A Scenic Drive Through Wyoming & Colorado

From Hotel Gym to Snowy Vistas

Our two-day break in the Best Western Hotel, Rawlins, was a welcome respite. However, after a full day inside with only a workout in the hotel’s gym, we were ready to conquer more driving miles.

We woke up to a winter wonderland outside our window. Instead of exploring this new neighborhood, I headed to the hotel gym for a treadmill workout.

I pushed the “Begin Workout” button—I find it too much hassle to figure out every setting, and the 60-minute workout countdown started immediately.

However, the treadmill’s monotony kicked in quickly. Since there was no TV or other guests to chat with, I increased the speed and alternated between running and walking.

A few years ago, I started a run at 5.2 miles per hour; today, I had to accept that this number was my maximum speed. Despite not reaching my goal of 5 miles in an hour, 4.5 miles (7.24km) still felt like a solid accomplishment. My body felt energized again.

I had a moment of worry, though. Yesterday’s snowstorm made me check the I-80 road conditions online more than once. Thankfully, the warnings about slippery roads had disappeared by the time we left. The weather had cleared, and the sun was peeking through the clouds the moment we checked out and drove away!

Snow-Covered Rockies and the Highest Point of I-80

Relieved to see snow-free roads myself, my worries vanished, and I finally relaxed; I could soak in the scenery! The snowstorm had added to the landscape’s beauty: a pristine layer of white, untouched snow. The Eastern Rockies Corridor stretched out before us in all its glory with majestic mountains decorated with snow.

We made a short stop at the Summit Rest Area, the highest point of I-80 at 8640 feet. The Abraham Lincoln Memorial, which features a bronze Lincoln head, overlooks the Lincoln Highway, America’s first transcontinental auto road and predecessor of the current I-80.

Wyoming's Emptiness vs. Colorado's Sprawling Suburbs

Continuing south near Cheyenne, we switched I-80 for I-25. Just a short distance later, we crossed the border into Colorado. This southern corridor presented a stark contrast to Wyoming’s expansive emptiness. From Fort Collins via Denver to Colorado Springs, the valley flanking the highway has been transformed into a sprawling suburban landscape. The appeal of living here is easy to understand – the Rocky Mountains rising in the distance are truly stunning.

Date

Sunday, March 31 2024

Moving Time

about 5.5 hours

Distance

314 miles

WEATHER

Sun, clouds, strong breeze

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