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Old 05-07-2011, 10:20 AM   #43
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Seeing that sod house really makes you stop and think how good we have it today.

Brian
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:39 PM   #44
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Sod houses were better insulated than the wood frame houses than came later. Now rammed earth, straw bale and adobe are a good alternative to frame and maybe was a good thing except for the bugs.

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Old 05-07-2011, 10:59 PM   #45
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Today we went with our friend, Steve, out a ways in the country to Okeene, Oklahoma, to attend, of all things, the 73rd Annual Okeene Rattlesnake Roundup. It was quite the event.

It was a carnival that took up just about all of downtown Okeene. There were the usual funnel cake emporiums, tee shirt vendors, and sellers of authentic American Indian stuff. They had a live band on a flat bed trailer that you could hear over in the next town. There was a contest to see who could make a miniature horse look the most ridiculous. There was a large tent with several hundred rattlesnakes, which was kind of interesting, except when you get that many snakes in one place, the odor becomes somewhat unpleasant. The festival culminated with lawn mower drag races on main Street.

It was a very nice day and quite an experience. We started getting Lucy ready for travel tonight. We plan to head west in the morning through the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Brian
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:45 PM   #46
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Lucy set out this morning from Enid across the Oklahoma Panhandle. This well known little skinny part of Oklahoma is 166 miles long and only 34 miles wide. The Oklahoma Panhandle is very sparsely populated with less than 1% of the State's population. As we crossed the Panhandle, it got quite warm. The temperature ranged from 97 to 102 degrees. The terrain is basically flat and the highway had almost no curves. There is very little traffic. Olivia and Lucy had the road pretty much to themselves. We finally came to a bastion of civilization in the town of Guymon, Oklahoma, which is the home of the only Wal-Mart Supercenter in the panhandle. We all felt relieved.

We continued west to Boise City, Oklahoma, where we turned north into Colorado and continued up to Lamar, Colorado, where we decided to make camp for the night. There are two RV parks in Lamar, both of which are also horse motels. We decided on the one furthest from the cattle feed lots as the smell was more than noticeable. It's a really nice campground with all the amenities. There are no horse guests here this evening, unless there are some late check-ins.

Tomorrow it's on to Denver. We plan to be there several days shopping for truck campers.

Brian
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:06 AM   #47
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good to here all is well. Let us knowwhich camper you chose. No mooses in the panhandle? jim
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:16 AM   #48
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Brian, great looking Art Deco theater in Lamar. The building in the 3rd photo looks like a plain eastern plains (east in Colorado, west to most other people) courthouse. Am I right?

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Old 05-09-2011, 11:18 PM   #49
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Brian, great looking Art Deco theater in Lamar. The building in the 3rd photo looks like a plain eastern plains (east in Colorado, west to most other people) courthouse. Am I right?

Gene

Gene, you hit the nail square on the head. In that picture, Lucy is posing in front of the Baca Courthouse in Springfield, Colorado. Baca County is in the southeast corner of the state.

Brian
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:23 PM   #50
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Lucy headed out of Lamar, Colorado, this morning and made her way to Denver. We arrived here late this afternoon. Lucy is tucked away in a small campground in the back of a motel in downtown Longmont, Colorado. It's kind of a no tell motel, but Lucy is comfortable here, so we will probably stay camped here.

We're going to hang around here for at least a few days and see some of this area.

The plan is to visit one of the truck camper manufacturers here in the Denver area tomorrow. We are really looking forward to this.

We caught our first view of the Rockies as we headed into Denver this afternoon.

Brian
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:30 AM   #51
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Brian,
Have you noticed any change in gas mileage with the new Michelin E tires?
Thanks for all your posts on this trip. We'll be going through Colorado later this year and it makes me chomp at the bit.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #52
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Brian,
Have you noticed any change in gas mileage with the new Michelin E tires?
Thanks for all your posts on this trip. We'll be going through Colorado later this year and it makes me chomp at the bit.
We now have about 8,000 miles on Lucy's new tires and wheels. We have not noticed any difference in gas mileage on our trips.

Brian
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:12 AM   #53
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We must have 15,000 miles on the same wheels and Michelin tires and no change in gas mileage, but the ride feels smoother and the tires hold air much better.

Brian, there's a Woody's in either Longmont or Loveland—all the pizza you can eat and it's pretty good pizza. You are pretty close to Rocky Mountain NP and Estes Park—lots and lots of elk. The Peak to Peak Hwy goes from Estes Park to Nederland and then you can go east to Boulder, or south to Golden. Lots of old mining towns in the mountains. The snow has started to melt off faster here on the western slope as temps have gotten into the 70's and the rivers are creeks are running fairly high.

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Old 05-10-2011, 09:36 AM   #54
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Great trout

Brian:

Gene might be able to tell you exactly where this place is, but just above Nederland there is a little restaurant, called the Sundance Cafe.
(23942 Hwy 119, Nederland, CO 80466) I was at a seminar in Boulder a few years back and drove up there with other seminarians (hmm, never considered the fact that attendees of a seminar could be called seminarians). Had a pan broiled rainbow trout that was perhaps the best I've ever had. Plus the view from the outdoor deck dining area was great. Just wanted to further Gene's "Eat-Your-Way-Across-The-Rockies" suggestions.

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:39 AM   #55
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I vaguely remember 2 food and drink emporia in Nederland. There's a much too small traffic circle in the middle of town that will mislead you about what direction you want to go in. I believe to the west there is a restaurant in a line of old timey stores with boardwalk. It's been maybe 25 years since I was there, but I don't know if it the one Dana refers to.

The Pioneer Bar is to the east on a side road and was the scene of wild times when I was there 30+ years ago with some friends who were playing in the band; memories of that event are understandably unclear though I do recall a pool table and some shady characters.

Rollinsville (south of Nederland) also has a local bar, though somewhat quieter, full of interesting characters. West of Rollinsville, you follow the railroad to the Moffat Tunnel, the first standard gauge railroad tunnel to traverse the Rockies in Colorado; the other end is in Winter Park. It replaced a narrow gauge route over the top and Rollins Pass. That road has been closed for about 25 years because it was too expensive to keep open.

Further south are the gambling towns of Black Hawk and Central City. There are many old mining roads outside of the towns to the west although many may still be blocked by snow, though the Front Range didn't get much snow this winter. All the restaurants I knew there are long gone as gambling took over everything.

Estes Park is very touristy, though the land is beautiful. The usual mix of restaurants and not the greatest overall last I remember, but we've only been there once in the last dozen years. There was a microbrewery that was ok for bar food and pretty good beer years ago.

The mountain towns along the Front Range west of Denver, Ft. Collins, Boulder, etc., generally are at 7,000-9,000' and have cool summers, lots of sunny days, lots of snow most winters and thick forests of Ponderosa and Lodge Pole. It is beautiful and I lived in one (Evergreen) for 22 years, but it got crowded as it became a Denver suburb. Estes is also crowded by the lack of private land or land tied up in large ranches. Driving around through those towns and along those highways is enjoyable.

An occasional lost moose may be seen, rarely, but it's elk country. We've seen 20 elk lounging on the grass in front of McDonalds in Estes Park. They have become acclimated to people and are sometimes dangerous and more often a nuisance.

There's plenty to see. Boulder has a lot of older buildings. We were last in Boulder for a wedding three years ago and the reception was at the Boulderado Hotel. This place was restored in the '70's (I think) and has been kept up and is an older building worth seeing. You would not enjoy towing a trailer around downtown Boulder except on the major north/south route, Broadway.

I know the reason to be there is to look at truck campers, but there's plenty to see in the area without ever going to Denver.

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:50 AM   #56
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Google shows the place to be shortly before you get into Nederland coming on 119/72 from Boulder. Looking back to the North you get a nice view of the ski are at El Dorado I believe. And that's about as much information as Texans are allowed to give about Colorado. :-)
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