Friday, May 29, 2009

Road Trip, Part 9

(A ranch house along Route 40 in eastern Colorado)

The road took us to tiny towns with romantic names in eastern Colorado: Cheyenne Wells, and Kit Carson, along the banks of Big Sandy Creek. But the land is desolate and unpeopled. There is no civilization almost until Denver comes into view.
At the foot of the Rockies, we diverted from our route and headed north toward Loveland, where the Hendricks had recommended a bed and breakfast called Wild Lane. Hmmm. Wild Lane, in Loveland. It sounded… erotic.

Steve Wild inherited the early-1900s house a few years earlier and had turned it into an extraordinary inn crammed full of antiques. Wild’s roots are in Pittsburgh, and he is a graduate of Chartiers Valley High School.

We spent the night in a spacious Victorian bedchamber with a stunning view of the snow-capped mountains. Our host served us crepes Dijon and fresh strawberries in amaretto sauce for breakfast. Wild Lane was the most elegant and expensive of the five B&Bs we stayed in on our trip, but the cost was well worth it.

(Along the Berthoud Pass through the Rockies)

Just beyond Idaho Springs, Route 40 breaks away from I-70 for good and twists its way through the Berthoud Pass at 11,315 feet. There, under the brilliant blue sky along the Continental Divide, open-country skiers trekked on snowshoes across fields of snow as deep as eight feet. It was a thrilling moment, to be thrust back into winter, to watch the wind blow snow into a cloud on a far-off mountaintop. And it was a moment we would not have experienced had we arrived a week earlier, when the pass was still closed.

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