Sunshine poured into the cab of the 1979 Ford Courier as Cody and I traveled down the road on the Fourth of July, making the trek from Oklahoma to Colorado. Unforgettable memories were made on this road trip—some funny, some scary. One thing is certain, Cody and I will never forget the time we rode to Colorado in a newly restored truck he had just finished the week before we left.
While on the trip, I became quite familiar with the interior of the old truck and even to this day getting inside it brings back the wave of memories. Since the seats were leather and the truck had NO A/C we made sure to drape a “vintage” Coca-Cola beach towel over the seat, because if you live in Oklahoma during the summer leather seats and no A/C are like oil and water—they don’t mix.
The trip had been in the making for months. Many nights were spent planning our route and activities.
Our “general” route:
Oklahoma ⇒ Amarillo, TX ⇒ Alamosa, CO ⇒ Silverton, CO ⇒ Ouray, CO ⇒ Home
Of course, as with any trip, plans are never set in stone but our major goal was to make it to the Alpine Loop in Colorado near Silverton and Ouray.
The Alpine Loop boasts of majestic views of mountains, ghost towns, wildlife and much more. Those who travel on the loop usually have the goal of reaching Engineer Pass, a popular pass at an elevation of 12,800 feet.
Starting the trip we decided we wanted to put off driving on the Interstate for as long as we could. Driving on quiet highways or the backroads allows you to see more of the countryside and neat attractions that you wouldn’t normally see on the Interstate.
So, while driving on US-62 in Oklahoma we passed through small towns and enjoyed the drive to our first destination–Amarillo. Cody enjoys searching for classic cars and I like the general sightseeing from town to town.
The best part about taking the road less traveled are the neat places you didn’t expect to find! Cody grew up watching “The Dukes of Hazzard” and the show grew on me when we started dating. Passing through Duke, OK we saw a restaurant called The Boar’s Nest. It’s ironic that a restaurant in the town of Duke shares the same name as the famous bar and restaurant in The Dukes of Hazzard. Sadly, the restaurant was closed when we stopped so we took a snapshot and went on our way.
Another “blink and you miss it” town in Oklahoma is Hollis. Driving through this town we figured it wouldn’t contain much, but on the corner of a street is an old gas station with tons of character called “Busy Corner.” If you’re into vintage auto and gas memorabilia it is worth a quick stop to look around!
We stopped for lunch at a gas station where we put the tailgate down and made a couple sandwiches. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The memory is vivid in my mind as we sat there drinking our pops and watching the traffic go by.
After being on the road all day, we finally made it to Amarillo. We first checked into our hotel for the night, Country Inn & Suites, and then hurried to go get some grub!
My dad mentioned the restaurant Blue Sky to us before we left, he had heard the burgers were amazing. Well, we are both burger fanatics so we took his word for it and gave it a shot.
The Blue Sky we went to was right off of I-40 making it convenient to get to. The décor was fun with neon signs throughout the restaurant. Most importantly though, the food was amazing! The burgers were huge, juicy and hit the spot after a long day of driving. A side of crunchy and meaty fries went along with our burgers perfectly and we finished it off with a cold, fizzy pop.
Although there were several Fourth of July celebrations happening that night we decided to return to the hotel and soak in their pool and hot tub. You know the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas?” It’s not a lie! The hot tub at this hotel was almost as big as the pool itself.
The best surprise was being able to lounge in the hot tub while watching all of the firework shows happening in and around Amarillo. It was an amazing way to end the first day of our vacation! Unbeknownst to us, our adventure was just beginning.