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Tom Travels Day 3 (cont’d) – Colorado and Utah

October 20, 2010

I apologize for disappearing for a few days. As most people know, Vegas is like a black hole, neither light, energy, or money can escape. My friend Will and I have had a great time. I’ve been very fortunate to know Will for the last 12 years. He’s an amazing human being, loves life and loves people. I’ll share some stories with you but not all of them, as they say “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” However, I digress.

 

The Rocky Mountains outside of Denver

I left Denver around 9am MT on Saturday and planned to drive 10 hours to Salt Lake City, Utah. 10 hours would be the most time I’ve ever spent in a car in one day. My back was slightly sore and I knew it was going to be a long day, but I’ve been looking forward to this drive for 3 years! I will say, it completely satisfied my expectations. Words, especially with my limited vocabulary, can never explain the sights I saw.

The Colorado River

I can’t help but think about how long this river has been flowing. For millions of years, stone by stone, grain of sand by grain of sand these mountains have been eroded to create remarkable valleys and canyons. I’m speechless. Even though these pictures won’t do the landscapes justice, take a look:

Snow capped peaks off in the distance

Incredible, Remarkable, Breathtaking

The above picture was literally breathtaking. In order to get a better view, I ran about 10 meters up hill, and at that elevation and low O2 levels, I became tachycardic and breaths were up to 20/min.

I’ve always considered myself a good driver, mainly because I love driving. Here’s a fun fact most of you don’t know about me, I like watching Formula 1 racing. The roads through the mountains made me feel as close to a Formula 1 driver as I’ve ever been. Up and down, left and right. Unlike Kansas, cruise control was not an option today. I had to pay full attention to the roads. Here’s a short video to give you an idea, its 46 seconds:

At a few locations, the roads become steep enough that Runaway Truck Ramps are required; I did not know such a thing existed. Very neat, but scary:

Runaway Truck Ramp

The below picture reminds of the Zelda Triforce:

Puzzle Pieces

I can’t recall the last time I drove through a tunnel:

My lunch for 3 days was this, along with some Naked blended juice smoothie:

Lunch at Colorado River State Park

Leaving Colorado

Entering Utah

In Utah, the landscape opened up, canyons deepened and the mountains turned red:

Utah

Black Dragon Canyon

Black Dragon Canyon II

Utah Sunset

As I mentioned earlier, I planned on visiting Salt Lake City for the night. But I was energized, had seen plenty of mountains, and Vegas was only 2 more hours driving than SLC, so my route changed. My brother had told me that one of the cool aspects of driving into Vegas at night was the ability to see the orange sky from 100 miles away. In the pitch black of the Arizona and Nevada night, far in the distance like a light at the end of a tunnel, you could see the radiance Las Vegas provides.

Radiance in a sea of black desert

My next blog post will tell of stories about Cirque du Soleil, pawn shops, craps, and hanging out with the production crew of one of the most popular reality TV shows of all time. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada….

Vegas Baby!

I’ll leave you with this 2-minute video of the Colorado Eisenhower Tunnel, the view on the backside is worth the 120 seconds. Enjoy the soundtrack, Baptized By Fire – Spinnerette:

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. tete permalink
    October 20, 2010 11:49 PM

    Nice pictures and commentary Tom. Looks like you are having a good time. we are thinking about you all the time. We’re jealous. Be safe and enjoy the rest of the trip.

  2. Zoe Hoeppner permalink
    October 21, 2010 4:19 PM

    Looks like you are having a great time! What a fun experience.

  3. Nan Martin permalink
    October 21, 2010 5:41 PM

    Awesome — totally awesome!

  4. Andrew permalink
    October 22, 2010 2:56 AM

    Tom, some of us are interested in seeing pics with you and/or other people actually in them.

    • October 22, 2010 6:09 AM

      You got me, I’m actually in Chicago, I never left. These pictures all came from Google images. Well, just kidding, I’ll see what I can do.

Trackbacks

  1. Tom’s Travels- Day 10, Arizona Day 2 « LETUBEU
  2. Tom’s Travels Finale- Summary and Thank You’s « LETUBEU

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