A day in Durango

The first thing we did was watch the last train to Silverton depart for the day:

July 5, 2015

I wasn’t moving too quickly on Sunday morning when I woke up in Durango, probably still a little tired from the long riding day on Saturday. I was looking forward to a “down day,” a whole day in Durango that both Hal and I have wanted for some time. We usually are in and out of town too quickly, so we built a whole day into our trip to enjoy it.

We went for a late breakfast at Jean-Pierre, a restaurant on the main drag that we happened to walk into. It was nice, but expensive (to us). “Oh, well, we’re on vacation,” Hal said, which was to become his mantra for the next few days.

Inside Jean-Pierre, the restaurant:

Lengthy wait for food, so I amused myself by taking more photos. This is one of them. At least there is no question whether the glass is half full, or half empty:

After breakfast, we spent the day walking around town, shooting photos, and just enjoying our time there.

I looked up at the Strater Hotel:

Street scene in Durango. You can easily see why it is a popular tourist destination, and a beautiful place to live, even in winter:

Palace Hotel sidewalk. Unfortunately, the Palace Hotel is long gone, replaced by one of many touristy shops:

This sculpture outside the train station gets a lot of traffic. The tops of these young horses are burnished bright from the constant rubbing of hands and bodies of the many children that continually crawl on them:

I love this poster so much that I wanted a copy of it to take home. It is so artistic and captivating. I settled for a 5.5″x8.5″ brochure that had this artwork for the cover. I may frame it and put it in my classroom to inspire my future musicians:

One of the hotels was base camp for a car club gathering. This is one of many beautiful old cars parked there:

A lovely lily growing through a bench in a garden near one of the bank buildings:

The Animas River is a major focus of Durango. It is a place of enjoyment, from the river walk next to it, to the river itself, which usually is populated by rafts full of tourists that get to “run” the river, guided by one of the many rafting companies that provide that service. Hal and I did it, too, a few years ago, even though at that time the river was running low and sluggish. This year it was running faster and higher, and we hope to run it again sometime soon when the river is like this:

Durango is a big mountain biking town, too, and it is one of the places of origin of the concept. If I could somehow get my mountain bike there, I would want to ride one of the many awesome trails in the area.

Later, we walked out to a bridge crossing of the Animas, about a 20 minute walk from downtown, to watch the trains come in from Silverton (shot in IR):

I noticed this deer hanging out near the tracks a few minutes after the train went through. One of the locals said the deer regularly come in close, and sometimes even come into town:

Our day ended with dinner in the local Applebee’s (great artichoke-spinach dip!). By the end of the day of not riding, we were both ready to get back on the road, and get on with our vacation!

Tomorrow: South Fork, and Creede, Colorado.



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