Destination: Durango, CO
Cortez, Colorado to Durango, Colorado via US 160 to United Campground
Four miles north of the town center of Durango.
We were looking forward to two nights of staying in one place and enjoying the views from this campground. We drove from Cortez, Colorado (Mesa Verde National Park is the primary reason for being in this area) a relatively short trip (something between an hour and 90 minutes) through the small towns of Mancos and Hesperus. We got to Durango and all we wanted to do was get some supplies and hang out at the campground the first night.
The City Market is a supermarket and there are two locations along the Main Avenue – both a bit challenging for an RV – we chose the 32nd Street store and parked on 2nd Avenue behind the store and walked. They had a great selection of food and we always like visiting a different supermarket. A few miles up the road is the campground.
The United Campground has a stream that runs through property as well as the Durango and Silverton Railway which had at the time of our camping experience three northbound and three southbound trains per day. It was quite a treat to see the old steam train and the old passenger carriages and people waved to the campers from inside the train.
They have a nice pool here that was heated and a great store as well. We enjoyed the people too. On our second day, we decided to catch the trolley and take our bikes into the town. It holds two bicycles and is easy to load them. The trolleys are frequent and arrive and depart just near the entrance to the campground.
We got off in the downtown and rode around. It is a fairly compact town so you almost cannot get lost. We stopped at the railway station which is the terminus of the Durango and Silverton Railway. It is a fascinating place for anyone even remotely interested in rail and we found the Roundhouse Museum attached to the facility very interesting and filled with all sorts of unusual and unrelated objects, artifacts and collections.
The town has clearly been a tourist destination and has long since gentrified from its wild west days. Unlike some of the towns on our road, this one had no empty shops, boarded up restaurants or even dust in the streets. You can easily spend some time walking around or riding around as we did. In fact, Durango is a great base for exploring the whole region as there are small towns that are well worth a visit nearby.
The downtown is beautiful and historic. We continued with our bicycles to explore and make our way back toward the campground and stopped for a bite to eat at Serious Texas Bar-B-Que which is well outside the downtown near 37th Street. Its a great little local place that has absolutely great bar-b-que and a basic atmosphere. Loved it and the food!
Most people would take the railway to Silverton and back. We were still not sure of the altitude and the scenery on the train looks spectacular, however, for two people who are not fond of huge drop off cliffs we opted to save the money from the train ride and spend more time with our dogs at the campground watching it go by instead.
We were also opting not to do anything too wild like white water rafting and at this point even horse back riding. All great fun things you can do in the area so plan on some time and some adventure.
We met a woman at the pool who told us all about Caprock Canyon in Texas as a place to camp amongst the buffalo. Having camped at Assateague in Maryland where horses roam wild we thought this might be really a great thing to do so we headed in that direction but before we got anywhere near it we’d have to pass through New Mexico and I had to return to the Four Corners after 44 years. So that’s the direction we headed next!