Yes, I know what you are thinking. That is some long driving days for you and to tell you the truth, yes, yes it was. We prefer not to travel such long days however we left later than we had originally planned and we wanted to get to Moab to enjoy it and not have to cut our time short there.
So off we went. When we left Southwoods we had a very windy day. We fought it the entire day and as you all know, that can make for a long, hard driving day. Luckily it only lasted that first day and the rest of the driving days were beautiful skies and no wind.
On day three we made it to Shelby, Iowa, on purpose, because heading west on I-80 was The Corn Crib in Shelby, Iowa. It’s a great stop. Easy in and out for a big rig and if you need to stop overnight, which we did, they let you stay in the parking area next to the restaurant. If you need hook-ups for the night there is a no nonsense rv park just across the street which we have also stayed in. You see, we traveled through here a couple years ago and this was one of the places that we said we had to go back to.
When we first happened upon this place, we were like everyone else, just passing through, as we still were that day. There is nothing really to Shelby, Iowa other than a good place to stop for the night. We walked across the street to The Corn Crib restaurant, which yes, does happen to sell gas as well, not expecting much but a quick meal. Well, that quick meal turned into some really good home made cooking. Then David saw that they had french toast on their breakfast menu. In talking to the owner/cook, he said that it was his grandmother’s recipe for french toast. So french toast is made all over the country. What made this so special? Well, the owner batters it with a batter similar to a funnel cake and deep-fries it. Yes…you heard me right….deep fried french toast! Umm….yes, we will have to try it. And in love we fell.
I won’t go into detail here about how good the french toast was, which it is soooo good, let’s just say it was that good that we made plans to stop at the Corn Crib again when passing through this area, just for the french toast. And that we did, two years later, about a week ago in the writing of this blog post, we stopped and had some more french toast. YUM!
OK…so onward we go. The next day we made it to Golden, Colorado where we have never been (we’ve been to Denver, just not Golden) and planned on exploring the area for a couple days and relaxing a bit before our push through the Rockies.
We stayed at Dakota Ridge RV Park right there in Golden, Colorado. Not a bad location in the sense that it is right off I70 and close to shopping and restaurants, however I would not recommend this park for big rigs. I will leave it at that and will be doing a park review on this particular park on the next blog post. We will not stay at this park again.
Golden, Colorado’s historic town square area, while not big, is cute to walk around and see. It’s filled with restaurants and sculptures on every corner, but very few shops. I was actually expecting more shops but oh well. Golden, CO is the birthplace and home to Coors Brewing Company and while the big thing is to take a tour, we didn’t feel up to it that day. We are not beer drinkers so it really was not high on our list. There are a few driving scenic tours around the area that go through some more historical areas and such, but again, after driving for a few straight days, we just wanted a rest and not more driving. So we just wandered around the little town square area, took in the scenery and had lunch at a local pizza place.
We’re glad we stopped for a couple days to relax and check out Golden, but we don’t really see a need to go back to Golden in the future. The entire surrounding Denver area, no matter what direction you may be, is always congested and stressful. At least for us. We do not prefer large cities.
When we left the Golden area and hit I-70 to head through the Rockies, we could not have had a better day. It was in the 70’s that day, no wind to be heard of and very light on the traffic. We have travelled this route before but never with such light traffic. It really made for a fun and relaxing drive through the mountains.
I-70 is a great route to drive with a big rig. You just have to remember that you will be going slower due to the climbs and down hills. So relax and enjoy the scenery. Don’t try to push it. Allow yourself the extra time. While our engine does great in the mountains, you will go slower than normal traffic. There are several tunnels that are carved throughout the route that you will have no issue going through. Remember, this is the major route through the Rockies for the truckers as well, so you will have company in the slowness. People expect it.
Once on the other side of the Rockies, you come to Grand Junction, Colorado. It borders Utah and this is where you will make the decision to head south or keep heading west. We have done both. This time we were heading to Moab, Utah, our final stop for a few weeks. Once you clear Grand Junction the road and landscape just completely opens up. You can really see this in the first picture above. This is what we love about being out west. The openness and lack of traffic. You can truly see for miles and it just makes for a nice drive.
On a side note, there is a Pilot Truck Stop in Grand Junction, right off of I-70 at exit 26, that is a great stop. I had to mention this because too many times do we stop at a FlyingJ/Pilot Truck Stop and the roads are buckling or crumbling, it’s dirty and super busy. Well, this Pilot has a nice smooth road in and out, easy in and out, is clean from what we saw and when we were there, it was not busy at all. I just wanted to throw that out there in case you find yourself in the area.
It’s a great park for big rigs and if you happen to have a big rig with a large trailer that you tow, this is the place to be. Their sites in the owner’s section (no, you don’t have to be an owner, you can rent these) are huge as you can see from our photos above. This park makes for a great jumping off point for all the many activities to do in the area.
We love this area of the country and when we were here for the first time a couple years ago vs this time, it still does not disappoint. You know how sometimes you may remember things a little differently than how they actually are? Well, not here for us. This is a great place, great little town and lots of off-roading, parks, scenic drives and more to keep you busy for however long you may stay.
Here’s the two blog posts that we did a couple years ago when we visited this area, in case you missed them or care to catch up.
We highly recommend Moab, Utah if you have not been here before. You’ll marvel at the scenery that the people that live here get to enjoy every day. We never tire of this place and we can totally see ourselves making another trip here in another couple of years.