It’s kind of a local’s ritual.
Once, twice, three times or perhaps quarterly, many of us hop in our cars, head past the roundabout and cruise downvalley to Glenwood Springs to replenish our supplies. It is a rite of passage, literally as we pass through Basalt and El Jebel and ‘Bonedale at 75 mph on our way to the big boxes, Walmart and Target, to buy all the stuff that we are pretty sure we can get for bargain prices in the “Springs,” as we refer to it romantically. Face it, “going to the Springs” just sounds better than “I’m going to Target.”
I made the trek early one morning this past week with an eye on avoiding the masked masses and was largely successful. All the things that seemed in short supply and overpriced upvalley were available downvalley for what I hope were a few pennies less. Paper products, tin foil, socks and underwear, dish soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shaving cream. Yeah, I know I can get all of those things delivered these days but there is something kinda of satisfying about stuffing 226 plastic bags, enough to choke all the whales in the Hudson River, into the trunk of the car and knowing that hey, I’m good to go for the next coupla months. Come to my house and you can rest assured that there will always be plenty of Cheez-Its. I may spend a few Benjamins but at least I have the basics.
In Aspen you can get a chinchilla coat or a silk ski suit but just try and find crew socks. When I went to the back of Target it was filthy with them — a word often used in a different way to describe my crew socks. When I come home I take the newly purchased 12 pack to my sock drawer and replace all of the old ones with the new pearly white “And1” crews. It’s like starting over.
And then there are those who take the idea next level and head all the way over to Eagle to get supersized at Costco. That is the ultimate in provisioning and, since I don’t have nine kids, it is trip I rarely make. Yeah, I know Costco is the largest wine and liquor outlet in the known world, but I prefer to patronize my local wine shops for my hooch.
There was a time, I suppose, that you could get anything you ever wanted or needed right here in Aspen at locally owned and operated shops. But now if you just want the basics then it’s the upstairs at Carl’s or nothing. If you want to get essentials, then once twice, three times or quarterly be prepared to make the Downvalley Dash.