September 28 – October 2, 2021
A busy couple of months sped by at home as we celebrated a milestone birthday for me then hosted a houseful (sister Bev, Nephews Jed, and Dillon with McKenzie) while other folks stayed nearby. Jessica, Kris, and Gemma would spend a couple of weeks with us, the longest together since the early days of the pandemic last year and while the house seemed a little crowded sometimes, we wouldn’t have traded it for anything else.
This next trip would last two months and take us across the United States, roughly along the I-70, visiting a number of familiar places until we reached Indiana, Pennsylvania, and the Finger Lake region of New York when it all becomes new, finally stopping in for a visit with my former boss Margaret in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, before turning south for a run through the Carolinas, down to Florida and back across the southern states to home.
We left home on Tuesday the 28th headed for Doug’s place in Cedaredge, a drive we’d split into two days by stopping in Cedar City, Utah, leading to some confusion about what town we’d be spending the night in. We’d be staying at the Best Western Town and Country near the center of town, just a few miles from the interstate. Dinner, wouldn’t be far away at Chef Alfredo’s, highly rated in Trip Advisor for what would be an outstanding meal.
The website had recommended making a reservation, so I had called over not long after arriving at the Best Western, but when we arrived the restaurant wasn’t so crowded as to need one. A couple of days later while passing through, Sheila and JB wouldn’t be able to eat there without one. Here is the review I wrote for Trip Advisor:
My wife and I stopped in on an overnight in Cedar City based on the very good reviews. We were not disappointed. Our interactions with our server, Jennifer, added to our enjoyment of two great dishes, the Pollo Limone and the Fettuccine All’aragosta. Huge pieces of perfectly cooked seafood informed the latter and the seasoning and quality of the chicken could not be matched. Wine is a little pricey by the bottle here, but that could just be Utah’s doing, not the restaurants.
This would be one of the finer meals we’ve had in recent memory and a great way to start a trip, with the hopeful promise of many more in the future. Of course, a journey of this nature requires a lot of meals in restaurants and not everyone is or can be outstanding; often all one is looking for is food to provide the calories we need each day. Not good or bad, just food.
The standard Best Western breakfast the next morning was brightened with an item not ever see before at an offering here in the states, an Empanada.
We took one each of the savory and the sweet and enjoyed both, a rare treat in what is usually a pedestrian offering. The drive went smoothly to Doug’s, and we arrived mid-afternoon, two days before the arrival of Sheila and JB. Along the way we passed, as we have a number of times in the past, a sign for the offramp to Cisco, the birthplace of the infamous nickname.
Arriving at Doug’s we hung out on Thursday and then took off for a challenging but nice 35mile bike ride to Delta, easy the first half as you slide down 1,200 feet from Cedaredge all the while knowing you are going to have to climb back up those same feet. The route took us through a wide canyon that emptied into an area known as the Adobe Buttes, composed of a clay-based soil in which nothing of note can grow.
We arrived in Delta and hit a McDonald’s for a large latte and a surprisingly good pastry for under five dollars, just about what we would pay at Starbucks for just the drink. It’s why we frequent Mickie D’s when traveling as generally speaking, what they provide is decent moderately priced food. We returned to the house to greet Sheila and JB who had arrived and settled in for the next couple of days of fun.
The next day, Saturday, would be a highlight as we walked less than a mile up to the center of town to take in the 43rd Cedaredge Apple Fest. Originally started as a harvest festival in the early 1900’s, the name was changed in 1978 by the newly formed Cedaredge Chamber of Commerce and it has been successfully held each year since then.
We arrived at Main Street to find two or more blocks of vendor booths, the kind that populate most craft fairs or farmer’s markets. I got a cup of coffee from one of the food trailers and soon discovered that the bulk of the fest was located just south of the street in a large public park. We bought a large piece of apple strudel with ice cream and shared it with the group regretting slightly that we hadn’t brought chairs with us so that we could sit and listen to live music that would go on all afternoon.
We finished up our stay with what could only be described as one of the more disappointing meals of the trip, of any trip, when we all went to RJ’s Steakhouse for dinner that night. I’d last eaten here in 2019 when the other Cisco’s and I ferried our cars across the country during the move back to Los Angeles. Then, we’d had a very good dinner, my filet mignon at less than $35 one of the more tender pieces of meat I’ve experienced.
Long story short, it was a busy night, and we had an inexperienced server who must have misplaced our order as we waited nearly 90-minutes to get our food, long after we watched multiple tables of folks who had been seated after us receive their food, and after a number of items we ordered never appeared, we finally got to eat. The food, as it has been in the past, was quite good but couldn’t overcome the service breakdown. Covid and its repercussions has hammered the restaurant industry and I think staffing was a consequence of that here and one we’re willing to forgive, but it was hard to do so at the time.
Sunday rolled around and we all departed for other destinations, Sheila and JB onto New Orleans and us over the passes to Denver, which we will get to in the next episode of the blog. Until then be safe and be patient.
Best Western Town and Country: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/cedar-city/hotel-rooms/best-western-town-country-inn/propertyCode.45028.html
Chef Alfredo’s: https://chefalfredos.com/cedar-city/
Apple Fest: https://www.cedaredgeapplefest.com/
RJ’s Steakhouse: https://www.facebook.com/RJsSteakhouse/