Mountains and Canyons. Day 17: One Mile High

(Editor’s note: more photos to come…issues with Wi-fi…and there I was thinking I was back in civilisation…)

A leisurely start, coffee in bed, followed by getting ready and loading our multiple bags into the car for on last time. In packing our cases, we noted that Andrew’s swim shorts have changed colour from black to brown as a result of the mineral waters…luckily we don’t have much tan to start with having worn so many layers to combat the cold this trip, so I don’t think it has bleached us out.

We checked out and then had a walk around Glenwood Springs, followed by a little drive. We discovered a City Market, so I nipped in to see if I could get some moisture lotion. I managed to buy one bottle in Moab but it was the last one on the shelves. Luckily, after I managed to find the right aisle (harder than it sounds) I was able to get another bottle…again, the last one on the shelf! And yes, before you ask, the formula is different to the UK version and much better.

Then we had brunch at the Village Inn, before I took the wheel to drive through Glenwood Canyon along I-70 towards Denver. The scenery was good, with snow starting at about 8,000 feet. They don’t appear to have had a heavy snow fall yet (good for us), and some of the ski areas were starting to make snow. Having crested the summit of Vail pass and started the descent, I pulled over at Georgetown to hand over to Andrew, who did the driving from there on, as it started to get busier, and so I could help navigate. It may have been a huge car (more of a truck), which I thought was massive on that first bleary eyed night, but I confess I shall miss climbing on up into the front…and we managed to get nearly 24mpg (UK) out of it, without even trying…!

There was a layer of smog trapped by the cold air over Denver and the city was much less visible than when we had passed by near Golden just under two weeks ago. They also have a tram system it seems.

We arrived at REI and got parked. Usually browsing REI is a quiet and relaxing experience, but this was firstly, a Saturday afternoon and, secondly, the sale started yesterday. This was good and bad: bad because it made it busy, good because the things I wanted were at least 25% off! Despite the sale, w managed to come out only with the items we had deliberately gone in search of.

We set off, briefly thinking of heading to a mall, but traffic in that direction was queueing just to get on to the highway, so we changed our mind and went straight to the hotel instead. It was still very busy. Nevertheless, we arrived and checked in before 4.30pm. We are just a few miles from the airport, back in the same hotel we started in, and we can see the control tower and planes from our window.

We went for early dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s, just a cross the road (but far enough to drive…this is America, after all!) and then came back to consider how to pack everything back into 4 bags and a couple of carry-ons. We haven’t bought much, so it should work….somehow…

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