Pagosa Springs and Durango
After a restful night camping beneath the stars, we resumed our journey towards Durango, our spirits rejuvenated. During the drive, the idea of an unplanned detour intrigued us, leading us to an impromptu stop in Pagosa Springs. Our objective was simple – to have a meal at the Riff Riff Brewing Company and unwind in the springs. The Riff Riff Brewery was consistently a positive aspect of our Colorado trips, a place where the bar was alive with conversations and laughter, a testament to the sense of community fostered by their local brews.
Following a satisfying dinner, we headed to the springs. Around 20 hot spring pools awaited, each with its unique temperature, ranging from 90 to 110 degrees. Between dips, we took leisurely walks to the nearby river, immersing ourselves in its crisp waters – a refreshing contrast after a lengthy drive. These moments, where warmth and cold coalesced, offered a truly invigorating experience. We spent several hours there, letting the water ease away our fatigue until the sun gracefully dipped below the horizon.
As the sky adopted dusky hues, we bid our farewell to the springs and embarked on the final leg of the day’s journey – a brief two-hour drive that would take us to Durango.
When I share tales of Durango with my friends, I affectionately label it a quintessential Colorado cowboy town. Its downtown possesses an undeniable charm, and the historic craftsman homes along first, second, and third avenues seem to echo the town’s rich heritage. Encircled by majestic mountains and merely a brisk 25-minute drive away from the impressive ski destination aptly named… wait for it… Purgatory. It’s not as ominous as it might sound, yet it still stands as a remarkable mountain for skiing. With familial ties in the area, I’ve been making pilgrimages to Durango for years. While skiing has traditionally been the primary reason for my visits, the summers offer a welcomed respite from the sweltering Galveston heat, prompting more frequent escapes to this mountain enclave.
Late into the evening, the boys and I arrived, stealing an hour with our family before the night’s curtain closed. As morning dawned, we transitioned into our new abode – a 32-foot RV that we had rented, a camper that you can drive, as Connor would say. Personally, I’ve simply taken to calling it “the beast.” This was to be our trusted steed for the upcoming stretch of our adventure.