Posted by: mamas2hands | September 23, 2012

Andee & Jan’s Big Adventure Part I

As many of you know I just returned from the Reno Knit and Crochet Show. Since this was the closest that a show has been to my home in Colorado I thought it would be fun to drive to it. So my friend Janet (aka Jan), who lives in New Jersey, said she would fly to Denver and drive with me.

This was the first time in ages that I would be driving a long distance road-trip without my family, I was really looking forward to it because Jan and I tend to make each other laugh a lot.

We figured we would need 2 days to drive one way, so 4 days total for traveling. She came out a few days early with the plan being we would have a bit of time for me to show her some of Colorado before we headed off on our journey. First we needed to get Jan to Colorado, she decided to fly out the Friday evening before we were to drive, giving us the weekend to play.

Unfortunately weather in another part of the country messed with schedules and her flight that was supposed to arrive in Denver at just after 9 p.m. ended up arriving more around the neighborhood of 11 p.m. By the time we collected Jan’s luggage and drove back to my house it was close to 1 a.m. when we went to bed.

The next day Jan and I were to have the house to ourselves as we visited, decided on food for the journey and enjoyed the mountain air. My husband and sons were supposed to be gone on a school camping trip.  But the all the campgrounds were very busy and no one had reserved any spaces. After many phone calls between parents and teachers the school camp-out was canceled. Because my boys were very dissapointed, I made a flurry of further phone calls  to arrange a mini-camp-out with a neighbor friend.

Finally we had the house to ourselves.  It was time to block the shawl that Jan had brought with her. She had wanted to learn about using blocking wires (I’ll have a future blog post about that later).  Then we ate some dinner and watched a movie while I organized my projects for the trip.

I wanted Jan to see more of the beauty in my mountains, other than just my yard. So the next morning we made a quick drive to Nederland. It’s a very beautiful drive along the Peak-to-Peak highway and Nederland is a fun little mountain town with interesting shops and sites.

We visited the Alpaca Store which was full of beautiful garments, where we each purchased a treat for ourselves. Though we managed to resist the yarn they had. Then we visited the Carousel of Happiness, a wonderful piece of functional art that is one of my favorite places to take visitors to in the area.

After a quick stop at the grocery we were back on our way to my house, with a few stops for photos.

When we got back to the house I started working on packing the car, but then got a phone call. My foster dog that had been adopted Friday was coming back. So there was a mad scramble to make arrangements for him while I was gone.  That ate up another couple of hours and we decided it was better to get some rest and finish packing the car in the morning.

The next morning, with all the packing and loading of the car, it was nearly 11:30 a.m. by the time we hit the road.  But we were off. Yay!  We made a stop off I-25 for a lunch break.

We were east of Cheyenne, Wyoming a few hours later. Though I take any photos until we stopped for an early supper close to 5 p.m.  There was a sign at the rest stop that got our attention, “Caution, Rattlesnakes may be present”.

Maybe that was why I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the gas gauge.  After that stop we realized we only had about 150 miles worth of gas in the tank. So we decided we needed to watch for a gas-station. Unfortunately we weren’t seeing any.  The mileage indicator dropped to 50, then about the time it said 20 miles left in the tank I saw a sign for Rock Springs, WY that said 35 miles to go. I snuck a peek at my phone and was relieved that I had full bars for my Cel signal.

Jan and I discussed that we had a good option if we ran out of gas. I carry AAA and help wasn’t far away. Though, since it was getting late in the evening, neither of us was too thrilled with the idea of being stuck on the side of the highway waiting for help in the dark. The indicator was now just 3 little lines and the tank gauge was reading empty, as well as the fuel light was blinking on the dash.  Suddenly we saw a Conoco sign and immediately there was an exit.

We pulled up to the pump with immense relief. I happily filled the tank. I put in 14.89 gallons in my 15 gallon tank. Jan and I looked at each other, “Let’s not do that again.”

After that excitement the rest of the day’s drive was a bit of a blur.  We finally got to Salt Lake City around 10 p.m. and happily checked into our hotel for the night.  We were very quickly asleep. The next morning we packed up to get on the road, but were a bit slow because Jan let me sleep later. She felt I needed to sleep if her alarm clock didn’t even make me twitch.

We couldn’t really see the Great Salt Lake as we drove away, but there were these interesting canals with salty patches all along the highway. We got out to take pictures and were surprised at how stinky the air was.

Further out from SLC we saw huge mountains of salt with trains and semi-trailers around to haul it to destinations unknown. Jan shot a quick picture out the car window as we drove by.

This Gas-station name was too funny.

This was to be the shorter leg of the journey, but road construction slowed us down enough that it took about the same length of time.  We stopped regularly to fill the tank and for meals.

We discovered that rest-stops in western Utah and most of Nevada were not as nice as the ones in Colorado and Wyoming. We took this picture at one of the few rest-stops that had a nice little park-like area around it.

After what had begun to feel like a very long drive we made it to Reno and our hotel, the Grand Sierra Resort. The place was massive and we stood in line for quite a bit waiting to check in.

We were thrilled with the size of our room, though the decor made us chuckle. Personally, if I had a bigger living room, I would love to have a chair like that.

The view from our window was pretty good, especially at sunset.

A couple of friends that were arriving that evening and afternoon called us.  We went back downstairs for a while and explored, but soon called it a night as we had to be up early the next day for PDD (Professional Development Day).


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