Click for mapJune 3 - Monday
Scheduled trip: Lafayette, CO - Kansas
Actual trip: Lafayette, CO - Colby, KS (350 miles)

Pipe off (Camaro 2, Mustang 2)
The day before, Marco had noticed a car wash in Lafayette so we started the morning by cleaning off the bugs that had accumulated during our journey. Back at the apartment Manuel and Dave had packed their stuff together and were ready to leave. As we pulled out from the lot, Marco felt parts of the Mustang scrape against the curb. There wasn't anything to do about it so we decided to go back to Boulder to get some breakfast.
We came across a 1950-style diner, a nice change of pace. In the parking lot Marco checked the Ford's exhaust pipes. One of them was indeed bent. A closer inspection revealed that the entire pipe had broken off and was only held in place by a rubber band. The safest thing to do was to dismantle the pipe before it fell off completely. Marco crawled under the car and cut the rubber with a Swiss Army knife. The loose pipe was then carefully wrapped in paper and placed in the trunk. With a few feet of tailpipe missing the Mustang sounded meaner than ever!
The restaurant lived up to the expectations of a classic American diner, even the waitresses: they wore roller-skates. The food was pretty good.
It was still early in the day so we detoured north to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Again we climbed mountains. However, this time the roads were less straightforward. During a climb Dave and Niels noticed nasty blue smoke coming from the Mustang. Whether this was due to the missing tailpipe or a failing transmission was unknown. Some places we saw snow that was several feet deep. At one point we stopped and got out of the cars, dressed in only T-shirts and shorts to enjoy the view. It was gray and windy on that mountaintop, cold too, probably around the freezing point but we all enjoyed the experience.

Picture supplied by Dave (10412 bytes)
Climbing Rocky Mountain NP

Picture supplied by Marco (17237 bytes)
What a vista!

We grazed the suburbs of Denver, getting a fleeting glance of downtown before we continued east. With the mountains behind us it was downhill all the way to Kansas. For once it was overcast and just after the Colorado/Kansas state line the water started to pour from the sky, the first rain we had encountered since May 16. The weather matched the landscape perfectly: Kansas was certainly looking dreary from I-70. We didn't bother to stop for anything except gas.
After sunset we began looking for a place to spend the night. The choice fell on Colby, a small town with several motels. We followed the billboards and stopped at a religious motel with HBO. Later Marco and Niels went to buy take out fast food at McD's.

See more photos from June 3.
Go to the next page in the Diary (June 4).

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