Today was a bittersweet day for us. I was sad to leave Colorado, because it felt so homey there, but I was also eager to keep heading west on our road trip and explore a bit more. Last night it snowed at the mountain peaks in Keystone, which was absolutely amazing to me. It was a truly memorable sendoff. I thought we were going to be in for a dreadful and boring trip through the country side, but I was hugely mistaken. We cranked out 520 miles on our road trip from Denver to Salt Lake City, had the iPod tuned to Cake, and saw some pretty amazing sites.
After being in the same place for 3 nights we were ready for a bit of adventure. We decided to skip the interstate and shoot towards Highway 40 and were glad we did. The day was beautiful and our hopes were high. Meeting so many people in Colorado that were living their dreams was truly inspiring to us. It helped us realize that we really could achieve our dreams too, as long as we had our priorities in the right order. We were incredibly optimistic. It’s hard not to be when your surrounded by such beautiful scenery. One of my good friends calls it God’s country and I can see why.
Just as morning became afternoon, Lauren decided to take a nap. As soon as she began to fall asleep I see a giant car-sized mammal barreling towards us from the right shoulder. It was a gigantic moose! I frantically awoke Lauren, while handing her the camera, downshifting, and slamming on the breaks. Without a moments hesitation the moose bounded across the road and stopped on the other side. I made a quick u-turn and we were able to bag a photo of our second moose sighting of the week! We then made a quick stop to make sure Zoe and Punkin were ok because they looked a bit startled by the hard driving.
Shortly after the moose sighting, we made a pit stop in Steamboat then continued on our merry way through the Colorado countryside. We passed ranch after ranch and saw all kinds of jackrabbits, deer, alpaca, and even some reindeer! I am still amazed as to how varied the Colorado countryside truly is. When you’re from Florida all you ever see of Colorado is snow and mountains.
We continued along the highway and I started seeing signs for Dinosaur National Monument. We decided to take a detour and check it out, since we had time on our hands. Now most people that have visited would tell you about all the great dinosaur fossils they saw. We however did no research and ended up entering the park from the wrong end :-).
Apparently Dinosaur National Monument has two entrances. If you want to see Dinosaur fossils and other cool stuff like that you have to get there before 5 ( we didn’t) and enter from the Southern side of the park. We drove in through the East entrance (Deerlodge Camping Entrance) which ended up taking us about 12 miles into the park, along the Yampa river and Canyon.
There is a lovely camping area where you can park RVs and several turn-outs along the way to stop and take a look around. The bottom of the canyon is where all the silt and runoff from the Spring melt-off settles and leave the ground looking like a beach. You also have to be cautious of when you visit, as the campground can flood in the spring and close in the winter if the roads’ conditions are poor.
After we left the park, a bit confused, we continued along and then drove through the town of Dinosaur Colorado and found the “dinosaur” entrance to the park. We stopped and checked out the visitor’s center and made a note to try to come back and visit one day.
Shortly after we came to the Utah state line and paused for a quick photo of the Utah sign. We ended up taking jumping photo’s, as suggested by our friend Sarah, and Lauren finally got to see a prairie dog. We continued to amble through rural Utah and marvel at the beautiful scenery.
We got into Salt Lake City pretty late in the evening so we didn’t get too much of a look at the city yet. We had a quick fast food dinner ( really try to avoid those on the road) and took a quick spin through downtown marveling at how clean and orderly the city was. We then headed to our hotel and immediately passed out.
Check out all the pics from our day below, and we welcome comments.
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