Taking the long way home

Taking the long way home, #TravelTuesday

Do you ever take the longer route to or from your road trip destination? Ryan and I do and this past weekend it made all the difference.

We decided to head home from Durango via Hwy 165 through Alamosa and Walsenburg and then take I25 north. Google Maps indicated that it was only 24 minutes longer and since we’d already traveled Hwy 285 a number of times this year, we decided a change of scenery was in order.

It turned out to be a great decision for multiple reasons. First, we stopped in Alamosa to grab a snack and our favorite chili beer at San Luis Valley Brewing Co. We had just had some of their beer in Durango at San Juan Brewfest and their delicious chili beer has been on our radar for several years.

Taking the long way home, #TravelTuesday. green chili beer at San Luis Valley Brewing Co. in Alamosa, CO. HeidiTown.com
San Luis Valley Brewing Co. in Alamosa, Colorado.

The brewery is located in an old bank building with the original vault still visible behind the bar. It’s light and bright with a sort of steampunk feel that we enjoyed. We also enjoyed the chili on queso and our Valle Caliente Green Chili Beer.

On the road again we headed towards Walsenburg through a sunlit landscape dotted with clouds shadows. As we left Alamosa the Great Sand Dunes National Park spread out on our left and we lamented not having enough time to stop and get a little sandy. We’ve visited the park several times in the past and it should be on every Coloradan’s must-visit list.

We watched as Blanca Peak loomed in the distance. Blanca is the fourth highest summit in the U.S. Rocky Mountains (14,351 feet above sea level) and is part of the Sangre de Cristo Range. Rising from the San Luis Valley floor to say that it is impressive is an understatement.

Taking the long way home, #TravelTuesday. Blanca Peak, Colorado. HeidiTown.com
Blanca Peak, Sangre de Cristo Range, Rocky Mountains, Colorado.

As we traveled over La Veta Pass (9,380 feet above sea level), I realized that I know very little about the La Veta region of Colorado. The pass is relatively gentle and extremely treed. It has a peaceful remoteness about it and I must get back to explore this area. I don’t have a photo because I was driving and Ryan was napping.

Once we hit I25 it was a straight shot north towards home, but even the highway held a few interesting sites. We sped by a few large wind turbines and then, south of Pueblo, we witnessed miles of United States flags planted on the east side of I25. I googled it, but I can’t find anything about these mysterious flags, but they definitely made me feel proud of Colorado; it’s an remarkable feat for someone to care for all those flags.

Taking the long way home, #TravelTuesday. wind turbines along south I25 in Colorado. HeidiTown.com
Wind turbines in Southern Colorado along I25.

So there you have it. Sometimes taking the long way home is the way to go. Have you ever taken the long way home? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section.


  1. Funny you’d ask, but just a couple of weeks ago I ran a race in Pagosa and instead of taking the direct route home to Alamosa over Wolf Creek Pass, I dipped down into New Mexico and took a highway to Chama I had never taken. It was fun exploring a new area and I recalled your recent blog post about Chama, Heidi, while I was there. Taking different routes is cool…speaking of COOL, I hope you can make it to our Ice Festival and Rio Frio 5K on ice this January in Alamosa! I’ll get the next round of chili beer at SLV Brewing!


    1. The Rio Frio! It looks like we may able to make that happen and we’re going to RUN it. I’ve never an a race in my life, but I feel like starting my race life on a frozen river is the right way to go. 🙂


  2. We tried a different way too. From LaVeta Pass, we took Pass Creek Road (CR572 which links to another county road, I think 550 or 560) to Gardner, CO. It was pretty well marked. Then go north on CO-69 for a good view of the Sangres from the East side. In Westcliffe, go east on CO-96 to Pueblo over Hardscrabble Pass. Or take CO-69 to link up to US50. I wouldn’t do the CRs in the Winter but great views in the summer.


    1. I have always wanted to check out Westcliffe! That sounds like a fantastic fall route. Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown, Mark. I appreciate this “long way home” tip. 🙂


      1. If you go to Westcliffe, check out the Sugar and Spice Mountain Bakery. (except on Sundays and Mondays). I haven’t been disappointed.


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