After our visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens, we went to the History Colorado Center where we had lunch and then explored the exhibits which included a Lego display and an explanation of the Rocky Mountain drive that we were going to do the next day. Once we were finished there we went to the Colorado State Capitol Building where they have a step exactly 1 mile above sea level which makes a great photo opportunity. On the drive home we passed yet another public art piece – the big blue bear poking his head into the exhibition center. In Denver every new building is required to spend 1% of its budget on public art which is where the bear came from, and why Denver is such a fun and colourful city. For dinner we walked down the road to our local pizza place and made the most of apartment living to finish watching the rest of Dark Tourist while we did our washing.
The next day it was time to leave our lovely Denver apartment and we headed west over the Rocky Mountains. Our drive took us through the Eisenhower Tunnel which is 11,158 feet high, and past some stunning views with the mountains towering in the distance. We had lunch at the Breckenridge Brewery and walked through the main street. It has a very pretty alpine environment and we drove under ski lifts although there is no snow at the moment. We also saw another wild deer.
We then continued on stopping for a short hike up to Doc Holliday’s Grave which gave us a gorgeous view over Colorado, before heading into Grand Junction for an overnight stay. I somehow picked the dodgiest motel in town and all I can say is I was VERY happy it was only going to be for one night. That evening a freak thunderstorm passed through, where one minute it seemed fine and then the next it suddenly started thunder storming with lightning strikes overhead. The wind was blowing sand across the road in swirly patters and the sign posts were shaking! and then as quickly as it came it all stopped – wild.
The next morning we had a filling breakfast at Lois’ Place which is a small family run restaurant where they knew all the other customers by name, but I have since learned it shut down about a month after we visited. We then packed up and headed out on the road. Our minds were blown again by the Colorado landscape, I think we said wow 50 million times just looking out the car window.
During the drive we saw what looked like meerkats but we found out later they are little animals called prairie dogs. We also went through a hail storm and a dust storm on the drive so I can confirm the weather is a bit unpredictable in this part of the country. We then reached our next overnight destination in Bluff, Utah which is a tiny town with a population of only 250 people, and dare I say it was much much nicer than Grand Junction.
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