Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Road Trip Memories

Hubby's chain saw will be picked up today. His agenda is crowded with errands, however, so even though he might drop by the store and pick the saw up later in the day, I doubt he'll actually be able to fire it up until Thursday. Then it's "watch out" time for insects, logs and neighbors.

Although I never was on a road trip to Monument Valley, Arizona with my
parents, my Hubby and I have been through there. It's an outstanding and
totally amazing place to visit and I still have friends among some of the
Navajo who live in the area herding their sheep. 

It's summer here, and school is finally out. Some schools went really late this year, but travel season is starting to hit and people are crowding into their cars for their annual trials by fire - the family road trip. I remember driving up to Aspen with my mother and sometimes my Dad. Often Dad had to stay behind and it was just Mom and me driving over Loveland Pass and on into the greater mountains of the Colorado Rockies. I'm quite sure I drove my mother crazy by shouting "Waterfall!" each time I saw one spouting down from the melting glaciers and year-round snowpack on the top of Loveland Pass.

Here is the Loveland Pass road - Highway 6 - as it goes from the
summit towards Arapahoe Basin ski resort. This road is above
timberline and very gnarly in the winter. Want some more pictures? Here's
a great website on dangerous roads and Loveland heads the list. 

The road behind us would get thinner and thinner and there were times when I could look over the whole valley that we had passed and see our road zig-zagging up the peak. In winter the road was horrific - chains required on the tires and plenty of very slick spots with a very long way to fall if the driver lost control. In my late teenage years the Eisenhower Tunnel was built and completed. It give an entirely different aspect to winter travel through the Rockies and eliminated a lot of the danger, but it also eliminated a lot of the beauty from the eyes of travelers. Some of the romance of my mountains left when the Tunnel was bored and opened.

The Continental Divide runs down the spine of the Rockies. Snowmelt and water
from the right will flow west toward the Pacific Ocean, and snowmelt and water
from the left will flow toward the Atlantic Ocean. 

I remember the roads as they were, though, and you can still find roads like this in other parts of the Colorado Rockies, just not on what became Interstate 70 stretching across the state from east to west. I remember driving through Vail when it was a quaint village without any skiing. I remember Aspen when it was still more populated by abandoned miner's homes than people actually living there. I remember the beauty of the mountains that will always remain mine in my memories.

Tunnels make me nervous - all that earth above. I guess I would make
a terrible dwarf - I need the open skies and the blowing breezes to be
happy. The Eisenhower Tunnel is massive and it has been a life saver, but
large trucks still have to drive the pass, even in the winter. 

Change and 'progress', in this case, altered my mountains forever. Suddenly people flocked to the steep slopes to play and ski in the winter, and hike and explore in the summer. The pristine meadows and amazing hidden lakes and valleys were suddenly overrun and private property became more common than public lands. I don't want to turn back time in most cases, but I really wouldn't mind pushing a few million people out of the state of my youth.

Have a wonderful Tuesday. I'm hoping to get some serious work done today, but who knows if that will actually work out. Whichever way it goes it will be, right? Now to find some pretty pictures for all of you.

No comments: