Positive Energy Adventure – Colorado/New Mexico 8/2011 – Day 4

If you are ever in Durango, go to the Durango Diner for breakfast…the portions are huge and the food is great!  We had eggs, hash browns, and split blueberry pancakes…delicious!  We needed energy for hiking Smelter Mountain, which is located right in Durango.  It’s not a long hike, but it is rather steep…

You’re rewarded with a nice view of Durango!

We showered afterwards and then did some girly things…Kathy had a hair appointment, so I got my nails done and then we looked through shops!

We enjoyed the Balcony Bar and Grill so much, we went back for $2.50 Fish Tacos, good live music, and more strong drinks!

Positive Energy Adventure – Colorado/New Mexico 8/2011 – Day 3

This morning I made us an omelet, 12-grain toast, strawberries, blueberries and banana for breakfast.  We drove 1 1/2 hrs. to the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  I was driving and after we paid the $15 entrance fee, there was another somewhat “scary” mountain road to traverse before arriving at the top where the Park was located.

We waited in line for about 30 minutes for tickets to the Cliff Palace and then went to the Museum for a 20 minute video about the Park.  We then toured Spruce Tree House.  This is the walk down to it…

After eating our picnic lunch, we were ready for the 1:30pm tour of Cliff Palace.  It almost looks like a miniature reproduction…

The tour guide was very friendly and made the tour interesting…

We had to climb some ladders…

We got back to Durango at 4pm…explored the town some…ran into Oprah…(not really)…

This is a Hummingbird Moth…at first I thought it was a Hummingbird!

We had dinner at Francisco’s, which was very good.  Next stop was the Balcony Bar & Grill, where there was live music and very strong drinks!  We had a long island, which we nicknamed “After Mesa..Got Verde Wasta”.    This is the duo…it looks like she’s naked, but she’s not!

It was another great day!!

Positive Energy Adventure – Colorado/New Mexico 8-2011 – Day 1

My friend Kathy, from a hiking club through Meetup.com, picked me up from the Albuquerque airport.  She had been in New Mexico for a couple of weeks with another friend who left the day before I arrived.  She usually comes to Santa Fe every year.  She’s a school teacher and this is her escape from reality.  We were spending four nights in Durango, Colorado, five nights in Santa Fe, and the last evening in Albuquerque, where we would fly home to Ohio from.  We set off for the 4 1/2 hr. drive to Durango and stopped at the Aztec Ruins National Monument.  The Indians prefer that we refer to them as “ancestral grounds” rather than ruins.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates back to the 11th century!

 

This shaft of light coming through the ceiling was cool!  A tourist was throwing sand into the path of it, as you can see in the second photo below…

 

After leaving there, we drove on to Durango.  The drive was nice…the skies were blue and the rock formations varied in colors of pink, salmon, beige and brown.  We stopped at the grocery and then arrived at our VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) in the Cascade Village Resort, located 30 minutes north of Durango.  We got a great deal…$55 per night!  I made us a drink with Vodka and Mango Martini mix…so we named it the “Durango Mango…I want to Tango” martini.  While sitting on the patio soaking up the clean pine sky, we met some neighbors and spent an hour or two talking.  Two lovely couples – Craig, Steve, Sandy and Kay.  They gave us a tour of their beautiful condos.

It was a great start to our trip!

I’ve been to Colorado and New Mexico, snow-skiing, but never in the summer and not to these areas…so I was looking forward to the trip!