Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Epic Expedition: In The Middle

They say everything is bigger in Texas. I’m not sure if that’s true but I can tell you that we covered some serious mileage in that state. After spending a day and a half in the Dallas – Fort Worth area it was time to brave the desolation of west Texas. There’s not much to look at but miles of dry open space with a few cotton and hay fields for good measure. 

Amarillo was nice enough to welcome us by late afternoon. The famed Big Texan Steak Ranch was on our list of roadside stops. If you can eat the 72 oz. steak dinner in one hour, it’s free. As much as I like a free meal, that one just wasn’t worth the digestive cost.

After driving 712 miles through the state of Texas alone, we crossed into The Land of Enchantment as the sun was sinking. I do believe those are bullet holes in the welcome sign. New Mexico isn’t very enchanting to me but what do I know?   

Next up, Colorado - and a weeklong pause. Taking the southern route from Raton, NM, we stopped at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The wheels stopped rolling while we stayed at Leah’s parents home. The Parker ranch sits at the base of Grand Mesa, in Cedaredge Colorado. This sleepy town holds the paradox of being so far from my current life and yet it’s still so much a part of who I am. This valley and the surrounding mountains are branded on me.

Autumn in the Rockies is like the grand finale of fireworks on the 4th of July. The month of October is when the hills explode in 3-D color. The rugged peaks slide into winter with a dazzling display. Gold, red, orange, and brown are woven like ribbons among the evergreens.

Hiking the largest flat-topped mountain in the world was an afternoon delight.

360 degrees of breathtaking views filled each morning and evening.

With that, our stay in colorful Colorado has come to an end. The last leg of this journey is straight ahead. 

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