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Over the Mountains and Through the Woods

February 18, 2009

Buffalo Bill Irish-Connection, originally uploaded by IrishFireside.

corey says…Blue skies led us out of Grand Junction. We gave a salute to the regal Grand Mesa on our way out and headed for Parachute, CO, where Liam used to work…the liquor store/check cashing place is now the veterinary clinic and the bar/church (yes, they held mass in the bar) is now a fire equipment store.

Then onwards to Glenwood Springs…from there the landscape completely changed to high rocks and deep gorges. That is also where civil engineering was most evident in the mastery of the highway system. Very impressive!

As we climbed up the mountains, the weather started getting dodgy with high winds, blowing snow and some accumulation on the road. The slopes around Vail and Aspen were filled skiers and expensive homes.

Must confess, winter mountain driving stresses me out…even with Liam behind the wheel. Of course there were many drivers going too fast and following too close, but we only saw one vehicle in the ditch. We, of course, were among the slowest on the road, but this time we did not have our hazard lights on 😉

Then, without much notice, we were zipping through the Eisenhower Tunnel (or was it the Johnson Tunnel…one goes east, one goes west). Riding 1.7 miles in a concrete tube felt a little unnatural, but I’m happy it saved us time and altitude.

Once we came out of the tunnel, the sky was again blue and the landscape had changed again…this time the slopes a bit more gentle and covered in pine trees.

The Buffalo Bill Grave called to us, and we made the stop. They’ve got a great museum on the site and a giant tourist trap shop next door. We began hunting for an Irish connection. Sure, they say he’s got some Irish in his background, but those details seem sketchy.

Just before leaving, I had to make a pit stop to the little boys room. Well, well, well…there above the urinal was just what I was looking for. Ends up Irishman Bram Stoker met Bill and even included a character in his novel “Dracula” based on him. Imagine that!

Before reaching Denver, we spotted an antique store on the side of the highway. Oh boy, it was HUGE, and Liam had to stop. Two and a half hours later (and that was rushing it) we finally got out of there. Liam found all kinds of treasures. Gotta say, Brass Armadillo Antique Mall was quite impressive and well-run.

When dinner time arrived, I decided it was time to do something tied to my heritage…Polish food. We found our way to Cracovia restaurant and enjoyed a very fine meal. We ordered the Platter for Two so we could try a little bit of everything.

Course one: croquette (mushroom-filled pancake), golabek (cabbage roll), barszcz (beet soup) and pierogi (dumpling).

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Course two: kielbasa (sausage), zeberka (spare ribs), mashed potatoes, beetroot salad, sauerkraut salad and kompot (fruit juice).

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Dessert: Kremowka (Napoleon) and Paczki (prune-filled donut) for dessert.

It was such a GREAT HOMEMADE MEAL! Mmmmmm. I’m stuffed.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. netta permalink
    February 18, 2009 5:46 AM

    I’m so impressed, you managed your heritiage on this fine irish trip. It sounded like a great meal. I’m sure the pancki were no match for what Jake & Emmy with me last week!!!

  2. Alvy Michalski permalink
    February 18, 2009 10:26 PM

    You finally mixed the Polish with the Irish, yeah. I don’t have that ski on the end of my name for nothing. Love all your daily reports—What a trip!!!!!

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