[Floodgap Roadgap presents the Summer of 6]

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3 July 2006: Ely, NV to Provo, UT
 
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5 July 2006: A Rocky Mountain High -- Palisade, CO to Denver, CO
 

4 July 2006: Provo, UT (sort of) to Palisade, CO

Off we go. We've covered a huge amount of ground today, so we have a long "highlights reel." Since we'll only be indirectly passing through many counties, I'm not going to do a blurb on every one of them this time around (and besides, I'm pooped). Lest you call me just plain lazy, I'll do it for the full writeup, rest assured. :)

Today's odometer start was 94463; 251 total photographs taken.

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Leaving the hotel this morning was this crop of balloonists over Provo.

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Back to US 6 from Santaquin north on I-15 (the alignment paralleled by UT 198, its old routing). At least Utah does sign the route here; it won't later.

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Leaving I-15, US 6 passes through Spanish Fork out to where it joins US 89 and skirts the south end of the Uinta National Forest in this gorge.

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Carbon county line, named for the Mac OS API large amount of coal in the region, as we come out of next-door Cocoa Utah county. Its 2005 estimated population is 19,437, with 8,197 in Price, the county seat. A relative latecomer, its territory was first part of Sanpete county, and later Emery; in fact, Price was organized in 1892 while still part of Emery.

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And speaking of coal. US 6 travels down the steep grade in the cut-out section at right (which is very imposing to travel between), and the Price River is at left. The river and the city Price were both named for Mormon bishop William Price of Goshen, UT (which I passed through on my way into Provo), who explored the region in 1869. We cross the Price River several times.

South of this point, US 6 picks up US 191 and the two will travel together towards I-70.

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US 6 through Price is a Super-2 freeway (one-lane-per-direction but with grade-separated interchanges) for several miles. The old alignment of US 6/191 survives as UT 55/Business Route 6.

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UT 55/BR 6 through Price.

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The Roan Cliffs east of US 6/US 191 as we head south towards the Interstate.

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US 6/US 191 through the desert.

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Junction I-70 (and stealth US 50! hello again, US 50!) and, as far as Utah is concerned, the end of US 6. Signage for US 6 along I-70, or for that matter US 50, doesn't appear again until well into Colorado. US 191 is still signed here, but because US 191 isn't finished in Utah; it leaves south in 25 miles towards Arches National Park and the Canyonlands.

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Downtown Green River's Business Loop (UT 19). BR 70/UT 19 is the old alignment of US 6/US 50/US 191 into this small town which Dad tells me had banned door-to-door salesmen until Encyclopaedia Britannica complained. Naturally.

Green River is a city of two counties, partially in Grand County and part in Emery County, with 973 people total and 868 of them in Emery [2000]; the city name comes from the river running through it. Grand County, with a 2005 estimated population of 8,743, surrounds the Emery county portion and is named for the Colorado River back when it was still called the Grande. Its largest city and county seat is the very appropriately named Moab (4,779 [2000]), to the south along US 191, the gateway to the national parks.

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There are many old pieces of US 6/US 50 (and until exit 182, US 191) around the freeway. This one runs through Thompson, complete with an old single-lane bridge.

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Colorado state line and Mesa county line, named for the mesa-studded terrain of the region. Its 2000 population is 116,255, with its seat at Grand Junction (which we will pass through).

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From a functional point of view, US highway and Interstate multiplexes are not terribly sensible. Many states agree, and curse the alignment to remain as Business alignment or sometimes nothing at all.

On the other hand, I'm happy when the US route persists and carries its own sign on its old alignments rather than being routed over the Interstate. Not only is it nice to see the old route still in use, but it means I don't have to trace two alignments. This is the western end of US 6 in Colorado, unsigned from I-70.

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It's a real alignment though, and while it gets short shrift initially from the freeway, it gets a big whopping monument along its length. Note the GAR Highway sign on the top.

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The first major city is Fruita, pronounced just like it looks, fruit-ah. It was named for the local fruit trees by founder William Pabor in 1884, but nowadays is more famous for its fossil fetish: a large number of dinosaur and mammalian fossils have been found in the western portion of the state. The non-petrified population consists of 6,478 humans, at least as of 2000. Some may have fossilized since then.

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US 6 crosses I-70 again to pick up its Business Loop tag and US 50 into Grand Junction. Grand Junction is named for the confluence of the Colorado (when it was the Grande) and Gunnison Rivers and is easily the largest city in the region at 41,986 [2000].

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The Business alignment scoots off to leave US 6 alone to Palisade and the Colorado River. Yes, it was raining quite hard.

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Passing by the Colorado River on the left, which US 6 and I-70 both cross on their own respective bridges. The rain was still coming down in sheets, so I ended up having to shoot through the windshield and hope one came out right.

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Joining I-70 again at Mile 44. It's actually signed on the exit as Business Loop from the reverse direction, although it isn't really until Grand Junction and it's not signed on the route that way either.

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La Quinta in Fruita. This is a nice setup. If I ever come back to this part of Colorado, I'll be staying here again. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some cashew chicken and sweet'n'sour pork to eat.

Next: Palisade to Denver! I'll be staying with my sister and her family, so tomorrow will be a short day. See you soon!

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3 July 2006: Ely, NV to Provo, UT
 
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5 July 2006: A Rocky Mountain High -- Palisade, CO to Denver, CO
 


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