We continued our trek west. How shameless is it that we are heading to the west coast for a free meal at a wedding? I’ll have the chicken, please.
We left Kansas and made the transit across eastern Colorado to Denver and stayed at Cherry Creek SP (highly recommend). Here is where the story goes a little sideways.
It turns out I may be the quintessential “bad dad”. We went to Denver to visit our son, spent time with him and his friends and co-workers, and do I have a single picture? Hell. No.
We had Drew and his friends over for dinner, we went out to lunch, we met his co-workers at his work, we played golf, went out for a cold beer after dinner… not a single photo. Imagine if you will, here are Drew and his friends. Mea culpa.
While in Denver, after a dinner at Uno Mas (awesome), Drew took us to Grandma’s House. Talk about a hoot! Located close to his house, and fairly close to the University of Denver campus, Grandma’s House is a destination. It was quiet this night, but apparently it is frequently jammed. One night a week they have bingo (the prize is beer, wouldn’t you know), another night is learning how to crochet beer cozies, another is comedy night – you get the drift – debate society stuff.
You know how often I have railed against interstate highways. Leaving Denver and heading west through Utah we followed I-70. Now this may be the prettiest section of interstate highway (or any highway) in all of America – just gorgeous. You cross over numerous passes, the views are spectacular, and the traffic for us was really light. No pictures, mind you. I mean, it wasn’t like we were crossing the Rockies.
We camped one night along the edge of the Colorado River in the James Robb Colorado River SP just east of Grand Junction, CO on the western slope. Interestingly enough, this had been a gravel quarry that the state had taken over and made into a state park – fabulous!
We said goodbye to Colorado and then on to Utah – another spectacularly beautiful state. Of course, hardly any photos. Are you starting to see a theme? You’re probably waiting for us to visit Mount Rushmore – sans pictures.
“Lenny, is that you? Hey, it’s Jerry from Emery County, Utah. Yeah, Jerry. Doodlemeyer. Capital D – never mind. We met last year at the cell tower conference – you were talking about how you guys in in the Eastern Sierras in California had developed cell towers to make them blend in with the environment. I need you to send me one of those towers here in Utah, so I can make it blend in here. Yes, I know we are in Utah but how different do you think Utah is from the Sierra’s? Thanks – I’ll send you a picture when we get it installed – no one will ever know it’s even there. Freaking camo!”
We continued on across Utah and diverted from I-70 where SR 50 merges, and followed SR 50 across the balance of Utah and into Nevada. In Nevada, we followed SR 50 until SR 6 split off and followed SR 6. Or I could have just showed you our route on a map. Nah.
In Ely, Nevada, we made a stop at the Ward Mountain Campground, a US Forest Service campground that with our senior passes cost us $2.00 (downright extortion). This was SO nice, but it was just for an overnight, so we did not get to really enjoy our surroundings.
Most people think of Las Vegas when you mention Nevada, but we enjoyed a most awesome trip across the state, largely using SR 6. On a future trip, we will actually take more time to explore on this road. Even though it is early June, temperatures were consistently in the low to mid 70’s during the day (obviously colder at night).
To some, the surroundings might feel desolate. To us, it is a little slice of heaven. There are some intriguing points of interest along the way, like lunar craters that we would like to check out next time when we have a little more time. The only time it got warm was when the people over at the Nellis Air Force complex were ranging in on us with their lasers. Laser. Beams. Hey honey, are you warm or is it just me?
And make no mistake, there are some pretty awesome mountain ranges in Nevada, with a highest peak over 13,000 feet elevation. We stopped for a short photo shoot at Sage Hen Summit, which was at over 8,000 feet elevation, as an example.
At the far end of Nevada, we started to get a glimpse into the eastern Sierras in California. I don’t think we have dipped below 5,000 feet elevation since the eastern side of Colorado.
We entered California with of course an agricultural inspection. “Any fresh vegetables?” “Well, not unless you consider the carrots in a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew.” We live life to its fullest.
We came through the Inyo National Forest, past Mono Lake (a beautiful but shallow saline soda lake) and into Lee Vining for a night’s stay.
Being the connoisseurs of fine dining establishments, we (Karen) found yet another version of gas station gastronomy, at the Mobil gas station in Lee Vining. The Whoa Nellie Deli, inside the gas station, serves up some great meals!
I had the Lobster/Crab Taquitos, served with black beans, tomatillo salsa and salad. Booyeah! Apparently their fish tacos are well known, and Karen ordered the meatloaf – which came in a serving sufficient to feed a family of four.
Departing Lee Vining, we crossed through Yosemite National Park. I’ll bet you’re waiting to see pictures, right? Not so fast, tiger. Not a single damn picture. It just wasn’t that pretty. Kidding. We’ll be back.