Vacation Day 15: First leg of journey home

You guessed it, Rich woke up today.

Allergies all messed up this morning.  I’m hoping it’s from the cigarette smoke and will go away.  My nose and eyes keep running all through the drive.  When I stopped for gas in Utah, my eyes were running so bad; it looked like I was crying.  The attendant gave me a very strange look.

I got the guys up at 8:00 so they could shower.  We went downstairs to the café for breakfast.  We were told that it didn’t open until 9:00.  What the heck?  That probably explains why the food court was overflowing with people trying to buy doughnuts and other items with their coffee.  Who thought this was a good idea.

We checked out, loaded up the car, and headed out of Vegas.  Whew!  We headed up 15 North toward Henderson.  Rich got a place in the GPs that sounded interesting called The Omelet House.  We found it with no problem. It turned out to be a very old place tucked back in a strip mall.  Once you entered, you got the feeling you were in the 1940s or so.  I noticed that there were signed pictures on the walls.  Most of the people I knew.  I thought it was cool that a lot of B stars had hung out here or knew the owners.

We got a table and some coffee.  The breakfast menu was this list of omelets a mile long with really interesting names.  Rich got the Black Forest omelet.  Rick got French toast and I settled for Country Fried steak.  It was all very good.  Rich’s omelet looked like it weighed in at a ton it was so large.

Getting filled up ourselves, we filled the gas tank and got the heck out of Vegas.  Once again, you head out into the desert to cross through Arizona and into Utah.  The southwest corner of Utah is one of our all time favorites.  It was a shame not to be able to stop in a Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon National Park.  That will wait for another vacation. 

Because you can see for so far out here, we could tell where a forest fire was burning out toward Canyonlands.  There was thick, black smoke rising into the air.  Later, the guys saw a helicopter with a water bucket headed that way.  Four or five fire trucks pulled into the same station where we stopped for gas.  We assumed they were filling up to head down to the fire.

Utah is a long haul to get across.  However, the rock formations are amazing.  The landscape changes as you pass through it.  I love it out here.  The traffic was light and we made good time.

Rich actually drove from Vegas for a couple of hours so I could stick my other arm out the window and try to burn it.  Actually, my left arm is very brown and I’m looking a little uneven.  I just wanted a chance to try and remedy the problem.

As we were descending into one of the valleys, there was an overlook along the road.  Rich wanted to stop and take a look.  The view looked to be promising.  I parked and got out of the car before I realized that some Indians had an entire store spread beside the entire length of the sidewalk.  Rich always gives me a hard time about having to look at the Indian jewelry.  I can’t help myself. 

The overlook had a gorgeous view of the canyon below.  We walked around and took pictures.  Then we returned to the parking lot.  I just had to look.  There was a sign that stated No Vending or Solicitation.  The Indians had covered the No part of the sign with a piece of paper. 

At one point, a young girl came running up to me.  I think she was sent over because I might not deny her request to make a purchase.  I would have and should have bought something, but the guys headed to the car and I thought I had to go.  Later, I found out that I could have looked and bought something.  My bad for not asking first and assuming something else.

While the girl was making her sales pitch, she was telling me what she knew about all the symbols that are used by the Indians in their jewelry.  She had a good knowledge and recall and could answer questions.  I was very impressed.  I wished I could have told her how important this knowledge is.  You should always know your family traditions and cultural heritage.  I wish my family had passed on more of their own.

We made it to Grand Junction, Colorado and found our hotel.  From there, we needed to find something to eat.  Now we are in Colorado, home to the homebrew association.  There used to be a ton of microbreweries here.  Looking on Beer Advocate, the list seemed to have dwindled.  Rich found the Kannah Creek Brewing Company.  I found Breckinridge Brewing, but he wanted to go with his choice.  It was a little more microbrew than Breckinridge, which has gotten pretty big. 

We got to the brewery and got seated inside.  The menu was less pub grub and more pizza, pasta, and subs.  I ordered a porter, my favorite style, and Rich got one of the cask conditioned IPA.  The food came out and was fine.  It wasn’t the best quality I’ve had.  I was disappointed with the porter.  They had brewed a weaker version for the masses.  Rich had the seasonal beer also.  Then Rich ordered a deep fried apple pie for desert.  The crust was tough, but the filling was definitely apple.

So with bellies filled, we headed back to the hotel.  This meant going through a roundabout.  It seemed a little strange to have them in the West, but Grand Junction was filled with them.  I guess they were trying them out.  The problem is that drivers can’t do a normal 4-way stop so the roundabouts take some time to learning how to use.  They are not intuitive for most drivers.  However, it is fun to watch people try to use them.

Well, another night to call it quits.  We are headed in Nebraska tomorrow for the second of our three leg journey home. 


One of the cool things about The Flamingo Hotel was the flock of flamingoes in the garden.
This was one of the photos I took from the car as we were driving through a canyon in Utah. They always impress me with their size and massive amount of rock.
This was the view from the overlook where we stopped in Utah.