This would be my third trip to the beautiful giant playground of a state we call Colorado. My second time driving as opposed to flying and my first time going by myself. Destination: Flat Tops Wilderness Area to backpack and fly fish. It made me somewhat nervous to be driving a 1997 Taurus with 120k miles on the odometer, but it would ultimately prove reliable. Thank you Taurus!
It makes me giddy to punch a location into my GPS that reads 1200 miles and 16 hours to my final destination. I laughed at myself when I said out loud "I'm driving to Colorado", while rounding the corners on highway 60 through the south western part of Wisconsin. Using Gas Buddy's website, I plotted a few stops along the way, saving some money on fuel.
Driving through Iowa and Nebraska on I-80 is a soul draining experience. Flat nothingness surrounds you interrupted by the occasional wind farm.
|Many miles of blah ahead|
Half way through Nebraska, I stopped at Windmill State Rec Area along the interstate for the night before it got dark. The directions on the sign comically read that the tent camping area was the parking lot. I assumed that meant that the numbered sites were off-limits to me and began to pitch my tent in front of my car on the grass. The effeminate gentleman of a camp host stopped me short of driving in the stakes and directed me to use one of the electric sites so I wouldn't be in his living room window. It was a humid night but a couple of cans of Coors and the noise of the nearby highway assisted with some sleep.
|Campsite in Nebraska|
|Changing landscape as I enter the West|
|We don't have signs like that where I come from|
A few hours later, passing through Kremmling and heading west, I arrived at Yampa, the "Gateway to the Flat Tops".
|Sign on road between Yampa and the Flat Tops trail head|
|First in a series of 3 reservoirs on the way to the Flat Tops trail head|
|First CO brown|
|Bear River brookie|
|Tiny Bear River cutty chomping a big PMX|
|Robber bunny to the left of my car. He means business.|
|A view from my campsite on the eve of my backpacking adventure.|