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Meanderings of a Working Travel Agent

Moon River Colorado Style

I just got back from one of the most amazing trips – I know I say this a lot but this really was spectacular.  I did the Rocky Mountaineer from Moab to Denver.  So relaxing sitting next to those big windows surrounded by incredible scenery and following the course of the Colorado River.

Now before we got on the train there was some talk – or hints – of some of the rafters on the Colorado River not being too welcoming to the passing by of the train.  I wasn’t quite sure of what they were talking about until I saw my first bare bum.  I kid you not.  A whole bunch of rafters heard us coming and were prepared – standing along the bank with their pants pulled down and their bare butts sticking out.  I did not quite know how to take this.  Was this a welcome – thank you for bringing tourism dollars to our State?  Or was it a Go Home Foreigner!!  This happened so frequently that we managed to get a picture –

moon river blog 01

His wife looks quite fed up with him …. I wonder how many times she has seen him do that.  As for the dog…. He is thinking “mmmm, has he been a naughty boy?  Maybe that’s why he is smacking his own bum”.

Apart from the laugh we got over this we learnt so much on that train ride.  Our tour guide, Mike, was so knowledgeable about the local history.  We learnt about the little town of Fruita Colorado which became famous because of a headless rabbit.  Back in 1945, Lloyd Olsen chopped the head off of a chicken that was supposed to be for dinner. But despite losing its head, the bird—later known as Mike—didn’t die and continued to walk around trying (and failing) to peck things. The blade had missed the chicken’s jugular vein, and a blood clot prevented him from bleeding out. Most of his brain stem, which controls the majority of a chicken’s reflexes, had also been spared. With the help of food and water being delivered via an eyedropper, Mike lived for the next 18 months, gaining fame by touring the country as “The Headless Wonder Chicken.”

Since 1999, Mike’s hometown of Fruita, Colorado, has celebrated his life with an annual festival called Mike the Headless Chicken Fest during the first week of June. Two of the main events at the festival aren’t particularly chicken-themed: a 5K race and a disc golf tournament, but there is also a poultry show and a chicken wing eating competition.

There are so many stories that rise up from these little towns along the Colorado River and that’s part of the charm.  A really luxurious way to travel through small town America.

Just have to close your eyes if you don’t want to see bums on the river!


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The Travel Lady Blog

The Travel Lady

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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