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...it's true!!! Up on the Great Divide...

As I worked on scanning some photos for my most recent genealogy project, I came across these photos and wanted to tell you a story this week for ThemeSong.... A note added on OUR experience of driving over Wolf Creek Pass years ago, found below. I hope the embedding works so you can HEAR the song as you read the lyrics; it's nearly a 'must' to hear it and then read what our trip over the pass was like........




C.w. Mccall - Wolf Creek Pass
Found at Wolf Creek Pass on KOhit.net


Me an' Earl was haulin' chickens on a flatbed out of Wiggins, and we'd spent all night on the uphill side of thirty-seven miles of hell called Wolf Creek Pass. Which is up on the Great Divide?

We was settin' there suckin' toothpicks, drinkin' Nehi and onion soup mix, and I said, "Earl, let's mail a card to Mother then send them chickens on down the other side. Yeah, let's give 'em a ride."




[Chorus]

Well, Earl put down his bottle, mashed his foot down on the throttle, and then a couple'a boobs with a thousand cubes in a nineteen-forty-eight Peterbilt screamed to life. We woke up the chickens.

Well, we roared up offa that shoulder sprayin' pine cones, rocks, and boulders, and put four hundred head of them Rhode Island reds and a couple a' burnt-out roosters on the line. Look out below; 'cause here we go!

[CHORUS]

Well, we commenced to truckin' and them hens commenced to cluckin' and then Earl took out a match and scratched his pants and lit up the unused half of a dollar cigar and took a puff. Says "My, ain't this purdy up here."

I says, "Earl, this hill can spill us. You better slow down or you gonna kill us. Just make one mistake and it's the Pearly Gates for them eight-five crates a' USDA-approved cluckers. You wanna hit second?"




[Chorus]

Well, Earl grabbed on the shifter and he stabbed her into fifth gear and then the chromium-plated, fully-illuminated genuine accessory shift knob come right off in his hand. I says, "You wanna screw that thing back on, Earl?"

He was tryin' to thread it on there when the fire fell off a' his cigar and dropped on down, sorta rolled around, and then lit in the cuff of Earl's pants and burned a hole in his sock. Yeah, sorta set him right on fire.

I looked on outta the window and I started countin' phone poles, goin' by at the rate of four to the seventh power. Well I put two and two together, and added twelve and carried five; come up with twenty-two thousand telephone poles an hour.




I looked at Earl and his eyes was wide, his lip was curled, and his leg was fried. And his hand was froze to the wheel like a tongue to a sled in the middle of a blizzard. I says, "Earl, I'm not the type to complain; but the time has come for me to explain that if you don't apply some brake real soon, they're gonna have to pick us up with a stick and a spoon."

Well, Earl rared back, and cocked his leg, stepped as down as hard as he could on the brake, and the pedal went clear to the floor and stayed there, right there on the floor. He said it was sorta like steppin' on a plum.

Well, from there on down it just wasn't real purdy: it was hairpin county and switchback city. One of 'em looked like a can full'a worms; another one looked like malaria germs. Right in the middle of the whole damn show was a real nice tunnel, now wouldn't you know?




Sign says clearance to the twelve-foot line, but the chickens was stacked to thirteen-nine. Well we shot that tunnel at a hundred-and-ten, like gas through a funnel and eggs through a hen, and we took that top row of chickens off slicker than scum off a Lousiana swamp. Went down and around and around and down 'til we run outta ground at the edge of town. Bashed into the side of the feed store... in downtown Pagosa Springs.

[CHORUS]


- - -


I wanted to paste the entire song this week 'cause of our story....This song came out and was heard throughout the USA for some time...it became a favorite of ours especially after our experience driving over the mountain pass. First of all, Wolf Creek Pass, at it's summit is just a few feet from being at the elevation of 11,000 feet above sea level!!! And yes, as the song goes, there ARE hairpin turns, and narrow parts ... all because of the mountainous, treacherous, terrain. AND YES....there are semi-trucks that make use of this highway in Southwestern Colorado. I drove it! I was behind the steering wheel...and I met semi trucks that would slow up my own climbing momentum where I would have to shift down to a lower gear just to keep the car from rolling backwards. Seriously!!! Anyway, to make a long story shorter....what seemed like hours of climbing, and shifting gears constantly, we finally made it to the 'peak'!!! Now for the descent -----the transmission overheated!!! Breaks were hot!!!! All I can say is: Thank God We Had a Manual Transmission!!!! With breaks giving out...we were traveling downhill at a great speed!! It WAS like stepping on a plum when I'd try to depress the break pedal!!! And luckily, after the long, steep grade descent, the transmission began to cool down enough to get into a lower gear to slow the car's momentum down!!!! By the time we hit 'level ground', the four of us, Bud, Myself, Irene, and Erik....we all wanted a beer!!!! Yes, the four of us, pulled off the highway and set in the car and drank beer. And yes, the kids were way under drinking age...but what the heck!!! That was an ordeal we will never forget. Good thing about it all was...we made it down in one piece...not found in some deep ravine with mangled bodies and scrap metal that was once a car....I've often thought about this....what would we have done if a highway patrol drove by and saw not even teenagers yet ---drinking beer with their parents. Oh, and another thing that stands out in my vivid memory of my driving experience....that was the ONLY time Erik and Irene were silent and not arguing over something!!!!!!


These photos are scanned of one of our trips over Wolf Creek Pass...before and after our ride of a lifetime!!! All of them are Wolf Creek Pass, and one --a little bit just before entering Pagosa Springs, Colorado. I won't even get INTO our driving over Red Mountain Pass!!!! ---Red Mountain Pass is even HIGHER!!!





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28 comments :

  1. mountain passes can scare the living daylights out of me. we have a few here, that i dare say defy the word 'road' and yet they are used almost daily. kudos to you for keeping your head and making it (up and) down in one piece. i dare say i'd have bailed and walked, hee heee heeee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...walk? Oh my, that would take days to get over.

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  2. Anni what a fabulous post. I've never heard the song before. Your pictures are
    breathtaking but you know I'm a mountain girl stuck in a Piedmont girl's body.
    That is some road. How many times to you grab the oh c*$! handle in the car?
    Hugs Madi and Mom

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    Replies
    1. I was driving....my hands never left anything 'til I grabbed to cold beer from the cooler at the bottom of the pass!! LOL

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  3. I love pretty much anything CJ McCall does...this has always been a favorite of mine! I am a white-knuckled mountain traveler...when were going to the Grand Canyon, I had to drive because I had rented the car and I was too cheap to pay an extra $150 to add Dan to the agreement. It was an INTERESTING trip, to say the least, and that is only just over 8,000 ft. I can't imagine 11,000! I would have need more than a beer, that's for sure! Great photos...loved this today!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ...well, the road to Grand Canyon is nothing compared to this Wolf Creek Pass!!! Trust me. And as for the beer...we had only beer in the cooler.

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  4. I haven't heard that song for a long time!
    Love the pictures. I don't think I ever want to drive over that pass. I would be a mess!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...it was a 'thrill of a life time"....NOT!!!

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  5. The Rubber Duck ... I still have one of his albums. My Dad was a trucker, not over the road, but in the Louisville/Indiana area. So he listened to a lot of trucker songs. C.W. McCall was one of his favorites. My Dad, of course, had a cb radio and used to let me talk to a few of my friends on it on the weekends, which for my Dad was a real treat because the cb was in his car and we Did Not play in the car. He was Very particular about his cars. Thanks for bringing back those memories!
    Your photos are beautiful. After that driving experience I would have to have had Hard Liquor, and that would have been as a passenger, I could have never driven it myself. I hate driving, especially in places I am not familiar with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...oh I was familiar with this pass tho....tho, it never EVER got better.

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  6. What a beautiful trip you had! Just wonderful images.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the 'trip' WAS beautiful...but the road was treacherous. You didn't read my post section on the 'drive' over the pass.

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  7. Whoa! I think I would have needed more than one beer after a ride like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...beer was all we had in the car ... no hard liquor 'til we got to the hotel.

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  8. I enjoyed the ride and the music. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...I am sure you'd change your 'tune' if you ever had to drive that pass. Trust me.

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  9. Great sky in your photos!
    Have a nice evening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...glad to know you liked the photos Hans.

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  10. Nothing like a good trucker song!
    Sounds like a harrowing experience that I wouldn't want to share.
    Songs from our past usually evoke lovely memories that make us long for another time. Thanks for sharing your song story that I'm sure you never want to re-live.
    Now, I need to hear Convoy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Convoy....that was good too. I can't remember just how many trucks ended up in the convoy in the song...can you? I used to know that bit of trivia. LOL

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  11. I'm not a drinker but I'm pretty sure after a ride like that I would have needed one too

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    Replies
    1. ...oh ya, it never tasted so good!!!

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  12. Hi there Anni. I went and read your comment again and just never mind me. I just didn't scroll down far enough on your page to see the right post. I'm losing my mind. LOL. I have visiting some of the blogs that I used to visit, but it looks like some of them hasn't blogged in a long time either. Oh well, I may have to just look at some blogs on some of ones I visit to see if any sound interesting to me. Oh girl, I am scared to death of heights. I love the pictures of the Continental Divide. About 3 and a half years ago, before hubby quit driving a big truck, I went to California with him. His Uncle had taken some vacation time and I went along. It had been years since I had been out to CA. Anywho, even tho hubby had to have the load in L.A. on a certain day and time, he still made some time to stope and show me some places and for me to take pictures. I remember seeing signs of the Continental Divide in Arizona I think. Hubby was afraid I couldn't handle the mountains out that way, but I surprised him and did good. On the way back from CA, we had a bit more time and we stopped at several other places and took alot of pictures. I imagine I would have had more than one beer if I had gone thru all that kind of twitsts and turns. LOL. Take care my friend and have a great evening.

    Karen H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...maybe sometime soon you can share the photos?!!!!

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  13. I had never heard that song so I listened to all of it and read all the words to it...what a hoot! lol As for your experience driving on that Wolf Creek Pass...OMG!!! I don't think I would have managed to drive it, I would have chickened out at the first bend! lol And to think that coming down, your brakes gave out...OMG again! I think I would have just closed my eyes and cry!! lol Someone sure was looking over you and your family that day! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ...it was a lifetime experience....that I'll give you. LOL

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