Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Night - Bend, Oregon

What's better than a beer and burger after a day of travelling? Our destination Deschutes Brewery which has been producing excellent brews since 1988. They rovided us an excellent meal, good and courteous service and a fine atmosphere.

The following was taken from their web site.

 Deschutes Brewery, located in Central Oregon along the banks of the wild and scenic Deschutes River, has brewed a family of handcrafted ales since 1988. Starting out as a small brewpub in the heart of downtown Bend, Deschutes’ first beers were Black Butte Porter, Bachelor Bitter and Cascade Golden Ale.

 In 1993, Deschutes moved into its current brewing facility and has continued expanding and improving the facilities. With a 50-barrel traditional gravity brew house and a new one-of-a-kind 131-barrel Huppmann brew system from Germany, Deschutes now creates and experiments with specialty batches of limited beers like The Abyss and Hop Trip while brewing large quantities of everyone’s favorites like Mirror Pond Pale Ale. Consistently producing the highest quality beers is always Deschutes’ number one priority and commitment.

 Our Beers

 Deschutes Brewery’s courageously crafted ales include Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Obsidian Stout, Inversion IPA, Green Lakes Organic Ale, Bachelor ESB, Cascade Ale, Red Chair NWPA (spring), Twilight Ale (summer), and Jubelale (fall). Bond Street Series, Reserve Series and other experimental beers are available at our pubs and can be found where good beer is sold.

For more information go to:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jackson Hole and the Tetons

Leaving the Lava Lodge at 6:30 AM, we were amazed at the amount of snow on the mountain passes. The Grand Tetons loomed majestically on the horizon as the sun rose in the bright morning sky. It was truly magical!

We arrived in Jackson Hole for breakfast. The town is notorious for its beautiful scenery, shopping and restaurants. I highly recommend the area to visitors, and wished I could have spent more time enjoying it myself, but we had to get going. There are simply too many interesting things to see and do in the town, but since I love history, I opted to visit the John Pierce Cunningham home. Built in 1885 by the man himself, it is now an historic site. The design is similar to homes that were being built in Virginia during this period. The front elevation has a double-pen or “dog trot” with a room located on either side of the breezeway. The home is set in a glorious meadow with the Grand Tetons as a back drop.

Cunningham began hunting and trapping, mostly to sustain himself, but he probably sold the excess pelts to supplement his income for buying supplies.

Over the years he added other buildings and fortified them. All are gone now, the only evidence are the foundations. In any case, they give us an insight to the actual size of the development. At the time, it must have been a formidable settlement as Cunningham buttressed his home against the Native (Bannack) Indians.

The Cunningham household also saw some violent acts. In 1895, the home was the scene of a vicious shootout between a posse and two horse thieves. Both thieves were shot and killed near the cabin and therefore did not hang for their crime.

Cunningham was a dutiful and interesting man who served as the original county commissioner when Teton County was first organized in 1923. He also served as the postmaster, game warden and justice of the peace over the years.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Five States in Five Days

First day: Denver to Dubois Wyoming. 260 miles on I-25, I-80 & US-287

After about 175 miles we noticed a memorial to President Lincoln located just off Interstate 80. This massive structure can easily be seen from the Interstate, set on top of a small hill in the harsh terrain of Medicine Bow National Forest. Lincoln’s craggy features seem to match the ruggedness of the countryside.

Text provided by Road Trip

This historic monument was constructed in 1959 by Robert Russin, who was an art professor at the University of Wyoming. The bronze bust of Lincoln's head is thirteen-and-a-half feet tall and required ten tons of clay and eleven months of work to create. The original casting was done in Mexico City (the artist needed a favorable climate in which to work), and the sculpture is comprised of thirty pieces that were bolted together. The bust sits on a thirty-five-foot tall granite base of stones. The base is hollow with lighting rods and ladders inside. Originally it was mounted at the summit of Sherman Hill, (about half a mile to the west and 195 feet higher), the highest point of the Lincoln Highway. It was moved to this location, (about 10 miles east of Laramie) in 1969 when Interstate 80 opened.

Heading west on Interstate 80, we continued our journey to the Pacific. Our destination that first night was Lava Mountain Lodge in Dubois, Wyoming.
Between the memorial and Dubois we stopped briefly in Lander, Wyoming, and wished I could have spent more time. There are lots of book, antique and boutique shops but not enough time in the schedule to enjoy them, so I’ll have to go back another time.

We were rather tired having left Colorado at 9:00 AM (six hours) and were pleased to be warmly welcomed into the lodge where a private party was in process. James Jackson, owner of the lodge, offered us free food with our beers, and everyone was friendly and upbeat.
One of the members at the party was Jim Hardin. Mr. Hardin went out of his way to show us around the area, and introduce us to his friends and lovely wife, Carrie. He told us stories about his youth, how he had to “earn” his cowboy hat and his life as a cowboy growing up and working in several different states. How he hunted with his father and how hard his life had been at times. He also told us about his grandfather, the notorious outlaw, John Wesley Hardin.

I wondered what was coming when Jim’s eyes narrowed and looked intently at us. “How long have you two been married?” he asked. When I answered, he threw his head back and laughed. “I haven’t had a horse that long…” Then we all had another beer!

The Lava Mountain Lodge has undergone a lot of new development including new cabins and a huge greenhouse. The newly built the greenhouse is already yielding fresh produce that will be used in the lodge’s restaurant. Mr. Jackson told us that people in the neighborhood are so pleased with his new endeavor; they have donated seeds that have been in their families for more than 100 years.