Wednesday, May 1, 2013

End of the Road..............for now

Got up extra early and on the road by 7:00 a.m.  We want to beat the snow they say is going to fall in Colorado.  Drove into Denver, some storm clouds making the report of snow coming very believable.

Driving to Denver
 
Amazing clouds
 
Got to Denver early so decided that I better go see the capitol building before the bad weather arrived.  I spent about 45 minutes checking out the capitol which was in a state of renovation, so the dome was not even visible as a pretty structure.  Capital was nice, but not earth shakingly beautiful.  The pink marble everywhere was impressive.  Legislature was in session so the place was busy.  I just wandered about a bit and by the time I got out to meet the guys at 11:45 p.m. it was snowing.  So glad we got an early start.
 
Some neat architecture in downtown
Lots of huge sculptures all over the city
 
Renovations on capitol

Granite statute "The Closing of an Era"
in front of capitol.  Completed 1893
for the Chicago World's Fair
 
This stone is every where inside and so beautiful.  It is Colorado
rose onyx  (known as Beulah Red Marble).
 
As you walk up the stairs on the west side of the building, once you get to
the 13th stairs you are “One Mile Above Sea Level.” or at
 5,280’ elevation.  I did go up the stairs to the second floor.
 
John and Robert picked me up and we headed toward our hotel before more snow built up.  Actually we were too early so had to kill some time before checking in.  So we had a nice lunch and then went to the grocery store to get food to cook in room for our dinner.  I texted Tracie about the snow and she said Steve is in Colorado Springs, about 45 minutes down the road working on his exit from military.  Texted him hi, but we never could get together with him busy and the weather.  Amazing to be so close.  We all went swimming and in the hot tub, watched some TV and to bed.  We are not setting the alarm clock for a change.
 
Nice heated pool
 
Look at the snow outside
 
Tuesday, up and had breakfast.  Still snowing and quite a bit has accumulated.  Traffic jams and some cars are having trouble getting up hills according to the news reports.  We were going to go downtown, but there is an accident on the interstate, so we decided to just go eat lunch and come back and go in pool and hot tub.
 
I've been checking roads and weather reports all day.  Not sure how we are going to go until tomorrow.  I don't want to buy chains to go over Interstate 70, so if that is required we will head down to Albuquerque, NM.  I will check in the morning.  So water, TV and bed and see what tomorrow brings.  I'd love to drive right across I-70 W.
 
Yum Yak
We just had to have a picture of this
We didn't eat here, but it cracked us up
 
Wednesday, dry road reports mostly so we took off.  I drove Denver to Vail with maybe one icy spot, way up over 10,000 feet.  Robert drove from Vail to Grand Junction.  Checked in to hotel, had lunch and then headed downtown to their historic district.  What a fun area, about 20 blocks long, little stores, out door dining, and lots of sculptures lining Main Street.  Would be fun to spend some time there. 
 
Snow on mountains in 10,000+ passes
 
John Otto
Person responsible for Colorado National
Monument becoming a monument
 
One of the fun sculptures
 
This one sure caught our eye
 
We came back to room, will rest, and go to bed and get up and do it all again tomorrow  We talked to Rudy who lives outside Salt Lake City, and we are heading to his house for two days.  We hope he can be home a little of the time we are there, but he may have to be out driving his truck.  We only have 4 hrs. and 11 minutes to get to his house tomorrow, so maybe we will check out the Colorado National Monument.  Just looked this up and so weird we have already seen this.  When we went to the Pow Wow back in September we drove over from the other side.
 
Thursday in Grand Junction, we stopped for a few hours to see the Allen Unique Autos Museum. What a beautiful place with a woman's touch, Tammy Allen. I spent more time looking at the cars and displays than the guys did. A place not to be missed if you are a car person – well worth the $8 admission. Beautiful, clean, great staff and the cars are the best.

I just thought this was a cute pink mini until
I walked around the side.........
 
2009 hot pink stretch Mini Cooper limousine
 (with a hot tub in the rear)
 
1962 Austin Beach Mini
 
This is so cute
 
Beautiful old touring car
 
Fit for a King
 
Sonny & Cher Mustangs
 
Very unusual - a Cadillac Woodie
 
Shelby Cobra
 
Quite an extensive collection of
beautiful old pedal cars
 
Cool low rider Mercury
"Wasabe"
 
The museum has that femine touch
 
 On our entire trip no rock chips until today, one day from the last day of driving across country. Black Suburban passed me and just kicked a rock.  Damn.  Besides that, good drive into Alpine, Utah where we spent the night at our friend Rudy's house. He was out driving his semi in Washington, so we didn't get to see him.
 
Friday, beautiful day, sun out. Drove into Salt Lake City for lunch at my favorite bakery, La Gourmandise, where we started our trip from. Wonderful lunch and bought many pastries to take back to Boise to share. Got to Tracie's house around 6:30 pm. She had dinner ready and we at gyros that were very good. Visited quite awhile and caught up. Got to bed around 10:30 p.m. and I guess that is the end of this part of our trip and this blog.

 
One each, please
 
Our lovely lunch at my favorite bakery

 
Below is the map of our trip. From Colorado we came home the same way we went. That was not our plan as we were going to AZ, CA, OR and WA, but we want to get John checked out at Boise VA and see what's going on and what we can/should do. We drove a total of 19,371 miles. That is putting on some serious miles. We had the best time and wouldn't have missed it for the world.
 
Our route
 
So we'll see what the future holds as far as our travels, maybe some mini trips. We are glad to be “home” and appreciate our friends, The Helstowski family, welcoming us to stay with them until we see what is going on and what we are going to do.

We thank God for our safe trip with no accidents.  We were in some places where people had no concept of what "speed limit" means, and many tailgaters.  Thank you Lord for our blessed trip and getting John home safely to his Boise.  I'd say we have all good memories and don't regret one moment of the trip.

I may take some time to reflect on all that took place on our trip and write a summation.  I'm not sure I had any profound thoughts or earth shattering revelations, but maybe I just need some time to assimilate it all.