|The Chronicles of
© 2008 Gail Hunter
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|Visits to Coor's Brewery, The Golden Hotel & The Geology Museum in Golden Colorado
Briefly, Coor's was not giving tours this day - after an
hour's drive. We thought we were so smart waiting
until the Labor Day crowds were gone - so were Coor's
daily tours. You can still go, but check with them first.
However, as we toured the employee parking lot, I was
able to snap this photo: big deal, humph.
Discouraged yet undaunted, we looked around for our next choice, the Geology Museum at the
University of Colorado School of Mines. GPS really screwed with our minds here. The exact
address I entered put us squarely in front of the Gymnasium. We asked several students where
we could find the museum, each with a different answer. Finally, we went to the Visitor's Bureau in
downtown Golden. None of the pleasant ladies knew how to get there, but they did give us a
hand-drawn, not-to-scale map.
As we left, one of the women asked if we'd like restaurant information. "Have you been to The
Golden Hotel's Breakwater Grill?" So on her flowering recommendation, we drove across the
bridge and settled down. Our selection, Buffalo Burger and fried green tomatoes, topped with
blue cheese were delicious. "Selection" is singular - 1/2 lb. burgers are ripe for dividing, as was
the serving of tomatoes - we often do this - split and share - don't have to make decisions.
Why do I love writing this log? Because I get to dig a little deeper into each
experience. An example: The hostess approached us and asked if we'd
like to sample the day's special soup...gratis. "Sure." When I asked some
questions about the chicken tetrazini soup, she figured I was interested,
so came back with some chili soup, a speciality of the hotel's chef.
At that point, I mentioned I was writing a travel log and would certainly make a note of the soups.
And what followed? The chef herself! A very enthusiastic Nancy Jean, the Kitchen Queen, as
she introduced herself. Soups are her passion - and she's become known for the variety and
originality of her offerings.
I asked if she gained her cooking savvy from her mother - No, her father was the answer. He loves
to cook and in fact, started the Warren Tech school in Golden.
As we paid the bill and prepared to leave, our waitress Ariel appeared with a large cup of Nancy's
Green Chili Soup for us to take home. We had it for dinner that night. Sensational, but I'm stuck
trying to think of an appropriate name for it: soup? chowder? stew? stchuder maybe?
A personal historical aside: When we were leaving Cleveland in 1959, some
friends gave Paul Shafer and me a pot luck farewell party. To the amazement of all,
not admiration, one girl brought chicken tetrazini for 40 people - made with ONE
chicken. I think I'd better get that recipe with the way food prices are rising!
|Another day, Another month, Another Season
|Upward and onward - fat and happy, we returned
to Abby's car and continued doggedly to look for
the Geology Museum. Finally, we found a bald
man on a motorcycle (lots of them here) who
pointed us in the right direction. Guess what? It
was right behind the Gymnasium that GPS kept
steering us to...but on a different street: Maple, not
There were so many incredibly beautiful specimens
that I couldn't stop snapping photos, so I've put
them all on a separate page click here for Rocks.
Thursdays are very special in northern Colorado - at least for motorcyclists in and around Fort
Collins. A coffee house, The Motohaus is the local rendezvous for all manner of bikes of every
nationality and design. This is also the venue for GNO, or Guys' Night Out, a group that meets
at the Motohaus, then continues on for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Abby learned about
GNO during her 2007 cross-country ride. Sitting in front of her tent at a campground, but let
her tell the story: from Abby's Cross Country Ride
Our first butte - looming over Golden. To us "flatlanders" - as
were called in VT and NH - this was quite an amazing sight. Now
that I have over 400 snaps of buttes, I'm more blasé. For shame!
And that is why Cor and I were excited to receive an e-mail invitation to GNO! We were going
to have a chance to meet the guys and their wives. Abby and her friend Dan would meet us
at the corner of CO 119 and US 287 at 6:00 and we would follow them to the meeting place. I
naively thought it was about five miles north.
Well! We followed the two motorcycles up the highway at 65 mph, and 25 mph through the
crowded towns, around corners, over railroad tracks, through 6 yellow and two red lights and
finally arrived 30 miles away in Fort Collins.
Abby was upset with me. "Why didn't you stay close so you wouldn't have to go through a red
light? We would have waited."
What she didn't know is that my depth perception is off-whack, fortunately in the right
direction. I always think I'm closer to something than I am. I was leaving a decent number of
car-lengths behind them when in reality, two trucks could have fit in there. I was afraid to lose
them as all taillights look the same in the dark.
Anyhow, we arrived at the appointed coffee house where several bikes were parked, some
quietly, some revving their motors. All the "guys" with coffee cups in hand were chatting and
laughing - having a great Thursday night out.
We really enjoyed meeting them and hearing about their friendship with Abby. Although they
live 50 miles from Broomfield, it's nice to know she will always have those friends nearby.
An aside here: We noticed the way Abby and Dan rode, not side by side or in a
straight line, but staggered. Abby drove on the outside of her lane so she could be
seen clearly in the driver's side mirror of the car in front of her. Dan rode behind her,
but on the inside of the same lane, creating a buffer between Abby and passing cars.
Incidentally, Abby has been teaching motorcycle safety in Colorado, and earlier, for
the state of New Hampshire - so I guess that's the safest way to ride.
St. Vrain Campground - run by the State of Colorado - a report.
First impression? Oh? "Flat, no trees, next to Interstate 25, MacDonald's
sign in background, had to purchase a CO state park sticker for $60.00.
We've made a big mistake." However, by the end of two weeks, we had
begun to appreciate it. The campsites are large and positioned so that you
are not on top of anyone. It's extremely well-kept, quiet and services are
nearby, like ice, liquor, and I-25. We are still without refrigeration, so the
former is critical, the latter helps us deal with the former.
We were in the new section of the park. The older section was lovely; lots of
ponds, lots of trees. I asked the lady at the park entrance why wouldn't we
For anyone who would like to make a reservation at St. Vrain (and I would
recommend it) check the website's site map. Pick one of the Loops next to
a pond. You'll enjoy the view, complete with geese, and you'll have a
lovely time - with a view of the Rockies in the background.
Not to paint everything with rose-colored glasses, here is a view from our rear window, complete
with the grips of my walker tied to the ladder, tons of Black-Eyed Susans, and I-25. That's not
all bad - Cor is having fun with the binoculars, trying to figure out why the traffic is tied up on
the highway every now and then.
have selected a site in that section? Simple answer: they have no water or electric. We had
both in addition to sewer in the new section.
|Next: On to Pikes' Peak,
Garden of the Gods &
|TIME TO MOVE ON The fridge's cold unit is on "back-order"
and who knows what that means?
Here is one of the beauties of being tied into the Route 66 network and covered by our
extended warranty company, "Easy-Care." Through no fault of Pete's RV or any of the
insurance plans, Norcold, our fridge maker, simply doesn't have a cold unit for us. They
have upgraded the unit, and the new ones are back-ordered. I've received back-ordered
goods within a week. I have never received some back-ordered items. What would you
do? The good folks back in Burlington, arranged for us to go to a Route 66 dealer in
Colorado Springs - Pike's Peak Traveland - to hopefully meet up with the unit.
This is actually our first sighting of Denver
- never drove into town as the DNC was in
full swing. What can I say? It's busy. We
did like the patterned sound barriers as
we approached Colorado Springs.
I don't know what I expected in Colorado Springs. The name of our campground is
Goldfield. They were very pleasant on the phone, and somehow, "gold" just hit me as
"glitter." Glitter it was not. Basically, it is a parking lot with so many RVs jammed in there
was no room for the car we had rented. Cor had to take it across the street. It does serve a
purpose though, and for us it was just fine. It is directly on US 24, the main road to Pike's
Peak, Garden of the Gods and many other interesting places. It is inexpensive. It is
clean, friendly, and all the basic things you look for in a motorhome park. We planned to be
visiting the tourist attractions every day, so we were OK with it.
An extensive shopping plaza (Safeway, etc.) was a very short drive away. We looked for an
Ace Hardware - wanted a thermometer to stick on the window outside - and found one in a
large plaza about 4 miles from us. Driving there, we discovered a lovely historic section
not more than two blocks from Goldfield: very trendy, renovated brick buildings, many
restaurants. One, the Bon Ton served breakfast and lunch on an outdoor patio. We went
there the last day but sat inside as fall approached and with it, cool mornings and hot days.
We have just added a Guest
Book to our website, hoping
you will check in. If you read
that we may be anywhere near
you, let us know - and stop by
for a, what else? Cinnamon
Doughnut. We may have
learned to perfect them by