Colorado Part 1: Leaving The South

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When we told people we’re driving from Florida to Colorado with our seven and two year old boys people thought we were brave. When we added we were driving straight through without stopping for the night they thought we were crazy. I was confident we’d be fine but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit nervous. Would the kids get really upset? Would we get too tired? Would my old F150 do alright?

West on I10 and we’re off towards Mobile. Mobile to us is like a relative you see every couple months on holidays and birthdays and such. It’s familiar to us but we don’t know the details of whats going on there. Anyway, past Mobile, off the interstate and onward to Mississippi.

The first stop we make is Jackson, Mississippi. The old capitol building is a nice tour and free. The dome is over 90 feet tall if I recall correctly. One one side of the building is the State House chamber and the other the State Senate. The old gas lanterns and the reflectors used to dissipate the light are restored in the Senate chamber and really interesting to learn about. We also ate lunch and drove around the town center. Jackson is a bigger city than I thought. Jackson isn’t where I really wanted to stop though, Vicksburg is just down the interstate and that’s what I really wanted to see.

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If you’re not familiar with the Battle of Vicksburg in the Civil War you can read up on that on your own so I wont go into those details. Basically, US Grant and the United States Government attacked this southern city and nearly 20,000 people died in the battle before a Confederate surrender. A driving tour wraps around the huge national park. Cannons mark many battlefield locations. Monuments dedicated to various divisions for both the Union and Confederates are all over, many of which are quite impressive. To see the Confederate monuments you have to drive to the “Confederate Lines” of the battlefield which are in the back towards the end of the driving tour. So, if you want to see them manage your time wisely. I didn’t. I looked at the clock and realized the park closed 30 minutes ago. I hurry out to not get locked in for the night. Next we quickly check out downtown Vicksburg which looks like a great historic town for a stand alone visit some other time. But now, it’s almost 6:00 pm and we haven’t even cleared Mississippi!

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The Mississippi Welcome Center is a good place for us to brush teeth, gather pillows, get the kids ready for sleeping and me a huge cup of coffee. The bridges over the Mississippi River are quite impressive as well. Now we’re really on the way.

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Texas didn’t have much to offer for me, honestly. It was night, but once you pas Dallas there’s nothing. Well, hold on. There’s Buc-ee’s. Buc-ee’s is a huge gas station and a co-worker of mine said if I see one to stop. We stopped in the middle of the night in west Texas and the store was pretty crowded. It is the cleanest gas station you will find. They had a guy outside wiping down the gas pumps! They had someone inside wiping the bathroom walls. My co worker said he saw someone cleaning light bulbs once. Buc-ee’s sells just about everything but the best thing has to be the beef jerky sold by the pound ($35). It’s like a deli with various flavors of jerky and a sort of butcher there to give you small samples of the flavors. I make a decision, get a half pound and we hit the road.

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Lindsay drives from 1 am to about 5 am. We saw the sun rise in Amarillo over the desert. It really was a nice sunrise. Not too long after we enter New Mexico, take a quick stop at a rest area and keep on going.

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Soon after the rest area we see out first signs of snow capped mountains in the distance. What a sight to see for the first time! Well in the distance but we could see a bit of what was to come. I stop in Joplin NM for a couple pictures and Colorado is close. We’re about an hour away form our final destination when I get too tired to drive. My eyes are heavy and the traffic is too. Lindsay takes us the last bit and all in all we make it to Evergreen Colorado in about 29 hours. How did the boys do? Great!

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10 Comments

  1. Loved the photos and the description of your journey.

  2. Road trips trump flying any day in our book! Looks like you found some great places to stop and keep the drive interesting too. I love how much you can learn about and come to appreciate different areas of the country just by driving through them. You have some great pictures too!

  3. Looks like a great trip with awesome pics. I don’t know if Austin was out of your way but it’s fantastic. The kids would enjoy it. I love it. Fantastic blog:-)

  4. Sounds like a fun – if exhausting – road trip. Enjoyed the photos. Was hoping to see a pic of Tucumcari Mountain in NM! (I was born in Tucumcari.)

    • The trip was both fun and exhausting! I posted the only NM mountains we passed. The one near Joplin and I added another picture since you’re from NM. I’m sure it’s not the mountain you were hoping to see, in fact, it’s not a mountain but an “extinct” volcano. I normally wouldn’t of posted this because it’s a bit beyond the capabilities of a camera phone but there you go. Thanks for reading and for your comment!

  5. I’m in Dallas and I agree. Texas is rather plain on I20. Austin and the Hill country further south makes for better viewing. Love that you saw Buc-ee’s. They are truly a one of a kind experience! Glad you passed through. The Fort Worth stockyards are worth stopping by next time you are in the area. Sounds like a fun road trip!

    • Thanks for the comment, Jen! I would like to visit south Texas. Maybe one day. It was a fun trip and we almost stayed the night in Dallas!

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