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Go West Young Man (Part Durango)

DSC00976Heading from Rifle, to get to Durango, you get to pass through some of the most beautiful places in the US. The above photo was taken somewhere in between Ridgeway and Ouray. Ouray is nick-named “The Switzerland of America.” Here’s why:

DSC00980DSC00981When I lived in Durango we used to drive over the passes to Ouray to get ice cream and hike. There’s a great trail not too far off of main street, and even more over Red Mountain Pass:

DSC00990IMG_0927After Red Mountain, you drive down into Silverton, and then head over Molas and Coal Bank Passes to Durango.  I love Durango. If we could both find work, we’d move there in a heartbeat. It’s such a fun town–buzzing with life and loaded with everything a trail junkie food lover could want. We stayed downtown, at the General Palmer–built in 1898, and rumored to have had guests like Johnny Depp recently. I loved the character of this place (even if the elevator was the smallest, oldest, craziest one I’ve been on). Here’s a picture of our room, and the view from the veranda outside:

IMG_0931IMG_0929It kept making me think of when I was a kid and daydreamed about living in the Victorian era. I felt as if I’d stepped back in time for a bit (minus the TV in the room). After freshening up a bit, we met my brother for dinner at Chimayo. Loved the menu at this place:

IMG_0937Roasted Veggie stone fired pizza? Yes Please. Aaron and Evan both tried different pizzas and loved them. I also really loved the house salad. The croutons were home-made and so yummy! Will definitely try to re-create them soon and post here. I know it’s such a simple thing, but I never put croutons on salads, and home made ones just add something to a salad!

After dinner, we walked 3rd street and drooled over houses. If I lived in Durango, I’d want to live on 3rd. And then we came back down Main to make stops at Maria’s bookshop (my favorite bookstore ever)  and Jean Pierre’s for dessert:

IMG_0949IMG_0948It was heavenly. Creme Brulee with fresh berries. Jean Pierre’s used to be just a bakery with heavenly croissants. Now, they have a full restaurant and wine bar. Will have to check them out for dinner next time.  But since Jean Pierre’s is across the street from the General Palmer, we decided to call it a night. After all, we had some hiking planned early the next morning…..

(To be continued…)

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