We woke up and had breakfast at the Homewood Suites. Our last road trip breakfast.
Hmm. Powdered eggs and biscuits. I think this trip needs to be over!
On the way to I-81 just outside of Charlottesville we spied this interesting truck. What was in it?
It’s a truck full of turkeys! Just waiting to be slaughtered for Thanksgiving dinner. Back to Dutchess County. We stopped at Adams to get groceries as we haven’t been home in ages!
After having lived at our house for twenty five years we decided that our vacation was a perfect time to get our driveway redone. Our neighbors got their’s done at the same time.
Here is Steve undoing the yellow tape. I think he is going to have to do some repair work on the mailbox. It looks a little shaky to me.
We had a lot of mail while we were away. We used to have the neighbor’s collect our mail. Now I just use the hold my mail option and get the post office to deliver everything when we get home.This was a genius move on my part!
Steve’s home cooked dinner. The last of the season corn.
I hope you enjoyed the trip. Are you wondering if we did the license plate game? Of course we did! Here are the states we found in sighting order.
NY, FL, NJ, PA, AZ, OH, CT, GA, VA, MI, ME, IN, WI, IL, IA, MO, VT, MS, MA, MD, MN, NB, OK, WV, CA, TX, ND, CO, KY, OR, TN, KS, SC, NC, AL, SD, LA, MT, ID, WY, UT, NM, NV, DE, WA, AR, AK. 47 states! Which states did we miss? I think the best place for license plate spotting was in the parking lots of the state parks. We were always in a hurry so Steve didn’t let me cruise up Main and down Elm to look at every car!
Have you ever seen a truck full of turkeys?
Do you prefer white or dark meat?
Aren’t these breakfasts getting uglier?
I am not sure which trip is next, but as always it will be fun to tell you about them and all the interesting people that we meet, the beautiful hotel rooms, the great scenery and the delicious food. Until then, “Stay safe!”
It’s Sunday morning and we are ready to to leave Lexington. It is now actually five years later, and I don’t have any notes to say where we slept the night before! But I do have pictures of breakfast from my over 23,000 pictures in my camera roll! I seriously need to do some editing some day!
If there are pancakes and fried eggs, then it must be something that I had for breakfast! Steve prefers hash browns and he does like his Moons over MyHammy, so we probably ate at a Denny’s.This looks like their product! Steve and Elliott used to go to Denny’s for breakfast sometimes before they went skiing. Their favorite remembrance was the time they went to a Denny’s on New Year’s Day. They overheard the gentlemen (I use that term loosely-Steve refers to them as losers when he tells the story), had either been working or drinking all night. They were trying to decide what were the best years of their lives. I think that 2020 has not been a very good year for many of us.
Then it was goodbye Kentucky and Hello West Virginia! There were lots of hills in West Virginia, many with steep grades. Then it was off to Virginia.
We met Elliott and his girlfriend Kanna in Charlottesville. They had joined a local winery and we had a wine tasting. It was fun. Primarily because we were with Elliott and Kanna. I don’t really find wine tastings that interesting. Just pour me a glass, and if I like it I will finish it. If I don’t, then Steve gets more!
I think we allowed Elliott to pick one bottle from Steve’s Bourbon stash from the liquor store that we went to the night before. Kanna got nothing.Dinner was at The Local. We had a lovely cheese and fruit appetizer. Looks like I had a green drink. This must have been a Caesar Salad. This could possibly be catfish, or fried mystery meat. I have no clue what this was. Steve’s arm is in the picture so he must have ordered it!
Then off to Homewood Suites to sleep it all off!
Do you like Bourbon?
Have you ever had a green drink?
Do you ever wonder why West Virginia is considered Wild and Wonderful?
I forgot to mention more about the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Springfield Missouri. This BPS attracts more than 4 million visitors a year! The store started by John L. Morris in an 8 foot section of his father’s liquor store in 1972. In 1974 he began mailing out his first catalog. How many catalogs are produced each year? I don’t know, but I think we get one every two weeks!
We had breakfast at the Huddle House in Kuttawa. Huddle House is very similar to a Waffle House.
Steve was really happy because he had ordered a big breakfast. How big?
Now that is a big breakfast! Notice the circular bone in the ham steak? On many of the nights that I cooked dinner I would make a ham steak and boxed macaroni and cheese. I thought it was hysterical to cut out a piece of ham with the bone in it. I called it “the eye”. I would place the piece of meat (really just a piece of bone) on someone’s plate and say “Have the eye!” Well, I thought it was hysterical. Steve, not so much. He thought it was “stupid”, which it really is! Whenever we have one now, I take a picture of the eye and send it to our son Elliott. He enjoys the joke, our daughter not so much.
No meat for me, but I said “Yes!” To the Grits!
Next stop was Mammoth Cave National Park.
This is a three dimensional model of the cave system.
There were 13 different underground tours to chose from. We picked “Domes and Dripstones”. The description of the tour is as follows:
Wind down through deep pits and high domes via a 280 step staircase. Vertical cave gives way to large canyons and underground hill climbs. Visit the Frozen Niagara formation, then pass through one of the caves most decorative drip stone areas. Total stairs was 500, including 280 on the initial descent. The difficulty was considered moderate.
There were a number of strenuous tours available. Chest or hip measurements could not exceed 42 inches , if you are larger you can not physically pass through the crawl spaces. That’s not why we didn’t go on those tours though, by now you know that I don’t do strenuous anything! Not because neither my butt nor Steve’s butt is too big!
After our trip to the museum we had our briefing by the forest ranger.
Then we loaded into a bus to take a ten minute ride to the entrance of the cave. Looks like we had a few people who wanted to be photographed with us!
A short stroll through the woods.
I see the door! Almost there!
No, it is not an outhouse, but the entrance to the cave. Notice the park ranger, he will be important!
I turned around to take a picture of the outside in case we didn’t make it back out! Good bye world! Into the cave we go!
Down the stairs we went. Except we had to stop and let someone come back out. She had claustrophobia and needed to leave the tour. That is why there were two park rangers at the start of the tour. One ranger to lead the tour and one ranger to escort the people who didn’t want to go on the tour. It seemed to be pretty common, that people would panic and need to leave the tour.
Steve had to bend down quite a bit as he is so tall.
We saw all sorts of interesting formations, like these pillars.
Many sections we had to crawl over sharp boulders.
Some parts of the cave were very open.
Here you can see the stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites grow from the ceiling down. They stay “tight” to the ceiling. Stalagmites grow from the floor up. They “might” reach the top.
These rock formations are called rock draperies.
At one point of the tour the ranger extinguished his flash light and the lights on the wall around us so we could see how very dark it was in the cave. As if we didn’t already know how dark and quiet it would be!
The end of the tour was at the place where the original entrance of the cave was discovered.
It was very cool feeling the cool air rushing from the cave into the warm air outside.
More stairs? Yuck!
I looked exhausted, and Steve looked normal. Well as normal as he can look! You can tell how tired I was, no sucked in gut and my shoulders are schlumped. Wait a minute, that’s the way I always look!
After we reached the top of the stairs from the cave we had to walk on bio security mats to prevent the spread of white nose syndrome, a fungal disease that affects bats. No, the bats don’t get washed, only human feet. The fungus is in the cave and they don’t want it transported out of the cave via human feet that got wet in some of the puddles in the cave. The sick bats wake up when they should be hibernating. It leaves them weak, decreases their flying ability and they starve when they don’t get food during the winter, as none is available.
Then it was back in the van and off to Lexington!
Lexington Kentucky, calls itself the horse capital or the world. I believe it.
That’s a horse barn! There is a lot of money here!
After we checked in to the hotel we checked Yelp and the best reviews for dinner were for the Gratz Park Inn. It has since been bought by Hilton and it known as the Sire Hotel. (Sire as in father of a horse. Cute!) It was a very interesting old hotel, and there was an Pierce Arrow group holding an antique car show going on that weekend. The parking lot was full of very interesting cars.
These are what the cars look like. I was uncomfortable taking pictures of someone’s car. We were wondering if our van was going to get towed or even ticketed! Thankfully it wasn’t!
The restaurant was called Distilled. Since we were in Kentucky, you know that they were going to have a very fine bourbon menu. Here is just a sample of the brands and the prices. No Pappy Van Winkle! Of course back then we had never heard of Pappy Van Winkle!No bourbon for me, but a nice fruity bourbon drink! It was bourbon, lime, strawberry juice and topped with ginger beer. I don’t normally like my drinks with added fizz but went with the waiter’s selection. It was light and refreshing. I had a lovely Hibiscus poached pear and beet salad with Cambozola, walnut vinaigrette, maiche, and fried croissant croutons to start. Steve had the vanilla bourbon roasted parsnip soup with candied peanut, fifteen year old balsamic (!), celery leaf and lemon to start.With the corn bread and rolls we had fresh honey harvested that day from the apiary on the roof, jalapeño jelly and whipped sweet butter. The corn bread and rolls were eaten faster than I could take a picture! I had the pan seared duck breast with Calvados apple purée, cheddar Gougeres, pecan crumble blackberry marmalade and apple watercress salad. Steve had the pan seared Halibut with saffron cauliflower purée, caramelized cauliflower, chick pea country ham fritter, baby Kale salad and cilantro lime sauce verde.
This was the best restaurant of the trip. Others might have been more fun due to our dinner companions, or the people at neighboring tables, but this was serious dining! No dessert for us. I was stuffed, plus I hate paying for a dessert. If I would go back now, I would have picked the smoky chocolate ginger tart. That sounded really good! After dinner we hit the Liquor Barn to get some Bourbons for Steve. What else would you buy in Kentucky in a liquor store? Steve gets his picture outside the store, I get my picture inside it!
No, they weren’t selling cars. It was just for display!
I am not sure if we found any unique brands, but it was fun!
Then it was back to the hotel and lights out.
Have you ever had a bat land on you and then had your Grandmother catch the bat, pour boiling water on it in a coffee can, and then flush it down the toilet? Well Elliott did a very long time ago! He had to get Rabies shots. As a consolation prize I bought him Nintendo 64. I am a very nice Mom!
Who was your favorite villain or villainess in the original Bat Man tv show?
Are you cheap or do you order dessert in a restaurant?
French Toast with syrup for me for breakfast. Don’t they look like pancakes?
Steve ordered the Ham and Cheese Omelette at The Order in the lobby of The Hotel Vandivort.
This is the view of the modern lobby side view of the hotel. On our way out we told the front desk that they needed additional info in the rooms on how to control the lighted art work, and electric window shades. If you go there let me know if they listened to our constructive criticism!
Here is the dreaded parking lot that Steve had so much difficutly with!
Then it was off to The Promised Land. The Mothership of all fishing stores! Just follow the bass boat!
How could we not go in to this place?
Doesn’t Steve look happy?
Big fish alert! This fish is called a a gar. Steve says they can be six feet long!
Lots of taxidermy.
Steve in a Tracker boat. His boat in Lake George is much prettier! In fact Steve’s boat probably cost as much as my Jaguar!
Steve was so excited! “Oh my God! There are three aisles of soft plastics here!”
Are you in the market for a fancy pistol?
Perhaps a fancy shot gun would be what you are looking for?
Steve loves his fish! There are many types of trout here. The yellow ones are Palomino, They are from the crossing of a Golden Rainbow trout and a rainbow trout. There are rainbow, brown and brook trout here. They had Palomino Trout at Cow Creek. I finally remembered our cook’s name. She was Sofia and specialized in traditional New Mexican cuisine. Too bad I like traditional regular food like that cooked in Upstate New York!
Always a crowd pleaser, the fish feeding show!
There were scuba divers feeding the fish.
The NRA museum. Lots of guns and ammunition here.
There were lots of guns to look at!
This was not a happy outcome. If you don’t want to read the story, the bottom line is that his head popped off when he was hung.
Her is Steve posing in front of a very large gar.
This is Ethel. 27.5 inch long and 24.5 inch girth. She was caught in Lake Fork Texas in November 1986. She was brought to this Bass Pro Shops store and millions of people visited her until she died in 1994. A thousand people attended her funeral!
The results of Steve’s shopping. I think I will have the total cost be one of your guesses at the end of the blog post! Can you believe that he only spent 30 minutes shopping?
Golden Rod along the Missouri highway. Lower Missouri has lots of trees and rolling hills.
First signage for The Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home.
Me in the parking lot. Could you tell? I was so verklempt. (Yiddish for overcome with emotion). I read all of the Little House series of books when I was a young girl. Many times in fact. My kids read the Harry Potter Books, well the Little House Series books were my favorites. I wasn’t crazy about the television show, but still watched it anyway. They didn’t allow any pictures inside the house, but I discovered a pamphlet about the house. Here is a picture of what Laura, Rose, Almanzo looked like. Also a picture of the inside of the house!
I could hardly speak to Steve I was so emotional.
Laura and her husband Almanzo were such lovebirds. The house started as a log cabin and gradually more rooms were added and the original log cabin was torn down. The rooms were added on as they had more money. The house was built specifically to Laura’s stature. The counter tops were really low as Laura was a tiny woman.
This is the fancy entry of the house. The lady nearest you is crying. I could hardly talk to Steve at all as I was trying to hold back my tears.
Laura first started writing her Little House Books when she was 65 at her daughter’s suggestion. I guess I still have time to be famous! I never thought that I would come here as Mansfield , Missouri is nowhere near anyplace I thought that Steve and I would visit. But if Steve could get his Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve I could get the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home!
Getting tired near the end of our journey, not too many days left so I am even counting a Walmart as a grocery store! With that big smile on my face I seem to have recovered from the experience at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead.
Here is a picture of a cotton field in Missouri. The Ozarks were very hilly with pine trees and many other trees.
The Mississippi Valley is very flat!
We left Missouri and crossed the Mississippi River and were into Illinois. It was a blue day!
Then we crossed the next bridge and we saw the mighty Ohio River join in.
Here you can see all the barges on the Ohio River. You can see where the rivers join together just past the barges.
Once you cross the Ohio River you are in Kentucky. The Ohio River is much bigger than the Mississippi before they join. The Lower Mississippi begins in Cairo, Illinois where the Upper Mississippi joins the Ohio River. The Lower Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico. You will have to go on your own Excellent Adventure to go to see the Gulf of Mexico!
Three states in 15 minutes!
The highway is built on a levee!
Then we crossed the Tennessee River.
We traveled on through Kentucky to the Land Between the Lakes. The area is a large inland peninsula between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. Steve was quite excited to be here as you can well imagine. Too bad we really couldn’t see anything as it was dark by the time we got here!
We looked for a restaurant on Yelp and Patti’s in Green River was suggested.
The plan was to eat at Patti’s 1880 Restaurant. However they had an hour wait for a table so we ate at the sibling restaurant, “Bill’s” next door! Same menu, same price, but only a ten minute wait to be seated. I still don’t understand!
They are famous for their flower pot bread and strawberry butter. You can make strawberry butter yourself if you want to, by adding strawberry jam to whipped butter! To make flower pot bread you just put the dough in a clean flower pot and then bake!
Steve was so happy to be surrounded by all the glitz!
I had prime rib.
Steve had the 2 inch pork chop. Two inch pork chops are a joke with Steve and myself. I only like the very skinny pork chops that I like Steve to overcook. I love them with applesauce too. If I am making them I cook them at 425 degrees for about an hour. Then they are dry as dust, but super crunchy!I really only like them with Kellogg’s corn flake crumbs on them. Sometimes Steve runs out and uses Italian bread crumbs. I don’t like those at all. Do you think he knew that yet?
We must not have had dessert, as I usually take pictures of the food that we eat. But here is a bonus photo of Steve!
We stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn Kuttawa. Have you ever been to Kuttawa before? Well neither had I!
How much did Steve spend at Bass Pro Shops?
If notified, would you have attended Ethel’s funeral?
Did you read any of the Little House on the Prairie Books? Upon rereading them, they were incredibly racist. I am in the process of reading the Landmark series of books for children. Those were incredibly narrow minded also.
Breakfast in the Homewood Suites at the Waterfront in Wichita was not very exciting.
How I miss the Five star lodging!
We never even saw any of the waterfront in Wichita at all. It turns out that the waterfront is a development on Beech Lake, an impoundment.
We made a stop at a grocery store in Kansas before our next stop. We bought some cookies.
8lWhen we were planning our trip, Steve was really excited about making sure that we would stop here. Have I mentioned before how Steve is interested in this type of stuff? Me not so much, but if it makes Steve happy, then I am happy.
Look how big these sunflowers were! Speaking of big, Steve’s beard was quite big by this point. Steve doesn’t have the beard anymore.
These sunflowers had really tiny heads.
Long long ago, this was the range of the Prairie. We saw an interesting movie about the prairie.
Prairie as far as you can see!
Here I am, big hat, no cattle!
Beautiful wild flowers.
We walked a little past this “Beware of Bison” sign. There wasn’t a gate here. The bison are afraid of the grate and won’t go past it. As we were not in a vehicle I decided that this should be the end of the trail. Steve unsurprisingly obeyed.
The grass was taller than I am!
Good bye Kansas! Hello Missouri!
A view of Kansas City from Independence Missouri.
We went to the Harry S. Truman visitor center in Independence Missouri. There was a short orientation film but not many exhibits. We really weren’t impressed. I think that maybe we should have gone to the Presidential Library. We did no research about this at all. Next time, we will be better prepared. I think if you paid money you could go for a ride on the mule driven wagon.
This was the Harry Truman house. We did not go in. We would have had to wait too long to get a slot for the tour. So we just did a drive by. This was really Bess’s Mom’s house. Harry never had much money.
We are staying at the Hotel Vandivort in Springfield Missouri. It was a former Masonic Temple. There is no relation to Harry Potter and he who must not be named.
The hotel had a really funky vibe that I liked. They had self parking with a magnetic card that operated the gate to enter and exit. Steve did not like this at all. He has problems figuring which way to insert the card. Does it go right side up? Down? Front of card? Now did I flip it and turn it the right way or not? Eventually he got it all straightened out and parked the van.
The room was quite pleasant, and very modern. The screen on the wall had different slides of old time Springfield. The room also had hard to figure out blinds. Just not as hard to figure out as the parking lot gate!
Don’t you just love these Do Not Disturb signs for the door?
I wanted to take them all home, but really what do I need with them?
Since Steve was mad and the hotel looked like some kind of Chamber of Commerce Get Together was going on we didn’t eat at the hotel. The restaurant was just off the hotel lobby and there was a lot of noise. By now you should remember that Steve hates NOISE! So we walked down the street to a restaurant that Steve thought looked good.
The restaurant was also noisy but since it was only 1/4 the size of the hotel restaurant it was not quite as noisy as the Vandivort Restaurant would have been.
We shared a Caesar Salad.
I had salmon with lots of vegetables and rice.
Steve had steak frites.
No dessert for us as I ate too many cookies in the car today.
There were lots of sorority sisters in the restaurant. Why do all these gals looks so pulled together and pretty? They appeared to be very tanned, had on lots of foundation, mascara, and styled hair, which for most of them in various shades of blonde tones. I wish I had the energy to spend that much time on myself. Steve is laughing because he knows that I am pretending to take a picture of him, but in reality I am taking a picture of the sorority sisters!
I remember one time asking a lady that I knew who served on a board with me how much time it took her to get ready in the morning. She told me 30 minutes on her hair and 30 minutes on her face. I told her that she looked wonderful, but that I would never be able to look so good. I may be “lemme lemme upgrade Linda”, but high maintenance I am not. I just take a shower, comb my hair, throw some clothes on and if I really want to impress someone I may add some lipstick. Although now I don’t even put on lipstick as if I go to a store I wear a mask. Some people think high maintenance means liking nice stuff, which I do. I think it means requiring lots of time and money to look a certain way.
Steve found out that the Bass Pro Shop store is less than 2 miles from the hotel. They are supposed to have many fish in aquariums in the store. When we were at Cow Creek Steve also got a recipe for beef jerky from his guide. We may be buying lots of supplies and fishing equipment tomorrow. Oh My Land!
Back to the Hotel Vandivort and a good night to all!
Did you pledge a sorority in college?
Are you decent?
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Up for breakfast for our last night in New Mexico. No one else was up except for the waiter!
I had the French toast with berries. It was berry good!
Steve had the gloppy omelette. Or maybe it was an enchilada!
Then it was one last shut of the door and out the door we went!
We soon left New Mexico.
Good bye mountains!
With each mile the mountains got further and further away.
Soon we were in Texas and we found a grocery store to stop at in Amarillo Texas!
There were lots of wind turbines in the Texas panhandle.
So after Texas it was on to Oklahoma. Steve was fascinated by the signs for clean restrooms at the Sunoco station. I admit that I was so fascinated that I had to take a picture!
Sure enough they had clean restrooms, they just weren’t in working condition.
So the normally family restroom had to be shared. Good thing that they finally put up the sign to tell patrons to lock the door. I am sure there were a few “whoopsies!”
We found a small supermarket in Oklahoma.
They had big logs of ground beef. I am not sure how many hamburgers or meatloaves you could make with that much beef. I found it totally unappetizing and I love meat!
Where we are located the ground meat is sold in small trays, just like the packages on the upper left of the screen. About a pound and a third. I know this as many of my recipes call for 1.5 pounds of beef. This annoys me to no end. I don’t like to adjust my recipies, so my meatloaf is probably a little less tasty than it should be. I have noticed some of those big logs of beef in our area, but way back then in the dark ages of 2015 when we took this trip it didn’t seem to happen as often.
I did find it interesting how small the produce area was compared to the snack area.
I am sure that processed food is much cheaper here than fresh fruits and vegetables as all the crop land if any is for growing animals. I think the other land is for wind turbines and oil wells!
Oklahoma was flat and wet, but beautiful as every where we have seen in the United States.
Oklahoma has the nicest rest areas of any that we have been to. I made sure to tell the ladies at the information desk this. The ladies seemed to be quite happy about this!
Then it was on to Kansas! No, you are not seeing things, the window was a bit smeared because of all the rain, and the photo was enlarged to the state of distortion.
We had dinner at Firebirds which was very near to our hotel.
The Double Black Diamond Martini was so good! After having to lay off the booze while we were at higher elevations it was nice to have a fruity martini again. Of course you know how I like a fruity martini!
I got a little bit annoyed at the waitstaff who told me it was “okay” to skip the appetizers and just have an entree.
A small loaf of bread with butter.
Steak Salad for me.
Salmon for Steve.
Then they said it was “okay” that we didn’t want to share a slice of carrot cake or another dessert. Since when do I need the servers okay to not pad the bill?
Then it was back to Homewood Suites in Wichita.
What is your favorite fruity martini flavor?
Have you ever been to the rest areas on the Oklahoma interstates?
Should I take all my pictures of food before someone took a bite?
We told the cook that she didn’t need to stop by this morning to cook us breakfast. She had to travel at least 30 minutes for each meal that she prepared for us as she did not work full time at the lodge.
I was never so happy to leave any place that we stayed at . (At least that I can remember!)
Here is Steve letting us through the gate to leave.
And our van approaches the gate to leave!
Boom! One set of gates done. More to go!
Good bye Cow Creek! Not sorry to be gone!
This whole stay at Cow Creek was not quite pleasant, I find it cathartic to relive it’s end!
Good bye burned out forest!
Onto the dirt road.
Then it was onto a stone road.
Some parts of the road were really bumpy.
Then we got to the narrow section with blind spots ahead.
Where a truck always seemed to be approaching, with poor visibility of the road ahead.
The road was so uneven.
With steep drops offs on one side.
And a truck barreling down the road to look for downed wood in the forest.
I told you it was a bad road!
After an hour on the dirt/stone road we made it to pavement. Yay!
The car was a real mess from the dust and dirt!
Now would be a good time to recap Steve’s thoughts about Cow Creek.
A harrowing drive up the worst road I’ve ever seen, a burned over landscape and truly bad food will prevent a repeat visit, but I caught a lot of fish in our 2 days there. Cow Creek is a small high mountain (8800′) stream, about 10’wide and perhaps 20 CFS, that has been “improved” by digging deep holes every 30 yards or so over a 2 mile stretch. This section is divided into 12 beats. They have also dug 7 ponds. The work was done as tastefully as possible, but still feels artificial. The deep pools and ponds hold bookies, browns, cutbows, and rainbows, some 5-8 pounds. They are very wary and tentative due to the concentrated pressure, I enjoyed catching a few big ones of 4-6 pounds, one of which took a mouse against the bank near the inlet of Pond No. A. With a strike worthy of a lunker bass, but I most enjoyed the natural stretch upstream, which is tiny water full of small wild browns, bookies, and a few Rio Grande cutthroat. With stealth and accurate short casts, even bow and arrow casts, the fish rose to small dries, especially a Royal Wolff in size 18.
I found this place for breakfast on Yelp. Chocolate? Yes, please!
The bakery looked very promising.
We were told to sit anywhere, I plopped ourselves in front of the window so we could watch the bakers. “You looking at me?”
While we waited for our breakfast to be brought over, we enjoyed watching how some of the pastries were prepared.
First the dough needs to be run through the machine, several times to create the perfect flaky croissant.
Then it is placed on the slab, ready to be cut.
Here the baker is piping chocolate onto the dough.
On the right spinach croissants are being prepared.
Our breakfast were derived. I had the blue corn blueberry pancakes with piñon syrup. I probably should have had the strawberries and cream waffle. These were a bit dense and dry.
Steve had some kind of Mexican slop. If that isn’t a gloppy breakfast I don’t know what is!
Then it was time to find our hotel. We went from no stars to a five star American Express Fine Hotel with benefits!
We would be staying at The Inn of the Anasazi.
The hotel was right on the courthouse square. We went for a walk. Come along.
We checked out The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
The church was started in 1869 and is designed in the Romanesque Revival style.
It was lovely inside.
Nearby was the famous Loretto Chapel.
Inside is the miraculous staircase.
There is no newel or center pole. The staircase was built without nails. It is held together by pegs and glue. That is why it was called the “Miraculous Staircase.”
The Gothic Revival altar is made of wood painted to look like marble.
While in Santa Fe we also went to some museums. The Georgia O’Keeefe museum was going under renovations so they didn’t charge us to enter. We also went to the Historical Museum. No pictures allowed!
On the way back to the hotel we stopped to window shop at Lucchese boots. We only window shopped.
Our room was very inviting.
This was the special amenity we were given by the hotel. A handful of potato chips, a handful of popcorn and some nuts. We shared.
We had dinner at the hotel.
I love cornbread, as does Steve.
One of us had a salad.
I am not quite sure what this entree was.
This was definitely salmon!
Dessert was flan, ice cream and chocolate. All three of my favorite food groups!
Do you think I was too hard on Cow Creek?
Are you nuts?
Which one these food groups is your favorite? Flan, ice cream or chocolate?
Good Morning to you! This is a fish caught on the ranch by a prior guest. That is some fish! And it looks like it was caught a long time ago.
While I waited for our cook to rustle up some breakfast for me I thought I would show you some of the main lodge.
The main dining area.
In the next room there were many animal heads.
Some animal skins.
There were plenty of spaces to sit and chat. However, we were the only guests for the week. Cow Creek has since ceased to exist as a public fishing lodge. Which we thought would happen. There was so much fire damage to the hills, that it was an unattractive place to fish or ride.
My scrambled eggs and bacon came out quickly.
Which were soon followed by berry pancakes.
Steve had already gone out to meet with with his guide for his day of fishing.
While Steve was fishing I hung out at the lodge. A bird watching group from Santa Fe came to search for birds. I was invited but had no energy at this elevation.
They were off for four hours, so I think it was a good decision not to go out with them.
The lodge must have been really something back in the day. It was too bad that there had been so many fires in the area.
A beautfiul fish that Steve caught.
No he did not keep him. Steve realeses his fish that he catches back to the stream. Once in awhile he does keep a few trout when he fishes back home and we eat them, but that is rare.
Here is a closer view of the pond that Steve fished.
Fish in the net.
Sometimes the ending is not so happy!
Then it was time for dinner. More of the salad from a bag with tomatoes and shredded cheese.
Chicken. It’s whats for dinner! Very dry chicken.
For dessert we had pistachio pudding and that same chocolate cake!
After dinner I followed Steve to the pond.
For more fishing.
No, it is not the same fish!
I wanted him to catch me one of the palomino trout, but they were persnickety.
Steve caught 50 fish today. It would be his last day fishing on this trip. Tomorrow we leave for Santa Fe, New Mexico!
Then it was off to bed.
What animal heads are in your living room?
What is your favorite type of dry meat?
Have you ever seen a palomino trout?
Did you that LDR means Long Distance Release?
Are you happy about not seeing anymore fish pictures? Be honest!
After I published last night’s post Steve remarked that I did not embellish much about the road to Cow Creek. I told him that I blocked a lot of it out of my memory as it was such a bad, bad road. Steve said that the road was bed rock in many parts and that at times we couldn’t even tell where the road actually was. Yep. That is why I didn’t remember the road. It was bad!
Here I am at breakfast, reading the literature about the history of Cow Creek.
Please don’t quiz me! This is the view of the dining area from the opposite direction.
I can tell you that Cow Creek was founded in the 1800’s as a boarding ranch for wealthy English boys to learn Western ranching. Generally these would be second sons as only the first born son would inherit the estate. In the 1930’s Cow Creek was transformed into a guest ranch. It’s for sale now, if you want to buy it!
I love my whipped cream on coffee!
Here is a view of Cow Creek and the valley.
After breakfast I wandered down to the horse barn for my scheduled ride.
Can you see the fish in the stream?
Here I am with one of the staff and Lanier one of the owners. This ranch had the first riding waiver that I had to sign that mentioned the possibility of death, I looked at Lanier and asked her how often that happened. I did not relish the thought of being their first casualty!
The creek at Cow Creek was very pretty.
Unfortunately there had been forest fires a few years ago and the hill sides were severely damaged.
This is some damage from a bear that was clawing on the tree!
Look how big the scars are from the bear claws!
My posture looked good, I was happy to be almost done with the ride! At one point in the ride my horse stumbled and I semi fell off it. No worries! I lived to tell the story!
Thank you for the ride Horse!
After my ride I walked back to the room where I rested for the rest of the day. The elevation really got to me and I was exhausted.
This is the living room where guests could hang out. I don’t even remember sitting here reading. I blocked out a lot about the stay at this ranch as I was so uncomfortable with everything about this place. The living room does look cozy though!
This is what one of the rooms looked like. I didn’t find any guest logs to find out if any famous people had stayed here before. Nor were there any other guests staying here to tell you any fun stories about them!
This is where our meals were cooked.
This is one of the fish that Steve caught in the morning from one of the lower beats on Cow Creek.
Steve didn’t really like these lower beats as they were enhanced.
The fish was a real beauty, but Steve prefers less constructed streams. This fish was 21 inches.
So Steve and his guide moved upstream. This was one of the spots where Steve fished later in the day.
Isn’t this a beauty? He preferred the wild trout as opposed to the larger fish in the stocked ponds. This was his first Rio Grande cut throat.
Here is another area where he caught many wild trout.
I tried sitting here to read for a little bit while Steve was fishing. It got a bit too sunny for me so I went back inside.
I could see the horses gather near the gate while I read. You can see all the fire damage here.
This view is of one of the ponds that were created on Cow Creek.
The rooms were in a motel shape arrangement. They had a very bad fire that destroyed much of the landscape here. You can see how close the fire was to the lodge.
Steve came back from fishing to report that he caught 25 fish for the day, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, cutbow and a rio cutt.
Then it was time for dinner. We didn’t have the cook come for lunch as she had to drive about an hour each way to get to the ranch.
We had a somewhat green salad.
Dinner was pot roast. Followed by the cake from the previous night.
There were many hummingbird feeders under the eaves.
Here is a close up of one of the Hummingbirds. Aren’t they cute?
Off to bed!
What is your favorite type of bird?
Are you a second son?
Would you rather catch a large stocked fish or a small native fish?
Is this place too dull for you? No famous people, no interesting guests with interesting background stories! No pictures of good food! I might as well just hang up my blogging skills. Instead I will persevere, you never know when something exciting will happen!
We woke up on our last day at Dunton to frost on the ground! Yikes, it gets cold in the mountains in September!
Here is a close up of the frost on the ground.
Here is a close up of my breakfast!
No wonder my cholesterol got high!
This is what I wrote in the guest book! Steve can not stand my printing, he finds it very difficult to read. I agree!
We said goodbye to honeymooners Liz and Zack at breakfast and told them to think of us on their 36th anniversary. Unfortunately Steve and I would likely be dead! A little bit macabre but the truth. Then it was time to leave our little cabin. Since our stay five years ago Liz and Zach are parents of two beautiful children. Good job Liz and Zach!
Here you have a close up. We both need our sunglasses on! But isn’t the light beautiful?
The windshield needed to be scraped as the van was parked in the shade.
After we left the property, I took one last look at Dunton Hot Springs.
We stopped along the road for a few pictures.
Now is as good as time as any to give Steve’s report of the fishing.
The next stop on our trip was Dunton Hot Springs in the San Juan range in Colorado, where I fished the West Dolores. I fished a beaver meadow at the headwaters, a nice canyon stretch just downstream, and a big deep slow meadow section and fast canyon section about 4 miles downstream. Since the water was low and clear, the PMX,Morrish hopper and Copper John were good, but the fish were very wary in their small stream and I got many refusals. During a brief period of off-color water following a heavy storm, the SJW was excellent. The river is stocked each Spring with rainbows, and they grow well-I caught a 20 incher and lost 2 others at least as big, one on a 4′ vertical jump and the other after 2 amazing 8’lateral greyhounding jumps. That fish many have been the most acrobatic I’ve ever hooked. The one section that has the most fish-the big meadow, I enjoyed the least because the bottom is too silty to wade comfortably and the banks are too high to cast from, as well as being covered with thistle up to 8′ tall. I also tried some gorgeous water near the campgrounds but I did’t see a fish-I suspect they all went to the frying pan during the summer.
We stopped by at a grocery store in Durango,Colorado on our way to New Mexico. We didn’t have any time on the way to Dunton.
Then we also stopped at a grocery store when we drove to New Mexico. Notice all the pickup trucks. There will be a story about pickup trucks later!
Lots of interesting scenery. The picture would have looked a lot better if I had rolled down the window or stopped the van and gotten out. No time for stopping -we have a new place to stay tonight.
More interesting scenery. Our next few days would be spent at a ranch near Pecos, New Mexico.
It’s up into the mountains we shall go. Our gps stopped working but we had directions to the ranch. The last ten miles was supposed to take an hour. What kind of nonsense was this?
It was the truth. The road was narrow, with lots of switchbacks. It was not paved and extremely bumpy with lots of 4 X 4 pickup trucks that were bringing back downed trees that they would use for heat in homes that were many miles away. The backs of the trucks were filled with wood and people perched on top of the wood. It was an accident waiting to happen, but we actually never saw an accident. I guess these people were pros at it!
Finally after an hour we reached the final set of gates for the ranch. We were going to be the only guests that week. When Steve made the reservations they told him that they did not provide meals. You could either cook for yourself in the kitchen or hire someone to cook. Steve interviewed a cook who was Hispanic and cooked Mexican food. The only Mexican food I care for are taco chips, and churros. I consider everything else slop. I told Steve that I did not want to eat enchiladas. I would rather have what I considered regular food baked or grilled chicken, pork or beef.
Here is Steve getting ready to plate his dinner. Yes, there is a little bit of a smirk there.
This was our dinner. Salad from a bag, yummy potatoes, canned peas, rolls and really dry boneless pork chops. Perhaps I should have gone for the enchiladas after all!
Well, there was dessert. How can you screw up chocolate cake?
What is your total cholesterol?
Do you eat Mexican food?
Is it possible for a baker to screw up chocolate cake?