August 5: Back to Colorado Springs

Our vacation basically over, it was time to think about getting packed up and the girls and Nick back to Colorado Springs so they could catch their flight back to Wisconsin. I had the foresight to make sure the kids had packed up most of their things before it got dark the previous night so things went fairly smoothly. We did have to make a detour to the laundramat in Estes Park to dry out a lot of our clothes lest they turn to mold over the next few days. I purchased a newpaper hoping to find out more about Jeff Christiansen's rescue but learned nothing more than I had found out the previous night at the Warming Hut

Clothes dried I decided we'd drive back to Denver via Colorado 7 and 72 through the mountain towns like Peaceful Valley, Rollinsville and Central City. The latter was fascinating as it seemed to be comprised of nothing but gambling casinos. Though the trip took much longer than I had anticipated, but was infinitely more interesting than it would have been had we taken 36 back.

As we hit I-70 near Idaho Springs it became apparent that we'd need to stop for some lunch. As usual the question was "where?". We stumbled across an Applebees and was quite surprised to find our corner booth surrounded by Coumbine High School memorabilia. Kind of spooky but something only I caught at the time. I later told Yumi, who has a sense about these things, and she told me she felt uneasy there. Hmmm.

The drive down to Denver was sort of funny. Signs warning truckers to use their lower gears were soon replaced with semi-humorous messages like " You're not down yet" and others of that vein. In reality, the descent was a little unnerving as it did seem to go on forever. It was longer going the other way as numerous cars, busses and trucks were pulled off onto the breakdown lane. I'm sure had we gone that way we would have done the same or would have been lucky to do 45 up the eastern slope.

One mystery we were able to solve was the traffic between Denver and Colorado Springs. Had we taken this trip 10 years ago, while I was still an avid golfer, I would have known that there was a golf tournament held in Castle Rock that weekend. Traffic was still miserable today, however, and it seemed to take forever to get to Yumi's hotel.

Once there, it was necessary to shower for only the second time since last Saturday morning. It felt good to be clean again, but we didn't have time to dally as we needed to put on about 350 miles before resting or we wouldn't make it to Pauls place in St. Louis by dinnertime tomorrow. As it turned out we needed all the time as we could get as I couln't get out of Colorado Springs. I was planning on taking US 24 up to Limon, CO, but lost the road somewhere and wound up back on I-25, my old friend, but not after circling Colorado Springs first.

No big deal, I figured to take Colorado 86 over to Limon when i get to Castle Rock. Too bad I wsn't able to find it so it was north to Denver and the idiot-proof interstate to Limon. Nothing like adding 75 miles to your trip when you're sick of driving, eh?

I put the hammer down and got us just past Oakley, KS before deciding to stop for the night. Sleeping would be a little easier tonight with only three of us in the van.


Rocky Mountain National Park
The Drive West
Moraine Park
Trail Ridge Road & Trail Ride
Dayhiking the Bear Lake Area
Ridge Road & Trail Ride II
Rafting the Poudre
Back to the Springs
Visiting Coach Paul
Home Again
Final Thoughts
Back to Vacations and Getaways


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