June 21, 2010

Day 13: Colby, KS to Cortez, CO (550 miles, 11 hours)

With not a trace of rain to be found, we made good time through the remainder of Kansas. As we headed south and west the terrain became significantly flatter and more arid, first with wheat replacing corn and soybeans, then wheat giving way to range land (above). All through Kansas I was impressed by the ruggedly beautiful and somewhat untamed feel of the landscape. I snagged a few stray stems of wheat to make a small nosegay (below).

In Colorado things got decidedly drier and more desert-like.  As we approached the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains, we were greeted with a very large forest fire just to the north (below). We pressed on and were very happy and proud when Buck the Subaru made it over a 10,500 foot pass, surrounded by breathtaking alpine views (tragically not captured on film).

When we arrived in Cortez, CO, I was very happy to see that the motel I had picked out (based on the friendly phone-manners of the inn keeper) displayed a terrifically gaudy, but well maintained, sign (below). I consider this type of signage to be indicative of good lodgings, and luckily this incident supported my theory.

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