Pups Go West 2012 – Day 2

On the road before dawn, we were heading west again excited at the thought of seeing terrain other than cornfields. There’s something magic about early morning light, pre-dawn is my favorite time of day. Driving across Nebraska on I-80 has never been a favorite trip of mine, but hundreds of deer grazing and male turkeys puffed up trying to impress the ladies made this morning transit special. To my surprise, we even saw a large bull elk trotting down the side of the road!!

Because I wanted to stop at Sierra Trading Post in Cheyenne, Wyoming I deviated from my normal route to Utah (to Denver on I-76) and stuck to I-80 through the panhandle of Nebraska. I was pleasantly surprised…western Nebraska was much more scenic than I expected. I found a rest stop just outside Sidney (home of Cabelas – we didn’t stop…booo) to let the pups take care of business and play a bit of frisbee.

Looking West


Pulling into the main Sierra Trading Post, I chuckled at the Campstool Rd. sign…how many times had I seen that address on packages that landed on my doorstep?!?! Thankfully, it wasn’t hot out, the dogs would be fine in the Jeep chewing on their elk antlers. I could have spent a fortune in there but pared my haul down to a belt, a pair of shorts and some wool socks…all necessities right πŸ™‚

South on I-25 toward Ft. Collins Colorado, I had my sights set on one of my favorite non-Michigan brewery…New Belgium!! Unfortunately, by the time I got there it was too hot to leave the beasts in the car so I just drove by and waved – pretty cool looking place at any rate.

Have I ever mentioned, I hate driving in Denver? Well, I do…hate, hate, hate it!! I remember being a kid in back of my parent’s navy blue 1982 Escort station wagon with huge semi trucks blowing past the little car like it was standing still. I also remember my sister, who was 5 at the time, flooding the tub at a small Denver motel and as my mom was sopping up the mess ran out of the room, naked (eventually a nice stranger brought her back)…sorry Liss, had to tell that story even though it has nothing to do with driving πŸ˜‰

Through the mayhem, my excitement mounted as I saw the foothills rising into peaky, snow-covered mountains. Any anger accumulated by drying through the chaotic Denver metroplex were wiped when I reached the Eisenhower Tunnel. I love tunnels (feels like warp speed), though I wasn’t on a motorcycle, I had to whoop and holler, Yukon and Mira adding their excited barks to the nuttiness!

Pushing further west, it was exciting seeing the terrain transition from tree covered mountains to rusty colored desert sand and rocks. We pulled into Moab around 6 pm, not a clue where we were sleeping for the evening. It’s always so exciting to see those tall red rock walls and the snow covered La Sals looming over the cool little desert town. I checked the campground that I had brought the dogs to before (Williams Bottom), full, as were each of the small campgrounds along 279 (Potash Rd.) At least I was able to catch some glimpses of the familiar roadside rock art and the rock climbers that frequent the red rock walls along this stretch of road.

Down Kane Creek Blvd, I passed Moonflower Canyon and Hunter’s Canyon, disappointed that both were full. On the way back, I noticed an open field campground along the Colorado River – not ideal, but it’d have to do. A quick buzz into town for some ice and BEER (yep, beer…in Utah) – a six pack of one of my favorite Utah beers, Polygamy Porter from Squatter’s Brewery in Salt Lake City.

Woohoo, our first fire of the trip, after a futile attempt to cook bacon (it was charcoal)!! It felt nice sitting by the fire with an endless number of stars over our heads. Alas, the night had to come to an end, time to test out our makeshift motorhome. The three of us loaded up into the Jeep, covered the windows and settled in for the night, Mira deciding she needed to sleep ON my feet instead of her comfy dog bed.


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