Interstate 70 winds through Glenwood Canyon in western Colorado.

(Courtesy Colorado Department of Transportation)

The stretch of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is considered one of the most stunning highway routes in the country. Colorado poet Jovan Mays wrote a poem about the canyon, "Something new — Glenwood Canyon." The piece is a part of a new project known as the Wild I-70 audio tour, which shares stories and science behind the 144-mile drive.

Read Jovan Mays' "Something New – Glenwood Canyon"

Hey There
Did you feel that?
Probably pretty hard to know
But just a minute ago
You drove through Colorado’s youngest volcano
The Utes called this Dotsero
Quite appropriate for the translation
Meaning

Something new

Something foreign
A chasm
A rupture of the orthodox

Feel the skies manipulation
Feel the sidewalls rising like your entering a halfpipe
But more of a pipe organ
Right now you are music
The only borders in here are in the sky
An orchestra of Kestrels
Golden
Red tailed
And Ospraying

Nil Sine Numine
Nil Sine Numine
Nothing Without Providence
Nothing Without Deity

Sanctified sandstone scripture
White water sacrament
A conifer congregation
A forest of formations
Ridge. Line. Gospel.

Welcome to Glenwood Canyon
The cathedral of the Rockies

Observe its spires and steeples
This hallowed homage
Excavated eminence
Striated tenement
The genetics of geology
Boulderd brilliance
Scintillated supremacy of folklore
Legendary legions of the lifted
Pioused peaks of protrusion

Right now are an echo of the unthinkable

Right now you are riding on the axis of the hymnals
A grand boulevard
The spine of the sacred
The heresy of this holiness

Where exits don’t need a name

This land where lakes tell suspense stories

These tunnels are not just tunnels
They’re a chance for you to catch your breath

Way before silver booms
Before California Zephers
Way before statehood
Was just a state of mind

Because at this second you are dancing with 500 million years of river

Way before the Spanish came up with the word Colorado
There was just the Color-red
That she painted this body
The way she severed through this crevice

Is she a composer?
A mason?
A carpenter?

A barnstorm of rapids ripping from the mouth in which a Roaring Fork fed this family
The old west out laws wanted to call this town Defiance but the Colorado doesn’t celebrate
Docs Hollidays
Such mud in her melanin
Such torrent in her tales
This is the water that forged the Grand Canyon
the source that supplies the southwest
The lifeblood of the dessert

Roll down your windows
Hear her sing you through
Wade in her warmth
Wallow in her wilderness
Marinate in her medicine

In this land admiration is the only currency

So leave everything intact
And leave nothing behind