Cowboys and Cowgirls.
Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
24Trip End Nov 30, 2009
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Another blue sky morning in Colorado. We were smart last night and set our alarms for 7am, so we managed to get up on time. Breakfast was pretty much the same as the last two
hotels, but it's free so who can complain? Went to the front desk to ask about the road over the Rocky Mountain National Park to Estes Park, whether it would be open, and the receptionist just looked at us blankly . “Is that in Utah?” she said suspiciously. “No it's on the other side of the Rocky Mountain National Park.' She smirked, “Oh you mean Estes Park!” (We had evidently been saying the name wrong....) Sigh.
Later when loading up the car, a pretty blonde woman came over and asked if we were from California because of our number plates. I told her were from New Zealand and on holiday. We proceeded to have a nice chat about Colorado and New Zealand, then she asked me if I
knew any Jehovah Witnesses in NZ – that's when the penny dropped and I realised she was a Jehovah Witness herself
We've been driving through some gorgeous countryside. Just out of Grand Junction were numerous vineyards and trees, all with awesome autumn colours of orange and yellow, all set in front of sheer rock faces and buttes. Later we stopped at a small rest area in the town of Parachute, CO, where one of Butch Cassidy's infamous gang had tried to rob a train of gold
bullion. The kids took advantage of this time to find a playground to clamber over. On the road again and through this amazing rocky canyon that towered over the two seperate interstate lanes and the Colorado River twisting alongside it.
Stopped at a gas station in Vail, Colorado for a coffee, but decided not to go into the town as it is mainly a ski-resort town. We saw some people skiing on the way out of Vail, but there was a snow-making machine being used, as though there are quite big patches of snow around, there isn't really enough to ski on yet.
For lunch we stopped at 'The Moose cafe' in a very small town called Kremmling
cowgirls, complete with chaps, spurs and 10 gallon hats!!! The food there was very nice too, and we desperately wanted to get a photo with the cowboys on the way out, but we were too chicken to ask and so lost our opportunity – doh!
Driving to the turn off 16 miles before the Rocky Mountain National Park we saw a sign saying 'Trail Ridge road closed' – this is the road that goes over the Rocky mountains to Estes Park where we were planning to stay. Oops. Called into the nearest gas station and Fred asked if the Trail Ridge Road would be opened later, did he think. The cowboy-hat wearing clerk gave him a
fish-eyed stare and said, 'Nope.” Okay, after a bit of a rethink later we are now heading north via Laramie, Wyoming, which is a two hour drive away. We've had to give up on a second Rocky Mountain experience as by the time we back tracked down to Denver and up again it would be dark and too late to go into the Park anyway. So Wyoming, here we come – let's hope we see some more cowboys!
Josh and Kate enjoyed getting out from the car at the side of the road a couple of times to play in the snow and ice – we saw lots of beaver dams in the rivers on the way, and lots of rivers that were icing over also
Funny incident at the hotel we're staying at: Fred asked the receptionist where the laundry was, she told him the second floor. After going out to the truck and grabbing our big bag of washing, he lugged it around the second floor looking for it. Giving up after a while he went back to the receptionist who was very apologetic and said that it was in fact down the hallway,
pointing back towards where our room was. Guess where the laundry was located? Right opposite our room! After much hilarity, Fred and I with our $8 of quarter dollars took our laundry over, only to discover....the 1 and only dryer was out of order! Arrrrrgh! We had to laugh.
Dinner this time was at a bar/grill chain called 'Applebee's'. Kate had mac & cheese (2nd time today) just the packet stuff mind you... I had this chicken schnitzel thing and without word of a lie it was the size of the average NZ bread and butter plate - how on earth was I going to eat this thing and more importantly, what sort of chicken has a 'breast' that big???
Anyway, off to bed now.