Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Camping - Durango, CO

Enjoy photos from our trip HERE

We extended the Memorial Day long weekend by taking Friday off and decided to drive the 400 miles to the Durango, CO area to enjoy a weekend of camping, fishing, sightseeing, eating and brewery visiting. Our friends the Haugh's came along with us (Ryan, Annette and Yama) and we reserved an amazing site at the Haviland Lake Campground, just North of Durango.

Departure time was an early 4 a.m. Friday morning. On the way there we headed West on I-70 towards Grand Junction (it was snowing at the top of Vail Pass and they still had a ton of snow ont he ground. Copper Mountain could have still been open for skiing!), then South on 550 through Montrose, Ridgway, Ouray and Silverton. In Ridgeway, we stopped for a dip in the Orvis Hot Springs, natural springs that range in temperature from 98-112 degrees. Next stop was the small historic mining town of Ouray, CO. We walked the streets with the dogs and had a killer lunch at the Ouray Brewery. The Ourayle House, aka Mr. Grumpy Pants Brewery, was unfortunately closed, but their original signs entertained us anyways.

From Ouray, we headed South over Red Mountain Pass via the "Million Dollar Highway" that winds precariously through the rugged San Juan mountain peaks. The sleepy town of Silverton was the next stop and I was keeping my fingers crossed that the brewery was open. The last time I was in town, a couple winters ago with Erich and Tom to ski Silverton Mountain, the brewery was closed. This time, it was closed as well. Some guys were up on scaffolding on the facade of the building painting and said that it should be re-opened after renovations next week. D'oh! Oh well, guess I'll have to hit up this part of CO again. We grabbed coffee at a quaint shop on Main, and then continued South to our campsite.

The area around Haviland Lake Campground is beautiful with views of the Hermosa Cliffs and we got a perfect spot right by the lake and far away from all the other sites. During the weekend, we enjoyed cooking meals, hiking and fishing a bit, reading, playing washer toss and letting the dogs play with each other (that is when Yama would allow it). We traveled into town a couple times and visited four local breweries; Steamworks, Ska, Durango and Carver. We also watched the 40th Iron Horse Bicycle Classic where road bikes race a circuit through downtown while Mtn. Bikers race a course through the nearby hills then end up in town where they ride through the Steamworks Brewery! And on Saturday road bikes raced the train from Durango to Silverton (47 miles, 5700 ft. elevation gain). The winner beat the train by about 30 min!

On Monday, we packed up and traveled South, then West back home. We stopped in Pagosa Springs and had a pint at the Pagosa Brewing Co., then enjoyed a great dinner at Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista, CO (great pizza and beer!!) We arrived back home, tired and dirty, but overall relaxed from the awesome weekend at about 10 pm. We covered 845 miles from door to door.

Enjoy photos from our trip HERE
or see the slideshow below: