It took us almost three days of driving from the warmth of the Rio Grande to the snowy Rocky Mountains, but the drive offered an incredible vartiety of sceneries and weather conditions. For more than half of the distance, we used highways rather than interstates, beginning with the Texas 17 highway at the southern edge of the state.
Several miles north on Hwy 17, a pretty thorough traffic control reminded us that the Mexican border was not far away…
|Crossing through the mountainous western part of Texas…|
|…and the southern part of New Mexico|
Our route traverses through the western part of the Staked Plains, or Llano Estacado, a vast, dry plain with little vegetation and water that once was a major obstacle for the wagon trains that brought new settlers to the West.
After an eight-hour drive through New Mexico and Colorado, we arrived in Denver after midnight and slept at “Camp Wally” (Wal-Mart) for the first time on our trip. It’s a nice deal for most Wal-Marts in the US: They let RV’s stay overnight in their parking lot which is pretty safe because of the 24-hour operation of Wal-Mart, and the RV people thank it by re-stocking and leaving with a (usually) 3-digit shopping bill.
The final 160 miles from Denver to Glenwood Springs (near Aspen), across the Rocky Mountains and 2 passes, had a nasty surprise in store for us: heavy snowfall and heavy traffic, which even on an interstate is a pretty toxic mixture in terms of driving time… But, once again, our truck was pulling the 12,000 lbs trailer up and down the mountains over snow covered roads without any problems!
Because Silke did not want to ski, we split apart for the ten days of skiing. We had rented a log cabin for Silke at the Colorado river in Silt, about 40 mi away from the RV park, where our trailer was parked and where Benjamin and I stayed.
|View from Silke’s cabin|
After a couple of days, the temperatures dropped again and it snowed for 24 hours, bringing about a winter-wonderland the very next day.