May 20; A Change of Plans

In yesterday’s post I alluded to the elevation at Estes Park- our rv park was around 7,500 feet in elevation, and in town was slightly lower. Today after our early morning tour we were supposed to continue on to Wyoming on our way ultimately to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

When we arrived in Jellystone Park on Tuesday we had noticed that Von, our driver, seemed less peppy than usual. He was kind of huffing and puffing as he did his normal work, attaching our electricity, water and sewer at the campground. We have struggled with altitude sickness before, and encouraged him to drink extra water. He went off to his cabin and we texted a few times over the next 36 hours. What we didn’t know was how bad he was feeling. On Wednesday while we were out sightseeing he went to a local Dr. who gave him an inhaler to help with his breathing. 

This morning when we saw Von, it was obvious he was still suffering at the high altitude, so we quickly switched gears and changed our itinerary. With the quick help of our travel agent, who behind the scenes has made this whole trip possible, we canceled our drive through Wyoming and went south. We went back to Boulder and then took Hwy 70, with an overnight near Grand Junction, CO.

Little did we know that this detour would provide the most spectacular scenery of our trip. Hwy 70 follows the Colorado River through a 12.5 mile canyon known as Glenwood Canyon. The canyon is narrow, and you are close enough as you drive to watch people as they raft in the river. The canyon walls are tall, with layer upon layer of rocks.

The Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon.

Before we went on this trip I had a conversation with a friend who is an experienced RVer. She said that after a week I would want a break from the RV and suggested a stay in a hotel. Our quick change of plans allowed us to do this. There is a part of my daily routine that I have been really missing.

As we texted with our travel agent, I said it’s okay if you can’t find a campsite for tonight- we can stay in a hotel. Especially if that hotel has a bathtub. She found one!

Near Grand Junction the rock cliffs have changed to sandstone, and this cliff towered above the hotel. There were numerous rocks on the ground next to the freeway as we drove, and some that had even crossed the freeway. Someone decided to grow grapes here, and there are several wineries in a row. The wines were quite good. 

It is dry and arid here, but the grapes produce nice wine. I assume that what rain does fall here collects right here under the vineyard.
The gazebo at Wine Country Inn, with sandstone cliff in the distance. Some of the rocks looked like they could topple at any minute.

By the time we got back down to the lower elevation Von felt fine, and we all had a great night of sleep. Perry and I were exhausted after our two early morning excursions, and that bathtub exceeded my expectations as we each soaked before a full 10 hour of sleep.

Raring to go, we hit the road on the way to Perry, UT!


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