The construction of I-70 in Colorado and Utah is considered an engineering marvel as the route passes through the Eisenhower Tunnel. The Eisenhower Tunnel is the highest point along the Interstate Highway system with an elevation of 11,158 ft (3,401 m). As we climbed we could feel the temperature drop, the top of the mountains still covered with specs of snow in some areas but we were prepared, we had put on our jacket liners just for good measure. We go through the Eisenhower Tunnel and the scenery changes, mountains covered by Pine trees, snow still covering the hidden parts of the mountains.
We take the Route 9 North exit and make a quick stop in Silverthorne for a warm cup of coffee and call the family at home. The town sits in the middle of the Rockies, we admire some of the expensive homes on the side of the mountain.
|Beautiful homes on the mountain|
The night before my brand new, two week old Gateway laptop had stopped working, maybe didn't like the vibration on the back of the bike, but I was not going to continue to carry a brick for the rest of the trip so a quick stop at a UPS store and the laptop, power supply and a jacket I had brought but didn't need were packed and being shipped back home to NJ.
We then made a stop at Freshies for lunch where the food was very tasteful and the waitresses very friendly. I obviously had to try the "Colorado" sandwich, a turkey, avocado, sprouts, swiss, tomatoes and sweet mustard on toasted organic wheat bread with sweet potato fries. While having lunch my brother made an observation how hot it was, in the 90's and not a single drop of condensation on the side of the ice water glasses or soft drinks we had. There's almost no humidity high up in the Rockies, you can feel the heat but you do not perspire at all, it's amazing how dry it is high up.
|Sweet Potato Fries|
|Long stretches of open roads|
|Wildlife in Colorado|
We comeback to the visitor center and then make a right into Route 40 again and quickly dispatch of a few miles until we arrive at Dinosaur. The Town of Dinosaur is located in Moffat County, Colorado. The town population was 319 at the U.S. Census 2000. It is the westernmost town in the State of Colorado, located 3 miles east of the Utah border. The town of Dinosaur was originally named Artesia; the current name was adopted in 1966, to capitalize on the town's proximity to Dinosaur National Monument. We stopped for cold water and I had a sudden urge for a cold ice cream.
We leave Dinosaur and within three miles arrive at the Utah border. We stop to take pictures and then continue into even more desolate country, the red rocks contrasting with a beautiful blue sky, passing sleepy towns along the way. Later we stop at the Starvation Lake State Park for more pictures and to bask in the quickly fading sun. It was so quite you could almost hear your heart beat. Not a single boat on the beautiful blue lake.
We continue determined to get to Salt Lake City before nightfall entering the Uinta National Forest, passing the beautiful Strawberry Reservoir and again stopping for pictures on occasion and specially when I saw deer on the side of the hills. It was getting darker and the last hour we rode in the dark missing the beautiful Canyons just before Salt Lake City. I guess I will have to come back.
|Beautiful Strawberry Reservoir|
|I have a good eye for deer|
We get to Salt Lake City and head straight to a motel near the BMW dealer my brother had scheduled in advance for the next day his 6000 mile service. The next morning he would drop the bike for service.
We covered 490 miles in Colorado and Utah along a beautiful and much less traveled road than Route 70 or Route 80. Lonely at times but beautiful scenery and with some interesting places to stop.