Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Day Seventeen - Monday, 7 July - Part I

Bill’s Road Book

Day 15: 7 July 150 miles, 4 hours

US 50: 30 miles to Canon City, 10 miles to Royal Gorge, 43 miles to Salida – keep left on US50; 5 miles to Poncha Springs – cross Hwy 285; 17 miles to Monarch Pass (11,300 feet); 11 miles to Sargents; 32 miles to Gunnison

As I mentioned sometime before, the contrast between the scenery in Colorado and that in Kansas is striking.

Even though I’ve seen it many times before, I found myself taking pictures of the mountains.

Everyone did.

I tried a bit of wildlife photography, but now I can’t see the lizard I was trying to snap. In part it was a technical problem with my eyesight and the camera: if I could see the lizard without the camera, then I couldn’t see well enough close up to spot it with the camera. So, if I put on my reading glasses to see with the camera, then I couldn’t figure out where he’d gone. Don’t laugh – you’ll be old one day. I’ll spare you the pictures of the grass, though perhaps these cacti are vaguely interesting.

Then again, maybe not...

I did snap this bug, following him all the way across a road, dodging the occasional car. I wanted to put my foot next to the bug to show how big it was, but everytime I got close enough, he would stop and lift his hind end like he was getting ready to do something defensive and I wasn’t sure how bad that might be. He didn’t act like he was particularly scared of me, so I ended up chickening out. Trust me, he was too big to step on.

The heat in Colorado is just as fierce as elsewhere we had been, though perhaps a bit more arid. It also seems more tolerable when you can look at snow capped mountains

or rushing springs.

There’s no denying that Colorado is a beautiful place. I kept asking myself why I never wanted to live there. In part I think the cost of living is higher than in the Midwest, but also the thing that makes it lovely is the thing that makes it a bit difficult.

You might notice the words ‘gorge’ and ‘pass’ and 11,000 feet in Bill’s instructions. This is the day we drove through some more mountains. Bob was driving that day. He had white knuckles and Bill was sitting in the passenger side going “Would you look how far it is down there”…”That’s a heckuva drop, I’ll tell you”…and similar. I was on the couch in the kitchen doing my best to sleep through most of it. I didn’t care for the height of the RV in this mountain area any more than Bob did. Bill was just having a blast capturing it all with his video camera.

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