1278 Pagosa Springs

Trip Start Jan 06, 2007
Trip End Jan 11, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Monday, January 8, 2007

Leaving South Fork was a sad experience, we liked them out there. It was interesting passing by the resort places, like a mixed live bait-groceries-restaurant-inn-snowmobile rental place. But on the upswing, The stretch of Hwy 160 from South Fork to Pagosa Springs was incredible. There was a river that cut right through the mountain and created a passage which the road goes along. So you go down a 6% grade descent for 20 miles (very steep especially with ice), but you're surrounded by mountain on all sides. I think we descended 1000 ft, but it took a bit longer than expected because there was still ice on the ground. No one wanted to go fast on that steep of a grade with ice on the road and snow on the grass. In fact, I was in neutral the whole entire time, I just put on the brake when necessary. I don't think I put on the accelerator for a whole half hour. There were a few tunnels, but mostly just a lot of tall tall mountains. It's a pity we couldn't see more. I tried to put on the bright lights to help illuminate, but it wasn't enough to justify the real vision. It's too bad we didn't get out there earlier to see everything, but if we had done so, we probably wouldn't have been able to see the Rockies coming up to Denver.

Finally we came up to a small little town named Pagosa Springs, we figured that it was the typical bottom-of-the-mountain resort town where all the grannies reside for the vacation and then later take the bus up the mountain for the views. There was a lot of shopping and a lot of restaurants. But suddenly on the side of the road, I saw curious fog, and I decided to stop over there. Turns out Pagosa Springs is aptly named. It's a nice little hot springs at the bottom of a mountain. Very picturesque and very apropos apres-ski. You could just smell the minerals in the water. And it seemed like it was a nice respite from the ice. It would've been a great place to stop and take the rest of the vacation there, but we knew before we jumped into the car, that we were heading south for the good weather. A bit ironic how Colorado with its icy charm almost lured us into staying.
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