Moab, here we come! It’s always exciting to start an extended road warrior trip. We begin by driving from Toronto west to Moab, Utah. You can check out other parts of our 6 week trip at Coast to Coast USA
New Buffalo, Michigan
Our first overnight was in New Buffalo, Michigan on the south end of Lake Michigan off I-94. Cathy suggested we pull off the interstate early and drive along the lake front road to find someplace interesting for dinner. This was a brilliant idea. Mesa Luna served us an excellent dinner of fresh Lake Superior yellow perch, ‘Michigan pickles’ and some local craft beer. Try this restaurant. It smoothed out a rather tough day of rain, cold, wind and potholes. After dinner, we drove a couple of miles to Warren Dunes State Park. The sun was starting to set. The late March wind was howling off of Lake Michigan building up the Park’s famous sand dunes.
Our second overnight was in Omaha. What is remarkable about this day’s drive west on I-80 is that we were in five states – Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. It’s still cold and windy, however sunny which makes all the difference. What else? We watched an older car burn on the side of the road which was a first for us since 1975 when our new VW caught fire on a Pittsburgh road. And we went to Buffalo Wings and Rings in Omaha to watch Michigan State beat Duke to get to the Final Four. I am a Michigan fan, however after Purdue lost, I have to cheer for the last Big Ten team still in play.
Platte River, Nebraska
Its a long haul across Nebraska from Omaha to the Colorado border. Our timing was perfect. We witnessed the annual early spring gathering of thousands of Sandhill Cranes on the Platte River near Kearney, Nebraska.
Our third night on the road was in Golden, Colorado, just west of Denver. We all know that Golden is the home of the original Coors brewery. A few things we learned on our tour. Most Coors brands are brewed in different locations in the USA. The exception is their first beer Coors Banquet. It is only brewed in Golden with water from the aquifer under the brewery. And across all of its brands, Coors brews the equivalent of 3.1 million 6-packs per day. Our favourite was the Colorado Native amber lager. Later we walked through the historic town centre. We dined at the Old Capital Grill on Washington Street and admired the bronze statues along Clear Creek.
Across the Vail Pass and down the Colorado River to Moab
This was day 4 of our drive west with the goal to get to Moab. The snow was still deep on the Loveland and Vail Passes west of Denver with lots of skiers about. We have had our fill of winter in Toronto, and so continued west on I -70. Just before Moab, we stopped at Dead Horse Point State Park to take in the famous view of the Colorado River running through the canyon 2000 feet below. There is a good legend about why its called Dead Horse Point – check it out!