Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter in the Rockies

Blowing snow lit up by the sun, which recently set behind those two peaks
A couple of days ago I went skiing. That's not unusual, because I love to ski. Every year I go skiing quite a few times - usually starting in November, when Arapahoe Basin opens, and ending in June, when the snow melts and they have to close.

When I went skiing, I brought my camera to the ski resort and took a few pictures. I didn't take any videos or photos of the skiing, but I did take some photos of the moon above the mountains.

If I come up to the mountains from Denver, there are two options to get to Arapahoe Basin. One option is to  take the I-70 through the Eisenhower tunnel, continue past Arapahoe Basin until the next exit, drive through Dillon, and then backtrack to the resort. When I go through the tunnel (which I don't very often), I like to hold my breath until I get to the other side. This is especially difficult when I run into a traffic jam halfway through.

A quicker route is to get off the I-70 onto Loveland Pass Road, which is a curvy road that winds over a mountain pass and is much more direct. This road is rather narrow and has a very steep slope on one side of it, so in snowy conditions it can be closed and I have to take the route through the tunnel.

When I was on Loveland Pass Road, I saw some flashing lights up ahead and a scrape-mark in the snow on the cliff. I immediately suspected that somebody had slid off the edge. Sure enough, when I got to the lights, I could see an autorack truck that had fallen off the edge and smashed into the trees below. There were some men climbing up to the road, and some cables connecting the fallen truck to another one which would probably pull it back up. I didn't get a chance to take a photograph, but I knew I'd be coming back that way later, so I decided to take a photo then.

View of Loveland Pass Road from the I-70, with the trucks circled
Unfortunately, the road was closed by the time I got back - probably because they were trying to pull the truck back up - so I had to take the longer route that passed through the tunnel. Then, on the highway, I took some photos of the truck accident from below. You can see my photos in this post. The trucks are on Loveland Pass Road, and the mark is where the truck slid down the cliff. I'm not sure whether the truck got back on the road - it could still be hiding in the trees, or it could be that autorack on the right in the picture.

That day must have been marked for trouble, because on the same road, only a couple of miles from the truck accident, there was another accident that involved two cars that had collided. Glass and chunks of metal were all over the road. And then there was also a 1.5 hour backup on the I-70 because of construction on one of the Twin Tunnels. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a lot of other accidents that I missed. Well, at least I made it home safe!

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