Independence Pass

After taking Route 285 North out of Salida and continuing on Route 24 North past Buena Vista towards Leadville I turned left when I got to Route 82.  This road would take me over Independence Pass, yet another threshold of the Continental Divide (and eventually on to Aspen, Colorado if I had continued on it).  The CD is the ridge which runs in a serpentine manner up the Rocky Mountains.  Water on the west side of the Divide flows towards the Pacific Ocean, whereas water on the east side flows towards the Gulf of Mexico.  I’ve crossed the CD several times during my trip, sometimes more than once a day.

These were all taken at or near the peak of the Continental Divide.  This was around 330pm local time and it was 53 degrees and windy (it was 68 degrees at 9,300 feet before I started the climb).

IMG_20171004_152554023

This lake was on the right side of the road, next to where I parked:

IMG_20171004_152732574

This little pond was behind the sign on the opposite side of the road, where a path lead even higher to a scenic overlook.

IMG_20171004_153022019

IMG_20171004_152903016

IMG_20171004_152841327_HDR

IMG_20171004_152910862

The sign itself tells you the elevation is 12,095 feet.

IMG_20171004_152952240

Which presented me with a dilemma.  I don’t know exactly where they measured the elevation, I would like to think it was at the highest point of this ridge, up where the scenic overlook is or perhaps on the ridge behind the pond behind the sign which may be a tad higher.  Well here I am parked on the opposite side of the road, about level with the sign, and my GPS is telling me I’m at 12,171 feet.  Yet ANOTHER thing my GPS apparently lies to me about.  I’m telling you, her days are numbered….

IMG_20171004_153709661_HDR

I joke about tossing my GPS units out the window when I get frustrated with them.  Well, as tempted as I get sometimes, that’s not true.  Unit #2, the TomTom, is in my trunk, ready to serve as a backup (albeit with maps which are now over 72 months old in her little brain).  And Unit #1, the original Magellan my brother gave me as a Christmas present, is back in Durham.