US-50 West 2022:
Day 3 - Cañon City [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

US-50 West 2022: [Day 1 - Owensville] [Day 2 - Dodge City] [Day 3 - Cañon City] [Day 4 - Colorado NM] [Day 5 - Great Basin NP] [Day 6 - Folsom Lake SRA] [Day 7 - Lassen Volcanic NP] [Day 8 - Humboldt Redwoods SP] [Day 9 - Portola Valley] [Day 10 - Pinnacles NP] [Day 11 - Yosemite] [Day 12 - Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP] [Day 13 - Picacho Peak SP] [Day 14 - Flagstaff] [Day 15 - El Reno] [Day 16 - Heading Home]

Monday, October 3, 2022: It was a beautiful sunrise when we woke up, and we took our time getting out of camp.
We said goodbye to Doc Holliday and headed out of Dodge City.
US-50 West. Check. We were following the Santa Fe Trail quite a bit on this route.
A little after 9 AM, we were on the outskirts of Dodge City and passing the large stockyards, ...
... with their huge pens filled with cattle. The smell in the area is very ... powerful.
Holcomb, Kansas, has the most vertical water tower we've ever seen. From a distance, Tom thought it looked like a Falcon 9 first stage. Space nerd.
It was shortly after we passed Holcomb that Tom noticed a new chip in the windshield. We turned into this gas station and pulled around to the shade in the back of the building, ...
... and Tom got out our Rain-X windshield repair kit that we had brought along for just such an event.
The Rain-X kit is really simple to use. Position the doohickey over the chip, stick it on firmly with the suction cups, add drops of resin, screw in the plunger thing, and wait several minutes. Remove the doohickey, place a curing strip over the repair, back the van out into full sunlight, wait another 10 or 15 minutes.
This is a good time to go into the gas station's convenience store and buy snacks. Scrape off the curing strip with the provided razor blade, and the repair is complete. We were back on our way by 10:15 AM. Total time for repair: 25 minutes.
Check out this adorable classic car!
Wow! A telephone booth, and it still had a telephone inside it. We didn't realize there were any payphones still in existence.
We had to turn around and go back to make sure we had a good shot of this Cousin Eddie's mural.
Okay, Colorado. We talked about it, and we think that with a slogan like "Welcome to Colorful Colorado," your sign should not be quite so drab. Maybe talk to your neighboring states and get a few tips.
Right over the border we stopped at a rest area and read all about the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway. We've been on parts of it on other trips, and talked about following the entire trail as a road trip some day.
We love it when motels keep their vintage signs even when they've updated their buildings.
We laughed as we unexpectedly drove right past the Madonna of the Trail statue in Lamar, Colorado. Last year, we had planned our route specifically to take us past this statue, and this time we just stumbled across it.
See how colorful the Colorado State Highway signs are? Can whoever was responsible for that design work on the welcome signs?
On the Santa Fe Trail information sign, we had seen markers for Bent's Old Fort and Bent's New Fort, but apparently they left Bent's Fort Inn off the map.
In Las Animas, Colorado, the landscape was slowly turning into the desert of the Southwest.
Bees! There were dozens of bee boxes in this field off the side of the road.
As we drove through La Junta, we saw a sign advertizing the upcoming Tarantula Fest, but we couldn't get a good picture of it. That's a festival that we'd rather not attend, thank you.
This colorful billboard clearly illustrates that La Junta is on the Amtrak route from Chicago to Los Angeles.
A sign on the Junction 50 Galleria says "Tarantulas are coming," and check out the huge spider on the awning above the door. As we were leaving town, we tried one last time to get the Tarantula Fest sign at the other end of town, but it was barely visible. Take our word for it: this town celebrates tarantulas.
This restaurant is named "Just Fish." Gotta respect that. Do they even have menus?
Welcome to Rocky Ford, the Sweet Melon Capital.
There were cool vintage building signs in Rocky Ford, ...
... including the signs for The Tribune newspaper building and the Fowler State Bank building.
Mountains! We can see mountains ahead!
And what's this? Right on US-50?
A Black-eyed Pea Restaurant that is still open?! Oh, we're stopping here.
Mmmmm. Rolls.
We ordered meatloaf with a side of broccoli-rice casserole and fried okra, ...
... and a vegetable platter with mashed potatoes, sweet corn, cinnimon apples, more broccoli-rice casserole, and more fried okra. We saved the apples, sweet corn, and one of the broccoli-rice casseroles to eat later in camp, but we shared and devoured everything else.
The mountains were getting bigger and bigger, ...
... as we approached Cañon City.
Look at those mountains. Aren't they beautiful?
As we go reached the end of the city limits, we saw this distinctively-painted dinosaur statue. You know what that means! We are heading back through town to look for more of them.
There was another tyrannosaurus rex, ...
... a triceratops, ...
... and a stegosaurus.
This mural depicted the town in what appeared to be the frontier days.
In addition to the dinosaur statues around town, we also saw bighorn sheep statues, ...
... and this large bronze statue of circus performer Bird Millman O'Day walking a tightrope.
There were several more bighorn sheep statues, and then we were heading back out of town, ...
... past the Colorado Territorial Prison Museum, ...
... and the Colorado State Penniteniary, which used to be the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility before Colorado became a state. We later learned that this is one of several prisons in the area.
We headed west into the mountains, ...
... past the turn off for Royal Gorge, with its attractions ...
... and souvenir shops.
We were following the Arkansas River, ...
... and the train tracks of the Rio Grande railway line.
Just after 2:30 PM, ...
... we arrived at our campground, Five Points Recreation Site.
We drove around the campground loop, ...
... and backed our van into site 1011, our home for tonight.
It turns out that the big rock on the side of the campsite is hard to see when you are backing in. Septimus got a little scar on his chin, but he's tough.
A little after 3 PM, we were all set up and settled in.
Have we mentioned how much we love our tent?
This teeny tiny spider was on the rock base of the firepit. Maybe he is making his way east to La Junta for Tarantula Fest?
It was at this point that Debbie realized that she had a urinary tract infection. There was much suffering for nearly an hour as we tried to decide what to do. Hooray for portable toilets and privacy.
We had no cell service at the campsite, ...
... so we got back in the van, ...
... and headed back east toward Cañon City, ...
... enjoying the mountain scenery and beautiful weather.
As soon as we had a good cell signal, Debbie contacted Teledoc, ...
... and as we reached the outskirts of Cañon City again, ...
... the doctor had agreed it was likely a UTI and had sent a prescription to Palace Drugs in Cañon City. In no time at all, we were into the pharmacy, they filled the prescription, and we were back outside, ...
... once more driving through this charming little town, past its stylish movie theater marquee...
... getting more photos of stegosauruses (or is it stegosauri?), ...
... bighorn sheep, ...
... and Cañon City's premiere dinosaur statue.
We stopped at a gas station for ice for the cooler and treats to help boost our spirits.
While we were in town, our friend Greg had texted Debbie that Costco had their beer Advent calendar on sale, and asked if we wanted him to pick one up for us. We did, and he dropped it by our house and placed it in our garage so that it would be there when we got home.
Our security cameras at the house alerted us when Greg opened our garage door, and Debbie was prompted by the Arlo app on her phone if she wanted to adjust her privacy settings. We were amused that the alert showed our progress along US-50 over the past three days.
By 5:30 PM, we were back at the turn-off to our campsite, ...
... but we headed to the picnic area across the road first.
There was an area where you could walk right down to the river's edge, ...
... and well maintained walkways from the picnic area, ...
... up to a wooden observation deck that stuck out over the river.
Debbie had painstakingly tracked down the location of this picnic area because we have great memories of being here when our girls were little. Back in 1998, we stopped here on our way back home from a Spring Break trip out to Arizona. Back then, you could get to the river from any spot in the picnic area, but now, 24 years later, the scrub brush along the river bank had grown so much that the river was inaccessible.
There were beautiful cacti and wildflowers throughout the picnic area. It was great to revisit this spot where we had had so much fun years earlier.
Back in camp, we made savory roasted ground beef and rice for dinner, and added the leftover corn and broccoli-rice casserole from the Black-eyed Pea. It was quite tasty. A day or two later, we discovered that a tear in the broccoli-rice casserole container made all of the ice in our cooler smell like broccoli after just a few hours of exposure to the smell, leaving us with memories of Black-eyed Pea even longer.
We finally found the perfect configuration for the lamps that we use in the tent, but we decided that we absolutely needed one more. Not for more light, but because the programmer in both of us need the fourth one to complete the pattern.

Day 4 >

US-50 West 2022: [Day 1 - Owensville] [Day 2 - Dodge City] [Day 3 - Cañon City] [Day 4 - Colorado NM] [Day 5 - Great Basin NP] [Day 6 - Folsom Lake SRA] [Day 7 - Lassen Volcanic NP] [Day 8 - Humboldt Redwoods SP] [Day 9 - Portola Valley] [Day 10 - Pinnacles NP] [Day 11 - Yosemite] [Day 12 - Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP] [Day 13 - Picacho Peak SP] [Day 14 - Flagstaff] [Day 15 - El Reno] [Day 16 - Heading Home] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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