Man, I've been high plenty of times before, but this is my first time in Colorado. We're all really high right now, and along with the two hitchhikers we picked up who are in the back of my truck we're getting higher by the minute. You know, the kind of high where you can't even breathe! We finally reached the point where we just weren't gonna get any higher and stopped the truck because our hitchhiker friends wanted to get higher still. Not us, 11,018' of Red Mountain Pass was plenty for Curt, Jessica, and me, but our hitchhikers, Dan and Alex, were going to ski up another 1,500' vertical before skiing the several miles back down to where we picked them up at.
Jessica had a pretty normal reaction to seeing two hitchhikers on the side of the highway, "don't stop!" But we were miles in either direction from anything on Colorado 550, the "Million Dollar Highway." Dan and Alex were just chilling out in a snow bank on the side of the road with their packs and skis next to them using smiles and thumbs to signal their intent. Now, my truck can seat six, but other than 3 spots for us normal passengers every other inch is filled with photography gear and luggage that we want to keep dry, so Dan and Alex hopped in the back and we drove them a lot of miles to the top of the pass where their Jeep was parked. By the way, Jeep is to Colorado as Subaru is to Oregon.
I consider myself a guy's guy, a somewhat masculine man willing to take on an adventure. I've climbed mountains (yes I meant for that to be plural), jumped out of airplanes, dove at night in shark-infested waters (well, whale sharks, and they were nowhere to be found), but compared to these two I couldn't be more of a pussy! They were using mountaineering skins to ski uphill to a height greater than I have ever stood, just to ski down miles in a different direction over dangerous terrain, and they were hoping to get 3-5 laps in!
Colorado is full of adventurers like that. And on top of it all it is the perfect place to be for a lot of adventures. The town of Ouray, where we spent two nights, is one of the top places in the US for Jeep adventures, and is the winter ice climbing capital of the U.S., but any other outdoor adventure you want is possible in the "Switzerland of America."
We're out of Colorado now. It was a great change of scenery from Utah. I said this about Utah, but Colorado also can feel free to change its state motto to "Oh, wow!" After a short jaunt across New Mexico we've landed in Page, Arizona. In a hour or two we have a trip to Antelope Canyon scheduled, so more earth porn is on the way.