5,000... 6,000... 7,000... (enjoy the view) 8,000... 9,000... (and more view) 10,000... 11,000... (if you think this was slow reading, going UP that high in Tillie gives "slow" a whole new meaning) Continental Divide and the Eisenhower Tunnel (thank you, thank you, thank you to the wonderful engineers who decided to go through rather than over!)
What goes up must come down, and so it was for us today. As we flew by the escapes for runaway trucks I did start to wonder if they would also work for Tillie. I also wondered if John had indeed checked those brake pads (but it was definitely NOT the time to ask). And I began to understand on some of those inclines how Sarah might have thought she'd seen a Madonna of the Mountains in her motorcycle days. (She kept thinking we'd find it in our outings with her but we never did...)
The west side of the Rockies looks very different than the other. The photo is of the Glenwood Canyon below Vale where you can go west by road, water (the Colorado) or railroad.
Finally we arrived in Rifle, filled Tillie with gas, and began our back country drive to Dinosaur, destination Salt Lake... which brings me to the next photo.
For those of you who bet Tillie was going to get off scott free in terms of repairs, you just lost. The alternator light began flickering (just before lunch of course). We decided perhaps we should make a stop in Meeker since the next mark on the map was 60 miles away. Everyone in Meeker (pop. 2,000) thinks we made the right decision. They just shake their heads when they think of breaking down in the back country of Utah. Tillie diagnosis - bad diodes (whatever they are) in the alternator. A new one has been ordered and should be there when the shop opens at 8 tomorrow. (I'm not sure how they're getting it since Meeker really is in the middle of nowhere, but I'm not going to argue.)
In the meantime Meeker has been a nice little town to visit. A wonderful museum (only closed 3 days a year so it was open for us to enjoy!), a great soda fountain, a nice place to stay just across the street from the repair shop (but then again everything is pretty close together here), very friendly folk. Meeker is home to the oldest annual rodeo in Colorado. This year is 125 so it's a really big deal when it happens over July 4th. Sheepdog trials in September that are, and I quote "the most prestigious in all sheepdogdom". (They sound like fun but hopefully we'll be on the road by then!)
The Meeker tourist info says it's 1,126 miles to Seattle. After all Tillie has been through it doesn't really seem that far away. We planned to make it to Boise tomorrow but...