Monday, August 19, 2013

Salt Lake City to Durango, CO


Roger here....  The dogs were happy to see me when I returned to Salt Lake City after a two-week junket to Indianapolis.  I was literally mauled when I sat down on the couch.   I was glad to see them, too.  I was also glad to see Dianne :-).  We were both (Dianne and me) eager to leave Salt Lake City for a number of reasons, but we had already paid for two more nights at the campground.  So, Dianne paid one last visit to the Family History Library.

And, we took the dogs for a couple of visits to a huge municipal dog park located just a few miles away.  Lots of room to run and lots of dogs to play with.  (To my former English teachers... I am well aware that I started the last sentence with a conjunction and ended it with a preposition :-).

As I mentioned above, we were very ready to hit the road.  Salt Lake City is not the worst place we have been, but it is far from our favorite.  The Family History Center and the dog park were the highlights.  On the negative side:  quite a bit of air pollution, trash on the streets, odor from a nearby refinery, more than the normal amount of homeless people, not many nearby groceries or restaurants, and quite honestly, the people were less friendly than we expected.  We were a little disappointed because we expected it to be pristine (it is near the Temple), clean and welcoming.  This was our experience.  I am sure that others have had better experiences.  

Time to move on...   The two-day drive to Durango was filled with a variety of scenic views.  

We returned to the Spanish Trails RV Park in Moab, UT for our overnight stay.  We were just there a year ago and felt comfortable returning to a good place.  The picture above was taken from our campsite ---not a bad view.  

One of the advantages of revisiting a place, if only for one night, is to relive a nice experience. Instead of eating in the motor home, we opted to pay a return visit to the Moab Brewery.  Good food, good beer.

The first leg of the trip from Moab to Durango skirted the eastern edge of Canyonlands National Park.  The scenery in southern Utah, even from the highways, is difficult to top.  Check out the arch that we passed along the road on highway 191.

The vistas continued to hold our attention as we neared the Colorado border.  The light traffic made the road construction a non-issue.

We arrived at our campground, Alpen Rose RV Park, in time to see the Durango - Silverton train pass by.  (Our next post will cover our trip on this train.)

A glass of wine before dinner with this view from our lawn chairs.... Life is good.

We spent the next day (actually today) in Durango.  We have visited many amazing towns in our travels.  This is one of them.

Our first stop (unintended) was at the Jean-Pierre Bakery.  The aroma of baked goodies pulled us in.  We intended to buy a couple pastries and leave, but decided to sit down and enjoy the ambience.

I had a ham and cheese croissant.  Dianne had a raspberry pastry.  We both had a cup of really good coffee.

Dianne could not resist taking pictures of the delicious-looking concoctions.  Better for our diets to look at them rather than eat them.

We left with a loaf of sourdough bread.  Ya gotta eat bread, right?  Yum.

We spent a couple of hours wandering along the shop fronts and making a few needed purchases.  I am always intrigued by classic architecture, and Durango has plenty.

This is the historic Strater Hotel which houses the Diamond Belle Saloon --- once a famous brothel.  We observed from a distance :-).  (Dianne here:  Louis L'Amour sometimes checked into room 222 of the Strater Hotel to write his western novels.  He claimed the honky-tonk music from the bar below helped set the mood for his writing.)

A couple of other interesting structures can be seen below.

This cool town also had some interesting sculptures.  We both loved the cowboy and his dog.

Tomorrow morning we will head to the train station next to the horse statues to take a ride on the Durango-to- Silverton steam train.  It will be an all-day adventure that we hope will be the highlight of our visit to this beautiful place.

The pet picture of the day is of Bandido at the dog park at Salt Lake City.  

Wait, Bandido does not have a big black spot on his back!  Meet Rosie, Bandido's twin.  Too bad they are both neutered, we could start a new breed.


Lori Moore said...

A month ago, we did a trip through Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. We followed much of the path you followed last year ! Thank you for being our trailblazers ! We had THE best month long trip ! Moab, Montrose, Cascade, Creede, Abiquiu and then onto Santa Fe ! We would never have done this route if it weren't for your blog ! We saw the most beautiful scenery and fell in love with many small towns along the way. Our Lab loved all the rivers and lakes as we swam and hiked our way along ! Happy travels to you ! I hope our paths cross someday !

Margie and Roger said...

Looks like you have been having a fascinating summer. Durango looks like a really interesting place. Computer problems have been a cause for not reading or updating blogs. I have a lot of blog reading to do.