A Western Adventure


Again, I don’t know anything about this car. My grandfather was one of seven children, and his brother Nat went West to Colorado and settled in the then tiny town of Cortez. Here he ranched, a very exotic profession for a boy raised in the suburbs of Chicago. At some point, my grandparents took the train west and met up with Nat and family and took a great excursion into the Rockies.

Here they are traveling on the recently completed Pike’s Peak road which climbed to nearly 14,000 feet. I am sure it was a grand adventure, unlike anything back home. Even when I was young, cars regularly overheated going up steep hills. When we drove across the Rockies in 1958, we had a burlap water bag hung over the hood of the car to refill the radiator when it overheated and lost water. I assume that my grandparents regularly stopped to let the engine cool off on their long haul up the mountain.

The top is down and they gain a superb view of Colorado, a state only since 1876 and sparsely settled. I don’t think they ever rode Nat’s horses, but he had great tales about exploring around Cortez on his horse. He and a friend stumbled into what is now Mesa Verde National Park and had a thrilling time exploring the ruins. Not long after, President Roosevelt made it a protected park, protected no doubt from people like my great-uncle!

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