Last week I was in Telluride and Mountain Village, Colorado. My husband and I needed a relaxing vacation, so we went where the scenery was mostly like this:
So tranquil…so relaxing. Unless you think that walking down a mountain should be a cakewalk compared to walking up, like I did. I found a trail to Telluride and decided to walk down this mountain:
We didn’t walk straight off the edge there. That’s actually a ski slope. We took a winding trail that’s probably also a ski slope in winter. I spent so much time banging my toes into the front of my shoes that both my big toenails are now purple and will likely not survive. Needless to say, I began the trek gasping at the beauty surrounding me and ended up two hours later cursing the fact that mountains existed in the first place.
We also decided to drive over a very skinny mountain pass. The drive up a mountain wasn’t so bad:
Mostly because my fearless husband was driving. And the scenery was absolutely gorgeous and mostly free of man-made objects. You can kind of see the pass curling out behind us in this one:
But then I got to drive on the way down. Again, I had fooled myself into thinking that down was the easy part. There are no pics of the actual drive down. It was terrifying. The trail was barely wide enough for our SUV, and every time I looked out my window, I saw just how high we were. There was one switchback where I had to do a three-point turn. Worst of all, the road was covered in this:
Those are mounds of pulverized rock that made up the very top of the pass. I think I’ve heard it called scree before. It was loose. It covered the road, and the steering wheel constantly tried to bounce out of my hands as we drove over it. I had to stop from time to time so my husband could move large chunks of it out of our path. I remember thinking to myself, “I cannot do this. No one can do this.” But we couldn’t turn around, and I knew backing up the mountain would be a hundred times harder. So, I just kept my foot on the brake and went on. Here’s the view from the town at the end of the pass:
You can just see the road winding up the mountain on the left before it disappears between the mountain on the left and the small one in the middle. I was terrified while it was happening, but I surprised myself by still feeling calm and intense. I don’t know if I blinked for that entire drive down. But after it was over, I was exhilarated. I understand how someone can become an adrenaline junkie. I felt a sense of accomplishment so strong it was akin to what I felt after completing a novel. Try as a I might, it’s a little indescribable.
All in all, I thought it was a nice relaxing vacation with one painful and one terrifying/incredible moment. And if you’re a dog lover, Telluride, Colorado is the place to be. They love their dogs there, signs be damned:
Terrifying yet exciting moments? Please share!