Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hills.....Hell ....Colorado

Now that Wyoming was under my belt, I headed to Colorado.  With an appointment to keep in Montrose the following day, I drove straight from Jackson to a little place called, Fruita.  Now, I ask you, who would name a town Fruita?  Well, obviously, at one time there was a lot of fruit grown there...In 1886, for the cost of $500, a farmer could buy five acres, 200 fruit trees and water.  In 2011, it boast fabulous mountain biking, Jurassic age dinosaur fossils, the Colorado National Monument and the Book Cliffs.

The following morning, disappointed at missing Dinosaur National Park, I decided I would bicycle Monument park instead; unfortunately, I overslept, and I didn't have time to ride and make it to Montrose for my appointment.  I would have to be satisfied with driving through the park instead.  I would ride in Colorado later in the day, anyway.

I headed out to the park; I was told the vistas and scenery were not to be missed, and it was on the way to Montrose.  As I entered the park, I unsuccessfully convinced the ranger that I was a Senior citizen, and had to pay full price...not even telling her that Kroger considered me a Senior worked.  She didn't believe I was under 15 either....  

Once in the park, I passed a lot of cyclists heading up the pass, which was long and steep; my  four cylinder KIA seemed to be straining more than they were. Up we climbed and as the valley floor became smaller and smaller, the drop offs more severe, I began to sweat and clench the steering wheel.  The views were certainly breath-taking, but who was able to look.  We were so high, and I am very afraid of heights!!  It was indeed fortunate that I woke up late, as I don't know if I could have cycled these roads, with no guard rail and a plunge of many thousands of feet if I were to go over the edge.  
Stopping to take pictures at the marked turn-outs, I clutched the fence in one hand, while snapping to photo with the other.  This proved to be quite amusing to some young Danish tourists, who thought it hilarious that the edge made me so nervous.  As the boys then began to 'plank' on overhanging rocks, I left; I could't bear to watch.  Walking down the trail, I could hear their peals of laughter at my cowardice.....

I made it to Montrose on time, then drove on to Durango, which took me on the "Million Dollar Highway".  Again, the plan had been to cycle here, but fortune was shining on me again as it was raining....and I don't cycle in the rain if I can help it--too dangerous, too unpleasant, (usually) and too much clean up after the ride.  So, once again, the 4 banger KIA and I struggled up the steep, winding incline.  It was obvious to me at this point that Monument Park was just a precursor for this adventure....it was to get me ready.  I was so scared that I actually had tears running down my cheeks....and I was going to cycle this??   I guess riding in Colorado will have to wait......
Million Dollar Highway....and you wondered why I was scared.....
Enjoy the following pictures; I risked life and limb taking some of them....
Dinosaurs everywhere in Frutia, CO
Colorado Monument Park
Beautiful red cliffs in Colorado Monument Park
Tunnels in the limestone
You've seen this in car commercials with the car on top
People are pigs; cig butts in the limestone
Colorado Monument Park
Colorado Monument Park
It's a long way down.
Clouds moving in on the Million Dollar Highway
View from the Million Dollar Highway
Old cabin on the highway

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures, Sue. Good blog also.