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Things have gone much better since the last update on the “the Bad”. LOL.  No more sand rides or threats from Mother Nature to blow us off a cliff, but we have been delayed in Denver a few extra days waiting for parts for Sassy Pants.  A little bummed we’ve been delayed, but have a crushed front brake line.  Uh yeah… kind of important!

We had a fabulous time in the state of Utah (sans the crappy riding part).  Moab, Valley of the Gods, Scofield, Mt Nebo, Salt Lake City and Park City, but it was time to leave Utah and head to Colorado.

The cool thing about our travels is not having any real expectations of what we might find when we land for the night.   As we arrived in Vernal UT (a stone’s throw from Colorado border) we couldn’t help but notice a big event happening in the City Park.   BBQ’s, food, tons of balloons and flags, military vehicles, servicemen and what looked like the entire City.  Of course we turned in to check it out; this was right up our alley and we needed to know what was going on!  Turns out it was a going-away celebration for their local servicemen who were getting deployed to Afghanistan the next day.  Pretty damn cool.   A few speeches and dedications later, a countdown to release about 2000 balloons into the atmosphere ensued.   As cool as this was, my thoughts meandered to how much pollution and hazard this creates for wildlife, but I to let my mind forcus on the human element and what this event signified. This was just a quarter of them!

It was a free event and all were welcome, so with that said, we happily loaded up our plates and enjoyed the BBQ with all the fixin’s.  We found ourselves seated next to an elderly couple (Jack 93 & Melba 89) who had just been married 4 years.  Jack was a WWII veteran who was proud to say he landed on Omaha Beach, France in 1941.  We had a most enjoyable couple hours of conversation with these old souls and the pleasure was ours to share a meal and this awesome community event.

We continued the into Colorado hitting the Dinosaur National Monument Park, which is pretty astounding when you realize the earth was roaming with these giants; and a cool stay in Steam Boat Springs at a remote campsite on the river.

Rocky Mountain National Park didn’t let us down with its incredible beauty but the Pine Beatles have devastated the forests and thousdands of arcres of tree casualties as the result.   We could also see mushroom clouds of smoke from the Ft Collins forest fire raging over the mounting range, which has claimed over180 houses. The high alpine tundra at the park was fantastic (and cold!) with snow fields at eye level.  The road to the Alpine visitor center is the highest elevation paved road in North America at over 12,000 feet.  Im sure you could have gone a lifetime without knowing this llittle tidbit, but what the heck…

A short distance after we exited the park, we found ourselves swerving into a campground for the night that had Tepees.  Right freakin on!  I’ve been waiting for this.  These teepees were used in the film Dances with Wolves, one of my favorite movies.  I let my imagination wander and thought of how it might have been to actually live in one these.  Hello!!… suppose it can’t be all that different than living in a tent.

Since then landed in Denver area and have had a great time catching up with some of Tad’s friends who have been gracious to put us up for a few nights.  There’s been no shortage of  laughs, shenanigans and discovering fake reptiles and bloody fingers planted in our bed and belongings.   But I think the highlight was celebrating the 3 amazing dads at a fantastic BBQ on Father’s Day.   Dads rock!

As great as these stops are, we find after a couple days anywhere,  we’re excited and anxious to get back on the road and continue the journey.  What will tomorrow bring?  We have no idea and that’s exactly how we like it.