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An hour-long westward trip from Denver on Interstate 70, Loveland Pass Road climbs from the Interstate to the timberline and upward to its namesake, Loveland Pass, at 11,990ft. Summer traffic is relatively light, though beware: the road does serve as the alternate route for hazardous material trucks, who aren’t allowed to pass through the nearby Eisenhower tunnel on the Interstate. If you’re making your way along Interstate 70, you owe yourself this short, scenic, and engaging diversion.

The six hairpins and alpine views beget a grand touring drive best experienced, in light of the altitude, behind the wheel of a forced-induction machine. Then again, the Porsche Carrera GT, Carrera 4S, and Cayman S that we eagerly trailed approached the route in a downright aggressive manner, belying any of the adverse breathing effects of high elevation. We were surprised when the Milano got a thumbs up from the Carrera GT driver; he was surprised to see us keep up with his posse.

With the fun section of Route 6 under our belts, we continued along the road for the roughly 20 miles West to Dillon, where our local ski bum friend Zach took us to the Pub Down Under at the Arapahoe Cafe for the Saturday pit BBQ special. Afterward, we grabbed a beer at the Dillon Dam Brewery, which is apparently the hot spot for automotive engineers going out after a day of altitude testing. We ran into a few Cummins Diesel engineers that we recognized from our Cummins days, and judging by the number of Chevy Volt test vehicles in the hotel parking lot down the street, probably mingled with a few GM hybrid engineers as well.

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