The Trans America Challenge 2018

27 May - 17 June 2018



JUNE 12, 2018

Aspen - Rest Day


The late and much lamented John Denver summed this place up perfectly, “Aspen. A sweet Rocky Mountain paradise” and if we could add that sentiment, if ever anyone needs an image for a chocolate box then Aspen’s the place to look for it.

Wall to wall blue sky and full sun gave our day off in the mountains a distinct holiday feel. Ringed by mountains and pine forest the town is one big sun trap and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

If you need a visual reference then think Chamonix crossed with the Champs Elysee with a little Bond Street added for good measure.

For our weary crews there were plenty of restorative things to do, they could rent a bike and take this (or walk) along the riverside Rio Grande Trail, there was the option of a chairlift ride to Aspen Snowmass, the ski station high above the town or there were the cafes, boutiques and shops of the downtown area tackle.

There were also some cars to be fixed though and down in the garage the sweeps were on duty. Ready, willing and Able.  Anthony Verloop was under the front of his MG fitting new suspension bushes. Erik Droogenbroek was busy in the ‘trunk’ of his Volvo plumbing in the fifth fuel pump of the trip.

Andy Inskip meanwhile was working on the bodywork of Otakar Chladek’s Mercedes. Sadly he clipped a pillar in one of the underground garages and mashed up his headlight and right hand wing although luckily the damage is just cosmetic.

Michael Eatough was spanner checking and he coyly showed us his ‘tool hamper’ nestling in the boot of the Mercedes. This Fortnum and Mason wicker box supposedly had a full set of spares in it but we couldn’t help wondering if it was really stuffed with foie gras and French cheese and some nice ham.

The Jerome Hotel has been an excellent base for us today and indeed it has some previous form where old cars are concerned. In 1952 there was a street race in Aspen and the course took the cars past the hotel and onto Mill Street. Notably, John Johantgen and Kurt Kircher drove this race in a pair of Allard J2’s.

By nightfall everyone was agreed that this had been an excellent rest day and that one thing is for sure. It’ll be hard to leave.

Syd Stelvio



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