Sunday, July 29, 2007

WWR Colorado Trip Day 9 - The Road Home

Grand Lake Colorado to Council Bluffs Iowa

The alarm watch went off at 5:30 AM Mountain Time. It was 11C and, for once, there were no ugly clouds hanging around the mountain tops. We had packed the side bags last night, so it was just a matter of putting the bag in the trunk.

Stewey was headed back to Peoria, Illinois across I-80 and we decided to ride together until our paths diverged. Since we were a little late getting going (due to an unnamed member of our group who was slow to rise), we headed out with Willie Wonka, Carlene and Phin who were heading east from Denver on I-70. Our group had talked about going west and north the catch 80 in Laramie to keep out of Denver, but the realization that it was Sunday morning caused a re-evaluation.

We headed out as ready heading south for the Shell station in Granby. On the way, we passed Slammer towing the Weedeater trailer with his little SUV and Toby on his new Wing. After fueling, I took the lead and we headed south on US 40 towards Winter Park. Soon we were into heavy fog and I was forced to once again question the smarts of people who drive in the fog with no lights on. Part way through, I though that Willie had been a little quiet and realized that my CB radio was turned off. When I fired it up, he said he had wondered where I was.

The fog cleared before Winter Park, where we headed up into Berthoud Pass and over the Continental Divide. It looks different in the dry daylight. On the way up, we again passed Slammer and Toby, who got by us while we were fueling up. Down out of Berthoud, we caught I-70 East and headed over to Denver. As Interstates go, this stretch is more interesting than most. Denver was quiet as we approached the I-76 split and, with waves, honks and words on the CB between Willie and I, the two groups separated.

We rode I-76 downslope to I-80 and Nebraska at 85 MPH. At the 80 junction there was a group of Corvettes heading east. One had a plate that said BLUBYU. No, he did not. The weatherman said the clouds and precipitation would stay south in Kansas today, but who believes him anyway. The overcast kept the temperature down and we eventually went to rain suits, which were needed for a ways around Kearney and Grand Island. Later, most unsuited but Sandy kept her gear on to protect the crew. Then, past Lincoln, I saw a nasty cell and some elected to put some gear back on. In that time, the clouds directly in front of us moved and we slid into Council Bluffs, Iowa dry.

There was a Settle Inn in Council Bluffs that Sandy and I stayed at back in 2004. When we got there, it turned out that Stewey was an alumnus as well. We got rooms and wandered over to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Then everyone headed back to their rooms and flaked out. I was hoping to get some things updated, but the WiFi provider the hotel uses doesn't get along with my notebook. I've had this problem before with this outfit. I need to get something updated with my built in WiFi card but it is such a rare occurrence that I never seem yo get a round tuit.

Good first day. We're on our timeline. Stewey will be leaving us in the morning, ahead of schedule, to go south and visit an old school buddy who is married to a lady Stewey used to date. Sounds like an interesting time for him.

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