A strong cup of coffee got us going quickly as we had an ambitious plan to make it all the way to Hill City, SD. Of course, we never make it easy on ourselves as we added a stop at my former co-worker Natalie’s new house in Granby, CO. That led us through some spectacular scenery off the beaten path.
The first 80 miles kicked off smooth along I-70 winding itself along the twists and turns of the Colorado River. Then we turned off the interstate and headed into the mountains on unpaved but so worth it scenic bi-ways. in fact, this stunning road took us along the head waters of the Colorado River and the railroad tracks running along in parallel. I had traveled on those tracks back in 1990 on my first trip out west.
A bit of history is in order here to make sense of it. I don’t often share family memories but this was a key trip. Not only was it my last time traveling with my parents, it was also their last trip together as they divorced shortly after that. We had flown from Florida where I had gone to school to Denver to catch the Amtrak train to Oakland. Suffice it to say, it was an epic journey aboard the train which made it very special for me to drive along the same tracks so many years later.
Our lovely visit in Granby was made even more special by Natalie’ home baked scones and coffee to keep us fueled for the ride that followed. Scenery and mountains soon gave way to endless flat stretches of open road as we crossed into Wyoming and eventually South Dakota to reach our two night home base in Hill City, SD. A well earned night sleep awaited us there. Happiest of all was Stella as she couldn’t wait to jump on a bed.