Travel – Day 3 – Drive

Today is Day 3 and the only plan for today is to drive.

The plan, go from Kansas City, Kansas to Alamosa, Colorado. That is 670 miles.  Take I-70 to Rt 40, then to 287, to 96 to Rt 10 and finally 160.

I-70 In Kansas

I-70 In Kansas.. bug splats included.

People, gas stations, lunch at McDonald’s, I-70 was like any other rolling highway.  Then we stopped, exited to get gas and turned onto Rt 40 West. No one… there were a few semi-trucks that were hulling grain. The route was paved, the roads off of it were not. It is understandable why you want a pickup truck here.

Keeping with the theme, we were being chased by a rain storm.  The difference is that you can see it.  Way off in the distance, a few miles away, gray clouds and dark streaks reach down and touch the ground. Drive faster and avoid the rain.  We were basically alone on the road for about 5 hours.

Kansas Rt 40

Kansas Rt 40

There really isn’t a single good photo to describe driving through the miles of land used to grow food. The entire road was setup for some type of grain or corn or something, every so often we would pass by a silo and maybe a truck was there to hull it out.  There were no tourists, no gas stations, spotty cell service at best, no tow trucks, or rest stops.  Every hour or so, you would find what looked like a shop or town… A single building, maybe school, maybe a gas station with a sign on the door to call for someone to come by and assist you.  This a clear reminder of how much land is needed to feed a country, or two.  Imagine living at work, miles away from the nearest shop, growing crops.

Eventually, we get closer to the mountains of Colorado. At first the border between the states is not even noticeable.  Then, you start to see the mountains off in the distance. The land used for crops becomes more scarce and the ranches start to take form. We drove along an old railroad, down back road and through places the genuinely looked abandoned.  Periodically, there would be a house, a trailer, or a truck parked a few miles away from the road. I presume they are living there.

Walsenburg, Colorado

Photo from Walsenburg, Colorado

Driving through the mountain roads was a challenge for the car.  Before we left, Stephen had the oil changed, new air filter installed, new transmission filter and fluid, coolant flushed, and we changed the spark plugs. Going up the hills… there was no power. The car was struggling at the high altitude.  We reached Alamosa at about 7:30 pm and checked into the hotel. Dinner at Chilli’s.  Since the car was having issues, we decided to change the plan and take the car to the dealer and check to see if something was not working with the transmission or spark plugs.

Tomorrow’s plan. Get car checked at 7:30 am…