Thanks Big John!

So we’re in Dodge City and we’re thinking that since we missed the chance for ribs in Kansas City we’d try to scoop some up here. We asked the girl at the front desk for a recommendation and she informs us that we aren’t in rib country anymore and that around these parts, it’s all about steak. (Which probably explains the “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!” signs and bumper stickers all over the place.) So she recommends a bar joint that, while lacking on fancy ambiance, has some of the best steak around.

You know, you gotta love a place that has a sign over the door that says “Hunters Welcome!” when your seeking out a slab of meat. Anyway… when we were just about finished (and yummy it was), the waitress came by with a couple of drinks “from Big John over in the corner”.

Turns out Big John is a cattle man and one hell of a character. (He even came with his own side-kick, Byron… who made it a point to tell us off to the side a few times that Big John was a BIG cattleman and he wasn’t referring to his girth) Big John has several ranches and three of them are stung together somewhere way out there near some big satellite dish array that combined runs about 6 miles by 28 miles.

Getting Big John and Byron to give us recommendations on what path they thought we should take to reach Taos, NM, was an absolute panic. Big John seemingly wanted us to avoid every paved road known to man and offered several ways to do so and Byron wanted to send us on a number of equally convoluted scenic routes. A typical exchange went something like:

Byron: I’d take 54 out to such an such a place on down to some other place… etc etc
Big John (interrupting): I wouldn’t ever go that way.
Byron: But it’s very beautiful out that way.
Big John: Yeah, it sure is.

It’s hard to capture exactly how funny it all was. If you re-read that exchange you’ll note that although Big John wouldn’t ever go that way, obviously he has and he agrees that it’s beautiful.

Sadly, not being from the area, my mind went numb at some point from hearing all the different route numbers and names of places I’ve never heard of, so it was hard to keep the conversation straight in my head let alone remember it well enough to convey it all properly. But one thing I won’t forget however, is how wonderful it was to meet these two over a couple of beers and the warm kindness they showed to two strangers. I’m definitely not in Boston anymore!

Needless to say, we’ll still be taking the route we were already planning tomorrow. It’s close to Big John’s recommendation… only with a lot more pavement.

Don’t forget that you can see where I am at on my trip live (theoretically at least) HERE


~ by ghendar on January 4, 2009.

3 Responses to “Thanks Big John!”

  1. I know it’s not the route you’re taking but I did find it amusing that you could travel through Liberal and Hooker on your way through Oklahoma to Texas.We could all use more liberal hookers.

  2. I figured you two would be in heaven when you got to NM and AZ. Now for the important info, what is the snow accumulation there and a bit of a ski report?

    • I’m not sure about overall stats (google is your friend), but there was a bucket load of snow as we drove in. It’s seemed to be a bit of a micro-climate thing though, some people in town reported only 6 or 8 inches of snowfall for that night while we met at least two people (one of whom has been in Taos for 35 years) who said that they had never seen this much snow.

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