After two great days driving around Western Colorado, we wanted to make the most of our final day and get in some more great drives from Carbondale. After considering staying one more night, and asking about the rates at the front desk – we decided that the rate hike, in addition to our room not being made up the previous day (apparently the cleaning staff hadn’t shown up), did not warrant staying another night. So, as I checked out of the Redstone Inn (which we summed up as an above average but not exceptional stay), Dave got in a drone flight over the Redstone river. We waved goodbye to the inn as the flags waved goodbye back to us. We knew that we first needed breakfast, and all the locals said that the best place in the Redstone/Carbondale area was the Village Smithy. We made it so. Breakfast was delicious – the real deal. I had the breakfast sandwich with a side of blueberry corn cakes (think cornbread with blueberries!), while Dave had eggs benedict. We even had the choice of maple syrup from Vermont and organic eggs. This place was awesome, and we highly recommend. Not only was the food great, but so….
Our second day (Feb 5 2016) started as we planned our trip from Redstone to Gunnison over some quick bites and coffee from the complimentary Redstone Inn continental breakfast. We had gotten in around 830PM the previous night and stayed up late at the inn chatting with the staff and enjoying the fireplace. We finally set off around 11AM and did essentially what both Google maps and the Redstone Inn desk manager Cheri recommended – we took McClure pass south on CO-133 to CO-92 East, rimming the North edge of the Black Canyon on our drive from Redstone to Gunnison. But not before taking a few shots of the Redstone Inn in all its morning winter glory. And here’s a shot of the side of the inn, with the mountain in the background. The lighting was brilliant. The views were stark and stunning, and one of the reasons we liked the Redstone area so much was because it was nestled in the tiny valley of mountains on all sides – making it both treacherous and beautiful. The townfolk also mentioned that it was a very “dark” place to live lighting-wise because there were only a few times during the day….
As a birthday celebration for Dave and a post-surgery celebration for me, Dave and I got out of town and spent a Redstone weekend exploring the Rocky Mountains. I found a great deal on Groupon for the Redstone Inn ($85/night), and planned out our Redstone weekend a few weeks in advance. The key was being flexible enough to take Friday off and come back on Saturday. This actually worked great for us, as I had a few use-or-lose vacation days that needed to be taken by April, and Dave had a conference on Monday that he needed to pack for on Sunday (not to mention it was Superbowl Sunday!). Redstone Weekend Drive – Day 1 Our Redstone weekend started with a 3.5 hour drive west of Denver, into the Rocky Mountains. We left Thursday, Feb 4, 2016 in the late afternoon, and made it to nearby Carbondale, CO in about 3 hours, just in time for some grub. We had heard that Redstone only had one dinner option – at the Redstone Inn where we were staying – and since it was a Thursday night, the innkeeper had told us that the dining room would close early. So, we decided to….
At 3PM I woke up and we headed in to the Old City, Casco Viejo, to look for some art, some Panama Hats (made in Ecuador), and eventually grab some dinner. Casco Viejo was really lovely – I would have enjoyed it much more had I been feeling 100%. Cobblestone streets, old 17th/18th century Spanish buildings that had been restored (similar to the feel in Havana, but in much better condition), little craft stores and galleries, as well as your standard tourist trap junk at every turn. We stopped for a mojito (well, Dave did) at a little mojito kiosk, and again were shocked by the prices. Casco Viejo also offered beautiful views of the downtown, and the Ancon Mountain (the highest point in the city). It would have been nice to take a guided walking tour, but instead we opted to do our own thing. All landmarks and monuments were conveniently labeled in English, making self-guiding easy. We had scoped out several hat stores, and eventually I found a hat I liked. There were 3 prices offered – cheap ($25), medium ($130), and expensive ($500). We kept asking around to try to understand the differences, and it seemed to….
I wasn’t feeling great the night before walking around Panama City downtown, but pulled myself together enough to make it to the Panama Canal. I had stomach cramps – so I knew something was going on in the GI region. I immediately took some Ciproflaxin, Imodium, and Gas-X all together and continued taking them throughout the next 2 days until the cramps subsided. I was glad this happened in Panama and NOT in Cuba….