trip: Grand Junction, CO - Boulder, CO
Actual trip: Grand Junction, CO - Lafayette, CO (280 miles)
Kings of the Hill
Around 10 AM that morning we went out to the soccer tournament
that took place in the outskirts of the town. A host of
matches were already under way, both girl and boy teams
played. Dave went looking for Karla while the rest of us
followed some of the games. Some time passed. Finally Dave
returned with Karla and we were all introduced. While Dave
and Karla talked of old times, Manuel and Niels went to
buy brunch and supplies at a nearby supermarket.
The climate in Colorado was comfortable. It wasn't as hot
(or as dusty) as New Mexico or Arizona. Although the sun
felt less potent it soon proved necessary to turn to the
old trusted friend: the sun block. A few hours of exposure
in the relatively thin air caused sensitive places to sting.
An ample amount of lotion, strategically placed on the hotspots
provided instant relief.
Just after noon it was time to get back on the road. As
we pressed eastwards, the road gradually rose ahead of us.
Crossing the Rockies was quite easy due to the excellent
I-70: Four, six lanes of traffic and surprisingly few sharp
bends brought us to altitudes of 10-12,000 feet.
The ascent took us way past the timberline and eventually
we also encountered some snow by the side of the road. We
drove through Vail, the classy ski resort, its lower slopes
were grassy green. In due time the road started to slope
downward. Just by putting the car in neutral and let it
roll freely, speeds in excess of 85 mph were easily attained.
Even though it was Sunday we encountered many heavy trucks,
thundering down the steep road. Sensible drivers geared
down in order to spare the brakes any unnecessary punishment.
We turned north before reaching Denver, the Mile High City.
In Boulder we had a hard time finding a suitable motel,
spending ages looking for one. Ultimately we found a suitable
place in Lafayette, just east of Boulder. It wasn't really
a room - it was an entire apartment with two rooms, a bath,
kitchen, and 3 televisions (only 2 worked!). The price was
reasonable, not more than we usually paid for accommodations.
We even had a porch with lawn chairs! One of the working
TVs showed the 7th and final play-off game between Utah
and Seattle. Manuel was certain that one of these teams
would replace Chicago as World Champion.
Marco called David McCusker's sister, Nancy Benson, who
lived in Boulder with her family. She invited us over that
evening. We spent a nice couple of hours talking about our
trip and our native countries. They urged us to visit downtown
Boulder, which we did later that evening. Finally we looked
for a fast food place but everything was closed.
Day 01: Leaving NC
Day 02: Tupelo, MS
Day 03: Henryetta, OH
Day 04: Roswell, NM
Day 05: Flagstaff, AZ
Day 06: Las Vegas, NV
Day 07: Victorville,
Day 08: Long
Day 09: Los Angeles, CA
Day 10: Thousand
Day 11: Malibu,
Day 12: Lompoc,
Day 13: Lompoc,
Day 14: Palo Alto, CA
Day 15: Palo Alto, CA
Day 16: Fallon, NV
Day 17: Escalante, UT
Day 18: Grand Junction, CO
Day 19: Lafayette, CO
Day 20: Colby, KS
Day 21: St. Louis, MO
Day 22: Knoxville, TN
Day 23: Burlington, NC
Epilogue: Author's notes