Mountains and Canyons. Day 5: Westward 

(Location: Glenwood Springs to Springdale,UT)

We got up. It was cold. Very cold. About -1C. Although a look at the forecast for Estes Park showed it was -6C there and snowing, so maybe we left at the right time. We discovered that the only thing we didn’t like about the motel was the coffee, which I had brewed whilst showering, but was weirdly bitter. Still, it was a lovely morning, even if I did have to scrape the ice off the car window. Luckily it came with an extra long scraper, so I could reach the middle.

I drove west on I-70, passing a long, long queue in the opposite direction all waiting to get in to Glenwood Springs. There are major roadworks at the moment, as they replace the main bridge. Note to self: arrive before rush hour when we come back this way.

We arrived in Grand Junction at about 1030 and refuelled the car, and then ourselves at Denny’s. Next stop – REI, where I collected some pre-ordered hiking boots and Andrew bought lots of new hiking/gym tops.

Having had a break I felt fine to continue, so in true Le Mans style, I double-stinted. A short time after leaving Grand Junction we checked the satnav: next turn in 360 miles! I drove along I-70, into Utah and over the Fishlake National Forest section, a pleasure to drive without the risk of snow and ice which had often accompanied that section of our route. I eventually pulled over at Salina, after a total of around 300 miles. Another Denny’s, more coffee and a toastie for a late lunch.

Andrew took over for the remaining 186 miles, 2 hours 50 minutes, along I-70, south down I-15 (much busier) and then the roads into Springdale. The outside air temperature was definitely higher!

We checked in to the Quality Inn and found our room. Whilst we were installing ourselves (finding corners for all our luggage so we can get to the bathroom without tripping over it) Andrew noticed a deer eating by our patio.

After that it was time for us to eat too, so…yes…we headed to Zion Pizza & Noodle. Pasta for me though, as I need to hike to get the appetite for a pizza! No space on the front porch so we ate in the back room. It is pleasantly warm! (I still brought my coatjust in case, as I haven’t mentally processed the change yet!).

And that’s it. Big hike planned for tomorrow…

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