We woke at the usual time. Just as well as it turned out that we hadn’t set the alarm clock. Anyway, coffee was made, bags partially packed, showers had, breakfast eaten, the rest of the bags packed and the car loaded up. We had a brief mooch in Moab. There is one shop that hasn’t changed ever since we have been going…it has been closed the whole time, and the owner refuses to either sell, or maintain it. It is such a shame, as it is a beautiful historic building (or could be). It is also full of weird crystals. In a town that is evolving to be evermore popular with tourists it is a stand out place.
We headed due north direct to the interstate, then turned east to Grand Junction, passing the Book Cliffs and sandstone Desert. I stopped at Denny’s on Horizon Drive for lunch, before Andrew took over and drove to Glenwood Springs. The land between Grand Junction and Glenwood is ‘in-between’ scenery; not quite Desert, not yet mountains, trees were lacking leaves and looking wintery, but there was not yet snow. The road wound around the Colorado River Canyon. As we got closer, however, it became more alpine.
The bridge that had caused the queues we saw on our outbound journey had luckily been opened to traffic a couple of days ago, so we exited and crossed the new bridge. It is open, but they are still finishing up the works.
We checked in to the Hotel Denver and were in our room before 4pm. I say ‘room’…it turns out to be two rooms, one bedroom and bathroom each. The hotel is very historic, put together in an ad hoc way through the decades and each room is different. There is some lovely stained glass both on our corridor and our bedroom windows. They have refurbished the hotel and done a very good job, with new wooden floors (but still appropriately oddly sloping), and antique fixtures.
The only downside is a lack of a fridge, but we can improvise…
We then headed over the river to the Glenwood Hot Springs. This is a massive hot pool…the width is 30m, wider than the normal length of a regular swimming pool, and it contains 1.078 million gallons of mineral water, heated by the earth. It was still light when we got in, at about 4.30pm, but during the hour we were there it first turned to dusk, with clouds turning pink, and then became fully dark. It was a beautiful time of day to swim/walk/float around on your back in the warm water. At the end the air temperature was dropping below 10C and you could see the steam rising in the lights. We spent the last few minutes in the healing pool, which is 40C. Very warm, but it felt great.
Then it was back to the hotel and time for dinner. We went to the Glenwood Brewing Company brew pub, which is attached to the hotel, and had a good ‘pub dinner’ and local microbrews.
And that’s it for today, a nice relaxing day. Tomorrow it is back to normal civilisation. Shopping, malls, and re-packing ready to fly home.