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?
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!
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.
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?
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?
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?
No breakfast pictures today! Not when there is interesting scenery to see!
We hit the road for our five hour drive to out next Excellent Adventure. Seeing wild mustangs and dinosaur bones didn’t really count as an adventure. Just a side trip!
You can just bet that Steve was itching to fish here! However, there was no time to stop today, as we were on our way to Dunton Hot Springs. Steve was going to be able to get his Colorado fish at Dunton. At least we hoped he would!
\We drove through the San Juan Mountains. The highest elevation was 10,100 feet. The Aspens had just started to turn golden.
You can see evidence of a rock slide here.
This is part of Telluride ski area.
This business in Rico, Colorado had seen better days. After 30 minutes of driving on a dirt road we saw a car with flashing lights. What was ahead?
A cowboy and his cattle.
After an hour on a dirt road we came to the gate that would separate Dunton Hot Springs Resort from the rest of the world! Steve is talking to staff asking them to open the gate for us. This was a former mining town from 1885 that turned into a ghost town. In 1994 it was bought and then restored by the Christopher Henkel, a German born London based investor. If you use Persil laundry detergent you keep his family and this place going! The place looks like a dump on the outside, but it is decorated in a five star way! Our cabin is the little one to the right of the main building. The main building is also where the dining area is located.
This building is where the main hot spring is located.There are several springs here. One of the springs is located in a cabin that you can stay at. That would not be our cabin.You can see the spa in the bath house being refilled. There had been a wedding the previous weekend and all the spas were drained, cleaned and then refilled. The spring looks yucky , that is because of all the minerals in the water. This is one of the outside springs behind one of the cabins.
This was another hot spring, you had to climb down stairs to get in.
Here is more of our tour of the town. The library with the bear skin rug that I tripped on. At least I didn’t go boom!
The library’s bottle of whisky. What proper library doesn’t have a bottle of whisky in it? Here is the waterfall. What proper lodge doesn’t have a waterfall?
Our African themed room. The shower was in a little closet on the right of the door.
The toilet and sink were to the left of the door. The Cabin was tiny!Lunch was great.
Dessert was brownies and a peppery blond brownie.
We got to meet the bride and groom from the past weekend’s wedding. (Not the couple in the picture above.) She was in a television series that was being filmed in Atlanta (Not the Housewives!) The groom was in the band of a very famous singer. No names for you!
Of course it was time for Steve to gear up and test the waters!
Here is a picture of Steve catching a fish on the West Branch of the Dolores River. Unfortunately I can’t figure out how to post a copy of an old video for you. This was just behind our cabin!
Did you not believe me? Of course he caught a fish!
Lucky, lucky you! I figured out how to insert videos again!
Here are some pictures of the prep work for dinner. Gorgeous potatoes for roasting.
Also many different colored carrots.
We started with a beautiful grilled escarole salad with fruit to start our dinner.
Followed by grilled lamb chops. Our wine was from Sutcliffe Vineyards. Sutcliffe is located in Cortez, Colorado; the nearest large town .I think there was some kind of relationship between Sutcliffe and Dunton.
Our delicious dessert. Sweet Potato Pie with chocolate chile sauce and maple whipped cream.
Would you come here on your honeymoon?
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Bonus question: Have you ever had sex in a hot spring? Scratch that, I don’t want to know!
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?