yesterday in the mountains (there are three passes to ride over
- Coal Bank, Molas, Red Mountain). The Colorado roads website (www.cotrip.org) has all
three on restricted travel status. I need either 4-wheel drive (which
this car isn't), snow tires (all weather tires don't cut it), or
chains (don't yet have).
Well, I stopped by one of the auto parts stores for a set of chains (odds are good that I'll need them sometime in the next year) - they're out of my size. The crew at the parts counter was a bit skeptical that all three passes were restricted. They pointed me to the 'other' parts store in town. I found it but decided to not check right away. There's a big, electronic highway status sign not too far out of town. With the ample sun and a few hours in the morning for the road clearing crews to work I'm guessing things will be cleared off and open. I headed out of town. The big sign was dark - no warning - WooHoo!! Enough gas+ to easily make it to Montrose so fuel shouldn't be an issue.
The roads started out a bit wet but ended up being clear and DRY - amazing. The sun was really heating things up.
Coal Bank pass, check. Molas pass, check.
Dropping down to Silverton and heading out of town I came across a conventional set of signs - foreboding signs. I was not permitted to pass unless I had a 4-wheel drive, snow tires, or chains. In front of me was a clear, dry roadway.
The scofflaw I am - I pressed on...
The elevation would jump several thousand feet and conditions could change. On the "cliff-rock" section of road a portion of it is on a north face that does not get sun. Would I have to turn back? How close would fuel run? Would Mr. Officer give me a ticket? Some questions, yes.
We shan't let those mental tidbits get in the way of some good photos!
A shot or so more as I'm "delaying" in Durango.
After a nice "fat tuesday" dinner (steak & veggies) I washed the car and headed east on US-50 hoping to get a good night shot of the Montrose city lights. Was not to be as there is a low row of hills that block the lights when at the summit. After shot of the moon and some stars I headed back to town.
From the summit to the parking spot at the hotel it's 13 miles. I pushed on the gas pedal to get out of the summit parking lot and up to speed heading down the hill. From there I didn't touch the gas pedal until the next morning - able to coast the full trip down the hill, into town, and into the parking stall.