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 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 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.