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Nightmare Pass

Loveland Pass may be a nice place to visit while you’re on your summer vacation but it’s no fun when you’re forced to go there. The 14-mile detour over the pass added two hours to my trip back to Junction.

I had driven back to southwest Missouri for my son’s high school graduation on Friday evening. Heading back Sunday on I-70 about halfway up from Denver to the Eisenhower tunnel I saw the first sign that read “Car fire at Eisenhower tunnel.  Road closed, use route 6 through Loveland pass.” I didn’t pay it much mind. I figured the problem would surely resolve itself by the time I got there. Wrong, at about 10 miles from the highway 6 exit traffic was at a standstill. Everyone was being forced off the interstate and onto the switchback, winding, and climbing two lane road that is highway 6 through the pass.

Ray Michaels
Ray Michaels

Granted it’s a beautiful stretch of road. Yes, it’s cool to drive to an elevation of 12,000ft but it’s not at all that enjoyable when everyone else, including tractor-trailers, trucks, and buses are forced to make the trip with you.

Ray Michaels
Ray Michaels

The traffic crawled up the mountain. I believe my average speed was 3.5mph. Once at the top, I felt some relief. Surely the trip back down couldn’t be worse. I was wrong. The big rigs crept down the other side. I don’t blame them. I have a CDL and the last thing you want are your brakes overheating. Besides, if you have an issue there’s nowhere to go but over the cliff and certain death.

Ray Michaels
Ray Michaels

“How did I get into this deal?” I kept asking myself. “Why is this happening to me?’ A selfish thing to say of course considering all the other vehicles that were sharing the same situation.

Ray Michaels
Ray Michaels

Finally, somewhere past Keystone, the traffic began to loosen up. There was actually space between myself and that pickup I’d been following for what seemed an eternity. After just over two hours I could see the town of Silverthorne below. My nightmare was finally over. I had survived the trip through Loveland Pass. I hope for you is when you go, it’s on your own accord. Being forced to make the trip with everyone else on I-70, that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Happy trails.

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