Today's drive was shorter than other days have been, about 320 miles. But it certainly was not less interesting. I-70 between Denver and Grand Junction is a huge improvement over previous highways to cross the Continental Divide.
- The Eisenhower-Johnson tunnels at the Loveland Pass took 11 years to build (1968-1979) at an elevation around 11,100 feet. These tunnels save about an hour on the drive across Colorado.
- When we crossed the Vail Pass, it was still like winter. There was snow everywhere.
- And the stretch of highway through the Glenwood Canyon has quite an intersting history. Construction of this 12 mile section of I-70 was begun in the 1960s, but was halted due to environmentalists protests. It took about 30 years to resolve the controversy and the highway wasn't completed until Oct 1992. Special blasting techniques had to be developed to prevent interference with the existing railroad. It has the distinction of being the most costly rural freeway in the US. The view through the canyon is fantastic.
- We also noticed interesting sights around Rulison, CO. Turns out there was a nuclear test project there in 1969. The DOE cleaned things up there pretty well.
We saw temperatures ranging from 46 to 81, too. All in all - a fun day!!