Thursday, August 7, 2008
Good News, Bad News, Muffler Man News
Good News. My RV repair guys are going to be able to fix the broken window by just replacing the glass and not the whole window.
Bad News. It will still be pretty expensive and it won't be done until Monday so I will miss the Circle The Wagons trip I had scheduled to start today.
More Bad News. I made a a reservation for my camping spot at Ridgway State Park just to be on the safe side. When I'm traveling alone I rarely make a reservation because there is an $8 reservation fee. This reservation fee applies to each reservation whether it is one day or two weeks. In many instances, the camping fee is $13 and the $8 reservation fee amounts to a 70% surcharge..... Obscene. And if you think that's bad, there is also a cancellation fee if you decide, or in my case, just can't make it. By the time it was all said and done I was charged an additional $26 because I couldn't make it.....So, the charge for three nights camping (including reservation fee) was $62. The outside contractor, Reserve America, that handles all the reservations for the Colorado State Parks will keep 50% of the entire cost ($36) AND they will be able to charge someone else for the campsite as well. Something is really wrong with this. The outside contractor is really gouging citizens who supposedly own the parks by virtue of the taxes they already pay. Our wonderful state government seems not to care how its citizens are treated.....as long as the state gets its cut. I'm not sure who I can complain to that might make a difference but someone in the Colorado State Government is going to hear from me.
Last night I went to Bud's Bar in Sedalia to meet up with the rest of The Circle to wish them a good trip and to dine on a great cheeseburger. While talking about the trip, Too Tall - Two Timing mentioned that he had spotted a Muffler Man not far from Rock Mountain National Park! Long time readers will remember that I am a connoisseur of Muffler Men. Just look at the left margin of this blog under Labels/Muffler Man and you'll see that I have 8 different posts dedicated to Muffler Men. They are just another bit of weirdness and kitsch that I enjoy.
Anyhow, seeing as how my camping trip had been sunk, I decided that this morning I would go look for the cowboy Muffler Man and maybe take a short day trip in the mountains on the way back. As you can see by the picture at the top of the post I did exactly that.
This is a true Muffler Man. An original. You can tell by the position of the hands...right up, left down. It is not in the best of condition however. The left side of the brim of the cowboy hat is missing. This Muffler Man sits in the yard of a private residence not too far from Lyons, Colorado and it's one of the few of these giants that are "residential" in nature. Most of them are found in front of businesses or in amusement parks. Seeing a "new to me" Muffler Man was just what I needed to get me out of the funk caused by the cancellation of my trip, and there was more to come.
After finding the Muffler Man, I decided to head into the mountains and specifically to the little town of Nederland. Nederland is a quirky little town of about 1400 population just west of the Leftist Nation of Boulder. It's most famous for it's Frozen Dead Guy Days that is celebrated every March.
Whoda thunk that in addition to all of this quirkiness, I'd also find a piece of real history? As I was entering this little town I couldn't help but notice a huge old steam shovel sitting on the side of the road. I can remember seeing a few of these still operating when I was a little boy but they are now pretty well extinct.
To make things even more exciting (doesn't take a lot to keep me excited), this was no ordinary steam shovel. This was the only remaining steam shovel to have helped excavate the Panama Canal! Wow. And to think it now has a place of honor in Nederland, Colorado. And the 1400 residents have not only this to be proud of but Frozen Dead Guy Days as well. Let me tell you God has really done right by Nederland.
All of this excitement just made me ravenous so I stopped at the local brew pub for a bite of lunch. Yes, even with only 1400 souls, Nederland has it's own brew pub....Frozen Dead Guy Days, the last Panama Canal steam shovel and a brew pub....makes you want to go there doesn't it?
Anyway, the food was good but the view from the deck was even better and right next to the brew pub, another bit of kitsch. Vintage travel trailers for rent. Man, I've hit a home run for the day! As the old saying goes, "When one door closes, another opens." My camping trip was a bust but today's trip was fantastic. I decided to quit while I was way ahead and head for home.
A pleasant ride with temps in the upper 60's....couldn't be better.
Thanks for visiting.