rocky mountains, trail ridge road, us-34

Travel rest day – 130 miles – No Facebook at 12,090 feet

This is what I woke up to this morning. It made me wonder what the big hurry was. I’m there, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains…I decided to spend the day exploring the mountain pass – Trail Ridge Road (US-34).


Everyone I know who traveled cross-country told me US-34 is the most spectacular mountain pass in the US. Boy where they right! It may not be the Swiss Alps, but its an amazing sight. I took so many panoramic shots with my iPhone 6…I’m sure I annoyed some people. Or maybe they annoyed me – I’m watching these folks snapping photos…I mean, how do you own an iPhone 6 and not know how to do panoramic shots?! Ok, so I showed a few tourists how…


Start at Loveland, CO, and head west on US-34. Pay close attention to road signs, especially as you approach Estes Park, since the road splits off to US-36. You want to stay on US-34, but if you do make the wrong turn (raises hand), you can always circle back. It’s a good thing I bought a Rand McNally Road Atlas; no fun being at 12,090 feet and having no cell reception. 😉

Google Maps route for the US-34 scenic trip.

The roads are very well kept, but as you can imagine, there will be a LOT of turns and ups and downs. If you have a manual transmission, bravo! If you have an automatic, hopefully you have something like Honda’s D3 which forces the car to stay in low(er) gears, and prevents it from shifting excessively. It also helps on the downhills, since the engine will help modulate speed (translation: less worry about overheating brakes).

Tons of panoramic pictures to touch up and post, but not today. I’m pooped. Not sure what route I’m taking tomorrow. I’ll decide over breakfast. 🙂

chime, golf tee, pencil, world's biggest

410 miles – Breaking wind

How sad is it that the most exciting thing you see on the second leg of your cross country trip is a the “World’s Largest Wind Chime” in Casey, Illinois. How big? Over 50 feet. Ok there it is. Yea I pulled the rope. It was actually kind of cool.

Almost ran over a dog that a tourist accidentally let loose as he was taking a picture of the “World’s Largest Pencil”. Saw the “World’s Largest Golf Tee”, yadayada…I’ve got my eyes peeled for Paul Bunyan.

Staying at Comfort Inn, the “Only Smoke Free Hotel In eff’n Effingham”.