Saturday, April 7, 2012

4-7-12 Surgery Anniversary Roadtrip!

A year ago today, this is what my day held, with months of recovery to follow.

So today, it was a time for a road trip, complete with all the oddball roadside attractions we could pack into the day. My itinerary was, admittedly, ridiculously ambitious, figuring whenever we'd had enough, we could save the rest for another day. The route took us out I-70 to Idaho Springs, then the back route to Estes Park through Central City and Nederland, then around to Loveland, Longmont, Boulder, and back into Denver. The route was mapped at 6 hours, which didn't take into account time to stop and smell the spruce trees, take a million pictures, or have lunch, so I knew we'd never make everything.

Roadside #1: The "Sleeper" House

Across the street, a typical home in the neighborhood:

The view heading to roadside #2 in Idaho Springs

In Idaho Springs, lots of kitchsy greatness, including a sadly sign-less brown derby.

Roadside #2: Steve Canyon Statue

He is situated directly in front of the local radio station 102.7 FM, the Goat.

Bonus oddity: random pig with chef hat and cigar...

The Idaho Springs Luxury Laundromat.

On the road to Central City

And of all the elk, deer, and bear signs, this cattle one, in the midst of towering rock cliffs, was the most out of place. Those must be some hardy cattle!

In Central City, we were after Roadside #2: The Face in the Barroom Floor, but alas, it was closed as the summer season of the Teller House had not started yet. Central City is primarily a casino town, which are terribly depressing to me. Like Cripple Creek, all that history has been swallowed up by the sounds of jingling, flashing slot machines in large, palatial new buildings, and filled with empty-eyed people, many wheeling their oxygen tanks on the street, squinting in the sunlight, looking for the next casino to set up shop in.

So while I milled about the only place open besides the casinos, the Visitor Center, Bob was told the only bathrooms to be had were, you guessed it, in one of the casinos. So off he went. And after reading everything in the little museum section, he still wasn't back. I'd petted the resident dog, talked with the girl about the hauntings in the Teller House rooms, and still no Bob. This is why:

At least he knew when to walk away. And he earned lunch money.

Then we were back on the road, up to Nederland:

And then up to Estes Park

We stopped alongside one of the streams to enjoy the breaking ice and running water.

Left turn on Colorado 7

Longs Peak, one of the Colorado 14ers

And looking down into the valley at Estes Park:

The Stanley Hotel, best known for the setting of Stephen King's The Shining:

We were so hungry, we skipped a roadside billed as a place where Hitler's keys were among the 20,000 keys collected, and stopped in a the Mountaineer for a late lunch at 1:30.

Roadside #3: Estes Ark

Home to 10,000 stuffed animals

Me and all the marmonts. As a kid, misunderstanding their name, I'd circled the campground, filled with Utah license plates, calling "Here Mormon..."

For grandaddy, who once wrangled a visiting possum in a box at our house, wherein she promptly gave birth to a bunch of babies. (The family belief is that, wherever I am, critters follow.)

Giving the flying squirrel a thrill...

Out of Estes Park, we had the company of the river for a long while heading towards Loveland.

Bonus oddity: Easter bunny waving to people from the U-Haul parking lot.

Roadside chickens:

Roadside attraction #4: The Giant Adirondack Chair, which I needed a lift to get into.

By this time, I realized Bob's energy was quickly flagging, so we decided our last roadside of the day would be the Muffler Man in Longmont. The prairie dog town, Mork and Mindy House, and Banjo Billy's Bus Tour slated for Boulder would have to be saved for another day.

The view from Longmont:

And there he was, pitchfork in hand, his hat worse for wear since a topple (the fence didn't fare so well either)

Last excitement of the day, Happy Hour at Sonic. Bob had graciously driven so I could navigate and take pictures from the car, but now that both of those were no longer necessary and he was tired, I got to be in my favorite spot on a road trip, behind the wheel.

Such a better April 7 than last!!


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