Are you ready for a break? We're two-thirds of the way through 2019, and for many, it's been a little bumpy. There's a well-deserved respite just down the road in Western Colorado.

When was the last time you visited Dinosaur National Monument? I'm embarrassed to say this, but I haven't been there since the mid-1990's. I used to roll through from time to time when making the commute from Utah back to Grand Junction. As I recall, it was a mountain paradise. Why haven't I been back?

I used to drive through this area about 3:00 in the morning. I would pull over, kill all the lights on my bitchin' Volkswagen Golf, and savor the darkness. You may have heard Dinosaur National Monument was recently named a "Dark Sky Park." There's a reason why.

According to Google Maps, the drive from Grand Junction to Dinosaur National Monument comes in at 110 miles. The trip takes just over two hours. What's the problem? I've driven 520 miles to Las Vegas to catch a concert. Why not 110 miles for the ultimate break from the daily grind?

Google Maps

Take a look at the photo at the top of the post. That's the Green River. It's hard to tell with the silhouette, but I don't see another soul. Those are mountains and a river, and all the calm that comes with them. The tranquility alone is better than the best blood pressure medicine on the market.

You're looking at 220 miles to and fro. Travel time comes in at roughly four-and-a-half hours round trip. The other day I needed a break, so I paid $12 to go see that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood movie. Start to finish, with previews and all the other garbage, that took about four hours (the movie is waaaayyyyy too long). My car gets about 25 miles per gallon, so I'm looking at about nine gallons of gas to get to Dinosaur. That comes in at the better part of $22 for traveling expenses. I think Dinosaur National Monument is the better deal.

Why haven't I visited this place in close to a quarter of a century? I haven't a clue. It's just down the road. Time off is hard to come by, but when somethings important, you make time. Four hours travel time and a few hours to kick back and enjoy. Before winter gets here, let's all make the short trip to Dinosaur.