For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between MARCH 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Sep 30, 2016

Durango to Santa Fe

I was up early and getting hitched at record speed this morning. everything was just going so smoothly until...I went to hook the break to the back of the truck. I knew things were too good to be true. It was broken in half. A couple of men in the park were watching me as I tried to strip the wire and put electrical tape on it until I could get somewhere to get it fixed--they both said, "Ah, that's nothing to worry about. You'll never lose the trailer." I smiled and thought otherwise. I started to feel sick last night and woke in the middle of the night with a doozy of a sore throat and nosebleed. Ah, just what I need and this was all I needed.

I had no idea how far the nearest RV Repair place was. I was concerned--there are a lot of fairly steep grades between Durango and Santa Fe. I looked up and I thought I was seeing things. There was a white pickup truck that said MOBILE RV REPAIR big as life not 25 feet from me and the guy was getting in and was ready to leave. Susan was coming out of the bathrooms which were close and I was yelling at him to stop and then yelling at Susan to stop him. Fortunately, we caught him. He was very nice and was willing just to charge me for the bolt, but I insisted on paying him for a service call.

He came over and he put a tiny u-bolt on it--done!! I paid him and off we went. The only other thing newsworthy is that my electric heater quit. Susan tripped on it, but all wires seemed to be fine. I'll have to pick up another one--I want the same kind. The thermostat really works and I don't hear it go on and off. I tried the furnace. The A/C came on with the furnace--have to figure that one out (I'll see if I have the manual or download it from the web), but at least it made the bathroom warm. I hate both--too much noise.

Route 550 and 25 between Durango and Albuquerque have to be the most boring roads in the west. Fortunately, I had an audiobook. I was glad to get here (and unhitching went smoothly). I'm hoping I'm feeling better so we can get into Santa Fe. I know Susan is looking forward to it.

No pictures from today.

Sep 29, 2016

Telluride (To Hell You Ride)

We thought the Aspens were beautiful on the way to Silverton, yesterday, but I think we hit the peak season on our ride to Telluride. I was there in the 90s. It certainly has grown, as has Silverton, but faster. I've heard Oprah has a home somewhere in the hills. There was a festival going on, but I suspect that the number of people and cars doesn't change. It's much different than my first time there since it has become a popular skiing and festival destination. Susan walked around town and I went to see what I wanted to see--the restored power house which was the reason for our first visit years ago (Rich and Me). I found an interesting story about a young couple who decided to do the restoration. I used to look up places I thought would be interesting to visit when we left for the summers. It was a small unassuming town at that time. The first bank Butch Cassidy ever robbed is in Telluride.

I probably took hundreds of pictures on this ride, and I'm too tired to go through looking for the best...but, here are more than I should probably post. So, no need for more words.

A Beautiful Walk at the bottom of the canyon

Durango to Silverton Railroad

My, my how things change. Susan and I decided for her birthday we would take a ride on the narrow gauge railroad that goes from Durango to Silverton, yesterday. We knew, today, that it was going to rain--and so it is.

The town has grown since I was there last in 2010, but the mountains remain the same in all their beauty--this time wearing some beautiful fall outfits. We had a lovely day, topping it off with a wonderful restaurant in Durango called Chimayo.

There's nothing I can say as well as the pictures (amateur as they may be) to describe the day. The weather was beautiful. We are fortunate to be in Colorado in the fall. It IS A SHOW! The Aspens are incredible. (One of the men on the train told an interesting story about them.) This is worth reading and I bet it will shock you . I found it hard to believe that it's not a national monument. The town, itself, is very colorful and supported mostly by the tourists that take a train, bus or car. Purple, orange, pink victorian buildings. We met a lady traveling solo when we got to the restaurant for lunch. We invited her to join us. Her name was Nancy!

I always enjoyed the car ride so it was different to ride the train. Susan and I both agreed that as beautiful as the train ride was, we'd only take it up one time as it's 3-1/2 hours each way, and less than an hour via car or bus.

I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
Ready to board--coffee in hand

Along the way...

Hopefully not a train that didn't make it.

The train stopped at various places to pick up hikers. I would say we picked up 40-50 at one point.

I'm sure my hand or Susan's hand is in someone elses pictures.

A couple of the town...

Sep 26, 2016

Beautiful Day

I can't describe how perfect the weather is. Susan is on her Jeep ride. This morning, we walked around the town--some beautiful shops, and some touristy shops. At times like these I wish I was a millionaire. She bought a darling little one-bud vase--I wish I could show it to you, but it's packed so well to travel, I hate to undo it. I bought a wonderful candle called Frazier Fir. The aroma is incredible. I also remembered that there was a little building somewhere off the main street that had thousands (and I mean thousands) of books. I remember spending hours in there when here with Rich. You can barely get through the aisles, book stacked from floor to ceiling, but the man who owns it knew where every book was. It fascinated me. He wasn't there, today, but the man who was working said, "It's true. He can put his hands on any book anyone asks for. I'm pretty good, but not nearly as good as he is.) I once had the DVD series, "On the Road with Charles Karalt", and I lent it to someone and never got it back. I was delighted to find it for $5 so I'll watch it when I'm traveling alone, again.

I had an awful nightmare last night. When Rich traveled, he would call me every night without fail. I dreamt that he was traveling and he didn't call for a week and I was panicked and going to everyone I knew to tell them that something must have happened to him and they were telling me that I was over-reacting. I kept trying to find someone who would listen. I called the police and his brothers and friends. I finally called my sons, and they said the same thing. Susan woke me--thank goodness. I have this dream in different forms all the time...I can't finish something, I can't find something, I'm trying to do something and things keep stopping me.

Susan said she would order the train tickets, but I was worried that there wouldn't be any seats left. I decided once she was at the place to take the Jeep ride that I would order them so I called to tell her. When I got to the train station and ticket office, the woman said, I don't think I have any for Wednesday. I wasn't sure if Susan had made her reservations to go horseback riding on Tuesday, the only thing she had time to say was that she had made them. That left me in a predicament because we planned to take a ride to Telluride on Thursday because it's supposed to rain. The lady at the counter confirmed that it was definitely going to rain on Thursday. As I was standing there trying to figure out what to do, a cancellation came in. So, we got the last tickets. Thank goodness or we would have missed the train ride.

This is Susan in front of the train station before she left.
We were goofing off a little.

When Susan returned, she said she had a good time, but got a little nervous because they had car trouble before they reached the very top of the mountain. It crossed her mind that maybe she should have taken my taser when I offered it--what if he made it stall on purpose, but as it turned out he was very nice. She said the colors were beautiful. We think the train ride up to Silverton will have an even greater show of leaf change. Some people have said it's the peak week up there.

Here are some of the pictures she took. Not many because the driver said they would stop to take pictures on the way back, but she told him not to stop the Jeep so it wouldn't stall.

Susan who weighs 105 lbs soaking wet has a huge appetite. I mean three squares a day, but she eats all the right things. When I picked her up there was one little shop she wanted to revisit, and then we looked for restaurants (I don't have a very big appetite when I'm traveling).

We chose a lovely place called Cypress. We ate out on the balcony and it was very pleasant.

Back at the RV Park watching the debate.
I'm wearing my George Bush sweatshirt that says, "Do you miss me yet?"

Rearranging and Changing Plans

I had a very rough day with my back, yesterday. Usually, I'm at my worst two days after overdoing for some reason. The odd thing is that I no longer have lower back pain or SI joint pain (Yeah!), but upper back pain caused by the lower back surgery--grrrrr. It's not as debilitating as the SI / back joint, but it does spoil a walk along Main Street so I'm glad to be feeling better, today.

Susan just came back in saying how friendly everyone is in the west. She is a ball of energy. She has taken very good care of herself and in return has the good health to do the things she likes to do. My generation wasn't into the exercise, running, etc., and we were told to finish our meat and potatoes when we were growing up. She's very careful with her diet and maintains her weight without being hungry. She has a great appetite and I'm amazed at the amount of food she can eat. It's her medical background and her knowledge of nutrition that allows her the best of two worlds.

I did have to explain to her that I can't (and didn't intend to) keep up with her, but I want her to have a good time. So, I decided since there is so much to do in this area I'd cancel Taos in as much as we would only have one full day there. Doing this allowed me to get rest when I need to while allowing her to do the stuff I'd love to do, but can no longer do. Here is our schedule: Today Susan is going on a half day ATV ride which will take her up to 12,000 feet so she'll be able to see the beautiful changing leaves and I'll take another walk downtown or may a ride somewhere. Tomorrow, she'll go on a horseback ride while I explore in the truck. Wednesday we are going on the Silverton Durango Train up to Silverton. Thursday, we are taking a ride over to Telluride. The 30th we leave for Santa Fe. I think I'm going to stay off the interstate and take a leisurely ride down through the middle of New Mexico. I'm a little concerned about the traffic we will hit in Albuquerque; the news doesn't paint a very good picture.

The weather couldn't be any better. I call it sweatshirt weather. I'm in my glory. We can see snow on the mountains further north of us--I imagine it's up by Ouray, but I'm not sure.

All and all we are having a good time--would be perfect without pain, but it is what it is. It's still great to have Susan here. The bathrooms, cable, and wifi at this park are great, though it's not the kind of park I enjoy the most. We are close together, but we spend little time here. I was aghast at the prices of the laundry. $2.75 for one washer and $2.75 for one dryer and they are not the big ones. I'm glad I decided to do laundry in Albuquerque. I didn't take many pictures, but here are a few of Susan enjoying Durango. I'm going to give her my camera to take with her, today. I'm glad she's having a good birthday week. She loves carrot cake, but rarely eats sweets--I think I'll try to find one for tomorrow.

I would like Durango, Gramma.