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Ruth Grant
Trail Ridge Road, early June 1965
May 29, 1965 - John Hawkins Grant and Ruth Ann Blackstock were married in Oklahoma and promptly set out in her dad's new VW bug (green) for a Colorado honeymoon. They had packed cute little outfits for her and smart new button-downs for him. Maps - yes. Camera - yes. Jackets - yes. Blankets - no. Food - no. Water - probably, but maybe not. Flashlight - unsure. Jumper cables - yes. Spare tire- yes. Mountain driving experience- no. Alpine readiness - no. Happiness - yes! A few days later they entered RMNP from Grand Lake and excitedly headed up Trail Ridge Road. Never had they seen such vistas. But wait - as they started down toward Estes Park, they detected snow pellets hitting the windshield and suddenly there was a blizzard, a complete whiteout. No road, no snow poles, nothing but snow and wind and snow. They could see NOTHING. A short break in the snowing revealed two red lights far ahead - a big car moving slowly along. They decided to try to follow those lights, but if they disappeared over a cliff edge, so would the bug. No more newlyweds! John and Ruthie inched along, freezing and terrified. There was no other choice. After what seemed like hours, they drove below tree line where the snow was less fierce and they could still see those two red lights - they kept following them. Suddenly up ahead appeared a Ranger - he was waiting for us! He closed the gate to Trail Ridge Road behind us and welcomed us to safety. We never understood how they knew we were up there, but we were the last car through. The two red lights fled down the mountainside and we weren't far behind. At Sheep Lake we pulled over, still shaking, and looked back up at the mountains. The huge storm completely engulfed the peaks, but not a flake was now falling around us. We have now celebrated 50 years of a marriage that got off to a very exciting start - we drove over Trail Ridge the day it opened in May, 2015, on a gorgeous sunny day, the most beautiful imaginable. Thank you RMNP - we have been back many times, but older and wiser and much better prepared!

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