Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's All Down Hill From Here!

The first 30 miles of US Hwy 50 going east from Grand Junction -- where it splits from I-70 -- were absolutely terrible. There was so much heave to the roadway that I felt like I was riding a bucking bronco! It was so bad I actually considered abandoning it and switching over to I-70 toward Denver.

Thankfully, the road improved as I entered the mountains, and I enjoyed a pretty drive past ranches and farm land, over a few passes, through some canyons, beside a reservoir, etc. The weather was quite overcast, so the photos aren't very good and certainly don't do it justice.

The high point of the day -- literally! -- was crossing over Monarch Pass. At 11,312 feet, Monarch Pass is one of the highest elevation passes in the country, and I'm pretty sure it's the highest I've ever driven. Straddling the continental divide, it's all down hill from here!

As usual, Darth was perfect and I took this photo to commemorate his earning a high altitude merit badge to go with all the others he has already earned in his short but productive life.

Tomorrow, I plan to continue east as far as Pueblo, where I will take a detour up I-25 to Fort Collins and visit with a friend for the long weekend. Early next week I will swing back down to Pueblo and rejoin Hwy 50 for the rest of my drive east... Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

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