Saturday morning I was feeling some cabin fever and needed to get out of the house. It was an unusually warm late November day in Denver, about 63° (today it's 25°), so I drove over to Georgetown, Colorado in my 1988 Mazda 323 GTX. The intent was to check out Georgetown itself and Georgetown Lake, which has been used in the winter for ice racing for the past 39 years:

(Not photoshopped. People take their ice racing really seriously.)

I plan on joining these guys out on the ice come January in the GTX, racing in the studless tire class.

So I arrived at Georgetown and found a little dirt road on top of a hill. Here's Georgetown Lake as of last Saturday:

As I headed into town, I saw signs for "Guanella Pass", which I had not heard of before, but got me excited because I wanted to really take the GTX into the mountains and spend some time above the treeline.


I put my sweater & jacket on, rolled the sunroof back, and started driving up the steep mountain road and around the copious switchbacks. About five miles up the road I came across a few gorgeous mountain lakes. I stopped at the Lower Cabin Creek Reservoir and spent some time reading Dune by the lakeside.

After I finished a few chapters, I continued up the mountain until I reached the summit, 11,670 feet above sea level.



After spending some time at the summit, I continued my trek down the southern side of the pass. Up to this point, the roads had been pretty dry. Some patches of snow & ice here and there, but on the whole very dry. Coming down the south side of the pass was a different story, though.

Covered in the shadow of the mountain, the southern side of the pass still had plenty of snow on the road. The GTX didn't have any problem at all driving down, though. In fact, it was a complete blast. Descending to lower altitudes, the snow started to melt and reveal what road signs earlier warned me about: Guanella Pass was still under road construction. The last 10 miles or so was all smooth dirt road. The dirt road eventually came to an end as it intersected 285 and I made my way back into Denver.


I had a whole lot of fun on Saturday, and was able to do so with almost zero traffic along the entire pass. Sorry I didn't think to take more photos!

Twitter & Instagram: @MarquetteLa