Saturday, September 15, 2012

Arrival in Silverton and a day trip to Ouray

I'm finally continuing on with our big summer trip.  I'm motivated now because we have completed several major projects in our house that I want to share.  But the trip must be documented before I move on or I fear it will never get finished!
After a nerve-wracking trip to Wally world in Durango, we drove on over to Silverton for the rest of our trip.  To be honest, when we arrived to Silverton on our train ride I was nervous that we wouldn't have much to do in that teeny tiny town.  But the drive there was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever experienced and I was wrong about not having anything to do.

We didn't have much planned that day except for travel, unpacking, and exploring the town.  (This is when I wish I had more pictures of the house!)  Here is one from the website but it definitely doesn't do it justice.  

As we were unpacking, a biker from on top of the mountain behind our house yelled down "WOLF!" and then took off.  James quickly had the kids get inside and I had to stand guard.  What in the world had we gotten ourselves into?!  After speaking to some locals later that evening, we learned it was only Wolfie, the town dog. 
Wolfie chases bears and coyotes away in exchange for food and comfort from the locals.  I actually felt safer knowing that he was around once we learned more about him.

With a view like this, I would play at this playground all day!The kids saw this sluice machine on train day and couldn't wait to try it out.  They "found" all kinds of minerals and gems to collect and sort.  It was the best 14 dollars spent that day.

 We were glad to have our fleeces and hats ready for the afternoon storms that rolled in every evening.

The next morning the early birds (that would be Justin and I), sorted and classified all of the treasures found the night before.  I enjoyed it as much as he did.  
After the sleepy heads woke up we packed up our gear for our first hiking trip to Ouray.  We had our sights set on a easy hike up to a waterfall.  It so reminded me of our Yosemite trip.  It's just amazing that you can see such beauty a short walk up from your car!

 And here is where the day turned for me.  Do you see that drop off to the right of my husband?  Do you see that rock right about their heads?  Do you see how that gravely trail slopes down?!  My heart is beating faster right now just looking at this picture.  I was scared to death and this was not the only moment on this trip I felt this way.  Let's just leave it at that for now.

The rest of the day was filled with more waterfalls, a rain storm that kept us waiting to swim in the hot springs pool and picking up hitchhikers and taking them back to Silverton.  We've never picked up hitchhikers before but it was such a blessing for us to help them and to have a serious talk about the dangers of drugs (she was clearly using) with our kids.  Quite a day.
And what a surprise it was to come home to hail/snow all over our deck.  The boys were picking up the jeep for the next day so Roo got it all to herself for a while.  She was in heaven!
Yes, that is the gorgeous view right from our deck.

Wanna see how Texans make snowballs?  (-:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Colorado Trip 2012 Part 2-Durango to Silverton Train Ride

On our second full day of our trip, we boarded this beauty for a scenic trip to Silverton, Colorado.
I love that this picture gives you another chance to see the views all around Durango.

When we arrived in Silverton, we made a beeline to a little restaurant called Avalanche (thanks to Yelp!).  We explored the town and got excited for the next 7 days that we would be spending there.  We spent most of the time looking for the grocery store and quickly decided that we would be doing most of our shopping in Durango and bringing it with us!  The store was so tiny and expensive.  But I was glad to know that we had options just in case we forgot something.
I have to be honest, the train ride was long and bumpy.   And because it started so early in the morning, a few of us may have been a little grumpy.   Also, our views were somewhat limited in the covered cars on the way to Silverton, so we moved out to the open gondolas on the way back to Durango.  It made the other 3 1/2 hours go a bit faster, I think.
We could actually stick our heads out and see the bridges we were going over.

And we really got to experience the cliffs that we were hugging.  This my friends, is a straight shot all the way down.
Ah, this is more like it.  Flat on the ground and a gorgeous river roaring right beside us.  

We ended the day with a good dinner with even better family conversations.  I had the opportunity to check my email and find out that J-man had officially been assigned a drum lesson time.  Roo quickly expressed that she wanted to do piano lessons instead of soccer and "Musical Fall" was born!  With hubby's crazy shift schedule, we made it very clear to the kids that for now only one child could be in a sport.  It was Roo's turn.  But now, since she is in lessons as well, we can enjoy our weekends together and not feel pressured going here and there for games.  I know it won't be forever but we are looking forward to spending more time together as a family this Fall.  And to learning and playing new instruments in our new music room.  More of that to come!  I've been busy painting.....  

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