Friday, June 29, 2012

Day two of the absolutely epic adventure of a lifetime...

Today we drove through Kansas and Eastern Colorado.
Dad thinks that this is the mos boringest drive ever (or thought), but I was pleasantly surprised. Me, Eloise, had never ever been to a place without mountains or large hills, and so this was a new experience for me. It was beautiful, in a different way than the rocky majesties of the Colorado rockies, but awesome nonetheless.
The flatness is very hard to photograph without being at least ten feet in the air, or so I should think (no, mom, I DIDN'T try that), but I did catch a few photos of the fields after fields of waving golden grain shimmering in the seemingly never-ceasing Kansasian wind. From what I can tell, old ladies here are a) always working at Subway, and b) not the nicest old grannies. The tele tells us about people dying from the heat right here in the booming metropolis of Kansas City Kansas.
I think that the Missouri side would provide us with less drunk company, but as long as we keep the car locked and the blinds shut and the money-holders or anything of value hidden, I think and hope that we'll be ok.
There were many oil pumps (which positivity dad says drill two miles into the ground), cows, abandoned barns, cows, falling-over yellow farmhouses, cows, and even some horses. This is the land where cows are the people in new york city to their parakeets (the humans, that is); and how many people own parakeets in the city? The Eastern part of Kansas looked surprisingly like New York: hilly and covered in trees interspersed with some smaller farms.
Anyways, we're staying in a hotel where the pool has absolutely no water, the hot tub is a mosquito den, and the rooms smell like wet carpets. Oh, and you can't take a bath because the sticky uppy thingy is stuck in up.
Yep, that's us. But hey, at least we're not in the car anymore, right?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We got going a bit late, almost ten-thirty. The drive from Provo to Denver is eight solid hours, but it's a beautiful drive, as we found out today. The first part of the drive is through eastern Utah. Beautiful, like always. For the longest time there was absolutely nothing to see except, of course, the beautiful hills and vales of eastern Utah. The first two thirds of Colorado was like that as well.

And then it got good.

Colorado is famous for its mountainous mountains, and we experienced the majesty of feeling puny under the glare of evergreens.
And yes, it is majestic.
The drive is not an especially pleasant one for someone who gets carsick easily, but the view out of the window makes up for it. I-70 follows the colorado river through Colorado, through some pretty steep canyons.

One of these canyons leaves the road perched precariously in two levels, one going each way, with the Colorado running deep and slowly in between the two walls of rock covered in pine trees. This is the road that leads up to the highest elevation tunnel in the whole entire United States. Whoopydoo. It was beautiful, if slightly sickening because of the constant twisting and abrupt turning of the road.

Another part of the drive that struck us especially was one part when we were again following the Colorado and came across a hilly section before we hit the real mountains. As you should all know, there have been wildfires raging across Colorado and Utah and all those other states. We came across this stretch of road where we were probably within twenty miles at max of the fire. The whole air smelled, tasted, felt, and etc.d like smoke. gross, I know, but the cool part was seeing the way that the light filtered through the smoke-laden air, turning the world not only hazy but also pink and orange. We got some pretty radd photos of the air and the black and orange smoke clouds against the clear blue sky with puffy white clouds. Also, the river was changed as well: the light filtered first through the layers upon layers of smoke, and then through the muddy and slow-moving water to the bottom, but the water was turned purplish pinkish orangish muddish color. It was... ...spectacular.

Love you guys (I hope. there aren't any creepers reading this, right?)
See y'all in Kansas. Yay.

PS: 200 homes in Colorado Springs were lost to the fire, and 350 in some other city that I've already forgotten the name to. Scary.
 These are actually in backwards order, so the first are the mountains around Denver, and the last the mountains down at the end of the lake by the wind turbines at the opening of the canyon.
 Colorado reminded me of Oregon, all the green since no deciduous trees over some line and they're all evergreen.

 The smoke:

 I wasn't able to snap a photo of the river, but the smoke was pretty intense. You can't quite tell here how the whole state was smoggy.