Everything South of Park Meadows Mall is Beautiful!

The First Harjes Haus Road Trip with the Beloved Valty

Day 1:
Departure City - Denver, CO
Arrival City - Taos, NM
Route - I-25 South to Hwy 64 West

Highlights -
* Just the right ratio of clouds to sunshine
* Top down 4 out of 5 hours
* Got to experience Herb's first ever trip to Sonic . . . but they just don't make the Limeaid like they did in Kirksville, MO!

* Ate lunch in the sex change capitol of the country (Trinidad, CO)
* Relaxed in a hammock next to a babbling brook
* Stayed at Adobe and Pines Inn . . . very lovely and full of charm!

* Shared a bottle of lovely wine with my hubbers (he says I can only call him hubbers if I don't finish it off with a "hubberson". I used to call him hubber-hubberson. didn't go over that well. But hubbers seems to fly okay)

Day 2:
Beautiful man waiting for me while I hack around with the camera.

Departure City - Taos, NM
Stops - Chimayo, NM
Arrival City - Jemez Springs, NM
Route - Hwy 64 South to Hwy 68 South to Hwy 75 (at which point we realized that we missed the highly acclaimed scenic route on Hwy 518 & 76) and took Hwy 75 east to Hwy 76 South to Hwy 30 South to Hwy 502 West to Hwy 501 South (after about two miles we realized that we should have taken the advice Herb got from a local who in fact DID know what she was talking about and take the "longer" way). Turned around and got onto Hwy 4 West all the way to Jemez Springs!

Highlights -
* A quick drive to see the Rio Grande Gorge. We are convinced that the gorge is filled with the skulls of dead cowboys, explorers, pioneers, and all of their horses. Seriously, you are trotting through this huge valley and then all of a sudden BAM!!! there's a huge crack in the earth! We didn't even realize we where near the gorge until we had already driven about a 16th of a mile over it.

* Saw a beautiful valley housed in a crater that is outside of Jemez - the result of a volcanic explosion a few million years ago.

* Ate lunch at the Rancho de Chimayo restaurant. And while the food does not live up to it's reputation, it was fun to go back to a place my family visited years ago, during happy times.
* Celebrated Courtney and Dave at their rehearsal dinner
* Stayed at the Canyon Del Rio Inn - what a wonderful place to relax!

* Took a dip in the hot tub with my hubbers. It was HOT! 107 degrees!

Day 3
No travel

* Courtney got herself married! What a blessing to see this beautiful woman be found and loved by a man who sees her heart and her soul and loves every bit of her!

* Enjoyed talking with some good people
* Had a delicious whole wheat carrot muffin with breakfast.
* Please enjoy this new picture of me looking like my celebrity look-alike.

Day 4
Departure City - Jemez Springs, NM
Arrival City - Durango, CO
Route - Hwy 4 West to 550 West

Highlights -
* Ate breakfast at the Inn with a lovely pair of probably-lesbians (almost 89% sure they were a couple)
* Sat and read by the river in Adirondack chairs
* Beautiful drive through northern New Mexico
* Breathtaking scenery and clouds so thick they looked like they had been painted and hung in the sky for a high school production of Oklahoma!

* A crispy flash fried slice of avocado with salsa
* Arrived at Apple Orchard Inn. I loved it (the highlight). Herb hated it (not the highlight part)

Day 5
No travel

Highlights -
* Herb suggested we play miniature golf. If you know herb, you know this is funny (and oddly out of character)
* Making up after a long, stupid day of miscommunicating and crying (mostly me crying)
* Eating pizza in bed in our underwear
* triple chocolate chip cookies made by our innkeeper, Celeste
* The following conversation:
Cara: "If you had any supernatural power what would it be?"
Herb: "I would be able to communicate with wild animals!"
Cara: "What? If you had ANY super power in the world you would choose to be Dr. Doolittle? That's not a super power!"
Herb: "I would summon the grizzly bears and they would help me fight crime."

Day 6
Departure City - Durango, CO
Arrival City - Denver, CO
Route - (after revising herb's proposed tour around the entire perimeter of the state, we settled on this) Hwy 550 West to Hwy 92 East to Hwy 133 North to Hwy 82 West to I-70 East to 6th Ave . . . etc. ending at Corona St.

Highlights -
*The most splendid tour of Aspen trees EVER! A big thing out here is to "Go see the Aspens" in the fall; something neither of us in a combined 13 years of Colorado citizenship have ever experienced. It was phenomenal. They are beautiful in the fall!
* Driving the Million Dollar highway with it's sharp turns and NO guard rail! This was Herb's favorite day of driving, by far!

* Driving into Ouray, CO after a long decent off of Engineer Mountain. The views are the most breathtaking I have ever seen in Colorado!
* Herb teaching me how to drive like a racecar driver. I was actually accelerating (opposed to screaming with my eyes shut) as I sped around downhill mountain curves!
* Crawling into our own bed!

Total miles traveled: 1,222.7
Days of driving: 4
Days with the top down: 3
Total number of fights: 1 (HUGE thanks to those of your bathing this trip in prayer! We really enjoyed each other!)
Total number of dips in the hot tub: 2 . . . 3 if you count our whirlpool tub in Durango.

Overall, a wonderful time with my husband in the glorious western states! We enjoyed each other immensely!

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Blogger Cara said...

mel . . .
herb also had the same question when he read this blog entry . . . only it was "why didn't you tell them about the highway being so close!?!?!?"

i told him to get his own blog.

basically, he had a very very specific picture in mind of what he wanted our time in Durango to be like . . . only he didn't realize that until we got there and it was not what he wanted - at all. basically . . . we were in a subdivision, not the moutains . . . we could see the road from the front porch of our cottage . . . we had chatty innkeepers . . . and we had forest green carpet in our room.

who knows, maybe he will grace us with his presence on my blog (he is always welcome to post here) and give his side of the story!

4:32 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Kelli Gambee said...

How fun Cara. My favorite pictures are the one with the bridge and the one with you smiling really big, you just look like you are really having fun!

Also, and don't be weirded out, I have a girl crush on Maggie Gylenhaal. I think she is so beautiful!

4:59 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

i am not weirded out by that.

one bloggerian friend (who will remain nameless) asked if herb somehow mysteriously disappeared and i somehow mysteriously became a lesbian . . . and if she somehow mysteriously became a lesbian . . . if i would be her partner. i told her that all sounded great except that the scenerio would have to include my friend K somehow disappearing also because she was already my backup lesbian lover just in case herb got eaten by a rhino and i started liking girls.

so no, your girl crush on the Maggie does not weird me out.

my celebrity girl crushes (in no particular order):
natalie portman
hillary swank
julia stiles
rachael mcadams

*** why is it that this conversation of girl crushes seems to come up every few months on my blog? :) funny!

5:05 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Kelli Gambee said...

It does? That's funny. See, around here, when I mention my crushes, I usually get weird looks...even if it's a boy crush...like men somehow become invisible once your married!

My girl crushes:
Maggie Gylenhaal
Gwen Stefani
Amy Smart
also Natalie Portman
and a waitress at a bar we went to once (you are the first one I have told about that one, besides Anthony, I guess the cats out of the bag now!)

5:39 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:44 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

i love that you just posted your "real-life" girl crush on the internet! that's funny!

i can't think of any real life girl crushes right now . . . no, that's not true, i had a "girl crush" on the stunning, shy redhead who helped make my wedding veil. ironic, no?
i think maybe we "crush" on the girls who are everything we are not but wish we were. i would love to be quiet and mysterious and shy. never gonna happen!
what do you think?

just for the record, I LOVE MY HUSBAND!

5:47 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger BJ said...

cara - your trip makes me so envious! it sounds like SO Much fun! I especially loved how Canyon Del Rio Inn looked like it stepped off the set of "Hey Dude." Watch out for that killer cacti.

ALSO, not because you asked, but here are MY celeberty crushes -

natalie portman (she would actually play me in my life story)
old school britney spears (pre-split from JT)
courteney cox-arquette
kelly clarkson
the NEW ashlee simpson (she really does look better after all that surgery!)

It's starting to bother me that the longer I sit here, the longer my list grows. I'm even slightly tempted to add Mandy Moore. So, I think I'll cut myself short and sign off. And go check out the construction workers working on the building next door.


8:13 AM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

i am suprised about natalie p. playing you in your life story. you are so very bubbly and miss portman tends to have such a strong sense of angst about her. interesting. also, i L-O-L-O-L-OVE that 4 out of 6 of your girl crushes are pop-star singers! that makes me laugh!

8:24 AM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger BJ said...

well, my other choice for the star in my bio would be Drew Barrymore. You're right about nat, however I absolutely LOVE how contageous she is when she's laughing and her face lights up. plus, she's got an edge that I really like. :)

10:05 AM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

okay, the contagious laugh thing makes sense for sure. the whole edge thing just confirms my theory that we "crush" on girls that have a quality we admire/wish we had. i am sure you have an inner edginess, but it is not really the quality that stands out the most. your peppiness, joy, kindness . . . those things pop out first.

10:09 AM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger BJ said...

Ooh... your theory also explains my crush on the female pop genre... as for the edge, you might be surprised. my favorite thing to do as of late is call (good) friends and when the answer the phone, say in a hushed, chinese sounding voice, "what's up, mother f******". my sister angie hates it, but I think it's hilarious! :)

12:02 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

i don't actually know the last time i laughed out loud at the computer. and for the reason, i actually typed "laugh out loud". i mean, do these "LOL" people ACTUALLY laugh out loud, or are they just inferring that what was said is funny?

anyway, please get my phone number from your sister and randomly call me some time and say that, you crazy asian!

12:06 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

oh, and for the record, natalie portman would totally do that - don't you think?

12:07 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger peanutgallery said...

Welcome Home! Looks like the trip was a blast and Courtney looked BEAUTIFUL. I'll have to get your Ouray route before I head down there next weekend.

12:09 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger denverherbie said...

just dropping by here to inject a little testosterone to the conversation.

my male crushes:
Zach Braff

And the cabins were facing each other! So you couldn't walk in front of the windows without being in view of at least three other cabins and a sidewalk, YES, a mountain sidewalk!!!!! about 10 feet from the front door.

harjes out.

12:12 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger peanutgallery said...

oh my gosh, i can't believe I failed to comment on the important stufff!

my chick crushes...
Sandra Bullock
Lisa Loeb
Ellen (is it weird to have a female crush on a lesbian?)

But my boy crush (and crush is such an understatement) Jason Statham.... ahhhhhhhh. He's hunky and dreamy.

12:32 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer Coomer said...

You really do look like Maggie. Wow.

And I kind of like Herb's plan to fight crimes with bears.

10:23 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer Coomer said...

WAIT! First trip to Sonic? FIRST trip to Sonic? First trip to SONIC? Reeeeaaaalllyy? Wow, I should remember not to take Sonic for granted. I'm a fan of the Ocean Water and their onion rings. Oh, and the hot fudge shake. Yummers.
And remember when they had blueberry taqutios? Why did they go rid of those? *sigh* I miss them.

Wow, doesn't it sound like I have a v. v. heathly diet??

10:25 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Cara said...

blueberry taquitos? really?
and you LIKE their onion rings? REALLY?
i don't know what to make of all of this.
i am an onion ring conniseur - and every time i order sonic's ORs, i am disappointed with a capitol D!

and yes, can you imagine if we just unleased a dozen wild black bears in the most crime-ridden areas of the 10 largest cities in the country? things would change. oh yes, things would change. (and by the way, i left our herb's entire verbal daydream of how the eagles and hawks would help him fight crime!)

10:28 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Kelli Gambee said...

Alright, I too love my husband...he knows that, plus, he likes that I have girl crushes.

Herb, I too like Zach Braff. I just saw his latest movie last night. It's no Garden State, but it was good.

Cara, I think I agree with you about crushing on girls that were just not. I mean, I would love to prance around on stage wearing platform heels and corsets like Gwen Stefani-THAT is never gonna happen for me...of course, Halloween is coming...hmmmm-although,I am only 4'11, it probably wouldn't pack the same punch?

5:34 AM, September 16, 2006  

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