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Published: December 8th 2010
A look at the crowd at the festival
First I would like to apologize to all my friends whom I did not get in touch with or see while in Aspen, DFW, and Chattanooga, next I would like to thank those who opened up your home for Pearl and me to stay at during our "Road Trip".
Pearl left for the States a week before I did, so when I arrived she was already acclimated to the time change, this worked out very good for me. The first Saturday I was there we went to Ketner's Mill for a Arts and Craft fair, on the way there and on the way back we stopped at various yard sales, which Pearl loves. Monday I was sick and stayed in bed all day, I had the rest of the week to get ready for my NICET test on Saturday the 23rd.
Start of our road trip.
We had an early morning flight out of Chattanooga to Denver, the reason for the early departure was because we had tickets to the Raiders vs. Broncos football game, and I was so looking forward to this game when I found out that we would be in town when the Raiders
Pearl feeding an Alpaca
would be playing. After arriving in Denver and catching a shuttle to the hotel, we checked in to our hotel and took a taxi to the game; we arrived about 15 minutes before kick-off, our seats were on the upper deck, on the visitor’s side right at the goal line. You had a great view of the field and of the Rocky Mountains. I was kind of surprised as to the number of Raider fans at Mile High Stadium, and we would not be disappointed. The Raiders had the ball first and drove down the field for a touchdown, Denver’s first play of the game was a pass play that the Raiders intercepted the pass and ran it in for a touchdown, on Denver’s second play from scrimmage they fumbled and the Raiders recovered it, a few plays later they were in the end zone again, so seven minutes into the game and the Raiders were up 21-0. The game just snowballed from there and the Raiders cruised to a 59-14 victory.
Woke up to the sight of heavy clouds in mountains, and a very nice Rainbow, made me think of the viral video of Double Rainbow
Our lunch, which consisted of a blooming onion and a funnel cake
Man. Anyway, we took a taxi to pick up our means of transportation for the week of our road trip, a 10’ Budget Rental truck, see the whole purpose of this road trip was to clean out my storage unit in Basalt, Colorado, about 15 minutes north of Aspen. After we picked up our truck we drove to The Flatirons Mall in Broomfield, just outside of Denver, after a couple of hours of shopping and lunch we were off to Aspen. When we left Denver it was sunny and mild, maybe in the 50’s, after about 45 minutes of driving and in the mountains the weather had turned to cold, windy and snowing. There were signs telling all commercial vehicles that chains will be required at mm200, the Eisenhower Tunnel, we kept pushing on and the snow continued. We were about 100 yards from the entrance to the tunnel when a white-out decided to show up, I just took my foot off the gas and coasted to the opening of the tunnel. The Eisenhower Tunnel is one of the world’s highest vehicular tunnels with an elevation of 11,158’; it is also the longest mountain tunnel, 1.7 miles, on the interstate
This little guy (the dog) waiting for some scraps
highway system. Once I was at the end of the tunnel a truck ahead of me decided to slow down and sight see, finally he came to a complete stop, after a car passed us I passed the truck, then good ‘ol Mr. White-Out hit again, again I let off on the gas and barley saw the car ahead of me go sliding off to the right of the interstate. After the two white-outs the rest of the drive was fairly easy. We still had Vail pass to cross, and the weather was the same there, windy and snowing, we stopped at the top of Vail pass to “Take a break”.
Later that evening we arrived at Judy’s house where we would spend the next two nights.
We arrived at the storage unit early in the morning; we were finished in a couple of hours, all my stuff barely covered the bed of our truck. We drove into Aspen to see the sights, after parking the truck on a side street we walked around town. For lunch I picked a classical local sandwich shop, Johnny McGuire’s. We split a Fatty (a 12” sub) and fries, after words
Making sorghum syrup the old way...except for the guy on the cell phone
we walked around town, some of the shops were still closed for the season. We finally made it back to our truck, and drove up-and-down the streets looking at all the nice houses; we drove past Jack Nicholson’s house again.
We left Aspen and headed up valley, on the way we drove up towards Rudi Reservoir, I wanted to show Pearl Neal Diamond’s house, well I missed it the first time and we ended up at the reservoir, which was worth the drive, nice and quiet and beautiful. On the way back I did find Neal Diamond’s house, but did not get a great picture since we had a car behind us.
Later that night we took Judy out for dinner at a nice Chinese restaurant in Glenwood Springs, at Judy’s house we had some desert, peanut butter fudge, and called it a night.
We were up early to start our road trip back to Chattanooga; we planned a few stops along the way for sightseeing and visit friends. Fresh snow had fallen the night before, and the chain laws for commercial vehicles were in effect over Vail pass, after Vail pass we exited at Frisco and
Pearl by a pond with all the fall colors
did some grocery shopping for the rest of the trip. Heading south we drove through Breckenridge Colorado, drove over Hossier Pass, 11,539 feet, and the Continental Divide. Our first stop was at South Park Colorado, this is where the cartoon with the same name is from.
We kept pushing south, getting lower in elevation meant less snow to drive through, once out of the snow, it was time for Pearl to have a go at driving the truck, she did a great job, she was nervous at first but once she got the hang she did great.
After about three or four hours Pearl got us to the Royal Gorge in Canyon City Colorado. We arrived just before 3pm, the two rides, the gondola and the incline train, stopped running at 3:30pm, we chose to ride the gondola across the gorge and walk across the bridge. The gondola ride was cool; since it was very windy that day it made for an interesting ride across the gorge, what with the swinging and bouncing. On the other side we did a small hike, which was a figure-8 like loop, there were some animals also, elk, mountain sheep, and some buffalo, which
included a white female and her calf. Once we got to the bridge it seemed like the wind had really picked up and you could see the bridge rocking and rolling, it reminded me of the “Galloping Gurnee” in Oregon, but obviously not quite so bad. About half way across I decided to lie down on the bridge, more on that smart move later, which felt like I was on a raft on the water. After the bridge crossing we walk around and head to our truck to continue our quest, our next stop is Fredricksburg Texas. About 30 miles down the road I realize that I cannot find my cell phone, I pull the truck over and we search and search, but no phone, so we drive back to the gorge, since the park is closed now we go to the toll both to drive across the bridge, I ask the guard there if anybody turned in a cell phone, and to my pleasant surprise they had, and it was mine. Seems that when I laid down on the bridge my phone fell out of my pocket, I was very lucky that it did not slip between the slats
DIA airport, suppose to look like the snow covered rocky mountains
and fall over a thousand feet, I was also very lucky that a kind woman turned in my phone. Back in the truck we are once again on the road. We drive over Raton Pass New Mexico and spend the night on the outskirts of Raton.
Again we were up early and on the road, it would be a long 12-13 hour drive to Fredricksburg, but we had one planed stop along the way, Capulin Volcano National Monument. I have passed this many times but just never had the time to stop, but on this day we had plenty of time, and I must say it was worth the stop, we drove to the rim, where we then hiked the outer rim, at the highest point of the rim you could literally see forever, to the north you could see snow covered rocky mountains, and to the south….well let’s just say it was flat. Then we hiked down to the crater, around huge lava boulders.
The rest of the drive took us through the Pan Handle of Texas, Dalhart, Amarillo, not a lot of exciting sights, although we did drive through some huge wind farms, just wish
The Broncos being introduced, about the only time the crowd was happy
it wasn’t dark when we drove through them.
Finally we were starting to get tired so we got ourselves a room about 3 hours from Fredricksburg.
Today we slept in, we were on the road by 10:30 and we were in Fredricksburg around 2pm, which gave us about two hours of shopping, we were going to meet a friend of mine at 4pm, which if you’ve been to Fredricksburg you know that is not enough time. After going through a few shops quickly, we hit the food store, I don’t remember the name, and you can sample every type of food they sell there, from salsa to fudge or pickled okra to sour cream dip. Next we went to a western type shop where Pearl got a great deal on some cowboy boots; next stop was the Christmas store, kind of overpriced. After the Christmas store we headed to Lincoln St. wine bar to meet my friend, Ignacio, we took advantage of the nice warm weather and sat outside on the patio which is fully covered by wisteria. We sat for a long time getting caught up on the past and enjoying the wine/cheese platter, Ignacio and
Some sky divers landing before kickoff
I also enjoyed a few Cuban cigars which went well with the wine. Later that evening a band started playing and they lit the Chiminia we were sitting next to, now the guy really loaded it up with wood, and fire starter, next he dowsed it with lighter fluid and put the match to it. As I mentioned above the patio being wood timbers and totally covered with wisteria, which all the leaves were dead for winter, I was expecting the patio to go up in flames but it never did. It was getting lat and Ignacio invited to stay the night at their house, again Ignacio and Dinah thank you so much for the hospitality. Pearl really enjoyed it, as she said “This is like a museum”.
The following morning we were up early and joined Ignacio and Dinah in the “Red” room in front of a fire and Pearl had a cup of coffee.
After our coffee we are back on the road, this time we are off to Ft. Worth Texas to see our good friend Casey. Did not stop along the way, we had hoped to meet up with Casey and another friend
Pearl in Invesco field
of mine for a late lunch. As usual my other friend pulled a “Jag-Bag” on us and was a no show. Casey took us to one of his favorite local places, where we had some wings and fries, we chatted for awhile and decided that we wanted to eat Mexican food for dinner; we ended up at a Ft. Worth legendary spot, Joe T. Garcia’s, they only have two items, Fajitas or Enchiladas, and they do not take credit cards. The food was very good, we sat outside which was great. After dinner we drove around the Stock Yards.
It was back to the wings place to enjoy some Cuban cigars and watch the World Series.
Our goal today was to drive straight through to Chattanooga, about 15 hour drive through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and finally Tennessee.
We pulled into our house in Chattanooga about 1:30am Monday morning, when it was all done we drove over 2,500 miles, this was my first real road trip and like the verse from the song Indiana by The Samples, “Thinking to myself how big this land really is”. All-in-all I would love to do it again, but…..not in a 10’
Raiders first drive
rental truck, maybe a 10’ motor home.
The rest of the week was a few shopping days and packing for our return trip home, we did take mom and dad out for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Chattanooga, The Big Table, but for Pearl and I it was very disappointing, they had three items on the menu which were all the same, Chicken, Penne pasta and cream sauce, but with different names. I had the chicken enchilada, but it was more like a dry burrito, the cheese smelled old and spoiled.
8 – 9 November
3am Monday morning, we are up to catch a taxi to take us to our shuttle to Atlanta airport, we arrive in Kunsan South Korea around 2am Wednesday morning, with the time change we were traveling for almost 30 hours.
Well that was our Road Trip/Vacation; it was a great one, and again thanks to everyone who opened up their home, and sorry for not getting in touch with everybody.
Until next time
Hold ‘em in the road.
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