Bass Pro Shops, Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, Missouri. September 25, 2015

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?

Alligators!

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.

Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico Tuesday September 22, 2015

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?

Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico. Monday September 21, 2015

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.

Oopsy!

Nice recovery!

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!

Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico. Sunday September 20, 2015

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!

Breakfast!

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!

The bathroom.

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!

Dunton Hot Springs to Cow Creek Ranch. Saturday September 19, 2015

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?

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. Friday September 18, 2015

Steve took the day off from fishing. We got to have breakfast together! Waffles, fruits and bacon! Three of my favorites.

We walked to the base of the falls.

Here is a video of the waterfall.

Aren’t we the cutest couple ever? Look! Steve is not wearing a plaid shirt!

We took a peak at the yoga studio.

This is the center of the camp. The fire pit where we would have s’mores at night. The dining hall is on the right, and the on the left was where they would hold large group dinners. The middle section was where they had a small gift shop.

Steve is checking out the river. If there is water and fish, he is usually checking it out.

Lunch!

Dessert! That is bread pudding and gluten free chocolate chip cookies.

Omar and T went to Telluride for the day as their riding was cancelled.

Here is a picture of Steve and the waitstaff at the bar for our before dinner cheese and crackers.

What I should have done was started at the top of the list and tried one of the speciality drinks each night!

Here is a photo of Steve from his best angle. Ha Ha!

Normally dinner was at this table, but we were going to be a big group tonight, so we were going to be in a different room. We would also sit on the couches here before dinner also. You could also play pool in the room. Have I told you yet that Steve loves to play pool? He would love to put one in the bonus room at our Lake George house. I keep telling him NO!

This is a closeup of the bar. Supposedly Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were here and engraved their names in the bar. I think that is untrue, but Steve believes the story.

I guess Kay was one of Butch’s girlfriends.

I love the stamped ceiling.

As there were so many guests tonight all 26 of us sat at a long table in the dance hall.

Roasted parsnips and apples with pickled beech mushrooms, crispy Brussels graved quail eggs, and served with a Cliff-Lede 2013 Sauvignon Blanc.

Coffee rubbed Elk tenderloin with fire roasted tomato (some people had red, orange or yellow-very pretty!), root vegetable macedoine, and a coffee glaze. Our wine for this course was a Melville 2013 Syrah.

Dessert had us all scratching our heads. Rainbow carrot and parsnip financier, spiced walnuts, golden raisin purée, and cream cheese mousse. What is a financier? It means fancy little cake, so the dessert was really a deconstructed carrot cake.

After dinner we went to explore the teepee.

As you recall this is Dunton during the day time.

This is the hole in that you had to crawl into to get inside. Originally sleeping in the teepee was an option but as there were too many critters that could sneak inside, they cancelled that option.

Here are Steve and I in the tee-pee.

It was really tall!

Have you ever been in a tee-pee?

Improper bonus question so it doesn’t count: Have you ever peed in a tee-pee?

Did you know what a financier was?

Do you believe that Butch Cassidy and Sundance were actually at Dunton?

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. Thursday September 17, 2015

A view of magical Dunton Hot Springs . You can see the San Juan mountains in the distance, behind the resort which is a restored mining village. The place looks like a dump on the outside, but it is all five star inside!

One of the guests staying here was a big hiker. He got up way early and hiked to the top of the mountain in the picture! Energetic guy. To hike up and back you need to get up way early. Try 3 am early. Not only is it far, but there are bad thunderstorms in the mountains in the afternoons. You don’t want to get caught in that!

Steve had an omelette for breakfast.

I had the mixed berry pancakes. Doesn’t everything look better with confectioners sugar on it?

After breakfast I strolled to the library, lit a fire and read for awhile. Steve went off fishing.

Lunch started with a plate of mixed greens.

This was followed by grilled corn and then beef and pork ribs.

That was some “good eating”!

Here is another view of the bar and where we would gather for cocktails before dinner.

So after lunch I went for another soak in the main hot spring building. Do you see the big gray box in the background by my toes? That is the cold soak tub. After you soaked in the hot springs you were supposed to go in the cold tub. I did it once and did not enjoy it. Steve thought it was quite invigorating. I am not an invigorating type of gal.

This is another picture of the main building. The red sofa in the background is where I was sitting in the prior picture. You can see the cold plunge pool on the right of the picture. This picture is from the Dunton web site.

After my soak I wandered around to take a few pictures. Our little cabin.

The view of the hills.

The stream right behind our cabin where Steve caught many fish.

Later in the afternoon I went to the open kitchen to see what the chef was up to. Looks like a soup in gourds.

Steve came back from another successful day fishing. Today he caught 32 fish!

Before dinner we cuddled up for a cozy picture. We showed all the honey-mooners you can still have fun after 37 years!

Dinner was in fact great soup in mini pumpkins.

Our entree was lamb.

Another delicious dessert.

After dinner we made s’mores by the bonfire.

Someone had a night sky app so we had fun identifying all the satellites and stars above.

Now I suppose it is a good time to talk about two interesting guests at Dunton. O and T. O had a name that you might think was a Sheik or a tent maker, but he was neither. (Think Oscar, as Steve doesn’t want me to say real names!) It was the girlfriend T’s birthday, not a number ending in a zero, just a regular birthday. Instead of going to the Bahamas with friends (they live in the Miami area), O decided to surprise his girlfriend with a trip here. I gave him major props to decide on this romantic trip. A trip to the Bahamas is so last year! You are making an effort when you bring your girlfriend to a romantic ghost town with 5 star accommodations! O liked to hit the night clubs in Miami. I found it fascinating hearing about getting car services to take you out at night and drive you around. I live a sheltered life!

O’s business was real estate investments. Now it is just investments. (Sounds like my friend from Dubai who said he was “a trader”!) O went to college and then got his MBA. He started working for a mortgage broker and started to buy real estate. At his peak he had 5000 units (condos, apartments, multi family housing). His worth, not his net worth (I didn’t ask how much he was leveraged was $750 Million. The market turned from its peak and he had some big losses, but still has money. How do you become a millionaire? You start with being a hundred millionaire.

I never did find out O’s last name. I really would have loved to have googled it. I did try to google O’s first name and Miami Beach real estate but didn’t find out who he really was.

What’s your idea of a romantic birthday celebration?

Do you love s’mores?

How do I get these people to tell me all their stories?

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. Wednesday September 16, 2015

Waffles again for breakfast. Yum Yum.

Steve went off fishing while I hung out. Pretty soon it was time to eat again!

You can tell that I wasn’t crazy about the salad!

We had salmon for lunch.

Dessert was a berry crumble, and a berry bar!

So after lunch I went to the bath house to soak in the hot spring there and then went to soak in the spring outside. It is not really a general store, they just call the main indoor spring the Dunton Store!

This is the inside of the Dunton Store. I got the picture from their website.

With a view of the mountains, it can’t get much better than this! This spring was just outside of the cabin that the couple who owned the fancy Mercedes stayed in. They had left earlier in the morning so I might have actually soaked it in for a wee bit!

This is one of the places where Steve fished today. He caught 29 fish for the day!

Dunton’s elevation is 8600 feet. I celebrated no altitude sickness with a glass of champagne before dinner. And it was a raucous dinner! Two new guests came so I did my social duties and introduced the new comers to our two newlywed couples and our 10 year anniversary couple.

Dinner was a pretty micro green salad (you almost need a microscope to find the individual pieces, although it seems a close up from my iPhone works well!)

The entree was duck breast. The vegetarian option was panned by those who partook of that option.

Dessert was a fig and chocolate cake, I think. It was interesting.

After dinner we hung out and looked at stars!

Was today’s post too short?

Do you think my friend got her AIS at 8 am?

Were you surprised that I introduced all the couples?

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. Tuesday September 15, 2015

Good morning!

Tuesday started with a great breakfast.

At Lunch we had a great salad with a vegetarian stir fry that was so-so.

The cookies with hazelnut filling were spectacular, so I had a happy tummy! I didn’t particularly care for the peach cream pie.

We had a dip in the bath house, and then in the outside spring until we heard thunder. Then it was time to vacate the outside hot spring!

Steve fished most of the rest of the day on the Dolores River and I did some reading. As the elevation here was a little bit higher than Brush Creek I didn’t want to exert myself too much. Our cabin was also the closest to the dining hall in case I had problems breathing. Elevation here is 8600 feet. The elevation at Brush Creek was around 7400 feet. We were gradually increasing our elevation. Our next stop will be at an elevation over 9000 feet. We shall see how I will do in a few days at that higher elevation!

Dinner was most entertaining. (Not because of the food, but the people we met!) We started off with a great garden salad.

Our entree was Trout en papillote, chanterelles, wild leeks, and pine nuts. Served with manoomin roasted carrots and pine cone syrup. The twist was that the trout was baked in a corn husk! What a clever twist on the traditional paper papillotte.

I was not crazy for the rustic apple tart served for dessert. No chocolate!

So today’s crazy story is that there were two guests from Denver who owned many Mercedes-Benz cars. They were having a photo essay done on them for Mercedes- Benz magazine. The couple are avid MB classic car collectors. They own seven cars. ( I think they own three homes and are selling one-but I am digressing here, so back to the story!) One of the cars that they own is a green 1956 300 SL Gull-wing.

The doors open up just like the wings of a gull! The wife even had matching luggage! (Which I didn’t see, but I don’t think she would lie about that! )They stayed for a few days in Telluride and had pictures taken of them in the car tooling around. As the roads to Dunton were too bad the car was kept in an air plane hanger in Telluride so it wouldn’t get dusty until the couple was done with the photo shoot in Dunton!

They traveled with a young photographer. (I wasn’t sure at first what was going on, they appeared to be a threesome, but I couldn’t figure out who was with whom!) The couple were to be photographed in Dunton relaxing in the hot springs and fishing. I know not if they caught any fish! At meal time, the photographer, who always had his eyes looking out the window, would exclaim “The light, the light!” The couple would then dash out of the dining hall for pictures!

They were to leave at AIS 8 a.m. the next morning. This was a new expression to me, and it is something that Steve and I now use. AIS means Ass In Seat (of the car you are going to be driving in!). Now this lady spent a lot of time on hair and makeup, so I am sure that she required a lot of lead time to be AIS at 8! They were going to drive to Gateway Canyons (where I had wanted to stay near Grand Junction-but it was too far out of the way for us) for a continuation of their photo shoot. The photographer wanted to have a helicopter in the photo shoot but the management at Gateway nixed that idea! After that they were going to go to Aspen for more pictures. I was not quite sure how the car was going to get to Gateway, were they going to have someone else meet them or would they have to go back to Telluride and pick up the car?

Now for my curious readers, the car was worth $1.75 to 2 million dollars! I looked it up. There are certain questions that even I don’t ask! I did ask their life story, and here it is. The gentleman started out as an enlisted guy in the Army as a dog handler. After that he started an investment counseling business. Forty years later he owns many homes and vintage automobiles. His wife, who happens to be the original wife(!) was dripping in diamonds. Now ordinarily you always think that someone else’s diamonds are too big, but these were not. As far as I am concerned you can never have too many or diamonds that are too big! The couple were the most down to earth people that you could meet! Only in America, can you go from dog handler to vintage Mercedes-Benz owner!

Steve caught nine fish yesterday including three 17 inch trout! Today Steve caught 8 fish and an 18 inch trout!

Do you own a Mercedes-Benz?

Did you ever have a photo spread done on you or your significant other?

Are you dripping in diamonds?

Off to Grand Junction Colorado. Sunday September 13, 2015

We had breakfast at Brush Creek and then we were off onto the next leg of our adventure. We saw some Sand Hill Cranes, at least Steve did, my eyes for bird watching are not as good as his are.

Then to add to our excitement we had a moose cross the highway in front of us! I was in such shock that I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of the moose! While we were discussing our near accident, we decided to check our luggage and make sure that the mule deer shed (antler) was secure. Nothing like having a pointy flying projectile ruin a wonderful road trip!

Lo and behold, it turns out that two of our large suitcases were missing. The fool wrangler at Bruch Creek who was assigned to put our luggage in the van didn’t bring everything down. So we had to turn around and go back to the ranch.

We then drove to Rock City to try to find wild mustangs. One of the staff at Brush Creek told us that it was a very interesting park. Seeing a gopher hole and Pilot Mesa was easier to find. We did find 4 out of the 1500 wild mustangs. The wildlife preserve was over 250,000 acres. So we were really lucky to see any.

To get this close to the horses you need to have a four wheel drive vehicle with plenty of road clearance and lots of free time. This we didn’t have so it was back in the van again.

Once on our way again we stopped at Flaming Gorge. Steve had vacationed here once with one of his brothers for a fishing trip. The dam impounds the Green River.

There were lots of boats that are launched here every day. The fish are constantly pounded by anglers of all kinds. Steve did not enjoy fishing on the Green River at all.

The dam rises 500 feet above bed rock impounding the Green River. It was created in 1964 to supply hydro electricity and supply water to the Colorado River Storage Project. An added bonus is the recreational aspect of boating and fishing.

Then we passed through the little town of Dutch John. Summer residents total about 250, and 150 in the winter.

Next stop was our trip to Dinosaur National Monument.

It was hot again and we were tired and cranky and had a long way to go so we only saw the movie. We did achieve a magnificent find of an Alaska license plate! We likely won’t get all 50 as Hawaii is really hard to get.

Our final stop of the day was Grand Junction Colorado. We had dinner at a great restaurant. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name so it will remain our secret.

I started with greens with feta cheese.

I had scallops with a vegetable spring roll while Steve had beef with french fries.

Dessert was called “The Bomb”. Chocolate mousse with a layer of something and then some chocolate stout beer foam. We finished it all!

When was the last time you saw a moose cross the highway?

Have you ever seen an Alaskan license plate?

Has anyone ever described you as “The Bomb”?