Well it is time to start finding our way north. It seems the weather at home and in general to the north is being temperamental, so we will go as slow as we can and watch the forecasts!
Our first stop was Durango. We passed by a few years ago on our way to another adventure, but didn't take the time to explore the town. First step was to find a place to park the house for the night, and again a municipal campground was the place. This one was somewhat easy to find, but very difficult to determine if we could stay and how we would pay. I haven't told you much about how we have found our campgrounds on this trip. I have started using the Campendium App and it has not let us down. Sometimes you have to weed through the user reviews and take their comments as opinions, but overall it shows websites, cell coverage, costs and map links. In Durango one location caught our eye - the La Plata County Fairgrounds. It was difficult to reach someone who could help us as it was after hours with no signage, but we found 6 sites with power nestled along a maintenance shop fence. This is smack in the middle of town, so we were not concerned about noise etc. Don located a staff member who went out of his way t confirm the site we chose was not reserved, and assisted with the payment of $14. They could sure use a restructure of system, but otherwise all was well.
We set up and headed to the downtown area to see the sights. I can't really describe to you how beautiful this town is. Nested against the San Juan Mountains the place is at least as picturesque as our Jasper, developed a bit more commercially like Banff, and stunning form all directions. They have preserved the old buildings which only adds to the charm, and public art abounds.
Our chosen route to Salt Lake City was through Silverton, but we were advised by some that it might be quite a pull for even our truck, so we decided to take a drive n that direction and see what lay ahead prior to tugging the trailer.
Well that was a good choice, as there was no way Don was pulling the fifth on that road. It was mostly the grades on what is referred to as the million dollar highway. I think that comes from the money spent on explosives to get through those mountains. The road passes through a few highs - such as 11,018 feet at Red Mountain Pass.
We stopped for a couple of photos along the way. One you see is the Pinkerton Hot Springs. Alongside the highway, the springs have formed a temple formation and the water flows down into another stream. As you follow the water flow you can spot some pools for folks to rest in and even a couple of bathtubs thy have placed for your pleasure!
Not surprising at that elevation, there was more than enough snow to satisfy our winter starved souls, and evidence of how people entertain themselves.
And photos of Durango...
In consideration of the change in highway routes, we are now headed to an old favorite - Moab. So stay tuned.