July 27, 2016
Whoa, it’s Day 4 of our road trip!
It had been a long but very enjoyable trip. We woke up to a beautiful morning in Vail, had breakfast in the village, and then made a quick trip up the mountain on the gondola. From the top we took in the sights of the gorgeous mountain ranges and took a few pictures before getting back on the gondola to return to town.
This was absolutely stunning! Vail has so many things to do even in the summer: trails for hiking and biking, obstacle courses, terrain adventure rides and much more. (Vail Discovery Park) We would have loved to experience more of these activities while there, but time was quickly slipping away from us as we needed to be in Turlock by the next day and still had a few other places on our to-do list. #16hourstogo
Leaving Vail, Colorado we made our way further west towards our next destination-Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Along the way, we had a couple crazy and unexpected adventures.
A segment of Interstate 70 West closed just hours before we were going to leave. In the Mid-West it would have been no big deal with country roads and state highways crisscrossing nearly every square mile; but in the mountains, it became a big deal. Instead of following the designated detour, which was quite out-of-the-way, our GPS took us off the beaten path onto a 20 mile, one-lane dirt path!! Let’s just say Grant was trucking up and down that mountain laughing along the way. I thought I was going to tumble off the side as he whipped around the sharp corners or die as we came head on to other vehicles several times! I was definitely flipping out but he said he had it under control!
After 15 miles of that chaos he whipped around one turn and abruptly stopped. We came upon a line of vehicles waiting to get around two semis that tried taking the dirt path (going east) and had FAILED. I mean come on people, a semi on a narrow, winding dirt path!!! We were literally in a traffic jam on the side of a mountain!! After about 5 minutes everyone was out of their vehicle checking to see what was going on.
In all reality we could have made it past the stuck semi (top left photo), but the sheriff on site wouldn’t let anyone because we would have been dangerously close to the edge. We waited about one hour as the semi driver worked to back his trailer up the side of the mountain. He finally got out-of-the-way and we could pass! This whole process was quite hysterical!
Ok so after sitting in the heat for that long we started getting hungry for lunch. We made our way to the nearest town with inhabitants to find a place to eat. We had heard that Colorado is known for their Mexican food, so we thought it would be fun to find an authentic Mexican place along the way. What we apparently missed was that Colorado is known for their terrible Mexican food! lol Let me warn you…if you ever choose to eat at a random Mexican restaurant along side of the road, you do so at your own risk! It looked totally edible from the outside. 😉 It had numerous vehicles in the lot and a brightly painted exterior which told us it was going to be your typical small-town Mexican restaurant, so we thought! We sat down and flipped open that menu to find some gross pics of baby octopus as one of their main features! #quicklyturnthepage Ok so it’s fine, they might have some nasty looking octopus but we will find something good, right?! Wrong! We ordered the Carnita Tacos, still high hopes until they sat the plate in front of us and out pours some disgusting looking meat. Looked like it was straight from the can. #spam Ok so the pic doesn’t do justice…
I couldn’t get myself to even eat one. I had a bite and it tasted like the farm. Not even sure how that happens. So that was our lunch adventure!
Back on the road again and we headed towards Arches National Park. I fell asleep and happen to randomly wake up to Grant pulling off the interstate onto another dirt path!! What is this road trip turning into?! #LewisandClark I managed to get this about-to-be horrible situation straightened out. Here is the scenario—Grant blindly following the GPS, dirt path, road sign that says no service stations for 47 miles, and our fuel light blinking LOW FUEL. Yet Grant was going to take us down that path had I not woken up. I looked up the closest gas station and it was 18 miles down the interstate. Our fuel light had already been on for a while before this point, so we weren’t sure if we were going to make it. Grant got us back on the interstate and we proceed to go 55 mph in an 80 mph zone. We turned off the air conditioning and prayed that we would make it because by this time we are in Utah in the middle of the desert and it was 101 degrees! We did make it to the gas station and everything was ok but whew was that a close one. 🙂
We finally made it to Arches National Park! This was the one place that Grant was ecstatic to see! He was so giddy to see the new topography and I just enjoyed seeing how excited he was about this new place!
We drove through the park and stopped at the different points of interest along the way! The first one was my favorite…”Courthouse Towers.”
…while Grant really loved the last, which was the main attraction, “Delicate Arch.”
Ok so back on the road again. It was about 7:30pm and we were still in the middle of the desert! Let’s just say if you ever drive through Utah, remember to pack a meal! There is literally nothing for miles. It’s a weird experience, especially when you are used to food, gas, shopping or something at every exit like in Indiana. Looking ahead on the route I ended up finding a town two hours away with some restaurants. So we trekked on towards this little town called Salina, Utah where we found an old-fashioned drive-in that was open until 10pm. We made it just in time to order some food and a milkshake of course! It was a fun experience, but made me thankful for HOME!!!
Next, we ventured towards Nevada where we still hadn’t decided where to stay. Basically our options were drive four hours to Las Vegas or two hours to Mesquite, Nevada. We really love spending time in Vegas but with it being a long road trip and not having much time to waste, we opted to stay at the less exhausting place-Mesquite. Located just beyond the Nevada border, Mesquite seemed to be like every other Nevada town, not a lot happening besides the flashing lights of the casinos. But it was great for us as a quick stay–checked in at 3:30am and out at 9:00am.
The end of day 4!