Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

They say cleanliness is next to godliness.

If there is any truth to that bromide then we, here in the Roaring Fork Valley, sit at the left hand of the devil when we climb into our cars. A clean car in this valley is, well, let’s just say it’s an unusual sight.

Oh sure, there is the occasional Lexus or Porsche down from Red Mountain, the land of the “detail.” And every once in while a recent arrival from Denver will have a showy shine on it. But for the most part, the average car in this patch of mountain paradise is downright filthy. Especially this time of year. Especially in this muck.

Of course, it’s not all our fault. What with the PM-10 circulating above our recently melted streets. What with bridge and road and tunnel construction being an ongoing concern. What with many of our dearest friends and neighbors living on roads that are alternately wet and muddy or dry and dusty. What with it being mud season after all.

Fortunately, there is a modicum of relief available. By my count we have five, count ’em five, car wash emporiums between the towns of Twin Lakes and Carbondale. True, none of them live up to the standards of those you’ll find in the more auto-centric towns around (ever see how clean the cars are in Scottsdale, or Laguna Beach? Those folks must have a spot right on the dais with the Big Guy). But with a little outside work one can return the exterior of one’s ride into a shiny memory of what it was when it was young and clean.

People have their favorite car washes. Some like the touchless touch found at the Sunburst car wash on Highway 133 in Carbondale. Others opt for the convenience of the ABC-based or Basalt coin ops. Still others swear by the Basalt Store’s multicolored psychedelic soap bubbles.

Personally, I like the stand-alone building at Willits. Not that there is anything particularly new or innovative about it. And the prices are certainly in line with what they charge just up the street in Basalt. But there is something appealing about the brick building with the peaked roof and the painted sign on its side. It looks, well, purposeful, a place where one can drive in one side with a mud monster and come out the other with a spot-free chariot. And that, I guess, is the point.

As we progress through mud season, be aware that any new wash will be mucked up by the time you get home. But every once in a while it’s good to indulge both yourself and your wheels. And don’t forget the Roaring Fork Conservancy councils that, “Washing your car at a car wash ensures that the water gets properly treated and recycled.”

It may not be heavenly, but at least it’s clean.


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