Idaho Springs, Colorado to Moab, Utah

I left Idaho Springs, Colorado (elevation 7,524 feet) after a good night’s rest at the Heritage Inn with views of the Arco Gold Mining company and Clear Creek. I took a quick stroll down Main Street before gasing up and heading back to I-70. The night before I had walked up to the BeauJo’s Colorado Style Pizza and had a great dinner. I noticed all the nice shops but was too exhausted to spend much time looking the night before. Main Street looked pretty good in the early morning light.

There were very interesting signs for rodeos, bike races, Alpine climbing competitions and theatre!

As I walked into the main section of downtown Idaho Springs I saw several rafts filled with excited, but drenched tourists enjoying the extremely narrow and rapid flow of Clear Creek. The Clear Creek Rafting Company offers several daily excursions. I wished that I had time to do a run before leaving this action-packed area of Colorado.

I stopped for breakfast in Frisco, Colorado (elevation 9,042 feet) at the very nice Log Cabin Cafe (oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar and walnuts).

After driving through the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 (elevation 11,013 feet), the highest elevation I’ve ever driven, I was somewhat relieved to be back in some oxygenated air in Frisco at 9,042 feet. After breakfast I hiked the North Ten Mile Creek trail.  The trailhead is located very near the entrance to Interstate 70. Although it was uphill I managed to do fairly well in this altitude and go some nice photos of Ten Mile Creek running beside the trail.

I was able to stop and take a few shots of the Rocky Mountains along Route 70.

I drove through the magnificent and unexpected splendor of Glenwood Canyon and followed the Colorado River for the first time on this trip. I can’t imagine the engineering that went into building the road through this canyon.

Glenwood Canyon is about 150 miles west of Denver and 90 miles east of Grand Junction. The 16 mile-long canyon runs along the Colorado River. I looked it up when I got back to New York and found that this section of I-70 was indeed a huge engineering challenge and didn’t even begin until the 1980s and officially opened in 1992. It is an amazing collection of bridges, tunnels and retaining walls that maintained the canyon’s appearance. Glenwood Canyon has to be one of the most spectacular stretches of highway I’ve ever driven on.
There was a great rest area (Exit 121) and a bike path that ran along the Colorado River so I did an easy 20-mile ride even though it was noon and quite hot. I saw two rafts floating down the river as I biked alongside.

The nicely paved bike path followed the Colorado River for some distance with Interstate 70 on the other side and railroad tracks on the other.

I stopped for gas in Grand Junction, Colorado then headed out into the canyonlands for the long drive into Utah. As I entered Utah there was a sign that said “Eagles On Highway.” I didn’t see any but what an amazing state! I got into Moab, walked on Main Street and visited the three(!) excellent bookstores. I drove out to Dead Horse State Park for the sunset at Dead Horse Point Overlook. I set up both my tripods and then snapped this shot with my Canon.

The moon was almost full and made a great scene with the clouds and sunset. More from Moab tomorrow.

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