When you travel around Colorado as much as I do you begin to wonder about certain things… For instance, I have always wondered what it would be like to be trapped on the side of a mountain during a snow storm. Why? Simply because I’ve driven over every major mountain pass in this state and the thought of ‘what if’ always crossed through the back of my mind.
Well, silly me for ever wondering. Wednesday night, I got to experience it. I was on my way back to Denver from Hot Sulphur Springs when blizzard like conditions blew through Grand County.
Driving conditions were just plain awful. I saw a large SUV in a ditch outside of Winter Park on my way back. I stopped and asked the driver if he was ‘okay’. He said he was, so I continued on.
The next hurdle was Berthoud Pass. I’m going to be blunt with you: as beautiful as the views are from Berthoud Pass, I’ve never really liked this mountain pass. I have always found it to be dangerous. It’s not the largest pass in Colorado, but it always rubs me the wrong way.
About halfway up the pass, I noticed bright lights and a dozen vehicles stopped in the middle of the road. A firefighter walked up to my vehicle and said, ‘Can’t let you through. There’s a 45 minute wait due to an accident on top of the pass’.
Turns out three vehicles collided due to the wintry conditions up there, the firefighter explained. “You can pull off to the side and wait if you’d like”.
So I did.
About 15 minutes later, another fireman walked up to my vehicle and explained it’s going to be another 45 minutes on top of that. The people involved in the accident were alright, but their vehicles were damaged -- and tow trucks were having a difficult time getting them down.
For the most part, I always prepare myself for any sort of adventure. I pack extra snacks, bring extra water -- and most important: I always bring a book with me.
Because you never know when you’re going to be stuck on the side of a mountain in blizzard like conditions.
Note to self: Never wonder about crazy things like being stuck on the side of a mountain during a snow storm ever again.