castle on mountain

“You don’t have to be crazy to drive this road—but . . .”

Black Bear Pass, Colorado

Terry, from A Rendezvous to Remember, Ch08: Bumps on the Way to Saint-Tropez, July 4, 1964, en route from Silverton to Telluride, Colorado:

“A hand-carved wooden sign at the beginning of Black Bear Pass warned, Telluride, City of Gold, 12 miles, 2 hours. It added, You don’t have to be crazy to drive this road—but it helps. Jeeps Only.’

“We had something better: a Scout 80. We snapped photos of each other mugging the sign, declared ourselves crazy, and took off.

“The jeep trail disappeared over a cliff. Telluride may have been two miles away, but all I could see was a panorama of blue sky, and a tiny splotch thousands of feet straight down in the valley below. And no visible way to get there.”

Black Bear Pass: No railing and a 1,200 foot drop to Kingdom Come

“Allen anchored the fold-down windshield to the hood. ‘Better spot me,’ he said.

“We piled out before he’d finished the sentence. The trail angled onto a ledge gouged into the cliff wall, a rough, rock-strewn track with no railing and a 1,200 foot drop to Kingdom Come. Roger and Ann-Marie walked in front. Allen crawled forward. Janet and I trailed. We told ourselves we were guiding Allen down. Frankly, we were too scared to ride. We’d heard about jeeps that had plunged over the edge, no survivors.

“And now, Allen couldn’t possibly back up. We had to conquer whatever lay ahead.”

Suffice to say, Black Bear pass left me with a “bear” of a memory!

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