I never made it to Steamboat Springs. I was having such good luck with wildlife sightings on Long Draw Road that I decided to spend a good part of the day there and just take Route 14 back to Fort Collins. It wasn’t 5 o’clock yet when I got back to the Forest Service center so I stopped in to thank the young couple for their earlier guidance on Long Draw Road (I really wish I had taken their picture. They’re going to be off for the next 3 days so I may not see them again). Then, as I continued backtracking on Route 14, I stopped at “the Mish” for dinner as I had promised the gentlemen earlier in the day. It was threatening to rain when I got there so I opted to eat indoors, overlooking the river.
I had their Fish and Chips, listed on the menu as one of their specialties, and a beer, the Mish Ale which is made exclusively for them by a local microbrewery. Both were excellent, including the tartar sauce they make themselves.
While waiting for dinner I asked if I could take some pictures inside the building and in the outdoor amphitheater area. While doing that I saw the gentleman I had seen earlier in the day and told him I was back for dinner as promised. He remembered me and said he was pleased I had come back.
After dinner (and complimenting the kitchen crew) I asked the bartender, who had been my server, how to pronounce the name of the river. When I got outside there were two other employees taking a cigarette break and I asked them as well. I was telling them about the guy I had encountered in the morning and they said he wasn’t the owner, but the caretaker who lives across the highway (“You’re the caretaker, Mr. Torrance, you’ve always been the caretaker…”).
Well here came Mr. Caretaker and I said “There you are again, I was just telling them about how you yelled at me this morning”. Well, he took great offense to that and said “I never yell at anyone. I can’t believe you told them that. I’m the nicest hippie you’ll ever meet. I can’t believe you told them I yelled at you” and started walking away, shaking his head. I apologized profusely and told him I wasn’t being serious (as one of the kids was rolling his eyes in reaction to when the man had said). I changed the topic to how much I enjoyed my dinner and he lightened up a bit. I apologized again as I got to my car and hope we parted on better terms.
Tomorrow I will go directly to Rocky Mountain National Park and get my bearings there. Another surprise awaits inside the Park (see hint, above). I will also be meeting my nephew, Sam, who is working inside the Park for the summer, for lunch on Thursday.
Posts from the past will probably happen tomorrow.