Continuing the photos from the set taken along Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, a 24-mile stretch of bumpy dirt road running from Grant on U.S. 285 to Georgetown off I-70.  Elevation: 11,669-feet.

I wonder, sometimes, about fantasy novels.  I enjoy fantasy, especially epic fantasy novels.  A lot of times, they involve moving cross country – sometimes small groups or individuals, picking their way through the wilderness while being pursued, or whole armies marching off to war.  We know this kind of thing actually happened throughout history, but I don’t think we understand just how difficult moving cross country can be.

For example, imagine you had to move across this:

Imagine the challenges such a crossing would present.  I know authors can’t bog their readers down with details, you have to find that fine line between realistic portrayal and entertaining prose, but, still – there’s a reason we have a pass, a trail or a road.  Someone (or something – like local wildlife), have found the ‘easiest’ way to get from point A to point B.  Having a character running through the wilderness or up a mountain, just doesn’t work.

Picking my way up this particular hill, I was able to get past the trees in the foreground and to the base of those evergreens, but no farther.  I just couldn’t see a way up.  It was A) too steep, B) thick with underbrush and trees, and C) covered in snow and ice.

Just something to think about for your next, epic story…