Earlier, we decided to not go through New Mexico on the interestate
. We thought it to be more scenic and quicker to go across on Hwy 160 through the Colorado mountains. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to pick up driving again. Randy can't drive anything but interstates. At least I got an hour sleep in the meanwhile. Hwy 160 is classic, its nickname is "Highway of Legends". Hwy 160 was tough to drive because of the heavy wind and low visibility. No one was going speed limit and I was stuck behind a trailer with two snowmobiles, and it was no-passing for quite a while. And worst of all, the sun was beginning to set so with even further reduced visibility, it appeared that no one would be willing to drive speed limit on the Highway of Legends. It was very tough to get through. It required more attention than any other part of the drive so far. Actually, the wind was so bad that the car couldn't go faster than 65 because it couldn't pick up well. Once we got the gas station, we briefly contemplated leaving 160 and going south to hit the interstate back in New Mexico. However, the journey was such a life-altering experience, that we wanted to stick with Hwy 160 so that we could become a Legend as well. You know, since, we were driving on the Highway of Legends. Because only Legends can manuever through such impassable roads. It was a good idea to stick with Hwy 160 actually. We got to experience the Hispanic side of Southern Colorado. Towns had names like San Juan, Monte Vista, Alamosa, etc. We listened to Mexican radio stations. We even saw the Movie Manor and a statue outside a pizza parlor in Alamosa
. We were hungry while passing these towns though, but couldn't find anything decent to stop at.
Then comes South Fork. We were waiting for this town to show up. The first time we saw the sign, we thought it said South Park and knew we had to stop in. Turns out that South Fork is a resort-town. There's a lot of mountain hiking and some skiing. I'm sure the town looks amazing, but it was already night and we couldn't see the beautiful scenery. We were hungry and we doubted the availability of food further down the road. We stopped at something that looked like it served food. It had a cougar statue on the outside. Lovely. We pulled into the parking lot, or what we thought was the parking lot. There were no cars there. Sooo...we saw the signs on the outside and it said it was closed Tuesday through Wednesday. But we were going in on a Sunday, so we were good. We went inside. There were about four people watching a television. We asked if they served dinner, they said yes. So they led us into the restaurant. It's a nice restaurant; it's one of those local dinner clubs in any small town. You know, the ones with a salad bar and it can be quickly converted into a dance floor for wedding receptions. We talked about the decline of supper clubs over our meal. Speaking of which, they were nice enough to let us order from either the lunch or dinner menu. Dinners were expensive, so it was good. I was still on a limited appetite, so that was convenient for me. Turns out the reason they let us order from either side was because we were the only ones to come in for dinner that day.
During the previous week, South Fork was packed and they were having great business. However, the holiday week was over and everyone had left town, and we mean everyone. The propietors of the inn/restaurant were very friendly and exactly what we expected of someone from Colorado.
Along the way from Denver southward to Colorado Springs, I finally got tired and it became necessary for Randy to drive. It was his second time to drive. The shifting was still not yet smooth, but it worked. The bad part was that there wasn't much room to pull off to the side, so he had to maneuver going from first gear onward a few times. Before, it was a simple first to fifth and then cruise, but this was his first time stopping and going. I tried to talk him through it and I gave him a few hints, but he still needed practice for sure. Along the way, it was getting worse outside. It's not because it was snowing or icy, but the wind was blowing hard and it was taking the snow from the ground and blowing it across the interstate. It made it look worse than it really was. And that made it bad because drivers who aren't used to snow tend to slow down in that part.