Vacation Return Means Posts Resume July 19

Vacation Return Means Posts Resume July 19

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been silent since July 5. That’s because the family and I took off on a great summer driving vacation on July 6 and just got back last night. I can now report that our vacation return means posts resume July 19 here at Here’s a quick peek at our ambitious and sometimes tiring visiting/driving schedule:

Day  1  Round Rock     Big Spring, TX
Day  2  Big Spring     Albuquerque, NM
Day  3  Albuquerque    Colorado Springs, CO
Day  4  Colorado Spgs  Breckenridge, CO
Day  5  Breckenridge   Durango, CO
Day  8  Durango        Taos, NM
Day  9  Taos           Amarillo, TX
Day 10  Amarillo       Round Rock (home)

If Vacation Return Means Posts Resume July 19, What Happened?

I had several peak culinary experiences, including the best chicken fried steak (EVER) at the Settles Hotel in Big Spring, TX. Also really enjoyed a french dip at Seasons Restaurant in Durango on some truly wonderful local whole-grain bread. And a not-to-be-missed “meat coma” at the Big Texan Steak Ranch & Brewery in Amarillo.

We drove three thrilling and sometimes scary mountain roads. Two in Colorado included Highway 9 into Breckenridge and Highway 550 (including the famous “million dollar highway”) into Durango. In New Mexico, HIghway 104 from Las Vegas to Tucumcari bid a beautiful end to our mountain driving adventures.

We rode the Durango to Silverton narrow gauge train, and saw the magnificent and amazing Mesa Verde National Park near Durango. We also walked lots of mountain and/or tourist town main streets, drinking in the scenery and the mix of locals and visitors there.

All in all, it was a great adventure. All of us — Dina, Gregory and myself — had a great time.  10 nights away from home and 7 different hotels later, we gladly slept in our own beds last night.

Random Trip Highlights

We set a new “record MPG” in Dina’s E250 Bluetec diesel on this trip: 56 MPG riding a very long downhill stretch on I-70 from Vail to Grand Junction, CO. For the whole trip, we averaged just under 43 mpg, which reflects a large fraction of uphill driving.

In Colorado Springs, we stayed at the fabulous Broadmoor. Everybody should be so lucky at least once in their lives. It was amazing! The Settles Hotel in Big Spring proved a surprisingly good reason to visit that small Texas hamlet, the Rattlesnake Queen notwithstanding. I had at least four good bowls of chili on the trip, and an outstanding “Chile Colorado” in Mancos, CO on the way back from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango.

All in all, it was a terrific trip. Lots of beautiful scenery, interesting activities, and many, many miles covered (well over 2,000). Suitably refreshed and reinvigorated I’ll be covering my usual Windows topics on Monday. Stay tuned!


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