Orange Gearle

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

from the road

Yesterday we drove over 800 miles. Does everyone know how flat the middle of Nebraska is??? That part, however beautiful, was quite boring. We didn't know how far we would drive in one day. I know this is very unlike me, but I didn't plan it at all. I made reservations in Winter Park for Thursday-Monday, but nothing for Wednesday night. I just decided to drive until I was tired, keeping in mind that I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before. The anticipation of our adventures ahead kept me going, much to my surprise, and we made it the whole way, basically.

When we got to the Boulder/Golden area (around 1 AM local time, but 2 AM to our body clocks) we called the hotel in Winter Park. I thought maybe we would be able to stay in the same location, but alas, our room was "taken". I question the truthfulness of that, only because there is almost no one here now. I'm sure there was probably a room available, but I think I woke the guy up when I called!

To make a long story short, immediately following the Boulder/Golden area, there were exit closings, detours, and road construction all on mountain roads, in the dark. I kept saying, "I know we are in the mountains. I bet it's beautiful. I wish we could see it." We planned on driving all the way to Winter Park before looking for a hotel, but due to road conditions, we stopped at the first hotel we saw. It was located in Georgetown, CO. This is what was waiting for us out our window when we stepped out the door this morning:

Because neither of us like to miss a thing, we decided to drive back to the Boulder/Golden area this morning too see what we missed! Last night we saw several signs for attractions along our drive that we thought we might enjoy. I didn't feel comfortable leaving our guitars in the car to partake of the tourist fun, so we decided to go to Winter Park, check in, and then retrace our steps later.

It was fortunate that we did not try to make it to Winter Park last night. The roads were in great condition, actually, except for the brief bit of construction, but we went up and over a mountain to get to Winter Park. This means 180-degree turns going up...and back down. Another really good reason to be thankful that we didn't drive it last night: it was spectacular scenery, full of waterfalls and beautiful vegetation and we would've missed it all.

Continental Divide at Berthoud Pass (elev. 11,307) marked the top of the mountain.

(above) The Pacific Ocean Watershed Side. Check out the road in the background. That's one road, of course...just one hell of a curve! (below 2 pics) The Atlantic Ocean Watershed Side.

When we arrived in Winter Park we were pleased with everything. It's a quaint little town with many shops. We had to wait to check into our room so we ate lunch and explored the shops.

After we checked in, we went back toward the cities to retrace the steps we made in darkness last night. It was a great decision! Below are pictures of our adventures:

(above five pics) These were taken at Lookout Mountain just off I-70 between the cities and Winter Park. The pictures don't do it justice, of course.

Along I-70 we saw a sign that said "Geological Points of Interest". We decided to check it out. The above pictures were taken at Red Rock Park. Amazing. There is also a huge amphitheater in this park. Too bad we aren't staying longer, later this month Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young are going to play there!

The pictures below were all taken along Hwy 40, the twisty road that leads us over the mountain and down into Winter park. My corolla has a difficult time getting over the mountain, I'm not going to lie!

(above) Hollyanne stands in front of this extraordinary waterfall. It is also pictured below in the next three pictures. The first of the photos below is the whole waterfall (above and below the little bridge). It goes underground and feeds into the stream pictured in the second photo. The last waterfall pic is of Hollyanne and I standing on said little bridge.

Finally, the weather hasn't cooperated completely. It's been raining off and on all day. After watching the weather tonight, I am reasonably concerned that the Winter Park Folk Festival this weekend will be effected. Fortunately, mother nature produced this parade of colors, which Hollyanne says, " the definition of glorious." I concur. (look closely; it's a double)


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