We started the day with one goal, get about half of the remaining distance to Las Vegas, and to enjoy the drive. So off we started.
We didn’t get far before we saw the signs for the Royal Gorge. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid, and Cindy had never been there. The road to the bridge, and the bridge itself was under repair and we couldn’t get to it. However, we were able to go up higher to an overlook. It was a dirt road that needed a lot of work, but we made it safely. I took this picture with my cell phone camera. I think it is spectacular. But I’m prejudiced.
We stopped at one of the souvenir shops on the way out of the area, and I re-acquainted myself with the typical souvenirs of the area. It has been a long time, but for some reason it seemed like they were better quality than I remembered. I decided that I may have to make a purchase or two before the trip was ended.
We resumed our drive, stopping occasionally to take more pictures. Cindy got into the spirit and started taking pictures with her mini-iPad. She got some good shots with it. After some more miles Cindy got tired of driving and turned it over to me. She took a couple of chill pills because if she isn’t driving, she gets freaked out on mountain roads. I was ready, and I was happy that she took the pills because the map showed that we were headed into some spectacular country.
Cindy was asleep when we reached Ouray, Colorado. The scenery was incredible. I would have liked to take some pictures, but I didn’t want to stop the car and risk waking Cindy. I knew that once awake she would not fall back asleep, and that she would be an unfit companion for that part of the trip. From Ouray the road headed higher into the mountains, with steep inclines and curves in the road that couldn’t be taken faster than 25 miles an hour. The day had been overcast and I realized that as we went higher the clouds seemed to be getting closer to the ground. Eventually I was literally driving in the clouds. The foggy conditions weren’t so dense that I felt compelled to stop, but I found that I was driving even slower than I had before. After awhile we were headed down and we left the clouds behind. The land around us once again was seen to be spectacular. I loved that part of the drive.
We continued onward into New Mexico. The landscape changed once again. It was different from the mountains, but it was beautiful in its own way. We decided to stop and spend the night in Farmington, New Mexico. We had actually stayed in Farmington one night when we were on or honeymoon. Ah, the memories of that pleasant town and the friendly people. We decided to give Motel 6© another chance. The clerk assured me that they did have WiFi. When I connected to their network I had to admit that they did indeed have WiFi. It was the slowest darned connection I have ever experienced. I wasn’t able to do anything substantial on the Internet.
We left the room and went in search of a non-franchise restaurant. We were in luck. In the downtown area of town, a block from the highway, Cindy spotted the 3 Rivers Brewery and Eatery. Marvelous! It took up the best part of the block. The place was divided into the main bar and restaurant, a pizzeria, a banquet hall, a pool hall/bar, and maybe something else. We went into the more traditional bar/restaurant. The tables and booths were not crowded together, so you had room to move. In fact, there was a girl, around 10 to 12 years old who was wearing roller shoes and was scooting around in the restaurant, not coming close to hitting anyone. The decor was what places like TGI Fridays© strives for, but doesn’t quite pull off; an eclectic mix of articles hung on the walls and from the ceiling. Oh, and by the way, the food was excellent.
We reluctantly left the restaurant and returned to our motel. I vowed to myself that there would be no more nights in a Motel 6©. Tomorrow would be the final push to Las Vegas.