Day 84: I am so done with mountains (but the sheep are cool)

July 5, 2009


DAY 84: Silt, Colorado
Miles traveled: 11,778
States visited: 26 (just added: Colorado)
Weather: 88, sunny

The sights on the drive from Salt Lake City to Denver were interesting enough to warrant their own blog post.

Eastern Utah is a wasteland. There’s nothing there except for a handful of tiny towns in the middle of rocks and desert. My favorite town was Green River, a little dinky town along the freeway consisting of a few gas stations and hotels.


For some reason, when I see remote towns like this, the thought that crosses my mind is, How do their high school sports teams survive? Does the football team drive 2 hours every Friday night to find someone to play? Or do they just scrimmage against themselves? Or do they not have any athletic teams at all?

Things got much more interesting as I entered Colorado and saw the White River. Lots of people were rafting down this raging river. I would too, if I lived here.


The van had some trouble making it up the steep hills through the Rocky Mountains. The van has been great through all the mountains I’ve driven through, but over the past couple weeks it’s started to struggle, as if to say, I’ve had enough! I made it to the Vail Pass, which had an elevation of 10,603 feet. Shortly after that I drove through Johnson Tunnel, which has an elevation of 11,158, marking the third time in the past week that I’ve set a new record for highest elevation I’ve ever reached.

Once I get past Denver and head east through Nebraska, I should finally be done with the mountains. Not a moment too soon!

There was one awesome thing about the mountains. The town of Georgetown has a bighorn sheep-watching area with binoculars you can use to try to spot sheep on the hill. This was the absolute worst time of day (afternoon) and time of year (summer) to see them, but I gave it a shot.


After about 10 minutes I was ready to give up when I spotted a lone sheep high atop the rocks. I watched it for several minutes and then noticed another, and then another, and another. There were 4 of them, but they were only visible when they moved because they blended in so well with the rocks. You can’t see them in this photo, but they were in the very far right of the rocky section at the top.


The bighorn sheep was the one animal I didn’t see in Yellowstone, so now I feel complete.