Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Bucksnort Saloon

On Sunday, Shawn and I decided to make a visit to the Bucksnort Saloon after our hike. Shawn had taken me there once before, about three years ago. It's a little restaurant in a place called Sphinx Park, which is in Elk Creek Canyon. To get there, you start in Pine, Colorado, and go south. The road is paved for about 2 miles, then it turns into dirt. After a couple more miles, that dirt road starts getting very narrow! It literally follows Elk Creek, so the entire road is very windy, and in places it's very high with a sheer drop-off on one side. Most of the houses on this road are tiny, made out of pine logs and perched on the rocks. Many of them require that you drive across a rickety bridge to access the house.
Once you finally get to the Bucksnort, you quickly can see from the outside that it's an unusual place. Fortunately, there are quite a few people who have posted pictures online, so here's a good shot of the building. The building is over 100 years old, and as far as I know, the restaurant is the only actual business in the neighborhood. The back of the restaurant has a porch that overlooks the creek.
Inside the Bucksnort, it's obvious that this is not your typical American restaurant. First of all, the place is only open during the warmer months (too hard to get to it when there's snow), yet it attracts lots of people. When we went, we had forgotten about the fact that it was A) Memorial Day weekend, and B) Sunday...which means that there were lots of guys on Harleys and wearing leather chaps. We sat at the bar (really the only place to find two available seats); the bar stools were literally tree stumps that had been shellacked to make them smooth.

When Shawn first told me about this place, he mentioned our favorite feature. You know how lots of bars/restaurants have mounted deer heads on the wall? So does this place. And about 10 feet to the left of the head, they also have the deer's butt mounted on the wall.
The walls, ceilings, rafters, you name it are covered in graffiti, pictures, napkins, dollar bills, etc... Since they don't have a computerized system for taking orders, the ladies just write your order on a "guest check." The duplicate copy goes to the kitchen. The original copy gets tacked to the wooden bar with your first name on it so that any of them can add to it at any time. While we were sitting there, Shawn made a very astute observation. He said, "This place really is just one big box of kindling, isn't it?" Considering it's a fun place to go with really good burgers, let's keep our fingers crossed that no one ever lights a match inside!!

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