I am a part time resident of Tabernash. I share time between the Fraser Valley and the Crystal River Valley where I live in Redstone, Colorado, population 98. Compared to Redstone, Tabernash seems downright cosmopolitan.

I used to go over the dreaded Berthoud Pass to get here but I haven’t gone that way for a long time since I discovered the Trough Road which limits my time on the deadly I-70 and the mountain passes.

I still have to travel I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, which is both an engineering marvel and an accident waiting to happen. Just hours after I drove through the canyon on Monday a large rockslide brought more than 25 dump truck loads of boulders down onto the roadway. No one was caught in the slide.

I grip the wheel with white knuckles every time I drive Glenwood Canyon. I have an acquaintance from Aspen who lost his whole family when a boulder destroyed his mini-van. He walked away but wife and kids were crushed in an instant. That was many years ago but I can’t forget how dangerous the place is.

Seven hours before this latest rockfall in Glenwood Canyon the cliff face fired a warning shot and one motorist named Bob Dorf was almost caught in the crossfire.

“Just right in front of me, as I came around the corner, was a rock that looked the size of a refrigerator and a smaller rock in the left-hand lane, and I swerved at the last second and managed to avoid hitting it head on,” he told 11 News station KCNC.

Dorf flipped his vehicle but walked away uninjured feeling quite lucky. He was lucky, indeed.

When I drive Glenwood Canyon I’m not sure whether to go a little faster or crawl along gazing with one eye on the road while the other scans the steep canyon faces. (I usually step on it).

The Trough Road which takes me from State Bridge to Kremmling and back is 24 miles long, mostly dirt and mostly mellow depending on the day. I’ve driven it in the sun, the rain, the snow, the fog and everything in-between. It is often rutted with potholes and washboards and when it snows it can take many hours before crews get to it. There are bighorn sheep, moose and deer ready to spring out at you, especially after dark. Other than that it can be a piece of cake.

I’ve seen plenty of cars and trucks slip off the Trough Road, from little compact cars to massive livestock haulers. You have to be ready for anything.

I have to say that I was extremely saddened by last month’s accident, which took the lives of Toby Hargadine and Crysta Bersten. They went off the road at the most hazardous spot on the entire stretch. If you are familiar with the Trough Road it happened nine miles from Kremmling, just below a scenic turnout that is on the edge of a precipice that drops more than 1,000 feet down to the Colorado River.

I pulled over at the overlook on Monday to have a look over the edge and pay silent tribute to the young couple. I’ve been driving past their tire marks for the past few weeks. On Monday there was a crew on sight looking at the road and probably studying the possibility of mitigating the dangers of this treacherous spot.

Unfortunately, for some reason, there is a gap of less than 100 yards where there is no guard rail at the steepest edge. I feel almost certain that had there been a guard rail the two would still be among us.

Officials are looking at perhaps installing a barrier this spring. I hope they find a way to install this essential infrastructure, even though CDOT is mostly focused on trying to maintain the infrastructure they already have.

My heart goes out to the friends and family of Crysta and Toby. Even though I never knew them I will never forget them.

Steve Skinner is trying to slow down. Reach him at nigel@sopris.net.