Day 1 – Denver to Rulison CO
Our first stop in western Colorado was a nice and pleasant drive. I (L) always find Vail beautiful and lush. Their’s was the first of several still-very-green-and-always-gorgeous golf courses. I miss you, Daddy. Even the weather was great. We did not see any Big Horn Sheep at the lookout for them; we never have. We did not see any eagles near Eagle River or in Eagle, CO –where I saw a Bald Eagle last year. We did not see any Grizzlies in Grizzly Creek. Colorado’s wildlife names and signs can be more than just misleading; they even lie. Our stay at a free rest stop/park was delightful and fully uninterrupted.
However, the drive through Glenwood Canyon was even better than I remember. Now that we’ve driven the Columbia River Gorge, Glenwood reminds me so much of it. It’s like a baby Columbia following the Colorado where the river and the road switch sides several times; there is even a train alongside the same route.
Day 2 – Rulison CO to Whipup UT
Our second drive was far more, um, eventful. We had giant wind gusts for nearly the whole trip. And it was uphill for most of the journey.
…like driving a barn, with sails, through a tornado, during an earthquake.-me
At least the scenery was majestic. Some of the drive was a repeat for us, but going the other direction, so it felt new.
Again with the wildlife lies: we didn’t see any eagles as we crossed Eagle Canyon.
Day 3 – Whipup to Orderville UT
This drive was far more pleasant except for one pit stop for gas in Marysvale, UT. We found it awful. Everyone there drives an ATV, which is annoying on its own. We even saw one of them with a haircut so comical it’s a meme (and disparages a lot of nice women with the same name). But, they also all fly racist flags: thin blue line, LGB, and even the Confederate flag. I felt like screaming at the one couple, “the confederacy didn’t even exist in Utah, you idiot!”
I could not get out of that shithole fast enough. I feel awful that we spent money there. One of the things about this way of travel is that you have to go through (and buy gas in) some pretty awful places to get to the pretty ones. It’s a sacrifice we make to see our beautiful National Parks. At least we aren’t staying in hotels, renting cars. For the most part, we don’t even buy snacks in these towns. I wish Google had a layer for red towns; we’d plan to buy our gas in the least-red, purple-leaning ones.
After several days of nothing but driving and boondocking (save for the one long lunch), we were beat. Cooking dinner was not in the cards. E found us a great little place where we stuffed our faces with “country” fried steak, mashed potatoes, and veggies (for me) and pie a la mode (for E). We both crashed early, to prep for the real adventuring to start!