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Day #1: Flying to drive

Today, we left for Denver to embark upon an epic, two-week road trip to visit the remaining 11 states that Libby and I haven’t been to:


We flew out of Tampa at 7:30 (a little early for the girls), connected in Atlanta, and arrived in Denver a little after noon (local time). All went smoothly and were pleasant enough. Once in Denver, we grabbed our luggage and took the rental car shuttle to National, where we could once again “pick any car” in the Emerald Aisle. Emerson advocated for a Ford F-150, but we settled on a fairly nice Jeep Cherokee. It’s spacious enough and comfortable, though performance is a little underwhelming.

From the airport, we headed to a nearby Wal-Mart for some road trip supplies that I didn’t want to lug from Tampa. After our brief shopping escapade, we pointed the car north on I-25 driving parallel to the Front Range. Traffic was a little heavy up to Ft. Collins.

We arrived in Wyoming around 3:30 and stopped at their fairly impressive visitor center:

Southeastern Wyoming Visitor’s Center

Dee, the Mammoth

Emerson enjoying Wyoming

From there, we picked up I-80 and drove west across some scenic landscapes. I especially liked the area around Medicine Bow National Forest and Elk Mountain. We stopped in Laramie to pick up dinner and then drove on to Rawlins, where we overnighted in a new Fairfield Inn. Rawlins is a fairly small, unremarkable town that kind of smells of gasoline (presumably due to the nearby refinery?). But, it’s a practical stopover point about halfway between Denver and Grand Teton NP. 

All in all, a good if uneventful first day. 

Today’s box score: +2 states (Colorado, Wyoming) 

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