August 2, 2020 Durango, CO (Day 5)

We had our usual Sunday breakfast and today Bob made omelets. Afterwards, Auggie got a trim outside. He stands so still and is so good because he knows he gets rewarded when he’s done.

We left at 11:00 to visit historic downtown Durango. We parked and walked along Main Ave. We walked up one side of the street and down the other for 6 or 7 blocks. To add additional seating outside, many of the restaurants built covered platforms or added garden seating due to COVID to entice customers.

There are some very old, historic buildings along Main Ave.

One that is very noticeable and very nicely restored is the Strater Hotel.

We went inside the hotel to look around.

Attached to the hotel is the Diamond Belle Saloon where people were having lunch and enjoying a beverage.

Another old building was the Irish Embassy Pub. Unfortunately, it was not open or we would have gone in to check it out.

Farther down the street, was the Olde Tymer’s Cafe, but we just looked in the windows there.

The Carver Brewing Company had this dinosaur sitting out front to remind you that social distancing and masks were required. It definitely got our attention. They had a nice outdoor beer garden in the back.

Ernie’s Cafe was situated on the corner and in their parking lot they created some great seating areas and had 3 food trucks available for the customers. He had a lot of cool antique signs and cars placed around the building as well.

The El Rancho Tavern caught our eye with this big mural on the side of the building. In 1915, here on this corner, 20 year old native, Jack Dempsey, knocked down Andy Malloy in a ten round fight winning $50 and going on to become World Heavyweight Champion in 1919.

We walked into Gardenswartz because the sign outside got our attention.

It was a sporting goods store with many animal mounts on the wall. There were some real trophies in there. Even I, an animal rights advocate, could appreciate being able to see these animals up close–elk, mule deer, antelope, sheep, caribou, moose, and bison.

Durango had a small mall area of stores and out front was this cool cowboy statue with his dog.

A few of the old buildings still had their clocks on the corners of the buildings…and they were still operating. This one was on the General Palmer Hotel, another historic hotel in town.

We walked all the way to the Durango Railroad Station at the end of Main Ave.

The train was sitting in the station. This is the same train that usually runs from Durango to Silverton, but because of COVID and the shortened trip from Rockwood to Cascade Canyon (which we took the other day), it is not running now.

We spent about 2 hours walking down Main Ave. and doing some window shopping. We left there and drove to Albertson’s grocery store for 2 last minute items. (I miss my Albertson’s store back home.) From there, we stopped at the city park where there was riverboat access for rafters. We saw some rafters coming down the river and thought we could see them arrive at the pickup point.

When we got to the park, a rafting company was picking up their rafters and rafts, but we never saw anyone actually coming down the river at that location.

We got back to the campground around 1:00 and proceeded to make plans for our trip home after our stay in Pueblo. It took us most of the rest of the afternoon while watching the crew of the Dragon capsule return from being at the space station for the last 64 days. It was the first splashdown of American astronauts in an American vehicle since the shuttle. It was a monumental moment! While we worked on our plans, it thundered, the wind blew, and rained most of the afternoon. We have been lucky to get our activities out of the way before the afternoon rains arrived most days. The sun finally came out around 5:00 and we had dinner. We took our walk after the rains passed and watched the sunset.

Tomorrow we move on to Alamosa, CO. We’re hoping to hook up with Bob’s sister, Mary, and her friend, John, in Alamosa while we’re there for 2 days. We have had a great time in Durango!

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