Driving I-70 — Grand Junction, Colorado to Colby, Kansas
March 23, 2020
I logged 475 miles today. I perhaps could have gone further but truck stops along I70 seem to be spread out. So I ducked into a Pilot Travel Center at 730 pm (CST) and called it a day.
The drive on I70 from Grand Junction to Denver is special. Lots of engineering went into building that segment. The Department of Transportation (lists the construction of I-70 among the engineering marvels undertaken in the Interstate Highway system, and cites four major accomplishments: the section through the Dakota Hogback, Eisenhower Tunnel, Vail Pass and Glenwood Canyon. The Eisenhower Tunnel, with a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet (3,401 m) and length of 1.7 miles (2.7 km), is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point along the Interstate Highway System. The portion through Glenwood Canyon was completed on October 14, 1992. This was one of the final pieces of the Interstate Highway System to open to traffic, and is one of the most expensive rural highways per mile built in the United States. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) earned the 1993 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for the completion of I-70 through the canyon.
When the Interstate Highway system was in the planning stages, the western terminus of I-70 was proposed to be at Denver. The portion west of Denver was included into the plans after lobbying by Governor Edwin C. Johnson, for whom one of the tunnels along I-70 is named. East of Idaho Springs, I-70 was built along the corridor of U.S. Highway 40, one of the original transcontinental U.S. Highways. West of Idaho Springs, I-70 was built along the route of U.S. Highway 6, which was extended into Colorado during the 1930s.
Lots of ski slopes owe their business to I-70.
Once I got past Denver, it was the High Plains. The road isn’t completely flat and straight but pretty close to it!
This is my first time ever in Kansas. Pretty cool since the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.. (sarcasm).
A couple other items to note. I haven’t seen a Dollar General in a couple of days; Family Dollar is the store in this area apparently (my reference is to Colorado). Been a long time since Ive seen a Sinclair gas station (along with the green dinosaurs). But there are some in Colorado (and I think Arizona, too).
Enjoy the photos (and two videos):
The snow cleared up by the time I got to Denver. And the temperature increased from 32 degrees to 57 degrees.
Once I got out of Denver, I had fun with the Colorado blue sky and the big puffy white clouds.
First, a short video: