Rocky Mountain High

 Posted by at 3:37 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 232013

Terry and I were both humming the tune to John Denver’s ode to the Colorado Rockies yesterday as we drove 110 miles west to Avon, in the heart of the state’s high mountain playground, to visit with her twin sons Casey and Cody and their families.

The first views of the snowcapped mountains as you begin the steep climb up Interstate 70 are breathtaking.

I70 Colorado rockies

And the higher you go, the prettier it gets.

Mountain vista

The road is a challenge in a big rig. We’ve driven it eastbound a couple of times in a Class A motorhome, which is mostly downhill. Westbound you climb to over 11,000 feet, and even our Explorer had to work to keep up its momentum.

I70 Colorado

At 11,158 feet above sea level, the Eisenhower Tunnel is one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world, and the longest mountain tunnel and highest point on the Interstate Highway system.

Eisenhower Tunnel

From the tunnel, we started a downhill run toward Vail and then Avon. There are several runaway truck ramps, and we saw tire tracks in them that indicated that they get use on a regular basis.

I70 mountains

Terry’s sons have three babies between them, and this was Terry’s first time to meet two of them. Here she is with Casey’s daughter Jane on the left, and Cody’s twins Althea and Peter. That’s right, one of her twin sons is the father of twins! It was funny, all three babies were happy and laughing until I got ready to take their picture. First Jane started crying, a minute later Althea started, and then Peter, who had been laughing all along, joined in the chorus!

Terry with 3 Grands blog

We had a nice visit with the kids and grandkids, and about 4:30 p.m. we started the long drive back to the Elks Lodge campground.

Did I mention that there are a lot of mountains in the Rocky Mountains?

Colorado Mountain

This is premier skiing country, and some of the runs right alongside the highway still had snow left on them.

Ski runs

Unfortunately, a nasty bug called the mountain pine beetle is killing millions of trees across the West, leaving whole mountainsides covered with nothing but dead trees. Casey told us scientists have predicted that the region could lose as many as 95% of its forest to the insidious critters.

Tree blight

Tree blight 2

Tree blight 3

As we were driving home, this pickup passed us with Mark Twain taking a ride in the truck bed. I wonder what he thought of the pretty scenery?

Mark Twain 

We got back to town about 6:30, made a quick stop at the motorhome, and then we went to a nice little Chinese restaurant called Li’s for Terry’s birthday dinner. The food and service were both excellent, and it will definitely get added to our Favorite Restaurants guide!

We’ll be here a few more days before we take off for the Escapade in Gillette, Wyoming, and we’ll spend most of that time printing out copies of our various RV guides and making up copies of our 7-in-1 CDs to sell in our vendor booth. They have been having some terrible weather in Gillette the last few days and we’re really hoping it will clear up by the time we get there. My dear friend Sharon Del Rosario has assured me that she put in a special order for good weather during the rally, so it looks like we’re going to be okay. And if not, at least we know who to blame, right?

Thought For The Day – Your ex-wife saying she still wants to be friends after breaking up is like kidnappers asking you to keep in touch after the ransom is paid.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “Rocky Mountain High”

  1. Terry looks beautiful in that picture. I hope she had a happy birthday.

  2. Quagmire City here at Gillette’s Cam Plex. Torrential rains the past few days have left the campgrounds pretty muddy. Todays exodus of FMCA rally attendees (mostly big Class As) should be quite interesting…

  3. What a great picture of Terry with her grandchildren! Too bad you scared them with the camera. A great way to spend her birthday. Blue skies today in Gillette, and I’ll hold firm on my promise!

  4. I don’t think I have seen a bigger smile on Miss Terry’s face as she is holding those grand babies. I know Miss Terry must of had a good Birthday as you would have seen to that.

  5. A few years ago we took that I 70 west through Colorado in our 34 ft Bounder. towing a vehicle and it was a hairy experience. Awesome scenery, but tough to enjoy with the smell of toasty brakes! Another time we took the route with our motorcycles and that wasn’t as scary, but memorable for starting out in the early morning in Vail with temps in the 30’s and almost freezing to death and then by the end of the day we were riding with temps in the mid 90’s. Great memories and we can laugh about them now.Love the photo of Miss Terry with her grand babies!

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