By the time I left the Cave of the Winds, it was after 12 and lunch sounded like a great idea. My original plan had been to work my way up US 24 into the Rocky Mountains for a while, eventually switch to another winding highway, and browse the restaurant and sightseeing options in the town of Cripple Creek. All the brochure photos looked like Deadwood or other Old-West throwbacks filled with arts, crafts, state-themed souvenirs, cheesy knickknacks, period boutiques, and probably casinos in every other storefront. Plenty of opportunities for bemusement and/or learning experiences, maybe.
Halfway there my appetite was seriously interfering with my enthusiasm for driving all those dozens and dozens of elevated disaster curves. I reached the much nearer hideaway of Woodland Park, noted a smattering of old-fashioned facades, cut my drive a couple dozen miles short, and thought to myself, “Yeah, this’ll do. Food now.”