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USA road trip, day 7, off to Jurassic Park

USA road trip, day 7, off to Jurassic Park

For one of us, today was going to be a very special day with a visit to Jurassic Park. Well, not quite Jurassic Park but a place called Dinosaur Ridge which can be found just outside of Denver in the Rocky Mountains. We were off to see some dinosaur footprints. It was another beautiful, crisp, sunny autumn morning. With a heavy heart it was time to leave the beautiful Hays (that was sarcasm if you hadn’t guessed) as we had to make it to Vail, Colorado before sunset. We had had some monster driving days and didn’t want today to be the same, a little R&R was required. Kansas seemed to go on forever, flat, thousands more wind turbines, tumbleweed, and we eventually hit the state line and crossed into colorful Colorado; that’s what the sign said anyway. I also took immense pleasure in telling the boys we weren’t in Kansas anymore 🙂 We had our route all planned out, as usual, but just as we were coming up on Denver and the Rockies we saw a sign for a scenic road, Highway 86, so we took it. I don’t know about scenic but there certainly wasn’t the same amount of traffic you would have on the I-70 and the only thing you could see that was worth looking at was the Rockies. Perhaps that was the ‘scenic’ bit 🙂 When I first saw the mountains I thought it wouldn’t take very long to get there but that turned out to be a bit of wishful thinking. They’re so high, just over 14,000ft at their highest point, that you get to see them from some distance away. I couldn’t tell you how far away we were when we first saw them but it took a fair while to get there. As we passed through a small town called Kiowa we stopped at the Post Office there to use the facilities. Don’t think much else happens there. Swiftly on to Castle Rock, just south of Denver, up through Denver and on to Dinosaur Ridge. Greg could hardly contain himself. We saw the footprints he was so excited to be seeing, which were actually kind of cool, bought some bits for the kids and moved on. Next stop was lunch at Smokin’ Yards BBQ in Idaho Springs, and then on to Vail. Going up and down over the Rockies was quite an experience, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking and I have never endured ear popping like it, felt like five or six flights in a plane one after the other. One minute you’re up at 10,000ft and the next you’re down at 4,000ft. That happened quite a few times, thought my head was going to pop! Poor old Phil had a bit of a cold so the air pressure was also playing havoc with his chest, he kept us well informed. Also saw a sign that said TRUCKS STAY IN LOW GEAR FOR THE NEXT 7 MILES…7 miles! Amazing. We made it to Vail at about 4pm and headed in to town after a quick game of pool in the hotel bar. It was pre ski season so everywhere was quiet. Had a few drinks in a great bar we found, Bol, that had its own bowling alley. Even had time to take in a film, Bridge of Spies. Tomorrow was going to be a day of two halves.

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