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Trot Over to Durango, Colorado



The 1888 Strater Hotel is a Durango landmark. Louis L’Amour loved the hotel and insisted on Room 222 above the Diamond Belle Saloon because the music put him in an “Old West” mood.

 

Doggone it! You just won’t find a more dog-friendly town than Durango, Colorado. That was the inspiration for a road trip with our dog Roxie, who loves the car and hates to be boarded. But whether you travel with a pooch or without, Durango is a great destination.



Steam locomotive #42 at the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum was built in 1887 for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.

While Native Americans Camped And Lived Along The Animas River For Thousands of Years, it was the mineral wealth in the mountains that brought many new people to the area. The coming of the railroad in 1881 fueled the boom, and the railroad is still doing so today. But instead of hauling miners and ore, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad takes tourists on scenic excursions from Durango through valleys and canyons, along the Animas River, to the old mining town of Silverton. The Durango depot, built in 1881, is one of the oldest buildings in town. Don’t miss the Railroad Museum behind the depot. It’s full of railroad history, memorabilia and a great model
train layout.

Another historic attraction is the 1893 Mission-style Powerhouse, one of the earliest alternating current electric plants in the world. Now it houses an interactive science museum in and amongst the old generating equipment. For a fascinating history tour of the plant, call ahead and make sure someone will be available. My docent, 13-year-old Liam Foster, was articulate and patient as he explained the components of the three-phase AC system – he tossed around terms and names like a French chef flipping an omelet. When he said, “Of course, you know who Tesla was?” I simply smiled and nodded. You don’t get to be my age without knowing when to keep your mouth shut!

The whole downtown area is a hotbed of history. Armed with a great little guidebook, “Walking Durango,” Roxie and I followed a mile-and-a-half route past interesting old buildings. Several of the downtown stores offered doggy treats to Roxie, but her favorite spot was the Durango Coffee Company with two bowls of water on the sidewalk. One was labeled regular, the other, decaf.

A vintage sign points to the wonderfully renovated, boutique, Rochester Hotel

No Place Was Friendlier Than The Rochester Hotel, a 15-room boutique hotel in an 1892 building. Two of the rooms are pet-friendly. Be sure to reserve in advance and they’ll be ready with a comfy pet bed and a “Wagging Welcome Package” from the Durango Tourism Office. They’ll even steer you to good doggy day care if you’re taking the train ride or checking out Mesa Verde.

Our bed was every bit as comfy as Roxie found hers to be. And our room, like all the Rochester rooms, was decorated with pictures and posters from movies made in the area. Also in the room was a cool little book, “Hollywood of the Rockies,” with insider stories about the many movies (and their stars) that have been shot here.

The breakfast was super and the location couldn’t have been better – two blocks off Main Avenue – quiet but close to the action.

There are over four dozen eateries in the historic downtown area alone, ranging from snacks and sandwiches to fine dining restaurants. We tried Seasons Rotisserie and Grill – a good choice. The menu changes seasonally and the chef makes maximum use of local products when available ... and that includes local rainbow trout.

Another night we tried El Moro, which is located in a historic saloon. The menu was one of the most intriguing I’ve encountered. For appetizers we chose garam masala dusted scallops and pickled shrimp. Jack’s a lamb fan, so he opted for the lamb burger on a potato sage bun, and I couldn’t resist the grilled cheese sandwich with local James Ranch Belford cheese, Gruyere, tomatoes and house-cured bacon. For dessert was muscato-raspberry gelee topped with vanilla whipped cream (think Jell-o that struck it rich and bought a chateau on the Loire). The menu changes frequently and the gelee isn’t on the current menu, but maybe it will be when you visit!

Durango Mountain Resort viewed from the Purgatory ski lift on the property

Think Colorado And Think Skiing – except we were there in July. Never fear. Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort has plenty to offer.

The ski lift is great for getting a beautiful view of the mountains, but for those who are more adventuresome, it’s a way to get you and your mountain bike to the top for an exciting bike ride down. The resort has 10 bike trails for peddlers of varying abilities. You can also get off the lift about halfway to the top and slide down the quarter-mile-long Alpine Slide – or take the round-trip on the lift.

Other summer activities include zip-lining, miniature golf, disc golf and hiking – or renting a Diggler scooter. Some children were tumbling around like gerbils in large colored balls on a pool while others climbed overhead on a ropes course. One of Durango’s July highlights is the annual Music in the Mountains festival, with the majority of concerts performed at Durango Mountain Resort.

Overnight guests can enjoy the swimming pool and foosball, shuffleboard, Wii, movies and board games in the game room, an exercise room and day spa. Pets are allowed in some units at Purgatory Lodge, one of several choices of accommodations on the property. The only problem with pups in the summer is the cleated metal outside steps – safer in winter – are rough on tender paws. Roxie required carry-on service.

Whether you stay on the mountain or in town, activities and attractions can keep you as busy as you want to be – or just relax in some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Make no bones about it, Durango is a great destination. Roxie gives it four paws up! 

 Ropes and Water Runners provide active kids with great outlets for their energy.

Getting There is Half the Fun

It’s an 11- to 12-hour drive from OKC to Durango, drivable in a long day, but we decided to take a quick detour to Santa Fe. The sprawling pueblo-style Buffalo Thunder Resort north of town sits scenically at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Its many amenities include a large casino with headliner entertainment, an elegant spa, indoor and outdoor pools, plus a 27-hole golf course. Beautiful Native American art is on display throughout the facilities. Foodies will find everything from fine dining to snacks in over half-a-dozen eateries. Add pet-friendly and you have a complete package!

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Calendar

September 2018

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Organizations making a positive impact on the health of Oklahomans will be honored at the 2018 Champions of Health Gala. All proceeds benefit the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, a non-profit...

Cost: TBD

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918.551.2164
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux

More information

Show More...
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Take Steps is the Foundation’s largest nationwide fundraising event where patients, loved ones, friends and supporters empower and inspire each other to continue the fight against...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Telephone: 972.386.0607
Contact Name: Jackie Peterson
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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