News From Colorado
We are almost settled in. We finally have Internet, cable and phone. It feels more like home everyday. One big difference is that when I look out my window I see mountains instead of the little Dade City hills.
Tuesday was rainy so we didn’t go out except to return the rental truck. Today we took off toward the Continental Divide to find some snow. We started by 9AM and we ended up going to Loveland Pass, which is the same place Edwin took me to see the divide when I came here for the interview. It was about 48 degrees in Littleton when we left and when we got to the top of the pass it was about 26! There was fresh snow and we all got out and played in the snow. Other than being very cold the kids did fine. Maddy had to rest for a minute on the way to the top of the ridge but that was mostly because of the cold.
On the way back down we stopped at a Ski area that was open called the Arapahoe Basin. We all got out to check out the prices and see what was open. There was still one lift at the base that was open and I think two more lifts about half way up the mountain that were open as well. The base is at about 10,000 feet and the summit of the ski area is at 13,000. The last lift goes up to about 12,400 and if you want to do the two or three double black diamond runs that are on the western face you have to walk up the ridge. I am not sure how much longer they will be open but I know they got snow yesterday and today. It may be rainy and warm there tomorrow so I don’t know what that will do to the skiing. Their website says they are usually open until the first week of June.
After visiting A-Basin we headed down the highway toward Dillon and I-70 again. We had lunch and decided what to do with the rest of our day. We were thinking of taking the long way home that would have taken us South down Hwy 9 to Fairplay and then Northeast across US 128 back up to 470 and home. It is supposed to be a beautiful scenic highway and would have been a three to four hour trip. The only thing getting in our way was the fear of snowstorms that were supposed to be coming in this after noon. We could already see the sky around us getting grey and I knew from a map I had seen earlier that we would be going through some pretty high roads so we decided to give it a miss and go for the fast way home. We took I-70 back home and went through the Eisenhower Tunnel which actually tunnels through the mountain we had driven up earlier to stand on. We all thought that was very cool. We stopped at two places on our way home. One was a little scenic overlook that was really cool and gave us a great view of a little river and mountainside. (We took lots of pictures by the way and right now everyone else is in the livingroom uploading them to their myspace pages right now.) The other place we stopped was a little town called Georgetown where there is a great little information center. They also have area next to the river where you can look at the Bighorn Sheep that are native to the region. Unfortunately there were no sheep in view but there were a few snow flurries coming down when we stopped. Everyone was very excited and trying to catch snowflakes on their tongue so the stop was not a total bust even without sheep.
The next leg of the trip home was a little crazy because when we got over the next ridge it started snowing hard! I guess it was what the weather people call a “winter mix”. It was a little icy on our windshields but it all melted on the road so it was not a big deal to drive in. What made it a little scary was that just before it started getting hard we saw a very bad accident in the westbound lanes that closed the freeway in that direction completely. We all prayed for the people in the accident. I saw one person being put in to an ambulance and the kids said that there were at least two people still in cars waiting to be taken out by paramedics. Needless to say we were all a little nervous driving down the next 5 miles of 6% grade in an icy/snowy mix. We all made it down safely and by the time we got to the Denver area, about 15 miles down the road, it was just a big thunderstorm.
After missing our exit to get back to the bypass we took a surface road home and made it with no casualties. Overall it was a very fun day. We got home and have been chilling out and playing video games while we listen to the rain hit the windows. I think the guys will take one of the cars up to the Rocky Mountain National Park while we stay home and unpack some more. I am ready to have some of these boxes out of my way!