We have spent the last 5 days in the Southwest corner of Colorado. We camped in the city of Durango right next to the Durango Silverton Railway. The train would come right in front of us every morning and evening.
We spent our first day in Durango running errands and shopping since we had just come from Monument Valley which had no viable shopping options. Trip Advisor rates Michel's Corner Crepes the number 1 place to eat in Durango, so we stopped by to have lunch. Michel is an award winning chef from Belgium who while touring the US fell in love with Durango and retired there. He was bored in retirement so he opened this small food cart on one of the main corners in town. We had a very tasty savory crepe with turkey, avocado, tomato and cheese. We washed this down with hot spiced cider that was so good I bought one to take home to have with breakfast the next day. Michel was just closing as we finished and to our surprise he delivered a of banana-raspberry sweet crepe drizzled with chocolate, and whipped cream on the side. I tried to pay him but he would not have any of it. Needless to say we went back another time before we left town.
The next day we toured nearby Mesa Verde National Park. We were a little disappointed in that a few of the major cliff dwellings were closed and would not open till Memorial Day. We did however get to tour Spruce Tree House and get views of the largest dwelling, Cliff Palace. The scenery was outstanding as there had been snow in the mountains the night before. On our way home, we passed a local trading post with some unusual yard art.
The main attraction in Durango is the narrow gauge train ride to Silverton Colorado. The 50 mile trip starts at 6500 feet and climbs through the Animas River Canyon to Silverton at 9000 feet. The trip takes 3 1/2 hours each way with a two hour layover in Silverton. It was very exciting to pass by the RV on the way up and back. We traveled in a car that was built in 1885 and was the oldest one on the train. It only seated 16 people. It was the last car on the train so we had the whole back platform to enjoy the view. We also had our own car host , Kevin, who was fantastic at serving us hot or cold beverages and snacks. He also was our guide and told us the history of the train and also let us know the best places to take pictures. Silverton was surrounded by snowcapped peaks and has a population of around 300 full time residents. It has only one paved street. We saw Big Horned Sheep on the steep cliffs and Elk in the alpine meadows. Despite the cool temperatures and even a few snow flurries we had a great time. As you can see from the pictures below it is, a very spectacular trip.
We were going to spend a week in Durango but it kept getting rainier and colder so we are leaving two days early and heading for Moab, Utah and better weather.