I'm really going to miss the mountains. While I only saw what amounts to a small fraction of the state today, Colorado was fantastic. Pictured above is the Arkansas River along US Highway 50 near Cañon City.

It comes as a surprise to people that I don't really plan out my travels very much. I choose an eventual destination, which sometimes manages to change by the end of the day, and head in that general direction. Most of the time, and especially in my experience on this trip, the best roads are not the ones that Mapquest or your Garmin will recommend. For example: Today I made a last second decision to take Colorado Highway 69 north from Walsenburg. The highway follows the Sangre De Cristo Mountains up to canyons of the Arkansas River. It was a great drive and took me right near a place I had never even considered for this trip: the Royal Gorge Bridge.

Unfortunately, they now charge $29 for a single adult admission to the bridge, so, being a poor college student at the moment, I was only able to peer down into the gorge from the rather makeshift overlook outside the gates. This horse by the west entrance didn't seem concerned.

I headed back east through Colorado Springs towards Kansas. It's not long after a person leaves the shadow of Pike's Peak that they are confronted with miles and miles of flat grasslands that seem to stretch on forever. Soon I'll be back in the croplands of the corn belt, home in Omaha once again.

The last image is of a bar along US Highway 24 in Peyton. A guy got out of a pickup while I was taking the photograph and just stood there, dumbfounded. I said hello and got back in my car.

Also visited: Trinidad, Gardner, Westcliffe, Calhan, Ramah, Simla, Limon and Arriba, Colorado.