Leaving Georgetown, we decided to try a different route back to Keystone. The condo owner had told us how much quicker it was to take the Loveland Pass instead of going through the Eisenhower Tunnel and then around to Keystone. Now for those of you who have never been on the "Pass," I'll admit that my one and only experience on this route was back when I was about Miss A's age and there was a snowstorm. According to my parents, I was a little shocked with just have far the drop off was from the road.
I'll give my husband a lot of credit for being willing to drive our big Honda Odyssey over the Pass. He's not what you call an experienced high elevation driver. Add to that the fact that most of the other vehicles on the road were Haz Mat carrying Semi's and it's a little unnerving. He did great, but I think all of our kids were a little shocked at just how much we were climbing and how there was no real side rail protecting us from falling off the road.
At about the hallway point of our journey, we discovered an overlook that we could not pass by; the Continental Divide. We parked the car and got out for a quick hike up the mountain. Quick mostly because three of us had on sandals or flip flops. Climbing up the side of a steep mountain is not something you take lightly and we were ill prepared. Of course, Mr C was convinced that we were being wimps until his youngest sister slipped a few times and almost fell off the mountain. At least that's my story.
I'll admit even though we'd been in the mountains for about six days by now, the altitude as we climbed really got to a few of us; something about shortness of breath and the deliurous thought that we could keep on going. Thankfully, wisdom prevailed and we decided that we'd come back on our way back down the mountain in a few days and we'd be more prepared for the cool temps at the top and for the rough terrain.
One thing is certain; God's beauty at the Continental Divide is unparalleled. It's stunning. Having the kids see the Timber Line and realize that trees don't exist at a certain height and that snow is still around in August was amazing. Maybe I can understand why the gold rushers and the explorers of the west stopped in Colorado along the way and never left. It's stunningly beautiful.