris Anthony (long-time Warren Miller pro) who would be leading the rockclimbing group. “There’s no snow,” he shrugged in response to my look when he said he was climbing. Some of the girls (myself included) wore cocktail dresses while others were more comfy in jeans. Men of all ages smiled. One girl with a painted mustache on her face was doing lines off her iPhone in plain sight of us. Not one to think that’s cool, we ignored the bad seed and enjoyed the DJ, the open bar and the yummy appetizers. The servers were happy to bring over kid food to- like sliders, mac n cheese and chicken skewers to keep the little ones happy.

We finally got the gang to bed before midnight. The Molly is a cozy spot just off the main drag that welcomes pets. Moki got dog treats and dog bowls at check in. And he romped with two other pups in the rear courtyard before stowing away in his crate so we could party. Tomorrow will be his day.

I had to tell Sage that her day with the sitter would be a lot more fun tomorrow because Momma had a meeting with grownups. That’s code for – you can’t join me for my adventure dog workshop. It’s my first clinic at Outside in Aspen and I’m determined to learn as much as I can from the experts leading my groups.

A guy I met tonight was considering the number of attendees. His company – Triumph Motorcycles – was one of the sponsors. He said organizers expected ‘only’ 300 people this weekend. I told him that was plenty; 10 clinics/300 people translates into 30 people per group. Those are big groups. I could see where a sponsor would want more exposure but personally I’d prefer a group half that size. We’ll see how it goes with the dog trainer tomorrow. Moki could use some individual attention. This is his first foray into adventure.


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