Friday, September 30, 2016

A Better Weather Day to Drive Through Silverton and on to Ouray!

We woke to much better weather than yesterday!  The sun was shining and it was 51 degrees.  We were on the Million Dollar Highway (one of the 10 best scenic highways in the US) by 8:30 and what a gorgeous morning for a drive up and down the mountain.  Our highest elevation today was about 11,000 feet and we could tell it with our ears and sometimes with our breathing!

Ken could not stop oohing and aahing as we looked out over the beautiful mountains and experienced peak season for the aspens.  It was gorgeous and breathtaking!  I can't begin to tell you how many photos we deleted before coming up with the best 30!

Aren't the aspens gorgeous???

Just a breathtaking sight!

Overlooking the town of Silverton!

Our 1st stop was the town of Silverton with a quaint and rustic downtown area that must have been an extremely thriving mining town (silver by the ton!)  We stopped at a local coffee shop for some tea and a homemade pumpkin spice muffin (YUM!)

This is their idea of a snowmobile!

Then it was back on the scenic highway to the town of Ouray known as the Switzerland of America, because it is nestled in the valley between all the towering mountains.  Again, they have a quaint and busy downtown area and many hiking trails.

After stopping at the Visitors Center, we took the trail to a beautiful waterfall where we met some interesting folks who found our lifestyle fascinating.

From there we went to the trail for Box Canyon to see another waterfall and gorge area that was amazing.  The power of the water there was incredible.

We walked down these metal steps when we got to the back
of the gorge and descended to the bottom of the falls!

We did take a short walk around the town of Ouray before heading back to the CG.

This is Ouray!

Somewhat resembles a western town!

Ken's wish was to find a pond where there was a reflection
of the aspens!  He got his wish!

We did have a few showers on the way back, but then the sun would appear.  I told Ken that my day would be complete if I could just see a beautiful rainbow and WOW did I get a grand surprise.  It was the most brilliant colored rainbow I have ever seen and it made an arch across the mountain range.

You can't imagine the brilliant colors in this rainbow!

It made a total arch!

We drove about 140 miles today and around every bend there was another magnificent sight to behold.

When we got to within about 7 miles of the CG we came upon another unusual phenomenon for these PA travelers.  It was about 50 degrees and it started to pour and then hail, and before we knew what happened the roadway was one icy mess.  Several of us "slid" to the side of the road to wait out the storm. Behind us there must have been an accident for police and fire trucks began showing up.  One of the officers stopped by our car to make sure we were okay. Within 15 minutes the roads were just wet and we were on our way.

We could not believe how quickly the roads were ice covered
and slick!

After dinner we sat on the porch by the office to use their WIFI so I could do this post and download pictures.  With all the downloads and only 8% of our data left this month (and we have 3 days left), we have to be very careful.  We even increased our data from 16 to 24 gbs this month and we are still running so close.  So, if you don't see a post for a few days, that is way!

Looking forward to our train ride tomorrow from Durango to Silverston, which is an all day ride back up the mountain.  We do stop in Silverton for 2 1/2 hour for lunch and shopping.  Should be a fun trip. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Day of "Catch-Up" and Walking Historic Durango!

Well, we woke up to unusual event today - RAIN and it wasn't even forecast! This is the 1st rain we have experienced since leaving home over 3 weeks ago and it basically rained all day!

Ken and I had planned to take one of the top 10 scenic drives in the USA to Ouray, CO today, about 70 miles from the CG, but due to the rain, we decided to take that drive tomorrow.  

We spent most of the morning talking to our daughters, my sister, and my mother.  At this CG we have good phone reception, so it was time to connect with family.  It was so good to talk to all of them.  My mother is feeling a little better, but still not able to leave her room.

We decided we should take the 10 mile drive to Wal-Mart for a few groceries and some additional items we needed.  After all, it was raining!  From there we went to the downtown of historic Durango.  What an interesting and quaint area.  We decided to have lunch at Fired Up Pizzeria and what a good choice it was.  They had a lunch special of an 8" pizza with a drink or salad for $9.00 and it was delicious.  We each had a Margarita Pizza with meatballs that had a hand tossed thin crust that was baked in a brick oven.  One of the best we have ever had. Had some nice conversations with several of the patrons.

We took a walk around Durango where we went in and out of several of the interesting shops. 

One of the Old Hotels!

Dreary day, but this is Main Street!

Another classic old hotel!

This is the place where we got the delicious chocolate bar!

Loved the beautiful flowers and fountain at this Crepe Shop!

Authentic French Bakery with brick oven!

Dining Room side of the French Bakery!

Of course, we had to buy a dark chocolate candy bar at the Rocky Mountain Candy Company and a chai latte at a local coffee shop (it was rainy, damp, and cool).  While there we chatted with Samantha and Katelyn, our granddaughters. So nice to talk to them. We were back to the CG by 3:30 and a steady rain was falling.

I did some work on the blog and we called and talked with our other granddaughters, Bria and Cali.  We loved hearing the voices of all four of them today and the exciting things that are happening in their lives.

After dinner, Ken did some reading while I made some jewelry, the 1st time I did that since leaving home.  He also packed our lunches for tomorrow (what a guy) so we would be ready to leave tomorrow morning for Ouray.  It was a relaxing evening.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Gorgeous Drive to Durango!

It was 37 degrees when we got up so it was a bit chilly.  We were hooked-up and on our way to Durango by 8:15.  Ken was a little anxious regarding the steep drive we would have today through Wolf Creek Pass on Hwy. 160.  Ken had thought we would go around that area and drive an additional hour but after talking to fellow campers and CG owners he decided it was going to be a good challenge for Waldo and him. 

We were so thankful we took this route because the drive was absolutely gorgeous.  We drove through the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests! Again, the aspen trees are at their peak and breathtaking.  Ken did not use the tow haul mode when going through Wolf Creek Pass but worked at using the gears of Waldo and did a great job. He felt like he learned a lot on this drive. We had to drive 9 miles down the mountain with a 7% grade.  I was impressed at how well the drive went.  I will prepare you for all the scenic photos but I was the photographer today from inside Waldo as we were driving and couldn't help myself.  I just loved the aspens and the mountainside. The colors are fabulous and much better "in person" than in a picture!  These photos are going up the mountain -

The aspens were so colorful on this drive!

What can I say????

Wow, it took some work to construct this tunnel!

At the top!!!!  10,857 feet

 Now we are starting our trip down the steep mountain -

Rather curvy!!

Some hairpin turns!

Just in case your brakes fail and you can't stop!

 We arrived at Alpine Rose CG at 1:00 and what a great location.  We are about 6 miles outside of Historic Durango and 65 miles from Ouray, which we plan to drive to tomorrow!  

This is the scene right near the entrance to the CG!

This is the scenery near the CG!

The red rocks in the background are
what we see from Waldo and our
picnic table.  Not bad, huh??//

The hosts at the CG greeted us and escorted us to our site.  They told us to get set-up and check-in at the office whenever we are ready!  Wow!!  The view from Waldo and our picnic table are magnificent.  We enjoyed eating our lunch outside because it was 74 degrees.  I did some major cleaning inside while Ken washed the windshield and the front of Waldo - we had taken on lots of bugs!

After checking in we went into Durango to the Visitors Center and to a local grocery store - we were out of lettuce and that is a major problem!  Back to Waldo to make dinner and have a relaxing evening.  Ken did some planning for our drive tomorrow while I downloaded photos and did the blog. 

I did talk to Lori Paparo from back home.  She and her husband, Eddie, are on a trip out west also and plan to be home in about a week or so.  I also talked to my sister and she and John are leaving this evening for a month long trip south. Also spoke to Noela and they are working to get their 5th wheel and truck repaired. My mother has a bad cold and some sort of virus that is keeping her confined to her room at Masonic Homes.  Hopefully she will start to feel better soon.

 It has been a busy but fantastic day.