The waitress at Woody’s brings Jack the dog a bowl of water, and then she serves Mare and I a couple of cold ones. The folks in downtown Golden treat pets and people like gold. Dogs roam everywhere, on leashes of course, or tied up to rails alongside outdoor cafés.

Kayaking Clear Creek

The whitewater rapids of Clear Creek roar especially high with the heavy snowmelt this season. Carole and Mike take us to the kayak party in the park, where crowds line the shores and watch kayakers dive into and spin around the rapids. This is holy water, as some of it transforms into Coors Beer at the brewery.

After a walk in the morning, in yet another pedestrian-friendly Colorado town, we head out to Boulder to visit my editor, Lori, who is getting married in a few days.

Making dog friends in Boulder

Italian Spinones visit us at an outdoor café. These dogs look similar to Jack before his hair cut, but a bit bigger. We have a nice visit with Lori and Michael and her son Max, over Chinese food and of course, Coors. Boulder is a very cool town. With the University it presents a tolerant, and amicable atmosphere among a lush part of the Rockies.

          Spotting elk and deer while driving through the many mountains passes is common. We visit the Hydro Planet growing store, expecting to see beautiful buds of marijuana, but a sign on the door says it all:

           Colorado has a new gold rush. Casinos replace mines and revive the ghost towns around Central City. We decide to pass up the low-stake tables and casino buffets, to head up to Idaho Springs for a feast of pizza and good conversation.

Thanks for the hospitality!!

We depart in the morning. After enjoying the scenery of Silverton, rain pours while we drive on the twisty mountain roads. Eventually, we cross Utah and decide to stop in a forsaken little town, Tremonton, near the border of Utah and Idaho. A decent room and delivered pizza helps us to bed down for the night.

Kite and wind surfers in Hood River

Once you pass through the high desert, the beauty of Oregon shocks you with a white-capped river, massive dams, and the unmistakable Columbia River Gorge where the river sneaks through fur covered hills and mesas.

The sight of kite surfers lures us to spend the night along the river. On our balcony, overlooking a barge chugging upstream, a train passes below the Bridge of the Gods. Nice stop.

After a quick visit with bother Frank, at his Buck Creek Ranch the next morning, we drive into Newport, along the Oregon coast. Mo’s is certainly our first stop for the best oyster stew in the world. Then we reach Pat’s house in Waldport, where we will stay for about two weeks. Jack loves the golden sands. I love the Crab House.  And Mare loves everything!

Mare and Jack frolic on the beach