Colorado Good 2024

Last weekend was Lotus Colorado’s spring drive. Genae hasn’t been a fan of riding in the Elise since I “upgraded” to solid motor mounts a few years ago. Even though I downgraded half the mounts to stock, she hasn’t been in the car yet, so we drove the land barge Lexus. This allowed us to carry whatever creature comforts we desired, and the Lexus has A/C while the Lotus doesn’t, so there are some advantages. But it’s give-and-take. Having excess cargo and passenger capacity, we were told we’d be the “sweep” car. A few of the cars are quite old; one is older than I am. So if somebody has mechanical issues, we can make sure they’re not abandoned by the side of the road, left to their own devices.

I’m not likely to do this again. The entry list for the weekend had 17 cars on it. I didn’t bother to count how many actually appeared, but 17 was about right. Every time we hit the road, I’d wait until everybody else got going and join the end of the line. As it’s almost impossible to get 17 cars through the same green light, or get on a highway with all 17 cars together, it typically meant that the head of the line was a mile or two down the road before we even got rolling.

On most of our other club drives, whoever was leading the pack would pull over for the occasional scenic spot for a group photo, or even just pull over to get the group back together. That wasn’t how it went on this drive. The leading cars were all in a race to the destination. Even with us exceeding the speed limit by 20 or 25 mph we still lost ground. The worst case was the last day of the drive when we arrived at the restaurant for lunch about 20 minutes after everybody else. We very much felt like we weren’t part of the group. So it goes.

Another difference between this trip and most of the others is that this one was pretty much just driving and eating at restaurants. In the past, we’d stop at various points of interest. We’ve been to the Sand Dunes, the Black Canyon, the Colorado Monument, the Royal Gorge Bridge, and so on. There may have been other trips where we didn’t visit any attractions, but none come immediately to mind.

I’ve never put together one of these drives. I know that it’s not easy, and the organizers put quite a bit of effort into it. I appreciate it. I really do. But I will always retain the right to go our own way for a meal. Apparently, we gave great offense to some when we let them know we’d be skipping the second BBQ meal of the day for an alternative. I like BBQ, but having had it for lunch, I didn’t really want it for dinner, too. We were told that the restaurant had non-BBQ options, but we didn’t really want $40 steaks. Being tail-end Charlie all weekend, then getting grief over not wanting BBQ twice a day detracted a bit from our joy.

It was a beautiful drive. We went over a long list of mountain passes: Cottonwood, Slumgullion, Wolf Creek, Coal Bank/Molas/Red Mountain, McClure, and Independence with the group and Fremont Pass after we peeled off and headed home. The snow on Cottonwood and Independence (which just opened the day before) was eight or ten feet deep.

Sorry I don’t have many photos to include, but these things happen when you can’t stop and smell the roses. (We would have stopped at the top of Independence Pass, but what little of the parking lot got plowed was jam-packed when we got there and there was nowhere to park.)

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