Earl and I trekked through the Rocky Mountains today, leaving Durango, Colorado around 9:00 a.m. MDT. The weather was pleasant in the low 50s and I wore the same clothes that I wore yesterday, so I was still in my “desert gear”.
As soon as we left Durango we started the climb up several mountain ranges along US 550, with our first summit at Coal Bank Pass. We pulled off at the tourist center (which was closed) and took a bunch of pictures. To get to the lookout point we needed to hike through about a foot of snow.
Wicked cool. Especially in “desert gear”.
After our first stop, we continued along up and down and winding all around. The scenery was breathtaking. I never expected the view to be as beautiful as it was. I will never look on the Adirondacks in the same way again, as now they are just really big hills.
We made our way to Grand Junction, Colo. and jumped onto I-70 east towards Denver. I-70 is somewhat of an engineering marvel, maintaining it’s status as an interstate freeway without intruding on the landscape as much as possible. Short tunnels, long bridges, sharp curves, steep grades and overlapping roadways make this a very fun road to drive. I highly recommend it.
Once in Denver, we headed north toward Cheyenne, stopping at a Texas Roadhouse for dinner and then jumping the state line into Nebraska, where we’ve set down roots for the night in Scottsbluff. Eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska have nothing but uninterrupted fields as far as the eye can see. And while much different than the mountains we passed through earlier today, I find the prairies to be quite beautiful as well.
Tomorrow we meet up with friends in Deadwood, South Dakota.