The first day on our trip from Denver to Las Vegas via a number of National Parks and Forests was off to a bad start when our early morning flight from Chicago to Denver was grounded due to a hydraulic defect. The replacement machine got us there about 3 hours late, which basically was all the time we had that day to stop for a few photos in between our 8 hours of driving.

We picked up groceries as we passed through Denver and headed straight for Interstate 70 towards Grand Rapids. The rest of the day was pretty much spent driving through the beautiful scenery of half a dozen National Forests, past historic gold mining sites as well as current coal mines, and tiny remote villages. Fall had progressed more than we hoped and the yellow leaves we had hoped to see were almost gone. However, the naked trees are still a stunning sight worth exploring and taking pictures of.

Due to our late start, we had to skip Needle Rock and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park – already noted for our next trip to Colorado. Although we barely had time to get out of the car, we were able to test some of our new equipment, especially our new travel tripod and the GoPro stabilizer.


The beautiful Dillon Reservoir.


An all-American truck hauling what looks like very American things.


The steep hills are no joke in Colorado. Many warning and instruction signs try to improve road safety for truckers along the Interstate 70.


If you live in a remote valley, don’t expect the mail to be delivered to your doorstep.


In the words of one of Orval’s Used Cars Facebook reviewers, “Orval’s Restorables is one of the most unusual businesses on the Western Slope. They sell broken dreams and twisted metal to people who have the heart, imagination, time and love to make them right again.”

What did we learn today?

  • take your time driving throught the Colorado National forests – many beautiful photo spots
  • late October will be too late for yellow fall leaves in the higher areas, it’s better to come towards the end of September until mid-October

On the bucket list…

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