Friday, July 31, 2009

In praise of Durango

My new favorite town in America: Durango, Colorado. Cool, green, clean, scenic. The town has just the right amount of western flavor and modern athleticism, my favorite combo. The Animas River runs through town attracting rafters and kayakers. And, of course, there is the famous Durango & Silverton steam train which brings thousands of visitors to the area each summer.

There is a wonderful walking path alongside the Animas dotted with public parks and art. The day was beautiful. People were out on bikes and the river full of people floating in inner tubes. We strolled unknowingly upon a music festival at the Rotary Park where Allie climbed an aspen tree for a better view of the gazebo where players performed Peter and the Wolf. We asked an older couple, long-time residents, for a recommendation on where to go for lunch. Rather than explain, they insisted we hop in their car (an old Cadillac) to be dropped off door-side to Guido's, a cute Italian eatery on Main Street.

All day long Allison and I were singing the praises of Durango and wishing aloud that we could live there. And it did seem like the sirens of Durango were conspiring to lure us to stay. We joked and made references to the Chevy Chase movie, "Funny Farm," where he pays the townspeople to behave as quaint and charming as possible to lure a buyer for his house. It seemed that everyone in Durango was friendly, polite, and attractive.
We did, of course, ride the Silverton train. We opted for the bus ride up and the train ride back. The ride is long, but not dull if you like scenery. We were constantly on the look-out for wildlife and other interesting sights. Besides the gorgeous views of rushing waters and rustic train trestles and enormous drop-offs we saw a bear, deer, prairie dogs standing at attention, and the wildest of wildlife, the young folks floating the river who greeted the passing train by pulling down their swim trunks and mooning us.

Our stay in Durango was short. We next headed toward Silverthorne, Colorado where we spent the past week enjoying more wonderful weather and pine-infused atmosphere. And today I write from the worn sofa of my "permanent" home. Naturally, it's late and everyone's asleep (I'm the night-owl.) The Airstream is parked in the driveway until we get it unloaded. It stands as a beacon to the neighborhood that the wanderers are home at last. At least I think they see it that way. Could be, they're wondering how long that thing will sit in the drive.

I'll probably stop writing as I take time to readjust to home and fall back into the comfortable rhythms of normal life. So, until later, goodnight America.

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