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Westward Ho: Day Nine

After a morning’s drive from Canon City through some desolate and beautiful terrain, and then more time than I’d have liked spent kvetching over trying to get connected to the wireless internet at our Colorado Springs KOA, we are now wearing perfume and cowboy boots and are on our way north to check out a few points of interest. Historic Manitou Springs, which we just drive through, is like Gatlinburg and Estes Park and Epcot Center all mushed together, and with the Rocky Mountain foothills as the backdrop. It’s a cool

and overcast afternoon, and we’re in search of an early dinner in just the perfect little mountain niche.

Well, we found our niche. It looked a little gaudy and over-sold from the tiny road we were on, but when we stepped inside and then out onto the patio, we were easily convinced. Long, slender leaves rustled in the treetops and the creek eased by with a steady, rhythmic trickle. The multi-tiered deck included a ‘Cookshack’ where they smoke their own meats (and heads of garlic!) and inside there was a counter where a congenial man wearing a Boston Red Sox cap poured little dribbles of Colorado wines for us to taste. He told me that his first wife was from Nashville and that she hailed from Belle Meade. When I raised my eyebrows he said with a wink, “I should have hung on to her, huh?” Nice folks, really good smoked salmon filet with fresh

greens, a honey-scented, subtly floral Sauvignon Blanc from a place called the Holy Cross Abbey (back in little old Canon CIty), and sudden rain with its lingering scent that fell as we ate all combined to make it a pleasant experience. On our drive back we stopped off for a little detour at the Broadmoor Hotel, pink stuccoed and red-roofed.. I knew this place first from a painting (which at first I couldn’t recall) by one of my favorite artists of all time: Maxfield Parrish. When I saw it in real time tonight, something didn’t seem right, but then when I read that the owner of the hotel allowed him to rearrange the pieces of the landscape puzzle, putting mountains and lake anywhere he deemed appropriate, it made sense.

This wireless access is as unreliable as a cloud, so I am going to post something before it becomes nothing. Tomorrow we start east. Does that mean I have to call my writings “Eastward Ho?” Doesn’t quite have the same ring….

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