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National Parks - 2010 Trip - Day 7

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Start Location: Hot Springs, SD
Ending Location: Burlington, CO
Miles Today: 350
Trip Miles: 2230
States Visited: 7
Provinces Visited: 0
Low Temp: 67.8° F
High Temp: 95.7° F
Min Elevation: 2273'
Max Elevation: 4381'

Route Map:


No amazing views or pictures today.  Today was just about riding.  We left The Black Hills this morning and headed for Nebraska, Colorado and the High Plains.  Wikipedia says "this region is known for the steady, and sometimes intense winds that prevail from the west" and we can attest to this although today they were more out of the southwest.  It was very windy all day and continues tonight.   It's amazing how much the wind affects mileage.  I think we get about 5 miles less per gallon on a day like today.

It takes much less time to cross Nebraska going North/South than it does going East/West - and that's a good thing.  There is not much to see other than farms, ranches, and graineries.  The most exciting thing we did was stop at a Walmart to pick up a couple of things we forgot - sunscreen (which we needed today) and a hat for me (which we needed yesterday).  Linda got so bored that she started counting train cars.  We followed a rail bed most of the day and we saw lots of coal cars going both ways, both full and empty.  On one train she counted 133 full coal cars.

Crossing into Colorado wasn't much better.  I should mention we followed Route 385 all day so we are actually on the far eastern edge of Colorado so no mountains yet.  The advantage to following roads like this is the lack of traffic - almost non-existent.  The disadvantage is that there's really not too much to see and the available stops are few and far between.  You really have to plan gas and rest stops well.

Tomorrow we head for The Great Sand  Dunes National Park.  We're not completely sure what to expect but we think it will a pretty quick stop.

Following that stop, we head into the Rockies and should have some great scenery.  After that we will have also completed the major stops we had planned for this trip and we will start playing it day to day.  We may visit Mesa Verde again and we will probably visit several of the 5 parks located in Southern Utah.  It will depend on how we feel and the weather.