Living at 9600 feet atop Cuchara Pass is not recommended for those who prefer dry ground, a clean car and a convenience store nearby. We awoke yesterday morning to 12 inches of moisture filled spring snow, a surprise storm that gave the weather forecasters their third miss in a row. As always, we are hoping to deposit as much H2O as we can into the Snow Bank so there will be plenty to withdraw in the summer months that are just around the corner. “Gotta make water when the sun isn’t shining”.
Up here, cabin fever sets in on a fairly regular basis during the winter months. Fortunately, it usually just takes a short drive in any direction to give us a renewed outlook, after all we live along the incredibly scenic highway of legends. Yesterday, we headed south and despite the fresh snowfall and the cloudy skies, signs of spring could be seen everywhere. The ice on North and Monument lakes is quickly melting and the first signs of new growth are appearing in the deciduous forest.
Long before the asphalt of highway 12 was laid down as a U.S. Mail delivery route connecting La Veta and Trinidad. Legend has it that the Stonewall postmaster’s last name was Stoner and the vertical Dakota Sandstone formation that bordered the town was dubbed Stoner’s Wall. Long before a town name like “Stoner’s wall” might be considered dubious, it was changed to stonewall to represent both the man and the landmark.
Today, Stonewall is home to the Shopping Bag, our local convenience store, a mere 15 miles from home. We picked up a few items then drove around to observe some of the wind damage from one particular sleepless night last winter. Stonewall had sustained winds in the 100m.p.h. range, tall trees were blown over and a number of buildings were either damaged or destroyed. It is indeed fortunate that nobody was hurt or killed by these record winds.
Along the drive home, we stopped to shoot a few photos before climbing up our long snowy driveway in four-wheel low, cabin fever remedied. If you don’t know it by now, The Greatest Adventures, Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard.
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If you want to learn more about the Highway of Legends, the following websites are a great resource: