Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 9: Moab, UT to Vail, CO

Forgoing breakfast, we packed up and headed out early. I ran to the store and got some essentials and breakfast for all of us while Greeg and the kids washed the motorhome. We hitched up and headed out of town. We took Highway 128 which travels along the Colorado River -- it’s so beautiful. (So beautiful, in fact, that I forgot to take any pictures!) Eventually, though, it took us back to Highway 70 -- still with pretty unappealing desert scenes.
Not a pretty desert
Stark, barren desert -- hard to believe the Colorado River is less than 10 miles away.
 Almost immediately upon entering Colorado, the scenery got better. We even saw a Golden Eagle on a light pole along the freeway.
Gorgeous road along Colorado River
Love driving along the Colorado river . . . it's so beautiful!
Welcome to Colorful Colorado
Colorado!  State #4
We stopped for lunch in Glenwood Springs, CO at the No Name Rest Stop (really - that’s what it’s called!).
We had lunch at the No Name rest stop
No Name?  I'm sure I could have come up with 50 different names if asked!
We had a good, long climb into Vail and our plan was to spend the night at a forest service campground just north of Vail so I took my car and zipped up the mountain while Greg and the kids followed at a more reasonable pace behind. I found the campground, staked out a site, and texted Greg the particulars. He was there within 15 minutes. We are in another Aspen campsite with flowers all around.

After some naps and relaxation, we decided to take a drive into Leadville - it’s only 35 miles away but it’s at 10,152 feet. We had a beautiful drive up there -- even saw a beaver dam along the way. Leadville is a really neat little town with a rich history. We had a great dinner at the Quincy restaurant. We had prime rib (yum!) with baked potatoes and salad. We walked around downtown a little and had ice cream for desert. Taking even a short walk at that altitude is exhausting . . . You find yourself huffing and puffing as if you had been jogging around town. We talked about when Greg and his family stayed there years ago in their Winnebago and had been buzzed by giant mosquitos that flew in formation like Air Force jets. We didn’t see a single mosquito in Leadville.  Could they have been exaggerating about the giant bugs all these years? 

Leadville, CO
Leadville is absolutely charming!

Fearnley Bldg, Leadville, CO
More of beautiful Leadville, CO 
HUGE mine outside of Leadville
The mine is over 11,000 feet -- just before the pass.
 And then we headed back to Vail -- taking a different route over another pass (11,318 feet!!!) past an enormous mining operation, and near some lovely little lakes.

As we passed the lakes, we were suddenly in a swarm of large moths, there was no way to avoid hitting them and the carnage was severe. We couldn’t see well through the windshield so we turned on the squirters and wipers to clear off the debris . . . No luck. It just smeared. Greg drove by braille to the roadside and we got a big brush we had in my car and some washer fluid and tried to clean the windshield again. As you can see, it was no easy job. I love Gage’s reaction to the rest of the car . . . Moths were everywhere . . .in the bikes, all over the front, in the radiator. Nightmarish . . . And think about how the poor moths felt.
Well, that didn't work!

Suddenly we hit a swarm of moths . . . 

Not a fun job!  My hero!

Don't you love the look on Gage's face?

We returned to the FMC without further incident and tucked in . . . Ready to tackle another drive and another park tomorrow as we go to Rocky Mountain National Park!
Campsite at Vail, CO
Our campsite at Vail, CO


  1. It's a scientific fact that everybody knows (where did you go to school?), that in dry hot weather mosquitos turn into moths. That's why there were none of one and so many of the other.

  2. What do people do in Vail when there's no snow? Can you tell us anything about the town? All I know is that it's a high-end ski resort.

  3. Well, you know as much as I do. I bought a cup of coffee in Vail and got gas for the car. We weren't impressed -- it basically is a high-end ski resort. There was lots of hotels and shopping. When we went to explore it, we ended up going to Leadville and having prime rib for dinner . . . it was a much better choice for us!