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The Great American Road Trip II - 23 - Passing Out

Posted by Sumiki , in Life, The Great American Road Trip Jun 06 2013 · 88 views

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My dad had gotten up around 6:00 in the morning and went to get our brakes checked out at the Durango dealership. It's fortunate that he did so, as he reported the engine light blaring at him every mile or so - a repeat of the oil-light false alarm we got outside of Kamloops, British Columbia. After a series of scares he got to the dealership, where they checked the engine (which has been knocking a little bit), the brakes, and the oil. They did an oil change and reported that everything was fine with the engine and brakes - the brakes sound strange and the engine is knocking simply due to the altitude. (Brakes apparently accumulate more dust at higher altitudes.)

And boy, did we have altitude today. He got some intel on the over-10,000 foot Wolf Creek Pass en route to Alamosa from almost everyone he could, and learned that it was easier than the 10% grade of Teton Pass and didn't have nearly as many curves. It was, however, quite long and very high up - but their advice was to stick the car in third gear so we wouldn't have to ride the brakes.

We left the hotel a little after 11:00, and stopped at Serious Texas Barbecue so for lunch. We rolled through Durango's historic downtown and saw a number of old buildings before getting out of the town and on towards the epic Wolf Creek Pass.

Between Bayfield and Chimney Rock we hit the 6,000-mile mark and our trip odometer reset.

We entered more forested areas and passed Colorado's Chimney Rock (the namesake of the town and also apparently a National Monument in its own right) and within short order had arrived in Pagosa Springs, the last town before Wolf Creek Pass.

We entered the San Juan National Forest, but before we went over the mountain,. we stopped at a pullout called Treasure Falls. Run by the National Forest, the trail goes up a number of switchbacks before taking you over a bridge for a fantastic view of a large waterfall. We walked down to the rushing stream below it under a rock overhang and touched the frigid water before getting back on the trail and descending down the switchbacks to the car.

Then we went over the mountain.

The car was doing all it could to get up over the mountain. The grade wasn't really all that steep, but the altitude did a number on the engine's ability to combust fuel. We got to the top safely before pulling off the road to let the engine cool down. Conveniently, this was at the Continental Divide at 10,850 feet above sea level - over two miles high. The air was pretty thin and I got a bit winded just walking around. Trucks that passed the pullout were clearly having troubles going up and down alike.

The engine did not overheat and cooled to a more normal temperature as we got back on the road, which we did earlier than we'd wanted to due to the beginnings of rain. It did nothing more than sprinkle, however.

So we went down, and we just kept on going down. Alamosa is at roughly 7,000 feet above sea level - so we had to come down 3,000 feet from over two miles high.

There were some curves - including curved tunnels through the sides of mountains. It seems like it'd be more trouble to build the tunnel than to just keep on blasting out the roadway. We eventually leveled out but kept winding around the sides of mountains before finally settling down into a valley, where we mostly paralleled a small, but rushing, river.

We went through small towns on the way to Alamosa, but the big driving fun was over for the day. We arrived at our hotel at 3:20 and got checked in.

(Our room features a locked circuit breaker, and I'm not entirely sure why.)

The land around Alamosa is not part of the plains that define the eastern half of Colorado, as we're not out of the Rocky Mountains yet. Its flatness - and fertility - is due to the area being an ancient lake bed. After so many mountains, it's good to have some flat roads for a while.

Equal parts hungry and tired, we ate at a decent local Italian restaurant in town. Their personal pizzas are good but filling, and we had our leftover pieces boxed to take back to our room for lunch tomorrow. (En route to the restaurant, we'd stopped by a local sports-equipment shop and rented two sand sleds.)

After a few nights of not getting much rest, I'm looking forward to good sleep tonight.

Tomorrow: we get up early to sled on the Great Sand Dunes, the largest sand dunes in North America.


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He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life

How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six

[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker

Sumiki is magic. - Cholie

Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles

Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo


"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker


LISTEN TO SUMIKI - Cholie


Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva


BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex


What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus


I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh


EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH - Kakaru


Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok


Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker


Sumiki - hat-wearing ladies man. - Black Six


He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist


I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens


I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig


I imagine the 13th Doctor will be rather like Sumiki, at the rate we're going. - rahkshi guurahk


I was quite sure Sumiki had another set of arms stashed somewhere. - Bfahome


Note to future self: don’t try to predict Sumiki, he’s unpredictable. - Voltex


Let's be honest, I would totally have picked my main man Sumiki to lead my goose-stepping night killers anyway. We tight like that, yo. - Xaeraz


10/10, would Sumiki again. - Bfahome

    

Sumiki
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FA: 29-August 12
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17th All-Time Premier Poster
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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.

10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith

11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)

    

1/3/12 - Daiker
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
2/5/13 - 8/6/13 - None
8/13/13 - The Hinklebot
8/20/13 - Special - Post-Apocalyptic Piyufi
8/27/13 - 8/5/14 - None
8/12/14 - Another Chro Original
8/19/14 - Kanohi Zatth
8/26/14 - Miniland Hatpile
9/2/14 - S. S. Starfish
9/9/14 - Special - Claude Hairgel
9/16/14 - Green Flame
9/23/14 - Avohkah Tamer
9/30/14 - Special - The Havoc Wreaker
10/7/14 - Fire Snake

    

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Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Leaders:
Sumiki
Waffles

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Members:

ChocolateFrogs

ToM Dracone
xccj
Uzmakikunai
Novek
Nukaya
Overlord
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(((DARKNESS)))
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-Toa Lhikevikk-
DeepFriedZombies
Dirk Strider
GUYUGKUYG
Toa Flappy
Lime Paradox
McSpit
RotationalBasis
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chunkeh!
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The X
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Dave Strider
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Popup2: The Camel
~Shadow Kurahk~
Luna
Rho
~System Of A Down~
Kohrak Kal17
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Thunder on the Mountain
McBobby
Ackar's Follower
Rahkashi
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Tobi
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Nidman
Doc Scratch
Mendicant Bias
Eyru
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Darth Eryzeth
Millennium
Tschurtlschnatchen
kopakakid
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~Legoman~
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WORT WORT WORT
~Toa Drokonas~
Kwydjybo
Progenitus Worldsoul
Toa Kuhrii Avohkii
-Morgoth-
Bohrok Kal
Toa Neya 2011 Edition
~prisma son of dawn~
Nidhikiandco
.: WoLVeRINe :.
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DragonxFlutter
Lebon
ChocoLvr13
Uzumakikunai
Dokuma
Carnifex
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Metrongana
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HercuLesss
Absol'd
SquishyFrog
Ynot
qUESTIE
SonicBOOM XS
Tavakai
Schnee 1
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Kakaru
The Great Forgetter
Kylus
Thomas the Tank Engine
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~MatoroIgnika~
Vocals
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Element lord Of Milk.
e=mc^2
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/Got_Your_6/
ZamorBob
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The Oncoming Storm
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Toa of Pumpkin
christo1096
Unit#phntk#1
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Mr. M
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Lord of Ice
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Architect
Rix
.:ENCRYPTION:.
~~Zarkan~~
TornadoToad
Fantasia
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Zarayna: The Quiet Light

Paleo

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Vorex: Keeper of Time

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Toa of Smooth Jazz

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If you learn one thing in life, learn this:

You should never, ever question why demons would possess a soda.

just a heads up - Cthulhu would probably eradicate mankind before bringing back Bionicle

so yeah, all I'm saying is, please think twice about this okay

nothing gets democracy flowing like erratic capitalizatION

[the NSA] couldn't say no when I offered them an ostrich farm in exchange

Sumiki -- nice try but we all know Toa Mata Nui stuffs its bra




You have a great understanding of history, but don't forget, war, murder and other poor decisions are also huge characteristics.

Also a long line of really great hats.

Shhh, I'm trying to focus on the negative to justify my dislike of history.

have we mentioned hats

To be fair, I am the one responsible for the invention of Mafia in the 1320s by seventeen bored italians locked in a mine shaft.

It's a long story.

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