Friday, July 1, 2011

A beginning adventure

I love adventures. Whether reading them, writing them or experiencing them, I love them. One of the things my husband and I love to do is sharing Colorado adventures with people. Living in this state, we tend to get lots of company. We are a vacation destination after all. Colorado has so much to offer. Through this blog I hope to share those adventures and encourage readers to get out there and experience their own. Along the way, I hope the reality will be for you: Life is an adventure created by God.
Good old Webster describes adventure with several meanings:
-the encountering of danger
-a daring, hazardous undertaking
-an unusual, stirring experience, often of a romantic nature
-a venture or speculation in business or finance
-a liking for danger, excitement, etc.
            Adventures don’t have to be dangerous, although it does make it more exciting, but much greater care has to be taken. We go on a lot of four-wheel drive adventures here in Colorado, but we’ve also traveled to islands for some tropical adventures, snorkeled with Stingrays, hike in cougar territory, climb some rather tricky rock areas to get a great photo of a ram or Mountain Goat, once I even willingly got into a pen with Mexican Gray wolves just to take photos of them. When an opportunity comes along that you wouldn’t ordinarily get, I like to take it on. Most of the time. I always see those opportunities as gifts from God, so I don’t want to pass it up.
The view at Castle Lakes Campground
            Our most recent adventure found us four-wheeling up to Cinnamon Pass in Southwest Colorado from the Lake City side. We were staying at Castle Lakes Campground, which by the way, is one of the nicest campgrounds we’ve found, and right on the southern route of the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway.
We took off early in the morning, the cooler packed, our dog Gus hanging out the back window waiting for his own adventure. The day started out with sunny blue skies, comfortable temperatures. When the sun shines in Colorado, the temps are always comfortable. Dressing in layers is the key. Soon the road turned to where you really needed four-wheel drive and up we went. The higher in elevation we went, the more snow piled here and there. In mid-June, anything is possible for snow depth. But the road was passable so that’s all that mattered.

It was a bumpy ride, but fascinating to see the small, delicate alpine flowers popping through the places where the snow had given way to spring. Photo opportunities abound in the high country. We spotted several marmots, a large woodchuck-like creature common to elevations. Even the Pika came out to pose for photos. Our love for photography goes hand in hand with our love for adventures.

We reached the top of Cinnamon pass, 12,640 feet above sea level. Amazing views surrounded us. Standing there on top of the world (practically) you could turn around in a circle and see nothing but snow covered peaks. No civilization, no traffic, not anything other than God’s creation. Oh, and two other cars that had stopped up on top of the pass as well. We of course had to all visit only to find out one couple were our “neighbors” at our campground. The other gal was also staying at the same place but in a cabin. We laughed at the irony.
Being up that high, with nothing in sight, we all decided to stick together as we headed for Engineer Pass to make the loop complete. Now if you don’t know anything about Engineer Pass, let me put it this way….there are T-shirts that say “I survived Engineer Pass” with a cartoon of a bug-eyed couple with arms flailing on steep narrow roads. Panic stricken faces. Yep, that was our goal for the day.
We took off with our three vehicle caravan and got roughly two hundred feet when the couple behind us caught up rapidly honking the horn madly. Hmmmm…Houston we must have a problem. Hubby stops, gets out, sure enough, a problem. On a rocky, narrow road at twelve thousand feet, a flat tire. The gentleman behind us watched it slowly let loose of its ability to progress down the mountain.
Adjust adventure.
In all our years and all the trails we’ve taken our poor Durango on, we’ve never had a flat before. Fortunate, but now here we were. Our new traveling companions all stopped to help.
I’m not sure what we would have done without them slowing down “traffic” of other adventure seeking four-wheelers, the other man’s help with the heavy work since my hubby was still recovering from shoulder surgery, and just the moral support while hanging off a mountain to change a tire. It was a blessing. Divine appointments come in all kinds of ways. This one included. We were so very thankful for the help. The single gal even led the way down into Silverton, the only town close enough to get a tire repaired or replaced. (We did have to replace it since the flat one had quite a slice in it. Rocks are sharp!)
So safe and sound, our planned adventure changed, but it was definitely even a blessing to get the flat and change our direction. We heard from several individuals in town that Engineer Pass was in bad shape this spring. A flat might have been the best thing to have happen that day. Maybe God was steering all along. Ya think?


  1. Hey, Sandy. We're on our way to the mountains this morning (Estes Park, specifically) to hike. Your adventure took a definite turn; I hope ours is just "normal" and fun, getting up into the pristine mountains and smelling that sweet, sweet air. We hope to see elk and deer and any other creatures (black squirrels, ground squirrels, etc.). So thanks for this post. It was wonderful! And congratulations on your new blog!
    Tamara Cooper

  2. I love the Colorado mountains and would love to camp in the high country. Alas, I never have. Your photos are lovely. Thank heaven your "adventure" wasn't worse!

  3. Awesome Blog! I love adventuring, and Colordo sound pretty cool!

  4. Howdy neighbor. That was a fun day, even if we were hanging off the side of a mountain. I see that you managed to get my picture of my most flattering side.

    I have the same picture of Castle Lakes as my screensaver to help ease the withdrawal that we are feeling of the pleasant time in Colorado.

    Keep up the good work on the blog. It will be like a cool breeze on our 100 degree days here.

    (relayed from our tire helper.)