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
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.