5/27-31 – Steve Korte’s Residence, Durango, CO
This is the day I’ve been looking forward to since New Orleans, the return of my favorite female, Joyce. Notice I left the door open for a favorite person because he actually does feed me most of the time and that’s a big deal for a dog.
We picked her up in Albuquerque on Memorial Day Friday so the only place to stay was an airport Sheraton with a nice pool and extremely dog friendly (dedicated dog floor, no extra charges for the old man and plenty of bushes to pee on).
We drove to Durango via Santa Fe, NM and Pagosa Springs, CO. Nothing much happened in SF and PS was so crowded they bagged the hot springs and took me for a really cool walk along the river.
5/31- 6/02 – Eureka Campground, Eureka, CO
I’m not a happy dog right now as they’re rounding me up from exploring Steve’s neighborhood which, by the way, is chock full of fun animals to chase including six horses in the neighbor’s “yard”. Once they tracked me down Joyce proclaimed no more free running for me as I never seem to hear my people calling when they want me to stop having fun (see the preface to this blog for the scientific reasoning for this trait). It saddened me to say good-by to Sky again, but being a dog I got over it in about two minutes as the mountain scenery shot by my open window.
I’m back in the back seat again (he lets Joyce have my space in the front while she’s here, looks like I’m not top dog anymore – he’s not so stupid after all).
We head north on CO 550 to Silver City, 60 miles from Durango but light years more “in-between” as in a population of 660 and the place gets snowed in during the winter as the only access is via three mountain passes each over 10,000’. We pass through town in about 10 seconds going 15mph and turn right on county Rd 2 for the seven mile dirt road drive to Eureka, a ghost town that was once home to the Sunnyside Extension gold mine developed in 1874. The mine operated almost continuously for 130 years. Our campground was located on the old town site and only scattered foundations and one restored water building are all that remain.
Well Joyce’s “no-off-leash” edict lasted about 10 minutes at the campground as we were the only campers in residence out of 50 possible sites and there was no traffic to freak them out. I had a blast sniffing a combination of animals and discarded camp food; this is basically nirvana for me and somehow I don’t miss Korte’s place so much.
We spent two great nights at the Eureka Campground with some Silver City town walks and a 4×4 day trip to Animas Forks thrown in to keep us active. Animas Forks is yet another abandoned mining town (ore depletion being the reason everyone left in 1926 after just 10 years of production and milling. Someone lost a ton of $ on that venture).
6/2 – 6/4 – Ouray, CO
I wasn’t aware of how religious my people were until we made the 26-mile drive from Silverton to Ouray, which crested over the 10,600’ Red Mountain Pass. Joyce did her best to keep him focused on the two-lane switchback road constantly berating him for trying to check his phone for the Orioles score while 1,000’ below the Animas River was waiting for one slip of the wheel. They both invoked the names of various Jewish and Christian deities (he even threw in a Buddha reference on a particularly tight turn). I insisted on having my window open in order to eject myself from a potentially tragic situation; I have also insisted on a double dose of doggie tranquilizers before our next mountain pass adventure (he bought a big supply in Vegas but I haven’t seen any yet).
Ouray turned out to be well worth the effort as the following photos demonstrate: