Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 19: Onto Vail

We woke up in the morning to another great view...Ducks, mountains, pastures and cats. Yes, Rob made friends with the cats as you can see.

Remember that scary bridge/road that made me into a horrible back seat driver last night? Yeah, that one. Well, we decided we needed to see it in the daylight, so we ventured back through winding mountain roads to get there. I'm glad we did, because "Hog's Backbone" was unreal. It felt like one of those moments when you are at the top of a really high roller coaster ready to roll down that first hill.

We got some good photos, and after Rob yelled "I love Hannah Brescher" at the top of his lungs, we ventured on...Scenic Byway 12- here we come again. Here are a few more scenes from our drive...Mountains turned alpine, turned snow, turned red rocks...

We made it to Highway 24 and happened upon Capitol Reef National Park. We didn't even realize it existed until we drove through it and were amazed..yet again. All together now... "WOW!" I even made up a new word because I was getting tired of saying wow so much... "Zeeepa!! "

We stopped and hiked for a bit, then enjoyed the views some more as we drove on. There were even petroglyphs etched into the rock left over from the Fremont Native American Tribe.

I must say again, this drive was so exciting because of the scenery. Upon driving out of the park, we came across scenes from Mars, the Moon, elephant birthplaces, sand dunes, mountain ranges and flat deserts. Seriously, how can the landscape change so much at every turn?

I-70 approached and the goal was lunch at Green River Colorado. We found a small diner turned Mexican Restaurant and had the whole place to ourselves. Our waitress also cooked the meal for us. It's nice to visit these small towns, talk to the locals, and eat unique food. Rob was also pulling some high school Spanish out of his back pocket in order to communicate. I was just smiling and nodding along with the conversation. Just a half mile down the road the Subway attached to the gas station was packed...funny isn't it?

The Colorado Rockies were upon us..Magnificent. This rest stop, complete with the Colorado River and mountain backdrop was one of the most picturesque rest stops we discovered along the way.

Darkness came upon us at 5:30 p.m. and our original plan of making it to Denver faded. Instead, we decided to stop in Vail to eat and sleep so as not to miss the rest of I-70's views through the Rockies - also known as our country's skiing playground.

The Vail scene is not a typical scene for a girl who grew up shoveling cow patties and skiing on the hills of southern Indiana, so I felt a bit out of place among the elegant lodges, street fires and Mercedes SUV's at every stop light. The good thing is that off season in Vail means cheap lodge vacancy and cheap food at nice restaurants. In fact we scored big at Bully's Ranch when we heard about their special of hamburger with candied bacon, onion straws, and blue cheese butter, truffle tots and a local beer for only $10.

We barely finished our meal large enough for a tired and hungry skier, and fell asleep happy yet again.

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