Silverton and the Million Dollar Highway

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-06-2008

A visit to a old mining town. . .Silverton

As on local puts it, “Silverton: A gritty little mining town with Victorian pretensions!” Once the stomping ground of silver kings and railroad giants, Silverton survives today as one of Colorado’s most endearing destinations. An estimated 2000 men moved to Silverton in 1874. They came from across the U.S., many parts of Europe and even China, to endure severe winters and dangerous mining conditions in their pursuit of the minerals they hoped would make them rich.

Silverton really is a cool little town with lots of interesting shops, galleries and a cool like espresso place. (Had to try a latte!) We made a yummy picnic lunch and ate outside the RV listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s “America”. Very cool memory and oh so simple.

The Million Dollar Highway

A bit of interesting information about this amazing road.. .

“In the Southwestern corner of Colorado, near the four-corners area (where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet) lies one of the most breathtaking roads in the United States, dubbed the “Million Dollar Highway.” Despite varying explanations as to the origin of its name (one claims it cost $1 million a mile to build in 1924; another says it contains $1 million in gold ore), there’s no disputing the fact that the 75-mile stretch of scenic highway known as Million Dollar Highway is a breathtaking journey through the majestic mountain passes of western Colorado.”

It REALLY felt as though this highway was NOT meant for RVs!! I can’t remember having such white knuckles while in a vehicle but these roads were OH SO narrow, with NO guard rails and huge drops down into oblivion. Even in the midst of fearing for our lives, I couldn’t help but take picture as it was so darn beautiful. The views really took our breath away. I do thank God that Ken is such a great driver as he seemed so calm about the drive, even using just one hand at several pivotal points. (Although he did use two hands after my insistence. Made me feel just a bit more connected to the ground!)

Durango Colorado – Yee Hah!

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-06-2008

We have been in Durango now for four days and we love it. The campground has a great pool (which the kids love) as well as a fun game room, a yummy pancake breakfast and a big dog run for Hobie. We took a long bike ride along the Animus River. The path winds along the river on an amazing and picturesque route. It was so beautiful and Lauren kept up with us the whole time. Quite impressive given she wanted to scrap the bike in lieu of her faithful scooter early on.

After our “all you can eat pancake breakfast”, we walked across the road to take pictures of the famous narrow gauge train which runs from Durango to Silverton each day. Then, Ken and the kids went white water rafting. I opted to take some pictures and relax along the river shore. The rapids were rated from 1 to 3 so they weren’t just smooth water rapids. Nikki wants to find some rapids rated 4 as she loved the whole ride!

Tomorrow, we take off for Silverton and beyond. We will keep you posted and look forward to hearing about what’s happening in your life. Please keep us posted.

With love, Sallie and the gang

 

Mesa Verde Colorado. . .

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-06-2008

After Flagstaff, we headed to Colorado. Our first stop was the FOUR CORNERS. We each declared our “state” and stood on AZ, NM, UT and CO while we had our picture taken. Lauren was “undeclared” and stood in the middle. Our first “official” campground was ½ north of Mesa Verde National Park. What a beautiful drive up the mountain from 5000 feet to near 9000 feet. We took a tour and visited some amazing cave dwellings. Such a lesson in history. Cool way to start “road school!”

Hitting the road.. . .finally!

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-06-2008

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After oh so much work, we finally hit the road on June 15, fittingly Father’s Day, at 11:45AM. I can’t really explain the feeling of driving down Blaze Trail with our house in the background. Surreal is the word that comes to mind. We had no reservations for our first night but knew we wanted to head north, away from the heat. We ended up in a funky little campground in Flagstaff which was 30 degrees cooler than Anthem. While we initially thought we would just hang out there for a couple days, we ended up staying there for five days, just so we could recover from one the most intense months of our lives.

I don’t ever recall being as tired as I was that first night. At about 6PM, I began fantasizing about drifting to sleep in my new bed. We had been sleeping on cots in our bedroom in Anthem for some time (after giving away our bed) so our new “sleep number” beds seemed like a mirage in the desert. As I laid down on my wonderful new bed, it felt like a ZERO on the scale of 5 to 100 (in sleep number terms). We clicked the little technical device, punching in 100 in the hopes it would pump up. Nothing. Oh no. Not tonight! Ken’s side was a plateau and mine a valley. Ken graciously offered to sleep on Lauren’s bed in the “living room” while Lauren slept on the valley and I on the plateau. The next day, we figured out that Lauren’s sleepover included a bit of jumping on our poor bed so they had managed to break apart two parts of the mattress which Ken fixed with some gorilla glue and the girls hair straightened the next day. In the meantime, the company sent us a whole new mattress so if we ever encounter this problem again, it will be solved!

Meanwhile, our two year old golden retriever, Hobie, wasn’t too keen on this whole “adventure idea”. You could tell he was in a funk and missed his backyard and all his bunny friends. We took him on a walk and he encountered his first squirrel. Simply a bunny with a big tail in his eyes. When the squirrel ran up the tree, Hobie refused to leave the tree as he had never seen a bunny do such a thing in Arizona. Hobie has come around and is now back to his old happy self. He had an encounter with a heard of cows as well as horses and thinks this is all pretty cool. Not to mention he sleeps near the same level as all the kids so he gets to lick them each morning as a wake up call.

The “Happy Trails” parties

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-06-2008

While we hope to see many of our family and friends along the way, we wanted to have a party with our closest buddies to share our dream and adventure with them. We had our first party in Orange County California. Ken and I are both CA natives and we have many good friends, along with my wonderful sister Robin and her gang, in the OC area. We parked at the Newport Dunes RV “resort” on the bay for a mere $120 a night. Our budget is about $35 a night so spending this much so early on means more overnight stays in the parking lot Walmart. Our friends Rich and Mary came down and camped near us with their new camper. Just like old times! Robin, Steve and Paul came down for a special dinner to celebrate Paul’s upcoming 18th birthday and graduation, both of which we would unfortunately miss because we would be in Colorado. It was great relaxing with friends from OC, LA and Ventura County as we treasure these relationships.

Our second party was in our current town of Anthem Arizona. We parked our RV out in the lot of the Community Center and had a BBQ at the big pool. I held “open houses” tours so our friends could see our new rig. We had a lot of fun just hanging with the good friends we have made over the past three years. Saying “good bye” is always the hardest part of moving for all of us. The kids each had a little pool party with a few buddies as well. We plan to include the kid’s friends on this trek, including them in trips along the way.