Vantage is everything.
In life and on scenic drives.
That's why you see lookout points on scenic highways -- places to get a glimpse of history or view nature's highlights on a cross-country drive or road trip.
The Pacific Coast Highway in California has them. Like Big Sur.
So does Asheville, N.C.
They are rampant in the Rockies.
But sometimes, a less than scenic road can have an elegant view. Like Woodmen Road, just west of Rangewood Drive before you get to Union Boulevard on the crest of a hill.
As you drive west and clear the hill, the Rockies suddenly rear up, layers of the Front Range hills flowing back in waves to Pikes Peak, the sun in final flare.
From this unexpected vantage point, a celestial moment.
Put me to wondering. What other roads in the Springs result in unexpected majestic views?
Not a lot, I figure, but then Woodmen came as a big surprise.
Developers have built everywhere there is beauty, selling it as a premium.
If you know of one, though, can you let me know? Take a photo. Send it so I can post it.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 636-0198.
Travel + Leisure magazine, on its website, posted a story titled America's Most Iconic Drives. There's the Blue Ridge Parkway from Virginia to North Carollina, Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana, Hill Country Highways in Texas, the Columbia River Scenic Highway in Oregon, Kancamagus National Scenic Byway in New Hampshire and Bayou Cruise, Louisiana.
I've driven the Overseas Highway from Miami to Key West, Colorado's Million Dollar Highway, Black River Scenic Byway in Michigan and Rockefeller Parkway, Wyoming. Miles and miles of scenic roadways. So little time.
Once upon a time in America, driving was a leisurely thing. Ancient stuff now, those Sunday family excursions. Wispy, like distant memories.
Gas prices have put the brakes on driving. Society has had its impact. Getting there fast is the emphasis, damn the scenery.
It was an American thing.
And so we miss stuff. The very things that could slow the heart and ease the stress pass in a blur.
Until one day, when you are rushing somewhere, the car in high gear, cutting in and out of traffic, you roll over a hill and there they are, the Rockies.
They fill the windshield, their jagged edges cut the sky and you cannot ignore them. Not really. Not if you are human.
It's nature, you know, sending you a message. Or God, depending on your leanings.