Today I went on the American Wilderness Tour - a tour into the high mountains in a 1950's Army deuce-and-a-half 6x6 truck - with our youngest son. His job for the summer is driving for these tours; we had heard rave revues from him about the trail and the phenomenal views from the observatory at the top of the trail. Today, I got my chance to ride the tour with him. I already knew Thomas was a capable driver, but I've got to say, today he impressed me with his expertise behind the wheel. What these trucks can do is nothing short of amazing! I told Bill the only way I could explain the trail, was like taking our horses on the goat trail - certainly not for everybody, but any capable rider on a well trained trail horse in great physical condition could do it. I hope you noticed all the qualifications I injected into that sentence. The horse is doing the work, but the rider needs to stay balanced and understand when to stay out of the horse's way while he's doing his job; same thing with this truck. It was designed for this type of terrain, but the driver needs the skill to command it. This four-wheeler trail is not for the faint-of-heart driver and definitely takes some skill!
At the top of the mountain - 11, 489 feet - you get to climb an observatory for a limitless panaramic view. You can even see 150 miles south to Pike's Peak, plus all the mountains in between to Long's Peak. You are looking down on Estes Park on one side and the tallest buildings of Denver from another. We watched sun on the highest peaks and a storm building over the plains. Absolutely grand views. I have to admit, it was worth giving up an afternoon of riding to see - back on the horses tomorrow!