day 1, pt. 2, or good luck finding your way around Co Sprngs…

We hit the outskirts of the Springs around 4-ish – there were traffic delays on highway 24. Lousy directions and lousy street signs had us all turned around, backtracking, and otherwise cursing the signage. The AAA triptik wasn’t current, the mapquest map wasn’t any better. We finally found the general area of Carrabbas and luckily Margaret had printed the directions listed on their website – which also turned out to be bad. A phone number of the restaurant on that map saved us. We called them and within minutes we were there and worried about how Angela would find the place. She called us and was also lost but we helped guide her in.

5:15pm – 1 hour 45 minutes behind schedule – we sat down to eat. Delicious!
6:40pm – We get on I-25 southto Pueblo, where we’d pick up the road west toward Canon City.

It was getting near dusk so we’d be driving through the mountains in the dark. Two lane roads are bad enough in the dark. Mountainous two lane roads in unfamiliar territory are a bit more a challenge. Plus – we missed all that gorgeous scenery!

We hadn’t gotten too far when it sounded like big rain drops were pelleting the car. Look again. Bugs. Millions of bugs. Thick. Smashing into the windshield. So bad we stopped at a gas station somewhere west of Canon City just to clean them off the windshield.

Considering the mountainous passes, the roads were surprisingly good – 3 or 4 lanes in some places, 50-60 mph. We finally turned south on highway 17. Still driving pretty much in the dark, unaware of our surroundings. Highway 17 goes through the San Luis valley, so the road was fairly flat – not as good as the mountain road, but decent. We passed tiny towns with a handful of houses and finally saw the sign for Moffat . Passed a couple of houses and businesses. Found the left turn on county road T for Crestone. Hallelujah. 14 miles to go. It seemed like a very long 14 miles. The first 11 miles were mostly straight with a few big curves.

We almost missed the turn onto Baca Grande. It was pitch dark outside – we didn’t see the ‘information kiosk’ at the turn – car no. 1 (with me driving) had to consult with the folks in car no. 2 to verify we were at the right place. (Did you forget we were caravanning at this point?)

Up we go on Baca Grande. There were huge street signs – interesting street names in this neighborhood, too. Rendevous Point, Moonlight Overlook, Wagon Wheel Rd., Carefree Way. The first 3 turns weren’t bad. (No lights except the car headlights.) Then the signs got tiny. It’s a good thing we were the only 2 cars on the road!! After the 3rd turn, we were on gravel road. .09 of a mile, turn, .04 of a mile, another turn, .02 more tenths to Happy Hollow Road, 4th house on the right. Hurray!!

Next challenge: finding the lockbox & opening the combination lock to get the cabin key – all in the dark. Fortunately, the owners told us to bring a flashlight. It still took Michelle a few minutes to get the lockbox open and get into the house and turn the lights on. But we finally made it. It was 10:45pm.

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