We couldn’t get out of Limon, Colorado fast enough. I guess that dodgy motel just off the highway that we high-tailed out of the night before has really that place a negative vibe for me. To be honest, the hotel we ended up staying in (our fav cheapy – Super 8 ) wasn’t so bad. It did suck that the included breakfast was white toast and jelly (jam for the Aussies playing at home!) full of high fructose corn syrup and the lady had told us that the kids needed to be extra quiet in the room because her boss as sleeping in the room below. Humph!
We started heading towards Denver in the morning, knowing that we didn’t have time to stop if we wanted to enjoy the beauty of the Million Dollar Highway (Route 55o from Silverton to Colorado) and make it to Durango with enough time to check the place out a little. But true to our form we managed to miss both Denver and the Million Dollar Highway. We kinda missed the ‘turn right’ of the TomTom lady and ended up en route to Colorado Springs. A big mistake. Once again, I’m probably not giving credit to a town that I’m sure has beauty to be revealed to the staying traveller, but for the traveller trying to get somewhere they know is picturesque and breath-taking (or so we had been told), Colorado Springs was a massive disappointment. We did check out the Garden of the Gods with its impressive rock formations and managed to have a conversation with an elderly American woman about Uluru and its size, grandeur beauty … we felt bad telling her we hadn’t seen it yet. Funniest thing was when she offered to take a photograph of us all in front of a particularly cool looking rock and she managed to take three photos of her own face, two of her thumb and then one of us with part of her thumb in it, lol! We were giggling like crazy when we saw those on the way out of Colorado Springs. iPhones sure can be tricky cameras for the novice!
Whilst we did ultimately miss Route 550, we did get to go up through the Rocky Mountains past Wolf Creek (yes – that’s the real name of it!) where snow was to be found quite close to the highway. This was very exciting for our youngest who had been pointing out all of the snow-capped mountains as we drove and begging us to go up there and play in it. And play in it we did. It was heaps of fun playing in snow whilst wearing sandles and a a skirt – well, un until Lee told me there were black bears in the woods that is!
We stopped to refuel at a tiny town I didn’t get the name of, and saw the cutest diner. Unfortunately it was closed and the one the pointed us to managed to serve us bean burritos with green chile that contained pork – bleurgh! We’re vegos so had to send it back and pay for a second dish w/o the meat. It was essentially refried beans wrapped in a flour tortilla topped with America’s famous grated tri-coloured cheese … it was awful! I did have a very nice raspberry iced tea though – gee they love iced tea here, they even sell sweet tea at McDonalds which is essentially cold black tea that has equal parts sugar and equal parts water!
Entering Durango was a genuine relief for us. It had been a very long day of driving on windy and steep roads. Durango is the quaint little town sandwiched between a bunch of min-mountains of rock and not many trees. It reminds me of Berry on the South Coast on NSW. Very touristy but not cheesy and unlikeable. We got ourselves anther cheap motel and headed out for some beer and pizza. We ended up with subway again … just for convenience. We certainly weren’t getting taste for our money, haha – but the girl serving was really sweet and the boys enjoyed getting their ‘fountain drinks’ (this is what they call poost-mix dispensers in the US).
We planned the next day to go white-water rafting, do the drive to Silverton, check out Durango a little and then head to Page, AZ via Mesa Verde. Crazy, huh? Yup … Surprisingly when we got into out room it started pouring down – lightning painted the sky and the rain drops were as big as a quarter. It was really very nice. White water rafting the next day? Maybe not.