As we ascended the mountains of the San Juan National forest in Colorado the wet snow speckled the large windshield of our motor coach. We were on the Million Dollar Highway. The narrow winding road hugged the edge of the mountains like its clinging on for its life. Fear could be heard in my breath and deep sighs as I glanced out my passenger window. Mike’s eyes were fiercely affixed to the road. Just before we reached Silverton, road workers were blasting. Blasting what, I don’t know. We sat for 20 minutes as traffic built up behind us. We could read their thoughts “We’re going to be stuck behind that bus!” Probably too their surprise, we let them all go through the construction zone before us. With elevation of over 9,000 ft on a snowy mountain road, no one wants to be stuck behind an RV. We slowly pressed on trying to make it to our Harvest Host, St. Katheryn’s Winery in Palisade near Grand Junction.
They were closed by the time we arrived so the wine tasting would have to wait until morning. That didn’t stop us from opening a bottle of our own! Exhausted but happy to have arrived the in the wine region of Colorado.
The next morning, we explored a few of the wineries. St. Katheryn wines are fruit wines; their sister winery Talon makes wine more to liking. A few bottles made their way into our wine cabinet. Just down the street is the Mead-ery of the Rockies which makes, well, mead! As we stepped into the tasting room, we were greeted with a warm smile and some light honey wine. The fermented honey slid down my throat like silk. Our first mead experience will not be our last. With our palates satisfied we packed up our home and headed for Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction.
As we pulled into the park entrance a big yellow sign read that the Tunnel Height 10’8”. Our hearts sank. We couldn’t make it through that. Now what?! The hunt for a place commenced with a fury. This time we found a little gem, the James Robb Colorado River State Park, located just outside the Monument. The stress of the previous day faded as we watched the sun set over the ridge.
No one plans to break a bone but breaking one in my foot just days before our journey to some of the best hiking in the country was just frustrating. The drive through the Colorado Monument was surprisingly beautiful. The stay was short but well worth it.
Mike & Kat
Kat left teaching after 18 years to travel throughout the USA with her husband, Mike, who is an engineer for a Power generation company.