Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Rockies and Bullwinkle
Welcome to the second installment in our series previewing the 2012 Wilderness Walk for Wounded Warriors. Today we will discuss the virtues and villainies of the state of Colorado. The main difficult is thickness. None of the other twelve states on my ADT journey is as thick in the middle as Colorado. 776 miles is the stated distance according to the manual, though I will as always deviate from the route when prudent. In the mean time, let's hope the state's insurance plan covers a gastric bypass.
Besides being corpulent, Colorado is also quite tall. The highest point on the entire ADT is Argentine Pass, about fifty miles west of Denver. Climbing to 13,000 plus feet will test my ability to breathe at altitude. I've never been at such a height so my body's reactions to low levels of oxygen are an unknown quantity. The Rocky Mountains continue for hundreds of miles afterward and will likely prove the greatest test of my stamina yet. Let's hope the views are worth the work. Rumor has it they don't suck.
In the midst of all this wilderness lies another danger: big, hairy beasties with a desire to have me dissolve in their digestive tracts. These animals are like teddy bears, but six feet taller and with sharper teeth and claws. I'm reading a book called "Don't Get Eaten" by Dave Smith in order to prepare myself for their territory. I'll let you know how it goes...if I don't get back to you I suggest you quiz Yogi.
On a more positive note, I'll be visiting my friends Ben, Rob, and Kimmy in Denver. Since I have no idea where I am staying most nights this summer, having a couple of days under a roof is a big bonus. If I'm lucky the city's Colorado Rockies will be in town playing the Cubs, so I can finally get to a baseball game. Every other time I've entered an ADT city with a team the hosts have been on the road at the time. Dreadfully inconsiderate, I agree.
Red Rocks amphitheater is another highlight of the ADT. This unique musical venue lies just west of Denver. According to dubious second-hand information I've read on the interwebs, fans and musicians alike seem to concur - Red Rocks is the place you will likely hear the best concert of you life. I'm hoping either At The Drive In or seventies era Led Zeppelin is playing as I pass. Dream big, why not?
I've done a poor job so far of talking about Colorado in an orderly manner. View what you have read so far as you would "Pulp Fiction." Let's elaborate, as I have promised to cut down on unexplained references by 10% this year. In the aforementioned movie acts are not placed in temporal order and the audience is left to piece together what happened when. In this case I'll do the work for you in what we'll call a summation, if it pleases the court.
The first two hundred miles of Colorado consists of rolling hills, never rising above 5,000 feet. The landscape is similar to Nebraska according to eyewitness reports. Once past this section, I'll arrive in Denver, a bustling city of 600,000 according to the last census. The almighty Tim Tebow lives there and I will be required by law to worship his statue for the full six days before passing through the town.
Just west of Denver the north ADT conjoins with the south in a manner best described by consulting page 28 of the "Kama Sutra." Thereon their is only one ADT until Sacramento. From this point the elevation begins to rise drastically, apexing at Argentine Pass. Numerous peaks above 10,000 feet follow for the next few hundred miles. Finally in Grand Junction I will descend from the heavenly heights. I'll be done with the forbidding Rockies, home free, just an easy jaunt to the coast from there...hmmm what's this "desert" thing on the map here?
Next up: A look at Utah in "Part Three of Part Two" or "Why Don't We Just Label These Posts Consistently?"
Thanks to recent contributors:
Paul and Sally Hoover
Lesley and Andy Ledford