I'm from IN too!
My favorite route from Denver is 285/50. It's just beautiful and there seems to be less traffic, although it is mostly a 2 lane road. Over the years, I've found my favorite pit stops in Buena Vista and Gunnison. The passes aren't bad - I think Monarch is probably the biggest - I can't remember (I'm having a senior moment!) But the road is wide so it doesn't feel like your almost going to fall off!
My hubby came with me a few years ago and he's terrified of heights. The only time he was really bothered was on 145, that last road into T-ride, but it's short and by that time you're almost HOME!