Days on cruise control: 4
Distance traveled: 317 miles
Travel time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Total trip odometer: 1,937 statute miles (approximately one third the distance of The Great Loop, done in 4 days instead of 4 months)
We don’t look exactly like the Joads and their piled-high truck from John Steinbeck’s “"Grapes of Wrath”, but we sort of imagine we look that way to others. We’ve had the truck four years, but bought the canopy shortly before we left for our Loop trip so we could fill it with the many boating items we already owned at home, and didn’t want to buy in Florida to outfit Next To Me. In back we have two bicycles, 8 bins of boat stuff including dishes, pots, pans, blankets and bed sheets, toolboxes, extra fenders we brought from home, and lots more.
The backseat has a rod across it, holding all our hanging clothes, a small cooler for lunch foods so we don’t have to stop for a mid-day meal, plus our camera and computer equipment and overnight bags we take into a motel each night. So it’s chock-a-block full, and Bob warns Cathryn it’s heavier in back than the front, so be prepared to go very slowly if we get into snow or icy weather, as the front wheels may not have much traction or weight on them. It’s 4-wheel drive, so that helps.
The rest of Kansas looked about like the first half: brown, flat and empty. The statewide population density must be pretty low. At one point it was 29 degrees outside and raining, a long way from Florida weather!
Finally: “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore!” Crossing into Colorado brings us to State #8 since moving off Next To Me.
Eastern Colorado looks a lot like Kansas, but we could tell we were still climbing to higher elevation.
We gained an hour as we moved into Mountain Time near the border, so arrived at our Denver motel shortly after noon. Our daughter Adrienne was able to get off work a little early, so we drove to Boulder where her fiancée Justin works at Rally Software.
We forgot to take a photo of “the kids” at the restaurant where we had dinner, so here’s a photo of Adrienne and Justin taken last Christmas when they visited us at home. We had Dungeness Crab for dinner one night, a local favorite which Justin enjoys catching with our crab pots when they visit in the summer months.
Tomorrow is a layover day in Denver: no truck driving!