Two days ago I started on my journey through New Mexico and Colorado on the way to the Black Hills of South Dakota and Yellostone National Park.
I have been looking forward to this trip for a couple of months, when I first decided to do it.
Several months ago I approached my friends about doing a trip to Yellowstone and everyone sounded excited (it may have been the alcohol) but two weeks later I had so many road blocks thrown at me I decided that it was my passion trip, and it didn't have to include everyone.
A couple of months later, upon hearing that Kevin would be bringing his grandchildren to Arizona for a vacation, I had an epiphany.... see if Sydney (Kevin's oldest grandchild) would be interested in staying on longer in Arizona and then I could take her with me.
Then I told my CW about the trip and she expressed interest in joining - we worked it out and I am picking her up tomorrow night from the Denver International Airport. She arrives at 10:15pm.
Sydney and I left Monday at 3pm and eventlessly drove to Gallup, NM. After an unremarkable dinner at what appeared to be the nicest restaurant in town (the local sizzler) we retreated back to our Hampton Inn and soon after went to bed.
We rose early and got on the road at 7am the next morning for our roughly 450 mile trek to Frisco, Colorado.
Desert gave way to verdent valleys and majestic mountains as we entered Colorado, Syd and I ate a sandwich next to the rushing west fork of the San Juan River. A mile up the road we pulled over and hiked 15 minutes up a mountain to view Treasure Falls up close. From there we crossed the Continental Divide and I explained what it meant to Syd.... do you know?
We arrived in Frisco at 4:30, checked into the Holiday Inn, and later walked the spotless and quaint downtown of Frisco before settling on the Sampler restaurant and Wine Bar. The food is served in small portions and I ordered the nightly special which was their variation of salad, petite baseball cut sirloin and a desert. Each course was paired with an appropriate wine. Syd had the garlic and leek soup.
It was a wonderful restaurant... highly recommend it!!!
The hotel on the other hand... NOT SO MUCH.... This Holiday Inn is old and needs updating. After checking in the front desk clerk gave us directions to the elevator to get to the 3rd floor. Once there we realized that our room number didn't exist.
Turns out the 3rd floor that we were assigned to doesnt have elevator access. Luckiy for us, we met a hotel employee in the hallway who helped us carry up our baggage (also consisting of a cooler).
In the morning there was no USA Today waiting at my door, which is customary. We went downstairs to the hotel restaurant which was also a fiasco. I waited 25 minutes to get my first cup of coffee, the order came wrong, the manager was not attentive. The only one who semed to care was a server who was not our server. In the end I tipped him.
Late in the afternoon we walked over to the Hacienda Real Mexican Restaurant. I had a wonderful HUGE Cadillac margarita and enchilada's and chili relleno. Syd had a taco. The food was authentic and the margarita was strong.
Tomorrow, as mentioned before, we drive to Denver to pickup Miss Sara then onto Cheyenne, WY.
I am only two days away from seeing Rapid City, SD - a city from my past. I went to a semester each of my junior and senior years of high school here. It was brief but I can never forget the mystery of the Black Hills and how I enjoyed them with my mother and brother Frank, who was stationed at nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base at the time.