Due to a medical condition my doctor did not like me to fly to my marathon in Las Vegas, however I was cleared to run the marathon at the same time and so I decided to drive. Las Vegas is roughly 800 miles away from my house. I had driven out to Vegas on Friday, ran the race on Sunday and now had to make it back to Denver on Monday. I was scheduled to be back at work on Tuesday and on top of that I wanted to try to return the rental car on Monday and not on Tuesday morning. This would save me a lot of time and effort on Tuesday morning, but also put the pressure on me because the rental car station would close at 6.00 PM Mountain Time.
I got up at 5.00 AM Pacific Time and left Las Vegas at 6.00 AM. I did get a Starbucks coffee and some McDonald’s Egg McMuffin for breakfast and then hit the highway. There was not much traffic and I was able to leave town before rush hour. From there on it was only highway driving. Based on the expected gas mileage and availability of gas stations I had planned for 2 stops along the way – one shortly before leaving Interstate 15 towards Interstate 70 and another stop in Grand Junction in Colorado. In both cases I filled up the car with gas and grabbed some on the go food. I did not take long breaks to really have enough time to reach the rental car station before 6.00 PM.
Driving was good and easy and I even found a few pace makers along the way that allowed me to go
faster than exactly the allowed speed limit. This pushed down my gas mileage, but added a lot of buffer from a time perspective. I reached the rental car station almost exactly at the 10 hour mark. Here is where things got strange and I still have to deal with Budget Rent-A-Car. Apparently it is more expensive to return a vehicle a calendar day early than to return it at the scheduled time (8.00 AM next morning). This does not make any sense to me, but that is all the lady at the rental car station could tell me and apparently she was not motivated to correct the situation.
It was a great drive and I really love driving through the United States and enjoy the scenery along the way. Here are some of the pictures I took.