Day 4 Drive: Keystone, SD to Castle Rock, CO

Up at quarter to six this morning so we could hit the road early. This was mainly because we had to drive through Denver this afternoon, and we wanted to be way ahead of rush hour. We had the car packed before the breakfast buffet even opened. Lost a few minutes at the front desk, because somebody had emptied the cash drawer into the safe, and they couldn’t make change. C had already countersigned a traveler’s cheque, so we couldn’t just switch to plastic. Aforementioned somebody had to get out of bed and drive to work to open the safe. Turned out it was the same pleasant young man who had told us how to get to the Conoco station that was actually a Phillips 66.

Another cool morning with bright skies. Yesterday’s showers didn’t amount to much, and they didn’t even begin until we were done touring and on our way back to the hotel. We heard some distant thunder in the evening, but the car stayed reasonably clean.

Traffic was light at first, we would often go more than two minutes before seeing another car. Still cool and breezy when we stopped for lunch near Chuggington, WY. They have a Chili fest next month.

Wyoming, around lunchtime.

After that we got sucked into a sort of gravity well as we entered Colorado and Denver’s commuter belt, and traffic got steadily heavier. Our mission was simple: stay on I-25. There was really only one place where we could have picked the wrong lane, and Dingbat was on it with his ‘Garmin Lane Advisor’ five kilometers in advance. There was a big delay after we passed some construction signs, and people started changing lanes all over the place. There was no clearly preferred lane, so we just stuck to of the middle ones. Turns out there had been an accident, and left was better, but we managed. After that, it was plain sailing.

Hotel very nice, and staff gave explicit directions on how to reach a supermarket that you can actually see from the parking lot. Michael explained how to use the overpass without getting sucked onto the Interstate, and correctly identified not one, but two gas stations. Take that, Somebody.

Also found Bubbles Liquor World, which is larger than our Shoppers Drug Mart. A helpful guy offered, um, help. I asked if they might have any Swanson Merlot. I always ask that. The answer is always no. Not today – Score! After that, we let him steer us towards one or two other wines.

LLLPotD: Arkansas, right here at the hotel. We see about four Alaska plates for every Arkansas, and probably two Texans.

Now Michael, archangel of the front desk, is fixing us up with a taxi. He has ears like Prince Charles and I do. They’re not just for hearing, they’re cooling fins for a supercomputer. Mine, anyway, I can’t speak for HRH.

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