A Seat at the Table

Our trip is slowly drawing to a close – by Monday we’ll be embarking on what looks like being two days of torture-by-travel, complete with an oh-god-hundred hour start, a six hour layover in Salt Lake City followed by an overnight flight to Manchester via Paris (and who even knew you could fly direct from Utah to Paris…) and then home by train on New Year’s Eve with whatever the weather gods have left to throw at us after all the that’s been going on in the last fortnight.

Today we made the most of the time we had left, getting out for one last day in the mountains. On the way back, taking the scenic route, stopped by Bishop’s Castle, which is basically a castle built single-handedly by one man who – when he’s not building castles – apparently fills in the time writing signs.

bishops castle bishops castle2

We were going to explore further but, frankly, the tide of crazy (I missed out the sign which proved conclusively that the constitution meant you didn’t need a driver’s license because I was getting a bit worried about the guy in front of us in full camo muttering ‘Amen’ as he slowly read each sign) just sort of pushed us back into the car.

laminated photos

Then tonight we decided to fortify ourselves and headed off to one of the approximately 17,000 Mexican restaurants in Pueblo for some decent Mexican food.* We drove down to Jorge’s Sombrero, and were promptly seated at a booth for four where the table was covered in laminated photographs of some event or other which we didn’t pay much attention to because the chips and salsa arrived promptly and there were menus to peruse (and in my case desperately try and remember the difference between a taco and a tostada and a fajita and a burrito and which one wasn’t going to end up blowing my head off). At least until the other half peered a little closer and said ‘isn’t that Barack Obama’ and lo and behold it was.

Barack Obama

For we weren’t just in any booth – we were at the President’s table. It seems he stopped by for a quiet family meal with just Michelle, Sasha, Malia and the assembled press corps during the 2008 election. This kind of surprised us as Colorado comes across as a pretty conservative place where about 90% of the billboards are advertising gun shows (the other 10% urge us to ‘put Christ back into Christmas) and the mall has to have a sign on the door saying ‘no weapons’ -although, thinking about it, the 17,000 Mexican restaurants might have been something of a clue that the demographics aren’t entirely 100% redneck. But it turns out that more than half of Coloradoans voted Democrat in 2008 – including much of Pueblo county

Although I’m guessing the creator of Bishop’s Castle wasn’t among them.

* note to any British readers – if you have only ever eaten Mexican food in some sort of themed joint where tequila shots are semi compulsory, and 98% of the clientele are stag and/or hen nights and the food is, frankly, irrelevant, then you haven’t actually eaten Mexican food. Come to Pueblo (or, at a pinch, Mexico) and find out for yourselves.

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7 Responses to A Seat at the Table

  1. commuterjohn says:

    Well after a trip like that you will be just ready to engage in seeing in the New Year in traditional Scottish style. ….. maybe not!

  2. Flighty says:

    What an interesting post. I hope that your journey home isn’t too stressful. xx

  3. disgruntled says:

    John – only if traditional Scottish style involves falling into bed and sleeping for a week…
    Flighty – thanks – I’m sure we’ll survive, and if nothing else I’ll get the other sock knitted

  4. Wow, a sock as in a sock to wear with a kilt, I once got in a lot of bother for giving admiring glances to a Scotsman’s sock… I was so misunderstood! Hope you have a good journey.

  5. disgruntled says:

    Not got quite as far as proper kilt socks – they are an engineering feat in themselves

  6. WOL says:

    If you are in Pueblo, you’re in the part of Colorado that used to be Texas. When Texas entered the union and became a state (in 1845), the US already owned roughly half of Colorado which it had bought from France as part of the Louisiana purchase (1803). As a condition of Texas entering the union, the US government appropriated the pieces that now form parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado, partly because Texas was entering the union as a slave state and the Oklahoma and Colorado parts of it’s territory were above the Missouri Compromise (1820) line (36° 30 North) and partly to reimburse the US government for assuming the $10 million in debts of the Republic of Texas. The US government’s annexation of Texas sparked the Mexican American war (“From the halls of Montezuma …”), which ended (in 1848) with the US owning the rest Colorado, most of New Mexico and Arizona (except the Gadsden purchase (1855) bits), and all of Utah, Nevada and California. Just a little historical note.

  7. disgruntled says:

    Sounds as if Texan memories are almost as long as Irish and Scottish ones…

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