Thursday, October 29, 2015

Colorado is over the top

I am in awe after driving through Colorado today. We began on the far eastern edge of the state.  Our route was simple:  630 miles on I70. But the route was the only constant. We drove through the most spectacular scenery today.

The High Plains cover the eastern state.  Although the ground seems flat and reaches out to the horizon as far as the eye can see, we realized that we were gradually climbing toward Denver.
The snowy peaks of the mountains of Colorado Springs begian to show in the western horizon.  

And as we approached Denver, snowy peaks lined up behind the city. The city itself ilooks shabby next to those majestic mountains. 

The interstate took us straight through the city and into the foothills beyond.  

It was time for lunch but we had to get well beyond Denver before we found a rest stop. It was part of a visitor center where binoculars were trained on the hills where bighorn sheep lived. We realized that if we stopped to look for wildlife we'd never make it to our hotel. 

After lunch we entered a snowy world with tall pines marching up the hills and glaciers gleaming in the distance.

The trucks struggled up the hills and worked to control their rigs on the long descents.
We crossed  the Vail Pass at over 10,000 feet.  We were in famous ski country, and passed many communities of ski lodges and town houses.  
Vail was the most surprising because of the faux Alpine village architecture that took the idea of a replica to new levels.  

The road began to straighten out after Vail and it seemed like the hardest driving was behind us. We began to see rivers, first the Eagle and eventually the famous Colorado.  Golden cottonwood trees lined the banks and breathtaking cliffs rose on either side as the road wound along the river. 

When we finally made it to Utah, we were almost relieved as the sky turned gray and the desert rocks spread out on either side.

It got dark about an hour before we arrived at our hotel.  We drove past several scenic overlooks.  We had seen so much today that we didn't even worry about what we had driven past in the dark.

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