Notes about Colorado

Posted on 08/29/2011

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I just got back from my summer vacation.  Went to Gunnison, Colorado and hung out like a hippie for the week. No plans, no schedules, just chilling. (and I didn’t shave once!)

A few things I noticed about Colorado:

But first, New Mexico, you suck!

I have to to drive through that state to get where I like to vacation (the 4 corners area, Anasazi sites,  rugged southwest Utah).  And NM is not driver friendly.  What in the HELL are safety corridors other than HUGE speed traps?  You’re going to double the fines through some arbitrary selected piece of concrete out in the middle of nowhere–just because you decided to declare it a “safety zone”? Weak. I always try to minimize my time in that state, but sometimes I have no choice. Eff you New Metsico.

End of Rant

Now, Colorado. I like that state. Some places are little too granola for me (shut up, Posey!) but overall, people eat meat there, they are pleasant, the roads let you drive and the scenery is without peer.

A couple of things I noticed while tooling around there:

You can’t always just go from point A to point B.  That’s because of the massive freaking mountains in the middle of the state. Roads in Colorado follow the rivers, or meander up the side of the mountains.

In The Great State of Texas, you can go straight from Ft. Worth to Austin, or Straight from San Antonio to El Paso.  I was in Gunnison, Colorado and considered a day trip to Aspen.  I mean, on the map, they’re nice and close. But when I mapped it out, they’re like 3.5 hours apart. Now make sure you understand, when you’re tooling around Colorado, you don’t just drive. You stop, site see, take pics, get into adventures with moose (if the plural of goose, is geese, why isn’t the plural of moose, meese?) , ‘go green’,  etc. So if the map says 3 hours, it’s more like 5 hours.  5 hours there, a few hours there, 5 hours back. CRIPES! As the crow flies they’re maybe 90 minutes. (That crow’s gonna have to flap those freaking wings to get over those mountains too. Poor bastard.)

 

Following a river through the mountains is freaking fun. You can’t ever quite get up to full speed simply because of all the twists and turns as you meander.  And the rivers in Colorado run!  Not like here in Texas, where they look like a sick thin lake that you can’t see the bottom of because they’re so muddy.  You pull over in Colorado, and you can hear that sucker roaring by, see the bottom of it, look for bears. So damn sweet.

Oh, did you know there’s an Anasazi site at the base of Pike’s Peak? Neither did I. That will be a future trip.

Now, if the river drives are lazy and peaceful, the mountain drives are the opposite. White-knuckle, “WTF was I thinking!?” drives as you slowly zigzag across the face of a 13k monster, just to get to the “Cumberland Pass.”  You get about half way up and realize, there’s no way to get off the damn thing except to go back down the SAME ROAD. I think my wife’s hair was brown when we left the bottom of the mountain. It’s all white now.  Oh and the roads are gravel, and guess what?

They’re almost wide enough for two small sedans to pass each other. If you’re in a full-sized SUV, you’re in trouble.  We had one pass where a dually pick up truck was coming at us, and luckily we were on the “inside” of the road and just had to come to grips with scraping the edge of the vehicle. The truck’s passenger tires were basically griping the edge of the road–with a 10k foot drop. The Grim Reaper was reaching his cold hand up, pulling the tires of that truck.  My wife started making strange keening noises about then. I thought she was going to throw up. Now, the drive is an unquestionable bitch, but when you get to the top, you can stop and have a picnic, and the view is something to behold.

 

 

Simply put, it stirs the soul. Pictures do NOT do it justice.

And then of course, you have to go down the damn thing. So take time eating your mustard and ham sandwich so you can actually lower your heart rate.  (Oh, and bring Tequila for your spouse, so she can drink some and chill on the way down.)

Once you get back down the mountain, you feel that same charge you get after a life or death situation. You beat the mountain!  Suck it, Death!

Every time I go on vacation, I want to get in shape and climb those suckers.  But that’s another post.

 

All pictures were mine!!

 

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