Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Old Friends in a New Town

Nancy and Ginger with
Sam, Ruby and Delila
Our two month jaunt in Colorado ended with a stop in Durango to catch up with some good friends from New Orleans, Nancy and Ginger.  Our time in Colorado has been so much fun because we have seen so many old friends and have really enjoyed sharing our adventures and time with them.  We were elated when Ginger and Nancy told us that they were going to take the long way from their summer home in Vermont to their home in New Orleans by swinging through the western states of Colorado and Utah. 

Over a year ago they emailed us and said they were interested in buying an RV.  We were shocked and thrilled.   They wanted something that Ginger could take to dog shows and they could use when traveling from house to house and on extended vacations.  Their new Allegro Breeze motorhome seems to be a perfect fit for them and their three Corgies.  We meet so many great people on the road but it is really nice to RV with people we have been friends with for years. 
Delila ready for more hiking.
Sam marching down the trail.
The first day we were in Durango, we ventured into the San Juan National Forest for a five mile hike.  We figured the dogs would really enjoy some time running in the woods and we could work up an appetite before exploring the downtown.  The hike was great – not too much change in elevation, a clear cold creek for the dogs to swim in, and fairly shady.   Five miles of talking and laughing was great.

Spirit was impressed that a dog (Ruby) with such short legs
was such a good swimmer.
Since Ginger and Nancy really like to hike and we had four dogs between us, our mornings revolved around hiking.  What a great way to get out and see the golden aspens in the cool morning air.  The Durango area has ample hiking opportunities as it is surrounded by vast amounts of federal and state protected lands.  Not to mention scenic alpine lakes, dense conifer forests, and jagged mountain peaks.  Sorry to sound like a broken record but Colorado in the late summer and fall has been nothing but magical.   

Nancy and Betsy
One afternoon we decided to drive part of the San Juan Scenic Byway to Silverton.  This old mining town clings to life because tourists come to gawk at the picturesque little town and spectrum of fall colors.  A narrow gauge railroad transports those that are looking for a leisurely trip.  We bounded out of the car and hit the shops.  A couple of t-shirts and a post card for Grandma and we were off to a museum that Nancy discovered.  The museum turned out to be a real treasure.  It was over 13,000 square feet of Silverton mining history – everything from a recreated mining shaft to the evolution of miners helmets, with an old jail thrown in.

The "potty cart" - how else do you think they got it out
of the mine?

A "Tommyknocker" figurine.  A mythical creature in Welsh and Cornish folklore that became a part of mining life. Their name comes from the knocking on the mine walls that happens just before cave-ins of earth and timbers before giving way.  The Cornish believed the Knockers were the helpful spirits of people who had died in previous accidents, warning the miners of impending danger.  
The interesting display of mining helmets.

The Durango to Silverton narrow gauge railroad.

We will split paths with Nancy and Ginger for a few days but then hook up with them again in Utah.  We can't wait!

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