By Jug Varner
Military personnel are modern gypsies when it comes to moving around frequently. Despite cross-country and overseas transfers that offer many golden opportunities for sightseeing, some people fail to take advantage of the situation.
Necessity sometimes requires getting to their destination quickly to allow ample time to find suitable housing, enroll the kids in school, etc., before officially reporting to their new duty station.
Lack of money and time is the main reason they don’t “smell the roses” along the way. So they settle for seeing the USA along the interstate highways instead of the byways. They become more familiar with crowded cities than small towns.
Some years ago, wife Bonnie and I had read and heard many experiences of Bed & Breakfast accommodations, but somehow never tried one until on a trip from Texas to cooler Colorado. We got acquainted with two of these beauties during that beat-the-heat outing.
The first wasTwo Pipes Bed & Breakfast in Taos, NM - an adobe structure thought to be between 275 and 300 years old. A retired Air Force couple owned the place and gave us a discount when they learned we, too, were military retires.
“Two Pipes” was an interesting name, so I asked about it.
Every Indian Chief has a pipe, I lwas told, sort of a “badge of office.” If there are several chiefs at a pow-wow - say five - they describe it as a five pipe meeting. And, since these two nice people share all of the chores around the place - including cooking, cleaning and raising six quarter horses - they each consider themselves to be a chief. Two chiefs, two pipe.
It was a charming place, tastefully furnished with Indian and western décor. An inviting hot tub was located within a restful garden area. Our interesting, friendly hosts made us feel truly welcome during our one-night stay and their flavorful breakfast alone would have been worth the stop. I don’t know if they are still in business, but they certainly had the right approach to success.
We didn’t actually stay and the second one we visited in the little town of La Veta, CO, about 16 miles west of Walsenburg just off Route 160. We stayed with some friends in Cucharo and they took us there to breakfast because the food was so good.
During a tour of duty in Boston we had become addicted to some wonderful English popovers served at Anthony’s Pier 4 Restaurant, but seldom ever found any to equal them. Fortunately for us, the B&B hostess in La Veta was a native of Brookline, MA and had a similar recipe for popovers that she always included with her breakfast fare. I ate so many I almost popped over!
Regretfully, I have long since forgotten the name of the place, but its décor was of the late 1800 era and it was located on the west side of the main street in a two story former retail store (or hotel). Again, the owners may not be the same today, if still in business there, but we will never forget the taste!
We have visited several other B&Bs since then and found most of them to be well above average accommodations for the traveler who looks for a cozy atmosphere, good food, friendly hosts and guests and a more relaxed way of life on the road… generally away from the hustle and bustle, in small towns or rural America.