Exciting Trip to CO with Joe, Part 2

Exciting Trip to CO with Joe, Part 2;

After a long and interesting drive, (see previous post) we arrived in Colorado on Friday July 23rd. I was instantly in love as we approached Colorado Springs and the entire expansive mountain range came into view. The mountains here are amazing, and include Pike’s Peak. Wow!! We stayed with the family at a beautiful Victorian style house in a very nice area, near the famous Broadmoor. I can’t believe the owner rents this place out with all the antiques inside!

Even before I got into town, I had contacted my chiropractor back home and also used my phone to look up a Gonstead chiropractor in Co Springs. I was ecstatic to find that Dr Wood was available to see me and Dr Durski had sent over my records before I got there. I felt much better after my adjustment. The long ride and the car accident both had me more tense than normal.

24th (drive to Pueblo, wedding at zoo) The wedding was in the smaller community of Pueblo, just south of CO Springs. It was a nice drive, but very dry and hot compared to other areas in CO Springs. There was not much vegetation that I would consider normal (grass, trees, etc.). Along the roadside there were patchy scraggly grasses and weeds here and there. It was apparent that there had been waterways in several areas where the remains of larger trees were visible.

The wedding was very nice. It was held at a Catholic church, but not quite traditional. Father Frank was very entertaining. I’m not sure which version of the songs he had on his music sheet or in his head, but it didn’t match what was in the hymnal. Nobody could follow along so we didn’t sing much. That’s OK because he was doing a fine job of that. We mostly just giggled and enjoyed the show.

The bride and groom looked stunning, as did my Joe. He had a very bright blue tie that brought out the color in his baby blues.

The reception was back in Colorado Springs at the zoo. Very cool! Apparently the chef here entered a blind competition to taste test different restaurants and caterers. The zooo won hands down. I believe that story I heard after tasting the delicious appetizers and main dishes they served. Very good choice for a wedding party! We got to hang out with all the wild party animals. We took the advice of the gate attendant and took the tram up the mountain to the lodge where the reception was held. It would have been a challenge to hoof-it up the mountain in heels. Take a look at my Facebook pictures to see the wedding cake. It was very unique and even included a smaller “special” cake that was dairy and gluten free. That is the one I chose and it was delicious!

25th (Garden of the Gods) We had a little extra time on Sunday so we decided to see some sights in Co Spgs. The Garden of the Gods was one of the most amazing city parks I have ever seen in my life. We referred to it as the “Big Red Rocks”. The only way to really appreciate these beauties is to take a look at my pictures on Facebook. If you appreciate majestic views and interesting rock formations, this is a must see!

26th (CO to Lusk WY) We left Co Spgs about 11:30am and headed north towards Wyoming. We decided to get off the Interstate and take some of the more interesting and scenic passes. We stopped at the Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen to have a quick beer and stretch our legs. Very cool place! I posted a quick pic on Facebook and was surprised by the number of people that responded saying they had been there. Our next stop was the Berthoud Pass. Then we made a quick stop for a picture of a moose along the road. We met up with Tom n’ Judy at Deno’s Mountain Bistro in Winter Park. The views driving through this area were stunning. We got a nice long view of the beautiful plains between the ranges when we came to a dead stop for the construction guys patching the road.

All that cattle along the road made us hungry for some beef, so we stopped at the Altitude Chophouse & Brewery. Our waitress Adrienne was a real doll; the food was average. We had one quick 2 hour stretch to cover before passing out for the night in Lusk, WY.

27th (Lusk  to Black Hills, Big Heads) We left Lusk after visiting the local coffee shop. The skies were overcast; the terrain interesting with mini sunflowers, cattle, and a lot of grass. We drove through Hot Springs, then had to stop for a buffalo in the road. The National Forest was beautiful. We stopped to look at Crazy Horse…or what they have done so far… then off to see the Big Heads. According to my sister Dawn, I have actually seen Mt Rushmore before. I just didn’t remember since I was two weeks old at the time. This was kind of surreal. You look up at the big heads and they almost look fake…like it’s a scene from a movie or something. This is one of those national treasures that you should see at some point in your life.

After a brief stop in Rapid City for some Chinese food (very disappointed so far with the beef) we continued on and sailed right past the exit for Wall Drug. By 5:15 the mountains had turned into rolling hills with nothing but grass and cattle.

Back to Central Time Zone. Made a leg stretching stop at the Lewis and Clark visitor’s center overlooking the Missouri River. This is also some type of geographical survey point for mapping and navigation.

Around 9pm, we finally made it to Mitchell SD to get some grub and pass out for the night. Finally, we got some good steak! We had done a Google search for restaurants and picked a winner this time. Chef Louie’s Steakhouse in Mitchell, SD rates very high in my book. We both had a steak and two glasses of wine and our bill was only $65 plus tax and tip. We also lucked out on the hotel. The Thunderbird Lodge was cheap and clean…just what we needed.

28th (Mitchell, SD to home) Today was the final stretch of road before HOME, yeah!

We left Mitchell, home of the Corn Palace, about 10:30am, headed for Sioux Falls. I noticed a sign that said we were in the County of Minnehaha J, which made me laugh. By 11:30 we were crossing the MN border. Just one state to go! After the ignorant trucker almost put us in the ditch with a very fast lane change, we didn’t have much excitement. There were a gazillion wind farms and lots of corn. I noticed many of the farmers had planted trees around their homes out in the middle of the corn field. It could be a wind blocker or for privacy. Either way it was nice to see some familiar vegetation (trees).

The windmills were so loud!…oh wait…that was the jackhammers on the road.  🙂  MN really knows how to harvest natural energy. WI will always open another coal plant before they make the investment for natural wind energy. Let’s get with the program, Wisconsin.

What a beautiful day; 81 and sunny today in MN. Everything is juicier here, including the bugs. We have to stop at least every two hours to clean the windshield.

By 3:45 we were on the bridge crossing over to beautiful WI, yeah! Cruising through Mad City by 5:45 and home by 7pm.

Let the storm clean up begin! We totally missed the floods that devastated Milwaukee, but can see the aftermath. Luckily our basement did not flood like many of our neighbors. One neighbor showed me a few pictures of the flooded streets. We were very lucky!

From July  24- 27th I saw more gorgeous rocks, mountains, and nature scenes than I have in a long time…maybe ever. I have always been in love with the mountains. I love the people of WI and the Midwest, but if I ever left it would be to move somewhere with mountain views. (We have no plans to do that right now)

During our trip Joe and I did a loop around Iowa and Nebraska. We hit every state surrounding them, but did not enter either state. Our trip took us through WI, IL, MO, KS, CO, WY, SD, MN, WI.  If you have 7 or 8 days to spare and want some gorgeous views of the West (and you have someone you can tolerate in a car for a week), ask Joe for a copy of our itinerary. I hope you enjoy the narrative and the pictures of our adventure on Facebook.

Karin Conway

GOG rock formation

GOG rock formation

Karin n Joe at Big Heads

Karin n Joe at Big Heads

wedding cake

perfect wedding cake

The first half of the story; https://karinconway.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/exciting-trip-to-co-with-joe/

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