Sun through Veil of Smoke



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.

The 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

  1. your phone cord
  2. your meds
  3. your toothbrush


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