Take a Heart-Stopping Ride on the Lands End Hill Climb
Even a leisurely drive up Lands End Road can shake a few bolts loose on your vehicle and the hairpin turns can rattle your nerves loose, too. Now, imagine that same drive except at race car speed.
Taking a virtual ride during the Lands End Hill Climb can be heart-stopping so you can only imagine what the drivers of the vehicles are thinking.
All it takes is one small miscalculation on the wash-boarded gravel road and your trip up the hill can take a sudden - and even quicker - trip down. Or, hit the side of the hill and you'll get an unexpected spinal adjustment.
The original climb started in 1940 and continued until 1942. After a long absence, the race started again in 1982, but only sporadically since then. In 2016 the race featured rally racing cars and motorcycles.
Grand Junction resident Bob Baughman competed in the race in 1941 after seeing the first Lands End Hill Climb in 1940. At the time, the climb ran the entire 14 miles of Lands End Road.
The record for the 5-1/2 mile drive is 4 minutes 30 seconds. The sportsman's class boasts a best of 5 minutes 13 seconds.
For most of us, this is a great spectator sport lived vicariously through those who are courageous or crazy enough to think this is a fun way to drive to the top of the Grand Mesa.