Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 2 - Harrowiing Day in the Mountains.

This will be a day I will never forget.  Not our best of days to say the least.  But one that will go down in our memories. 

We are on Day 2 of our journey home to Minnesota from Arizona on April 28, 2014 which is our dear Anna's (granddaughter) 16th birthday. 

OK-I do need to blog about Day 1 which I really enjoyed.  Day 2--had us waking up at the Comfort Inn in Farmington, Colorado.  Pudge had already mapped out which way we were going to go.  Me--I don't really care.  I love riding while he drives and it really works for us as he loves driving.  So off we go after breakfast and packing up the car.  He did point out to me on the map which direction and plan he had.  Looked good to me.  Take Hwy. 160 and then take a scenic route through the mountains.  So we take the said Hwy. 160 through some very scenic territory.  Also hit some road construction which delayed us a bit.  35 mniles into this route we see a sign that said Durango, Colorado-18 miles.  What??  We were not going to Durango.  Oh! Oh!  We took Hwy 160 west instead of north.  Turn around.  Go through road construction again with some delays.  Now we are into it about 70 miles round trip and more than an hour back tracking.  Now we are on the right road. We chalked it up as "live and learn."   Now he is anxiouis to get into the mountains which he loves.  Yeah--I have to say I really like the awesome scenery but I admit I am a bit timid because of the drop offs and steepness of it all.  But I deal with it somehow.  So we start off on this scenic route and it starts snowing.  We ask ourselves "Do we really want to do this in the snow?  We are in a very quaint, charming town ofr Creede, Colorado and see a Visitors Center.  We stop in and tell them about our concerns.  They more or less said "Not to worry.  It shouldn't be too bad.  Maybe the roads will be slushy but it should be OK."  So we start off with their advice in mind.  We go in and out of snow.  Sometimes the sun is shining and sky is blue so we think it is going to be OK.  The further up we go the worse it gets.  We are about 9000 feet and the summit is at 11500.  Oh dear, it is snowing hard and visibility is bad.  Can hardly see the road!!  I am trying very hard to keep my cool.  I am saying "Hail Mary's" and clutching my rosary.  Hair pin curves and very difficult to see the road because of blowing snow.  Road signs are almost buried with snow drifts.  And this all happened so fast.  I am trying not to relay my fright to Pudge who is doing an excellent job of driving but I couls tell he was somewhat tense.  At least I was not hyperventilating or screaming.  No, I acted like I was calm, cool and collected.  Truth be told--when I write about it now I think I am more scared about it now then I was then.  Saving grace was I could not see the side of the road and I do not think there were steep drop offs.  But like Pudge said later we could not see more than 30 feet in front of us.  I was just too busy watching the road and praying.  Now as I said Pudge is doing an incredible job of driving but there was one point when the van started slipping and sliding.  He shoved it into low gear and yelled."Pat, we screwed up."  Not funny.  I could not talk or answer at this time.  I started thinking, "if we go off I am not sure anyone would find us.  And if we did live there was no cell phone coverage.  I want off this mountain!!  When are we coming to thie summit so we can get off?"  To make matters worse he said "it is going to be worse going down."  OH NO!!!  Keep praying.  We started down and he was very cautious.  I realized what a great driver he really is.  I am silent.  The lower we get the less snow and the more the roads were clear.  After everything is said and done and we are on flat ground I told him how scared I was.  He replied, "that wasn't so bad."  WHAT!!  I died a thousand deaths.  I do not want to go on any scary mountain rides again.  He does.  I am looking at the map to check out the summits of the roads he has picked out.  I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN!!!!  Now I wish I would have taken pictures so you all could see how bad it was.  Did not even enter my mind at the time.  I was too busy praying and watching the road. 

We are staying in Salinas, Colorado tonight.  We got into the motel and I poured a glass of wine.  It was what I needed.  Had a very nice dinner in a very quiet place which is what I needed also.  Now we are settled in watching the hockey games.  He still claims it was not all that bad.  Once again--we disagree.  It was bad.  It was scarier than I really want to admit. 

Not the best of days but we survived to talk about it and it will go down in our memories.  And I thank God that I lived to tell all of you about it. 


  1. It was good to pray � God was with you.

    I agree that Pudge is a good driver. I wouldn't have liked this drive either.

  2. Hi Pat! You are not alone with the 'scary' rides through the Rockies! We've had 2 for sure and the 3rd was a medical emergency in the middle of nowhere! Terry was rushed to Lakewood trauma center 85 mi away! I followed the ambulance! 1st was our first trip in the winter...whiteout all through the mtn! You couldn't tell where road was! 2nd was me BACKING down a rutted dirt road that DID drop off! Terry swore it would get us from Crested Butte to Aspen ...NOT!!! I'm glad you both made it through the Rockies!!