Day trip: Cañon City

There’s a point, probably, in every hoarder’s life when they say to themselves: I’m not a hoarder. But I probably need to buy that wall hook shaped like a flower. It’s only a dollar.

And so on this sunny summer day, we hopped in the car and headed to Cañon City for some antiquing, fishing, aimless driving around, and of course, feeding our piggy faces. It’s only about an hour away (there’s construction, so plan for some periodic delays), so it’s an easy day trip.

Our first stop was Uncle Sam Antiques. A couple years ago, we saw a very cool Victorian funeral cart there for $200 (something a little like this). We couldn’t come up with a reason for owning a Victorian funeral cart, and we still can’t. If you can, it’s still there. Would make a cool coffee table, I guess.

Uncle Sam Antiques, Canon City, Colorado

The outdoor section of Uncle Sam's, where you'll find odd glassware, rusting farm tools, and outdoor furniture.


Uncle Sam Antiques, Canon City, Colorado

There's a cool rocking chair in this weird little room. Why do I want a rocking chair? Good question. I don't know. I honestly don't.


Uncle Sam Antiques, Canon City, Colorado

The main "showroom" at Uncle Sam's.

One of the next places we went was a nifty little antique shop called Whistle Post Antiques along Main Street. We’ve been looking for hooks for our bathroom for some time, and we found four for only $2 each. (Being excited about bathroom hooks led to a brief oh-my-god-what’s-happened-to-me existential crisis, but we had some barbecue and beer, and that seemed to settle the ennui.) A good thing and a bad thing happened at Whistle Post. First of all, they did not accept credit or debit cards. Kimball’s, anyone? But, the guy at the counter, for no reason whatsoever, gave us the hooks for only $6, and Adrienne happened to have that in cash. Buy three hooks get one hook free. Awesome. Still. The credit card thing.

Whistle Post Antiques, Cañon City, Colorado

The extra-nice guy at Whistle Post Antiques gave us a great deal on some hooks. And though he wouldn't take plastic, he did say he'd let us mail him a check. I'm not making this up. Mail him a check. Anyway, great guy, cool store, and very good prices.

Next door there was a strange antique store, garage sale, flea-market, auto parts, hardware shop hybrid store that had the most puzzling collection of merchandise I’ve ever seen in one store. A sampling of items: Fishing poles, motorcycle, dishware, hand tools, framed art, books, electronics, cords, twine, shoelaces, clothing. The place reminded me of an old insurance salvage store I used to go to as a kid in Missouri.

In a box of hubcaps on the floor, there were three rusty and dirt-caked baby-moon hubcaps that would look great on the trailer. Five bucks for the pair. And somewhere in the deep cave of that store, Adrienne found a weird metal hook shaped like a flower. One dollar. I could have spent the rest of my life in that store, and would have, too, if Adrienne hadn’t dragged me out.

Cañon City, Colorado

Four hooks from the Whistle Post place, the weird flower-shaped hook that we'll put in the trailer, and the baby moons, which really shined up nicely. Here's a trick I learned: You can shine chrome and remove rust with WD-40 and tin foil. Thanks, Internet.


Strange insurance-salvage-style shop which might be named "Garage Sale" in Canon City.

Strange insurance-salvage-style shop which might be named "Garage Sale" or "Toolrite Zone" in Canon City.

There’s a new brewery in Cañon City: Royal Gorge Brewing Co. They don’t have any of their own brews yet because of some licensing snafus with the city. But the brewing room is all set up and ready to go. The taps now have the usual Colorado suspects: Bristol; Tommyknocker; New Belgium. Not complaining. Love the Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown ale. We’ll be back when they get their own beers going.

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado


Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado.


Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

Apparently, pulled-pork barbecue sandwiches traditionally come with cole slaw actually in the sandwich. Did not know that. This place does it right, then.


Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

Adrienne had the cheeseburger, which she said was fantastic.

After lunch and some more driving around, we stopped off at an access point for the Arkansas River to do a little fishing. I did not catch anything because I left my fishing hat at home.

Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

While I fished, Adrienne lazed around on the shore reading on a blanket.


Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado


Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

Overall, a very pleasant day. Are we in denial about hoarding? Maybe. But whatever. We got some cool stuff.

Very awesome estate sale in Manitou today through Sunday

717 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO.

June 16-19

Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9-7, Sunday 10-6

Go to this sale. I know, I never go to things people tell me to go to if they don’t have any pictures or at least a compelling description of it.

But this thing defies description and pictures could not do it justice. Here’s just a little bit of info about it, you really do have to go to get the full effect of what I’m talking about.

First of all it is in a really beautiful old Victorian building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Just being in the building, it’s like time has stopped. Original wallpaper, original everything. Like a museum.

The sale is in the top floor apartment- it’s two stories with access to the roof. It’s huge and is in original condition. Like for real original condition. The bathrooms even have original wooden toilets with push button flushers. The ceilings are a million feet high and the woodwork is ornate.

From the flyer: This sale is enormous and everything in it is from generations of one family only. It will take place on four floors of the 1888 Historic Wheeler Building in the heart of Manitou Springs. Included are the contents from the Grand Apartment, formerly the private residence of Charles and Katherine Barsotti, purveyors of Fine Antiques & Furnishings, Rare Books, jewelry and art. Additionally, family heirlooms from the distinguished NYC Barsotti Great Grandparents will be offered.

The stuff that’s for sale is also very old, some Victorian and up to probably 1930. That kind of stuff is not necessarily my style (altho we are getting more into it since we bought the old house) but you can really appreciate the kind of work that went into these unique pieces. Definitely not IKEA.

There’s tons of Colorado ephemera– maps, pamphlets, postcards, and even photographs- some of which I’ve only seen online. Plus many many really old books, artwork and other accessories. There’s also vintage clothing, linens, and jewelry.

If you like old things you have to go to this sale- just to look, even if you aren’t in the market to buy anything. Be sure to look around at the building, the photos on the walls, and all the STUFF. It’s really incredible.

And, even if you aren’t into old things and wonder why people are, you should go. To see all this stuff in its original context is really a dazzling experience– and not one you come across very often anymore. You might be able to get why we’re so nuts about historic preservation.

Discovery! A new antique store

OK, so it’s not really new, I guess, but it’s new to us.

Stumbled onto Colorado Country Antique Mall the other day on the West Side, and it’s a good one. Decent prices, good selection of weird junk.

We were surprised that Colorado Springs doesn’t have more antique places, so we’re pretty happy to have found this little gem. We’ll be back.

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A nice fall day in Penrose, Cañon City, and Florence

Penrose, Cañon City, and Florence are three little towns about 30 minutes south of Colorado Springs. Penrose is know for its farms. Cañon City is known for river rafting and the Royal Gorge Bridge. Florence is known for its many prisons, including Colorado’s SuperMax.

We go down there every year because those towns are a great place to experience an oldey-timey farm-ish fall day. We usually pick apples, check out some antique stores, have some lunch, and look at the changing leaves on the little country roads and bridges.

We had some weird luck this year, tho.

First off, we went a week or two earlier than we usually do so none of the leaves were really changing yet. Then, we started the day sort of late and got down to Florence when all the cafes were already closed (apparently they all close at 2:00). So we wandered around and rummaged thru a couple of antique stores on Main Street before becoming insanely starving.

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Forence, CO

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Florence, CO

Hotel Florence under renovation, Florence, CO

Hotel Florence under renovation, Florence, CO

Victorian brick building in Florence, CO

Victorian brick building in Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat  live-work space. Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat live-work space. Florence, CO

Since there was nothing open in Florence for lunch, we headed over to Canon City to a burger stand we heard about. We realized that one of my favorite farms, Colon Orchards, was on the way. We had the most fabulous apple turnover there one time and wanted to have another one. Alas, they don’t sell the apple turnovers there anymore! They did have my favorite honey, Bizzy Bee, which I was pretty happy about because just the day before I was trying to remember where it came from as I emptied the jar.

This farmhouse and pumpkin patch are for sale, across the street from Colon Orchards, Florence, CO

This farmhouse and pumpkin patch are for sale, across the street from Colon Orchards, Florence, CO

On to the burger stand which just happened to be across the street from the most awesome antique store around, Uncle Sam’s. Last year we came across a Victorian casket stand that was really cool there. We didn’t buy it but wondered if it they still had it! They have several buildings full of junk and tons of neat old stuff out in their yard, too.

Uncle Sam's Antiques, Canon City, CO

Uncle Sam's Antiques, Canon City, CO

We decided to eat something at Big Burger World and then go over there.

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

It’s called BIG Burger World because most of their burgers are huge. Like half a pound or a pound or something insane. They also have a 3 oz. burger, so we got a couple of those and some fries and a blackberry milkshake to share.

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

We finished lunch at 4:00 and went over to Uncle Sam’s. Just as the guy was leaving. But the sign says it closes at 5:00, not 4:00! Whatever, Uncle Sam!  We might go back down there this weekend to check it out and to go to this other antique store in Canon City, Trails End Antiques, where they had a really cool old rusted out railroad crossing sign we think might look perfect on the wall in the pool room.

After Trails End we went up to 3rd St. Apples in Penrose. Alas, they close at 5:00 and it was 10 minutes till 5. That’s not enough time to pick apples! The people are super nice there and probably would have let us stay out there for longer but we didn’t want to put them out.

Anyhow, even tho we didn’t see any fall leaves, didn’t get to eat in a junky small town diner, didn’t buy any antiques, didn’t get to have an apple turnover, or pick any apples, it was still a very nice day and we discovered a great burger place and a fab new antique store.

Check out our posts from years past for more pictures of the area and all the stuff to do down there: 2007 , 2008 , 2009.

Dallas Day Three

First off we went to try and have breakfast at this place called Spiral but it isn’t open on Mondays. We even tried to go back on Tuesday but they didn’t open till 11:00. I didn’t research it ahead of time, we just drove past and it looked cool but as it turns out, apparently it’s a vegan place. Blech, glad we didn’t go. I’m down with vegetarian places but vegan places use wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too much fakey soy shit. As you know, I am NOT down with soy. ANYHOW, we had breakfast at the hotel restaurant which we wanted to try, too. It was pretty good. I had a veggie scramble with potatoes and biscuits. It was all pretty good. Not like super amazing but good. The tea they had there was super delish, tho.

DM had some kind of cheeseburger and fries. I tried the fries, they were just ok, too.

After breakfast we went back over to Dealey Plaza and to the Sixth Floor Museum. We’ve all heard all the conspiracy theories and maybe wouldn’t put it past the government or the CIA to kill the president (I know I wouldn’t) but it wasn’t until we saw the museum that we were really into the whole thing. They have a temporary exhibit of a dozen or so (maybe more) home movies of the day. Interestingly, only the one (Zapruder’s) actually shows the assasination. The rest of the people either photographed right up until the event, or somehow turned the camera off or pointed it away or some other suspicious thing so as not to capture the actual moments of impact. The people who took the movies either brought them into investigators or were forced to turn them over so god only knows what really went on. Crazy! We were so intrigued by this museum and the movies exhibit that we actually rented the movie JFK when we got home.

After this we wandered around downtown some more and hit up a couple of overpriced western stores.

Next we went to do some used clothing shopping. First stop House of Dang! I kept calling it House Of Dange. Hee hee. It was closed.

Then onto the Deep Ellum area where we had been the night before and saw lots of cool little shops. Of course, all closed. Why would they be open on a weekday? Sheesh, Dallas. We did find an open bar called The Angry Dog. It has won all sorts of “Best Of” awards so we stopped in for buffalo wings and gin and tonics and beer. DM had never had buffalo wings before! I had only had them a couple times, but from what I can tell, these were really good.

Went over to a couple more overpriced secondhand stores- at least these were open! Then down to the farmers market. We got there really late so it was pretty lame. DM bought an avocado and ate it in the car. This cracked me up so I had to take a picture of it. He also spilled some on the seat and we LOLed at what people would try to guess it was and how they’d never guess it was avocado. Again, guess you had to be there.

I’m sure we did some other things that afternoon but I can’t remember what. I’m sure we also napped. Then we went back across town to Norma’s Cafe cuz we heard it was awesome for pie. It WAS! It also looked awesome for everything else but we were really only hungry for pie, and even then, only slightly. I wanted banana pudding but they were out so I settled for coconut pie. It was not like any coconut pie I’ve ever had- for one, it had meringue on top which I normally hate but this was really good! Also it wasn’t all that creamy like from cream. But it was reeeeeeeeeeealy good.

DM had blackberry cobbler which was also good but not as good as the pie…:)

Later we went to a couple of Uptown bars. One called The Old Monk and this one, called The Libertine. As it turns out, we were really nearby where we were the first day.

I got pretty drunk and wanted to eat something before trying to go to bed and waking up sick so we went to an all night diner called The Pitt Grill.
It was really oldey timey and retro neat. There were only a couple other people in there. They had a great jukebox which I played and they seemed to appreciate. They were really nice and the food was delish.

DM had The Hobo Breakfast, LOL. OINK.

I had a BLT with fries.Of course it was excellent. I wish we had someplace like this in COS.

After sobering up we went out and tried to take nighttime pictures of The Texas Theatre which is where Lee Harvey was apprehended (don’t get me started). But I guess we need to read up on nighttime timed exposures cuz neither of us got any good shots. But across the street from our hotel was this super skeevy hotel with a cool sign so we took pics of that instead.

More on Day Four later!