Saturday, September 30, 2006

Guanella Pass

Well, this trip was actually taken on the 22nd - Fall Equinox! We (read crazy Erika) did lots of research on what the nice areas were to view the foliage close to Denver. We came up with a list and quite a few mentioned Guanella Pass so we totally prepared ourselves with sack lunches and a lovely plan for a great trip. (Can you tell by my tone you are in for a good story here?)

We got directions online and planned to go west on 285, north on Guanella Pass, and the east on I-70. The route looks like this: [ . Get it? Just picture the vertical bar shorter and the horizontal bars longer. The pass itself is basically the vertical portion of the bracket. It is about 22 miles long and we were told to plan on a couple of hours. So we had the destination and date (an off-Friday) in place and then the forecast starts pooping on us. Snow, snow, snow. I-70 actually closed on Thursday (the day before our adventure). But all these people had just gone the weekend before and RAVED about it. So, off we went.

Hmmm, so it was definitely snowing.
The roads were slick and the visibility sucked. I had visions of all of my foliage pictures ruined by low clouds and snow. Then we turned onto the highway that makes up the pass -
IT WAS A DIRT ROAD!!!!
Ah! Why did no one mention this? This is a KEY point! Total washboard. Very narrow. Very snowy/muddy. Yikes.

Still we persevered.
We got higher and higher. Less mud, more compacted snow.
We had to drive around a little sportscar that was reversing down the road. (Still not sure why he was going backwards). We finally reached the top of the pass, where things started sloping downward. We were excited. We topped the crest and began down the other side. And this is what we saw.

My, oh, my. That can't be a road.
That's like a sledding hill. So wussy Erika turned around. Actually I was less than confident after the snowy trip up so I handed the steering wheel to Rick. And he got stuck. And another car slid out of control (the mom jumped out of the car and evactuated her kids - yelling at them to jump out and run up the hill) trying to stop and help us. After many pointless minutes with Rick and other husband pushing we tried the good old standby that Rick had been less than eager to try - the floor mats. And like every other time, it worked like a charm. :~P Well, if you count a long time stuck in the snow and my kids freezing on the side of the road "a charm". We shoulda done it first. Anyway, so much for that trip. Later that night on the news we saw stories about all the people who had gone up to see the fall colors and had a miserable time - lots of snow and clouds and generally yucky conditions. So I guess we weren't the only ones!

1 comment:

rcbair said...

Well, the papa & mama Bair think it is really beautiful in spite of the crappy weather! I guess you just look for the best snd laugh at the rest.
Life is just like that.

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