independence monument view

Through the Monument to Black Ridge

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings is probably my favorite book. And that’s saying something, because I read a lot of books. The last time I completed the Trilogy I wept. Like a baby. Sobbing.

Okay, now the embarassing part is over…

I’ve been sick, right? Chronic illness becomes me in the wintertime. I get all hopped up on decongestant and then lay around the house thinking I’ll heal faster if I rest. Not sure that’s true or not. But today I didn’t feel like doing much.

Dennis had been gone for a few days and was coming back this afternoon, so I waited on him to do a trail. We threw the kids in the Jeep, got a pizza for dinner, and drove up the west-side of the Monument. Continued on Rim Rock Drive until the turn-off to Glade Park. Just after the turn-off, we took a hard right onto the dirt trail.

Or what would be a dirt trail, but was currently 6-8 inches of snow tracked in by only one other full-size vehicle that had clearly struggled and gotten stuck several times. This did not  bode well for my confidence, since I was the one driving.

I’ve been conditioned to be sensitive to criticism, from Dennis is particular, but in this circumstance I requested his gentle tutelage. He accepted and provided me with excellent coaching so that though my hands were gripped in terror, I found myself nearly  but not quite enjoying the drive.

We topped-out at a T-intersection which had been plowed. This just meant that the road was more ice than snow. We took another hard right and headed up to the radio towers. The gate was locked, of course, but the view from up there is immense.

We debated turning up the road that would take us deeper into the McGinnis Canyons Wilderness Area, but as it had even less optimistic traffic upon it and it was getting dark, we opted to take the plowed road down and over to Glade Park, then descend to the valley via the East Side of the Monument.

The lights of the city were actually quite stunning. Not like a huge city, but enough that it provided us with a sensation that we were coming home.

Independence Monument from Rim Rock Dr.
Independence Monument from Rim Rock Dr.
Sign to Black Ridge
Sign to Black Ridge
The radio towers.
The radio towers.
Le Jeep
Le Jeep
Splendid
Splendid
Panorama, yo.
Panorama, yo.