Friday, March 12, 2010

Slacker, Closed Roads and Hockey--Oh, My!

I haven't blogged in almost a week. I'll spare you the excuses (work is busy, I'm sick, I-70 has been closed for a week. Not sure how that last one affects my blogging, but I'm throwing it in there for good measure).

But last week I had a post up at Rocky Mountain Moms that I never told you about in case of just such an emergency (i.e.--I didn't blog and I could send you there to read an old post).

Today we're off to Aspen for hockey playoffs. We have to play every single team we've beat over the course of the season AGAIN to get to the state championships NEXT weekend. Why do we have to have playoffs? We already beat them all. Good grief. My fear is that all of these teams we beat are going to be so obsessed with beating us now that we WILL lose. UGH. We. By WE, of course, I mean THE TEAM.

Not that I'm taking this personally or anything.

We did have some excitement here in the valley this week, which I referenced above about about I-70 being closed. On Sunday night/early Monday morning, a huge rockslide occurred in Glenwood Canyon, which is about 20 miles west of us. I-70 runs right through the canyon. It is a beautiful, scenic drive with the canyon walls going straight up from the interstate, but this beauty comes at a price--sometimes the rocks fall down. Sometimes they kill people and it's very awful.

So the other night 10 - 20 boulders fell onto the road just after midnight. Miraculously, no one was was injured. Some of the boulders were larger than a semi truck, the largest weighing 66 tons. Some of the boulders damaged the road--to the tune of 10 x 20 foot holes. It's hard to describe, but because the canyon is very narrow, there isn't room for the east and westbound traffic to run side by side. So the westbound lanes are all elevated and run on top of the eastbound lanes for the 20 miles through the canyon. The eastbound lanes run at ground level, next to the Colorado (I think) River. This stretch of interstate is one of the engineering marvels of our country.

Here is a picture from a trip through there last spring, when I drove and took pictures at the same time, endangering everyone around me and my children, who were in the car with me. How responsible.

Anyway, you can see how narrow it is. I'm on the elevated westbound lanes. The eastbound lanes are below us.

To have a major expanse of this country's east/west interstate is a big deal. It's estimated that 25,000 vehicles, including a LOT of semi truck traffic, pass through the canyon every day. Because there isn't another road to take without a detour of several hundred miles. The mountain passes that crisscross the landscape around here are still covered with snow and are only suitable if you have a snowmobile. Not very practical for those of use with cars or someone driving a tractor-trailer. So to give you an example of how big a deal this has been, like I said, we're going to Aspen today. Normally it's about a 80 minute drive--through the canyon, through Glenwood Springs, and then south to Aspen. The detour to get us there because the road is closed: 285 miles over two-lane highway and taking 5.5 - 6 hours. Ick. And in a horrible coincidence, a woman was killed by a falling boulder along the detour route the other day. I feel doomed.

I-70 opened up a lane each direction late yesterday, so we'll go the traditional route and save ourselves a few hours, but my worry about driving through the canyon will be on high alert. Because I'm a positive thinker like that.

If I'm not dead, I'll try to post on Monday.

1 comment:

Leeann said...


I'd be nervous too.