The Night Before:
The last forecast we heard before returning to our cabin for the night was pretty dismal: Highs in the 40's. 70% chance of rain. Snow in the higher elevations (above 10,000').
Once back at the cabin Honey Buns and me had a pow-wow. We both decided tomorrow would be a down day and we would piddle around in the Blazer, maybe head back east to check out Salida, over to Gunnison to go through the Pioneer Musuem, etc. As we relaxed in our cabin, the rain started in earnest... some fairly moderate rain was hitting the metal roof. Like I mentioned earlier, now that the rain had arrived, it was to be here a spell.
Soon, it was time to retire. Snug as a bug in a rug in our bed, with the windows cracked open a bit... once again I drifted off to sleep to the serenade of a rushing Quartz Creek just outside our window. Good stuff Maynard!
Sure 'nuf, upon arising Wednesday morning, the rains were still on. Plus, there was heavy icing on the Blazer's windows. The temps were in the low 30's. NOT a fun day to be riding high mountain passes!
We headed for Salida and poked around there for a spell. Leaving Salida we headed for Gunnison. On our way back to Gunnison, I begin to notice several types of classic and antique sports cars... heading our direction.
Could it be?
You see, many years ago, when Honey Buns and I was doing our first September Colorado vacation, we came upon a classic/antique sports car rally known as the "Colorado Grand". It was a bunch of old sports car enthusiasts that ran a 1000 mile loop through Colorado, stopping at a park each night to display their vehicles while eating supper prior to retiring for the night.
Apparently, we had timed it just right again!
Their lunch stop was at Gunnison. We got there just in time to see the last of the cars before they too, left for the evening stop.
Here's a couple of pics from that little serendipitous encounter...
First up is a fabulous 1950's Ferrari Testa-Rosa racing car...
We also saw a genuine Ford Cobra! (NOT a kit car!) Here it is:
In all, our "Down Day" turned out to be a great day! We had a delicious lunch at the Tic Toc Diner at Gunnison (I ate a fantastic grilled pastrami n' swiss on toasted rye topped with sauer kraut.) Coming out of the diner... we noticed some more "Adventure Bikes" had shown up... though I didn't see their riders....
While eating lunch, I enquired if there was a seafood place in town. (We were both kind of in the mood for some seafood... or in my case... perhaps some fried trout?) Indeed, there was reputed to be an EXCELLENT seafood and steak house in Gunnision, named "The Trough".
As the day progressed and we continued to knock around. We did the Pioneer Museum, which was a real sleeper deal for sure: We BOTH had a great time there. We figured we'd take it in within an hour or so. WRONG. We were there 3 hours!
Leaving the museum we headed out to spy out where The Trough was located. As we did, I happened by a motorcycle dealership. Out front were some very serious dirt bikes by the name of "Husaberg".
Like a siren song... I was lured inside. (I LOVE to hit bike shops. Love the smell of a bike shop and the fun of looking over all the shiney new motorcycles.)
Small world! The fellow that owned the shop was an acqaintance of mine and a good friend of one of my good (riding) friends! The fellow's name is Fritz Kadlec, and he is one whale of an off-road rider, having ridden professionally for decades. However, now he's out of that scene and sells bikes an' stuff.
While visiting with him, Fritz asked where we would be riding at Crested Butte (Friday's ride). I told him Kebler Pass to Ohio Pass, then over to Gunnison for lunch, and return. With that, he pulled out a map and begin to highlight stuff that was even better! Needless to say, I purchased the map, and thanked him profusely.
Cool! We just improved Friday's ride on a happenstance stop! Below is a pic of Fritz and his shop.
Our supper that night was fantastic! We indeed ate at "The Trough", a seafood and steak house. We both ordered boiled shrimp.
My lands... there were half dozen of them per serving, and they were the biggest shrimp we had ever seen! I kid you not, each shrimp was as big as a fried chicken leg! Honey Buns only ate two of hers and I only got three of mine down! By the time we had eaten our large salads, savored the taste of The Trough's home-made poppy rolls... then topped it off with as many huge shrimp as we could eat (with a delicious smothered baked potato on the side)... we were stuffed!
We boxed up the leftover shrimp n' rolls and some cocktail sauce, and presto: A King's Lunch for Alpine Tunnel tomorrow!
Ah... almost forgot:
While at the Pioneer Museum, I saw a Denver South Park & Pacific RR historical book I didn't have. It's a new release by the title of "South Park's Gunnison Divison Memories & Then Some". After a few inquiries, we found the campus book store (at Western State College) had them in stock. It was off to the book store and a copy was then in my possession!
That night at our cozy warm cabin, Sharon and I curled up with a book and relaxed like nobody's business. Let it rain!
Oh yes... speaking of rain: That was to end during the night. The rest of the days we were to be in Colorado was to be clear blue sky and temps in the 60's! PERFECT!
Eventually we were ready for bed. Tomorrow was going to be one of our most anticipated events: The trek to Alpine Tunnel via the roadbed of the DSP&P. It had been YEARS since we've done this... and we were both looking forward to it. Plus... we were going to lunch in high fashion at Alpine Tunnel, courtesy of The Trough!
Yes indeed, big doin's tomorrow!
The next installment will be huge with lots of scenic pics... I'd better get to it!
To Be Continued.