ADVENTURING IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Adventures show up when we least expect or sometimes want them. Here’s mine that happened a few days ago!
Monday I journeyed from Eagle, CO, to Grand Junction for my annual cardiology appointment. My appointment, originally scheduled for Tuesday was changed to Monday at the last minute due to a doctors’ training. Perhaps the Universe knew I needed to go on Monday???
After learning that my heart should be good for another year, I started back along I-70 toward Eagle. But a surprise awaited me en-route. Smoke was billowing over the northern ridges. I knew there were wildfires in the area, but this was a LOT of smoke!
My daughter-in-law texted, “Be careful! There is a terrible fire in Glenwood Canyon right now. It is awful!!!” When I didn’t respond she called to let me know that I-70 through Glenwood Canyon was closed due to fire. I pulled over at the rest stop in Parachute.
There is no easy way around Glenwood Canyon and all of the routes are long and mountainous. So my son booked me a room in Rifle just west of Glenwood Springs. A good move.
When I shopped for dinner, the sun was a red ball hanging in the western sky seen through a veil of smoke. The motel filled up. I watched TV as I ate dinner. Then got ready for bed.
Tuesday morning I-70 was still closed. There was ash on my car. I got out my map and planned my route.
Glenwood Springs to Aspen. Over Independence Pass, one of the most difficult mountain passes in Colorado as is winds up a road carved into the side of the mountain. Sometimes there isn’t even a center line because the road is so narrow. At least I was going up the steep side, and it’s easier to go up a steep mountain pass than it is to go down. Then traveling north on Hwy 24 to Leadville, over Tennessee Pass and Battle Mountain Pass to Minturn. There were a slew of semis on these passes. Usually I might see one or two. Finally the last leg – west on I-70 to Eagle.
Five hours, 186 miles and 3 mountain passes to travel what normally is a 40 mile drive along the most scenic interstate in the U.S. which takes about an hour. BTW the suggested route from CDOT is even longer. I was able to take the shortest route since I don’t drive a big RV or a semi!
That’s enough adventure for this mountain girl for awhile!
The canyon is still closed. Evacuations are taking place. Today’s headline reads: “Grizzly Creek Fire Still a Bear”. No containment attained. Independence Pass is now closed.
P.S. I have no pictures for two reasons – it’s a white knuckle drive; and I had no phone cord, so needed to save my phone battery for emergencies.
P.P.S I learned three things on this trip: Never leave town without
- your phone cord
- your meds
- your toothbrush