Our stay in Durango ended this morning. Junction Creek campground is a beautiful, quiet place at 6,800 feet in the heart of a pine forest. Our camp hosts, O. G. and Griz (O. G. says that’s how she behaves if he’s slow with the morning coffee) made our stay even more pleasant. Griz, if you’re reading this, Kat and Jackson are on record as appreciating your work, especially when you two rode out unarmed to meet that posse of AK-47 toting target shooters just below us, and suppressed their fire.
Durango is special. Years ago I sent half a dozen resumes to the CPA firms around here, begging for a gig doing anything, but they get that all the time, and I heard nothing. Sure, it’s touristy, but any place this lovely will draw visitors in droves. Okay, there are too many Texans here in the summer, but as a barkeep noted “I love Texans. They come in here, have too much beer, and accuse me of hating them. I just smile and say: No, I love Texans. You come, you spend a lot of money, and you go. My business couldn’t survive without tourists, and most of them are from Texas. You’re always welcome here, pardner. Gig ‘em, Hook ‘em, or Guns Up, whichever you prefer!”
Durango Diner is a fun old place on Main Street where Kat took The Cure with its rocket fuel topping (green chile sauce). I can never turn down fish and chips nor chicken fried steak; I enjoyed the latter and had enough left over to flavor Pink’s chow twice.
Durango has a paved seven mile run/hike/bike path along the lovely and musical Animas River. The Colorado Trail, opened 25 years ago, begins in Durango and ends in Denver. Kat hiked a portion of it and was amazed at how many mountain bikers and runners work that trail. There is Santa Rita Park on the river, with everything you could want from any city’s green feature.
The Durango Herald has a circulation of 7,700 but is far more literate than the Shreveport Times (a senior editor there once told me Gannett papers strive to write at the 7th grade level). Sunday’s Herald carried stories on the participation of unfunded Democrats in the epic defeat of Eric Cantor, plus a story about a class of dinosaurs who lived millions of years beyond the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (maybe they had medical insurance).
Last but not least, there is a cultural scene here rivaling that of much larger cities. On July 16, as part of Durango’s Music in the Mountains series (July 13 – August 3), there will be a performance of Schubert’s Quintet in A, also known as “Trout”, along with some Beethoven and Darius Milhaud. The series consists of over 20 concerts – mostly far from free – but any town where enough people appreciate Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven, and yes, Phillip Glass — is a place I would love to live.
If you dream of moving to the mountains, near Durango just might be the perfect place.