"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Monday, October 06, 2008

Drivin' along in my automobile

It's been an interesting week so far, so come along on a virtual road trip as we slog through flat, boring Kansas and finally arrive in the Mile High City.

I'll have more to write later about my visit with the doctors there, but for now let me just tell you that things at the hospital went very well, and we also enjoyed some fine food and drink while in town. Thanks, SupaCoo ... and Pete says hi. :-)

One thing I've always thought about Denver is that while it's a fine city (as cities in general go), other than the occasional glimpse of an outline of mountains through the haze in the distance it doesn't really feel a whole lot like Colorado to me. But once we headed south, that changed quickly and the scenery became fantastic.

And just in case we had any doubt where we were:

I wasn't sure how my compromised lungs would react to the altitude, but I was able to handle ten thousand feet with a smile (sort of).

The weather, which had been gorgeous so far, took a turn for the worse as we got further south approaching the San Juans, and I could tell by the clouds on the mountain that we might be in for a bit of nastiness going over Wolf Creek Pass.

Sure enough, the clouds turned into sprinkles, then a steady rain by Del Norte. By the time we got about halfway up the mountain, it had turned into slushy sleet, and we crawled over the top of the pass in a full-blown blizzard under nearly whiteout conditions. Fortunately, I had not forgotten my winter-driving skills learned long ago in Massachusetts, and kept up a slow, steady pace, following the ruts of the vehicle in front of me in low gear and staying off the brake. (The fact that our van is front-wheel drive helped a lot.) I'm sorry we don't have any photos of this portion of the trip to share with you, as I was kind of focused on trying not to drive off the side of the road, and Mrs. Toast had a white-knuckle grip on the chicken bar for most of the way. It was an adventure, for sure.

But fortunately we made it down off Wolf Creek and into Pagosa Springs alive, and yesterday morning got this gorgeous photo of the snow-capped mountain peak.

We'll be here for a couple of more days before heading back to Texas. I'm definitely noticing the 7,200' altitude here, and getting out of breath much more easily just by walking short distances. My O2 saturation is dropping considerably lower, too -- down to 77-80% at times, whereas it hardly ever dips below 90% back home. I just need to take it slow and easy, though, and I should be OK. It's worth it; this is most definitely a Rocky Mountain High!



  • At 10/07/2008 03:05:00 AM, Blogger SupaCoo said…

    Friggin PETE! You saw him! Hooray! Your pics look beautiful and reminded me of a picture I took almost two years4 ago exactly on our way to Mesa Verde. At that time, Wolf Creek pass was dumping a white knuckler on us, too!

  • At 10/28/2008 06:58:00 PM, Blogger Chandira said…

    Glad you've been having such a great time traveling lately! I envy you. Been stuck here behind my desk for ages now.. :-)


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