Back From the Brink - My Brush With Disaster

I visited my friend, and fellow artist, Joannette Sieve, in Buena Vista, Colorado, over the weekend. We drove all over the mountains in search of great photos for future paintings. Joannette had to deliver some paintings to an art show in Aspen on Sunday.
Buena Vista is only 44 miles from Aspen if you go over Independance Pass, but a four hour drive if you go the "safe" way. The pass is usually closed over the winter, but was still open on Sunday. We left in the morning and had no trouble reaching the summit in about an hour. Beautiful sunny day. The other side of the pass, however, was still in shade and there had been about an inch of snow overnight, so it was snowpacked and slippery. Near the top was a traffic light (yes!). They had been working on the road for erosion control and it was only 1 lane wide. There was a tiny guard rail, then about 1000 feet straight down. When we got to the light, it was red, and I felt my antilock brakes shuddering. After some cars came up, the light turned green and it was our turn to go down. I just about pooped in my pants.
It really wasn't very far to go with the one lane, but sure was scarry. It's amazing how everyone drives so carefully when death is only a few feet from the edge. Dropping down into Aspen, we delivered the paintings and had lunch. I hoped that the sun would be shining on the west side of the pass and the snow would be gone by the time we went back. I was very apprehensive about going back that way, but we did, and sure enough, the snow was gone, road dry. WHEW!

1 comment:

Candy Barr said...

Excellent and safe outcome. I recall one time using my 12 yr daughter to be a fender bumper against a guard rail creeping when I took my foot off the brake coming down a gap I couldn't make all the way to top. Someone luckily came by and suggested taking car out of gear.