The End of the Trip

Miles Travelled Today:      103           Total Miles Driven:  5926

So, today we brought our trip full circle by driving back to the Residence Inn, Convention  Centre/Denver Airport for our last night in the Rockies.  The same hotel we stayed at, 52 nights ago on the night we arrived.  Tomorrow, we fly to Boston in the afternoon to visit family for a few days.  Then a 3 day road trip through New England to New York and then home on Queen Mary 2.  This is the last blog entry of our Rockies Road Trip.  But not the last blog…

We woke up this morning to bright blue skies and sun but temperatures still well below freezing.  Had breakfast and loaded the car.  We were away just after 10am.  Breckenridge was looking spectacular.  The mountains white with snow, green with fir trees and the odd aspen standing out, yellow and gold.  So many of the homes are wooden chalets, very Swiss, the whole scene looked like an early Christmas card.

We drove north and picked up I-70 east.  We passed through some spectacular passes and a long tunnel.  Came off the interstate at Georgetown for a brief stop.  We saw the loop train that we rode just a few weeks ago.  Nice day for a train trip through the snowy mountains.  Georgetown is a delightful Victorian town.  So many lovely old wooden houses, with turrets and wrap around porches.  Straight out of Little Women or Pollyanna.

We came off the Interstate and took Route 6 east through the Clear Creek Canyon instead.  A last map lead detour.  What a spectacular road alongside the tumbling waters of Clear Creek! The snow on this side of the mountains was much less than in Breckenridge, and of course we were already a couple of thousand feet lower.  We parked for a while in the canyon, and enjoyed the peaceful surroundings.  It had warmed up to about 6C by then.

We reached the Residence Inn at about 2pm and unloaded the car for the last time.  Then we returned the car to Dollar at the airport.  It all went pretty smoothly.  We bid it a fond farewell.  It has been a solid little trooper over the last 7 weeks.  We’ve put it through its paces a few times, that’s for sure, and it ate up the almost-6000 miles of our trip. No problems at all.

Dollar took us back to the airport and then Marriott’s shuttle picked us up and brought us back to the hotel.   All the while the great wall of the snow capped Rockies stretched north and south in front of us, massively high up from the grassy plain around Denver airport.  And bear in mind Denver is at 5500 feet!  Those mountains would have formed a frightening barrier to the pioneers of the mid 1800s.  How brave they were to persevere to find a way through.  And all the miners who worked the mines……

We’ve had the most amazing trip over the last 7.5 weeks.  Probably the best holiday ever in many ways, certainly one of the best.  I’m sure we will want to return to parts of these regions again if we can.  People have asked us – we have asked ourselves – what was the best bit….. but it’s impossible to answer.  So many places and so many experiences have been outstanding.  Very little was disappointing.   South Dakota, especially Custer State Park, exceeded our expectation.  Glacier NP was spectacular and we saw grizzly and black bears!!!  Of course along the way we also saw buffalo in their thousands, elk, mule deer, moose, prairie dogs, coyote, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, longhorn cattle, pronghorn, bald eagles, osprey…..   Grand Teton was picture perfect, stunningly beautiful.  The Black Canyon of the Gunnison was an incredible discovery.  We loved most of the historic hotels we stayed in.  The Occidental was outstanding as was the Delaware.  Who could forget our train trips, particularly the Durango- Silverton.  And the Scenic Byways that took us over mountain ranges, through deep canyons, along precipices…  You see, we just can’t pick on one thing…..

Anyway, our trip has inspired us to try another road trip one day.  Hopefully our blog has given others some ideas and inspiration too.  We’d do it all over again…. well…. maybe after a short break!!!!