Datta had to press hard on the brakes while driving down from Pikes Peak and he did so with confidence as he had got the brakes serviced the previous night. Half way down there is a check post where one of the traffic wardens checks the brakes placing a thermometer over the wheels to see if the brake drums/discs are heated. He placed the thermometer and said “well, the temperature is Ok, but I can smell something. Stop for fifteen minutes and allow the brakes to cool”. We got an unscheduled halt and I got some time to move around the enchanting place.
By the time we reached the out skirts of Colorado Springs it was half past two and we were near a Mexican restaurant where we decided to halt for lunch. It was the first time I was trying ‘authentic’ Mexican food.
We went in, were shown a table, and menu cards, rather books were supplied. I looked at the menu and found words like Tacos, Burittos, Enchiladas, Chalupa, Bocados etc etc. I had no idea what they were and the explanations against the names showed that all of them contained tortillos with some kind of beef or chicken. After searching for fifteen minutes I found one which said “chicken, steak OR vegetables stuffed in Tortillos and served with rice and baked beans.” We asked the waitress if that can be prepared only with vegetables and she went in to enquire with the kitchen. She came back after five minutes and said “yes” but added that the rice is cooked in chicken broth. So, we ordered the dish minus chicken, beef and rice. There wasn’t much left other than the tortilla. It took some time for the dishes to arrive and since I was hungry, I started eating tortilla chips with ‘salsa sauce’ which tasted quite good, and had half filled my stomach.
The dish did look attractive but the tortillo was somewhat tough and the vegetables had been cut in large size and the whole thing was covered with sour cream or some such thing which made it very slippery. I had to maintain etiquette and so, could not hold the thing in both the hands and bite into it. It was customary to use forks and it required considerable effort to tear the tortillas and cut the half cooked vegetables to proper size without spreading them all over the table. I fought with the stuff and consumed most of it.
We left the restaurant around four in the evening and drove to Royal Gorge, a deep gorge about thousand feet deep and ten miles long, created by the Arkansas river. Located near the Canon City, Colorado, its main attractions are the cable car ride one thousand feet above the river, and the walk/ drive over the cable supported bridge made of wooden planks. We rode across the gorge in the cable car, walked over the bridge, enjoyed the view from the bridge and returned home after a dinner of Pizza at the California Pizza kitchen.
looking at the river from the bridge
Rama, Latha, Datta, Madhur on the bridge.