Or, were we ever going to get down from up on this mountain valley? We had a beautiful day for the Great Sand Dunes, but we knew there was potential for precipitation for several days thereafter. We probably should only have spent one night the in the area of the sand dunes and taken off in the sunny afternoon. But as only hindsight is 20/20, we waited until the next morning only to wake up to ugly looking clouds in the mountain pass we needed to pass through. And not only did the weather.com say it was raining in the pass, but that it was SNOWING. So let’s see. Our motor home plus car weigh well over 35,000 pounds, the mountain pass is at 9,400 feet of elevation. There is 6 miles of 6% downgrade. And it is snowing up there. It’s a pretty easy call to sit still for a few hours.
Fortunately the clouds passed, it turned sunny and warmer, and we became convinced it was likely safe to proceed. By the time we were at the top of the pass, there were only a few wet patches of road left. The Jake Brake on our diesel motor work flawlessly and we were able to roll down the 6% grade at only about 40 mph without the need to stab the service brakes.
The interstate up to Colorado Springs is down out of the mountains and although a bit of a roller coaster ride is quite straight. It is amazing here how you got from the plains of eastern Colorado immediately up to the 14,000 foot mountain peaks of western Colorado.
Our campsite is super. From what we see, we scored the very best site in the park. We look right out our front window at the front range of the Rocky Mountains with Pike’s Peak as the foremost peak of the range. Albuquerque may have its beautiful backdrops of mountains, but the backdrop here in Colorado Springs is even more spectacular.