I have always wondered about the families that post or talk about their travels and it always sounds as if life is GLOWING, PERFECT and AMAZING. With the exception of the Bumfuzzles and my friend Kathy, who pretty much keep it real.
Somewhere on the road between Alienville and Pagosa the teen in my teenagers came out. I have no clue who started what, but the gist is that Cody was teasing Mia, as he is known to do, and she exploded. Just simply had had enough, reached around and smacked him in the face. He then unbuckled, turned around and said “If you hit someone then you should expect to get hit in return” then he whacked her hard on the head. Tears, drama. Drama, tears. Lots of “OMG, did you just do that Mr. NineteenYearOld?” Yes. Yes he did. All calmed down and aside from some muffled sniffles things got quiet really fast.
Seriously, write about the real deal folks. Families fight and by God they do it in style on the road.
When we last left our little red truck full of travelers they were in Pagosa. After the second night the kids all voted to head on to Durango. We were sort of ambivalent about Durango last time, but decided to give it another go. I am not sure what it was last time that turned us off, because it is one of myself and Billy’s favorite towns. Maybe it was how big it had grown from what we remember. Or the filthy hotel room we had to sleep in. IDK but we spent one night there and made a beeline back to Pagosa in 2009.
We tried to secure a campsite at Lake Havilland and that was not happening. Full to the max, as were all the other campgrounds in the area. We ended up finding the last spot at a KOA just outside of town.
I don’t really like commercial campgrounds and prefer being out in the forest, but it was better than paying a fortune for a hotel (peak season) so we took that lone spot.
The KOA in Durango is awesome. Clean as a whistle, soft pine shavings to pitch the tent on and a vegetable garden that they harvest and GIVE away bags of fresh veggies.
Fresh, delicious and FREE! Yum!
They also had a pool, mini golf area and a place to mine for gems. You buy a little bucket of dirt and then rinse it out in a trough to uncover all the little gems. I think the buckets are between $7-14 dollars and Mia had fun identifying all the treasures.
I figured there would be only a few things, but there were actually several dozen rocks and minerals to uncover and identify in the bucket.
We took a drive up to Lake Havilland and hiked the area as well. Waterfalls, streams, ferns, and absolutely no one on the trails. It was so perfect.
Witness my daughter jumping across the top of the waterfall while I remained poised with the camera allowing her to explore without freaking out. Score one for mom.
The kids were HOT and TIRED and OMG CAN WE STOP HIKING so we loaded into the car and made the drive to Silverton.
Over a mountain pass.
Have I ever mentioned my fear of heights on here?
Yep, I literally panic. Not for me, but for anyone I am around. I can sit next to sheer cliffs, but get my kids near them and I get just this side of hysterical.*
The drive there is along a sheer cliff……almost all the way there. I did so good, until we got to the switchbacks and I had to pull over to chill out and take some deep breaths before driving on. Holy Mother of Our Lord, you people who live there are some kind of crazy. How can you drive those roads in the ice and snow? Do you have a death wish? Do you have mega life insurance policies?
I belong at sea level from here to eternity.
We made it to Silverton without careening off a mountain and wandered around town looking at all the various shops. We had some of the best ice cream I have ever eaten at a shop called Rocky Mountain Funnel Cakes. Good God it was amazing. Do yourself a favor and go there if you are ever in that town.
We headed back down the mountain just before dark. There was no way in Hell (I have now mentioned Mary, God and Hell in one post) I was driving down in the dark, so we hustled to the car after the ice cream. I think Silverton would be worth a couple nights stay next time.
Mia made pancakes on the fire that night and we roasted marsmallows for the 3rd night in a row**.
Just like rum, there are never enough marshmallows.
* my kids video taped one of my GET AWAY FROM THE CLIFF freak outs in Utah and no, you will NEVER see that video. I laughed my ass off when I found it on the Go Pro.
**the beginning of the 5 lbs I put on during this trip in spite of all the hiking and surfing.