We left Denver early after a fun few days around town. The Rocky Mountains loomed before us and we patted our old car whispering “Come on, you can do it!” Up, up, up, we went, ears popping. The aspens were just starting to turn giving the mountains beautiful touches of gold. We headed toward Durango, where we would stop for a rest. The car made it up and over the mountains where everything leveled into a high plateau. We drove through some pretty hick-ish Colorado towns, including Fairplay, famous for inspiring South Park. Thankfully, there were no delinquent children running around or political movements occurring.
Eventually we came to a “truck on triangle” sign signalling a hard downhill for the next 10 miles or so. This was the end of the Rockies, a spot that would test our car to the limits. We switched into a lower gear but about halfway down our breaks started smelling of burning rubber so we stopped at a scenic view point to check out the damage. There was smoke pouring out from around the front wheels. I threw all of our water on them, plus half a cup of coffee, and some coolant, everything instantly turning to steam. We waited around, worrying, for about a half an hour. There were only a few more downhill miles to go so, after testing the breaks, we set out to make it to our break spot.
After a quick stop in Durango, we were back on the road and headed through the familiar Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona. “The res” is always an interesting place, with packs of dogs, no one speaking English, locals sitting along the road watching the cars pass. The sun went down fast but we were still able to catch some of the cool rock formations and the painted desert. We were pretty tired by this point and the miles left didn’t seem to be getting any fewer. The last few hours of any long car trip are always the hardest.
We got into Williams, Arizona around 9pm and went straight to bed. We planned to rest for a day then head to the beach!