For spring break this year, we took a trip to Denver. Due to a late decision we decided to drive. A not too painful experience.
Google Maps usually offers a couple of options for driving. From central Texas to Denver, there is no really good interstate highway only route. However, the path we took was great.
The driving was actually fun. Interstate highways are so boring. They are flat and straight and filled with other cars. But taking a route that is mostly state highways and country roads is much more entertaining. The roads have curves and hills and you can drive for hours without seeing another car. The views on interstates are usually billboards and 400 car gas stations. On the back roads, you get some amazing views.
You find things that you wouldn’t otherwise get to do. Just driving along in New Mexico, we were talking about what was, very obviously, a shield volcano. It turns out, we were driving through the Raton/Clayon volcano field. And there is a national park for the Capulin volcano (which I will talk a lot about in another post). If you find yourself in NE New Mexico, go check it out. Click to see all the pics larger.
We drove through the wind farms of the Texas panhandle. Not by them, but through them.
We also drove from Denver to Keystone Ski Resort. We knew that we wanted to do this. Which is why we took my car, an all-wheel drive Subaru Impreza WRX. It’s a good thing we did. Driving through ice and snow on a 6% grade for 12 miles while semi-trucks barrel past is… intense. I wouldn’t recommend it for most Texas drivers without all-wheel drive or some real training. Still, it was something that should be experienced. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
So, if you’re not in a hurry (and if you’re on vacation, why are you in a hurry?) take a look at your route. And maybe pick the one that’s not the fastest, but the one that takes you someplace that looks interesting. Set aside some time for unplanned excursions. For example, we didn’t really have a plan for our last day in Denver. We sat, eating breakfast talking about some options. On the news was a story about the Denver auto show that was opening that very day. We’d never been to an auto show and, lucky coincidence, it was literally across the street from our hotel. Day made…