Moving on!

We bid farewell to our daughter and point the RV west.  Shortly after turning onto Interstate 70, we feel the slight climb in elevation starting.  No surprise since we need to go from Denver’s elevation of 5,280 feet (the mile high city) to the Eisenhower Tunnel (the summit) at 11,158 feet.  We have to cross the Continental Divide somehow.

Interstate 70

Interstate 70 west bound

Interstate 70

Colorado

Eisenhower tunnel

Entering the Eisenhower Tunnel

This steady climb accompanied by plenty of turns, proves to be a challenge for some vehicles.  The loaded down semi-trucks, vehicles pulling trailers, and other vehicles not used to the thin air struggle to maintain any speed in excess of 30 miles per hour as they trudge up the mountains in the right hand lane.  I envision a little train engine and hear a voice…..”I think I can, I think I can, I think I can……” as they struggle to cross the Rocky Mountains.

Now the Mario Andretti wanna be’s in the left hand lane are another story.  They’re whizzing up the mountain in excess of 80 mph hugging the turns and enjoying the challenging drive.  It’s best to get out of their way!

Rocky Mountains

Approaching the Eisenhower tunnel

Al and I opt to sit in the center lane (as long as we have three lanes ) driving at a steady speed of 65 mph…..the speed limit…. I believe, through this stretch of interstate anyway.  It’ll pop up to 75 mph down the road a ways.  The F-250 pulls the 5th wheel over Loveland Pass without any trouble.  The Eisenhower Tunnel – Loveland Pass marks the first of two mountain passes we’ll encounter today.  You can click here for more information on the tunnel.  At Vail Pass we’ll encounter another climb and summit.

Eisenhower tunnel

Eisenhower tunnel at Loveland Pass

Eisenhower tunnel

The Eisenhower tunnel

When we exit the tunnel, we are greeted with a gorgeous view and a downhill drive.  There are several ‘runaway truck ramps’ along this stretch of interstate 70.  We take our time going down the mountain and stay in the right hand lane.  Within about 10 to 15 minutes of exiting the tunnel and after the Dillon exit, is a scenic overlook worth a stop.

Rocky Mountains

Interstate 70 continues with a sharp left and down. Runaway truck ramp straight ahead

Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon scenic overlook…..westbound on interstate 70

When we moved from Chicago to Las Vegas, our daughter was a mere 3 years of age.  This view made an indelible impression on that little girl, to the point she would regularly say, “When I a big girl, I move to mountains”.  And move she did.  I don’t see that girl leaving Colorado anytime soon.

Traffic is light today and we don’t encounter any construction delays on our three hour drive to Glenwood Springs.  I enjoy the drive through Glenwood Canyon.  I once again marvel at the construction of this stretch of interstate 70 and savor the beauty of my surroundings.  I’ve written about this stretch of road before, click here.

Glenwood Canyon

Glenwood Canyon – Interstate 70 west bound

Once we get to Glenwood Springs, we head south on Highway 82.  Al found us a private property on line to spend a couple of nights.  But did he get directions? Nope, just google mapped it.  So we drive around some back country roads in search of the property before finally calling the owner.  Gosh, we were close….very close actually.  The address was slightly off making it impossible to find on google maps.  We did pretty good, considering.  Yep, a few pats on the back for both of us and Al gets a special pat for being able to turn the rig around in some rather tight spots.  We drove up the road a ways, then back down, then back up….you get the picture!

Glenwood Springs

Hmm….where is this place we plan to camp for the night?

Glenwood Springs

Going back up the road the way we just came looking for our home for the night

Glenwood Springs

This can’t be the right road! Time to call the home owner. Sure hope we can turn around.

Once we finally find the right spot, we get settled in.   We’re pretty pleased with our little “home” for the next two nights.Colorado

The next day we take the scenic drive down Highway 82 from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.  It’s been twenty-five years since I last visited this area in Colorado.  I wonder, will I be in awe as much as I was all those years ago?……..  Al and I were celebrating our five year wedding anniversary with a trip to Colorado.  We flew from Chicago to Denver and rented a car to take in the sights of Colorado.  The only other time I had seen the Rocky Mountains was on a road trip Al and I took earlier in our relationship.

AspenAspen is a beautiful mountain town.  However, after calling Colorado “home” for the past eighteen years, I’m not wowed.  I guess I’ve been fortunate to see some pretty spectacular scenery.  Aspen is missing the vast, open vistas seen in other places.  The traffic is congested and parking is difficult.  We did enjoy the abundance of outdoor cafes and the beautiful flowers everywhere.

Twenty-five years ago, we took the gondola to the top of the mountain.  As a flatlander, this was a very memorable experience.  At that time in our lives, we didn’t understand Colorado weather and the regular afternoon thunderstorms that roll in.  Lightening is serious business around here and once lightening is spotted, all outdoor activities come to a screeching halt.  Al and I had no sooner purchased a hot dog and drink to enjoy atop of this stunning mountain, when we were asked to leave.  The mountain top was shutting down due to weather.  Really?

AspenThis time around, Al and I are a little lot wiser.  Al and I are on the fence about taking the gondola to the top, but with storm clouds in the distance and a price of $28 per person, we decide to take a pass.  Smart move on our part as the storm starting rolling in thirty minutes later.

Although our time in this area is over, I would definitely like to return and explore the backcountry near Snowmass.  I’ll be doing some research. Any recommendations on the area and the Maroon Bells is welcome.  Next stop, Grand Junction.wildflower

Advertisements

48 thoughts on “Moving on!

    • Thanks Linda. We too love Colorado. We finally have the time to start exploring this state at a leisurely pace. There’s so much backcountry we have yet to see.

  1. Ingrid, Have you noticed that sometimes when you click on, for instance “1,079 more words” for this blog, that the link doesn’t work? Sometimes in Reader, sometimes in categories, like RV? Can’t seem to resolve it with wordpress.org. Any ideas? Carol

    • Oh Carol, don’t get me started with these computer programs. My Reader does not always show new posts from blogs I follow. I’ve also had other inconsistences with comments, etc. so I’m at a loss. Wish I could be of help 😦

  2. wow – how beautiful… I wish I were in the mountains, but I can’t complain – I just get to enjoy the scenery vicariously. have fun and I am looking forward to watching you make your days count! great photos

    • Thanks. We love Colorado and finally have the time to explore and meander around the state until the weather pushes us south. I would highly recommend a summer in Colorado….you won’t be disappointed πŸ™‚

  3. We have a small class c motor home and have had a fifth wheel, too. In both cases Bobbie drove/drives along behind. There are too many times when one gets into a situation where they need to back up…hooking, and unhooking a towed car doesn’t make sense to me UNLESS you are going long distances, say touring the whole USA. For bopping around the four corner states driving a high mileage vehicle along behind doesn’t add much expense and what expense it does add is offset by having a high mileage car to run around in. My two cents, anyway.

    Let us know if you want to do a hike when you get to Ridgway State Park πŸ™‚ We’re just up the road in Lovely Ouray!
    Box Canyon Mark

    • We think it’s worth having the second vehicle since we plan on bopping around the west. If we were going to tour, then we’d think about a plan B.
      Not sure we’re ready for one of your gorgeous hikes, but we’re always ready to swap stories over a drink or two. I’ll let you know when we’re in the area πŸ™‚

  4. I love the Mountains and nothing nicer than the mountain passes… but are you in a separate vehicle to Al?? Is this a permanent travel plan or just temp??… Linda and my plan is to tow a small vehicle behind the rig, that when we hit a stop we can use the small vehicle to explore not having to move the rig… is this why you have the two vehicles.??

    • Ideally we would have gotten a motorhome and pulled a small vehicle, but we already had all our current stuff. Thus, decided to wing it. Since we’ll be hanging around the west for a while, we think this will work for now. If we once start touring, plan B. There will be times that we’ll probably leave my truck at our son’s or my brother’s. One day at a time for now. Our energy is still a little spent from the move and loss of doggie. Each day gets better and we’re starting to make some plans. Can’t wait for you to get your rig πŸ™‚

        • Wow, love it. Very smart layout with every inch used wisely for storage. We don’t have that brand in the U.S. but I have seen one or two on rare occasion with South America license plates. Now that’s a journey.
          I will tell you, this move was the most tiring and difficult Al and I have done in our 32 years together….it was our ninth move and it was overwhelming beyond our imagination. In retrospect, we would have taken it slower and paced ourselves πŸ™‚

  5. For a while I thought it was Ashton taking all those pictures then I read your replies and realized you are driving separately!
    Beautiful pictures of Colorado, especially Lake Dillon, cant wait to get there someday.

    • You’ll need to spend a summer – whole summer, exploring Colorado. We’re discovering some great hiking trails around Grand Junction that I know you and Steve would love.
      Yep, traveling with 2 trucks. So far, so good. We have walkie talkies and feel like a couple of kids. So we still communicate most times with silly comments, but I get to listen to my music and he gets to listen to his….sometimes that ten year age difference comes into play….lol.

  6. Perhaps you can answer a question for me. My husband and I took I-70 on a trip from Utah to Boston somewhere around the mid-80s. We stopped somewhere before the Eisenhower Tunnel and did a wonderful little hike that climbed in altitude rather quickly with a bunch of switchbacks and ended up at a delightful little lake with crystal clear water and a delightful little waterfall… another couple was there and we traded taking shots of each other behind the falls. Do you happen to know where it is or if that spot has a name?
    (Love all your pics…. bring back many good memories.)

    • Sorry Gunta, not sure about the hikes in that area. Kathy over at Hiking to Healthy might know http://hikingtohealthy.com/. She and her hubby do lots of hiking in that part of Colorado. Sounds like a beautiful spot I’d even be interested in. Glad you enjoyed the photos πŸ™‚

  7. We seem to do the daughter thing one after the other! Sad to see your daughter go but ours arrives next Wed. Jessica is coming to visit her grandmother, see us, and run a 10k. Should be fun times.

    I didn’t realize you followed in a vehicle, also! Several couples do that.

    Travel safely to Grand Junction!!

    • We kept going back and forth…..buy a MH and toad, stick with the fiver but I hate exploring with the big truck. Then we met LuAnn and Terri of Paint Your Landscape and they travel with two vehicles. I also read RV Dreams Howard and Linda’s story and voile…..decision made. So we’ll travel this way until it either presents a problem or we decide we don’t like. One day at a time on RV time….no immediate plans for anything πŸ™‚
      Enjoy your daughter’s visit…..it’s the best!

    • It’s a pretty great place to call “home” until the weather turns. We’ve been hiking early in the Monument due to the heat. Heading toward Ouray for 8 days next week then back to Grand Junction. Hope it’s a little cooler there.

  8. This was quite a post! I’m glad I read it because now I feel semi caught up. What a spectacular journey your life is. I think of your stewardess days and smile.
    Enjoy what’s left of the summer, Ingrid!
    Lisa

    • Journey? More like a rollercoaster….lol. Now that my ‘home’ is mobile, I get to follow the weather. Thus, won’t be hanging around Colorado for the cold weather. Might even head to a beach somewhere to slurp drinks with umbrellas. We’ll see how the wind blows. Life’s an adventure πŸ™‚

  9. We stayed in Dillon once..very nice. I like the Steamboat Springs area, although probably quite touristy now…and I remember a little town called Leadville, where there was a theater where Baby Doe ( I think that was her name) starred…There was an old saloon across the street with a wooden breakfront just inside the bar door..This was so the wives of the men drinking inside couldn’t see that they were in there…pretty sneaky, eh?…Am I just stupid or was that YOUR Laredo in the photos…Did you get that video from the Colorado State Police??? JUST KIDDING!!!!

    • Is there a place in Colorado that lacks beauty or character? Nope! We still have lots of this state to explore before the snow flies.
      We actually decided to travel with two vehicles. I like to follow in my little red truck and thus get photos of the rig….cool ha! We ran into several full-timers who do just that. Of course, lots of pros and cons and we’ll probably leave my truck at sons house or my brothers from time to time. It’s nice to take the little truck exploring. This adventure is a ‘work in process’. So we’ll need to figure out what works and what doesn’t over time.

    • You picked great songs!…..Our fav is Willie Nelson “On the road again”. When we moved from Chicago to Las Vegas we did so in January….duh, right. We pulled off at the scenic overlook. The area was totally snow covered and beautiful beyond words. Our family of four walked around the pullout without our coats on AND weren’t cold. This was our first encounter with low humidity. Not the cold of the Midwest.

Comments are closed.