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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,109

    Default

    It looks like it's coming together.

    There are plenty of hotels in the Colorado Springs area and in Grand Junction.

    Colorado Springs has the Garden of the Gods and the Air Force Academy. You can also drive to the top of Pikes Peak, weather permitting and if you wouldn't be sensitive to high altitudes.

    Between Poncha Springs and Grand Junction, there's the Black Canyon of Gunnison, it's a national park.

    You can certainly drive through Arches and Canyonlands in one day to see the sights. If you run out of time, you can spend a second night.

    I would suggest you stop at the first national park you come to and buy a lifetime senior pass for $80. This will pay for itself on just this trip.

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    It looks like it's coming together.

    There are plenty of hotels in the Colorado Springs area and in Grand Junction.

    Colorado Springs has the Garden of the Gods and the Air Force Academy. You can also drive to the top of Pikes Peak, weather permitting and if you wouldn't be sensitive to high altitudes.

    Between Poncha Springs and Grand Junction, there's the Black Canyon of Gunnison, it's a national park.

    You can certainly drive through Arches and Canyonlands in one day to see the sights. If you run out of time, you can spend a second night.

    I would suggest you stop at the first national park you come to and buy a lifetime senior pass for $80. This will pay for itself on just this trip.
    Thanks for the wonderful ideas. I did go out Pike’s peak and Garden of the Gods last summer with family, also Rocky Mountain Nat’l park, stayed in Estes Park. So, likely I will just sleep in Colorado Springs, then go US50 to Poncho Springs and then to Grand Junction.

    After reading your post, I remembered buying a senior life time pass in around 1999-2000 but I guess I have lost it. Will buy one.

    Thanks.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,171

    Default Go for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    Thanks to all of you. At first, after many years, I just wanted to do a significant drive. I first thought of just going south to Natchez, changed my mind cause I wanted Mountain scenery, thought I would head to San Francisco. Then, thought of places I have not seen much of, so detours thru US 50, the national parks in Utah are now for sure. After that, I might start heading home thru a southern route or, if I have stamina left, go on to California.

    I am more alone now, older, going alone, so don’t quite know how I handle it. I have a good car, my music, my masks...
    At your age I drove to Alaska and back on my own. Have done that trip 4 times since the turn of the century. In fact I always travel on my own. I decide where I will turn, when/where I will stop, how long for, etc. I am my boss. Nothing like a new great advventure. Choose your roads as you go. If something looks interesting (whether on a map or on a sign) go for it. Adjust the following days according to the time you spent at such places. Just keep an eye on the progress and don't push yourself. These days I'd rather drive 350 miles than 500.

    True, I have never driven in winter in the U.S., but I have driven twice from the east coast to LAX, in mid November, taking a different route each time. This was before my RTA days, before I knew a trip had to be planned. I would typically see something of interest, hit the road and go check it out. Rarely did I plan anything ahead, over what now amounts to more than quarter of a million miles in North America.

    Unfortunately COVID deprived me of my road trip this year, but I hope to make up for it soon.

    Am looking forward to reading how you got on, and maybe seeing some of your pics.

    Lifey

    p.s. I have driven quite some miles in winter weather in Alaska and northern Canada.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,671

    Default Fantastic drive !!

    Third Leg, Colorado Springs to Poncho Springs to Grand Junction. Expect this to be very scenic. Distance is 305 miles. Any suggestions?
    It's a great drive where you travel alongside the Arkansas river to Poncha springs before going over the continental divide at Monarch pass to the Gunnison river through the Currecanti Nat rec area towards Black canyon. All are worth stepping out of the car to 'smell the roses'.

    4th leg, Grand Junction to Moab, UT, about 113 miles. Now, could I just see sights (no hik8ng plans) in the rest of day, should I spend 2 nights in Moab or by Arches Natl Park?
    When you leave GJ take a small detour to the Colorado National Monument and experience the Rim rock drive, an amazing drive often overlooked. (check current conditions)

    It has been mentioned but I will also recommend getting off I70 for UT128 through Castle valley to Moab. No real time loss but a lovely drive through the canyon alongside the Colorado river. With this in mind I would spend 2 nights in the Moab area to take time to drive around Arches NP and the Island in the sky area of Canyonlands NP where you can drive all the way down Grandview point road for a great view ! Be sure to stop at the Shafer trail viewpoint and Mesa Arch for more amazing views for little effort.

    If you are undecided where to next, I would take UT24/scenic12 to Bryce canyon, it's amazing and will take you to Capitol Reef NP. Ruby's Inn at the top of Bryce canyon is a lovely place to stay and perfect for a drive along the Bryce point road with many scenic viewpoints a few steps from the car. To do this, head to the far end of the canyon and stop on the way back up, all the viewpoints will then be on your side of the road. Make sure you pack warm layered clothing as Bryce is at high elevation and it gets pretty cold up there, is it worth it ? OH YEAH!!(Check conditions)

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,673

    Default

    Please be careful in Colorado. My daughter, in the SE of Denver area, has informed me that most of the schools there are returning to full-time Distance Learning within the next 2 weeks. That includes my grandkids school district. Why? Rising numbers of cases of COVID-19 in the Denver area. I couldn't say about Colorado Springs, though.


    Donna

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Please be careful in Colorado. My daughter, in the SE of Denver area, has informed me that most of the schools there are returning to full-time Distance Learning within the next 2 weeks. That includes my grandkids school district. Why? Rising numbers of cases of COVID-19 in the Denver area. I couldn't say about Colorado Springs, though.


    Donna
    Thanks. Actually, St. Louis is very high this week. Covid cases are spiraling. Having said that, I am not sure it’s safer at home as my son, 18, commutes to college, returns each day, works at Olive Garden and returns, hangs out with me. My wife, about 18 years younger, works at a dental office, goes about her life (masked, of course).

    I might be safer by myself and I am not going into bars, crowded restaurants or casinos. I don’t think it’s worse anyway.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    It's a great drive where you travel alongside the Arkansas river to Poncha springs before going over the continental divide at Monarch pass to the Gunnison river through the Currecanti Nat rec area towards Black canyon. All are worth stepping out of the car to 'smell the roses'.



    When you leave GJ take a small detour to the Colorado National Monument and experience the Rim rock drive, an amazing drive often overlooked. (check current conditions)

    It has been mentioned but I will also recommend getting off I70 for UT128 through Castle valley to Moab. No real time loss but a lovely drive through the canyon alongside the Colorado river. With this in mind I would spend 2 nights in the Moab area to take time to drive around Arches NP and the Island in the sky area of Canyonlands NP where you can drive all the way down Grandview point road for a great view ! Be sure to stop at the Shafer trail viewpoint and Mesa Arch for more amazing views for little effort.

    If you are undecided where to next, I would take UT24/scenic12 to Bryce canyon, it's amazing and will take you to Capitol Reef NP. Ruby's Inn at the top of Bryce canyon is a lovely place to stay and perfect for a drive along the Bryce point road with many scenic viewpoints a few steps from the car. To do this, head to the far end of the canyon and stop on the way back up, all the viewpoints will then be on your side of the road. Make sure you pack warm layered clothing as Bryce is at high elevation and it gets pretty cold up there, is it worth it ? OH YEAH!!(Check conditions)
    Thanks for the advice. For now, I am planning on leaving at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow but reading it, I can’t wait to get on the road. I don’t know how the motel situation is in some of those places. Hope I can get into safe ones.

    While I am planning to stay at Colorado Springs and then go via US50 through Poncho Springs to Grand Junction, might want to stay an extra night some place.

  8. Default

    I strongly agree that you should take UT-128 off I-70 toward Moab!

    At first, it will look like you are in the middle of nowhere, with no scenery to be had. But down the road you will be rewarded with spectacular views; simply beautiful!

    My only advice is to keep your eyes on the road; the scenery is very distracting!

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,109

    Default

    Colorado Springs to Grand Junction via US-24/US-285/US-50 is 300 miles. This is about 6 hours with no stops. In between, there are hotel options in Gunnison and Delta.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Colorado Springs to Grand Junction via US-24/US-285/US-50 is 300 miles. This is about 6 hours with no stops. In between, there are hotel options in Gunnison and Delta.
    Excellent. If it’s very beautiful, don’t mind just hanging in a nice hotel, enjoying the scenery.

    At this time, it looks like day time temperatures are going to be over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, would it be much colder at the higher elevations? I ask because I planned to leave behind this nice but bulky winter coat I had from when I was living in upstate NY and Michigan. On windy cold days, and only at temps under 10 degrees, did I ever wear it. I have a couple of other warm leather jackets I make do with in St.Louis winters.
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 11-08-2020 at 04:46 PM.

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