I'm with FreeLancing. There's a nice NFS campground just west of Silverton called South Mineral, then take the Red Mountain Highway from Silverton to Ouray. That's a ride you won't forget but it will be cool up there. Pick up a cuppa "Red Mountain White Knuckle Blend" in Ouray.
If you're in Durango at lunch time try Carvers Brew Pub.
Run Silent, Run Deep BLOG
2003 F350 Diesel DRW.
2005 Arctic Fox B1150 solar powered dry camper.
220 Watts Solar, 2 300AH 6 volt AGMs, Yamaha EF1000iS Generator
I wonder which route they chose? I'd also do the mountains as long as possible before heading back across. I'd go north through the San Juans, maybe Grand Mesa or maybe east towards Gunnison/Monarch Pass...hit one of the hot springs in the Buena Vista area, through Summit County....probably to RMNP via Grandby, or potentially head north into the Medicine Bow Range and then continue up to the Big Horns before heading east towards the Black Hills and points east.
In the summer time I would pretty much ALWAYS vote for the northern route and stay in the mountains as long as possible.
We chose the southerly route. We are about 100 miles north of Santa Fe having coming through Pogasa Springs and quite a few of the Colorado Mountains. I know they were the smaller ones but still beautiful and green. Finally saw a lot of cattle herds but have yet to see one cowboy on a horse. probably use ATVs and helicopters these days.
We will try to find some parallel roads to I-40. Anyone have a suggestion for a good BBQ or chili place around Amarillo?
Anne and Joe - at a NM visitor information with wi-fi
We ate at the Big Texan Steak house in Amarillo it was great and the enjoyment of watching people try and eat a 72 oz steak was fun. We also stayed at a RV called The Overnite RV Park just off of I-40 and they have a free shuttle to the Big Texan it is a Good Sam Park and has Wi-Fi. There 1-800 number is 1-800-554-5305 and it is just off of I-40. Good luck. Have really enjoyed your trip report and pictures thanks for sharing.
On the way back already? why not use another month or so? Too much to see and do in a month! we've done it twice for 2 months each time and we still need several more trips! i know you've enjoyed the experience, we did!
Kopak(John & Marianne)
04 Chev 3500 D/A Dually, Ranchos, Air bags, Lance 1121, Lund 16 Explorer, Car Mate 400.
Made notes of the Amarillo Steak place and RV park nearby. I don't think both of us could polish off a 72 oz steak but think of the leftovers! We haven't finished our tour at all, just headed back towards the east. May have to dodge flooding along the Mississippi and hopefully not tornados in Oklahoma.
June 19 - Cortez, CO to Santa Fe, NM
Today was basically a travel day. We decided to take the southern route since we do get to see mountains in New England and have seen a lot already here in the west. We don't have deserts in Maine. Left Cortez, CO on Route 160 and hit a lot of construction headed east. One delay was over a half hour so we just read and relaxed. Out west they "chip seal" roads, meaning lay down a thick bed of tar and then spread red or gray chips of rock over the top. It gets swept and probably rolled (though we don't know about that). Hard, smooth surface but bet it throws rocks for a long time. We already have one crack in the F350 windshield, fortunately down low under the wiper blade area.
Truck ran well today except the last 20 minutes or so. It had been from cooler Cortez, up through mountains, down to valleys, through a lot of heat. The Santa Fe entry hills at 95F degrees in slow traffic brought out the whine again. As suggested, it just might be a fan kicking into high and not bad diesel. We do know what that tank of good diesel did maybe it is a combination.
Finally turned onto 84 and were almost alone again, driving through beautiful Colorado mountains, lush, deep valleys with lots of cattle and horses. Why don't we ever see anyone riding these horses? We've seen thousands and not one rider except a horse tourist trail ride in Bryce Canyon. Stopped for lunch beside a beautiful CO Fish and Wildlife lake near Chromo. Almost hit a pretty good size deer as we were leaving but managed to stop. He turned right around and crossed in front of us again!
We passed through tiny dots on the map such as Chromo, Chama and Brazos where there is a post office and a general store and that is that. We drove up a couple of boondock roads in the Carson National Forest and bet we were miles and miles from any other human. Saw elk, deer and lots of beautiful black/white birds with long tails - a different type of partridge maybe?
Reprovisioned in Espanola, NM at (where else) a Wal-Mart. Never far from them are we but it is an easy quick place to replace items used like milk and paper products.
We passed in and out of many Indian reservation lands. By the time we got to Santa Fe it was 5PM local and very busy traffic. Tired from just driving with not a lot of stops for walking, we decided to try to go into downtown Santa Fe, park and walk around. No way!! as we didn't know the hidden town parking lots for RVs. We did drive through the narrow streets with the town square and big cathedral and all the tourists.
Tomorrow we'll go back and park in the pay lot behind the cathedral and walk around a bit. Then on east headed for Amarillo, Texas.
We are about toured out and need either a couple of down days or to just stop touring and head east to Oklahoma City. We keep watching the weather and know we are going into rain but hopefully not into flooding or violent thunderstorms. Good to have that NOAA weather radio along. Tonight the sky in Santa Fe is just beautiful.