Driving the American West: Moab to Arches
By the time I cruised up from southeastern Utah into Western Colorado, I was worried I might have had my fill of beauty and could see no more. But it turns out that my eyes were well prepared for another onslaught.
In the late afternoon light, I followed the icy blue Colorado River into lilac light, its banks rimmed with dark red grasses and winter-orange trees. Yellow trains chugged through towering passes and signs warned of road-roaming elk. Snow-draped mountains gave shelter to fir trees, cabins and twinkling lights, a stateside Switzerland in a Christmas snow globe.
I said aloud: “I can’t believe my friend gets to LIVE here!”
My friend and fellow travel writer Kara Williams lives up yonder mountain way with her delightful husband and two huggable kids, and happily for me, she invited me to hang out at her home for a few days. Between the laughing, the fresh coffee, the cozy quilt action and laundry facilities, my stay there was as lovely as any bed & breakfast I’ve ever stayed in, anywhere.
No need to despair over the fact that Kara’s not actually running an inn, however; there are plenty of places up this way where you can stay, too.
Together, Kara and I explored the cute shops and street art of Carbondale, the dog- and ski-bunny-filled streets of Aspen and the Old West charm of Glenwood Springs. In the latter, I failed to photograph our visit to some “vapor caves,” a unique and rocky experience where you can sweat out the evil humours within and then treat yourself to a kick-ass massage.
I was thrilled to see my pal (who I hadn’t seen since our visit to the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain near Tucson, Arizona), get some use out of my new parka, eat at wonderful restaurants, try Colorado-made wine, and see a stunning swath of America that had heretofore eluded me.
And hooray: I’ll be headed back this way this summer for TBEX, the annual travel bloggers’ conference!
Mountain hikes in the sunshine, anyone? Why, yes…I thought you’d say that.
Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Yampah Hot Springs Vapor Caves
Amtrak’s California Zephyr
Soon continued in
Driving the American West: Central Wyoming