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?