And the road goes on forever...

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Freeway from 75 MPH

I got off from Texas about 6:30 a.m. Sunday and had a boring, uneventful drive to Alamosa, CO, a nondescript town in a southern valley of Colorado. I remember I crossed the Texas state line into New Mexico at 12:40 and spent about ten hours driving that day. My accommodation was the worst Super 8 I have ever stayed in.

Leaving early this morning, on a route suggested by cyber RV friends Mark & Bobbie Johnson (Artful Adventures) who do a wonderful photographic RV website and are originally from Colorado, I took the back roads headed towards Gunnison. It was quiet and without traffic and the highway traversed the farming San Luis Valley and then climbed into the broad reaches of the Colorado Rockies. Later on it descended into a very curvy slow canyon of ten miles which afforded little opportunity to pull over and take any pictures but was very dramatic. After exiting the canyon and hitting the main highway 50 headed west it was a short hop to Gunnison. Colorado reminds me greatly of Montana in this section.

Although I only quickly drove through Gunnison I enjoyed it. It seemed vibrant as only tourist or industry towns are with wide streets and neat shops. As I exited Gunnison, shortly thereafter a river started forming into a lake, which appeared to run for many miles as I wove along its curvy shore. There were a ton of RV parks, campgrounds, and resorts. Soon thereafter, the highway climbed and the RV parks were replaced with huge log homes on acreages. Dropping to the western slope and the downhill slide, there were wide open expanses of wonderfully scenic country and signs denoting the Black Canyon of the Gunnison before arriving in Montrose; a very artsy neat town which I blew through quickly. Dropping more elevation quickly I arrived to drive likewise through the really cute town of Delta on my way to Grand Junction. My impression is that the western part of Colorado is far superior to the eastern portion--more visual signs of wealth, more pride of ownership.

Grand Junction was difficult to navigate and seemed to take forever. But once you leave it, it is done and over with in a hurry and you have the wide open vistas typical of Utah on the horizon. I had about 50 miles of travel to gaze southward to the picturesque Lasal Mountains and red canyons north of Moab as I whizzed by on the 75 mph freeway before exiting at Green River to stock up on fuel. Once I left there after the turnoff for Hanksville, I have never traversed this section of I-70 and it was a spectacular treat. Although much of it has a 75 mph speed limit, it is a challenging highway full of curves, severe grades and such stupendous scenery it is hard to keep your eyes on the road. As is typical of afternoons in these states, I hit severe lightening and rain for a short downpour. But worse yet was arriving in Salina, UT for the evening with a nearly flat front tire. Who knows what will be up with that tomorrow? Still 1000 miles to go.