Saturday, May 21, 2011

Farmington, New Mexico to Grand Junction, Colorado

The first things we saw when we entered Colorado were beautiful, snow-covered mountains in the distance. How great, I thought. We'll have this wonderful scenery all day long! Little did I know....

The first town we went through in Colorado was Durango - it's a really nice looking town - touristy, historic, and ultra-Western, North of Durango we drove past field after field of hay or wheat, with every type of irrigation that you've ever heard of going full blast in every field.

The road we were taking to Grand Junction went right through the mountains, entailing everything you know about mountain driving - a long, long, twisty, turny narrow road - sheer drops of hundreds of feet with only a frail looking guardrail to protect you - and sometimes no guardrail at all !! This would have been a challenging drive on a hot summer day - but wait....all of a sudden our twisty road was bordered by snow - wow - look at that - we'd better take a picture! (We thought it was some kind of an anomaly.) We actually thought that this was a lot of snow for May 21:

This is called Engineering Mountain:

Then the piled up snow was deeper and deeper. We began to see signs saying Avalanche Area No Stopping or Standing, and Icy Roads, Use Caution. And it was true. On many of the hairpin turns the road was icy and the drop-offs were perilous - how exciting (not).

We reached Silverton in one piece, glad of a chance to stretch our legs and make a pit stop. Drove around the Main street (the only paved street in town) to d0 some sight seeing and to drive on the level for a change. I foolishly thought that now we were through with the mountain driving. The sign said Ouray 29 miles. It turned out to be 29 miles of more mountainous driving, with even steeper drop-offs and deeper canyons. Holy cow.

After driving through the mountain roller coaster, driving on t0 Grand Junction was a piece of cake. Ate lunch at the Pufferbelly Station Restaurant - really - found a motel, and went caching.
The Riverwalk Park held many caches, and Dick photographed these sculptures along the path.

We found five caches this afternoon in Grand Junction. It's a beautiful city and today was a glorious sunny, warm blue sky kind of a day. We had a grat time.