July 6, 2020 Manila, UT to Glenwood Springs, CO

It was a hazy morning with a temp of 68 degrees when we left around 8 AM. We had 330 miles to go today, so we tried to get an early start. After 3 miles, we were in Wyoming and would be for at least half of the day. Away from the Gorge, we were in the “land of Nothingness” with an antelope scattered here and there.

Mostly, the land was flat with a hill or butte rising up towards the sky.

Traffic was again non-existent. Where is everyone? The road wound itself through the bluffs and hills like a snake.

We eventually crossed over the northernmost branch of the Green River that feeds Flaming Gorge Lake–the Black Forks River. We stayed on Highway 530 for 47 miles until we reached I-80. We reached our high point for the day at an elevation of 7100 ft.

At the bottom of the 7% grade was the town of Green River.

From the road, we could see the westbound tunnel of I-80 cut into the hillside. Once in town, we crossed the Green River itself.

The town was surrounded by some interesting buttes and rock outcroppings.

We made a stop in Rock Springs for fuel. The Flying J where we get 5 cents off per gallon had diesel fuel for $2.59 /gal. and the Chevron Truck Stop right across the street had it for $2.09/gal. Can you guess where we stopped?

Auggie woke up from his nap when we stopped.

On our drive today, we crossed the Continental Divide at Table Rocks (elev. 6961 ft.) and again as we traveled on Highway 789 south.

The Continental Divide Trail parallels the Continental Divide from east to west. Long strings of train cars sat idle on the tracks in the middle of nowhere.

The speed limit was 80 mph out there, although we continued to drive 55-60 mph.

We saw this HUGE machine (a dragline) working in a mine near the highway.

These snow fences were a reminder of how much snow this area gets in the winter.

Off in the distance, the mountains came into view as we traveled south.

Traffic was still non-existent. I could count the number of vehicles we saw on two hands. There were lots of antelope meandering around this area.

We crossed the border in Colorado around noon.

We could see rain pouring out of the clouds far ahead of us and wondered if we would get any of it.

Once in Colorado, the landscape turned lush and green with farms scattered throughout the valley. The rocky hillsides disappeared.

We came full circle in our travels back to the town of Craig. We passed through Craig going west after leaving Steamboat Springs last week. The road followed the beautiful Yampa River for awhile.

It didn’t take long before the terrain became hilly again.

We did get a little rain on the windshield, but most of it seemed to evaporate before it hit the ground. The wind howled as it funneled its way through these canyons.

It was a headwind and did a number on our gas mileage. Good thing we weren’t doing any climbing. North Central Colorado is so lush and green compared to Southeastern Utah’s 100 shades of brown. About 19 miles out from our destination, the road ended and we hit some road construction. It was slow going for 6 miles.

We were at a dead stop for only about 5 minutes and we were on the move again. The road was a washboard and we went about 20 mph.

Coming out of the construction and starting our descent, Bob thought he could see the Maroon Bells in the distance.

There were some really cool rock structures along this drive.

We picked up I-70 in the town of Rifle after crossing the Colorado River.

We arrived at our destination of Glenwood Springs West KOA at 3:00. It was a long day of driving for Bob, but we arrived just in time for happy hour.

We were assigned site #31.

It backed right up to the Little River, a branch of the Colorado River.

The Colorado River was flowing very rapidly and looked like it could be dangerous if you got caught in it. However, the Little River behind us was slower and better for floating down the river in an inner tube. Our view out of the front window in our campsite looked up towards the mountains.

Due to the social distancing guidelines, this KOA has set up a system where you must sign up for a time to use the pool. They only allow 16 guests to use the pool at each sign-up time and they give you 1.5 hours to be in the pool. You have to check-in at the office and get a bracelet labeled with your time and date. When your time is up, you must leave the pool area. It seems like a fair and organized system to me. I might have to sign up for a time tomorrow afternoon. After the drive today, we both needed a little downtime, so we each relaxed in our own way. I went outside to sit with Auggie and work on my blog while Bob watched a little TV. We had dinner and took our walk around the campground to see who was all here. Tomorrow we plan to take a drive up to Aspen and see how the area has changed since the last time we were there.

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