An Update From the Road

I’ve traveled more than 2,000 miles in the last few days. I’m on my way to California.

My traveling companion, riding shotgun.

My traveling companion, riding shotgun.

My route so far has been: Pennsylvania –>;; West Virginia –>;; Ohio –>;; Indiana –>;; Illinois –>;; Missouri –>;; Kansas –>;; Colorado –>;; New Mexico.

My travels so far.

My travels so far.

I stopped in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday night. The person who previously stayed in the hotel room I had for the night hid an alarm clock in the room set at full volume for 1:00am. I didn’t get a good night of sleep.

The rolling terrain and trees in eastern Kansas surprised me. I expected a flat, wheat-filled state.

On Sunday night I stopped in Abilene, Kansas. I had dinner at the Brookville Hotel. The Brookville Hotel has been around since the 1870s. They serve one meal, called a “family style chicken dinner.” That has been the menu since 1915. It was an exceptional meal.

The Brookville Hotel, home of the family strl chicken sinner.

The Brookville Hotel, home of the family style chicken dinner.

Monday at 10:42 CST I saw my first tumbleweed near Lincoln, Kansas. I was excited.

Western Kansas was closer to what I expected from Kansas, flat and brown. For several hours it was a tense drive due to gusting winds. The gusts made it nearly impossible to consistently remain in a lane, and at times when they were headwinds it felt like driving underwater. My car’s fuel efficiency fell from 31 MPG before the wind to 24 MPG after it started (I’m not sure how much the elevation effected this). I thought that might be normal for Kansas, but radio stations were commenting about how bad the winds were, and when I stopped in Hays, Kansas for lunch I encountered several other travelers who had stopped due to the bad driving conditions.

Monday I visited two of my cousins and their spouses in Thornton, Colorado. We ate excellent food, talked, and laughed. On Tuesday I got to see Red Rocks Amphitheater. Very cool. I was happy that I could walk onto the stage. It gave me chills to stand on the stage and look up at the seats. And the scenery around the Amphitheater was striking.

A panorama looking beyond the red Rocks stage.

A panorama looking beyond the Red Rocks stage (note stage roof in bottom center).

View from the stage, where music legends have stood.

View from the stage, where music legends have stood. Look at all those seats!


One of the red rocks.

One of the red rocks.

redrocks3

I really wanted to get some good pictures of the Rocky Mountains, but things were hazy most of the time I was in town. I had to do a little photo manipulation to reduce the haze in the picture below.

View of the Rocky Mountains from Thornton.

View of the Rocky Mountains from Thornton.

Good times in Colorado.

Good times in Colorado.

When I left Colorado this morning I drove south. I stopped in Colorado Springs to admire Pikes Peak and get a brisket sandwich at Rudy’s . I wish I could take Rudy’s with me to California.

Pikes Peak viewed from 25 South.

Pikes Peak viewed from 25 South.

A brisket sandwich at Rudy's.

A brisket sandwich at Rudy’s.

Southern Colorado and northern New Mexico are beautiful. Numerous times I felt overwhelmed by the landscape that unfolded before me. Incredible.

Right now I’m in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It’s been a good trip.

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