Day 39: Friday, June 7, 2013
Start: Jackson, WY
End: Fort Collins, CO
Miles Driven Today: 466
Total Miles: 6,229
We’re moving! We ‘turned the corner’ in Jackson and are finally heading back East. Towards home. Hm. Where’s that again?
We opted not to go to South Dakota (Rushmore, Badlands) and instead spend a day seeing the Rockies and then motoring towards Kentucky, Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. That will put us on a path home before our hard deadline (Tom has a Woodturning conference in Tampa on the 27th).
Today’s drive was about making tracks and putting us in a position to see Colorado tomorrow. We said ‘goodbye’ to the Grand Tetons and headed through the Teton National Forest and the Shoshone National Forest on our way to Fort Collins. The forest drives were great, but we soon came to some less scenic landscape. Wyoming has a vast, dramatic landscape, but we have been a bit spoiled by the roads and views as of late.
However, we did have one great diversion–Medicine Bow National Forest. We decided to go through the woods and over the Snowy Range Pass (10,847 feet). While it sounds like quite a climb, the gradual ascent was great. The Pass was aptly named; there was plenty of snow remaining at the top (AND HOW!). Even the lakes near the summit were still skating ponds! It was a beautiful drive, and it only added 30 minutes or so to our route.
We arrived at Fort Collins around 5pm, tired and hungry. So hungry in fact that the VERY closest restaurant was our favorite option; that turned out to be Denny’s. Yup. And I do have to say that we had really really fresh and tasty salads there and exceptional service.
We’re hunkered down for the night. The girls are stretching out after a long day of…stretching out in the back seat. We’ll get an early start tomorrow so we can visit the Rocky Mountain National Park and drive the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway, regale in the shadows of Pike’s Peak and finally reach tomorrow night’s lodging in Colorado Springs. After that, we’ll barrel through Kansas, Missouri and Indiana to stop once again in Kentucky. We’ll visit our friends Minda, Pete, Sam, Grace and Sparky, and then decide our next move. Will it be the Bourbon Trail? The Corvette Museum? Stay tuned!