Hey gang! Let's go to Georgetown, Colorado. It's a lovely little Victorian town only a couple of miles down from Loveland Pass. Home of the Slacker Half Marathon. Andy has been signed up for months, and he's really looking forward to it. It's all downhill. Ironically, as it happens, both literally and figuratively.

Andy's brother John, has driven over from Colorado Springs in his new Jeep. He wants to do some off-roading.

About 30 minutes after they've left, this:

OH.MY.GOD. How many episodes of Scooby Doo involved an old mine? 

Is Andy Shaggy or Scooby?
I'm pretty sure John is Fred.

30 minutes later, this:

And this:

Throughout all this, I'm worried because it's starting to get dark and there are signs warning about bears and falling rocks and deer. See?
Actually, this is about the only wildlife I saw. Disappointing, but that's for another post.
I still don't know if Andy is Scooby or Shaggy. But I do know that although I started off pretty Velma-ish, I didn't end up that way. Or Daphne-ish, for that matter. I called several towing/rescue companies, and no one was willing to go out until the next morning. I flagged down people in the streets driving 4-wheel drives, even an H3. No dice. After a couple of hours, I was acting like a total girl. I cried to several random campers, a campground manager, and a Sheriff that my husband and his brother were lost at over 12,000 feet.

Like all episodes, a happy ending.

Yay! Scooby Snack await at Mother's Bar, in town.

The (Really) Highs and (Really) Lows of Life on the Road

Everyone always asks us how we like being on the road constantly with each other.  We say we love it, there are highs and lows, but they average out on the high side.

Last week in CO, we were at a high only experienced once before in our relationship.

Well, today, we hit a low.  Definitely the lowest point of our time together.

Things were going good.  We were actually heading out of Vegas by about 8.  AM!, if you can believe that.

A couple hours into the drive, we started kind of...sinking.  Hard to say exactly what it was.  At some point in this time, I realized that I had left Ann's Tervis cup in the freezer in the timeshare.  Way too late to turn around.  I think we're slowly depositing stuff across the country.  Some socks in UT, a little paint off the fender in Vegas, you know, little things like that.

Anyway, we just kept sinking lower and lower.  I played some music, that didn't stop it.  And, talk about things heating up!  I think by the time we hit our lowest, I'd never seen Ann so hot.  She was practically turning red before my eyes.

Of course, this may have had to do with the fact that we were driving towards the lowest point in the continental USA.  Badwater Basin, in Death Valley National Park, is 282 feet below sea level.  Definitely the lowest we'd ever been.  I've been lower, but I was on a submarine, so I'm not sure if that counts.

That tiny rectangle of white at about 1 O'Clock over my head, that's a sign indicating sea level.

And then, we drove out of there.  Paused at the sea level sign on the highway

And, yes, we actually stopped the car when the garmin read 0 feet.  Actually, we stopped at -3, so we had to back up to get it on 0.  By the way, that 29,282.4, that's how many miles we've driven since October.

Then, we drove to Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the continental USA.  If you don't count Alaska as part of the continental USA.

This store is at the trailhead for Whitney.  It's at 8365 feet.

Then, while Ann waited, I took a quick run to the top, at 14500 feet.  That's the peak in the middle of the picture.

Nah, I've already been there, no point in doing it again.

Now, we're in Bakersfield.  Just somewhere to stop before we drive to Santa Barbara tomorrow, after a quick stop by our winery in Arroyo Grande.

Oh, and our high last week in Colorado?


trucker humor

What does that say?

Nope. Still can't quite make it out... 




Offroading with John

It's been a couple of weeks, the terror has subsided, so now I can talk about it.

John and I are offloading in his Jeep.  We had left the pavement about an hour before, gradually climbing in elevation to 12,200 feet (about 2500 feet up) in the 6 miles of driving.

We get to this snowy spot in the road.  There are tracks going through it so other people have made it.  We didn't.  Not even close.  Did I mention, 2500 feet above, 6 miles away from, paved roads?  Oh, and it'a about 2 hours until sunset.  AND, my half marathon is tomorrow morning.

Transcript of our conversations (slightly paraphrased, to protect the innocent and unprepared):

Me:  Anything to dig with in the back of the jeep?
John: No, but I have a whistle.
Me:  Good, that'll be a lot of help.  I'll start digging us out, with my BARE HANDS
John:  three sharp whistle blasts (recognized by boy scouts everywhere as a call for help)
Me:  That's not helping, let's dig the jeep out of the snow.
John: three more whistle blasts, I really don't want to have to sleep in the jeep tonight.
Me:  I'm NOT sleeping in the jeep, I have a race in the morning.  I think everyone who knows anything about being in the mountains is already off the mountain, cause it'll be dark soon.  Maybe we should start walking.
John:  SIX whistle blasts, yeah, let's go.
Me: Don't forget where we parked.

About an hour goes by, walking, walking.  I've texted Ann a couple of times to let her know what's going on, but that's her story to tell, apparently.

John:  I hope we make it down by dark.
Me:  Too bad we don't have flash lights.
John:  There's 2 in the jeep.
Me:  Oh.  Good.  It'll be dark soon.
John:  We should get inside.  They mostly come out at night.  Mostly.
Me:  WTF are you talking about?
John:  You know, the little girl, in Aliens? Put her in charge, man!
Me:  Oh.  I don't think there're aliens here.
John:  No, but there's bears.
Me:  It's ok, I can outrun you.

Finally, after 2 hours of walking, we got to the road.  And there was Ann, waiting for us.