Sunday, February 14, 2010

Notes from the Road

We are 'On the Road Again..." Yesterday, 13 February, we left our abode in Morgan Hill at 6:35am, Colorado bound. Now this is a VERY LATE departure time for Mr. H. and I (and Puddin' who is holding down the back seat), but in the winter I prefer to make a 2-1/2 day road trip (opposed to the usual 2-day) of the 1225 or so miles to Grand Lake due to short daylight hours. I get a bit - but just a bit - of flack about this from Mr. H. but he goes along with it.
And wouldn't you know it...while still on the road out of our development (Jackson Oaks Drive) we were in a quandary. It was super foggy outside - and our defroster wasn't working!!! Oh, my. We operated it at full blast, turning on the A/C, turning off the A/C, turning on the heater - in short doing everything humanly possible to get the darned defroster to - well, defrost the inside windows. That's when I decided to do a little test. I ran my index finger over a short space on the inside of the windshield - and you will never guess. No, you won't. THE PROBLEM WAS VAPOR ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE WINDOW!! Shheeesh! A little windshield wiper action cleaned it right up. It was kind of, umm...a less than stellar start to the first day of the trip. But wait. It gets better.
So along about the exit to Great America in Santa Clara, I heard something that sounded like a...groan, perhaps? I hadn't been paying attention to the road (I wasn't driving after all) as I was busy doing something mentally taxing such as wondering if I'd remembered to take my socks out of the dryer when Ralph realized he had bypassed the Highway 680 exit. By a LONG way. Oh, boy. Off the freeway we went, across the overpass and then back on course. So I was wondering, ok, do these things come in three's? I was hoping not. But then I dropped the lid off my Starbucks cup and it landed on Ralph's side of the vehicle and yes: I counted that as number three!
So the above pictures are not ones I took personally with my own camera, rather they depict an old wagon that is - presumably - at the Elko, Nevada Chamber of Commerce building. We haven't done much sight seeing in Elko so I can't vouch for this completely, but it wouldn't surprise me seeing as how Elko is kinda one of those "wild west" sorta towns, given to Cowboy Poetry nights and so forth. Also known for its Basque restaurants, and don't ask me what one has to do with the other. But we checked into our dog-friendly hotel and proceeded to head to dinner, which we ate at the restaurant at the Red Lion, below.
Our dinner experience led me to exclaim at one point during our repast - "Boy am I glad California has banned smoking in public places." Yes, the smoke, the noise from the nearby slot machines and a heavy hand on the casino furnace's thermostat made it not THE most pleasant dinner we've ever had.
First day on the road - 557 miles, give or take.

And speaking of dinner, you are probably wondering where my spouse and I decided to have dinner on that MOST ROMANTIC DAY OF THE YEAR....well, for some people I guess. I have to say this year Valentine's Day kind of came and went without so much as a whimper. Or Valentine's Day gift. Or card. Nope. Nada. But that's ok, we had a yummy taco dinner here, at Cafe Rio in lovely Vernal (rhymes with urinal without the "i"), Utah.

The good news is that Vernal, Utah, is just a hop, skip and a jump (well, make that a really long jump, say 400-plus miles!) to this lovely place, Zion National Park, which is actually nearer to St. George, Utah, which is another common city for us to stay on our journey home - especially if going by Long Beach to visit the Sensational Stromberg Sisters!

Second day on the road: 400 miles, give or take.
And now we are only about 257 (give or take) miles from our destination: Grand Lake, Colorado :) Will leave bright and early tomorrow morning, arriving in Grand Lake by noon, Lord willing and the creeks don't rise...
So I am off to celebrate Valentine's Day with a mini-Coconut-Almond-ice cream bar in my jammies in my comfy bed in our dog-friendly-hotel-room in Vernal, Utah! Happy Trails...

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