Today is Laura Walters' birthday.
I picked up Frank, Lue, and Danny at 1:30 am and we went to the airport. We flew from Pittsburgh to Chicago to Albuquerque. From Albuquerque, where we rented a car (Ford Escape), we drove through a lot of New Mexico into Southwestern Colorado to our resort in Pagosa Springs. Our place is at Wyndham Pagosa and it is nice. We have a king size bedroom and a murphy bed in the living room which works out well.
We went over to Treasure Falls. It was a long climb to the top. Next, we drove up to the top of Wolf Creek Pass where the summit has an elevation of about 11,000 feet. There is a marker denoting the continental divide. Water on one side ends up in the Colorado River and eventually the Gulf of California. Water on the other side of the bronze marker ends up in the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico. "Wolf Creek Pass" is a song named after this mountain. Next, we went into the town of Pagosa Springs and ate at Mountain Pizza, a place where you build your own pizza on a computer screen. After we ate, we went along the river walk. There many people were tubing and swimming in the San Juan River while many more were bathing in one of the many bath houses in the mineral waters that come up from the deepest geothermal hot springs in the world. This "Mother Spring" feeds the pools hosted by three local hot spring soaking locations within town. The water from the "Mother" Spring is approximately 144°F.
If you never knew that God, the Creator, loves variety and beauty and that He put in us an appreciation for his beauty and variety then you never rode the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. We got up early and drove the one hour to Durango and boarded the train by 7:30 and departed shortly after 8 am. From there, we made the 4 hour journey north to Silverton. We enjoyed the trip. We were in a comfortable car and had a hostess guide (Maria) who took good care of us. I had high expectations for the scenery but the views exceeded all expectations. It was just astounding! We got to Silverton around noon where we had an hour and a half layover. That gave us time to eat lunch and a few minutes to look around the town. The streets were dirt and horses and stagecoaches traveled up and down them. It was 64 degrees when we left Silverton and in the 80s back in Durango.
We had a day of catching up. Lue and Danny played miniature golf.
We drove about an hour north of Pagosa Springs to a trailhead that led to Piedra River Falls. It was great scenery on the way and the three-quarter mile hike to the falls was well worth it.
Today we took an Uber over to the cruise ship,The Explorer of the Seas. We boarded very quickly and had the entire day on board before departing at 4 pm. Our room is nice, better than we expected, We left Pagosa Springs at 8 am and returned at 9 pm. We traveled up the Million Dollar highway north of Silverton to Ouray. Many call it white knuckle driving because on one side of the road is a several hundred feet drop-off with no guard rails. It wasn't that nerve racking for me (because I drove on the centerline as much as I could). It really was a scary drive that went on for miles and miles.
Ouray was an amazing town, surrounded by mountains. While there, we went to the Box Canyon Falls, a 285 foot waterfalls, with quartzite walls that extend almost one hundred feet past the falls.
Next, we drove another hour to Telluride. High above the town is the Mountain Village. It looked like where all the country's rich people go for a getaway to the mountains. Tom Cruise, Oprah, Kevin Costner, Tim Allen, and Roseanne Barr are some of the celebrities that live there or have in the past. We rode the Gondola that goes from Telluride up to the Mountain Village. What a view we had while on the Gondola.
the ship is very nice. For the first several hours after sailing, we could see Mount Rainier and then after awhile we started seeing Mount Baker.
This was our last day in Pagosa Springs. In the afternoon, I took Danny down to the arcade for about an hour. In the evening, he and Lue played miniature golf while Frank and I sat down by the river and took one last look at the hotsprings' crowd.
This was a long day of traveling. We left Pagosa Springs around 7:30 am and drove to Albuquerque. Our plane left there are 4:00 MT and we flew to Baltimore and then caught a plane to Pittsburgh. I got home around 3:30 am. Our trip was a good one. We saw and did everything we planned and more.
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