My father was a highway engineer, so I know they try to plot routes that are the easiest to build. Save on costs and time. But sometimes they have no choice but to go the hard way, like through a narrow canyon with a major river in it. Because the alternatives are even harder.
Sometimes chunks of the cliffs come down, such as this winter. But the highway is repaired now and a joy to drive. I almost turned around so I could do it again.
Now, true, Glenwood Canyon would have been a stunningly beautiful place back before there was a road or rail or anyone to name it Glenwood Canyon. But we don't live then. And we like to get places. So at least we have an attractive highway that's a little like gliding through a section of Disneyland. (Part Adventureland, part Autopia.) Only better. And real. And free.