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I-70 West

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

I didn't think I'd start driving west by driving east, but I forgot my bike. I always do this.

Ahead of us laid roughly 3 days of post-summer pavement and I had to drive 30 minutes in the wrong direction first. But beyond that laid the ultimate adventure—a 30 day road trip through the American Southwest. Figure we could spare an extra half-hour.

Adrenaline masked the thought of spending the next 70 hours whizzing through corn fields. But that's the straightest way to the portal of the rocky, wild and wide-open landscape. I had carefully estimated the amount of empty highway between stops across the next 3 days. And there was a lot of it. But I didn't even need directions: I-70 the entire way to Denver, plus a little more. Lots of driving, and not much time for fooling around as we planned to speed through the Heartland. Dave was the ultimate co-pilot. A wild-minded adventurer with more curiosity than the Mars Rover. And an experienced outdoorsman, cyclist, and world traveler. I didn't think we needed to scrutinize the details of it. Just go west.

Roadside eats. Somewhere near State College.

Overlooking the city of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

We finally busted through the rain and fog and hit Pittsburgh. The matriarch and patriarch of our side of the family were born and raised here. That connection combined with my carefully mapped-out logistics made it the perfect landing spot for night one.

The modernized version of my grandfathers old office.

The smokey Appalachian landscape feels like the end of what could be considered the East coast. It starts to feel like the Midwest somewhere in the middle of Ohio.

Road coffee

On the other side of Columbus, we require more caffeine. It's Halloween.

The gateway arch was wildly impressive. Took a stroll through the park for about an hour, and ate some leftovers from the cooler. My engine needs a break as much as we do. But, St. Louis wasn't very exciting so after a quick look around, we hit the road again.

We blew through Kansas City and drove on into the night, finally snagging a few hours of sleep just south of Manhattan, KS.

Whole lotta nothin'.

We stopped in to see some friends in Denver. And powered through some snow squalls as we climbed over 8,000 feet. Over the pass we reached Summit County. The sun poked through and we checked out the picturesque mountain towns. We grabbed a beer, hit up a grocery store for a snack, and got back on the road.

Let's get to Utah a day ahead of schedule.

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(c) 2024 Nick Gianetti

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