NC to NC Phase 3 – UT to CO

Just to recap, in my quest East I have already gone through the packing phase and the stunning scenery CA to UT phase. In this story, I’m waking up in a warm hotel room in Green River, UT where it is anything but warm outside. My plan for the day was to drive East into Colorado to the Denver Airport where I would pick up Mom. We’d then continue on to Boulder, CO where my brother’s family lives and we would be spending Thanksgiving week. Monday night Jason had warned me of winter weather expected throughout CO and especially in Summit County, which I would be driving through around noon on Tuesday. I had planned to loop through Arches National Park, but with the call for snow and knowing I needed to meet Mom at the airport around 2pm, I opted to pass this trip. Again, I wish I could have seen more but I cherished the last days I had in CA and I just know that I’ll need to plan a trip out to Utah one summer soon! With the forecast for the day looking snowy, I was up and out of the hotel by 7am.

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I spent about an hour in Utah before crossing into Colorado (my fifth state of the trip). The scenery was slowly transitioning all morning and I could see the steeper mountains ahead of me with the flatter plateaus beside me. I was thankful that most of my drive on Tuesday would be on I-70E, I road I plan to become extremely familiar with over the next week. Just past Grand Junction, CO I got my first taste of snow as we went through a slick pass. There weren’t too many other vehicles on the road, but we all went single-file beside the riverbed. We passed several minor accidents and lots of state troopers monitoring the situations as they got worse. At the end of this section of snow, I realized that I might be in for a long drive through the passes in Summit County. I also realized that my windshield wiper fluid was frozen… that’s not an issue when snow is falling from the sky, but when slush is getting kicked up off the road, it’s not great. In fact, I couldn’t really see so I stopped at a gas station to clean my windshield.

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A few hours later, I crossed into Summit County and things got really interesting. Going over Vail Pass we went extremely slowly and used one lane again. But as we went, it got worse and worse and I started to worry about slipping and sliding. Thankfully, I got up and over the pass but it took quite a bit of time and was mentally draining. I also knew I still had to get through Loveland Pass, which luckily wasn’t as bad because the traffic was heavier on that side of the county. After getting through the tunnel we slipped and slid down the other side in the snowy conditions. I pulled over once to use water and napkins to clean my windshield since the sun’s glare made it impossible to see. Once I got down into Denver, I stopped at a gas station to get gas, refuel on water, and clean the windshield again. I’d had over 100 ounces of water already and was SO thirsty with a pretty severe headache, but I’d made it!

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My next stop was Denver Airport to pick up Mom, which posed another minor problem. As y’all know by now, my car was filled to the brim with stuff. And I’d budgeted space for Mom’s backpack and suitcase… but I’d forgotten that she and I both had Christmas gifts to leave at my brother’s house. They wouldn’t be in the car when we headed East later, but they were there now. Unfortunately, for Mom, she ended up sitting with the boxes on her lap while we drove the 45 minutes or so to Lafayette, outside of Boulder. I’ll post more about my wonderful five days here tomorrow but for now, check out my Facebook album for more pictures of my third day of this trip!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: NC to NC Phase Four – CO Thanksgiving! | Rays of Funshine
  2. Trackback: NC to NC Phase 5 – CO to VA | Rays of Funshine
  3. Trackback: Big Life Decision… | Rays of Funshine

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