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Albert Maywood Courtright II

Reminiscences of Maywood Courtright

Exploring by Car

It must have been the Fourth of July that we went in the car to look over Estes and Rocky Mountain National Parks; the two parks are really one, Estes acting as a sort of gateway from the east. We drove north from Boulder to catch Rte. 66 which connected with Rte. 34 at the park entrance. Through the park, Rte. 34 reaches and remains at about 10,000 feet and it’s known as Trail Ridge Road. It is, of course, above timber line and there were patches of snow on both sides of us. I stopped the car at some of them and everybody got out and made snowballs and a snowman. After the road crosses the divide at Milner Pass [at] 10,754 feet, it turns south and follows the upper reaches of the Colorado River to Grand Lake. The river follows the divide on the west side and the highway follows the river gorge on into Denver. I didn’t want to go to Denver, however, so I decided to cut across to the east and then come into Boulder from the west, thru Boulder Creek Canyon, using an unimproved road marked on the map with a blue line. I didn’t think far enough to realize that we would have to recross the divide on a narrow gravel road. We left the main highway at Winter Park and started up without any ifs or buts with one switchback after another. In a few minutes we were above the tree line and those sitting on the outside could look down thousands of feet. I didn’t dare take my eyes from the road to look at the scenery and everybody else sat tense and rigid without saying a word. The only sound was a gasp now and then as the road ahead seemed to run off into the void. It was a rude initiation into mountain driving in the Rockies. Fortunately the only car we met was a pickup truck and there was plenty of space to pass. I was afraid the old Dodge would heat up so much I would have to let it cool off but it kept going. We all breathed easier when we reached the top of the divide and started down. From Nederland, at the upper end of Boulder Canyon, we were on familiar ground as we had driven up the canyon several times.

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Long's Peak
We Leave Boulder and Head South and West

Last modified on 15 April 2021 17:59