In Cold Blood – Day 66

In Cold Blood

Day 66 – June 5, 2003 – Thursday

I drove from Garden City, Kansas to Grand Junction, Colorado. Colorado is a beautiful state that we have visited a number of times. Unfortunately, the southern route I chose just didn’t have a lot of sights to see other than the mountains. And when you are in the car all day, you don’t meet many people.

I was on a radio program today with three funny DJs — lots of fun.

The day began with a visit to the home in Holcomb, Kansas where the murders took place that Truman Capote wrote about “In Cold Blood.” We haven’t been trying to see places like this, but it was just three blocks off the route, and Sheila at the hotel gave me directions.

I drove into downtown Garden City to see the Windsor Hotel. Pretty sad-looking.

I was on a radio show this morning with JJ, Stephanie, and Mike from Lafayette, Indiana. It lasted for quite a while; they asked a lot of questions, and I told a lot of stories. They said I should have gone to Greencastle, Indiana to see the world’s largest high school gym. They asked what my next stop was, and I told them I was just down the road from the home where the family was killed in the book and movie, “In Cold Blood.” That put a bit of a damper on the interview.

I’d driven Kansas Avenue from Garden City to Holcomb as directed. I turned left on the main road, Anderson Road. I crossed the railroad tracks, and I was looking for the third turn to the right, Oak Avenue. There were signs that said “Keep Out,” but I didn’t. I saw the house, took a photo, and got out.

I visited the Lamar Colorado Welcome Center where Judy Douglass was extremely helpful. This was the best welcome center lady in terms of information. She knew everything. I took a picture of their Madonna of the Trail. She gave me a brochure that explains the twelve Madonnas of the Trail. They were all done to mark different trails. I took a picture of their historic depot and steam locomotive number 1819.

It was raining hard, but the ladies at the Colorado Welcome Center said they sure love it because they’ve had three years of just terrible drought. That’s what Earl said in Kansas.

I determined that I would have to skip Cripple Creek because I couldn’t really get to it easily. It was a four-wheel drive dirt road.

Canon City has some sights to see. I stopped at the Colorado Territorial Prison Museum, and then I went to Royal Gorge. There were a lot of things to do around there — river rafting, camping, stables, tourist attractions.

There’s an amusement park at Royal Gorge. It was $18 to get into the park, but there’s a spot where you could go and just take a picture of the bridge and the gorge, so I did.

One attraction, Buckskin Joe, had only five cars in the parking lot. That would be a little tough to make it work financially I’m afraid.

There were a lot of rafting places. Folks raft down the Arkansas River; it goes through the Royal Gorge. These were big rafts, no little play rafts.

Near Big Horn Sheep Canyon, the river ran right along the road; it was very pretty. I took some river photos from the bridge at Brown’s Landing in the canyon. Then I stopped when I saw some guys rafting without rafts. They were jumping in “body surfing” along with the current. There were kayakers there to kind of make sure they didn’t get too hurt, but it certainly looked dangerous to me. I met three rafter photographers: Tim, Crystal, and Shonna. They photograph for the rafting companies and sell the photos.

I got a photo of the world’s largest mobile fishing fly in Salida. It was at a fly fishing shop.

I crossed the Continental Divide in Poncha Springs — 7569 feet elevation.

I saw the Monarch Ski Area.

I have never been in a traffic accident in my 38 years of driving — either as a driver or passenger. Knock on wood. Near Monarch on a treacherous mountain road turn today, a car coming in the opposite direction directly in front of me never turned, crashed into the guard rail, did a 180, and hit it again. The car never appeared to brake or even turn. If there had not been a guard rail at that spot, those folks would have died. Scary. Several of us pulled over to see what we could do. The folks in the car did not appear to be seriously injured, but the folks in the pickup truck behind me went back to check on them, and I drove six miles to the nearest store to call 911.

I met Bill and Cheryl after meeting Bob Meyer and reporting the accident that I just saw.

I did my eleventh pass — a slow moving pick-up truck on a mountain road.

I passed through the Blue Mesa Reservoir area.

I reached Grand Junction, Colorado at 7:23 pm. 24,688 on the odometer. Grand Junction has a beautiful setting in a valley surrounded by big mountains on one side with a river flowing through it; it is very pretty.

It rained much of the day, but I pledged to not grumble about the rain. Farmers seem to always need rain, and we should all do everything we can to support farmers.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.


More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
In Cold Blood — Canon City Colorado — Royal Gorge