Colorado National Monument
After a nice breakfast and saying goodbyes to Jared and Dana, we left SLC the afternoon of February 17th for the first of our two-leg, eight-hour drive to Aspen. We always like to make interesting side trips when traveling between ski areas, so 1der reached out to Josh, another SMB forum member who lives near the half-way point in Fruita, Colorado.
Fruita is west of Grand Junction, and a small, nice town with a fantastic rest area. It was the perfect place to boondock for the night; really quiet and safe, with excellent, clean facilities, and a Vietnam museum on the premises.
Luckily 1der was able to meet up with Josh for an early breakfast. Me? I happily stayed all warm and snuggly, snoozing in my comfy, puffy sleeping bag. I didn't wake up until 1der got back.
Great news: Josh recommended a beautiful scenic route that is a must-see "detour" starting right from town.
There are eight national monuments in Colorado that are managed by the National Parks Service and Bureau of Land Management, and it just so happens the one located in Fruita is actually called the Colorado National Monument.
This Monument is 32-square miles of stunning red rocks, dramatic rock formations and expansive canyons, all seen via an easy-to-drive, 23-mile route with numerous (19!) scenic overlooks. Of course there's a visitor center where we got Beastie's National Parks Passport stamped and watched an interesting film about the history and unique geology (that earned the nickname of "Tour of the Moon" given by cyclists) of the Monument.
We highly recommend taking this route and experiencing the Colorado National Monument. Thank you, Josh, for recommending it!
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