Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dramatic Driving

Today's trip started in the vast, pancake flat plains of Kansas and ended in the jagged splendor of the Rocky Mountains, so we spent a lot of today with our noses pressed against the window and our mouths open, wondering at how we could have driven between such impressively contrasting landscapes. The Rockies are simply unbelievable. The pictures I took today failed to do them justice, so I'll try again tomorrow, but seriously. Wow.

But I do miss Kansas for many reason, including the fact that Kansas was perfect driving territory for me since it is completely flat! It's great! A few curves here and there, but otherwise pretty much a two lane road all the way through. Piece of cake.

And so there I was, driving along as we reached the border between Kansas and Colorado, everything's going smoothly. And I know that Colorado means mountains, so I'm planning to let Mike take over soon, but it looks pretty flat, so I'll just keep driving for a bit.

Wait, is that a storm cloud? It's massive! WAIT! Is that lightening? RIGHT NEXT TO US? WAIT IS THAT A FIRE STARTED BY THE LIGHTENING??!!

The answer would be yes to all of the above. Ok, it's not quite as dramatic as it sounds - the fire was really just the smoke from the smoldering grass, but yes there was an ENORMOUS scorch mark and small flames still leaping from where the lightening struck. Pretty terrifying when you're driving through the storm. My favorite moment: as Mike and I are looking at each other with raised eyebrows and somewhat panicked expressions, Mike says, "Ok, if lightening strikes near us, try to stay on the road. I know it will be scary, but just do your best."

Serves me right for trying to drive in Colorado! But the excitement was not over yet! As soon as we raced out of the storm cloud I happily relinquished the wheel to Mike, who expertly drove us to Denver, where we hit the Rockies. And the most intense mountain driving I've ever seen! At one point there was a 6% grade (incline) - downhill - it felt like we were skiing down the mountain!

Then we saw this sign:

Runaway Truck Ramp 1 Mile. And we're thinking Runaway Trucks??

Then we saw the ramp. It's practically vertical! Can you imagine what it would be like to be driving a runaway truck down a mountain and then have to use the runaway truck ramp?? Luckily we didn't see any runaway trucks... just several more ramps as we continued on our merry way.

But we arrived safely in Dillon/Silverthorne, Colorado where we have discovered a new favorite place (and the cheapest Super 8 yet! With the biggest bathroom!). More on the wonders of Colorado later.

1 comment:

bear-sophie said...

This is a great post that makes me envious - proud of you for driving Sara. I still think about Runaway truck ramps. First time I ever saw them wason the road by Chatanooga. How harrowing would that be!!! And I have never seen the ROckies