I was so obsessed with getting to our son, I didn’t show you the extraordinary introduction we received coming into Colorado.
Prior to this trip, we knew nothing of the “Million Dollar Highway” or the beauty that lay along its twists and turns. A vein through the San Juan mountains, providing “safe”-ish passage from a magic place called Ouray, or, “America’s Switzerland” to the other side where Durango was close to follow, this highway was LADEN with more deer than we’ve EVER encountered in our 17 year span of travel combined.
We came in around sunset and were eye-shocked by the deep purples and pinks that ping-ponged between the clouds and mountains. We pulled over at a scenic viewpoint atop the little ski-village and stood in wonder as we imagined the whole thing transported to a spot under a Christmas tree, flocked with spray snow and a model train running through.
As if that weren’t enchanting enough, heading up the road a bit, we discovered the falls!
Once we caught our breath, we continued on our journey onto the highway of deer, more switchbacks than Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure, and terrifying, un-protected cliffs plummeting to depths not even visible (or maybe they were visible. I wouldn’t know. I was too busy clutching the center console and trying not to hyperventilate.). As you know from prior blogs, I really struggle with heights, so there were some pretty tense moments for me. But Jared took it all very smooth, steady, and slowly and we made the 2 hour trip safely and still married. 😂
I’m always really impressed to be on these impossible roads. I think about the people in the Gold Rush time that thought, “You know what this needs? A huge death-defying passage way and I’m just the dude to do it.” And then they’d gather up a bunch more bat-shit crazy humans to help for the rest of their lives…which probably wasn’t that long, seeing as how safety priorities weren’t, well, priorities. And here I am, all these years later like, “I don’t wanna walk aaalllll the way downstairs to get more almond milk from my SECOND refrigerator!” I get that things were vastly different, but I can’t help but have mad respect for the ingenuity and work ethic of those people who helped build our country and make it possible for us to see all this beauty without such great risk. Thanks guys!! We really enjoyed your highway.