Bruce and Ethan's
Most Excellent Colorado Adventure!

Page One: Taos to Durango to Silverton

Page Two: Silverton to Ouray * Page Three: Jeeping Out of Ouray

Page Four: Salida * Page Five: Aspen

Page Six: Hot Sulphur Springs and Estes Park

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Our adventure began at 8 am, July 22, 2018 when we hit the road in my (Ethan's) white Toyota Tacoma pickup. We drove straight to Taos, New Mexico where we rented a room at the cheapest motel we could find which was a Super 8. About $80 total. And it was a really nice room with a fridge and microwave! We left the next morning for Durango our next overnight spot.


On the way we found two very interesting items. The first was crossing the Rio Grand River via a sky bridge! We got out and walked across the bridge. There were several emergency phones along both sides of the bridge (which provided people walkways so you could walk out and spit or throw paper airplanes) advising those who might want to jump to their death to call in on one of these phones first!

Bruce and I cogitated for quite some time as to how they could have drilled the big deep holes called piers which would support the bridge. These pier holes would be filled with concrete. This is usually done with a big drilling truck but how could they have gotten such a truck down there? Have a look. See where the upright supports come up off the lip of the canyon.

Rio Grand Gorge bridge

The next picture was taken standing on the bridge.


The landscape in this area is very arid with no trees at all and sparse, stunted scrub brush. Just beyond this bridge a few miles on down the road and on the right is the Earthship project. These are beautiful artsy homes that work totally off the grid. They collect rain water (which is only about 10 inches a year) and have solar panels for electricity plus passive heating and cooling by virtue of the design of the houses.

Here is a tour you can take of a house with an explanation of all the fundamentals as to why they work as well as a trip into completely out-of-the-box beauty and esthetics - 17 minutes.


Here is their website Earthship Global You can even rent one for a night or longer.



Elevation: 6,512 feet

Arriving in the afternoon we went to United Campgrounds where we had reserved a tent space. Very nice campground that caters to RVs and tenters. Showers, bathrooms, a store and a pool. Right on the Animas River!

On the way to Durango:

Durango driving

Campground office

United campground

We set up camp for the first time

Durango camp

There is a railroad that runs between Durango and Silverton (our next stop) and we would like to have done this but we didn't have enough time reserved at the campground. Our stops were all booked and reserved in advance which is necessary at that time of the year.

It actually went right by our camping spot like 100 feet away!

Durango train




Elevation: 9,318 feet
Population: 637

We get up the next morning and begin our drive to Silverton which is not that far but the scenery slows us down as we stop at some of the pull-outs.


In Silverton there is one paved street which is main street and the side streets which only go a couple of blocks, are hard packed gravel. Very quaint victorian town which is one of the last of the mining towns to stop mining. They mined silver (of course) gold, copper, lead and some other metals.

Below - on the road to Silverton - just barely out of Durango - over the famous Hwy 550 million dollar highway that runs to and beyond Ouray. After Ouray it is no longer a millionaire as the scenery goes from a 10 to an 8.

Road to Silverton


Climbing, climbing!


Next picture is at Coal Bank Pass, 10,640 feet


Toilet at Coal Bank Pass with flushing toilets! Just kidding. That's Bruce approaching the door.




We toured the Old Hundred Mine just outside of Silverton. It was really fascinating! Our guide explained in detail how mining is done and demonstrated some of the equipment.

Here is a video of a tour in the mine - less than 2 minutes












And this is the website of the Old Hundred Mine which has a good slide show on the main page right at the top.

We didn't like the campsite we reserved so we found a hotel in Silverton which is hard to do on the fly during the summer. This hotel dated back to 1904 and had been vacant for some time before Daniel and his mom undertook a renovation. He had a hostel type room with three bunk beds all stacked on top of each other for $50 a bed. They provided free oxygen for the upper bunk - good the rooms had 12 foot ceilings! Bathrooms and showers were down the hall. We did have a third person show up after we had been asleep awhile. The painted name on the corner says at the bottom - "Rates $1.50 and up."

Avon Hotel


Go to

Page Two: Silverton to Ouray

Page Three: Jeeping Out of Ouray

Page Four: Salida

Page Five: Aspen

Page Six: Hot Sulphur Springs and Estes Park


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