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Aspen is a town, city, and ski resort community in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. It is the county seat of Pitkin County and is in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains' Sawatch Range, along the Roaring Fork River at an elevation around 2,400 metres above sea level on the Western Slope, 18 kilometres west of the Continental Divide. The town has about 7,000 inhabitants.
Aspen has humid continental climate owing to its high altitude. This means generally warm summers and cold snowy winters. Temperatures in summer are mostly in the 20-25 °C range with nights dropping to or below 10 °C or so. Winter days average around freezing during the day but plummit to -10 °C to -15 °C at night. The alltime high and low temperatures stand at 34 °C and -38 °C respectively. The average annual amount of precipitation is about 600mm and there is about 3.5 metres of snow a year as well. Even in June and September snow is common, though rare.
Colorado State Highway 82 is the only major road that provides access to Aspen. There are some mountain pass roads that lead to the town, but those require all-terrain vehicles and are typically impassable during the winter. Highway 82 east of Aspen is also impassable due to persistent snow on Independence Pass, leaving leaving Highway 82 west of Aspen as the only means of motor vehicle access during the winter.
Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, or RFTA, provides free bus service within Aspen and Snowmass Village, and pay service to the surrounding communities of Basalt, El Jebel, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, and Rifle. Local RFTA bus service within Aspen and to Snowmass Village is free.
There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.
See also International Telephone Calls
The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.
The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.
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