FORT COLLINS, Colo. — On my way north out of Colorado to link back up with the Lincoln Highway’s route through Wyoming and onward west to San Francisco, I followed U.S. 287 into this city of roughly 145,000 people, according to the 2010 Census, making it the Centennial State’s fourth-largest city.
Driving north from the Jack Kerouac gas station outside Longmont and into Loveland, where Lincoln Avenue carries northbound traffic through the center of the city, the mountains of the Front Range frame the western horizon. Longs Peak, a 14,255-foot mountain is the highest point in this part of the state, though it’s only Colorado’s 15th-highest.
Peakbagger.com has described the mountain as “a craggy monster with several enormous vertical cliffs, set among the sea of 13,000 foot peaks that make up Rocky Mountain National Park.”
Fort Collins a hub for the northern Front Range, home of Colorado State University‘s flagship campus and a number of great local breweries, including New Belgium Brewing Co., Equinox Brewing, Odell Brewing Co. and The Fort Collins Brewery. Anheuser-Busch has a large facility here, too.
It was mid morning and, unfortunately, too early to take a break to sample the local beer. (I have had may fair share of beer brewed by New Belgium over the years.) On my way out of town, I was actually contemplating turning back when a freight train carrying wind-turbine blades blocked my route to Cheyenne, Wyo.