A September visit to Colorado and New Mexico!
September 15-24, 2009
Day 1, Tuesday, Home to Winnemucca, NV via SR99, I-80: 342 miles.
We were finally ready to head to Allen’s in Colorado aboard our coach, a trip delayed but we were finally hitting the road! We left home at 0930 to face the horrible I-80 over the Sierras – known as Donner Pass. Last trip, a year ago, the road was so worn out that it seemed to shake our coach apart. There was a huge construction project going on this trip and much of the road was new. It was a huge improvement! As we drove through Nevada there were many miles of re-paving in progress as well.
Reno in the distance as we motored west on I-80.
We stopped at Boomtown to play the poker slots for awhile, and actually left $5 ahead. That was a change for us! We spent just a couple of hours, then continued on to Winnemucca.
We pulled into the Wal-Mart lot in Winnemucca at 1830, and after moving twice to get the satellite TV to work properly, we settled in for the night.
Jacks down at the Winnemucca, NV Wal-Mart.
Day 2, Wednesday, Winnemucca, NV to Evanston, WY via I-80: 422 miles
We were underway at 0815 Pacific time and drove all day long to arrive at Evanston at 1910 Mountain time. It was a long day. Our only stop was at the Flying J in Toole, UT, a town at the end of the long drive across the salt flats, before Salt Lake City.
The strange “tree” along I-80 on the salt flats – but it broke the monotony!
We drove through Salt Lake City during the commute hours, but didn’t have any delays. It was a long, hard climb up the mountains to Park City, UT from Salt Lake City, but from there to Evanston is what I consider one of the most scenic portions of the entire trip.
Rocky formations along I-80 heading to Evanston.
We pulled into the Wal-Mart in Evanston and spent a very restful night. It never ceases to amaze me how much at home we are in this wonderful coach. We took showers, watched satellite TV, and ate dinner – all aboard the coach. One unusual thing about this Wal-Mart is that more big rigs parked here overnight than did RVers. It was almost like Flying J!
Settled in with other RVers at Evanston, WY’s Wal-Mart lot.
The plan for the next day was to drive across Wyoming to Cheyenne and spend the night in an RV park. We’d be able to arrive at Allen’s on Friday with empty holding tanks, and that’s an important consideration when living the RV life on the road!
Day 3, Thursday, September 17, Evanston, WY to Greenwood Village, CO via I-80, I-25: 449 miles
The day was to end at Cheyenne, Wy. However, in Cheyenne we were only two hours from our destination.
A huge buffalo image welcomes travelers to Colorado along I-25.
After gassing up and dumping the holding tanks at Cheyenne’s Flying J (a badly deteriorated plaza with poor service), it was only 1600 local time; we decided to finish the journey and continued on to Greenwood Village.
Dropping into Denver during the commute. That was a foolish time to drive through the big city, but we made it.
We braved the commute hours through Denver which was as bad as LALA Land. We arrived safely at the kids’ place in Greenwood Village, Colorado a tad after 1800 – and Lavonne was very happy. We both were, but she enjoys the destination far more than the journey. I live for the journey – I love driving the coach over long distances. We had a wonderful visit with the kids that evening. The food was good and the drinks were cold. It really was great to arrive – Allen and Nancy’s is one of our favorite destinations.
Settled in at the kids’ place in Greenwood Village, Colorado. This is a beautiful town very near Denver.The jacks would be down ’til September 21st, and we had a grand time enjoying family!
Two of our sons, Craig (left) and Allen were doing kitchen work as we visited. I’ve talked to these two about gender roles, but they just don’t get it!
We went out for brunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, P F Chang’s, on Sunday morning. We spent several days at the kids’ home visiting and having a grand family get-together. Life is good when you have a motorhome!
The two family Grandmas, my wife Lavonne on the left, and Norma on the right. Party on!
Day 7, Monday, Sept 21, Greenwood Village to Santa Fe, NM via I-25 & I-40: 369 Miles
All too soon Monday morning rolled around and it was time to hit the road again. The weather had been perfect for the entire visit, but we woke up to rain, wind and cold on Monday. After our good-byes we pulled onto I-25 and headed south in rain and wind – and even dealt with a bit of snow and hail during the trip south.