Friday, July 1, 2016

Nice drive

If you should find yourself in central Colorado in the summer, heading west on I-70, you might want to time things so that you pass through Glenwood Springs in the morning. Not too soon after sunup, but while the sun is still somewhat low in the sky. Because up ahead is Glenwood Canyon. Steep cliffs, trees hugging the Colorado River, railroad tracks squeezed between the cliffs and river, three tunnels and a double-decker highway. The morning (or late afternoon) light reflects off the cliffs, creating a soft ambiance. If you're lucky, you might have some big, fluffy clouds adding to the drama. And since westbound is gradually downhill, neither you nor your vehicle feel stressed.

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.


  1. That's my favorite interstate! I really hate interstates but that route is beautiful.

  2. What beautiful scenery, love it !