As you likely can guess, the Part 2 of our adventure was the drive back to Colorado.
We planned very well for our departure and managed to be packed up, checked out and on the road by 8 a.m. We were just going to make a quick stop off the highway to visit a Whole Foods to re-provision some of the food we had eaten during our stay in Reno.
Of course, it wasn’t to be that simple. When we exited the highway I managed to take us in the wrong direction (I’m great at Geometry, total rubbish at Geography), fortunately we figured out that we were traveling in the wrong direction fairly quickly and got turned around.
Driving across Nevada was as boring the 2nd time around as it had been on the first. Added to the monotone of the scenery was that a haze seemed to be hanging over everything. But we had our music and lots of adventures at the show to talk about. We reached SLC at a decent hour (the sun was still up) and we had organized well for what we needed to bring to the room with us.
We each ate something for supper then had some fun snacking on chocolate. Had a bit of a “tasting” with the different flavors I had packed for us. Jan made me watch Football. Eek!
Next morning we were up and off quickly. Driving out of SLC we finally got to see the gorgeous scenery we had missed in the dark on the trip out to Reno. The hills were actually quite lush with lots of greenery as well as dramatic rockscapes. Many of the trees were sporting their autumn colors too. Jan was really enjoying the scenery, but since I was driving I could only give it a bit of attention.
The highways going out of SLC are very twisty and pretty busy, which I found entertaining. I think Jan was relieved when the traffic got lighter though.
We were having some difficulties with my I-pod player at this point so we decided to sing. A road-trip song I know well from way back is “99 Bottles of Beer”, but it didn’t really fit for us. So we decided upon a yarn related version. We used up an hour of our travel time playing with variations of words and singing them to see how well they worked. Jan finally came up with the version that we liked best:
99 Balls of Bamboo on the Wall,
99 Balls of Bamboo,
Take one down it needs to be wound,
98 Balls of Bamboo on the wall.
Of course, I had a terrible time getting it right. I kept messing up and singing the old lyrics. It was definitely entertaining though.
We were then getting to where the terrain was opening up, and we were enjoying all the rocky scenery. We stopped when there was a really long cargo train and took some photos. The gorgeous stone buttes were hard to do justice to. I fixed the I-pod issue and we had our tunes back to sing with, instead of our improvised counting song.
Wyoming was adventure free until we reached Cheyenne. Once again a combination of road-work and my geographically challenged mind created a bit of interest for us. We were still on I-80 coming into Cheyenne. We knew we needed gas soon and both of us were wanting a bathroom stop as well. So we pulled off at the first likely exit. Could not find the gas station that was advertised on the highway signage, only spotted it as we missed the turn to get to it.
Back we went on the next highway entrance. I’m not even sure what highway this was, though I spotted signs that said we were headed toward I-25 (our route we would need for going south into Colorado). We pulled off again and found a gas station, filled the tank and emptied ours. Then I decided it was time to invoke the Smart Phone.
I pulled up a Navigation Ap and we discovered we were actually very close to I-25, we just needed to get back on the highway we had been on and we would reach the I-25 South exit in just a mile. Yay! Back onto the highway we went.
Hmmmm….shouldn’t we have gotten to I-25 already? Look there it’s the “Sierra Trading Post” storefront. The scenery is becoming far less urban and more rural. Okay we are definitely going the wrong direction again. Pull off at next exit. Pull out Smart Phone. Yup, I-25 is back that-a-way. And back we go.
I was never so happy to see signs for I-25 South. Interestingly enough, once we were on I-25 the rest of the drive sort of flew by. The traffic was heavier than I am generally used to on Colorado Highways, I think we had managed to hit it just right for when many commuters are heading home. We made it to our exit with no more misadventures.
We took a slightly different route home from the one I had taken Janet down the mountain. She wasn’t going to get to see very much more of my beautiful Colorado (until I get her out here for another visit) so we took a “long-cut” to get to my house. It was getting on toward evening, but this route would only add 10 minutes to our drive. Fortunately my geographically challenged issues don’t apply in my familiar stomping grounds, which meant we were in no danger of getting lost again.
We drove thru the little town of Lyons, which Jan made me promise we would investigate further on her next visit, and then took the St Vrain Canyon to Peak-to-Peak Highway. The look of delight on Jan’s face as we drove the rocky winding road let me know taking a “long-cut” had definitely been a good choice.
We stopped and took some photos at one point, and realized that there was a climber on one of the rock faces.
Looking at this larger photo you can get a feel for how big it is because the climber is just a speck.
Finally we were back home. We were tired but happy as we trekked up to the house from my garage. My family was all very excited to see us. Finally put the boys to bed and Jan and I sat on the sofa having our last face to face visit before her departure in the morning.
Morning I faced the hardest part of these visits with my dear Jan. Telling her good-bye until we will see each other again. Of course the best part is, I have a wonderful friend who makes me laugh and loves yarn and crochet hooks as much as I. It will be phone calls and emails until we get another chance to meet.