Uugghh, our day started at 3:30AM so we could drive 946 miles, for 15 hours. I don’t know what I was thinking planning our road trip from St. Louis to Denver (technically Keystone) in one day, but I guess it had to be done! What’s a road trip without a couple of days of driving ’til the old eyes feel like they’re gonna bleed? Don’t ask Lauren though, she spent most of her time napping while I rocked out to my playlist inspired by Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On (who knew the song would become the soundtrack to our new blog? ) and stared at more corn fields than I ever knew existed.
We dragged out of bed this morning and put ourselves into the car and followed the noble charge of Go West! As we ambled along portions of the Oregon Trail I couldn’t help but think about the original pioneers that forged this path. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it would have been to do it with an ox drawn carriage and a bunch of horses. I mean they had to deal with fording rivers and droughts right? (at least that’s what the video game taught me) In a way I felt as if Lauren and I were pioneering our new lives while cruising towards the Rockies at 75 MPH.
As we drove though the Great Plains, our minds opened up and we came up with some wonderful travel ideas. We spoke about finding a new city to live in with a sense of place, and questioned why we seemed to be happiest when being nomadic. I don’t understand those people who can live in one town their whole lives, different stokes I guess.
Knowing the long drive would be hard on Zoe and Punkin we made lots of stops along the route. We came across the neatest idea at a rest stop when we stumbled across a pile of books left on the table. They were all labeled Book Crossing and we’re left for people to read and then leave somewhere else. I picked up this awesome book called Robot Haiku by Ray Salem. It’s a collection of poetry written by Robots, and it’s hilarious.
As we left Kansas and entered Colorado, I was shocked at how much and how quickly the landscape changed. We also spotted our first new wildlife at the visitors center when Lauren spotted a chipmunk!
Driving into and over the Rockies on our way to Keystone we also saw several different types of deer. Our biggest spotting though, had to be the moose! He was huge and chocolate brown and amazing! I’m still mad we couldn’t get a picture. I think our biggest surprise about Colorado was the fact that I had no clue that it was so flat and that the mountains started so suddenly.
We drove through the Eisenhower tunnel to get to Keystone. I have a love for tunnels and bridges. They always remind me of the “grass is greener” saying. It was right after the tunnel and the moose that the storms we saw while cutting through Denver hit. It went from beautiful scenery to a heavy drizzle in about 10 seconds. Needless to say I was in quite a rush after driving for 14 hours and I found my self zipping and zooming down the mountains when potential disaster struck. From nowhere a Colorado State Trooper pulled us over. Turns out I was doing 65 in a 50. I pulled out my best embarrassed tourist face and told the cop I was from Florida and it was the first time I had ever driven in the mountains and I didn’t downshift fast enough. He took a look at me and said hi to the doggies, then asked me 3-4 questions about my GTI and gave me a warning. I guess luck was on my side today.
We then slowly drove to our lovely dog friendly hotel, The Inn at Keystone (we reviewed it here), and the rains stopped as suddenly as they had begun. We didn’t stay in to room to long as we had plans to head out to dinner and meet up with one of our favorite people Sarah.
We met up with Sarah at a Tex-Mex place across the street and had some great food and better conversation. We had a couple of beers and met some new friends and made a plan to play in the mountains the next day. I also learned my first lesson about drinking at serious altitude. Apparently 2 beers go a whole lot further at 10K feet than they do at sea level. Good thing the hotel was a quick walk across the street. After all that driving we were exhausted, I don’t even really remember the rest of the evening, other than a hot shower and going to bed early looking forward to playing in the mountains the next day.