Thursday, August 12, 2010

August Adventures

Part II

The Account During Which I Tire Myself Out Attempting to Record How I Tired My Tired Old Self Out Trying to Cram As Much As Humanly Possible Into A Five Day Period... 
Remember I got to spend the day with Dominic last Wednesday? Well, after a day of spoiling my boy, I got to turn around Thursday and get spoiled. Dan and I made an escape and headed south to well-loved old haunts.  We got to spend Thursday and the first part of Friday together and it was lovely.  No hair-raising tales to share like my trip with Dominic...  But, well, no, come to think of it, there were some thrills -- just not necessarily our own, and not necessarily hair-raising.

The shot below shows the Silverton/Durango steam locomotive.  It travels every day in the non-snow season over the American Alps (aka: the San Juan Mountains) on a meticulously maintained hundred-year-old narrow guage railway.  The staff and engineers are highly trained, efficient and cheerful and there is hardly ever a mishap on this tourist route.  Very seldom. Almost never. 

Until the day we were in Silverton, of course.  Slurried loose perhaps by the recent monsoon moisture in the southwestern mountains here, a landslide crashed down on the tracks about half way along the journey and the locomotive full of day-trip tourists was stalled for a couple of hours while the tracks were repaired.  A scene right out of the old west, huh?  I would have been tickled to death to have been on that train just for the bragging rights!  Apparently, though, according to one of the shopkeepers we were talking to, some of the passengers were irate and carried on about the inconvenience.  Puh-lease!  Like the railroad folks planned the landslide? Ya just want to smack some people, don't ya?

But, anyway.  It's always a pleasure driving up the beautiful, but harrowing Million Dollar Highway, a fun time going window shopping in Silverton, and a treat trying out each of the many quaint and quirky little restaurants up there at over 9,000 feet above sea level.  We had a sort of brush with a celebrity at the place we had lunch.  Kinda.  Seems the barbecue joint from which emenated the most glorious aromas in town was a TV star.  It's a franchise of the "Pitts" restaurant featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, a Food TV series -- and with good reason.  The BBQ was heavenly! Really, really scrumptious.  (And this girl from the south knows from BBQ.) This stuff was good enough to make you forget the Pepto Bismol colored walls.  And there was a collection of pigs decorating the place, so I got to annoy the other patrons by walking around and taking pictures for Cathy, our resident pig collecting daughter.

There he is with a mouth full of pulled beef...
My husband, Dan... you know.  Not to be
confused with  or considered a part of
the pig collection I was photographing. 

Here's a shot of one of the dusty streets of Silverton.  I believe most of the buildings in this town are at least a hundred years old.  These streets have been used in the filming of countless western films and the town is on the National Registry of Historic Places. If it weren't for the bazillion tourists and the modern cars, it really would feel like a slice of the old west.

(You can see we had a close encounter with Big Foot.
He wanted to know where he could get a pair of sandals
like Dan's.)

After a good stroll around Silverton, during which time I only bought one t-shirt... (though I'm still slobbering after a tie-dyed black skirt I saw up there...) we headed back down to Ouray, where, of course, it was raining. (It's always raining in Ouray on Summer afternoons.  It's tradition.)  But, that didn't stop us from checking in at our favorite German Beer Garden, The Billy Goat.  We sat under the canopy on the patio and only got a little bit wet.
On the outside.

(There he is again, that mustachioed man.  I don't know
 how he keeps getting into this post.  Looks like he's drinking
an IPA here. Name of which I have forgotten.)

Check it out.  The sun on the cliffs -- in the late afternoon!
(What on earth to do with this umbrella we're carrying??)

The sun on the streetlight.
(We were very happy to see the sun.)

Here's the sun picking out what we thought was a terribly funny name for a brewing company. 
 They weren't open, though, doggone it.  Them and their Grumpy Pants.
(There's Dan again.  He's just everywhere.)

Can you read the gist of this "Why We're Basically Never Open" sign?
Gotta love the altitude attitude.  So Colorado mountains. If you're so uptight that this wishy-washiness bothers you, you probably shouldn't be here, anyway.  Someday we'll get to go in and sample the Grumpy Pants product. 
Maybe.  If they're ever really open.
 (I'd love to have a six pack of their label just to pull out in a grump emergency...)

So, to end the Dan and Lisa (Three-Months-Late-Anniversary) Excursion, we ran an errand over at the Church Friday morning, then had lunch at a Chinese restaurant.   Then we went home, hugged and kissed all the children, and oohed and ahed at how clean the house was and what good children they had been for Dominic and Michelle.  Then Dan checked his e-mail and I packed my bags and drove the six hour commute over the mountains to Denver...  More on that later.  If you got this far into my memoirs... 
 I know.  I know.  Once I get through recounting my five-day-marathon, maybe It'll get more interesting around here.  I've been thinking a lot about a lot of things -- really!  Like: how I'm going to answer the devotional meme that Cathy tagged me for.........the calendar of the saints as it relates to art history and crafting........the relative expense of juice boxes........ what haircut I would recommend for Nicholas Cage should I bump into him on the street.......... creative solutions for name-calling preschoolers......... and how I should change my hair and wardrobe when I become a granny this December...  Really cool and exciting stuff like that.

Surely you'll stay tuned?

(Aw, cummon..)


MightyMom said...

that looked like fun!!

I sooooo wanna take a train ride one day!!! landslide...scary!

GrandmaK said...

Can't wait for the next installment!!! Anticipation is half the fun!!! Wishing you well!! Cathy

Sarah Oldham said...

I want to visit CO so badly! I've only been in the airport (on our way to moving to HI, incidently). It looks like so much fun! And, who wouldn't want a Grumpy Pants beer?!?! Gorgeous pictures, as always, and funny-arsed commentary (as usual) . . . you are delightful . . . and, I also wonder how I would advise Nick Cage about his hair . . . hmmmmm

Mary Bennett said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun!!


E said...

Lovely summer. Winter will be here for a long time and you surely know how to have a summer!