Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks

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mayor al
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2006/05/07 20:36:01 (permalink)

Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks

Day 1- 597 miles, Louisville to Pittsburg, Kansas with a stop to walk the dogs around the Arch in St Louis and a 4 hour break to visit two elderly relatives in Rolla. MO. Had a Czech Dinner with them this afternoon and a stop at Brams in Pittsburg for a sandwich and some ice cream when we checked into the motel. Gas Prices $2.70 in Louisville last night...and $2.57 in the Joplin, MO area this afternoon. Not much exciting on Day 1, But tomorrow we chase the Santa Fe RR and Trail across Kansas!
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    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/07 21:49:35 (permalink)
    If you go through Elkhart, call on my Uncle Ben. He'll take you out to the VFW for a fine steak dinner.
    #2
    enginecapt
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/07 23:12:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen
    Gas Prices $2.70 in Louisville last night...and $2.57 in the Joplin, MO area this afternoon.
    $3.29 in Fontucky.
    #3
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/08 01:55:44 (permalink)
    http://www.vlib.us/old_west/lineoftime.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_State_Highway_96
    Have fun, Mayor and Janet.
    #4
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/08 21:08:38 (permalink)
    Day 2- Pittsburg KS to Dodge City KS, via Wichita. 400 miles. A good Days Ride. Rain in the morning turned to sunny skys and 80 degrees for the afternoon. Lots of small wildlife near and on the road, pheasants, buzzards, Deer, Bison and Llamas on various farms and. a host of roadkill Armadillos. The last 200 miles were Stop and Go and Back and Forth chasing trains on the BNSF Mainline for Photo Op’s. We arrived in Dodge City about 5PM.
    Unlike our first day we hit two unknowns for Lunch and Dinner today. We batted .500 in our choices. Lunch was great and Dinner was barely OK.
    In Wichita, we saw a sign for HOG WILD BBQ and recalling some comments on the web-site about it, but forgetting what was said, we headed for HOG WILD. It was closed on Mondays, but just about a block down the street was Two Brothers BBQ (3750 N Woodlawn Rd). It was just opening when we arrived. The young lady working the counter (one of the owner’s wife) told us a bit about the place and showed us the buffet and the choices available. The do their own smoking and the results are quite good. We swapped stories about the internet BBQ websites and then got down to eating. Jan really liked the smoked chicken and turkey…and the sliced beef brisket. For me it was the Pork Loin, and Pulled Pork, and the beef ‘KC Style’ Burnt Ends. They also had homemade chicken and turkey salads that may have been good on a sandwich, or when scooped onto a veggie base, but plain on a plate wasn’t ‘good’ for me. Scalloped Potatoes were a big plus but the beans were canned and tasted like canned beans!.
    Pork ribs are extra on the lunch buffet. I wanted to check the ribs so I ordered a ¼ slab as a side. When they arrived I was amazed. A BIG real pile of bones heavy with meat…for the price of a side dish ($1.50).

    1. Here is what to look for in that little Strip Mall on Woodlawn.



    The Staff was very helpful and friendly.



    The Price were reasonable



    The Meat was great and most of the sides were quite good. Look at what the call a "side" of ribs $1.50!!




    I would urge anyone wanting a decent BBQ lunch to stop in on the North side Of Wichita to check this place out.

    For dinner here in Dodge City we went to EL CHARRO a Mexican place near the center of town. Plus side gets the TACO (great) and the Enchilada (6 on a 10 scale) The Down-side got the Chips and salsa..Stale and a watery salsa. The Chimichanga was cold throughout, must have been sitting for awhile from another order. No photos as we weren’t to happy and didn’t want to bother.

    Tomorrow we are off to Pueblo or Canon City CO.
    #5
    UncleVic
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/08 23:42:50 (permalink)
    Nice report Al! Though I'm not sure how you can log so many miles with meals like that... I'd be ready to take a nap after all that..

    #6
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/09 04:33:52 (permalink)
    Al, thanks for sharing. I see you took your own picture on the second pic from the top.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #7
    roossy90
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/09 14:27:49 (permalink)
    Now, that's the ribs that I am looking for!
    Jealous here!
    #8
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/09 16:49:07 (permalink)
    Day 3- 350 miles. Dodge City KS to Canon City CO. We quit early today to take some time here in the eastern foothills of the Rockies. Had a good lunch at the HOG'S BREATHE SALOON in La Junta, CO. Really good 8 oz. Ribeye Sandwich with skin-on French Fries and Iced Tea. Total bill for two of us (same menu choice) was under $20 (plus tip).
    We want to find some good Carnitas tonight here in town. The dogs are behaving better than my kids did on one of the trips the were with us.
    Tomorrow we will do the Black Canyon and other scenic stuff on the way over to Montrose,CO for the night.
    I had forgotten how it feels to be able to see for 100 miles in each direction...I kinda miss it, although Eastern Colorado is a lot like the end of the world!
    We counted over a hundred Pheasants playing along the shoulder of US 50 in western Kansas. Jan spotted several antelopes and I got a mess of photos of coal trains heading east on the Santa Fe RR.
    Dinner report will be added later if it warrants attention from the group.
    #9
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/09 16:59:48 (permalink)
    Al, I am enjoying your trip reports. I would enjoy seeing so many pheasants and the antelopes are always a sight to see.

    Be sure and take some good shots of the Black Canyon up close. It has been a while since I was there but I recall crawling up to the edge to peer down.

    Enjoy and keep up the reports.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #10
    EdSails
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/09 17:00:39 (permalink)
    Looks like a great trip so far......keeep up the good reports----and enjoy!
    #11
    CheeseWit
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/09 17:40:41 (permalink)
    Good, fact-filled reports as usual, Al! I'm enjoying reading about your trip. Take care and be safe.
    #12
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/09 19:38:10 (permalink)
    You were in La Junta? Oh, oh, oh ,oh...1967...stealing watermelons...tippling cows...being shot by a shotgun filled with rock salt...Ruth...holding hands with Ruth while crossing a train trestle over the Arkansas river...It was the summer of love...in fact, the Beatles were singing..."All you need is love...." wah wah wah wah wah..."
    #13
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/10 08:25:34 (permalink)

    Pete- Ruth was our waitress at the Hog's Breathe Saloon!! She is looking mighty fine. She told us about that summer when I mentioned that I knew you. She asked us to tell you that she and the kids are just fine...boy named Po'Boy and girl name WELFARENA look just like Pop!

    We have snow(lite dusting) on the hillsides here in Canon City this morning. Supposed to be 70 and sunny today as we head west.

    The Mexican dinner last nite turned out to be very good. EL CHAPAOLA in Canon City (1028 Main St) Tacos al Pastor and Pollo Carbona both well prepared and served piping hot!! A couple of good Margaritas hepled settle the travelers in for the evening.[|)]
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    mr chips
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/10 10:22:28 (permalink)
    Keep the reports coming. Did you visit any old west sites in Dodge City or Bents Old Fort in La Junta?
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    Tony Bad
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/10 10:28:56 (permalink)
    Sounds like a great trip so far. Keep up the reports so us desk jockeys will be able to follow along!
    #16
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/10 10:32:47 (permalink)
    I am looking forward to Al's pics of the "Black Canyon". This is a awesome place.

    http://jewishworldreview.com/0506/dickson051006.php3

    http://www.nps.gov/blca/

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    #17
    Bushie
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/10 11:20:25 (permalink)
    This is great Mr. Mayor! Live-blogging your trip.

    Thanks for taking us along with you!
    #18
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/10 23:27:12 (permalink)
    Day 4-

    Canon City CO to Montrose, CO, 300 miles, including some side trips. Started the day with light rain and 39 degrees…but it brightened up and warmed up as we climbed into the Rockies. We crossed the Great Divide at Monarch Pass, 11,300 Ft. Elevation. Needless to say we both were short of breath for awhile. (me more than Janet). The dogs loved rolling and playing in the snow at the Summit turn-out.



    Then it was down the western slope to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. We shot a bunch of neat photos along the Rim Drive, then took the steep, narrow road down into the canyon. Since our last visit about 9 years ago, they have paved that road so it feels much safer. It is still a cliffhanger with 4 miles of 16% grade and no guard rails!! My brakes were smoking hot when we finally reached the floor of the canyon.





    Then it was down to Montrose for some shopping (Russell Stover Store) and lunch, then later dinner. We ate at the RED BARN a place recommended by one of the folks who responded to my plea for suggestions. Lunch consisted of a Buffalo Burger with Onion Rings for me and a Bacon Cheeseburger with Rings for Janet.






    While my BuffaloBurger was a bit overcooked, it tasted great. Janet said her Bacon-CheeseBurger was outstanding. The total was less than $20 plus tip so we were happy. After our errands in town and giving the dogs some time at the motel we decided to return the the RED BARN for dinner. Jan enjoyed a grilled chicken Caesar Salad, while I wanted the Chicken Fried Steak. The salad was great. The CFS was pretty heavily battered and none of the batter stayed with the meat. It was good, but tasted like the ones I try to make at home. A couple of Coors bottles brought our total to $30 even (plus tip)

    To answer some of the queries in the thread. Yes we looked around Dodge City. Matt and Miss Kitty would be surprised at how large the Mexican population of the town has become. More signs in Spanish than English all over town.
    We also checked out Bents Fort and stopped to view the wagon tracks of the Santa Fe Trail. La Junta was an interesting stop as Poverty Pete can tell!

    Now it is sundown in Montrose. The snow-covered San Juan Mts. are visible to the south. Tomorrow we head south on US 550 thru Ouray, Silverton and Durango to Mesa Verde National Park, then on to Cortez, CO for the night.


    #19
    roossy90
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/10 23:33:05 (permalink)
    Mr Mayor,
    Is there a motel on the other side of the Red Barn?
    It looks like where I may have been when I was going thru there.
    Or maybe just the cow on top looks familiar.
    Great photos.
    When I had a buffalo burger, the restaurant advised me, if I had never eaten it before, to order it med-well, as a first time taster.
    I enjoyed mine also. I like the side of guacamole on yours. Wish I had some with mine.
    I am so re-living my trip from 1993 thru your eyes and words. It was a very sentimental trip for me.
    Thanks....
    #20
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/10 23:47:12 (permalink)
    Tara
    The Black Canyon Motel is a short block on the uphill side of the Red Barn. Thats where we are right now. AAA Rate $50 plus $5 for the dogs. Not bad and a comfortable night.
    AL
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    mr chips
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 02:16:27 (permalink)
    Beautiful photos. The canyon looks stunning. And yet another example of the Stern's rule about the quality of restaurants with animals on the roof.
    #22
    acornlover
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 05:48:53 (permalink)
    What wonderful pictures and trip reports, keep 'em coming! I would love to travel with my dog, she is who I miss when I am away...


    KB
    #23
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 07:26:46 (permalink)
    Al, as usual, your pics are super and I enjoy traveling with you. You have some great vacay's.

    As I recall, just outside of Dodge was a huge place where they fed cattle all they could eat (feed lot). Past that was a lot of alfalfa farms.

    I only wish I could travel with you.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #24
    minilops
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 10:26:19 (permalink)
    I finally remembered the name of the restaurant we ate at in Cortez, Co. It was called the Homesteader and it was on the main street in Cortez. That was about 15 years ago, but I remember the food being quite good. My husband had the ribs and I had the rainbow trout, both specialties of the restaurant. I also seem to remember that this restaurant was reviewed by the Sterns in one of their earlier books. Anyway, it might be worth a try. Happy travels!

    Allison
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    V960
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 12:32:40 (permalink)
    Thank you...basically all I can "say". OK thank you very much.
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    BigGlenn
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 13:31:00 (permalink)
    Al, How far west Ya coming?

    We are waiting for Ya......

    Be Safe and Good Eats!

    Glenn
    #27
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 22:44:11 (permalink)
    Day 5-

    Another beautiful spring day. 300+ miles from Montrose, CO to Cortez, CO, via Silverton , Durango, an Mesa Verde Nat. Park. The ride thru the mountains from Ridgeway to Durango was breathtaking ! We stopped several times to shoot some photos and to let the dogs play in the snow.


    We also stopped in Silverton to wander the shops and see what growth has done to the town. While it is larger than 10 years ago, it seems to ‘act’ the same. Here’s the Main Street about 11 am. Pretty quiet til the train arrives from Durango.


    After leaving Silverton we passed a large Hot Spring beside the road, so we had to test the water!! It was quite warm.


    We ate at the Serious Texas BBQ in Durango, recommended by a Roadfood member. It was a good choice. The wood pile outside told the story of the quality of the Que!


    Janet had a Texas Taco..filled with pulled pork and cheese ($6). I got the sampler plate($12) to taste a little of everything. Very good BBQ. The Blackberry cobbler was good too. We would come back again for sure.


    The place was filled with local (Texas-style) reminders of their heritage, and the staff was friendly and helpful at explaining the menu items. They had a cherry-chipotle salsa that was delicious…..we bought some to take home.!


    Then it was on to Mesa Verde to see the cliff-dwellings and other sites for the start of our ‘desert’ circle tour. That place is amazing. We learned a lot about the early residents of the area.


    Thanks for the vote of confidence about a traveling log. I am amazed at how easy this is to do with the wireless internet in so many motels now.

    Glen, we will be in the Hi Desert in Sept or early October. This trip is an in-depth look at the red-rock county of Utah!!

    Now we are in Cortez,CO near the 4 Corners. Tomorrow we will enter Utah and check out many of the sites along the Old Spanish Trail, staying in Blanding Utah. Enjoy the photos. That’s the end of the snow til we finish the tour in 2 weeks.
    #28
    Tony Bad
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 22:58:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    Al, as usual, your pics are super and I enjoy traveling with you. You have some great vacay's.

    As I recall, just outside of Dodge was a huge place where they fed cattle all they could eat (feed lot). Past that was a lot of alfalfa farms.

    I only wish I could travel with you.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    Just east of Dodge City was a roadside turnout at the top of hill overlooking one of those huge feedlots...I stopped and when I opened the door the smell darn near knocked me out...WOW!!
    #29
    mayor al
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    RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 23:07:01 (permalink)
    The dogs consider cows to be "dinner on the hoof", so a feedlot becomes a huge buffet in their little doggie minds. Boy do they tell us when we pass one that we need to stop and eat !!

    Add to the trip log. We ran into our first $3.00 gas in Durango. I am told it will be cheaper in Utah...We'll see.

    We decided to skip dinner tonight and consume a bunch of fruit and avacados we got in Montrose. The Homesteader was our goal, but will have to wait til next time. Thanks for the tips. NO losers yet from a roadfood recomendation!
    #30
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