Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 3--Tough Day

I debated about even blogging about today for the reason that I really do not want to relive it.  But then reconsidered when I felt that it needs to be documented. 
Started out well.  Sun was shining but it was cold.  That's OK.  Just turn the heater on in the car.  We had plans to do the scenic routes through the Colorado mountains.  Pudge loves the Colorado Rockies and for the most part so do I.  Start heading to Leadville.  The scenery was awesome.  Many pastures sprinkled with cattle going up the hillsides. We see baby cows romping and playing.  I love the weathered barns and fences.  The snow covered mountains are just breath taking.  A rushing stream is following us as we travel down the road.  Looks cold but very picturesque.  We see lots of horses grazing. Split rail fences are so very neat.
 There are very charming, quaint towns that we go through.  It was all very bucolic. All of this was surrounded by the most majestic snow covered mountains I have ever seen.  It was truly awesome!! 
Oh!  Oh!  We start to see snow covered cars traveling the opposite way.  They were coming from the direction we were going.  That should have been the first clue.  We made it to Leadville which is a neat town.  Parked the car and walked.  Had coffee in a very neat little coffee shop.  It is cold and everybody is bundled up with heavy parkas, scarves, boots (there was a lot of snow, but it wasn't snowing--YET)  Had to laugh because Pudge is wearing shorts and a light jacket.  People were looking at him. 
Take off from there and start to travel up to the summit.  The higher we got the more it snowed.  Then we saw a squad car with lights flashing.  There was a car in the ditch.  I rolled down the window and asked if it was bad up toward the summit.  Her reply, "Yes it is."  Now even before this I was starting to get nervous. We both looked at each other and said "Let's turn around."  Didn't matter if we had to go back 100 miles.  I did not want to do this again.  Anyway, that was the plan to turn around.  No place to do it.  We are on a narrow mountain road.  Snowing and it is blowing.  Hard to tell where the side of the road ended.  It was impossible.  I certainly did not want to get stuck or go over the edge trying to turn around.  So I am white knuckling it with my rosary clutched in my hand.  I am trying to keep it together.  Pudge does not need a hysterical passenger to deal with as well as driving.  I try to keep myself fro hyper ventilating.  It is hard.  We slowly climb, do hair pin curves and start coming down.  IT WAS SCARY!!  Finally see highway 70.  Still in the mountains but it is a 4 lane highway.  Go on the ramp to get on road.  Car ahead of us.  Our car starts slipping and sliding and will not stop.  I am hollering "Lord have mercy."  Tears are stinging my eyes.  Mr. Incredible Driver throws it into low gear and brings us to safety.  I am not happy at all.  Onto the highway--yeah it is wider but now there are all kinds of signs flashing "Icy Roads."  Highway car is buried in snow when he went off the road.  Signs flashing "Truckers -- pull over and put chains on."  Long story short--we made it through all of it.  We did have plans earlier to go another scenic route through the mountains.   I screamed "No way!!"  Point this van north and east and get out of these damn mountains. 
Not done yet.  Now we are skirting Denver and signs are flashing "Dangerous High Winds"  Never have we been in winds like that.  We were getting bounced around like an airplane in bad turbulence.  How Pudge ever kept that van on the road is beyond me.  This lasted all the way through Nebraska.  Wind did start to let up about an hour before we stopped but it was still strong. 
We are in Valentine, Nebraska at a Comfort Inn.  We are both exhausted and feel battered and bruised from being tossed around in the van from the bloody wind.  Pudge is complaining that his arms are sore from holding on to the wheel. 
So that's it.  This was not even fun recapturing all of this.  It was a tough day--a very tough day.

Coffee shop in Leadville, Colorado.  All the other customers that came in were bundled up in heavy jackets, scarves, warm hats, big boots and mittens.  And then you got Pudge who was wearing shorts and a light jacket.  It was cold and there was a lot of snow but it was not snowing.......yet.
Squad car and car in the ditch going up the mountain.  It is snowing pretty good now.  This was where we made the decision to turn around.  Did not happen. 
The wind was so bad.  Neither one of us can ever remember it being windy like that.  Semi jack knifed from the wind.  No kidding--it was incredible.
Big dust cloud that we had to go through. 
Another semi blown in the ditch.  It tipped over. 


  1. God was with you! I'm so glad you made it through these very tough road conditions and are now home – safe and sound!

  2. That sounds absolutely horrible! Glad that Pudge is such a good driver, and that you were able to hold your being so scared inside and not making it worse, So glad you are home safe and sound, Hope to see you soon, Love both of ya!