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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Southern Colorado

Earlier this week I drove to Pueblo to pick up bulk items from Sam's Club and to go by Home Depot for new flooring for our living room. Both are a one and a half hour drive one way and the nearest accessable to us. The views are beautiful and reminded me we do live in S. Colorado. Roads that all start with CR (Colorado Route) or named Lascar, Red Rock Rd. Butte Rd. Apache Rd. all named for a good reason. Red Rock Rd is named that way because it is made from crushed red rock, Apache, not sure about that one but I'm sure Lascar is probably named for the last car that attempted it and its parts are all scattered along the edge of the road.
One of the counties (Huerfano)  is named after an small volcano that is no longer active. I pass by it each time I go to Pueblo and most people would not even realize what it was.  Huerfano County has some views that you simply can't imagine.  As I drove along and came over LaVeta pass and I could see the recent snow being blown off the top of the Spanish Peaks. It was one of those sights that is hard to not keep glancing at. In the fall with the color change it is breath taking. We can see Spanish Peaks from our home  but we see the near side and not the side where the wind carries the snow away. I also drive by a 15 mile area that has a warning sign "High winds may exist". What they talk about here are winds of near hurricane velocity. On the way home  I come over the pass and I smell coffee and bagel chips.  When you get to that altitude your chip bags become hard as a rock and your seals on things like coffee release.  Don't ever attempt to take mallo cream or canned bisquits over a pass unless you want to redecorate the inside of your vehicle.
As I drive along I see an electric brilliant flamingo pink building that stands out against the white snow.  The owner tells people to drive along US 160 until they see a brilliant pink building and turn in. A very practical color because you can't miss their house after several hours of driving.  Just stay on the road and you will find it for sure.  Another landmark color is a purple that looks like it is on steroids. A bucket next to a driveway may tell if the owner is home or not depending on if it is upside down or not. Simplicity scores heavily in S. Colorado.
As I traveled along I remembered that double yellow lines along a winding mountain road are there as a suggestion that you can pass if you use caution. Any where else it signifies do not pass under any circumstances.  It is a form of Russian Roulet for those who drive in the mountains. As my cruise control keeps me at a steady 65 mph a trucker with a heavy foot gets right on my bumper before whipping out to pass at least 20 + mph over the speed limit.  I smile nicely at him as he blows by.  As we get nearer to the top of the pass he is in a low gear grinding his teeth as I ease past him.  On the other side he regains his momentum and as he starts the long decline I see him coming up behind me fast but now he seems to have a hint of fear on his face. Always a dead give away when their eyes are the size of saucers.  As he goes by just under the speed of sound I notice that his trailer brakes are leaving a billow of smoke as he fights to control the speeding machine as it rockets down the mountain.  Welcome to the mountains says I with a smile.  No run away side routes on this road to save your behind; enjoy your ride says me with a smirk.
That is life in S. Colorado and it is like no other place I know.  Pronghorn herds out in the fields, mule deer browsing along the shoulders, an occasional bear and other wildlife.  To bad that trucker will miss all the beauty gripping his steering wheel in total fear like that. Life is a little slower here and we do stop and smell the roses of life.  Pueblo is always an interesting trip.
As I went about my business shopping I quickly realized that I was again in the big city.  People don't return your smile or look you in the eye; all the things we do here in S. Colorado. It was good to be home again where people are friendly and don't mind stopping to talk to you.  Ahhhhh, S. Colorado, and if you will excuse me for a minute or two I will go out on our deck where I have a clear view of LaVeta pass and the Spanish Peaks. I can almost hear the trucker screams from our deck but then it could just be a bird.    

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