Arizon-Utah-Colorado-Nebraska-Iowa

Aug 3

Arizona was beautiful, and as we left, we discovered how truly amazing the drive would be! It was a short trip nonetheless as we had to take a quick detour to fix the car’s radiator cap. 😦

Once we were back on the road, it was no to long before we found ourselves driving through the Painted Desert. It was breathtaking how colorful the mountains were after seeing nothing but brown for hours!

In the true road trip traditions, as we saw something that we may enjoy, we stopped. One of these places was the Navajo Code Talkers Museum. The Navajos had it made – with what I can image as the first Sauna. 😉

After stopping for lunch and the pups, we were on the road again heading toward the Utah state line – even so, it was the shortest drive through to Colorado. And it proved to be a worthwhile commute.

We drove through Monument Valley in Arizona, then Utah, housing again some of the most wonderfully beautiful natural rock formations in the middle of flat ground.

The first “town” we came by after the state line was Mexican Hat, Utah. Named for a rock that somewhat resembled a Sombrero, this town was so small it did not have even one stop sign. But it did warn you to slow down as people were crossing the roads.

From that town, it was another few hours before we hit Bluff, Utah – Home of the Navajo Twin Rocks as well as a seriously overpriced Native American Trade Post…

As we came close to crossing our second state line in one day into Colorado, we stopped at the first gas station we found. It was owned by a boy that was from California, who hated it out there apparently. But we did come to find that if we drove maybe another 10 miles to get gas, it was 30 cents cheaper…Well, we had to learn our lesson: Don’t stop at the very first station you see after nothing unless you HAVE to. In any case, I snapped this great picture as proof we are no longer in California!

As an ironic gesture, about 5 miles from the border of Utah and Colorado, we located Utah’s first winery! Of course we stopped and did a little tasting and brought with us two bottles. Lucky for us, we took a scenic road on the advice of the first mechanics we saw in the Grand Canyon and drove right along side of the Colorado River.

This brought us to the Colorado state line and shortly Grand Junction Colorado. A pit stop to Denver!

Aug 4

Not planning on staying much time in Grand Junction, we took advantage of the great weather and let the puppies run around in a big open field chasing butterflies (see video on facebook – it’s adorable). And yet, the majority of time we spent looking for a vet for Miles who can provide us with his medicine. It was in the bottom of our cooler, and spilled all over…

But, being that our vets in San Diego were so amazing we did find a place to help us, and Miles is doing so well! We are starting to see more hair on him!!

On the road again to Denver, we made sure we made a stop in Colorado Wine country of Palisade. Again, tasted the wine and shopped for a bottle. Wine tasting is a great way to take the edge of being in the car all day long! 🙂 Especially considering what we were up against.

Driving up and through the Rockies, we got stuck in 45 degree weather and pouring down rain….yep, you read correctly 45 DEGREES! We actually had to turn on the heat and turn off the kitty fans. We did hit 10,600 feet above sea level in Avon, so that may have been the cause of it!

Coming out of the Rockies we were impressed by all the spruce trees we saw, it looked like it could be Christmas in August!

Arriving in Denver after a short 4 1/2 hour drive was surprisingly exhausting, we still had to stop one last place before the city- Buffalo Bills Grave and Museum. Him and his wife were buried in the same area, and given it was over 200 years ago, I don’t think they anticipated the stop on Lookout Mountain would be overtaken by the power lines to the city below. But nonetheless is was beautiful.

Arriving in Denver after heat through the desert, rain and then heat again, it was bed time indeed!

Aug 5

In true road trip, adrenaline fashion, Joe and I were up as the crack of dawn and ready for the fun day we had planned. This was the day that my planning actually paid off. I booked a free tour of the US Mint in Denver. Now, in order to tour, I had to leave my purse in the car, and was only allowed to take my camera and phone in the building after taking the batteries out.

It was such an impressive sight to see though. This particular Mint was home to the country’s gold bar stash – of course “somewhere in the building” was the closest clue we got as to where…and this site produces 17 million coins a day!

We also learned that the cost to make a quarter coin is 5 cents, so the Mint makes 20 cents on each one when they sell it to the FED. And for a penny to be made … 5 cents….Yet they are one of the only branches of the government making money!

After the tour we took a walk around the area and hiked (about 10 steps really…) up to the Colorado State Capital building. There we stood 1 mile above sea level.

A bit further down the street, we found the home of the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown. She was a character depicted in the Titanic movie, and she was a real person too! It was a beautiful home recreated into a museum. She lived a fabulously flashy life!

The rest of our time in Denver was a relaxing time – drinks with a friend, dinner and a movie. A nice rest and then on to see Joe’s family in Iowa!

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