Hospitality and Good Will In Fruita Colorado
Fruita Colorado bound but not planned
Travel and Unexpected Trouble
Traveling from one home town to another can become a major chore when the distance between the two is pushing the best part of 2,000 miles. The adventure can get even more discerning when you toss in an older car and a full load.
Now add a seasonal threat of snowy weather and icy roads and one could be looking at major travel issues. Just for a kick toss in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and we are talking major considerations here. Yup! That is what it looked to be as I headed North out of Henderson Nevada and a perfectly comfortable climate.
Heading to the Chicago Region in mid November was not my idea of a fun trip by car. Just the same, adventure was calling and I answered her sweetness with a good friend and an older station wagon loaded to the hilt.
Snow Capped Mountains In Utah
Rolling Up The Highway
The day was cool and the sun was shining but my personal concerns were waiting in the distant mountains. My friend did the driving so I used her camera to record our trip. It truly was an adventure, my friend had never rolled these roads so all the sights were a new visual experience. It meant stopping a time or three to take in the scenic overlooks. I was comfortably snapping photos as we rolled and chatted up the road.
Scenic Overlook About A Hundred Miles From Fruita Colorado
Transmission Not Transmitting
The climb carried on for several hundred miles and the weather got colder and colder. Daylight was burning bright as we rolled up to stop and take in the view. The gorge seemed to go on forever and I was excited for my friend to see it first hand.
Cameras in tow, we climbed to the edge of the overlook, snapping photos left and right. Places like that make a body not want to return to the car. You just want to hang out and "BE", if you know what I mean. A five minute viewing was all we could afford. Back to the car we went and proceeded to travel on up the road.
The Transmission Would Not Catch Reverse
Trying to back off the parking spot it was quick to call that our transmission was not making reverse. We were at least a hundred miles from no where. A look under the hood and the faint smoke was spinning the tale. Things were beginning to look pretty dim.
One Hundred Miles To Fruita
We had no intention of giving it up since we had gone too far to turn back. Traveling in forward motion did not seem to be an issue. Best we could think was to keep on going until we made a big city or bust. A few miles down the road the car gust a blow of smoke from the rear and we kept on rolling. Things seemed to be okay after the smoke.
A little over an hour into the leave with no reverse and climbing a steep grade, the car seemed to jerk and stress. We both looked at each other knowing the answer. As we topped the grade and started down another jerk or two and that was all she wrote. We kept on rolling and carefully passed over on to the shoulder of the road. Coming to a stop just two feet from a road sign that said Exit 1 Mile.
Destination Fruita Colorado Not The Intended Landing
This landing was a blessing by all means, when there is no choice it is a wonderful feeling to know that God is watching over you.
Military Memorial Right Out The Motel Door
Making The Best Of Fruita Colorado
Friday evening and the sun was going down. A call back to Henderson Nevada to notify my family of troubles brewing. Technology is a wonder in moments like that. One cell phone would not get a signal but my friend's new Droid had no problem making connection.
My sister on the other end of the line snapped up her laptop and within a few minutes was able to give us a list of towing service companies in the area. That spiked a bit of relief on our stranded behinds. Not being familiar with the area it looked to be we were in a very rural zone. Darkness was approaching fast.
Fruita VS. Grand Junction
The idea of going to Fruita Colorado had me a bit concerned with it being a smaller town with less services. Grand Junction was another 15 or so miles. That would mean a more expensive towing but maybe more mechanics. It did not take long to decide on Fruita CO. when the difference in the tow driver fees were considered. Grand Junction was looking to make a killing on these stranded women.
Now under the circumstances we were limited to choices but then there was this feeling of being watched over that commanded my attention. The tow driver was jolly on the spot within the hour. He said he would tow us where ever we wanted to take the car, and offered up a little input about our dilemma. He was a local born and raised and seemed to have a bit of knowledge about what would be available in the way of finding a repairman to take a look.
Trusting The Gut Feeling
We huddled while Mr Tow winched the car onto his flatbed. We both got a good feeling from the mostly quiet, soft spoken gentleman who was helping us off the highway. He suggested we settle in for the weekend because most everything closed down until Monday morning. He said he would show us the best place he thought to take the car, help us retrieve some luggage and find us a place to stay nearby. He said if that was what we wanted to do. Mr Tow was not pushy, not cocky, just quiet and nice. He had a way of making a stranger feel comfortable without being loud about his thoughts. We took his advice and we were thankful for his help.
Dinosaurs In Fruita
The Older The Bones the Better
I am thinking I never shared the fact that I am totally in love with old bones. I have been collecting them along with my driftwood for what seems to be forever. Fossils and bones are a major find in this mind. Landing in Fruita Colorado could not have been a better choice if I had hand picked it myself.
Fruita is famous for the huge archaeological site located in the area. They found bones and quite the collection. The town of Fruita Colorado takes great pride in the fact that dinosaur bones were discovered there and they are pleased to show it. The Museum of Western Colorado's Dinosaur Journey Museum turned out to be right across the street from our motel.
Munchies Was Packing For Lunch
Dinosaur Art In Fruita Colorado
Dinosaur Art Around The Town of Fruita Colorado
Not only do I love the old bones but then there is my love for art. Combine the two and we are looking at one happy, though stranded traveler. What can I say? Best I know is I highly recommend a planned visit to the town of Fruita Colorado and be sure to take some children along for the adventure. The charming town of Fruita Colorado seems almost a treasure trove of history within the United States.
We saw quite a few restaurants and pubs along the walking journey. The place we picked for lunch was recommended by Mr Tow and he did not lead us astray. In fact everything the nice Mr Tow advised for our stay was exactly as he said and his advice was right on the money. From walking about town, to shopping at the local grocery right down to picking up a much needed warm jacket at a downtown second hand thrift shop, Mr Tow had given us straight up suggestions that held their integrity and good will.
Peaceful and Easy Feeling of Fruita Colorado
Being stranded in a place you know nothing about could be quite a miserable experience. That was not the case for our debut in this Colorado town. The weather was comfortable enough to make walking a refreshing adventure. We took our time and I managed to get plenty of photographs of the attractions that grabbed my attention. One of the nicest things about it was it was not costing us money to be so easily entertained.
The artwork in the photos is what was proudly displayed around the town, up and down the streets and in the park. Free for people to enjoy at there own pace. It was a wonderful experience and being stranded seemed to take second fiddle in my musical mind as I delighted in the fresh atmosphere of the afternoons affairs.
Long Walks Make Me Hungry
The first leg of our chosen path lead us across the highway to the downtown district. The fresh morning air was crisp and cool and signs pointing the way to a historic downtown district guided our way. I had inquired the evening before about sidewalks and walking. A clerk at the convenience store was happy to point the direction and add a few points of interest as they painted the picture we were now taking in. I would guess we had gone just about a half mile, and with lunchtime approaching my stomach was leading my feet in the right direction.
Mr Tow and Mr Store Clerk Know The Town of Fruita
The sign could be seen from several blocks away. There actually was no missing it from where we were walking. A huge green dinosaur painted along the top of the building beckoned to all passers by. With a name like this joint was dubbed my stomach felt sure we were on the right track. Once inside Munchies it was easy to see that everyone around from the locals to the construction workers had enjoyed the food here plenty.
Hamburgers seemed to be the specialty but the hand written sign on the swinging front door offered Homemade Chili and Fry Bread for the winter months ahead. The place was crowded and it was order at the counter and find yourself a seat. Coca Cola memorabilia decorated the walls and a miss matched conglomeration of tables and chairs lined all of the three rooms available for dining.
I went with a standard burger and onion rings just to see what the Munchies cook was doing with the average staple. My food was very good, looked to be hand patted and not from the freezer and the quality of meat was indeed superb. I could not have done better myself. I watched as I waited to eat. The waitresses were rushing around and there were quite a few working for such a small place. The plates of food they carried from kitchen to table after table, were piled high with all kinds of delicious looking things to eat. Munchies was surely a booming restaurant establishment.
Proud Bird Sculptures in Fruita Colorado
Culture Alive and Admired In Fruita Colorado
Not just a bunch of dinosaurs scattered around town. There is plenty of artwork on display. I did not include all of my photos because there were way too many. I also left just enough out to allow for wonder and intrigue for those who might have the opportunity to visit the lovely town of Fruita Colorado someday. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area. Spend a few hours or a few days and enjoy what this western, mountain town has to offer.
There is plenty of wilderness to roam if you get out of town. The nearby Colorado River offers camping too. The area is beautiful and the people are friendly. Much of their livelihood depends on visitors and they seem to know well how to treat their guests.
Mike The Headless Chicken
Lastly I am compelled to pay tribute to the hospitality of the local legend of a chicken. Mike the Headless Chicken calls Fruita Colorado his home. In fact each year the town invites everyone to come on over. Some tale to tell of the chicken who marks the downtown area of Fruita, without a smile. Mike stands tall none the less. He is an un-shining, rusty example of some of the nature abounding, a glimpse into the spirit and energy surrounding the town of Fruita Colorado.
I am sure now, looking back, I was lucky enough to be stranded near Fruita Colorado. The place is what the USA should be proud of, land of the free, the brave, integrity and most of all hospitality and good will. Thank You Fruita Colorado. You are a blessing to the USA.
More by this Author
Many older homes have been painted so many times that the paint becomes a series of thick layers. Humidity, moisture and time have a way of causing these layers to separate and bubble. Eventually it will start cracking...
Learn how to make these delicious chicken wings.
Autumn 2008, I was the proud, sole/proprietor of a compact but functional Art Studio located in the basement of my home. I could work there at all hours of night or day and produce artwork that ranged from simple...