by Trent Rosser
Last week my wife and I did something that we have been looking forward to for a very long time: we left town. We had been planning our second honeymoon for nearly 8 months and it was coming down to the wire. This is what we had planned. Wake up Friday morning, and drive all the way to Red River, NM. Stay there all day and on Saturday drive to Pueblo, CO. on Sunday we would drive to Denver, CO and back home. Well, you know the old saying, “Nothing ever goes as planned.” That is what happened on Thursday night.
We knew that when we arrived in Red River we would be too tired to do anything, so we took off Thursday and stayed in Clayton, NM that night. Let’s talk about Clayton. I used to have to go there every day for the job I had at the time. Picking up and delivering bank notes and cash letters. I had then keys to different banks in Dalhart and Dumas as well as Amarillo. Unfortunately, I had a 4 hour layover in Clayton every day. So I spent a lot of time there. I remember the Eckland Hotel and the great chicken fried steaks. But by the time we arrived on Thursday night, they were already closed. So we stayed in a hotel that is nationwide and to say we were disappointed is an understatement. We paid nearly $100 for a room with no hot water, no phone service and only 1 channel on the television. We were gone by 7am the next day.
Now, did I mention that we were in a hurry to get out of town the night before? We were running out of the house with our bags and yelling at the kids “Don’t burn the place down!” Guess what we forgot. Jackets! Yep, in the middle of May, we need jackets. When we left Clayton, it was in the low 40s and rainy all the way up there. Except when we hit Cimarron, NM, then it stopped raining and started snowing! We stopped at every store in Cimarron trying to find inexpensive jackets, with no luck. We could have bought a couple of jackets, but then we would have been out of money and would have had to come back home. They were expensive. So we pushed on to Eagle’s Nest, NM. There we went down towards Angel Fire. I had to pay my respect to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial just north of Angel Fire. If you ever have a chance to visit this place, please do. It will bring you to a new light on what these brave men and women did during that time and if you did not have respect for a Vietnam Veteran…. You will!
So, after some time, it was off to Red River. Since we left Clayton so early, we were early at Red River and could not check into our cabin. So what do we do…. Find a jacket!! It is still snowing!!! Our cabin is on one end of town and we finally find a good jacket for both of us at the other end. Right next door to where we bought the jackets was a small restaurant called “Yesterdays.” Everything is a remembrance to the television shows from the 60’s and 70’s. Even the menu is from that era. I had the “Potsie” and my wife had the “ChaChi”. Both were burgers just made with different stuff. Mine had green chilies. After supper we went to go check into the cabin and guess what…..it stopped snowing and was getting hot. Go Figure. We stayed and walked up and down the streets and ate well that day and into the night. We did go into one place because I was told that they have great steaks. Everyone knows that I love a great steak! We walked in, ordered tea, saw the prices of everything, paid for our tea and left. I love a good steak, but not for $36 for one small steak! It did not matter; we took some good pictures and had a great time. Then later on that night, my wife looks out the door of the cabin door. Guess what? Yep, more of that white crap was falling. By the next morning there was about an inch of snow on the ground. So here it is snowing, and I am about to head up some mountains on my way to Pueblo with snow on the ground and bald tires on the car. But hey, at least we have jackets! I will say this, if you ever get a chance to visit Red River, NM please do. The cabins that we stayed in were called the Rio Colorado and I only paid a few dollars more than I did in Clayton. The cabin is right on the river and they even have a small pond that they stock with trout so you can go fishing as well. I told my wife that we would not be able to go fishing because we did not have enough time. She of course called me a wimp and said something about catching a bigger fish and having to put worms on MY hook! We will be going back soon and we will be staying longer. It is very beautiful.
Morning comes and we head to Pueblo, CO. Yes, I admit, I was trying to sight see while driving. Now, if you ask me, everything was just fine driving up and down the mountains, but according to the screaming in my ear “Watch the cliff!! OH MY GOD! Were going over the side of a mountain! Slow down! You’re doing 80 miles per hour on a MOUNTAIN!!" Yeah, I did get a little sideways every now and then on the ice, but it was fun. Here is a little side note, when your wife is upset about your driving up and down mountains, it is NOT wise to look at her and say “But did you die???” After I said it, I almost died! More to come next week when we talk about Pueblo, Bishop Castle and my personal favorite right now….. Denver drivers!