Road Trip: Telluride to Chicago

Road Trip: Telluride to Chicago

IMG_0346 After a brief stop at home in Telluride after our visits to West Coast family, Sus and I left on the next phase of our Spring travels on Friday, 17 April. For those of you who were watching Colorado weather during that time, you know it probably wasn't the most auspicious departure date. But, ever optimistic, we left anyway.

The webcams on Monarch Pass looked nasty, so we chose to go on I-70. That looked like a good decision until just short of Vail. With an electronic sign showing that Vail Pass was closed, we turned off at Minturn, drove in rain/snow mix for a few miles, then in heavy snow. At Leadville, we found that Fremont Pass was closed, and learned that Denver was getting hammered. We had planned to spend the night with friends in Denver- oops!, change in plan. A welcome beer (or two) and a burger at Rosie's in Leadville, then a little time to make a new plan, and time for bed.

We decided to by-pass Denver, which looked as though it could be unpleasant for a few days. The drive down the Arkansas Valley was easy, as was the climb up to South Park. Wilkerson Pass, on the other hand, was a mix of compact snow, slush, and wet pavement. Fun driving, and slow. But we eventually made it down to Colorado Springs, and out on to the Plains.

A half hour out of the Springs, the traffic came to a screeching halt. No warning. We didn't even get out of the car to check- the wind outside was blowing about 50 knots, right across our direction of travel. Apparently a semi had gotten sideways ahead of us, and blocked both sides of the four lane highway. After about a 30 minute delay, we were back on the road, but traffic was moving at about 25-35 miles per hour.

The weather cleared in Eastern Colorado, and was quite pleasant through Kansas and Nebraska. A late overnight in Council Bluffs, Iowa, set us up for an easy trip to Chicago on April 19.

We had a delightful day and a half with Tom and Donna Stone, part time Telluriders. Donna took us to Millennium Park to see Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" sculpture, and then to see an exhibit  of Eduard Munch paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Too soon, it was time to leave our friends and get back on the road. Watch TIO for the next stage of our Spring Trip.

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