Today was proof of that as I rode up with a friend to Gunnison, a small college town in western Colorado. The drive was four hours long each way, and we encountered everything from drizzle, to rain mixed with snow, to pure snow, to high (and very scary) wind conditions. Though it wasn't snowing in Gunnison itself, it was a cold and wet day in the town where Western State College is located. Despite the rough conditions we faced along Monarch Pass, an incredibly narrow and high mountain road, however, it was hard to ignore the spectacular scenery.
Above, you're looking at my view on the way down Monarch Pass to get back to Denver. The snow on the way up was just making things wet, but by the time we began our journey back the snow was beginning to accumulate and make the drive down the winding narrow road terrifying for both driver and passenger because of slush. Did I mention that I'm deathly afraid of heights? Yikes!
The nature of this mini road trip was errand-y. I was snapping random pics as the car was moving along, and mostly snapping pics of things I knew nothing about. I just recognized beauty everywhere I turned. This is a patch of the Gunnison River that I thought looked especially beautiful. There are many rafting trip providers along the way to Gunnison in case you feel like going.
Also on the way up, we spotted a statue of what looked like a Madonna of colossal proportions on a mountaintop. There was writing on the side of the mountain that read Santa Maria. I was not able to get the camera in time to snap a pic of the statue on the mountain, but just a few feet up, we found a YMCA, and at its entrance was the above statue. I planned on taking a pic on the way back, but unfortunately, the battery on the camera died and I wasn't able to get a picture of Santa Maria on the mountain. If it makes you feel any better, it wasn't much different from this one, only three times bigger and free standing without any structure holding it.
Notice the big white W on the mountain? That's W for Western State College, the only other moneymaker for this tiny town. Tourism is the only other moneymaker for Gunnison.
And now, just random shots of the scenery along the way. Again, due to the nature of the trip, I was not able to get tourist-y types of pics with people in them, etc. But the scenery is so beautiful, it doesn't matter.
I guess now I know a place to visit in the summer that I haven't visited before that is absolutely beautiful.