Here’s what most of us want from a summer road trip in Colorado: spectacular scenery, an opportunity to commune with nature and wildlife, adventure, relaxation, a chance to recharge and look at the world differently. Unfortunately, the journey can be marred by conditions we all try to avoid: traffic, crowds, too much sun (or not enough), detours and delays, and so on.
The perfect road trip may be as elusive as a Preble’s Meadow jumping mouse, but a little preparation can greatly improve your chances of avoiding unpleasant surprises. Here are some steps you can take to make your next road trip memorable for all the right reasons.
GET YOUR RIDE READY
Today’s vehicles require less maintenance than ever before, but it’s a good idea to take a look under the hood before embarking on any trip of more than a hundred miles. Is the radiator cap on firmly? No signs of leaks? No cracks in belts or hoses? Fluid levels topped off?
If you’re due for an oil change or an air filter, get that taken care of before you depart. You should also take time to perform a general safety inspection or have one done for you at a trusted garage. This should include a good look at the tires (tread wear and pressure), brakes, lights, battery, and transmission.
Finally, no overnight trip in sunny, semi-arid Colorado should be undertaken without packing essential items — water, sunscreen, high-energy snacks, cell phone and charger, extra clothing and hats — and an emergency kit. The kit should include basic tools (jumper cables, screwdriver, flashlight, etc.) and first-aid supplies.
Savvy road warriors know not to schedule more sightseeing than they accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. They build in a cushion of time for possible road work delays or to explore odd diversions that might not be on the original itinerary.
The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Travel Center can assist you in scouting road conditions and identifying routes you want to avoid. If your destination is a popular one, call ahead to the local tourist bureau to find out the best times to visit to beat the crowds. Have a backup route in mind if your original plan goes awry.
Even better, consider checking out some sights that don’t make everybody’s top-ten list; make an effort to get off the interstate and see some of Colorado’s scenic byways. You can build a trip around national parks, hot springs , roadside attractions, historic sites — the possibilities are as endless as the road ahead.
RESPECT THE TERRAIN
If your plans include getting on some hiking trails, be sure you have maps, navigational tools (your phone may not have a signal in the backcountry), food, water, bug repellent, extra layers of clothing, and other essential gear. Even a short day hike can be full of surprises, given the ever-changing weather in Colorado’s high country — or on the eastern plains, for that matter. Take time to review the basic survival tips every hiker should know, such as notifying others of your hike plans and not starting out too late in the day.
AFTER YOUR TRIP
After putting all those miles on the family chariot, go through your car maintenance checklist again to make sure oil, tire pressure, and the rest are still okay. Schedule any needed vehicle maintenance and a car wash before returning to the workday world, memories, and photos intact.
THE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise in serious injury cases have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Fort Collins, Thornton, Greenwood Village, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 800-716-9032, or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.