Starting in Kansas definitely cuts a couple of hours off of MY trip, but heading to RMNP adds at least an hour to, say, Idaho Springs -- where I've started my vacations out there 3 times so far, at least. We stayed in communication via walkie talkie, and were easily able to coordinate stopping for gas and bathroom breaks. Cassie and I listened to some Beatles (she's into the Beatles right now) and some Paul McCartney (she's learning to play Bass and is a Paul fan). Then we listened to some audio book she brought along and she fell asleep most of the way through western Kansas.
My car turned over 100,000 miles just inside of Colorado. We stopped at Limon for gas. A man warned us that there was a sports game letting out in Denver and that we might want to avoid 70 through Denver. We started down the route he suggested, but my senses, Mark's senses, and the GPS just didn't agree so we got back on 70 and found another alternate route nearer to Denver. It wasn't a bad route to RMNP, really, if you want to avoid Denver.