A quick look at southern Colorado

We left heading for Durango, CO. Trying to keep to short travel days, we overnighted at the Walmart in Cortez, CO. I have to say I still find myself dismayed at many of my fellow RV travelers as far as manners when staying for free at some of the business establishments. This Walmart appeared to be a very popular overnight stop for RV’s and big rig trucks. We really try to adhere to the unwritten code – when staying at a business for free, no jacks down, no slides out, no setting up chairs, BBQ’s, and any other camping equipment. In other words, be “turn key ready”. Here, there were about a dozen RV’s or trailers parked for overnight and out of the (7) that had pop-outs, (5) of them had extended. (4) of the units put down their jacks. And (1) unit, out of Canada, extended it’s jacks, popped out all (3) slides, set out (2) reclining camp chairs with folding table, and had the BBQ set up. I just had to shake my head…the only thing missing was a campfire…Well, we stuck to the code and even donated to the local Walmart economy by making a grocery run inside the store.

Next morning it was “up and at ‘em”, onward to Durango, CO where we chose to stay at the Lightner Creek Campground. This campground was just outside of town and right on the creek. Quite a bit overpriced at $47 per night, since the pool was closed, the bathrooms at our end of the campground were closed, and there was otherwise nothing to do within the campground.

During our short (2) day stay we were advised by locals that we should take the “Million Dollar Highway”, a scenic loop up through Silverton, Ouray, over to Telluride, and back to Durango. So off we went, it was close to a couple hundred miles of highways and took us all day. The highway takes you up over the 10,000 foot elevation and through some colorful canyons where the fall colors were starting to pop out. We came upon Silverton, which was plopped right in the valley floor between mountains. Like most nearby towns, Silverton is an old mining town and there are a lot of abandoned mining structures at the end of town. We stopped in town and walked among the old style buildings and even found a BBQ joint called “Thee Pitts Again” which was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” on the Food Channel, (we did not indulge ourselves).

The Fall colors starting to emerge...

The Fall colors starting to emerge…

Aspens are beautiful as they yellow

Aspens are beautiful as they yellow

The big town of Silverton from above.

The big town of Silverton from above.

A view down Main St., Silverton

A view down Main St., Silverton

Another view of Main St., with the Grumpy-mobile in the forefront

Another view of Main St., with the Grumpy-mobile in the forefront

A view inside the local bank, with old style teller cages

A view inside the local bank, with old style teller cages

Heck, even the garbage cans around town are scenic!

Heck, even the garbage cans around town are scenic!

Grumpy's Restaurant

Grumpy’s Restaurant

Thee Pitts Again BBQ restaurant. It was featured on the Food Network's "Diner's, Drive-ins, and Dives"

Thee Pitts Again BBQ restaurant. It was featured on the Food Network’s “Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives”

The local Harley Davidson store, touted as "the world's highest Harley store"

The local Harley Davidson store, touted as “the world’s highest Harley store”

Just a bit further and outside of town we came upon the viewing point for the old mines. It would have been interesting to see all this in action in their heyday.

A little history lesson...

A little history lesson…

and the lesson continues...

and the lesson continues…

What's left of the mining operation

What’s left of the mining operation

More mine stuff

More mine stuff

It was spread all over the mountain

It was spread all over the mountain

One of the old residence shacks from mining days

One of the old residence shacks from mining days

A couple more residences, long since abandoned

A couple more residences, long since abandoned

A string of empty mine carts

A string of empty mine carts

More history lessons...

More history lessons…

…and yet more...

…and yet more…

...and now you should get an A in Colorado history class.

…and now you should get an A in Colorado history class.

Next stop on our tour was the megalopolis of Ouray, CO. This was another small old mining town settled into the floor of a valley surrounded by huge mountains. The scenery and colors during the whole ride was pretty cool and these small towns evoke thoughts of days gone by, make that WAY gone by.

Colors on the way to Ouray.

Colors on the way to Ouray.

Jeanne resting by one of the creeks with mineral laden water.

Jeanne resting by one of the creeks with mineral laden water.

Looking down on the town of Ouray, CO.

Looking down on the town of Ouray, CO.

IMG_7493

Main St., Ouray

More color, above Ouray.

More color, above Ouray.

Keeping to the loop, we came upon Telluride, CO, and as usual, we fell into a big to-do. This was the big weekend for Telluride, their Blues ‘n Brews festival. And, oh my, not one parking spot was available for miles and miles, town was jam packed, and needless to say we were unable to stop and enjoy the festival.

So it was back to Durango, after a long day of driving, and time to get ready to move on. Our next stop, another Walmart in Trinidad, CO, then on to the Oasis RV Park in lovely downtown Amarillo, TX. We spent (3) days in Amarillo doing laundry, grocery shopping, getting mail sent to us, and otherwise taking care of some business matters while we could make use of the office FAX at the RV park. During our shopping outing, we did manage to locate a helpful tome at Barnes and Noble, “Wordpress for Dummies”. Hopefully, I will be able to fumble through it and avoid some of the tech issues such as I recently had with losing photos from several blog posts. Some say, “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing”, we’ll certainly see about that. Until next time…

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
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3 Responses to A quick look at southern Colorado

  1. Savohna says:

    Charlie! I love reading your blogs! You definitely have an amazing gift and I am so glad you are sharing it with us on this amazing adventure you and Jeanne are on!
    Love you both!
    Savohna

  2. MOM says:

    omg!!! Love Colorado too. Beautiful country. Great pictures!

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