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Old 01-10-2012, 09:38 AM
 
2,438 posts, read 3,268,167 times
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Yikes! I'm kinda scared for you. Make sure you travel on roads that you know people travel on in the winter. Don't just follow your GPS. Also be careful of heading down any forest service roads that you may get stranded on and no one will find you. Think about bringing a SPOT GPS. It's a satellite emergency locator beacon that will work where your cell phone will not. On most roads in the mountains you won't have cell service. Only when you get to the ski areas will you have connectivity. Make sure you always have plenty of food and warm clothes in the car for you and the dog. If you do end up in a blizzard or something remember it is always safest to stay with the car and not to try to hike for help. Let someone, like your hotel or family, know your route every day and then check back in with them when you get back.

If your staying with the ski towns and such you'll be fine as those will be well traveled roads. I just got scared reading about you looking for adventure in the mountains in the winter.

Don't forget some dog booties and a doggy winter ski jacket for your dog. Sweaters and such can get wet. We have one made of ski pants like material which stays dry and toasty even in the coldest and wettest snows. My dogs hate booties though and they can only be out for a couple of minutes before they start lifting their paws in the coldest weather.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Arlington, Va
236 posts, read 394,879 times
Reputation: 132
that's excellent... never seen it surely. I am now thinking I will stay on 50 heading west of Pueblo (less snow in the south right?) then either to 24North to Vail then back into Denver. This quadrant looks pretty good for kicking around in for a couple weeks, I am even thinking now to stay on 50W to Grand Junction then start heading my way east on 70.

I guess I just don't know what to expect, I am aware of being perceived as a greenhorn (which I am to that state) but I watched Survivorman before
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:09 AM
 
103 posts, read 343,974 times
Reputation: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Artifact View Post
because RT.50 runs into it, or old rt.50.

it is the only time I have, this came suddenly and I have to go with it. I have done plenty of four wheeling and I already own chains and straps which will surely be in the boot of the rental.
Cosmic Artifact.....great choice that Highway 50....So many people think this Great Country was built around Interstates!!! Amazing that anyone would want to travel on something that isn't. Especially on a 3,073 mile Highway that is renowned in other countries.

Just as an FYI, a German Author and Film Maker, Klaus Beer published a beautiful, full color book about Hiway 50. Go to
Terra-Film | Bildband: Highway 50 for a link to it. (May not be clickable)

Little hard to read, as it is in German, but if you want to see a copy...stop in La Junta....we are featured in it and I have one in my office.

No matter what....travel safe and enjoy Colorado.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
12,843 posts, read 23,222,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Artifact View Post
(less snow in the south right?)
Not necessarily.

It could be anywhere, of varying intensity, at any time.

US 50 goes through Monarch Pass and Gunnison.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Arlington, Va
236 posts, read 394,879 times
Reputation: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
Yikes! I'm kinda scared for you. Make sure you travel on roads that you know people travel on in the winter. Don't just follow your GPS. Also be careful of heading down any forest service roads that you may get stranded on and no one will find you. Think about bringing a SPOT GPS. It's a satellite emergency locator beacon that will work where your cell phone will not. On most roads in the mountains you won't have cell service. Only when you get to the ski areas will you have connectivity. Make sure you always have plenty of food and warm clothes in the car for you and the dog. If you do end up in a blizzard or something remember it is always safest to stay with the car and not to try to hike for help. Let someone, like your hotel or family, know your route every day and then check back in with them when you get back.

If your staying with the ski towns and such you'll be fine as those will be well traveled roads. I just got scared reading about you looking for adventure in the mountains in the winter.

Don't forget some dog booties and a doggy winter ski jacket for your dog. Sweaters and such can get wet. We have one made of ski pants like material which stays dry and toasty even in the coldest and wettest snows. My dogs hate booties though and they can only be out for a couple of minutes before they start lifting their paws in the coldest weather.
I will be using common sense here though I would also like to get to some isolation. I have only gps on an iphone but my laptop is loaded now with MS Streets to Delorme Navigator.

Main thing is I see now I am going to have to check weather patterns as I am nearing the state. We have been looking in different towns at the weather channel and from what everyone here is warning about (snow ect.) I am getting not much of that from the weather channel. Conditions change very rapidly I suppose.

Thanks for the pointers and we will let others know specially if we decide to venture off down atleast one service road just a little bit atleast. You guys here will more than likely get updates too
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:35 AM
 
20,314 posts, read 37,815,914 times
Reputation: 18102
I would ignore Rt50 if I were the OP, it will take a week to get here via driving through the heart of every big city along the way, as Rte 50 does. I've taken it from Western MD to Cincinnati to follow the old rail lines and it's slow going.

Take I-70 straight through to Denver, it's the place to see and then you can drive I-70 up to the mountains and see some of the best scenery in the nation. Before driving in the high country, check the weather reports for cities along the way, if it calls for snow, spend the day in Denver as I-70 may well be too dangerous or even closed by the COLO DOT.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,628 posts, read 9,119,997 times
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Cosmic, yes weather patterns can change very rapidly. Be aware that most storms move from west to east, so that would help you in planning when to be out on the road. I like the weather forecasts on Weather Underground.

The best advice that you can follow was given by another poster. That is to check the Colorado Department of Transportation website as often as you can. They have real-time road conditions, and you don't want to head off over a mountain pass if the roads are bad. The Rockies are NOTHING like what you're used to back east (I'm from there, too).
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Arlington, Va
236 posts, read 394,879 times
Reputation: 132
I found the CDOT very valuable and I am glad I posted... this came suddenly as I've said and I have to go with it. I am sure the front range is going to be intimidating at first sight and I always respect mother nature since I survived a direct hit from a tornado when I was 9 years old in western PA. I am planning on covering as much ground in the state as I can and I also understand now I think of how different the environments are from south to the north of the state... see in VA you can travel the length and width of the state and you are still in the exact same environmental conditions. Foremost I suppose this is a sight seeing trip, I've lived on and just off of RT50 all my life and the road has tremendous history and I think I may stick to that whim. I have eyed out all the beltways until st Louis and that is where I am having a time at deciding. I guess this is a start at the north or the south of the state thread really...
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,908,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Artifact View Post
it keeps coming up at the NW top of your state.
Move that over to the North-Central part of the State (route 125 and the town of Walden) and you'll see some amazingly beautiful country. It's a very expansive, high-elevation grasslands surrounded on all sides by beautiful mountains including the famous Medicine Bow mountains on the Wyoming border.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:36 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,840,209 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink US 50 & beyond as road trip

There is a lot to be said for traveling the Blue Highways, thus a certain romantic sense in US 50 and other such off the beaten track paths. Depends in part on time, too, so if wishing to make up time the interstates are usually faster, if not often as memorable.

I-70, from Denver west, is an exception. A beautiful route through the mountains, and memorable from Grand Junction to Denver. Also, perhaps advantageously, a relatively easy and swift route from one side of the mountains to the other. Save in truly inclement weather, in which case it and all other roads another matter.

This being winter, as has been pointed out, conditions can be variable. Most roads are currently fairly clear, as this region sharing the deficit this greater nation has had in snow. But there is certainly some in the mountains, and possibly of more at any given moment. So unless liking blizzards, probably best to wait out any storm encountered (anywhere) at a suitable hotel. But given the present trend and forecasts, you just might accomplish this within a mild weather window. And maybe not. By the way, if it does snow, it may not be so much Colorado, but driving all the way back east which will be the pain.

US 50 can have a certain charm, and for that reason alone enough reason to take it through the mountains of Colorado. Certainly some lovely scenery along the way, and all the more as it is so relatively lightly traveled and developed along this road. Once out West, though, and anywhere wandering on secondary roads, be aware of the distances involved between towns and services, such as fuel.

Not to send you down an avalanche chute or anything, but southwestern Colorado contains a whole lot more scenery than the northwestern part of the state. So looping around in one manner or another might be in order from US 50. The route between Ouray and Durango on US 550 is particularly mountainous and scenic. And particularly in winter challenging if not prepared for that type of thing. So perhaps a bit more word of warning than the chamber of commerce might provide.

In any event, do remember that I-70 through such towns as Vail and Silverthorne is a great drive, aside from any idiotic drivers. If and when in the vicinity of Denver, then there are other sights as well. Naturally most all the towns of any size, and population of Colorado, should you care about such things. But only a relatively short distance northwest of there the town of Estes Park, directly adjacent to that jewel Rocky Mountain National Park. Since winter, Trail Ridge Road across the center of the park, and highest point of 12,183 feet, is not open. But several roads of this ever lovely park park always open on the east side (to an extent on the far west side as well). One could still content themselves with a quite scenic drive up to the trailhead at Bear Lake, at about 10,000 feet.

Estes Park and RMNP are so grandly scenic that if you do not take more than a few pictures, then obviously caring nothing for photography. Although in one measure or another this holds true for a good part of the rest of the state, too.

2.5 weeks for such a trip is no time at all, and a lifetime as well if spent wisely in the many memories returned.
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