Friday, May 22, 2009

Trip pics

double clicking on any of these pics will enlarge them.

The foothills. Coming out of flatland

I enjoy looking at the rock formations. It's akin to lying on your back watching clouds and seeing shapes in them.

A house on the cliffs

Monarch Pass, elevation over 11000 ft. It was 49 degrees here today. I was wearing a pair of shorts and a short sleeve blouse. Everyone else in these small towns were wearing jeans and jackets.

We drove through the canyon beside the Arkansas River. The canyon walls were steep rough sheets of rocks. Signs warned of falling rocks. A better indicator of the rock status was all the boulders that had fallen from the mountain side and roared across the road to land in the river bed. I kept thinking of all those stories of freak accidents to tourists when a boulder would come down off those walls and bury their vehicle. Very often on the river banks a blue spot would reveal itself. Taking a second look, it would be a pup tent and watching carefully you could begin to pick out all the tents tucked beneath the trees on the river bank. Memorial Day Weekend has bought out all the campers, motorcycle riders and travel trailers. I have seen the temps as low as 47 degrees today and as high as 70 degrees depending on the elevation we were passing through. Hopefully it will warm up. I bought summer clothes on this trip.
This town has a Walmart! I was amazed. Years ago when I lived in these small towns, Walmarts and chain stores were frowned upon. This town has all those things and is thriving on it's tourist trade.
The ski slope on Monarch Pass provides winter sport but most of their income is from the summer trade with tourists.

Raining. Coming down Monarch. The pass was free of snow but for what you could see on the steep sides of the mountain. It took my breath away driving through. I'm not used to the sheer drop from the roadway. It brought back memories of all the times I drove through these passes in the middle of winter in a blizzard sometimes following the snow plough and seeing people sliding off the roads. What was I thinking? I fear my bravery has passed. I think now "what if". Yesterday all I could think of was "are the brakes on this truck in good shape?"

Rain storm is brewing.

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