Friday, February 05, 2010

Colorado Vacation - Excerpt 4

Excerpts from My Colorado Vacation - Day 4
21 July ‘08
6:40 am  Light breakfast in the HoJo library. I had their cinnamon (packaged) bun and my tea, Majestic Morning. I’ll be hungry later.
Met National Guard Army guys, during breakfast. They’re in OKC for Search and Rescue Training. Very nice guys.
7:30 am All packed and ready to load car. Laptop still exiting.
8:30 am Off to the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. I took pictures of the mural on the western wall and of our hotel (HoJo0 from the museum parking lot.
1st pictures inside: Triptych of Yellowstone. 1 to establish size, 1 for ‘close look’ of 1 of all three. There were more triptychs in the banquet/meeting room but a meeting was about to begin so I didn’t want to take too long taking pictures. If you looked at the center painting, ‘closely’ you could see two individuals on the overlook. I overheard someone pointing them out, otherwise I would never have noticed them. They were that small.
Into the gardens: otter sculpture “Ring of Bright Water”, tiny frogs, koi, koi, Buffalo Bill, water people statue (look for dragonflies on the spears), heron statue
I took pictures of the military officer’s dress helmet and great coat. I want to show Chris but without flash, I’m not certain how well the pictures turned out.
Parade saddle: I’d love to know how much it weighs.
Canyon Princess statue and End of the Trail.
Colonel Tim McCoy, early actor in Westerns. He was an actual Army Colonel c. WWI and was fluent in multiple Native American dialects. Early Westerns (pre-Depression) frequently had real Native Americans as extras, for realism. I learned this in the Westerns in Hollywoodand TV section of the museum.
I got a little lost in the Prix de West section. It was art/sensory overload.
~12:30 pm we had lunch at the Museum restaurant. I had shepherd’s pie and fruit salad, which was cut up fresh fruit. I decided against the buffet because I wanted a light lunch. Then the food was so good that I couldn’t stop eating.
At the gift shop I bought a couple shot glasses for R’s collection and a t-shirt and a couple pins for myself. I found nothing for for anyone else.
[sticker from museum: black silhouette of cowboy with yellow bandanna and belt buckle against yellow mountain silhouetted against royal blue sky, all next to ‘National Cowboy and; Western Heritage Museum’]
This is the sticker so that they knew that we had paid to tour the museum. If you were just going to the restaurant, you got a round green and gold sticker.
101F but it’s dry. That really does make a difference. For once ‘they say’ is true.
We left the museum ~1:30 pm and I napped. Dad woke me at 2 pm because the terrain had changed.
The wheat has been harvested. It’s very flat, more pastures with cattle or a dozen horses loose in the pastures. Lots & lots of sky.
And the state troopers use SUVs.
~2:30 pm We’re paralleling Route 66. I see a lot of streambeds, arroyos?, that are dry. Is there a drought or are they seasonal?
The grain silos are huge. They are more like silo complexes.
Before the Texas border, we passed a wind farm, big wind turbines. And a dust storm, or cloud, hit us, brief and orange.
2:45 pm I saw the 2nd, or was it 3rd, Cherokee Trading Post. It has gas $3.69.
Canute, OK
Gas stop
I saw a truck “soil farming” but it turned out that it was just the company name.
Clouds splatter across the sky like paint flung from a brush.
4:22 pm Crossed into Texas panhandle
Don’t  see any more farms, it’s ranches. There are fewer trees, a few clumps, but they are scattered.
4:25 pm
See a barn, or shed, with murals painted on the walls. Very pretty. Wish I could have gotten a picture.
Soon after, see my first longhorns in the field.
The travel center is 100 miles inside the border, near Amarillo. No welcome center. 1st rest stops are picnic shelters only, no bathrooms.
At the first real shelter with facilities, we stopped. I took a panorama shot from the overlook. I also took pictures of the neat picnic shelters there.
They had a warning about rattlesnakes on the doors and about fires on the notice board. The interactive windmill exhibit was not active (couldn’t turn the display model) but it had neat info.
“Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles.”
Texas highway speed signs have a day speed and a night speed.
Near Groom, TX (~exit 110)
Leaning water tower, used to be functioning. Made to advertise a now-defunct service station. Also saw a giant cross with a life-size Jesus Journey to Cross behind gift shop [looking back at my note, I remember the water tower and the giant cross but not the rest of that].
5:45 pm Finished 4th round of doily, despite problems. I ran out of thread 3 rings too soon, etc.
6 pm Amarillo, Ritz Airport Plaza Hotel
The Texas Travel Center closed at 5 pm.
Dad’s not feeling well, upset stomach. About 7 pm, Kathy and I went to Big Texan for supper. Kathy and Dad went there the last time they went to Colorado. The restaurant’s claim to fame is their offer;  as home of the 72 oz steak, if you can finish the whole thing, plus fixings, in an hour, they’ll pay for the meal. They charge you ahead of time, so they refund your money. Some guy finished it with 10 seconds to spare when they were there last time.
No one was trying it while Kathy and I were there.  Certainly, we didn’t. We both had the 6 oz Austin Lady cut steak. Soooo good, steak sauce would have been a sacrilege.
We hit the gift shop. I found a perfect lunchbox tin for Gretchen. Yes, I am enabling her storage container addiction. But it’s such a cute tin, the perfect size for tatting.
We came back to the hotel room and I watched Hogan’s Heroes while catching up on email, etc. Dad was feeling a little with judicious application of ginger ale and crackers.
Hotel pro’s:
Very good towels
No iron in the room, had to ask for it
Breakfast had been canceled with no recompense
2 lamps unplugged (of 3)
Entry light almost burned out
Alarm clock not plugged and never found an outlet for it
Once a great hotel, lobby chandeliers are gorgeous. Gift shop was closed. It has an interior garden/atria but showing signs of neglect.

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