Sunday, June 29, 2014

Texas, Oklahoma (the state that shouldn't be), New Mexico and HIGH in COLORADO.

So excited that Bob was able to send me some pictures!  Here he has a picture of a typical restaurant in New Orleans.  He says the food was pretty good.

I forget if I mentioned in the last post, but Bob said the heat is pretty bad and he has invested in a small A/C unit for the van.  Keeps things nice and cool.  Bidding adieu to Louisiana, he was ready to move on.  Next on the list was to hook up with some family.  On the way, his mission was to stop at LOUIE MUELLER BBQ in Taylor, Texas (just east of Austin).  This place is well known and featured in many publications and TV shows including  Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network.  If you know Bob....he WILL brake for some good eats! 

Here's a shot of the inside of the BBQ joint.  Bob said the inside of the building is black charred from the smokers.  The website describes their process for brisket as slow cooked in 50 year-old horizontal brick and steel pits using post oak wood.  The place has some history!  Bob tried the brisket and the sausage and took some for the road.  His next leg was to Colorado.  He headed north into Oklahoma and then west into New Mexico.  Bob's review of Oklahoma is by far the most awesome conversation we have had yet. 
Oklahoma sucks.  There are NO decent restaurants.  Why would anyone want to live there?  I burned a tank of gas driving into the head wind.  It's windy all the time and it blew me all over the highway. 
Once in New Mexico, he headed north into Colorado.  I found it helps to visualize the route by pulling up a map and checking the towns.  I wanted to paste one in here, but I will be at it all night!  First stop was in Salida, CO.  Awesome little whitewater town along the Arkansas River.  The snow is still melting so there is still lots of good boating.  He also checked out Aspen.  Bob is armed with a trail map for motorcycles and is now backpacking on the bike and leaving the van sit at a central location.  He is spending time in the back country high above civilization or at least until the snow covers the road!  He's seen Independence Pass (12,300 ft elev), east of Aspen and Monarch Pass (11,000 ft elev) which is east of Gunnison, CO and more.
High elevation tent camping is a whole different experience.  Bob checked with the locals regarding what animal encounters could be expected.  There is still lots of snow up there at 11,500 ft elev and he wanted to be prepared.  He drove the bike until the snow covered the road and set up camp.  Turns out there were plenty of wolves hanging out.  Bob could hear them howling.  The high wind was howling too.  By 5am he was ready to pack it in.  He was starting to feel sick and he suspected it was Altitude Sickness.  Not being able to sleep all night with the wind, he decided to bug out of camp and head back down the mountain. 
Next, the plan is to head to Pike's Peak and Colorado Springs area.  I did get a text the other day that he is in Manatou, CO at the base of Pike's Peak.  He arrived just in time for the Hill Climb, which was being held this weekend.  Excited to stay and check it out, I'm sure we'll get another update soon.   Can't wait to hear what that was like. 

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