We drove through Colorado’s lowlands where cattle and horses grazed and the roads headed higher into the pine covered mountains where abandoned mining and lumber operations decayed beside the highway.
Thriving mountain towns in the Rockies survive on tourism where hot springs, spas, skiing, rafting, fishing and other recreational activities. The Colorado River appeared beside the I-80 often, sometimes joggers or cyclists zoomed along beside it or white water kayakers zipped by on it. The railway runs beside it often using tunnels to pass through the mountains.
As the elevation increased we saw more snow in the mountains. Spring skiing and snowboarding kept the resorts busy. We passed many towns famous for their winter sports like Vail.
The highway was divided as we climbed higher but the road conditions deteriorated. Deep ruts and furrows in the pavement grabbed the tires and Chris was in a constant battle keeping us on the highway. It was scary and frustrating and left a bad taste for Colorado in our memories. We did however celebrate the 13,000 feet of elevation, the highest we’ve travelled in our motor home to date. We also drove the almost two mile long Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel, a four lane dual-bore tunnel fifty miles west of Denver, which happens to be one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world at 11,158 feet above sea level.
We stayed at two RV parks in Colorado, one quiet and clean park called RV Ranch and the other, a dusty last resort, Yogi Bear’s overpriced and overrated JellyStone Park. By the way, it is impossible to travel the state without singing John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High”!