After landing at the Denver airport, picking up our embarrassing mountain of luggage from the baggage carousel and renting a car, the Weenies were off on their Colorado extravaganza. Supposedly the first leg of our long drive through the Rockies was quite beautiful. I know this because Mr. Weenie told me so. Apparently I’d fallen asleep about ten minutes into our two-week journey, thanks to my inflight cocktail of Xanax and Dramamine.
As I awakened from my drug-induced coma somewhere near Cripple Creek, we decided to stop for sustenance; and by sustenance, I mean potato chips and powdered sugar doughnuts. So there we were—making our way around snowcapped mountains and winding rivers, all hopped up on trans fats and corn syrup. Unfortunately, even the refreshing breeze of the largest mountain chain in North America couldn’t overcome the stench of a certain foul-breathed poodle who’d just spent three hours in a bag stuffed under a seat. All I could do was thank the gods for Febreeze and cover his head with a map.
Traveling with a dog is both fun and challenging. Getting Dexter to eat and drink by the side of the road was a poor choice, so we gave up and decided to feed him in the car. He was a champ at car dining. Unfortunately, his mother was not so swift. Take note, all you pet-loving travelers: Do not attempt to toss a dog dish full of water out the window of a car going 65 miles per hour. Other highlights of the drive included unintentionally going off-road during a snowstorm and peeing on my own foot.
Our first overnight stop was in Cañon City, a small town with the dubious title of “Colorado’s Prison Capital.” Highlights included the nearby Supermax Facility—high security home to some of the country’s most violent criminals. (Not to be confused with the other high security supermax of the feminine hygiene variety.)
According to our guidebook, we were staying at a very well-known establishment. Famous guests over the years included the likes of John Wayne, Charles Bronson, John Belushi and Cory Haim (no doubt all visiting friends in prison). As we dropped our bags in a room that had clearly once housed a petting zoo, Bill noted that the name “Quality Inn” was relative to whether you were referring to the motel itself or to its service and smell. I’m pretty sure the sheets hadn’t been changed since John Wayne was a guest, but I was too tired to care. We hopped into bed at 7:30 and slept in our clothes.
Tune in next time for Part 5 in the Travelin’ Weenie series.