After 100 hours behind the wheel over the last few weeks, we’ve driven through a total of 13 states – and now we’re home. We took a week to drive to Aspen via South Dakota, then stayed in Aspen during the second week.
Summer weather is unpredictable in Colorado, and despite having mostly rainy days, we used the van to transport our bikes to trailheads for two beautiful trips, each over 20 miles. The first was on the Rio Grande trail between Basalt and Woody Creek, a rails-to-trails conversion that overlooks the Roaring Fork River. The second was on the Glenwood Canyon bike path that is sandwiched between I-70 and the Colorado River. Both paved trails are considered to be easy bicycling, though they would have been much easier without a few unexpected rain showers. Still, there were plenty of dry periods to enjoy nonstop mountain and canyon scenery along these trails.
We also had sunny weather for hiking in the Elk Mountains above Snowmass Village, and fortunately there’s a chairlift that took us to a trailhead at the 11,000-foot summit. The views from there include the Maroon Bells and other mountains in that range, and the entire hike features a wide variety of wildflowers this time of year.
The drive home from Aspen was more direct, though we spent some time in St. Louis to visit family and to see a Cards-Reds baseball game. Now that we’re back in Chapel Hill, I’ve had a chance to go through the photos and assemble the best ones in a “July 2015 Road Trip” collection, which will give you a sense for the scenery and wildlife we saw on our summer motorhome vacation.