Wednesday, June 11, 2008

.....WAY OUT in the MOUNTAINS....So much to See...so much to Learn!!

The purple line above reveals the next leg of our travels in Colorado. We left Vail and traveled a beautiful mountain road that wound through peaks, passes and SNOW.
Who know there were World War training camps and memorials, a place called Tennessee Pass and collegiate peaks of Harvard, Princeton and Yale to be explored in Colorado wilderness!!!
From Vail to Buena Vista, where we lunched, was 92 miles and took half the day as the first leg of our travels to Colorado Springs area.
Usually not good car trippers, we were never bored and always inspired and in awe of the views we passed by. Even my son, who is THE WORST car rider in the world, never complained once throughout the whole day of riding and exploring.
Ft. Hale as it appeared in 1942.



When the War Department decided to establish a unit of mountain troops
trained in skiing and
winter warfare in 1942,
the Tennessee Pass area of Colorado was chosen and Fort Hale was created. If you are interested in more of this historic tale, click here.
There is a huge low area that once contained Ft. Hale and some large photo markers telling the story. There are a few large relics left, but not enough to tell what was there if you do not stop and read. I never knew.

This is the Ft. Hale area as it appears today...




A continental divide is a line of elevated terrain which forms a border between two watersheds such that water falling on one side of the line eventually travels to one ocean or body of water, and water on the other side travels to another, generally on the opposite side of the continent. This is the Great Divide of North America....separating the watersheds of the Pacific from those of the Atlantic or Arctic Oceans. I guess if I learned that, I had forgotten it.

Yes, my son has on my PINK jacket because he was COLD. We were over 10,000 feet! And he ended up carrying his sister because in places, he would step and the snow would be to his knees!! They were soaking wet, but these Southern kids were so thrilled to see so much SNOW. If you ask them both the best part of the trip, they BOTH still say playing in the snow. In shorts, in May, no less.


Leadville, The little mining town was on the way to our lunch stop in Buena Vista- but my husband just blew right through it, saying that if we stopped at everything photo-worthy, we would never get to Colorado Springs.
We choose a tiny a hamburger place that had been in business 25 years....a hole in the wall that was over-run with people...thus indicating a great place to eat..... and adjacent to a park for the kids to run off some energy in Buena Vista. They were closed November, December and January, probably because of that average temperature of 2 degrees that I quoted earlier!

Doesn't this give Cheeseburger in Paradise a whole new meaning???.....LOOK at that view! In the background were the Collegiate Peaks.....

The Collegiate Peaks area includes much of the Sawatch Range and has the highest average elevation of any wilderness area in the United States. Several of the area's 14,000-foot (4,300 m) peaks are named for famous universities and colleges, including Mt. Harvard, Mt. Oxford, Mt. Yale, Mt. Princeton and Mt. Columbia. These peaks are the source of the name for the wilderness. In mountain climbing terminology , a fourteener is a mountain that exceeds 14,000 feet (4,267.2 m) above sea level. The importance of fourteeners is greatest in Colorado which has the majority of such peaks in North America. Climbing all of Colorado's fourteeners is a popular pastime for climbers. Mt. Massive was also along the route we followed, another fourteener. It was massive and awesome.

I just like to look at a fourteener- from the bottom.

Who knew I would learn so much on a vacation????

1 comment:

Leigh said...

AHHHHH! Indeed Cheese burger in Paradise.

Very informitive post. Enjoyed reading!