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"Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

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Santa Ana, CA
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"Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

I ate too much on this trip. I gained 5 pounds thanks to too many good meals. My excuse is we (my cousin Jerry and I) were in Southern Utah 5 days plus 2 travel days eating in restaurants. That’s also why my trip report is late.

Our first night was in Mexican Hat. Our arrival at the San Juan Inn was just in time for dinner. I had been salivating for months for a Navajo Taco. I guess I had forgotten how big and fat they are plus I forgot it’s called “fry bread”. It was loaded with calories before the food items were put on it. Two people could share one these, really. My first request to the waitress, though, was for a cold glass of Polygamy Porter. The label on the bottle says ”Why Have Just One”. So, naturally, I ordered a second one with my meal.

The next morning was a full American breakfast with eggs, bacon, ham, hash browns, toast, butter and jelly. I didn’t bring a calculator so I couldn’t tally up the calorie count. We justified this meal to ourselves because we were going to spend the day hiking Cedar Mesa and needed the protein for energy. Yeah, right!

We had lunch in the field at the top of a deep canyon. “Artisan“ bread for sandwiches of meat and cheese with plenty of mayo and mustard. I always remember to bring a bag of chips but, oops, forgot the baby carrots and apple in the ice chest in the car. We had lunch this way every day of the trip and I won’t repeat it in the rest of my report here.

We were a bit late arriving in Bluff later that afternoon so we missed the Happy Hour in the cemetery with the others. I don’t know what was consumed there, but I went without.

The first dinner together, that is, all of us 12 or 14 of us at the Twin Rocks Café, was a big one. The waiter always asks first when you sit down: “What would you like to drink?” Well, quickly, bottles of Polygamy Porter started popping up all over the table. This is the place to eat chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy. It filled the whole plate. I’m sure there was salad and vegetables, but I didn’t care.

The entire group liked it here so much we met again the next morning at the same long table. To make my long story shorter, it was another full American breakfast. After all, all of us were going out in the field for the day.

At mid-day out on the trail came a little surprise: snacks! I had my usual sandwich but then all this other stuff got passed around; trail mix, M & Ms and kbecjeans brought this bag of cheese. What was it exactly? It looked like mozzarella, I saw the word “curd” on the bag, and it broke off into bite sized pieces. There was a lot in that bag but I didn’t eat it all.

Dinner at the Cottonwood Steak House was wonderful. They had large steaks on the menu and a few small ones. A big fat juicy steak deserves red wine so Noel and I shared a bottle of Sonoma County red wine. The salad was healthy until they put on the home-made blue cheese dressing (Thai peanut sauce the 2nd night). Sliced and diced potatoes were baked and served like French fries. Being sprinkled with dill weed or some other green sprinkles they were very tasty down to the very last one. They also served bread and butter, of course. I’m sure the veggies were healthy, but who cares? Dessert the first night was raspberry cheesecake with chocolate drizzle. It was yummy. Another night the dessert was home-made apple pie (big slice) with 2 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. It was yummy, too!

My cousin and I dined one night at the San Juan River Kitchen thinking with its funky and eclectic ambiance the meals might be healthy. But, noooooo. How about pecan and herb-crusted salmon? Fresh baked rolls with honey butter, anyone? Dessert there was a combination of vanilla ice cream with chocolate brownie mixed in. Maybe their house wine was a little cheaper and, therefore, had fewer calories.

Our large group decided that the Twin Rocks Cafe gave us bad service our first night and we would boycott and eat elsewhere. All future breakfasts would be at this particular place, and I can’t remember its name, someone called it the “hippie” place. They served breakfast only and it was a short succinct menu. They served fresh baked muffins, date nut bread, etc. Blue corn pancakes or the banana walnut Belgian waffle came with organic butter, Agave honey and a pitcher of syrup. On the lighter side they served whole grain oatmeal or a granola cereal with a long list of ingredients. All in all, everything served here every morning was dough, fat, and sugar in varying formats.

I can’t forget to report on Happy Hour. Mr. and Mrs. Tet generously invited us on the porch of their cabin at the Desert Rose Inn. All dozen of us fit on it with tables, chairs, and benches. Then came out all the beverages. We had micro-brew, Sedona brews and there was a bottle of beer from Mexico that had a chili pepper in it! Other beverages were passed around and glasses filled by a dozen assistant hosts and hostesses. Add to that chips, dips, and bowls of nuts. The next night was a repeat with a smaller group. It was cold and raining so we moved the chairs and benches into the cabin and ate and drank indoors.

Well, I think I covered it all. Now I’m home on my new regimen of Lean Cuisine and Campbell’s Chunky soup.

In conclusion, all the meals at all the restaurants in Bluff were excellent!

After 2 or 3 days our “meet up” attendees began to depart and the number in our group dwindled. On the 4th night my cousin and I were alone lamenting that we were sad and lonely because all our new-found friends were gone.

God bless you all. I miss each and every one of you.

Until we meet again!

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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1. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

Danny, great trip report with a great culinary focus. The food was good!

BTW, I think the "hippie" place was called Comb Ridge Coffee. Great food there, I agree.

Hopefully we will all meet again soon. Thanks again for coming up with the idea for this crazy event. It was simply wonderful!

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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2. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

I've enjoyed reading all the trip reports and will add yours to the list.

I think one of the best parts of vacation is experiencing the good food! I know I abandon my usual eating habits for larger quanities! As you said, I figure the Lean Cuisine can be resumed at home. LOL!

It sounds like you organized a great event. :)

South Jersey, USA
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

Another great TR!!! I loved the different aspect of it......FOOD!!

Thanks for "taking" me along!

SJG

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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4. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

You probably avoided 500 calories or more by not drinking 3 beers at the cemetery. but then you could have opted for the fry bread egg sandwich for breakfast at Twin Rocks Cafe. I guess it all works out in the end. The quiche at Comb Ridge Coffee was light, and I think a healthier choice than the blue corn pancakes

Thanks again for inspiring this whole adventure.

If we do actually put together a Torrey gathering next year, we can all look forward to Cafe Diablo. You won't believe the desserts...

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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5. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

Oh yeah, Cafe Diablo...I'm in!

As for the calarie count on 3 Oak Creek Ambers, I reckon that is closer to 600 than 500...but who's counting?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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6. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

<<Maybe their house wine was a little cheaper and, therefore, had fewer calories.>>

LOL

You can always wish.

I'm glad you made it home safely. Hope Jerry has as well. It was great to meet you and have all our adventures together.

Take some more hikes. That should help you with that extra 5 pounds!

New Boston, New...
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7. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

Glad to hear you all had a great time meeting up. Wish I could of met you all too.

Torrey - hmmm may have to think about that one - I loved that area and would love to explore it and Scenic By-Way 12 so much more!

Just finished my 3 book scrapbook from our trip we took. Lots of great memories thanks to most of you.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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8. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

Irgardener, isn't it fun to review the trip. 3 scrabbooks full of great places and memories!

Keep Torrey 2011 in mind.

Grand Junction...
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for Bluff
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9. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

Just a few tidbits to add to Danny's culinary report. This was a great Trip report as we mostly focused on our hiking adventures in the others.

The Chili Beer is called Cave Creek Chili Beer. It used to be Crazy Ed's Chili Beer and brewed on site in Cave Creek, AZ. Now being brewed by Tecate in Mexico.

I agree with RedRox the Quiche at Comb Ridge Coffee was the best! I had the mild chili one. Thanks to David and Andrea for their great place. Twin Rocks is a staple in our adventures in dinning. They stay open all year round. Service can be spotty but all and all fine. Cottonwood Steaks is a fun place to go, in the summer to dine out side under the Cottonwoods is refreshing. I have only eaten a few times at San Juan River Kitchen. I know they try to serve everything organic and share a organic garden with Wild Rivers across the street. They also serve homemade ice cream. Bluff does close down in the winter but the hotels stay open, I'm not sure about Comb Ridge Coffee, but CottonWood Steak house and San Juan River Kitchen close for the season. Any way thanks Danny for the invite. We really enjoyed meeting you all and hope we can meet again--- Torrey sounds great. Look out Killer Bob and Mrs.Killer ( Janet)

10. Re: "Meet up" in Bluff - Trip Report

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