I rolled into Colorado around 8:30 last night. It was a gorgeous drive through Nebraska and NE Colorado, and I’m feeling really good about this trip. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time, and I’m just so happy to be on the road. The only problem about my adventure that I foresee is a very VERY tan left arm, and a not-so-tan right arm.
I’m also happy about my first roadside attraction!
If you guessed that this is the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney, NE, YOU ARE CORRECT!!!!
It is an interactive (whitewashed) history of western expansion. It begins with pioneers, the Gold Rush, and the Mormons (Iowa City gets a mention here), continues with the Pony Express, the railroads, and finally Rt. 80.
I wanted to stop at a Pony Express station a bit further west, but I wanted to get to my destination more. Finally I made it to Colorado!! I love the welcome centers along I80. The one in CO was “manned” by two really sweet old ladies who made me register (they strong armed me ;)), and gave me all sorts of books and brochures about the Denver area. Basically, if I ever come back, I’m set. This was also, apparently, the only stop in CO of the Pony Express, so they had a monument, as you see below.
NE Colorado is actually very beautiful. It felt emptier than Western Nebraska, but I had cell service, which was nice (I did NOT have that in WNE). The landscape reminded me of Eastern-central Wales, for some reason. People might disagree, but I kept coming back to that as I drove (the picture doesn’t do it justice but I was driving).
The moment I realized I could see the Rockies, was a thrilling moment. I have seen them before, but I’ve never driven to them. They just start appearing in the distance and you’re not sure if they are clouds or mountains. Then there is a switch, where you can tell they are pointier than clouds and you know you’re close.
It was an excellent drive!
Today, I’m going to get some work done in the morning, and then Maneesh (the friend I’m staying with) and I are going to go on a fun hike. Enjoy the day!