Monday, September 21, 2009
Un Yankee Doodle Dandy
Planned today to drive to Yankee Doodle Lake on the old Denver and Rio Grande Northwestern right of way over Rollins/Corona Pass. It was snowing but no problem; that is why we have 4x4. The pinhole leak in a coolant hose made a good case for not pushing on. Any evidence of common sense on my part is shocking to my family members, relatives, and friends but there you are. In the 1950's, when you could still drive the entire pass (before a tunnel collapsed), my father broke down near the summit and had to hike down ten miles in cowboy boots. As much as I admired him, that is one of his experiences I don't care to duplicate.
The pass was abandoned after the Moffat Tunnel was completed. In the early 1950's my father was the section foreman responsible for the tracks in the Moffat Tunnel. His father and an uncle traveled over Rollins Pass by train on their way to Northwest Colorado to homestead land. My sister's first home was at East Portal. I caught my first fish in Yankee Doodle Lake.
The area is popular with the ORV enthusiasts which is why I avoid the area on weekends. Colorado can be an aggravating, high maintenance place to work and live. For me, the mountains make it worth the effort.