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  1. #1

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    Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    As many of you already know, I live in a tourist destination as well. Not nearly as built up as D-Land or D-World, the Pikes Peak area offers many attractions, usually surroudning the most immediate areas. We usually make a day trip whenever the weather is decent and we have the cash at hand.

    This brief trip went down on May 8th, 2010. We elected to head down to the Canon City area, a place ripe with touristy things to do. The area was used for a myraid of film locations, especially when they needed that look of the Old West. It also has an Abbey that suppliments its income with a winery--we decided to hit that location to!

    For obvious reasons.

    So, without further ado...

    The family, aka, my husOtter (I can't think of his online name here!), the famed corgi Penelope, and me, your humble driver, Roo


    Sadly, the area is known for it's prisons as well. Here is one, the moderate level, from my understanding. About 10 minutes from this location, due south, would be the famed Federal Supermax, home of some really big baddies. When this was just a territory, this was the claim to fame of Fremont County.



    Ghost Tale: This area leading into Canon City is known for it's Phantom Hitchhickers phenomenon. Seems there has been from the areas outlying, tales of young men with their thumbs out asking for rides. The individuals give them a ride either into Colorado Springs or into Canon and get dropped off at the graveyards. They don't have a nearby car or anything and say nothing. The legend of these ghosts is probably born out of the proximity of these prisons...to keep people from picking up escapees. However, this canyon was also known to Pancho Villa and his cohorts back when they escaped---you decide! I can't help it, I'm a ghost hunter!

    The area is a high plateau, 30 minutes from my home in Colorado Springs.


    Our first top? Welcome to Abbey Winery (aka: The Holy Cross Abbey).

    We decided to have a picnic on the ground and grab a few bottles of their wonderous reislings!



    The main building:


    To the Tasting Room:


    The Tasting Room:

    Now, our goal was to do something dog-friendly. We've noticed something with our dear pup-whereever we go, she just wants to go with us. She doesn't care where it is or what we do, she just wants to be part. As you'll see in the later part of this report, she was capable of being part of this trip--and we enjoyed the challenges it provided! Sadly, she wasn't allowed in the tasting room, so husOtter and myself, rooBear took time with her on the outside patio whilst the other indulged!
    OMG! She found another bear!

    Here's the brief vineyard out front, they grow the grapes up the hill behind the place, this is for show....

    And obviously not in season yet!





    Next door, actually, is this hotel--nondescript but really, this is this area's "Beverly Hills Hotel." You see, they've filmed so many movies in the area that before this place grew, this was the only place to stay! Movies like the Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox, Continental Divide and the Sacketts. The doors of several of the rooms have plaques on them announcing, "Goldie Hawn slept here!" and "John Belushi slept here!" Kinda interesting, should you decide to head into Fremont County for the night!



    And, if any of your are interested, my menu for the picnic was pure joy!
    pita chips
    garlic hummus
    hard salami
    Irish whiskey cheese
    articoke and parmeasan cheese dip
    pesto pasta salad
    sourdough loaf

    And, if you're interested our wines that afternoon:
    American Riesling
    Sunset Rose
    Apple Blossom

    We hit the road towards the famed Royal Gorge, the world's highest suspension bridge. However, we were going to a different area attraction!



    Peace,
    Roo
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

  2. #2

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Again, today's quest was for dog friendly. We'd done the Royal Gorge like, what, a gazillion times, but the area is rife for things to do. This trip, we had found out, was to Buckskin Joe's Frontier Town and Railway.

    Buckskin Joe's Frontier Town and Railway near the Royal Gorge in Canon City Colorado



    Now, understand, this place is a tourist attraction of the highest order---but my husband and I are totally cool with that. Life is a wonderous exploration of the fun and the weird, and this place is perfect.

    We did the train first---including Penelope's first (and probably only) ride on the aforementioned choo-choo. Still, I have to say, it was nice to bring el puppo along. No, I don't believe she enjoyed the trip, but she was just content to make sure her little family "pack" was together! We waited in the gift shop for the next train. This was brillant on their part. The 'loop' of the kiddie train is thirty minutes. And you ahve to wait in their gift shop....causing you to spend cash on their stuff!

    We stayed warm by the pot-bellied stove. Don't let my shorts fool you, at this altitude, it can chilly on the sunniest days in Colorado. I am, however, the kind that can tolerate it!



    I just realized how demonically possessed I look, but, sure, yeah, whatever!

    Penelope waits for her choo-choo.


    As we rode the train, we realized that the owners actually have put a LOT of work on the route to the edge of the Gorge. Yeah, it's a kiddie train with no seatbelts and it goes about 6 to 8 miles per hour. However, the area's terrain is pure mountain and they built 4 different train 'tressels' that are highly detailed and maintained! I was impressed.



    Penelope gets ready to get underway!



    Enjoying the Colorado sun!



    Some views of the High Plains:





    You can see the famed Gorge there, and their semi-new skycoaster. Think about it, folks. Launch yourself over a 1000 foot cliff-after signing insurance papers!





    Peace,
    Roo
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

  3. #3

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Great fun so far Roo!
    It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!










  4. #4

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Now, if you've never been to the Gorge and you hate/fear heights, maybe you should jump over the next few pix. I think it's beautiful. The train stops at the edge of the Gorge at a place call "Point Alta Vista." It's completely 'penned' in, so Penelope could walk around safely. Here's some views:







    Penelope, however, was still in the mood to keep going! So we crossed the parking lot to the small town/movie set of Buckskin Joe's. They had a gun fight---and you can see it, albeit briefly, in a video I made, at the very end. I jsut need to learn how to post a YouTube video!

    Until then, here's Joe's, as it were. Now, believe it or not, this was an actual town at one point. It's proximity to the Gorge and several gold mines, this would make sense. It sat and rotted for many years and then became a movie set. It has a restaurant, snack bar, shows (the shoot out using local college young men in full cowboy garb, WOOF!) and a cart.

    Yep, nothing like Disney in style.

    To their due credit, there's some charm here. We can't compare something that has a ton of cash and resources to a small mountain town--and the fact that this was an actual town gives a certain feel to it that I appreciated. So, here's some images to get an idea:







    I'll post more later!!

    Peace,
    Roo
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

  5. #5

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Penelope is a doll! I love the picture of the three of you...her little head is turned to the side....you can tell she's a character!


    Looks like a beautiful day in the sun...what a great idea...a picnic!




  6. #6

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    I guess I have a few more pictures to post...and a video! First, here's Pennz brief on the kiddie train. You can see the train bothered her some; but strangely, the gunshots going off didn't. She sat on the wooden sidewalk during the whole thing! And it's "Moving Right Along" in the background.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BGw_qrOPKM"]YouTube - Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo[/ame]

    We checked out the jail---probably because she barks so much:


    The Saloon:


    Tried on some coffins:


    Wait...wasn't Tom Selleck in the Sacketts? That little hottie....


    "Conagher" was a Louis Lamour novel, that I remember!


    Something about this place tells me I'd not want a drink or food or even going to the bathroom in the Old West...


    Especially if they had outhouses...yuck (this was luckily just for show!)


    Some of the 'stars' that worked in this little town-


    I guess dentistry hasn't improved much:


    Some movie posters in the museum:


    Now, frequently, I refer to Miss Penelope P. Wiggles as a "chick magnet." Trust me, she's not gender specific. Every where we go with her she tends to pick up hotties and lie down in front of them. We like to bring our single friends with us some times and make them walk with her to meet people. This works great like at things like Gay Pride and such. Today? She decided she was going to seek out cowboys for us. This is the fourth we had met this day, an employee of the park. Probably not the hottest of the four (he played the town drunk!) but sure enough, she saw the hat and beelined to his feet. There she is, the furry tramp, just lying there.



    Ugh! Whatever!

    That ended our day in Canon City, but we look forward to maybe heading back the next time my husOtter gets a Saturday off. Until then...

    PEACE!
    Roo
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

  7. #7

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Great Report!!!! Thanks.
    Hidden Mickey - Tower of Terror



    Hidden Mickey's here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatzup...7623565921220/
    Check out my Wal't Apartment tour here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatzup/sets/72157625183415995/

  8. #8

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Thanks for the report! Love the train, love the town!!!
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  9. #9

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    What a fun report. Penelope cracks me up, I can see why she is such a magnet to people, although her parent's are pretty cute too.

    As for the Sky Coaster over the Gorge, no thankyouverymuch. I hate bridges and heights.

  10. #10

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Who wouldn't fall for Penelope? And, Pratt's right. The three of you are downright irresistible! D. makes even a coffin look sexy!

    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.
    "Not Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Astor together could have
    raised money enough to buy a quarter share in my little dog."

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  11. #11

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Now you all flatter my little family! Kudos and thanks to you all. Penelope will only thank you who have food, go figure. The tramp.

    Thanks gang. Next week? We're discussing going to the Movie Manor for a Drive-In...with Pennz in tow. Of course, we did it last year too, but what-the-hey!

    Peace,
    Roo
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

  12. #12

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us. The train reminds me of what the original mine train ride at Disneyland must have been like.


  13. #13

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    Re: Penelope Rides a Choo-Choo

    I loves the pictures and the whole trip looks so cool. We also live near a tourist attraction and movie sites. Tombstone and Old Tucson Studios. We love to go when we can. Looking at the streets of Tombstone and the Ok Corral. The Birdcage and Boothill. Your pictures remind me alot of it. It looks like the three of you had a great time. thanks for sharing it with us.

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