Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for (or, just what I have a hang-up about, if Bo is correct): our first trip Up Into the Mountains of Colorado.
Okay, we’ve driven up around Nederland a few times already, done the Lariat Loop and all that. But we haven’t driven over any of the big passes, or to the big ski areas or ski towns. So, today that’s what we did. For me, I just wanted to drive around, get a feel for the area and what’s there. No pressure. Just a Sunday drive.
So, we loaded Joda, water, snacks, and blanket into the car (some of you may know that the Subaru experienced a major breakdown in July and subsequent major engine repair work, and has not been quite the same since) and headed west on I-70. After driving through the epic Eisenhower Tunnel, we got off and drove south through Frisco. I think we passed the continental divide the first time somewhere around here. Since Loveland Pass is at the divide, and the Eisenhower Tunnel goes underneath Loveland Ski area, maybe that means we drove under the continental divide (that seems weird! I’ve never done that before).
Breckenridge is a ski town. Besides lifts and alpine runs, it also has a Nordic Center. This was exciting news for me, since I like nordic skiing and even have my own cross-country skis. I also am not very good at alpine skiing and resent having to pay a lot of money to do something I’m not very good at. Today, there was an Oktoberfest going on downtown, but dogs were not allowed, so we skirted the side streets and walked the path along the Blue River. Then we found out that the gondola that takes people up to the ski runs is free to the public at this time of year, and that includes dogs. I thought it would be a strange experience for Joda, but she’s old and doesn’t get to participate in lots of things we do these days, so I thought it was worth a try. She actually enjoyed it a little when she realized that she could look out the window at the trees and marshland below. Of course, the whole time I could tell she was thinking about how she could just jump off the gondola and run away, which would be a possibility if the clear plexiglass wasn’t there. But dog logic doesn’t usually extend as far as human logic, so I could enjoy watching her apparent thought process, feeling safe that her basic premises were false.
We went up to the top, looked around at all the children’s rides and games (which is what brings in money during non-snow-covered times of year), and then got back on the gondola ride to go back to the bottom. Phew!
Then we drove south to Alma (highest incorporated town in the US), crossing the continental divide for the second time. This was on Hoosier Pass. I’m not sure why it’s called that, but since I was born in Indiana, I think that makes me a hoosier, so I took a picture of the sign. And that was our Colorado experience of the day! I talked Bo into completing the loop (he drove second shift, which was a lot longer than first shift, but at least he didn’t have to worry about the jerks on the interstate), so we went south and then east and north, and saw lots of scenic valleys and mountain ranges on our way home through Fairplay, Bailey, and Conifer. Then we came home, fed Joda, and smirked behind our napkins as we watched her struggle unsuccessfully to stay awake and watch us eat dinner.
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