Tag Archives: Road Trip

Nunneries, Cemeteries and Brews

I set out on the road to find an abandoned town yesterday and kinda failed, but did stumble across some pretty cool places!
am3As I was driving north towards Wyoming, looking for Virginia Dale and all of the creepy shuttered glory I was hoping for, I saw a sign that said “ABBEY” that pointed left.
am2The Abbey of St. Walburga is a convent located just south of the border of Wyoming. The nuns there spend their days in prayer and meditation.
amThey also raise cattle. There was a box on the front bench with some of the fresh mozzarella and a donation box. Unfortunately, since I wasn’t planning on stumbling across an Abbey that sold fresh meat and cheese, my car was void of a chill box, but I definitely plan on going back up soon to try some!
am1The bells, surrounded by snow covered mountains.
am4This place is truly a hidden gem. The sisters walking through the halls offered to let us join in on the daily prayers as they passed into the church.
The Abbey 2We kindly declined and perused the grounds before hopping back in the car and heading south.
Virginia DaleThe Virginia Dale exit was directly across the way from the Abbey, but I was unable to find the bullet-ridden signs and abandoned homesteads that the websites promised.
Virginia Dale PostI did, however, find the old post office that has been shuttered for years. No trespassing this time since there was a house directly behind. Sniff.
am7A little ways down the road we came across a small white church and pulled off for more pictures.
am8The doors were unlocked, so I let myself in to explore the small room.
am10The original church burned down in 2003, but they’ve rebuilt since and still have regular services on Sundays.
am9Some old relics from the original church.
Virginia Dale CrossThe church, like the town and the Abbey, are surrounded by mountains with no sight of any other housing, or people, in sight.
am17A small cemetery sits right next to the church.
am13Some of the graves are a bit more well-kept than others.
am12There are a handful of headstones that simply have names that are just barely etched in and fading with time and weather.
am11It was getting later in the day and we had yet to feed ourselves, so we jumped back on the road and drove south to Fort Collins to check out Gravity 1020, Fort Collin’s Brewery’s attached restaurant.
am20I warmed up with the porter on nitro and paired it with their East Coast Rep – prime rib, caramelized onions, cheddar and horseradish aioli with a side of pastrami mac ‘n cheese. Holy. Drool.
am22We shouldn’t have. We really, really shouldn’t have, but how can you say no to at least trying one of these desserts?
am21The Cake and Shake. The pumpkin spice cake wasn’t as soft and delicate as I was hoping, but the flavor was still warm and spicy. The shake had Red Banshee in it and was a little odd with the bitterness, but rounded out well with the butter pecans.
am23It was an exhausting and unexpected day, but the perfect way to break up the week.

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Filed under Abandoned buildings, road trip

The Road to Vegas

Vegas is so much fun if you’re drunk and rich! I am neither, but here I sit. After twelve hours of driving through the desert, I really needed wanted a Cadillac margarita. This is why:
Downpour number 12…
Escaping death trap number 31 – Highway becomes river.
A breath of calm, 10 hours into the drive.
Narrow canyons with gusty winds.

Now to the REALLY scary part!

And now the good parts:
PASTRIES! Aaaaaaaah!!!
GELATO! Aaaaaaah!
The view from our hotel. It’s so pretty from way up here!

Five hours on the road tomorrey, then I’m finally home! Only to leave a day later. It’s okay though – I still love my job!


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Podunkville, USA

TWELVE HOURS on the road today! In case you’re unaware, I’m on the way to Breckenridge, Colorado to work an art festival. The art festival just so happens to be directly across the street from Breckenridge Brewery. I just may happen to be eating every single meal there in addition to touring the brewery and getting some insight into the brewing process and history from the brewers themselves. In order to prepare myself for the amazing foods and brews I’ll be experiencing over the weekend, I needed to visit some crappy little podunk restaurant so I could fully appreciate it. Enter Green River, Utah (aka Podunk-bloodthirsty-mosquito-ville, USA).
Tamarisk Restaurant. On the corner of this:
And this:
You won’t miss it. It’s one of three restaurants in the entire town.
It’s a classy little place. Can’t you tell from the mood lighting?
And the wide variety of wilted greens in the salad bar…
I’m being cruel. It really wasn’t that bad. They at least had three choices of craft beer from a brewery I just recently tried.
Uinta Golden Spike Hefeweizen. I realized after I’d poured it into the glass that there was sediment on the bottom I’d forgotten to agitate. I like a healthy amount of yeast in my hefs.
I poured a little in to give it more depth. Whether or not you want to pour that extra layer of sediment on the bottom in is a personal preference. It doesn’t make it any less “Hef-y” if you don’t. I wasn’t a fan of this beer – there were absolutely no hops aromas and zero bitterness.

I drank it anyway – I’m self sacrificing like that…

I ordered the special of the day: Coconut Crusted Tilapia with steamed broccoli.
Obviously frozen and pan seared, but except for the excessive amount of sodium, it wasn’t half bad. The best part though? Wait for it…
Packets of tartar sauce. Nothing says “gourmet” like processed tartar sauce encased in plastic!

I’ll be heading into Breckenridge tomorrow morning and will get a post of the brewery up as soon as I’m done setting up tomorrey night! Any Breckenridge Brew recommendations? It’s my first time trying any beer brewed by them!
Ohhhh, yeaaah!


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Colorado: Part I

We’re in Colorado for vacation! I’m hopped up on Nyquil and pain killers! My abs are killing me from coughing!

Boo. Not a great way to be spending my first vacation in a year, but at least I’m here! We had a beautiful drive out, when I wasn’t feeling quite so much like death.
I drive a LOT for my job, but generally that’s through flat desert. Utah was a nice change.
Of course we had to stop to refuel. I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in YEARS. The only time I will eat fast food is when it is chock full of massive amounts of candy and ice cream.
The little po-dunk town we stopped in only had a selection of M&Ms or Rolos. I demanded both. It was so worth the intense stomachache I got once we started driving through the twisty mountain roads of Colorado.
My little Buddha opted to go healthy and enjoy an apple. I stuck with the ice cream.
AND pizza! We got a barbecue chicken pizza from the local pizza joint in Grand Junction – Pablo’s Pizza. I love going to places that actually throw the dough in the air and bake as you wait!
We were treated to a gorgeous drive through slightly blizzardy conditions. Ahhh, I never thought I’d say it, but I MISS SNOW!
Now THOSE are mountains!
I’m sorry, I just had to.

Now my Nyquil is kicking in,and I’m coughing so hard that I’m hitting the wrong keys, so I’ll just keep my amazing adventures stored up for tomorrey’s blog post – massive amounts of food, beer tours and wonderful people!

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