The first day of our Colorado Road Trip was a bit hectic - we were fresh outta the gate and vacation-ready. First, I brought Gins to my favorite breakfast place in Colorado, the Country Road Cafe in Kittridge. They've got an entire section of breakfast items that are built around mashed potatoes. Their green chilies and poblano sauce are delectable. Plus, they are incredibly nice and very fast. The only trick is - get there early or be prepared to wait 'cause the word is OUT.
We stocked up on calories and I took Gins by the barn to meet my horse friends. I brought carrots for everyone, as expected, and then we hit the road. Heading west on Hwy 70, it didn't take long for us to hit traffic. There's something about not having a commute that makes me forget about this concept entirely. I used to be accustomed to it but nowadays, I'm surprised every damn time. 'Whaa ... wait .. who are all these people and why are they vacationing in August???? C'MON, PEOPLE, HAVEN'T YOU SEEN THE PRICE OF GAS???? Stay home already! Sheesh!'
Eventually, we made it to Georgetown, a quaint historical village and the favorite pee stop for all skiers headed to higher ground. I've longed to take the Georgetown Loop Railroad and finally, it's done.
I'm totally nuts about trains; it stems from my dad (he's crazy for 'em too), Johnny Cash (same deal) and just their general loud, steely sexiness. They infer adventures in places unknown and conjure a time when our country was young. The sound of a train whistle ... my god, there is nothing better! Anyone who has heard my cell phone ring knows my feelings on this matter.
As far as train rides go, it was ... well, okay. I thought it was going to be an 1.5-hour trip but it was actually far less. We rode in an open box car and it chugged us up to the little town of Silver Plume, where we were herded into a gift shop. Blech. I opted to avoid it and instead checked out the nearby train garage where old locomotives were being worked on by earnest folks wearing greasy bib overalls. This one to the right is circa 1928. Man, it was cool.
I also got to chat up our incredibly handsome conductor, Steve, a man who clearly loves his job. When the train had initially pulled into the station, he was waving wildly with the biggest grin. I said to Gins, "I mean, how many times a day does he have to do that?" All the little kids (and me) waved right back. He was totally sincere in his joy, giving him the distinct glow of someone who has met their destiny. Here he is standing in front of an old steam train, circa 1885-ish. He even picked up on my excitement and assured me I could probably get a job in the greasy garage, which would be so fun ... the first day or so and then I'd want to go fast in something big and loud.
Best things about the ride were the beautiful train itself, Steve, the scenery and the fact that they played Johnny Cash songs up and back. Otherwise, it was just too damn short.
Later in the trip, I discovered my next train goal - the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. All in due time ....