The Patricks Low Cost Housing Adventures travel blog

Royal Gorge Couldn't drive to it but it is along Hwy 50

View Atop Monarch Pass

The Continental Divide on Hwy 50

Driving down the western side. Many places had no guardrails. There just...

The Truck Escape Ramp

Rock Cliffs along the Highway

The windy, twisty road along the Arkansas River

We parked here for a few hours and just relaxed

Tried to cross the river but was too deep in the middle......always...

More rock formations

Driving thru another beautiful stretch of road

It's been close to 4 years since we had been in the western half of Colorado. We avoid it at all costs in the winter months. We decided to go across US Hwy 50; a beautifully, scenic route which partly follows the Arkansas River and goes by the Blue Mesa Reservoir, which is the largest body of water within the state. We had been this route one other time, but forgot how absolutely beautiful it was. United State Senator Michael Bennett describes Highway 50 this way.

"Winding through a stunning mosaic of canyons, peaks and sprawling forests, the western corridor of Highway 50 not only transfixes the eyes, but also captures the very ‘essence of Colorado’. In addition to a strong tourist sector buttressed by stunning natural landscapes, which include three national forests, the regional economy is driven primarily by agriculture and extractive industries."

Highway 50 was quite busy, with every other vehicle being either a RV of some sort or a motorcycle. I took some pictures. Some I got from the internet, but there seems to be a block on using pictures that way now. I guess I have a fascination with rock formations and that was the bulk of my photos! The mountain peaks are bald and rugged. Due to the lack of a lot of trees, the contour of the landscape is seen in detail. Quite unlike the eastern mountains, where any irregular shapes are completely tree covered, giving them a "softer" appearance. Everything about the west seems wild and untamed, vast and encompassing. It is well worth the visit.

A picture can say a thousand words. I will make some notes on the photos, but if you google Colorado images you will see what I am talking about. We saw groups rafting down the river. The water was way below normal and it didn't look to exciting to me, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves! Jim saw some Big Horn sheep grazing by the water. We tried crossing at one point, but it was too deep. We passed a few active mines, later finding out that the state has a huge mining industry. Coal, gold, gypsum, limestone, silver, molybdenum, soda ash and sodium bicarbonate. In fact, the highest point of Highway 50, over Monarch Pass at the continental divide, was created in the late 1800s for miners to get to work, later being improved when the automobile became the chief means of transportation. And I wish I had counted all the RV parks along the 200 mile stretch from Pueblo to Montrose. There must have been at least 20 that I could see from the road.

The truck pulled the mountains with such ease! I'm proud of her :) It was a bit frightening coming back across. I was on the cliff side of the highway, and often there was not even enough room for them to put up a guard was just straight down!

Well, my steak dinner is hitting bottom and I'm getting sleepy. Jim is driving so its time to put in my ear plugs and get my beauty sleep.

Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens [are] the work of Your hands. Psalms 102:25

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