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Mountain Travels, Part 1: Aspen and surroundings




ggamgus: Well, the wait is over! :D

Hazami Pratama: Thanks.

Hey! Wake up! Today we are going for the mountains! Yup, that's right, today we are going to visit start our travels through the Alpenian mountains.

But before, a little insight:

Alpena is famous for it's beautiful mountains, the main reason of the mostly wild state of this country is this. Surrounded and pierced by mountain ranges all over it's geography, it's been hard for the Alpenian government to build infrastructure outside from the two main valleys. Only one quarter of the population is spread over more than 80% of the national territory (a real life example of this kind of situation is Russia).

There are two main mountain ranges in the country:

  • Cascavian Coastal Range: This one runs along most of Alpena's coastline, formed mostly by long asleep volcanoes, as well as those created by the push of the continental drift, today the area is relatively safe, as the continental drift that caused the volcanoes activity and created the mountains has been moving into the sea for a few million years, still most of the population in this area does not discard the posibility of earthquakes and tsunamis. Good that thanks to the mountains, the coast is mostly a deserted number of rough coast and cliffs facing the sea.
  • Innland Mountain Range: Such a name was the result of a grammatical error back in the colonial times of Alpena. The Innland Mountains are the largest and bulkiest of the country, sometimes there are even high plateaus created over what should be a mountaintop. This is the result of many millions of years of erosion. Geologists believe this mountains were formed by continental drift, just like the more recent coastal range. It's located right in the center of the Alpena, and many of it's important rivers are born there, like the ones of the Queens River Valley.

Well now that you know a little about the geography of the country let's get started.

The mountains have very characteristic dry climate on it's lower parts, with sage bush, reed grasses, shrubs, and the odd juniper tree.


Some curves, though these are actually the less difficult ones, some are even worse and could cause nausea to some people. But I don't think we will get to have one of those experiences.


A junction in the highway. It's just like a normal one because the low speeds in mountain roads allow for this kind of intersection.


We travel south of the junction and after a few minutes we arrive to Aspen, a small town in middle of a narrow valley.


We stop for some gas and watch the freight trucks go along the main road.


We go on. The terrain starts to get steeper as the road follows the valley.


Eventually we are able to see some water over the creek of this valley, water is roaring somewhere up ahead.


Wondering why? The answer: a dam. That's the Aspen Creek Dam, it provides energy to the whole region through underground cables that go along the mountain roads.


Mmmh... we arrived when they are running dry, normally it has the double of water.

Full overview of the dam below.


We keep going up the road with some impressive landscape, even though we are in the dry season of June (This region has most of the rainfall in autumn).



The sun starts to settle, and we have to stop somewhere to rest. This small town should do, though I think we will have to ask the locals if they can accept us in their homes, there are no hotels here. It's called New Aspen and this is where most of the dam workers live, as it's just 15 minutes by car.


This finishes off today part of the mountain tour, in the next part we will turn back and go north of Aspen, to the town of Meadowsville.

See you next time!


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