Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trail Ridge Road

There is a gorgeous place on earth that I have fallen greatly in love with ever since I first saw it.

You get above the treeline. You probably see lots of elk. You also see incredible views.

Trail Ridge Road.

The highest paved road in the United States, it takes a body up to over 12,000 feet without the necessity of hiking a single step. You just drive up the road and the car does all the work for you.

Of course, this could be a benefit or a drawback, depending on how you look at hiking. I love to hike with all my heart--but this lessens not at all my affinity to go back again and again and simply drive up Trail Ridge Road.

I think part of the charm is that you can drive farther and get more views in a shorter amount of time than you could ever get on a hike. And for people with young children or limited mobility, it makes accessible the tremendous kinds of vistas that would otherwise be available only to hikers.

Some people think it's scary to drive on this road because of the dropoffs in certain places. For me, this is part of the attraction. I wish it was a lot scarier so that I could at least feel a little tiny speck of an adrenaline rush...but for me, it is pure wonder and admiration. EVERY time I go, though, I hear some woman saying to her husband, "Honey, this is really scary. It's getting windy. I don't like it up here." People.

One of the mind-boggling things to me is the height of the poles along the side of the road once you get above the treeline. This is how high the snow must get. They close the road from the end of October through Memorial Day because of "adverse conditions." I can believe it.

And there you have it. It's worth a drive. Especially at sunset. Or sunrise. Or the middle of the day. It's awesome in spring. And summer. And fall. You can't go in the winter, but undoubtedly, it's awesome then, too. 

Anyone want to come to Colorado? :-)

1 comment:

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