When we lived there, it looked more like this-
taken from Wikipedia Commons- as were the downtown pictures, the rest are mine.
We lived there in the late 60's and early 70's when it was the "hippy" capitol of the world, or so it seemed to my father, who was the District Ranger for the Forest Service...
(this picture more from the mid 50's)and who's responsibility it was to keep in check the "free love" that was happening in the National Forest that surrounded the tiny mountain town at the end of the Roaring Fork Valley.
There is a sidewalk, around the corner, which led to the house next door, still situated on NFS land...
After my mom and dad divorced and she took us to Loveland to live with our grandparents, I still visited Aspen and that is when I learned about another piece of equipment important to families of those who took care of the NF, a radio- before cell towers and phones, the only form of communication for those out deep in the wilderness and those at home. My stepmother explained that to me. More critical, though my father did not do as much as our friends, when your loved ones were out fighting forest fires, a dangerous but profitable part of working for the NFS. We have friends who define what they will be able to do in a year, not by $ but by how many fires there might be.
The horses were there to be used in packing equipment and manpower into the forest when needed.
Pack Strings are still used today- both my dad and my father-in-law who are involved in Backcountry Horseman, still regularly work with the NFS when they bring their pack strings in to work on a Wilderness trail, where absolutely No motorized vehicles are allowed, so the horses are still needed.
On our trip this last weekend, my mom got to tell my daughters of how their grandpa's saddle and saddle bags were stolen and how my father track down the thief because he had the saddlebags custom made to fit his clipboard he used in his grass management.
Behind the horse corral, there were other outbuildings including a workshop, where my dad would make me simple wooden toys like a piece of 2x4 we painted and stapled a shawl onto. There was a bunkhouse for the seasonal hands and smoke jumpers perhaps, college boys who were around every summer, oh I was way to young to appreciate that.... but I still think of the time in Aspen during fire season when they are stationed around the Four Corners, with there bright red and yellow trucks and all of them wearing olive green cargo pants and heavy workbooks.
Next door to our house in Aspen, was an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins. They had been ranchers in the area, and were bought out when the rich started to move in, so they lived out their years in this little Victorian house. He always wore overalls and a felt hat and she wore dresses and aprons made out of calico, wore cat eye glasses and little white socks with her shoes, or so I remember.
One day, I do remember watching their house from our side window and not being allowed to go outside until Mr. Jenkins caught and drowned the skunks in trash cans that had taken up residence under their porch.
We also drove up Castle Canyon to enjoy the changing colors and to walk around the ghost town of Ashcroft....