JANUARY
 
Lincoln, NE
to
Grand Junction, CO
 
2000

Home
NOTE:

The details below are a true record but the names of people have been changed to protect their identity.

The numbered points are only there to force the map generating program to reflect the actual route taken and need not necessarily have anything to do with the text.

Day 1 - Friday, January 14

0.0 7.28 About to leave.
7:34 Leave again - I forgot my toothbrush and paste!
7:40-7:50 McDonalds for breakfast.
9.2 7:58 Junction with I-80.
93.2 9:06 Left the highway at Grand Island for gas.
 
93.4 GAS - Grand Island, NE - $1.369/gal. - 16.797 gals. - $23.00
 
93.9 9:15 Back on the highway.
209.4

I just noticed how high the hills are to the south of us. I also noticed that the sandhills to the north started soon after Kearney.
When we stopped for gas in Grand Island I set the altimeter to 600 m (1,968.5 feet) and now it is 860 m. (2,821.5 feet)
There are thousands of Canada geese at the various ponds that you see along the road here all the way along I-80.
11:15 Leaving the interstate at a Rest Area. El. 940 m (3,084.0 feet).
242.5 11:22 Back on the highway.
The sandhills to the north are quite close to I-80 after leaving the Rest Area.
251.8

11:30

Entering Mountain Standard Time which means that it is now only 10:30 (just before mile post 149) - about 4 hours from home..
267.9

10:43

Stopping at the next Rest Area. The information place is closed so we are going to go straight on.
268.3 10:44 Back on the highway.
283.9 10:57 Now 190 miles to Denver.
289.4

Starting to see some patches of snow along the fence line on the north side of the road and we are up to 1,080 m (3,543.3 feet).
296.1

11:08

Junction with I-76 to Denver, and this is a new road for both of us. Denver (188 miles) is 40 miles further than going to Cheyenne (148 miles). We are at 1,100 m (3,608.9 feet).
298.8 11:10 Welcome to Colorful Colorado.
302.3




11:13




Hwy US-385 at Julesburg - leaving I-76. This is a very nice Welcome Centre with a couple of elderly gentlemen manning it - free coffee and I picked up some interesting booklets. The area surrounding the Welcome Centre was rather neat with buildings or shelters that looked like half opened teepees. There were also iron buffalo among the grass surrounding the place.
“Swept Away” (Great Blue Heron) - 2 pics.
303.4



11:31



Back on the Interstate. Now there are lots of patches of snow all over the place. The flattish countryside has suddenly become quite hilly although out to our right is a flat area with lots of trees. This would be the valley of the South Platte River. The hills are certainly barren through here.
315.6


11:41


1,200 m (3,937.0 feet) and the hills are barren and we are looking down onto the S. Platte River valley. We are starting to get some sagebrush and some yuccas, not a lot, but they are here.
Mile post 146 ... El. 1,230 m. (4,035.4 feet) There are fields of corn stubble, with irrigation sprinklers on the right hand side of the road on the hills which lead down to the valley. The left hand side of the road is hilly with some sagebrush, but very sparse.
346.4 1,280 m (4,199.5 feet).
357.1 12:15 Leaving the Interstate at Sterling (US-6 goes through here).
Sterling, El. 3,935 feet (1,290 m - 100 m out / high)
360.0 12:19-1:08 Lunch stop, Country Kitchen, Sterling, CO ($13.43+2.00).
361.1 1:11 Back on interstate.
377.0 Up to 1,350 m (4,429.1 feet) (therefore only 1,290 m - 4,232.3 feet).
377.5 Just passed a Rest Area - down in the valley is a huge reservoir.
383.8


Just noticed that the hills are quite sandy - first noticed the embankment coming down to the side of the road and realized that in between the sagebrush it is quite sandy all through here.
398.3 Just outside of Brush going west you can see the mountains on the skyline.
Ft. Morgan is the boyhood home of band leader Glen Miller - lots of geese in a park as we come into Fort Morgan.
404.5 1,400 m (4,593.2 feet)
410.0 1:51 1,425 m. (4,675.2 feet) My ears just kind of popped a little.
411.7


Gas gauge just pinged. We seem to be going through a lot more gas more quickly than usual and I’m not sure whether it is because of the constant climbing and also earlier in the day we had a lot of wind.
The road is fairly straight and with the mountains in the distance I am reminded very much of my Alberta days when going up to Calgary and beyond to the mountains.
417.0 1:57 Leaving the highway at Exit 66A to go into Wiggins. El. 1,460 m (4,790.0 feet).
 
418.0 1:59-2:06 GAS - Wiggins, CO - $1.269/gal. - 18.126 gals. - $23.00
 
From the gas station we are taking CO-52 so we can head south to I-70. Here the cornfields come right to the edge of the road, cattle grazing in among the stubble and just a single wire electric fence keeping them in.
425.7 1,500 m (4,921.3 feet).
431.4


Over the crest of a hill and what a beautiful sight now as we travel west, the road going up and down over the rolling hills and farmlands with the mountains on the horizon.
433.5



Just suddenly the road straight ahead, but there are no telephone poles, wires, fences or posts - only the posts at the side of the road marking the road - otherwise wide open space - wonderful - the area I’m talking about is just as we are approaching Weld Co.
434.8 1,570 m (5,150.9 feet).
436.0 Pic. Looking west from the car along CO-52.
443.0 1,590 m (5,216.5 feet).
447.9 Entering Prospect Valley, 1,560 m (5,118.1 feet).
448.0 2:38 Turning south on CO-79.
454.9 1,620 m (5,315.0 feet).
458.2





1,650 m (5,413.4 feet). In this area there are quite a number of oil pumps - we have seen an odd one or two here and there previously, but not a lot. Here there are more. Also an area that says it’s a flash flood area for three miles, so it must be when the snow is melting or a sudden downpour. It is really interesting ... the mountains are still off in the distance and yet it wont be long before we are at an elevation of 1 mile, and yet we have not travelled into any mountains. We are traversing high plains.
464.5 1,700 m (5,577.4 feet) and we are still on the plains.
468.5 1,750 m (5,741.5 feet).
469.5


2:59


Bennett city limit, El. 5,483 feet (1,671 m). A sign in Bennett says it’s 74° ! Just amazing. I felt hot when I pumped gas back in Wiggins, but I didn’t think that it was quite that hot!
471.6

3:02

Junction with I-70. Entering I-70 at mile 304, and of course now we are heading towards the mountains.
474.4 Just went over a rise and it was 1,779 m. (5,836.6 feet).
483.5

Came round a corner and over a rise and can see the tall buildings of the City of Denver. There is a lot of smog or haze hiding the base of the mountains.
490.0 3:17 Leaving the Interstate at Airport Blvd. (Exit-285).
501.4 3:45 Back on I-70 at Interchange 286.
501.7 3:45 Leaving Interstate again at Exit-285.
503.0




3:48




Arrive Crystal Inn. Hard to find as the map in the coupon book had the wrong location. We had driven north on Airport Blvd. towards the airport, but could not find the motel. We stopped to look at the atlas and a very kind gentleman pulled over to help us. From this point we could not get back onto southbound Airport Blvd, so were directed on another road which took us back to I-70 one exit east of the boulevard.
We went shopping for swim suits. Met a coworker of LP her husband for dinner at Red Robin along with three of their children.
Back at the motel I christened my new swimsuit in both the pool and the spa. LP did not join me!
524.0 End of the day.

The day’s total - 524 miles
Trip Total - 524 miles

Day 2 - Saturday, January 15

Have had our breakfast at Crystal Inn - free - scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, juice, cereals, coffee, yogurt, toast, French toast, croissants, bagels, fresh fruit (the best free breakfast that I have ever seen).
LP also went to the front desk to check about the reservation for the second room and managed to get the one next to ours with an adjoining door.
524.0


9:36


Leave the motel and now we are going to drive downtown for a little while before coming back to the motel and taking the shuttle to the airport to meet my nephew from Australia his wife (Mic, Meg) and the girls (Sharon and Claire).
527.0



Mile marker 282, Denver City Limit El. 5,280 feet (i.e. 1 mile) - 1,610 m. Mile high city - absolutely magnificent view as we drive towards the mountains. It is going to be really exciting tomorrow when we drive into the mountains on our way to Grand Junction.
It is a gorgeous day here in Denver today - unbelievable weather. It is supposed to go up to 66° today.
564.0 Back at Crystal Inn.
We took the shuttle out to the airport, worked out where we had to go to meet the plane, then had some lunch. Waiting at the arrival gate we found the people who were to deliver Mic’s car.
What an exciting moment when I recognized Mic. I can’t explain how happy I was. And how thrilled I was to meet Sharon and Claire. Before returning to the main terminal I took both girls for a walk along the moving walkway.
The other people had Mic’s car and their own so we all returned to the motel in two cars. Business had to be attended to first, then the other people left.
Meg, Mic and the girls were very tired but we kept them up till bedtime with the idea of getting them on schedule as quickly as possible! It was really great having adjoining rooms.
We walked across the Country Market where we had a buffet supper, quite good.
After walking back to the motel we all went for a swim, then retired for an early night.

The day’s total - 40 miles
Trip Total - 564 miles

Day 3 - Sunday, January 16

564.0 Our car leaving the motel - LP drove our car and Mic went with him.
9:55 Leave Crystal Inn - I drove Mic’s car and had Meg, Sharon and Claire with me.
 
564.3 GAS - Aurora, CO - $1.059/gal. - 6.609 gals. - $7.00
 
10:03

About to leave the gas station in Aurora, east of Denver and heading out to the highway now and on to Grand Junction.
581.3 El. 5,337 feet.
581.9 El. 5,445 feet.
592.8 10:33 232 miles to Grand Junction at mile post 258.
598.9


We pulled off the highway near Buffalo Bill’s grave and the girls played in the snow for a while and now we are off again to return to the highway. We would have gone to see Buffalo Bill’s grave but it was about four miles away on a side road.
625.5 11:17 Georgetown city limit, El. 8,519 feet.
628.9 Silver Plume city limit, El. 9,118 feet,
633.9 Stopped momentarily for a brief conference.
643.7 11:47 - 12:08 Loveland Pass, El. 11,990 feet - Leaving to go down through Keystone.
660.0 Stopped in Dillon - P stop and coffee at Starbucks.
12:54 Leaving from Starbucks.
660.6 Silverthorne, El. 8,790 feet.
677.8 1:19 Vail Pass Summit, El. 10,603 feet (El. of Vail - 8,150 feet).
686.5 Passing through town of Vail.
El. 7,430 feet - it is 1 mile to Exit-167 for Avon
708.1 1:47 Leaving the highway.
733.1

Starting to rain and I am just watching to see if it is turning to snow as we go through here.
736.1 2:12 Crossing the Colorado River.
739.3

Entering Glenwood Canyon. The highway, that is east and west bound lanes, the river and a railway line all go through this narrow canyon.
753.3 El. 5,746 feet Glenwood Springs.
754.5 2:32 Leaving the highway at Exit-116 in Glenwood Springs.
754.8 3:45 Leaving Village Inn in Glenwood Springs after late lunch.
780.8


Coming into Rifle, El. 5,435 feet. Rifle was the place where there is a beautiful waterfall. Van of Ponca, NE, had entered a picture of the falls in the N4C competition for the convention.
798.6 4:24 Stopped at the Rest Area in Parachute, El. 5,095 feet.
810.9 Crossed the Colorado River.
817.3




Crossed the Colorado River again. The maximum speed has been reduced: sign “Falling Rock” for next 15 miles and the cliffs on the left hand side all have holes in them which would make great dens for animals or nesting areas for birds. They are all pitted. This is another canyon through which the road is passing with just the concrete barrier between the two-way traffic. There is also the railway and the river.
Mile marker 48 - 281 miles to the junction with !-15.
836.7 Grand Junction the next four exits.
5:09 Welcome to Grand Junction, El. 4,600 feet.
829.0 5:18 Arrive at their new "home" in Grand Junction, CO
Mic and I went shopping at Safeway for immediate supplies. He filled in the form for membership. We had sandwiches for supper.

The day’s total - 265 miles
Trip Total - 829 miles

Day 4 - Monday, January 17

First stop was for Social Security numbers, but the office was closed for Martin Luther King holiday.
Next stop was the school to which Sharon and Claire might choose to go. Then we drove to Meg’s school. The children looked around at what could be their classrooms. Meg stayed at her school and LP stayed behind working on a school computer, while Mic, the girls and I went to find Subway, bought lunch and took it back to school.
We left Meg at school whilst the rest of us returned to the city and went to Sam’s. I had Mic pick up the forms to apply for membership.
We went back for Meg, then drove to Mesa Mall for Meg to buy some shoes at Payless Shoe Source. Then it was home where we had nachos for supper.
Anna phoned to say that their mortgage had been approved.
 
No record was kept of distances traveled.

Day 5 - Tuesday, January 18

Mic and I drove Meg to school after which we went shopping. The important thing was to find some sources of gluten-free products for Sharon and Claire. We first stopped at Albertson’s and from there we went to a store called Appletree. Here we got some gluten-free bread.
Returning home, we picked up LP and the girls to go to the Social Security office, where Mic was able to take care of his and the girls’ applications.
The next stop was to be a computer store, but I could not find it, so Sharon and I decided it was time to go for Meg to bring her to the Social Security office. LP drove her back to school and Mic and I took the girls home for lunch. After this we went to the local school to enrol them . They received a great welcome and, although the afternoon was half over they stayed until dismissal. In the meantime we returned to Sam’s where we met LP. Mic got his card. Then it was back to school to pick up the girls.
I took Claire with me when I went to get Meg from her school and we went home. LP went out with Meg in the car left at the house so Meg could practice driving. Mic got Bolonaise Sauce over potatoes ready for supper.
 
No record was kept of distances traveled.

Day 6 - Wednesday, January 19

Meg drove herself to school and the girls took the school bus. Mic, LP and I did a lot of running around. First we went to the girls’ school to get their health records and see the cook in the cafeteria about what lunches the girls would be able to have and which not. Next stop was to see about car insurance, then Department of Transport for information on driver’s licences. Their international ones would be enough if they had not bought a car, but to insure the van they had to have valid Colorado licences!
We had a brief look in Barnes and Noble before going to the Health Market for Celiac supplies. We also had our lunch here, jambalaya and a sandwich, before continuing with our running around. Mic wanted to stop in at the School Administration building to make enquiries about possible work. We made K Mart our last stop before going home in time for the girls returning from school.
Mic prepared a roast of pork for supper and LP worked a lot on the computer, making some headway but it was still very frustrating - the computer was small and very slow!
 
No record was kept of distances traveled.
However, between time of arrival on Sunday and now we have done 66 miles.

The day’s total - 66 miles
Trip Total - 895 miles

Day 7 - Thursday, January 20

895.0 10:21 Leave the house
 
897.0 GAS - Grand Junction, CO - $1.359/gal. - 14.714 gals. - $20.00
 
We are just leaving from the Amoco gas station on Horizon Drive near I-70.
897.1


10:37


Entering I-70 west to Fruita. As we approach Exit-26, the last exit for Grand Junction, it is 102 miles to Green River, Utah, also 513 miles to Las Vegas, a day’s drive for us.
906.6 Fruita City Limit, El. 4,498 feet.
908.5 10:47 Leaving the interstate at Fruita.
909.0



10:49-11:11



Colorado Welcome Center. Had a very nice chat with the people here. One lady remarked about my lighthouse sweat shirt and she was very interested in Harbour Lights. She even knew which store I was talking about on Main Street in Grand Junction.
Coming out of the Visitor Center onto the road, I said, “Yes, it’s two-way traffic here,” so LP said, “Don’t do a Mic!”.
911.5 11:16 Entering Colorado National Monument.
912.5 11:19 Stopped at Redlands View.
913.0

11:25

I forgot to say what time I got back into the car - I took two pictures of the sign and the fault lines.
As we proceed into the park we appear to be going into the end of a big canyon.
913.2 11:26 Balanced Rock.
913.6 11:32 Driving through a small tunnel and there is another small one ahead of us.
913.7


Just cam through the second tunnel which is cut in the natural rock and does not appear to be concreted up or anything like that. After leaving Balanced Rock the road took a sharp turn as it climbed the canyon wall towards the tunnels.
914.0

11:33-11:37

Stopping at a place called “Historic Trails.” We are at elevation of about 1,710 m (5,610.2 feet).
11:40-11:40

Stopped at another overlook - just a lovely view of the valley between Grand Junction and Fruita.
915.3


11:43-11:50


Fruita Canyon View. We could look down on Balanced Rock from here, but it would be hard to pick it out in a picture because it would not show up against the tall cliffs. Great view looking over the valley.
In the next half mile there is some snow along the side of the road.
915.8



11:51-12:47



Visitor Center. Here we viewed their slide presentation (always an excellent program at any of the Visitor Centers) and I took the short hike out to Bookcliff Viewpoint. We also learned more about the rock slide which had closed the Rim Road to through traffic, and saw some photographs of the slide.
917.4 12:52 The Grand View, 1,880 m (6,168.0 feet).
919.7

Near the Coke Ovens area we came around a corner and could see snow on the mountains beyond Bookcliffs.
920.5 We have reached an altitude of 2,000 m (6,561.7 feet) and we are still going up.
921.3 1:01 We have reached the barrier closing the road because of the rock slide - El. 2,060 feet.
921.3

1:02-1:09

Stopped. It looked as if it would be too far to walk to the rock slide and we wanted to stop at the various lookouts as we drove back.
922.3 1:13 Stopped.
923.0

1:59

Leaving from near the Coke Ovens Overlook. Actually from the last stop LP drove the car so I could walk back.
923.2


Coke Ovens Overlook. Back at one of the other overlooks there is a 0.5 mile trail down the canyon wall to an overlook which I could see from the top. I would like to spend a lot more time here and be able to enjoy all the various trails at leisure.
923.9 2:02-2:05 Monument Canyon Overlook - picture. of LP and one of the monuments.
925.2


2:11-2:15


Stopped at Grandview for Half Tunnel Exhibit - On December 12, 1933, 9 men lost their lives when they were excavating under a large overhang for the building of this road and the overhang collapsed.
925.8 2:17-2:20 Independence Monument Overlook.
926.0

2:21

Pulled into the spot for Otto’s Trail, a half-mile nature trail to Otto’s Overlook (about 30 minutes for round trip). Decided not to do this but to leave it for another time!
927.3

2:25

Pulling off, just after passing the Visitor Center, to go into the picnic area to have a look.
927.7 2:29 Back on the road again and now we are going down from the mountain into Fruita.
929.6 2:35 Entering the first tunnel going down.
929.7 Entering second tunnel.
931.7 2:41 Passing the entrance station.
931.9 2:42 Back at the road, CO-340.
936.0

2:51-3:33

After driving into Fruita and along the historic main street we returned to Subway and Starvin Arvins near the interstate to have some lunch.
948.3

3:57

Entering the East Entrance of Colorado National Monument after having driven along the foot of the cliffs.
950.6 Entering a tunnel.
951.7 4:07-4:15 Cold Shivers Point. From here we decided that it was time to return to town.
952.6

4:18-4:26

Stopped at a pull off just above the tunnel and I went for a short walk down the hill over the tunnel.
954.5 4:33 Driving into the picnic area parking.
955.1 4:34 Back at the road.
955.4 4:35 Leaving Colorado National Monument.
959.8 4:44 Corner of 1st and Main Streets.
We stopped back at the Amoco Gas Station to use our $2.00 token for the car wash, so the car would be somewhat cleaner!
967.0

5:07

Back "Home". I have had a great day - enjoyed it very much and will look forward to my next trip to The Monument.
Supper - Chicken Rice Medley.
Evening: played Cross Crib with Mic; LP did more work on the computer.

The day’s total - 72 miles
Trip Total - 967 miles

Day 8 - Friday, January 21

Drive with Mic
967.0 10:32 Leave, but turned back for passport.
967.9 10:38 Leave again.
1,011.3

12:40

El. 6,640 feet - 2,185 m by my altimeter so I need to do some calibrating. It was snowing.
1,014.9 1:00-1:46
1,015.0

Leaving The Monument and going out to Glade Park - gravel road - immediately after looking at the rock fall.
1:50 Have gone up to 2,240 m (7,349.1 feet) and now it looks as if we will go down a bit.
From where we started out it was 5 miles to the store and we have passed the store and now are taking the other road back into Grand Junction.
1,024.5 Re-entering The National Monument.
1,025.1 Junction with the Rim Road.
1,037.4 2:35 Home
1,041.7


Arrive at school. I picked up Sharon and Claire and we went to Mesa Mall to get some lip balm for each of them. Then we drove out to Fruita and up into Colorado National Monument for a short distance.
1,076.0 Back home
Up late making a pavlova, which was to be the surprise birthday cake for Sharon.

The day’s total - 109 miles
Trip Total - 1,076 miles

Day 9 - Saturday, January 22

Lots of shopping - K Mart, Sam’s
Girls to a birthday party; Meg and I to Barnes and Noble,
Special dinner party for Sharon’s birthday; wonderful prime rib. I decorated the pavlova in bedroom so it would be a surprise. Linda to supper. She enjoyed watching me do the pavlova.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 1,076 miles

Day 10 - Sunday, January 23

1,076.0 10:53 Leaving from Meg’s and Mic’s.
10:57-11:00

Stopped near the Airport entrance for picture of plane and Bookcliffs. Will stop at Amoco for gas before entering Interstate.
 
1,079.0

GAS - Grand Junction, CO (Amoco - El. 1,510 m - 4,954.1 feet)
- $1.359/gal. - 8.828 gals. - $12.00
 
1,079.3 11:13 Entered I-70 east to Denver.
12:00


Entering the canyon as we cross the Colorado River for the first time east of Grand Junction. It is a beautiful sunny day, clear blue sky and the color in all the cliffs is showing up.
Just really beautiful - lots of scenery for us to see. This is such an awe inspiring area - unbelievable.
1,097.6

Going to enter a tunnel. There is a lot more snow along the edges of the river than there was last Sunday when we drove from Denver to Grand Junction.
1,120.1


11:49


Parachute exit and I have taken two or three pictures before arriving here. The last one was looking straight down the road and fairly close to the cliffs and the one before that was further away and had a lot of poles, posts, etc., in it.
1,126.7 Exit-81 for Rulison.
To my left are some cliffs with absolutely gorgeous colors in them and beyond that some higher cliffs with snow on them.
1,133.2 I just saw a bald eagle on the rocks, a little island in the middle of the Colorado River.
1,134.5 Rifle, El. 5,345 feet (1,690 m).
1,150.6 A picture of snow covered mountain with red rock showing through it.
1,153.0


Canyon Creek exit and judging by the road ahead I think we will be entering a canyon - Glenwood Springs is 7 miles ahead and I think Denver was 167 miles - so this is part of Glenwood Canyon - it is just a magnificent drive.
We are now driving through the Glenwood Springs area.
1,160.0

12:24

Exit-116 for Glenwood Springs and Aspen. This is where we got off the highway last Sunday to have lunch at Village Inn.
Just noticed a beautiful red stone building with a name on it - Glenwood Springs Hot Springs.
And from here we are entering into quite a deep canyon. I think this is the part of the road where the west bound lanes are elevated and at times above the east bound lanes. The railway line on the other side of the river is going through a tunnel.
1,161.6 We are starting to enter a tunnel as well.
Exit-119 for Noname is just as we exit from the tunnel, through which the left lane was closed and the speed limit was 40 mph. I have just noticed huge icicles hanging down underneath the long, elevated “bridge”, that is the west bound road.
Just up ahead the west bound traffic goes through a tunnel whilst we go around a rocky buttress. The speed limit through the canyon is 50 mph, so the speed limits on I-70 vary considerably, going up to 75 mph in open areas.
1,175.6 Back up to 75 mph.
1,177.7


Crossing the Colorado River and I’m not sure where this is, whether it is where the river first approaches I-70, the area of Dotsero (have checked the map and yes - we will not be seeing the Colorado River again).
1,182.5

A snow plough going along the service road near Gypsum. Some interesting rock strata formations on the north side of the road just out of Gypsum.
1,187.5 We are up to 2,080 m (6,824.1 feet).
1,191.5

Picture along the road with red rock showing through and with snow on the red rocks as well. This is just after Eagle.
1,194.0


Another picture of red rocks. These are the ones on the south side of the road this time. The ones on the north side are very, very red and high above the cliffs it’s all white with snow. Also the trees are laden down with snow and are white.
1,198.3 2,200 m (7,217.8 feet).
1,199.6

We are about to enter Steamboat Springs and the snow is right down to the edge of the road here.
1,200.1





1:04





Exit-157 - left I-70. After leaving the highway we turned right towards Wolcott instead of left to Steamboat Springs. We couldn’t get a good view of the ice castle, so are going back to the highway and maybe I can get one from the road using the telephoto lens. (It is too bad that my camera was in the other car last week when I was driving Mic’s car because I stopped for Meg to take a picture which would have been much better).
1,202.4 1:13 Back on I-70.
1,204.2 1:15 Crossing the Eagle River.
1,207.9 1:18 Leaving the highway in Edwards to go to the Rest Area.
1,208.6 1:20-1:27 Rest Area. Here in Edwards we are up to 2,300 m (7,545.9 feet).
1,209.3 1:29 Back on the interstate.
7,430 feet (2,340 m) City limit of Avon - about a mile before Exit-167). There is a lot of snow through here and the trees are all laden with snow. With the sun shining it is very beautiful.
The next turnoff coming up is for US-24 East to Minturn and Leadville.
1,218.3

Entering Vail for which there are three exits miles and miles apart because of the narrow valley through which the road winds.
1,220.6


Exit-177 - the second Vail exit and there are a lot of ski slopes to be seen here. There are a lot of flagpoles with flags of many different countries (including Australia and Canada) flying.
1,222.0 Picture looking up to the rugged mountain tops.
1,223.5

We are just passing an area that says “30 minute chain up area”. This is 1 mile before reaching the third Vail exit.
1,224.5

Exit-180 East Entrance for Vail and we are really getting into the high mountains now.
1,227.3

Frisco is only about 30 miles and the car is losing speed up the hill much more quickly from the West than it did when coming into the mountains from Denver.
1,228.6

El. 2,870 m. (9,416.0 feet) LP, “The road is partially snow covered”. The trees are heavily laden with snow.
LP, “The east bound road is partially snow covered, the west bound snow covered.” It is a steep climb.
1,234.2


Vail Pass Summit 10,603 feet - and at times the road has dropped back to 45 mph because this car can’t go any faster! This is just an amazing drive, snow on the road and on the trees and the craggy mountains. It is just gorgeous.
Patches of the road are icy so we need to be careful. We were lucky last Sunday because it was dry all the way.
1,240.7

2:03

Sign across the road - “Chains required on US-6 over Loveland Pass” We are just 6 miles from Frisco.
1,241.5


Entered a narrow canyon - another sign: Avalanche area. On the north side of the road the snow is all brown from exhausts and snow blowing up. It seems to go up to a height of about 20 feet - brown stuff.
1,246.6 Leaving the interstate at Exit-203, Frisco.
1,247.5

2:15-2:49

Stopped in Frisco at Country Kitchen to have some lunch. I also wanted to get a picture here of the mountains.
1,248.9 2:50 Back on I-70.
1,250.7 2:53 Exit for Silverthorne and Dillon. El. Silverthorne 8,790 feet.
1,251.8 67 miles to Denver. From Dillon there are three lanes on the interstate.
1,256.1 Passing a chain up area.
1,258.5


Approaching the tunnel, that is the Eisenhower Tunnel, area. There is a sign that the traffic is watched by TV through the tunnel. There is quite a build up of traffic because the three lanes are being reduced to two through the tunnel.
1,259.0 3:03 Entering the tunnel.
1,260.5 3:07 Left the tunnel.
Immediately after coming out of the tunnel we had to come to a grinding halt because of the amount of traffic on the road as we came to the Loveland Pass exit the traffic has to go down to one lane and this is a problem because there is so much traffic joining the highway from US-6.
The traffic is so heavy it is like coming back to Toronto from Huntsville on a Sunday afternoon!
3:30 We have only done eight miles since coming out of the tunnel.
1,284.5

Just near that gold mine town there was a big wheel at the side of the road and cascading ice.
1,289.0 4:05 Back to three lanes of traffic and we are almost out of the mountains.
1,298.0

First view of the plains ahead and the outskirts of Denver, that is the eastern outskirts because downtown is still hidden by the foothills.
 
1,299.0 “TRUCKERS DON’T BE FOOLED
4 MORE MILES OF STEEP GRADES
AND SHARP CURVES”
 
“TRUCKERS YOU ARE NOT DOWN YET
ANOTHER 1 ½ MILES OF STEEP GRADES
AND SHARP CURVES”
 
1,304.0 Almost out of the hills.
1,304.7 First view of Downtown Denver.
1,312.7 4:27 Exit-269B - leaving I-70 on I-76.
1,317.7 Junction of I-76 with I-25.
1,325.7 4:40 By the time US-85 leaves I-76 we are in the country. Fort Morgan is now 66 miles.
(Unfortunately I must have knocked a setting on my tape recorder because I have nothing recorded for the rest of the day)
We thought about stopping in Fort Morgan for the night, but decided that it was too early to spend the rest of the day in a motel room. In fact, I was still contemplating making a run for home!
However, by the time we reached Brush, it was getting on the dark side and I was feeling tired, so decided to call it quits.
1,404.0 Best Western Motel, Brush, CO.
After checking into the motel we asked about somewhere to have dinner and were directed downtown to John Wayne’s restaurant, “True Grits Steak House.”.
1,407.0 End of day.

The day’s total - 331 miles
Trip Total - 1,407 miles

Day 11 - Monday, January 24

1,407.0 Leave the motel (continental breakfast - not particularly appetizing).
 
1,443.0 8:56 GAS - Sterling, CO - $1.359/gal. - 16.376 gals. - $22.25
 
1,497.0 9:50 Julesburg
Just before coming into Julesburg I discovered that my tape recorder was not recording so we left the highway to find out what the problem was and replace batteries if necessary. The pause button had been engaged accidentally!
1,497.4 9:57 Back on I-76.
1,499.2 Came round a bend and I could see the trucks over on I-80.
1,502.0 10:00 Nebraska - The Good Life - Home of Arbor Day.
1,504.7




I-76 ends at the junction with I-80 and now we have fertile farmland on both sides of the road, and a lot more traffic. Along I-76 in Colorado the fertile land was to the left of the road along the South Platte River valley, whereas the land to the right did not look fertile, had sagebrush growing sparsely on it and where the hills came together in a shallow dip it looked quite sandy.
1,508.8 Exit-107 - the first town we come to in Nebraska - Big Springs.
1,527.6

10:20

Leaving the highway at Ogallala to get something more substantial to eat - Sausage Egg McMuffin meal from McDonald’s.
1,529.3 10:35 Back on the highway.
There has been some snow since we left a week ago because we can see a dusting of snow at the side of the road, in the fields, and on the south underpasses where the sun doesn’t shine.
1,550.9 10:52 Entering Central Standard Time, so the time is now 11:52.
1,556.3


The snow is thicker at the side of the road and the fields are covered in snow. You can even see that a snow plough has been along the road pushing snow off to the side.
1,563.3 The lake on the north side of the road is frozen over and covered with snow.
1,569.6


Thousands of geese are on a lake on the north side. There is still a lot of snow around here and we are thinking that it may have fallen yesterday. Maybe the storm came on over from Colorado.
There are also tracks in the snow across the median which makes me think it could have been a very nasty day with vehicles sliding off the road.
It is unbelievable the number of tracks in the median and here are two vehicles off the road.
1,573.4


A truck turned over on its side. We did extremely well staying the extra day in Grand Junction and also stopping last night in Brush - a wise decision. Today the sun is shining and the road is clear and dry.
1,578.0 12:14 Exit-177 - US-83 McCook and the west exit for North Platte.
1,586.8

Still a lot of snow around and tire tracks in the median - maybe particularly where there are bends in the road.
1,596.1


There is another truck down in the ditch jack-knifed and the prime mover turned around completely. So that’s two semis in the ditch now, not in the median but off the road to the right.
1,604.3 There are still wheel tracks in the median.
1,605.5

Just saw a bald eagle fly over the road. There are bluebird boxes on some of the fence posts along the road.
1,608.4 Omaha 247 miles.
1,614.8

12:41

Exit-211 Gothenburg (so that’s about 30 miles in 23 minutes - 60 miles would be 46 minutes!)
1,622.7 Another truck over on its side on the south side of the road - just near Cozad.
The Rest Area several miles after where that truck was over on its side was closed because they were ploughing the snow and ice out of it.
1,637.3

Exit for Lexington - geese here on a lake again. The entrance to the highway is wet where the ice is melting.
1,642.3


Mile post 243 - LP and I are discussing whether the snow is becoming lighter and there doesn’t seem to be quite as much in the median. However, you can still see the tire tracks through the grass.
The sandhills to the north are white with the snow cover and you can see these from the highway.
1,648.0

Just passed the Overton exit and the snow is thicker again. We are getting closer to Kearney now.
1,660.3


Some of the shoulder is wet from either melting ice or snow and some of the car tracks in the median are quite big as if there have been quite a number of trucks off the road, but not necessarily tipped over.
The snow is also quite thick through here.
1,667.5 Passed a snow plough which was clearing off the shoulder.
1,671.3 1:29 Exit-272 for Kearney.
Since Kearney and before getting to the exit for Gibbon there is not as much snow now. There has been, and you can still see where vehicles have gone off the road. We are lucky!
1,687.8 The snow has almost disappeared, at least along the roadway anyway.
1,693.1 The Platte River is practically right at the side of the road to the south side.
1,694.1 1:47 106 miles to Lincoln and the snow has disappeared.
1,709.0 Crossing the Platte River.
1,709.6 2:00 Exit-312 for Grand Island.
1,711.6

Just crossed the river again - ice is flowing down it and the level of the water is quite high
1,720.0

A trailer on its side on the other side of the road, but there is no snow here now, so don’t know if it was ice that tipped him over or he went to sleep!
There is a slight dusting of snow on the shoulders which look a little icy.
1,737.4 2:22 Lincoln 60 miles.
1,781.8 2:58 I think that I got my first view of Lincoln, that is the State House.
1,784.5 3:00 If it wasn’t the State House I saw at the last hill, you can certainly see it now.
1,793.1 3:07 Left I-80 for US-77.
1,800.3

3:18

Just passed 48th Street, so home would be another half mile and a couple of minutes, but we are going to Super Saver first for milk and vegetables.
1,800.0 3:21-3:36 Super Saver.
1,801.0 3:40 Home

The day’s total - 394 miles
Total from Grand Junction - 725 miles
Trip Total - 1801 miles

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