Littleton, CO July 29, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 We got ready to leave and were on the road at 9:15. It was a cloudy morning and they were calling for heavy rain (4″) with potential flooding later this evening in Denver. We stayed in the Holiday Inn at the base of the hill where Bob used to live on Chamonis Dr. We said goodbye to Vail and headed east.

The mountains had clouds hanging over the tops as we started the climb to Vail Pass (El. 10,603 ft.).

The city workers were collecting loose rocks from this avalanche area.

From the top of the pass, we started our descent and could see Copper Mountain in the distance.

As we passed the city of Frisco, I could seet his puff of cloud over a very high mountain to the south.

We got a good view of Silverthorne and Breckenridge from the highway above.

As we approached the Johnson Tunnel, (the other 1/2 of the Eisenhower Tunnel through the Continental Divide) there were many vehicles going slowly as they made the steep climb. 

The Johnson Tunnel was completed in 1979. The Johnson Tunnel is 1.697 mi. long. That makes this side a little longer than the Eisenhower Tunnel side.

Out on the other side, the sun was starting to peak out. There was a truck on the other side of the highway who had burned up his brakes going down. The smoke coming out was a clue and so was the smell. At Georgetown, we saw the station where the narrow gauge railroad begins and then climbs into the mountains as a tourist attraction.

At Idaho Springs, we saw this waterfall and waterwheel near the highway. It was flowing pretty heavily.

Our side of the Twin Tunnels was closed due to construction and they built a new highway to take us around the mountain.

We got down from the mountains around 11:00 and had time to check out the inside of Red Rocks. We drove in the east entrance, through the rock tunnel, and parked the car.

The place was open and very busy with tourists and walkers. I was so happy to see inside the amphitheater since it was closed on Sunday when we were there before.

It is an awesome structure built right among the rock formations. In doing a little research about Red Rocks, I discovered that is the only naturally-ocurring acoustically perfect theater in the world. The two rocks on each side of the amphitheater (above pictures) are taller than Niagra Falls. It was once listed as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. The rocks contain dinosaur fossil tracks. It is one of a kind.

We could see Denver a little clearer today.

I wish I knew why these red rocks appeared in this location. In the distance, I could see similar rocks pushed up through the ground in an imaginary line from where we were (left side). 

I could have used a geologist to explain the how and why, but I’ll have to investigate it further online. We left there and stopped for a few groceries before going back to the campground. Everything looked just as we had left it. It was about 1:00 by the time we got everything unpacked and put away. Bob got a call from his sister that his package had arrived by FedEx, so he went to her house to pick it up. I did some laundry (hopefully for the last time) while he was gone and did a few other things in preparation of our departure tomorrow. We have enjoyed our time here in Denver and Vail, especially with Suzy and her family. Hopefully, we’ll be back again sometime. There’s still so much to see and do. About 2:00, the dark rain clouds moved over the mountains and headed for the campground. The temp dropped from 90 to 80 degrees. Once Bob got back, we hooked up the trailer and put away everything that was nonessential. I worked on my blog, watched some TV, and waited for the rain to arrive. Around 3:30, we heard thunder and it rained slightly, but it didn’t last long. Bob was able to grill dinner outside and I was able to get Auggie’s walk in before it rained. We hung out and relaxed with some TV, but we’ll get to bed early. We have a long drive ahead of us tomorrow.

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