5 Epic Drives that Induce Vertigo

5 Epic Drives that Induce Vertigo

There’s a reason the winding mountain road is an iconic image in our culture. Here are five roads that will induce a white-knuckle grip on the safety handle.

beartooth pass montana mountain road winding peaks highway switch-back
Highway 312, Beartooth Pass, Montana. Photo by: Eric Warren

Beartooth Pass – Highway 312 Red Lodge to Cooke City, Montana

Highway 312 winds 60 miles from Red Lodge to Cooke City, Montana at the edge of Yellowstone National Park. Starting at 5,555 feet, the highway claws its way up 5,000 feet in less than 19 miles, switching-back on itself dozens of times before reaching Beartooth Pass, named after a spike of rock that looks like a massive canine tooth. Most of the drive is above treeline, with great views of towering granite peaks, hundreds of alpine lakes and snow all summer long. Keep an eye out for Grizzly Bears and Bighorn Sheep. Also, don’t forget to stop at “Top of the World” a tiny convenience store near the highpoint of the pass.

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Photo Essay: Mt. Washington’s Historic Cog Railway

Mount Washington looms over coastal New England. At 6,288 feet, it is visible from the Atlantic Ocean, 80 miles away. The highest windspeed ever recorded was clocked here on April 12th, 1934 at 231 mph. The “home of the worst weather on Earth” is accessible by a winding toll-road, but (for once) I decide to leave the car behind and take the historic cog railway allowing me to sit back and enjoy the ride as it claws its way straight up the mountain.

An old-style watertower stands over the tracks at the base of Mount Washingtons historic cog railway, keeping the locomotives cool on their slow grind to the top.

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JC’s Special Sauce

JC’s Special Sauce

Real travel is when you put yourself in a position where the unexpected happens. Which is something I sometimes do accidentally.

While driving around Dallas with the cast of “Paulie & Me” and Donna, our awesome Keller-Williams real estate agent guiding us through potential sites for a brewery, we happen by a restaurant called Sol Irelandes. The restaurant’s host runs outside to say hello to our guide and ask if she’s coming in for a bite. We look at each-other and silently agree. What the hell, it’s lunch time and the scent of chipotle wafting from the little Irish-Mexican restaurant is making my stomach ache for something with a little kick.

What I get is a whole lot better. I order enchiladas with the hottest sauce they have available. I love spicy food, but I expect at least a few beads of sweat to pop out of my forehead when eating it in Texas. Surprise, it’s not hot. Our server, JC, appears, as if out of thin air, and hears my lament about the lack of bite. Rather than my complaint causing an awkward scene, JC smiles and heads to the kitchen to get me something special.

Now I’ve done it. These guys are going to make me cry. Continue reading “JC’s Special Sauce”