It’s mid-February and spring is convincing itself upon northwest Colorado.
And upon me.
So yesterday I travelled through Meeker, its hunting businesses looking the way rafting companies look come September. Patched, worn, letters falling off marquees.
I didn’t stop in Meeker. Or Rifle. Or Parachute, or De Beque or Palisade.
Soon I approached the east entrance to Colorado National Monument. I stopped at a rest area and immediately knew something was amiss.
Subarus, Jeeps, even a Ford minivan filled the parking lot and tights-clad men and women clacked around the parking lot, Velcro-ing gloves, balancing helmets on rooftops, their bicycles leaned up against anything not an open door. And some leaned up against those too.
I drained my coffee and left, entirely unnoticed by anyone.
Apparently the rest area was actually a trailhead.
I gave lots of room to cyclists climbing the gentle slope almost as fast as my Toyota Tacoma.
Then it was into the monument which one brochure claimed was the windiest road in America. Windey as in curves. Not windy. Not yet.
My manual transmission required many manual transitions to achieve the top of the monument. Then I had to pull over. There was something over there. Something really big.
The only thing scarier I think, than glancing over the edge of the rim as I was driving would be to glance while pedaling.
I had to admit, the view is much better without them.
But when I got to the visitor center. I had to ask.
The gray-haired lady said no, she had never heard of anyone driving off the edge.