Day Seventeen

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Holy Shit…we’ve been on the road for almost three weeks already! We are still having a good time, still seeing things that amaze us, and still enjoying being with each other! What could be better? We both have to admit that having seen so much over the last 17 days, some of the days run together in our minds, but as I said to Susie today, “As soon as we get home, we need to read the blog from beginning to end, and remember exactly what we did, so we can talk to people about our trip!” Honestly, some days writing this is a pain in the ass. I’d really rather be relaxing with a cocktail, or watching TV, or sleeping, but I know we will have a record when we get home, and in the end, that makes it all worthwhile. Of course, knowing that all you are along for the ride with is, also makes it rewarding, but honestly, some days I don’t even give a shit about you! Sorry!

So, today we left Manitou Springs, and most of our day was driving. Tonight we are in Grand Junction, Colorado, our last night in Colorado on this trip. We drove 301 miles today, but before we left the Manitou Springs area, we decided to check out the Garden of the Gods, which we had heard about for the past couple of days. Unlike so many places we have visited, this is a city park. It is filled with beautiful vistas, and to our surprise on this day after the Labor Day weekend, was full of people. Take a look at some of the things we saw!

After a brief stop over, we headed off towards Grand Junction. The first part of our trip was on US 24, which was one of the usual 2 lane, switchback curve roads, that we have seen so much of on our trip. There are a couple of passes over the mountains that the road takes, and one of them was over 10,000 feet, so we were up in the clouds again today.

One town that it goes through is Leadville, which if you remember back to a couple of days ago’s blog, was the town that the Unsinkable Molly Brown’s husband discovered gold in, which propelled them into all their adventures. No adventures for us there today, but we did pass this bar, which we thought was both funny, and a reminder that home is never very far away!

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Eventually we got on Interstate 70 West, which was an incredible roadway. After we got to the hotel tonight, I looked up Interstate 70 on Google, and found this:

“The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) lists the construction of I-70 among the engineering marvels undertaken in the Interstate Highway system, and cites four major accomplishments: the section through the Dakota Hogback, Eisenhower Tunnel, Vail Pass and Glenwood Canyon. The Eisenhower Tunnel, with a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet (3,401 m) and length of 1.7 miles (2.7 km), is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point along the Interstate Highway System. The portion through Glenwood Canyon was completed on October 14, 1992. This was one of the final pieces of the Interstate Highway System to open to traffic, and is one of the most expensive rural highways per mile built in the United States. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) earned the 1993 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for the completion of I-70 through the canyon.”
It was an amazing road, and before I even read the above, I knew it was an engineering and construction marvel! The views on it were incredible as we followed the Colorado River through the mountains, and we both kept asking, “How did they build this?”

Oh, and just so you don’t think it’s all brilliant engineering, this is the sign for Exit 119 on Interstate 70!

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Tonight we are in Grand Junction, Colorado, which is only a brief stop over for our trip tomorrow back into Utah. As I’ve said before, because we’ve zig zagged around a bit to see everything we want to see, we have visited some states twice. This is the case with Utah, but as of today, we started heading west again. We will say bye bye to Colorado, and hello to Utah again for 4 days.

We just got back from having an incredible Mexican dinner, at a restaurant just down the street called, WW Peppers. They have a great looking steak menu, and Southwest section, which we ordered from.

In case you couldn’t read the label of the bottle of wine we had, here is an enlargement. Remember, Susie buys wines by the shape of the bottle, the label, or the name. Guess which one she used to pick this wine tonite?

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Some things we have forgotten to mention.

A couple of days ago, when we were driving through the Rocky Mountain National Park, there was one area of the drive, in which we were surrounded by a dense growth of pine trees. The pine effect was so intense, that even though we had the AC on, suddenly the whole car smelled like pine.

One of the last towns we passed through in Wyoming was Baggs, Wyoming, population 440. The remarkable thing was that at no point in the town did we have cell phone service, which means that there at least 440 people in Wyoming who are not really in the 21st Century.

Remember a couple of days ago, when I mentioned in the blog that Susie had learned to put the Sonata into the “sport mode” and downshift gears coming down mountain grades? Well, there apparently are people who don’t have that skill, because we heard yesterday that when you come down the Pikes Peak Highway from the summit, at some point you are stopped, and they check how hot your brakes are. If you have not been downshifting, and using the brakes too much and they are too hot, they make you stop and wait till they cool down before they allow you to continue your decent.

And so we end another fun filled day on the road with Sue and Frank D’Elia. Have a good night everybody. See you tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “Day Seventeen

  1. Down-shifting is something I do in my Honda Accord. Engine breaking on severe downhill situations is always a good idea, but hearing that they actually inspect the condition of your brakes to make sure you’re not overheating is a new one on me.

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