Thursday, April 20, 2017

Colorful Colorado on our way to Montrose

Colorado is home to many destination vacation sites, but we enjoyed the beautiful views on roads less traveled. Leaving Baggs, Wyoming, the route 789 turned on 13 when we crossed the Colorado state line. We were enroute to Craig, Colorado, when the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” sign appeared on the horizon.

"Welcome to Colorful Colorado"
Driving through Colorado was like following a ribbon of highway on a movie screen. Stretches of highway with a variety of roadside scenery lay before us. We traveled roads with rolling hills that climbed into mountains where colorful cliffs appeared. Twice we came upon stretches of road construction. One stretch was eight miles long, where a lead vehicle led one lane at a time through the section where repairs were in process. Another stretch of construction had the entire roadbed torn up with lots of dust, gravel, and a lot of rocks on the roadbed as they prepared for the day they would repave the road.

We crossed the continental divide several times since leaving South Dakota. We rounded many curves through splendid scenery with tall mountains towering above us. Lakes followed along the roadside. In between, there were peaceful valleys with winding trails.

Farm country appeared. As we drove, I even captured a photo of a log barn with a metal roof. Rolled bales of hay lay in some of the fields. Some had cattle in the field and a corral close by.

Log barn photo I took as we quickly passed by
We entered Meeker and the first building on the right was their hospital. As we entered Rifle, Colorado, many mesas came into view. The main attraction for us in Rifle was their city park. It was listed in an app on our smart phone as having a free dump station with water available to fill our holding tanks. The water was shut off when we got there, but at least we could dump our tanks.

From there we continued on Interstate 70. The farther we traveled, the bigger the mountains. There were so many photo opportunities with the mountain scenery, the Colorado River, etc, it was an awesome drive.

One exit had a golf course attraction. We went through twin tunnels, and passed the Powderhorn Ski area exit. We were headed toward Grand Junction, but seven miles before Grand Junction we turned on 50 toward Delta. We took 50 to Montrose, where we could see the Rocky Mountains in the distance with snow on top of parts of them.

Rocky Mountains with snow on some of its peaks
When we arrived in Montrose, we located a dump station at a KOA, filled our water tanks, and found a laundromat with enough room to park the RV across the street while we did laundry. We spent two nights in the Walmart Parking Lot while the rain passed, so we would not have to drive wet mountain roads. The second afternoon, a beautiful rainbow appeared.

Bridge we are about to cross
Click on the following youtube video to see more of the scenery described above.

Next post will be the mountain drive from Montrose to Gunnison and our stay at Blue Mesa Ranch.

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