Sunday, July 9, 2006

Oh Whoops

My normal route to work is along US 6 in Clear Creek Canyon to the CO 119 junction (which I take to Central City, where I work). This particular stretch runs between Golden, CO and I-70 just short of Idaho Springs, CO.

It's a slow route (speed limit 40 mph) and a scenic route, in the classic mountain canyon road style. Towering rock faces on both sides, with a fast-running creek (Clear Creek) cutting the canyon along side US 6. In places, the creek runs 50-plus feet below the road. It's a magnet for rock climbers, hikers, and fishermen.

Last summer, a "slope failure" -- CDOT lingo for a monster rockslide -- closed the road from early June until September. I had driven the road in the rain just 8 hours' prior, and was due to traverse the route three hours later, when it came crashing down around 11am on that June day.

Oh whoops.

When it rains or snows, it's a route warily travelled, demanding constant attention to things that like to go *bonk*, aka rocks.

Some of them pretty danged BIG.

The one pictured at right (photo by KUSA 9News, Denver), is not the norm: nor was its' aim.


I'm not a great mathematician, but even from my limited geometry/physics, a falling 4 ton rock vs a two ton parked car = scrap metal.

The two occupants of the car weren't occupants when the rock came down, Saturday morning, July 8, around 11 am or so: they were nearby, rock-climbing. When they finished, they meandered back to their car, only to find it was the secondary center of attention.

The center of attention was on top of it.

Oh whoops.

If Seymour were here, he'd be giving a thumbs' up. To the rock.


Blogger Raggedy said...

That is not a rock! Is there a name for a rock bigger than a boulder? That is a piece of a mountain! I am glad they were not in the car. Forget the” beware of falling rock signs”, beware of chunks of mountain would seem more appropriate. Or just put that picture on the signs. YIKES! I thought I would love to drive up into the mountains again. I may have to rethink that idea.
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) meow hugs
(")_ (")Š from da Raggedy one

09 July, 2006 10:14  
Blogger Karen said...

Rock? Boulder? No, that's almost a mountain! It's amazing the two occupants were not occupying the car at the time. Gives me chills to look at it.

I hope you're having a great weekend!

09 July, 2006 11:06  
Blogger poopie said...

Hope they had insurance.

09 July, 2006 18:15  
Blogger Herb said...

People don't take it serious when You tell them about stuff that happens out here. Hadn't seen this one. That's pretty amazing.

10 July, 2006 04:29  
Blogger Monica said...

We just have storms in Texas...lots of them. I'm just saying.

10 July, 2006 11:07  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Wow, I wold have never guessed that anyone could survive that one. Except if they were OUT of the car BEFORE it hit, so they were tres lucky. I suppose that are is now a "no parking" zone. Or else if they just left it there and used it for a reminder to "beware of falling rock".

12 July, 2006 00:10  

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