Be sure to grab a cup of coffee or a Mountain Dew for the drive across northwest Colorado on US 40 — you’re going to need the caffeine. It’s a long, empty drive across undulating hills. If only you could lock the steering wheel in place, you could climb in the back seat for a nap.
There are a few curves on this stretch of US 40, but one particular segment of the road runs for miles, without the need for a turn. Look ahead, and you’ll see where you’re going to be, 10 minutes later.
If you need a distraction from the monotony of the road, watch for a rest area on the north side of the highway. There aren’t any facilities here, but there is an old homestead. This building, behind a locked fence, is all that remains of Edwin Johnson’s old home. Johnson served as the Governor of Colorado from 1933 to 1937, and again from 1955 to 1957. He also served three terms in the U.S. Senate. Johnson and his wife moved to Colorado in 1909. While the homestead was being built, he and his wife lived in a nearby cave.
As I rolled along towards Dinosaur, Colorado, some big storm clouds formed on the horizon. There was no way to avoid the rain, and I wondered if the storms would spoil my visit to Dinosaur National Monument. Lightning was flashing, and thunder rolling, as I checked in at the visitor center, two miles east of Dinosaur. It was far from ideal weather for a scenic drive into the park, but I decided to give it a try, anyhow.
Here’s a time-lapse dash-cam video of the drive from Craig to Dinosaur, Colorado and the Utah state line: