MISSOURI TO COLORADO AND
May 13-29, 2014
Got up at 7:30 and left the driveway at 11:15, but left Cay Lawrence
at 11:24: garbage stop before we could get started. Mileage was
43,815. Most of the time between waking and leaving was packing the
car (which Tommy vacuumed) and last minute packing that couldn't be
square dance in Paris last night, so were late getting home
had to stop by Jackie's after the dance. So were too tired to do much
packing other than things that HAD to be done before morning.
dance I got a phone call from LouCindia saying they
were at the house; we had known she was coming but didn't know it was
to be yesterday! Pleasant surprise! They brought a grocery store with
them which was good as we had left the cupboard rather bare and there
were four of them.
Finally leaving Paris. Needed to leave some things with Angela, but
she was not in the office, so we went to Paulette's for lunch (saw
Barbara Bucy while we were there) and then still couldn't reach
Angela so took the things to Jackie's and left it for her to pick up.
Leaving Wal-Mart in Mayfield. Stopped to get a couple of items
some aluminum foil for getting readings off of tombstones and some
white foam board to use to reflect light in getting pictures of
tombstone inscriptions. Saw Joe Moore and family and had a super
visit with them (you meet EVERYBODY at Wal-Mart!). Joe was looking
much better than last time we saw him.
mileage when we set the trip odometer)
Rain found us at Wickliffe, KY. Poured for a few minutes. But we had
stopped in Wickliffe to see what was to the left in
downtown never had gone that direction, or rather never had
the TIME to go that direction. Turns out there is a newly developed
park on the site of Ft. Jefferson point where Mayfield Creek
enters the Mississippi River. Beautiful view across the river
got pictures of the storm moving across the river toward us. Watched
the bridges slowly disappear as the storm swallowed
into Missouri on the Mississippi River bridge.
Stopped at Spurs and Saddles Cafe in Seymour, MO for supper. Food was
good buffet style.
back on the road I drove as Tommy was tired. We stopped at a
Shell station in Rogersville where we had gotten gas on our last trip
through here; gas was $3.28/gal., quite a difference from the $3.49
we had left back home!
Have a room at Hood's Motel at I-44 and Hwy K. Good rate and very
We slept really well. Woke up about 6:30 and snoozed till 7:30.
Had breakfast at the truck stop restaurant; Tommy said one of the
best omelets he's had. Mine was good also. Definitely worth the stop.
On the road to Greenfield, MO library to start working on
Left the library and went to downtown Greenfield and
had lunch at The Place - 1950's soda fountain place.
Had good sandwiches and a FABULOUS malt! (45 degrees outside and I
got a malt!!!)
Divine Cemetery but didn't find the people we had hoped to find. Then
looked at the map and determined that the Friend Cemetery that we
needed to go to was across the field AND across a ditch. The field
was over knee high in beautiful grass, so we put on boots and went
under the fence and made our way to the spot where the cemetery
should have been and there it was FENCED
which was good because the cows we had seen on the way there would
have destroyed it. On our trek across the field, Tommy found a unique
way to put a hot wire across a gap: T-posts on either side of the gap
with tall pieces of PVC pipe standing over them. Run the wire into
the pipe and out the top and across to the pipe on the other side and
down to the fence on the other side. You then set your gaps so the
fence will be hot even when the gaps are open. That was a bonus to
our cemeterying for the day.
we got to the cemetery we found that there was a road we could h ave
driven to get to it, but it was farther to walk the road back to the
car than to go back across the field. HOWEVER we DID find the
grave that we had been looking for that of James Divine, the
progenitor of all the Divines in the area. So left there and went to
Dadeville to find the Dadeville Masonic Cemetery looking for
a specific person. Finally found her, but no change in her dates, so
left there at 8:30 headed back to Hood Truck Stop Motel, room 208
back from supper. Still had to analyze what we did today to
be ready for tomorrow. Need to find a WI-FI tomorrow.
Up at 8:00. Had breakfast at the truck stop again and back in the
room at 9:47. Going to the library at Greenfield again to look at row
diagram of Bethlehem Cemetery, then going to visit cemeteries. 9:55
on the road.
back on the road stopped at Route 66 Mercantile and
Antique store at Halltown, MO. All kinds of stuff. Building was an
antique itself built in 1900 and was full to
overflowing with just about anything you could think of in an antique
store! Then back to Greenfield library to be sure about a cemetery
location and then off to Greenfield Cemetery. This is a HUGE cemetery
no way to be sure we've checked every grave.
out of Greenfield Cemetery. Didn't find all we hoped to find. Headed
for Lockwood (8 miles) for lunch and then more cemeteries. Lunch at
Kim's Breadbasket which is where we had great food last time we were
in Lockwood. Only problem was we got there at 1:50 and they closed at
2:00/ So I got a mushroom-Swiss burger and Tommy got a hamburger and
fries. So 2:10 we are back on the road to Pippenger Cemetery.
done at Bethlehem, but had to go back and take a couple more
pictures, so we are 5:12 leaving Bethlehem the second time.
Gas fill up at Shell in Lamar mileage is 44,333 and we got
9.75 gal. Took picture in Lake Cemetery had to check the map
twice and then work to find the stones which were flat and half
covered by grass clippings and dirt.
We are headed for Wichita, KS by way of US 160 and then US 400.
Crossed into Kansas.
Oil wells, not pumping; box cars used for storage and now falling
apart, dinosaurs made from scrap metal. Following KS 47. Found hills
after we left Altoona!
US 400 87 miles from Wichita
approaching Wichita; 9:00 through downtown. Went to the other side
looking for motels and finally decided to come back in to the Motel 6
near Dugan Road.
Awake at 7:00 and up at 8:00. Checking e-mail we found an e-mail from
Regions that concerned us so spent nearly an hour trying to find out
what was going on never got a clear answer except that
sometime erroneous e-mails get sent out. Comforting. So at 9:42 we
are ready to pack and leave. NOT the time frame we had in mind! So
next door to Denny's for breakfast at 10:00. On the road at 10:34
headed for Dodge City.
finished update to Crockett site! Well, that is another story. Before
we left on the trip, I had a request to make a change to the Crockett
web site. So I made the change and in the process changed the date
for the reunion, using an image that had been on the website for
quite some time. But then I had gotten an e-mail saying that the new
date was wrong and what I had originally was correct. So last night I
had opened the web page in Composer and made my changes, but in
bringing the file down like that, the program also brought down all
the images and made the links to them local to the laptop I was
using. I changed all of the links back to what they needed to be
except for one that I couldn't get to come up. So I had e-mailed the
page to my e-mail account and called Kenneth and asked him to go to
my computer when he got time and then call me and I'd talk him
through what needed to be done. So the Crockett site is back where it
needed to be and all's right with the world. Thank you Kenneth!!!
11:50 Restroom break
at the Wal-Mart in Pratt, KS. Also bought a bottle of nail polish:
chiggers! Now I wonder where we could have found those???
12:50 Saw the
biggest display of whirligigs we've ever seen! Mullinville, KS
all along a fence as you leave town awesome art AND humor
lots of puns.
1:20 into Dodge
City. Toured the old depot which was restored by a theater company
and has a great dinner theater in one end and Amtrak station in the
other. City has done a great job with restoration. Lady at the
visitor's center said the people originally buried in Boot Hill have
been moved twice as the city grew and needed space. Lady at the train
depot said there was a story that a cowboy got on a train headed west
and conductor asked where was he headed and he said To Hell.
The conductor said, You can get on here and get off at Dodge.
2:46 Ready to leave
Dodge. Going to get gas and lunch.
4:00 Finished lunch
ate at Montana Mike's on Wyatt Earp Blvd. Good food, worth a
return visit. Getting gas and will be on the road toward Pueblo and
then Colorado Spring. Mileage 44,684 16.1 gal. gas at Love's
4:18 Back on the
road getting the heck out of Dodge.
6:50 Crossed into
This drive has been
FASCINATING!! I had sometimes wondered where all the beef for all
these stead and hamburger places comes from. Well, we know now: from
feed lots in Kansas! Acres and acres of cows in pens with huge sets
of grain bins and huge stacks of hay and huge silage pits. Alfalfa
fields all over the place with irrigation rigs. When we crossed into
Colorado, though, we found irrigation ditches. Many, many, many
abandoned houses and outbuildings; many small farms which no longer
La Junta 1000 miles.
Saw Amtrak at station in La Junta. Tommy talked to one of the
conductors and he said the Super Chief and Southwest Limited combined
in the 1970's so Tommy passed through here on his 1962 trip
as he did in Dodge City (which was why we had gone there: to see if
we could see the old town that he had seen from the
train as it was leaving the station).
Got to Kevin's at 9:28. His
place is BEAUTIFUL right out of a decorator's magazine, but
with things that are important to him and Lisa, like the picture of
the lake cabin that Charlotte painted, hanging in his office.
I was up at 7:30 Tommy was up earlier. Had to wash my hair so
we are just now getting out at 9:30. Drove around looking for
breakfast and found Omelets, Etc. which proved to have a good
breakfast (great pancakes) at a reasonable price.
10:50 on our way to Garden
of the Gods and Pike's Peak.
Garden of the Gods is
GORGEOUS!!! But not to be done on a beautiful Saturday!! Hard to park
people everywhere, some courteous about pictures and some
12:50 leaving Garden of the
Gods. Need to get gas and then head for Pike's Peak.
1:20 Got to Pike's
Peak just as the 1:20 train blew its whistle so had to wait for the
2:40 train which left the station at 2:47 as late passengers boarded
and a Japanese family had some trouble getting everyone together. The
ride up as beautiful water beside us in the beginning and
trees Aspen, Spruce, and Eagleton Spruce which have a silver
bark, and later Ponderosa Pine. Boulders were tumbled everywhere and
as we gained elevation snow appeared among the trees which eventually
became snow and rocks (fewer boulders to ward the top). In places the
snow along the tracks was almost 5 feet deep based on the height of
the conductor I saw as she stood at a switch as we went by
they had cut out the area around the switch and it was almost higher
than her head! I snapped pictures a lot going up. When we got to the
top (14,110 feet!) the lack of oxygen hit me hard. I felt
light-headed and out of breath and got a really bad headache. We had
not eaten since breakfast (which was probably not good) and I felt
nauseated. It affected Tommy by making him dizzy, but he didn't get
the other symptoms. he got me a bottle of water and my magnet and I
took pictures. As we started back down I dozed and felt really bad.
Took very few pictures. When we got back just before 6:00
I felt really bad. Traffic was hard to get through so we were 6:28
getting to Kevin's. They had 6:30 reservations at The Warehouse so
Lisa had gone ahead and gotten the table. We took Kevin and arrived
about 6:40. Food was absolutely WONDERFUL!!! Only problem was, I was
too sick to eat. I got a bite of my chicken and a couple of bites
from my soup, but my stomach said no more so my supper came
home in a box (which was GREAT for supper the next night!!!).
We sat and talked for a good
while when we got back, but I was definitely not feeling well and
finally threw up what little I did have for supper. I went to bed
shortly after that and slept well; gradually the headache lessened
and by morning was almost completely gone.
I got up about 7:30 and got ready for the day then checked e-mail and
started doing some connecting on Find-a-Grave that I had not done
previously. Fixed ham sandwiches for breakfast and started out about
10:00 headed for Royal Gorge. Tommy called Verna and determined that
this afternoon is a better time to visit, so going to her house in
Pueblo after Royal Gorge.
Got to the train and found that they started boarding at
12:00. We got the club car which was the only thing available besides
the dome car. We decided the prices for the food were a little more
than we wanted to pay, and we wanted to be out on the open air car
anyway, so we sat at the table until the train began to get into more
interesting terrain and then moved outside. The gorge is
SPECTACULAR!!! The beautiful rocks of every color turned at
beautifully odd angles and the water of the Arkansas River sunning
rapids all the way through beautiful, beautiful!
end of the ride, we left the train and went toward the bridge and
chose to go to the overlook first. Incredible view of the gorge and
the bridge REALLY HIGH UP!!!!! Then we went to the bridge,
but it was 4:00 and they had just closed! They do tours
taking people across on buses, because it is still closed from the
fire. They only do this on weekends, so we missed our chance to go
across the bridge one of my goals for the trip; oh, well.
and Tommy and Chris are talking additions on Chris' house. We are
going to call Verna and head for Pueblo.
Verna and had a really wonderful visit talked Divines and a
whole lot of other things! Really great to finally put a face with
the voice on the phone and the writer of e-mails. Research project:
we've got to look for a Nancy Hicks who married a Boyd and filed for
pension; Boyd was later convicted of falsifying her application.
Possible that Jemima's application on Thomas' service was also
falsified. Need more information.
p.m. Back at Kevin's. Ate my DELICIOUS supper which I
couldn't eat last night dishes all clean and we are ready to
check e-mail and go to bed.
Tommy was up about 7:00, but I had stayed up to put some pictures on
the gallery and so I didn't get up till 8:30. So 9:20 and we are at
Omelets, Etc. for breakfast. Heading for Moffat Tunnel, Mt. Evans,
and hopefully to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad.
on our way. Stopped for gas, so 10:05 on the road toward Denver.
at the Devil's Gate Station for Georgetown Loop Railroad. Going on
the 12:40 train. Train ride was GREAT!!! We rode in the open car at
the end of the train and were first to get on, so got to sit at the
very end. Scenery was heavily trees, but the big feature was the tall
loop track where the train goes across the 100 foot
tall Devil's Gate Bridge which has a 30 degree curve. This spiral
design was first built in 1884 to allow trains to go between
Georgetown and Silver Plume where the mines were located. The need
for the spiral design was the 684 foot elevation change in the two
miles from Georgetown to Silver Plume too steep a grade for
trains to manage. Building the spiral with 4 bridges over
Clear Creek, two hairpin turns and the horseshoe curve on the High
Bridge made the trip almost 4 miles long, but the grade was
only 3% which was easily managed by engines then and now. The 30
degree curve is only possible with narrow gauge trains.
not take the silver mine tour, so basically went up the track and
back down. At the silver mine station going back down, we stopped to
let a group of 3rd graders get back on they had
done a special silver mine tour. The ride was good and the conductor
was interesting to talk to and gave a very good history of the
railroad as we descended. The trestle that had been there originally
was completely torn down when the mines closed and the railroad
stopped running. What is there now is a newly built look trestle but
faithful to the original design. the conductor said people who had
ridden both trestles said the new one was a great improvement as the
old one had a definite sway as you went over it.
learned a little about mining in the area which was originally the
reason for the train track being built; gold and silver both were
mined in the area; hills all over the place had weird colored
slide on them and on the train we learned these were
tailings - dirt cast out in mining. The yellow
tailings were gold mines and the gray tailings were silver, due to
the fact that silver is found in rock containing galena (lead).
Got to Moffat Tunnel. As I walked up to the tunnel, I saw three
lights in the tunnel: it was a TRAIN IN THE TUNNEL!!!!!
GOT VIDEO!!!!! Picked up a rock from the area beside the tunnel to
bring back home. The history of the tunnel is interesting as it was
built in 1928 to provide Denver with access to markets on the west
coast which Cheyenne, WY and Pueblo, CO already enjoyed. The pilot
bore for the tunnel eventually became the parallel water tunnel which
supplies a portion of Denver's water today.
Into Denver; 5:25 onto I-25 out of Denver. Saw a wreck happen
and saw two others; time to get out of Dodge, Tommy said.
Up at 7:30 to say goodbye to Kevin and Lisa. We had done laundry last
night, so had some repacking to do and wanted to take one more
advantage of the GLORIOUS shower here! Packed and got away at 10:00,
headed for Omeletes, Etc. for breakfast. 10:50 got gas and headed on
our way. Going to Florissant Fossil Beds.
got to Florissant Fossil Beds. Fascinating but a little
disappointing. They had specimens on display in the visitor's center,
but to actually walk through the beds and see the fossils in the
shale you couldn't. But many of them are small and only good in
displays, so we understand why. Excavation is still actively going
on. It was a very nice display area. And there were huge, fascinating
petrified redwood stumps just in back of the visitors' center.
Stamped my passport book and then we headed back to Colorado Springs
to go south. 12:20 left Florissant Fossil Beds.
Off the road in Pueblo to Best Buy to try to get a remote trigger for
my camera other one broke yesterday on the train trip. Best
Buy didn't have one but the man gave us directions to the only camera
store in town and he had one. We got lucky as he was planning on
retiring and had been work on closing the store, only opening for a
little time on specific days. Turns out he was working on his stock
and happened to see us at the door. Turned out that the remote he had
was the same one that I have for my D300, but now I have one for each
which is what I had before. Don't like this one as well as my other
one for the D600, but it works and that is all that is necessary
right now. So 2:20 and we are back on the road to New Mexico. Rough
country arroyos all over, scrub plants, no trees except along
in Trinidad, CO at the Safeway to get bread. Then looked for supper.
Decided on the Trinidad Diner. I had spaghetti with our
homemade sauce which was essentially taco filling. So I added
ketchup to get some tomato in it, and it was good. Tommy had veal
Parmesan which came with spaghetti and sauce same issue, but
he didn't add the ketchup. Both had more than we could eat, so we
have left-overs for later. 4:44 and back on the road to NM. In the
mountains 19 miles to Raton we are on the old Santa
Into Raton. Found the train station, but bus station has moved.
leaving Raton to go to Cimarron.
in our HOTEL room in the historic St. James Hotel in Cimarron!!!
Tommy said he didn't spring for a room in the history side ($135) but
we are in a new side ($95.00 before AARP). Got things into the room
and then went to scout out Philmont Scout Ranch. Know what we want to
do tomorrow particularly to get early morning pictures of the
Tooth of Time. Land here is varied plains to the east and
mountains on the west. Santa Fe Trail (you can see the old ruts!)
runs right through the area, some on the Scout Ranch. Picked up a
rock on the S.F. Trail as it entered Philmont on the north.
We were awake at 6:30, but got up about 7:40. Our room comes with a
coupon for $12.50 off of our breakfast, so that is going to be our
BREAKFAST!!! And FREE!!! Prices were VERY reasonable and so our
coupon covered the whole bill! Going to look at our itinerary
need to be sure we are in Albuquerque on a week day and we are a
little ahead of schedule.
So decided to do our run to
Taos today as planned and then head for Albuquerque tonight, do our
research there tomorrow and the head for Durango. 9:52 leaving the
Went straight to the museum
at Philmont. Tommy happened to ask if there were tours of the
Phillips Mansion and the lady said yes one in 15 minutes!!!
So we got tickets and headed to the mansion for the 10:30 tour. There
was a young man who did the outside part of the tour which was an
introduction about Waite Phillips and his wife and the building of
the mansion and eventual bequest of it to the Boy Scouts of America.
Then a girl who was to be our inside guide came. We
were waiting for a group of 12 who were supposed to be coming for the
tour, but they were not appearing, so, to make conversation, the boy
asked where we were from. Tommy told him Buchanan
thinking he would say where is that, but the girl said what a
coincidence: she was from Murray, KY! And she KNEW where Buchanan
was!!!! Her brother had just gotten married over the weekend and the
ceremony was in the mansion's gazebo where we were sitting; her
brother and sister-in-law were on staff at Philmont for the summer.
Eventually they gave up on the group of 12 and the girl took us on
the tour of the mansion. We had to take our shoes off because of the
rugs in the house, but the tour was awesome!!! The mansion is
beautiful and full of things that were special to Waite and his wife.
And, of course, with their money, there were some priceless items
there. The tour included the trophy room which Tommy
had remembered from when he was here as a Scout; there were stuffed
specimens of all the types of wild animals that could be found on the
ranch which is why it was the trophy room. I
have LOTS of pictures!!! As we were coming down from the second
floor, we met the group of 12 who were being escorted by the other
guide. Again we were lucky and got a private tour of the mansion by a
girl who lived near us (relatively speaking anyway).
So at 11:35 we were leaving
the mansion headed for the museum. Saw a large group headed there, so
we are going down the road and will do the museum later. Saw the
museum, got a magnet and a fleur-de-lis cut metal hanging, then went
to the Scout Trading Post where I got a T-shirt and another magnet.
So at 1:42 we are headed for US 64 and Taos.
3:21 at Taos Pueblo
well, no dice there: they close in 30 minutes and wanted
$14.00 entrance fee. Going to look for lunch.
4:11 Pull off at Rio
Grande Gorge to have lunch. Pull off was also a boat launch point,
picnic area, and had restrooms. So we made ham sandwiches and then
went walking along the Rio Grande River. Beautiful area
perfect place for a picnic. The two lane highway followed the bottom
of the Gorge when we emerged from the Gorge, the road was
4-lane and stayed that way the rest of the day. Seeing all the adobe
houses was not a surprise, but was certainly different from what we
are accustomed to. The landscape was fascinating at one point
we were marveling at the flat land between us and the distant hills.
Then I noticed an escarpment above and just beyond the flat area. But
as we drove this, the space between the escarpment and the flat area
got larger and suddenly we rounded a curve and there was a canyon!
This got wider and then became the Rio Grande Gorge. Really
fascinating to watch. And always mountains to the left close
and mountains in the distance to the right.
Santa Fe was very much adobe
style buildings and there were several casinos. We took the bypass
around the west side so did not see the state capitol building. So
overall for the day, we got daytime pictures of the Tooth of Time at
Philmont and got a totally unexpected PRIVATE tour of Waite Phillips'
mansion. Taos was VERY artsy and we didn't stop there except to
almost go walk through the Pueblo. But it is kind of like my
trade-off yesterday: didn't get to go across the bridge at Royal
Gorge, but saw a train coming through Moffat Tunnel. Everything is
balancing out. Ready to do research tomorrow.
We were awake at 6:30, but didn't get up till 7:30. So now 8:33 and
heading for breakfast at Waffle House.
leaving Waffle House. We wound up with an extra waffle because my
first one was almost burned and the waitress who turned in the
reorder did it as a double waffle. So we are FULL!
Found the library, but it doesn't open till 10:00 and we don't want
to go into the parking garage too early and waste any of our limited
free time that we get from the library. Main Street here (Old Main,
now Central St.) is old Route 66.
We were the first people through the door. Found a death
certificate for James B. Boyd and two obituary notices
in the Albuquerque Journal. First steps in achieving our goal.
leaving the parking garage headed for French Funeral Home to
see if we can find WHERE in Mountain View Cemetery James Henry McFall
(James B. Boyd) is buried. We went to the cemetery, but only found
many many old funeral home markers, most of which were so badly
deteriorated they could not be read; there was even a bunch of them
which had been pulled up and put into a pile in the middle of the
cemetery. The only thing we came away with were shoe soles FULL of
goat heads - these are dried seed pods from a vine that
grows in the area and have EXTREMELY sharp spines which will stick on
ANYTHING! We had to use Tommy's knife to dig them out! They are
called goat heads because the spines make the pod look like a goat's
head. They are nasty things, to be avoided at all costs; but
apparently the cemetery was COVERED in them which we didn't learn
until we got back to the car. [Having read up on them since then,
they have been known to be the cause of punctured tires on
out of the French Funeral Home they didn't have the
records we needed. They are going to search and get back with us. Now
going to the LOCATION of the Exeter (Fitzgerald) Funeral Home.
so French couldn't help us and we went to Daniels Funeral Home which
is in the building where Fitzgerald Funeral Home was (Fitzgerald took
over Exter which was the one in charge of James' funeral). They were
helpful, but did not have the Exter records that they knew of. They
did contact someone who is going to try to find out if anyone has a
map of Mountain View Cemetery where we could see where James is
buried. Going now to see what is currently located at 108 Yale where
Exter Funeral Home was back in 1941.
Stopped at Saggio's for lunch. Very much like Imo's in St. Louis.
Really good stromboli for Tommy and shrimp Alfredo for me.
Had a call from French Funeral Home cemetery is now
maintained by Sandia Foundation, 6211 San Mateo SE. So on the trail .
. . Found Sandia Foundation, but they aren't even sure how the
acquired the cemetery property!!! They had a number for a lady in
zoning office who had been in contact with the man who owns the
middle part of the cemetery who said the online listing was not
complete. So we left a message with her to call us.3:30 Got
gas and are heading for Durango. Tommy wanted ut to look for a
conveyor we saw yesterday that ran under the interstate. He suddenly
looked up and realized he's missed the exit for US 550 which is what
we are following to Durango. Then, he was heading for the next exit
so we could turn back when he suddenly said there was the conveyor!
So apparently we missed the exit so we could see the conveyor again
on US 550 headed for Durango.
stopped at the Dollar Store in Cuba to get some cheap 2-liters for
Tommy. No restrooms so we went across the road to the K quick Mart
it was locked. So down the road to the K station/McDonald's and used
restrooms there. So 5:15 back on the road to Durango at 7000 feet and
still climbing. Land leveled off at that point rolling but
fairly level with rock mesas in the distance. Oil and gas wells all
over the place! No farming much until we started won off the plateau.
Lots of irrigation once we got into the Animas River Valley. Had been
following the River Valley on the other side, but when we crossed the
Continental Divide we were in the _____ River Valley.
Got a room at Durango Lodge, a block from the train AND where we are
parked will be all right for the train trip tomorrow! Hooray! Tommy
has been working on tickets for the train tomorrow. We will leave at
8:00 on the train and come back on the bus. That puts us back here at
1:45 and not 5:15 (by train) which puts us on the road sooner. Oops
it said we could print out our ticket: not in THIS room! Going to get
there early tomorrow and be sure we have tickets!!!
Up at 5:30 to be sure we get everything done before we have to pick
up tickets at 7:00.
6:38 Decided against
the bagel shop hoping for something else at the motel at 7:00.
Boarded train at 7:30 and train left right at 8:00. 1:35 back
in Durango (Took bus back). Looking for lunch at 1:50. Train ride was
incredible! We were on the river side away from the sun
but the river (Animas River) seemed to be on the other side more
HOWEVER when it was on our side it was going through the
gorge, so it was really wild. The conductor said the water was at
LEAST Class V rapids and some were more than that HUGE waves
going over rocks you could not see. Of course the rock walls and
mountains on either side were beautiful too. Some peaks were nearly
14,000 feet and, of course, had snow. As we got higher in
elevation, there would be patches of snow and in some places
waterfalls cascading down huge cliffs running out from a snow
pack higher up.
So we had lunch at Oscar's
probably best Reuben I've ever had and Tommy said best mushroom Swiss
burger he'd had definitely worth a repeat. Then we got a
strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert and that was almost heavenly! In
Durango you need to eat at Oscar's!!!
So 3:00 and we are leaving
Durango headed for Chama where we have tickets for the Cumbres and
Toltec train tomorrow. Today we rode in the open air gondola car so
cinders were a necessity. Tommy's hands were black, but I had my
gloves on, so mine were not. HOWEVER I apparently have a
black mask around my nose and above my eyes! I sat down twice early
in the ride and each time Tommy said look and I missed
something. So I didn't sit down any more except once when we stopped
to take on passengers. So I stood up basically 3 1/2 hours on a
constantly swaying train. Took over 1 gig of pictures I think. We had
come prepared for cold weather: Tommy had his flannel shirt and had
his heavier jacket in the backpack. I put on my long john britches
and brown pants with a t-shirt, sweater, polar tec and my new green
stadium coat AND my glittens. AND my Alaska
knit cap. So we were comfortable and weather was perfect. No rain
until we left from lunch at Oscar's. Temperature went from about 61
when we went in for lunch down to 46 when we came out (with a WIND!).
Pretty scenery, but too much rain to get pictures.
5:00 in Chama. Got
tickets for our train ride tomorrow. Looking for motel room at the
Branding Iron Motel getting room for 2 nights so we can rest
a little before starting our ride back home by way of Taos:
going to try the Pueblo again. RAIN! We had gotten ahead of it, but
it has followed us and settled in. Going to be wet unloading.
Up at 6:30 and ready to go look for breakfast at 7:00. Going to ride
the bus up and ride the train back down to Chama.
train ride was FANTASTIC!!! Different from Durango. This ride was
more mountains and rocks and HEIGHT a 150 foot high trestle
and two tunnels and numerous switch-backs: one where you could see
three levels of track all at once and most where you could see the
track across the valley. There was a visible remnant of a 19__ toll
road which we could see at various places. We stopped in Osier for
lunch which was very good and a good break on a long trip. We
spent most of the trip in the open gondola car. This car had no
canopy, so when we got out of Osier and ran into a snow shower, it
was hard to take pictures and keep the camera dry. I went in for a
little while during the hardest part of the shower, then went back
out after it quit. We saw a dormant shield volcano which was the
source of the rocks we were passing by. There were two other
volcanoes far in the distance to the north. So the rocks we saw were
really interesting and beautiful.
special thing about our run: it was apparently the inaugural run of
the lead engin, #312. Also it was a double header
meaning we had two engines. This is not usual until later in the
tourist season, but our run was doubly special as the docent in our
car said he had never seen these two engines together on a run. Both
were D & RGW engines (Denver and Rio Grande Western). At one
point when we came to a trestle, they stopped and let the front
engine go ahead to both engines would not be on the trestle at one
time; then WE were stopped ON the trestle while they hooked the
engine up again. At the last trestle, they did the same, but that
time the front engine went on ahead of us so sometimes we
could get pictures with the front engine in the distance.
Awake at 6:45 and up about 8:00. Washed my hair after the 2 days with
the knit cap on my head.
9:34 We are going to
get breakfast and then chase the train a little way as we head for
Taos. Eating at Foster's gain.
10:10 and we are on
our way to chase the train (decided against Taos).
Antonito stopped at the gift shop and got hat & T-shirts.
Headed home. Got some great videos of the train. Used
the tele lens as well as my regular one.
1:00 passing through
Manassa, CO heading north to Romeo. In Manassa saw the birthplace of
Jack Dempsey and then the name Manassa Mauler made
sense! Museum there, but we didn't stop. Mountains in the distance
are TALL with snow! Beautiful, though the land around is scrub land
with no trees. Open range land, but no animals visible. Speed is 65
mph and road is really straight (State Hwy 142).
3:03 I-25 at
Walsenburg. At 2:50 we stopped at Walsenburg to get gas before
getting on I-25. Heard a train saw freight cars and went
looking for the engine. Found it! Found THEM 3 engines!!
There was a track we had just crossed but it was WAY below where we
were seeing the freight cars! So . . . w had to chase
this guy to see what was going to happen. And sure enough we
got to a point at the main street Tommy pulled off and waited
and then there were the engines to the right at the end of
the street and freight cars still coming around the hill ABOVE us to
the left!!! turned on the video on the camera & got the train in
both spots and got a 4th engine pushing! What a horseshoe
4:05 pulled into
Capulin Volcano National Monument. AWESOME!!! ASESOME!!! And, of
course, it closed at 5:00! Got my passport stamped, got my magnet and
then started the DRIVE to the top!!! Unbelievable views!! Got to the
end of the road and . . . DARN . . . 1 mile loop TRAIL around the
rim!!!! No Time, so we took the north trail and went about 20 minutes
up it to where we could see a cauldera I had seen on the way up the
road coming up. Just incredible views and everything all
around here is volcanic all from lava flows, some dating back
a million years, but Capulin's last eruptions was just 60,000 years
ago when there were mammoths in the area. We could look into
the cauldera of Capulin and if we'd had time could
have hiked down into it. Really a fascinating park!
Left the park at 5:00. Into
Boise City, OK at 7:30. Found a Dairy Queen at the east end of the
town. Had supper there. Then checked into the Townsman Motel. Nice
room with micro & fridge which we've not had in some of our more
Up at 8:00. 9:10 out of the room went back up the road to the
Rockin A Cafe and had a delicious breakfast.
9:52 back on the road
heading for Muskogee. There were many signs in the cafe. One said
Guns Welcome. Please keep weapons holstered unless need
arises. In such case, judicious aim is appreciated. Another
said, For sale: 10 open heifers and 1 gay bull. And the
man sitting behind Tommy talked about a man he knew who had been in
jail and his job while in jail had been to drive a truck into Los
Angeles, spend the night and come back. So when he had served his
time and got paroled, they put him in a halfway house and someone
said well, he could drive an over-the-road truck, and the parole
people said, oh, no, he could not cross the state line! Go figure!
So we are going through the
Oklahoma Panhandle and came across a reference to No
Man's Land. The following is from the web site for the OK
Historical Society's No Man's Land Museum in Goodwell, OK:
When the Territory of Kansas was created in 1854 its boundary was set
at the 37th parallel. When Texas came into the union, being a slave
state, it could not extend its sovereignty over any territory north
of 36Ί 30' North. The Missouri Compromise specified that
territory North of this line would be free-state territory. This
situation left a narrow strip of land 34 miles wide between Kansas
and Texas extending from the 100th parallel on the East to the 103rd
parallel on the West, a total of 168 miles in length. At the eastern
end of the area was the Cherokee Outlet and at the western end was
the Territory of New Mexico. Since the area was claimed by no state,
it was soon given the name of No Man's Land.
In the mid 1880s
drought and depression caused many to leave heavily mortgaged
farmlands in western Kansas. They became squatters in what was in
time to become the Oklahoma Panhandle. Townsites were organized and
trade centers and villages began to spring up. While the settlers
could not receive legal title to the land they settled, precedents in
other territorial regions indicated the Federal Government would in
time recognize "Squatter's Rights." Under the leadership of
Dr. Owen G. Chase, the settlers of No Man's Land began to think of
the possibility of establishing a territory. Congress felt the
planned Cimarron Territory was not large enough to justify the
creation of a territory, and in 1890 No Man's Land was attached to
Oklahoma Territory becoming known as Beaver County. No Man's Land
Museum chronicles the struggles of the settlers as they established
their own government and developed their communities.
11:45 stopped for gas in
Woodward, OK. Also took picture of MCM Rentals sign!!!!!
1:45 finished lunch at Chicken
Express in Woodward. Headed wat again still on US 412.
4:30 stopped at the service
center on Cimarron Turnpike for restroom break
4:37 Rain going to be
rain all the way through Tulsa looks like.
6:45 into Muskogee. Found Motel
6, then went to look for Best Buy so I could get a new lens cover for
my camera (it did not fare well with the coal dust and rain/snow on
the Cumbre/Toltec trip). They had two and I got both. So, 7:10 and we
are headed back to Motel 6 and then will look for supper. Getting
through Tulsa was a MESS! It was POURING rain, so hard sometimes you
couldn't see the road. Made one wrong turn but corrected at the next
exit. However, decided against taking the turnpike to Muskogee
thought US 64 and the OK 16 would be the better route witht eh rain.
I had my camera set up to take lightning pictures, but, of course,
the only two bolts we saw were not where the camera was pointing.
Would have expected more lightning, but we certainly saw plenty of
rain and awful puddles onthe roads. FOR NOW (Tommy is getting the
motel room) it is not raining. Don't know how long this lull will
9:00 ordered pizza from
Domino's too tired to go out and eat after the long drive
today. Had a gift card that covered the cost!
up about 7:00, but I went back to sleep after 5:00 and didn't wake up
till 7:30. So we got out about 9:00 after doing a little
pre-research. Denny's was just up the road, so that was an easy do
10:00 done with breakfast. May not do
Denny's again soon: for my 2 eggs scrambled with cheese they charged
cheese on each of my eggs - $.69 EACH! I was trying to avoid paying
for bacon AND sausage which I didn't want and wound up paying a
premium for cheese! Not again.
So 10:23 found gas at a Kum & Go
couldn't find a name brand other than PHillips. Heading for
Stillwell, OK, county seat of Adair Co. which is where we are going
to look for something on James Calhoun Divine. 10:38 on the
road to Stillwell.
12:15 into Stillwell and found
the library (afterasking, though we would have found it because we
were headed the right way). Nothing there, though, so now at the
Historical and Genealogical Society at the train station.
2:30 Left the Historical
Society and went to the site of the end of the Trail of Tears. Now
going to eat lunch (3:05) at Somethin' Sweet Ice Cream Parlor
& Diner that we found on the road to the Trail of Tears
memorial. I got a club sandwich and Tommy got a mushroom Swiss
he got a cherry fried pie and I wanted an aprico one but they were
out, so I got a malt instead; hand dipped ice cream and it is
THICK!!! GREAT MALT!!!
3:44 on the road got into
Westville and decided to go to Alberty Cemetery where the Devines are
4:46 leaving Alberty Cemetery,
headed for Arkansas.
5:00 called Ron. He is still
working so best to visit this afternoon, so going to let Gert
navigate us to the house. We must be headed right so far she
hasn't said anything.
6:45 at Ron and Linda's
8:03 leaving Ron & Linda's
had a great visit. LInda gave me some records that Joe Moore
had given her when she through she might do som calling. Got to meet
Justin (their grandson) he is staying since he is out of
school to give his mom a break.
8:27 at Motel 6 in Rogers, AR
(hope they have a room!) Room 204! Used to be another motel chain, so
we had inside roowith interesting arrangements. But great bed.
7:00, up at 7:30. Shower was great as this had been a Sleep Inn
before, so not typical Motel 6 shower. 9:13 out to get breakfast.
didn't do breakfast went to library. Didn't find much new,
but lady there found some Internet things that may prove helpful.
So Tommy decided
he wanted to go to Subway, so we went into one and I stepped up to
order and asked for Provolone cheese. Didn't have it; didn't EVER
have it. So we left. Found another Subway, same story. So . . . Linda
had told us yesterday that she like to go to Village Inn to eat on
Wednesdays because they give you a slice of pie free and they have
strawberry-rhubarb. So, having struck out on Subway, we wen to a
Village Innn that was close. The food was EXCELLENT!!! And the pie
was DELICIOUS!! Tommy got apple and I got my strawberry-rhubarb. So
at 12:55 we left Village Inn headed for Conway to meet Jerry and
Carolyn. Carolyn doesn't get off till 5:00 and we figure we'll be
there about 4:30 or so.
stopped at rest stop at exit 35 on I-40.
2:26 leaving rest
stop (3590 miles on our trip)
at Sinclair in Conway.
4:00 at China
Town Buffet where we will meet Jerry and Carolyn. Turns out this is
their usual Wednesday dinner place!
the restaurant and Jerry and Carolyn. Had a great visit!! Catching up
on 50 years of not being together. Must do this again soon.
crossed into TN; went across the old Bridge I-55 so
we could come in Poplar to the Hampton Inn where I stayed when I went
to Lindy's funeral.
into the hotel room 310, same room # as my college dorm room!
awake about 6:45, but watched the news and weather and then Today
show and got up about 9:00. So it is 10:00 and we are going to have
waffles for breakfast downstairs. Waffles, eggs, yogurt & fruit.
leaving Hampton and going to the shop.
a great visit with Joe. It was his birthday and CArol came in with
lunch and a birthday balloon. Joe is a year older than we are.
Bevil Cemetery to look for some photo requests from Find-a-Grave.
Trollingers for milk.
at Lakeway IGA, headed home
HOME!!!!!!! 4009.7 miles total