Saturday, August 2, 2008
To Land's End and Back with Some Critters Thrown In
Because we've both lived in Colorado and have never been to the Grand Mesa, we decided that today was as good a day as any. So we headed out on our adventure about 9:45 am with what we soon learned was a road map published in 1975 -- the year we met! Seems we must have moved that map from one new car to the next, not realizing how old it actually was. Apparently a part of I-70 that we would travel on didn't even exist back then so surely many of the smaller roads might not be on the map either. This would take some figuring out.
While Tom checked out the map I decided to check out what he thought was a rock on the hillside. It wasn't a rock. I played dentist and removed one of her teeth to take home with me. She certainly wouldn't be needing it any longer.
Tom figured out which way to go
and once again we were on the road.
We found a nice little restaurant with a big fancy name: Cattleman's Grill. The burgers were delicious and the waitress, and her baby, were quite nice. On the table is a little map that a nice lady drew for us to help us get to the Grand Mesa.
Now for the critters. I'm such a city girl that anytime I see animals in the wild, be they dead or alive, I get so excited. I guess this is weird because when I told youngest daughter about the above dead cow encounter she said, "Oh my gosh. I'm related to you. That's scary!" Some of the other animals we saw on this trip were an osprey, lots of LIVE cows, elk with HUGE antlers, and several yellow-bellied marmots. One was standing alongside the road and Tom thought it was a log. I made him back up because I was sure it was a marmot and indeed, it was! He just stood there on the side of the road looking as if he was ready to salute us.
We finally made it up to the top -- Land's End! It was truly spectacular and I think Tom finally enjoyed it after he stopped hyperventilating. He's not terribly fond of high places and this spot is at 11,000 feet, with the valley a mile below. Oh, the beauty!
The Grand Mesa is the largest flattop mountain in the world and has over 300 lakes! Here are a couple.
We made it back to Glenwood Springs about 6PM and had driven a bit over 200 miles. Even with gas costing $4.50 a gallon up here, it was still less expensive than a dinner out!