Raining in the Rockies
Last month Don and I drove through Rocky Mountain National Park.
We got out a couple times, but there was nothing to see. It was a good day to enjoy some lodges!
The Historic Rapids Lodge
This rustic lodge was built by the Ish family in 1915.
J. Lapsley Ish had a funny name, but he was a hardworking man from Missouri. It seemed like a place we should check out.
Dining In or Out?
There was a nice view of the creek from the dining room, but where was everyone?
Most were seated on the patio, because the rain had stopped.
By the Creek
Don and I grabbed a table near a lovely pot of flowers, with a view of the boulder-filled creek.
We shared a salad and a cup of potato soup, which was perfect for Texans with thin blood on a chilly day in Colorado. Nobody else looked a bit cold.
We were almost able to finish the grilled chicken sandwich on pretzel bun... but it started raining. Time to move on down the road.
Grand Lake Lodge
We had just eaten, so we didn't enjoy a meal at this lake view lodge with old cars. We put it on our "next time" list and headed into the National Park.
Sometimes we could see mountains and sometimes we saw nothing... and hoped for the best. After a somewhat harrowing drive, I begged Don to stop at one more lodge.
The Baldpate Inn
We found the nearly 100-year old place at the end of a muddy, dirt road. It wasn't mealtime, but I just had to have a "dining adventure" even if it involved no food.
I'm sort of addicted to a few of these old cookbooks put out by Ford Motor Company in the '50's and '60's to spotlight eateries around the country. Most of the restaurants and hotels are gone, but when I find one that's still in business, I have to make a call!
The Inn's Second Owner
Since the Mace Family built the inn in 1917, it has been run only by 2 families.
I was lucky enough to meet Lois Smith, who bought the hotel in 1986. She was pretty tickled by the recipe. They only serve breakfast, dessert and salad bar at the inn's restaurant, but she laughed that tuna salad is often on the buffet.
If we hadn't been racing to get to our hotel, we could have at least stopped for some pie! The view was lovely even on a damp day.
Salad in a Tub
And to think I'd ordered soup and salad a couple hours earlier. Here, I could have dug my own lettuce right out of the bathtub! (It actually looked very tasty) And there was a nice collection of framed photos that I wanted time for. Evidently the Mace family had a photographer or two.
And the Keys!
All I initially knew about this place was that it once served tuna noodle casserole. I was pretty excited to learn how it got its Baldpate name and why there were 20,000 keys hanging from the beams!
After the Mace's opened their inn, novelist Earl D. Biggers came to stay. He claimed the Mace's inn matched the description of the hotel in his mystery novel, "Seven Keys to Baldpate". The inn name was changed and guests have been contributing to the hotel key collection for nearly 100 years.
It was tough leaving when we hadn't had a meal or an overnight. What a perfect contribution to my Dining or 90-Nights blog! The inn closes for the season in a few days and it kind of looks like one of those places that just might decide against ever opening again. Hopefully not. One more to add to my "next time" list!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.