RMH I — Day One : St. Louis to Colby KS (603mi)

“Kansas?” Yep, Kansas.

I’ve been running myself a little ragged at work, and haven’t had a good restful time off in a while, so I decided I needed to get away for a while. I’ve had an itch to scratch, something to look for, and travel is the medicine I need. Becky was able to broker an opportunity to stay at her brother’s condo in Fraser CO for a week of fun at Rocky Mountain National Park. Today was the first leg of that journey, and the first “big trip” I’ve taken solo in well over four years.

I opted for a long drive today, thinking that having a shorter drive as I make the crossing through/over the Rockies would be smart. They kicked my butt last year when we went to Moab, and I’m bound and determined not to let that happen again. And a shorter drive means that I can take some “smell the roses” opportunities in the mountains on my way to Fraser.

The drive out was pretty uneventful, as it always is. There’s just no way to go west from St. Louis without having to eat hundreds and hundreds of miles of somewhat uninteresting terrain, slowly climbing in elevation through the day. Today, I climbed from almost 600 feet to just over 3000 feet here in Colby. Within three or four hours of leaving here tomorrow, I’ll find myself at the Eisenhower Pass, just over 11,000 feet in elevation. Tomorrow will be a big day.

I just get all kinds of goofy when I start heading west. I love the feel and aura, mystery and romance of the western part of this great country. I can’t help but be drawn to it. In my adult life, I’ve always been a bit of a nomad, and this stint of fifteen years in St. Louis is the longest I’ve stayed anywhere since I left the nest — longest by a great, great big amount. That kind of sitting still leads to big, hard to scratch itches to roam around. And that leads to my big road trips.

Tomorrow, I will begin to see the mountains, and I’ll start to feel my heart pounding with anticipation. I cannot wait until I return to the mountains, and start exploring.