Heading West… Gradually

After our stop on the Katy Trail, we made our way to the Kansas City area. Jim’s dad had been in the hospital recently but was back in his apartment so Jim made a plan to see him. He is 95, soon to be 96. We parked at our usual spot at the Grandview Elks Lodge, rented a car this time, and settled in for what we thought would be just a few days.

Then we looked at the calendar and realized the Memorial Day weekend was right around the corner. We thought we had another week! We didn’t want to be traveling on that weekend so we decided to just stay over at the Elks. Jim’s birthday was actually on Memorial Day this year so we enjoyed the birthday weekend there.

It was really hot, almost 100 degrees. And humid. Good thing the Elks have power, a 30 amp hookup at our usual spot was just the ticket.

The cats have free rein there, it is a big deserted field far from the road. They got a little adventurous but always came back to the bus. Unfortunately the catnip plant they discovered there in past visits was no longer there. Carmella went right for it on her first walkabout.

We made Holiday Hamburgers (recipe below) for Jim’s birthday and what we call Potato Sticks. They were delicious and we had some to freeze too. I went to yoga with my longtime teacher, Emily and we saw a few friends. We mostly kept to ourselves and enjoyed the time off. The sky always is celebrating on Jim’s birthday. We played around with my selfie stick. Then when we got to Colorado we discovered it was missing. There are not too many places to look in the bus but maybe it will show up.

Once the weekend was over, we were ready to hit the road and continue our Elks tour. Jim found a Corps of Engineers lake in Marion, Kansas and we settled into a great big site for the evening. Right by the lake. The sunrise was spectacular the next morning. This is a great place to camp, first come, first served. With our Senior Pass the cost was only $9 a night. Gotta go back. Get Site #23.

Our next stop was Garden City, Kansas at another Elks, of course. This was a one-nighter with no power but a fine place for the night. Garden City has a background feedlot odor and when we left the next morning we saw the feedlots and lots of trucks. Say goodbye to your lives, cows…
On to Pueblo, Colorado and another Elks. This lodge was a old downtown building right in the downtown area. We rented a car so we could visit Bishop’s Castle, recommended to us by Theresa, a friend in Texas.

Jim had done some research and we got the car because the castle was at 9200 feet elevation and the roads in and out were hilly and twisty. Not bus-friendly. A beautiful drive though.

Bishop’s Castle is one of those homegrown and hand built visions by a guy who has been building it for the past 35 years.

Jim Bishop was onsite working the whole time. He said, “Every day is a work day.” Admission is free but since there was a fire in the gift shop, donations were welcomed. He is a real individual liberty type, as you can see from various signs around the property.

Many elaborate stairwells with narrow see-through steps allow you to explore the entire height and breadth of the property.

While we had the car, we stocked up on groceries and scoped out Yelp for a good Mexican restaurant. We chose Fritanga’s and the carne asada and carnitas plates did not disappoint. We had more than enough for two meals each.

Beautiful downtown Pueblo. They actually have a good bike trail system here but we didn’t break out the bikes. We’ll do that in Denver, where we are headed for another Elks and more visits with friends.

Holiday Hamburgers
3 lb. ground chuck
2 red onions, chopped medium
2 large jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
Barbecue sauce, about 3/4 cup or to taste
Fake eggs, enough to bind

Mix meat, onions and jalapeños well. Add barbecue sauce (we used Show Me and Arthur Bryant’s, mixed)

Add fake eggs (Egg Beaters) and mix well. Form patties and pat firmly together.

Let sit for a day in refrigerator. Grill. Serve with ciabiatta rolls and more barbecue sauce. Add avocado and tomato slices. Delicious!

Potato Sticks
Slice small red potatoes thinly.
Drag through olive oil, Spike seasoning, salt and pepper.
Load onto wooden shishkabob sticks, leaving room between slices.
Grill skewers on grill.


One comment on “Heading West… Gradually

  1. Hi from Maureen, currently parked exactly where we met at the Ashtabula Elks Lodge in Ohio!
    So fun to see that you went to Bishop’s Castle! I workkamped at Aspen Acres RV Campground in Rye, just down 165. We had a two couples rent the lodge for their wedding receptions after saying their vows at BC. Both weddings were a lot of fun, even for the staff!
    I’m in Ohio until late June, then heading to Aurora CO so I can help my son and his fiance get ready for their July 28 wedding. From July 11 thru at least October, I’ll be a camp host at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora. I’m hoping to stay in the area for the entire school year as my granddaughter will be a senior.
    Happy Trails!

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