A Scroll Down the Roaring Fork River, Part Four BELOW ASPEN

Come Along

Take A

SCROLL

D O W N  T H E

Roaring Fork River

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p a r t    f o u r

B E L O W   A S P E N

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Part One HEADWATERS / Part Two ABOVE ASPEN / Part Three ASPEN

Roaring Fork River, at Woody Creek, Below Aspen

Upstream from the Smith Hill bridge, Woody Creek CO

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Roaring Fork River, at Woody Creek, Below Aspen

Downstream towards my studio and the Colorado Rocky Mountain Sculpture Garden

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In Part Three of this scrolling tour we parted company with the Roaring Fork on the outskirts of Aspen, from which point a long narrow ravine effectively conceals the river so well as to be practically invisible – a distance of some five miles or so.

A lovely footpath however, easily accessible from the Smith Hill bridge parking lot, affords the most beautiful and secluded hike up over and along a mile or two of densely wooded riverbank. It is in fact one of my favorite little getaways when I’m in the mood for a convenient local walk.

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Roaring Fork River, at Ironbridge, Below Aspen

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Located just a mile or so from my studio workshop the aptly named Ironbridge, a marvelous relic of the valley’s mining days, provides perhaps the most spectacular views of the Roaring Fork on our journey so far… certainly the tallest above the surface. However such is the convoluted secrecy surrounding access to this slice of history that I’ll be back soon with a post featuring its precise location.

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Roaring Fork River, at Ironbridge, Below Aspen

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Roaring Fork River, Below Aspen

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At the time these photographs were taken (June 17) the rivers around these parts were running like ess-o-bees. No one had ever seen them running quite so high. Never before had I seen it so angry… so writhing, boiling and just downright dangerous. Depending upon the time of day it could be yellow, ocher, brown, purple, orange, tangerine or any shade in between. A positive riot of color met the eye as I gazed down upon the churning abyss – a quite mesmerizing experience it proved too.

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Roaring Fork River Rafters, at Ironbridge, Below Aspen

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Gaze at the water from the vantage of a bridge at this point on the Roaring Fork river and a craft of some sort will whiz by. Every year people drown in these and other local rivers, but the allure is great. And while a certain risk may indeed threaten these hardy souls the very fact that they are even out there on those rough waters speaks volumes for their confidence. With the water running this swift there really is no room for error.

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Roaring Fork River Rafters, at Ironbridge, Below Aspen

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Roaring Fork River, Below Aspen

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As mentioned previously, although the water was running higher than anyone can remember not the slightest indication of panic… or even preparedness, could be detected along the banks. For weeks the water ran right up to the tree-line, and not an inch further. Record run-off it may be but to my knowledge not a single property sustained flood damage. Such is the fine art of river management today.

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Roaring Fork River, Below Aspen

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Roaring Fork River, Below Aspen

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So deep and fast was the river running as it approached the final bridge of our tour that it slinked-by in an almost eerie silence.

Here however we must leave our beautiful river for others to enjoy downstream. On its rapid way to Glenwood Springs it will skirt the towns of Basalt and Carbondale, as well as accommodate the waters of the Frying Pan and Crystal rivers – both magnificent waterways in their own right.

But now we must bid adieu to my current favorite river. I hope you enjoyed our little scrolling tour and will consider a visit to the Roaring Fork Valley yourself someday.

Come visit the land that made Colorado Yule Marble. It really is magnificent.

See the land, feel the sculpture… then you’ll understand.

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Roaring Fork River, Below Aspen

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Roaring Fork River Rafters, Below Aspen

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Roaring Fork River Rafters, Below Aspen

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and now

the slideshow

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Roaring Fork River Rafters, Below Aspen

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Part One HEADWATERS / Part Two ABOVE ASPEN / Part Three ASPEN

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Thanks for visiting martincooney.com

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bye for now

Author, Roaring Fork River, Headwaters, Lost Man Trail.

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