The Buffalo Bill Birthday bash was a success, with Tom securing 2nd place as the national Buffalo Bill and me retaining my first place position as Theodore Roosevelt. A Little extra cash now in our pockets, we were preparing to go the Lookout Mountain, the burial-place of Buffalo Bill and the final day of public appearances before we started the long drive home.
Buffalo Bill woke up before I did and all I heard was “Oh oh”
Years of experience has taught me that those two words together are never good, and this time it was no exception. Over night the town of Golden was blanketed with 8 inches of snow, and more was on its way. ” I think we should start heading back”. The great scout had spoken and I knew he was right. We finished our breakfast at Pansy’s Parlor (We stay in the two bed Buffalo Bill room) said goodbye to John and Judy our wonderful hosts and start down the hill towards Denver. The little car fights snow drifts and slippery hills to make it to the highway and we slowly crawl out-of-town at 20 MPH. The cars going the opposite way – uphill – are at a dead stop on the freeway, unable to climb the grade. “At 40 MPH , we can make 400 miles in 10 hours” Bill States.
I was fortunate to have won a custom-made hat as part of my prizes, and we were off to see the Hat Lady. Last year, Tom won and I have coveted his hat since I first laid eyes on it. All natural beaver without added color and custom formed to his head. It is flawless. Now, I would have a chance to have a hat made as well. We snuck the back way to the shop, (almost getting broadsided by a car that slid through a red light) and made our way in. Coleen the hat maker is awesome and she knows hats. I decided I wanted to recreate Roosevelt’s hat seen in the photos of him with John Muir, and she went to work, measuring, adjusting, telling me that the hat was pretty unique and that she might be off 1/4 of an inch. That’s perfection, when your hat lady thinks that everyone will notice 1/4 inch! We hug goodbye and shovel out the car.
Back into the blizzard, we start to call home for computer modeling of our intended track. “Watch out at….blah, blah, blah.”. We will see weather almost the entire way. We stop along the way for gas and people just stare at us, unbelieving anyone would be so stupid as to drive. We agree, but really want to get home.
Within a few hours the weather was lightened and we are able to stop for dinner in Paxton, Nebraska and see Sam, our favorite waitress, at Ole’s Cafe. Ole’s is a lot like the Buckhorn Exchange (see previous post), only it’s liquor license number 1 in Nebraska. Sam filled us in on whats happened since last year “not much, except my grandson blew up his car with a cell phone”
I always thought is was a rumor that a cell phone could ignite gas fumes. Nope folks, its true. Thankfully just a small burn but a totalled car! No more cell phone answering when near gas for this guy.
After dinner, Bill and I decide that we have had enough adventure, and poin the stagecoach towards home. Driving through the night, we reach the promise land at 3:30 am and say “Adios Partner”.