Road trip: Monticello, Utah and Durango, Colorado

After our hike in Arches and our lack of desire to stay in Moab anymore, we had to figure out where to move on.

Originally Durango was out because it was going to be too cold. We were thinking we’d have to go all the way around Colorado, down into Arizona and New Mexico. Neither of those options thrilled us since we’ve both been to those places many times. But I took another look at the weather and it had changed. It was actually going to be really nice. I had been to Durango last summer and it seemed very touristy then. But Mike had never been and so many people like it I figured we’d give it another chance. Plus the scenery is supposed to be awesome this time of year. So we headed out in the early evening.

The scenery to get there was pretty and since it was starting to get dark we stopped in Monticello UT in the one campground they have which is basically someones front yard. LOL. We weren’t sure what to make of it but we stayed anyway and when we woke up in the morning and looked around it was really pretty! The people were very nice, too.

A low fog hung over the campground in the morning making it really pretty. Monticello, Utah.

A low fog hung over the campground in the morning making it really pretty. Monticello, Utah.

Our campground was on the owners' farm/ranch in Monticello, Utah.

Our campground was on the owners' farm/ranch in Monticello, Utah.

Since it was night when we arrived and the town only has one restaurant in the first place, we had one of our swanky RV dinners. Then did some stuff online (almost all campgrounds for RVs have wi-fi now).
An RV meal of black beans with salsa, rice, and salad.

An RV meal of black beans with salsa, rice, and salad.

A delicious Tampranillo I brought with me that I got at Vintages last week when wine tasting.

A delicious Tampranillo I brought with me that I got at Vintages last week when wine tasting.

Mike had some yummy maple beer from TommyKnocker Brewery in Idaho Springs, CO

Mike had some yummy maple beer from TommyKnocker Brewery in Idaho Springs, CO

You can't escape the internet.

You can't escape the internet.

In the morning we made our way to Durango, got a campsite just a few blocks from town and biked into town. Cottonwood Camper Park is just a few blocks from town. There are some iffy reviews on the internet about it but it’s mostly people complaining that it’s not scenic. DUH. It’s DOWNTOWN. It was perfect for us (and frankly, plenty scenic, there’s a creek that runs thru it and it’s like 1/4 mile to the bike path and the Animas River). Also, the people who run it are exceptionally nice. Highly recommended.
Cottonwood Camper Park, downtown Durango, CO

Cottonwood Camper Park, downtown Durango, CO

There’s a nice long bike path along the Animas River right downtown in the historic section. We took a little ride along the path then cut up and over to the historic district where all the shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants are.
A bike ride along The Animas River, downtown Durango, CO

A bike ride along The Animas River, downtown Durango, CO

Bike ride along The Animas River, downtown Durango, CO

Bike ride along The Animas River, downtown Durango, CO

Historic downtown Durango, CO

Historic downtown Durango, CO

Historic downtown Durango, CO

Historic downtown Durango, CO

Durango is much nicer in the fall than in the summer. Not as crowded and the leaves are all yellow and orange and up against a backdrop of snowy peaks. It’s still pretty touristy with tee shirt shops, etc. But they also have some good restaurants.
First we stopped into a bar that was supposed to have good food. But the menu wasn’t all that appealing to me- I wanted a cheeseburger and they didn’t have them there. Plus I was tired and getting cranky. So Mike had a beer and I had a cup of coffee. In a bar. LOL. We felt much more energetic after that so we moved on.
Next we went to a local brewpub- Carver Brewing Company- and tasted some beers and had some lunch. I had a really good buffalo burger and Mike had an awesome steak sandwich with peppers and onions and stuff. Sounds pretty basic but it was really delicious.
Sampling all the beers at Carver's in Durango, CO

Sampling all the beers at Carver's in Durango, CO

Carver Brewing Company, Durango, CO

Carver Brewing Company, Durango, CO

Buffalo burger from Carver Brewing Company, Durango, CO.

Buffalo burger from Carver Brewing Company, Durango, CO.

Southwest Steak Sandwich, Carver Brewing Company, Durango, CO

Southwest Steak Sandwich, Carver Brewing Company, Durango, CO

 They try to be pretty healthy over at Carver’s, even their ketchup is HFCS free.

Hunt's Ketchup no longer uses high fructose corn syrup.

Hunt's Ketchup no longer uses high fructose corn syrup.

After lunch and wandering around in all the shops, we stopped by a French bakery and I had  a latte and the best almond croissant I’ve had in a long time. It was late afternoon and the croissants were all “buy one, get one free”. Mike had a glass of milk (!?) and a chocolate croissant.
Almond croissant and latte at Jean Pierre Bakery, Durango, CO

Almond croissant and latte at Jean Pierre Bakery, Durango, CO

Jean Pierre Bakery and Restaurant, Durango, CO

Jean Pierre Bakery and Restaurant, Durango, CO

One of the pastry cases at Jean Pierre Bakery, Durango, CO

One of the pastry cases at Jean Pierre Bakery, Durango, CO

The decor was really neat. Exposed brick walls, high beamed ceilings, but still very cozy with antiques and comfy chairs.

I want to live inside Jean Pierre's bakery space. Durango, CO

I want to live inside Jean Pierre's bakery space. Durango, CO

We just had their baked goods but they are also a full service French restaurant and wine bar. Next time we’ll try those!Jean Pierre Bakery, Durango, CO

One of the shops we looked at sold these boots. I probably need to have them. Or these. Or these.

Anyhow, after the bike ride, the wandering, the lunch, and the beer tasting, and the sweets, we were pretty tired so we went back to the RV for the night.

Cookie Puss seemed to like the RV enough when it was stopped.

Dashboard Kitty

Dashboard Kitty

Looking for a way out?

Looking for a way out?

PJ and his daily meds.

PJ is a good traveler.

PJ is a good traveler.

The next day we got up early and biked over to Oscar’s Cafe for breakfast.

Oscar's Cafe, Durango, CO

Oscar's Cafe, Durango, CO

I had some scrambled eggs and hash browns, Mike had the corn beef hash and eggs and we shared the French toast. The hash browns were heavily seasoned which I didn’t care for. Hash browns should be good all by themselves! Mike liked his tho. The French toast. OMG. Soooooooo good. Next time I’ll get an order all to myself….:)

Scrambled eggs and has browns at Oscar's Cafe, Durango, CO

Scrambled eggs and has browns at Oscar's Cafe, Durango, CO

Corn beef hash and eggs at Oscar's Cafe, Durango, CO

Corn beef hash and eggs at Oscar's Cafe, Durango, CO

Deep fried French toast at Oscar's Cafe, Durango, CO

Deep fried French toast at Oscar's Cafe, Durango, CO

After that gluttony we needed a LONG bike ride. We went the other direction on the path than we did the day before.

Bike riding on the path by the Animas River, Durango, CO

Bike riding on the path by the Animas River, Durango, CO

Then Mike wanted to go fishing so we found a good spot.

PJ helped Mike tie his line.

PJ helped Mike tie his line.

Fishing on the Animas River, Durango, CO

Fishing on the Animas River, Durango, CO

The historic Silverton Durango Railway goes right by here, on that ridge above the river

The historic Silverton Durango Railway goes right by here, on that ridge above the river

I sat on a rock and drank tea while Mike fished.

I sat on a rock and drank tea while Mike fished.

After all that activity we were ready for another snack at The Steaming Bean. Their website is pretty lame. The place itself was actually really cute.

The Steaming Bean, Durango, CO

The Steaming Bean, Durango, CO

The Steaming Bean, Durango, CO

The Steaming Bean, Durango, CO

A delicious latte from The Steaming Bean, Durango, CO

A delicious latte from The Steaming Bean, Durango, CO

A slice of organic apple pie made by a local pie lady.

A slice of organic apple pie made by a local pie lady.

Since we’ve become sort of obsessed with hot springs after that great experience at Yampahin Glenwood Springs, we’ve been searching out hot springs in different places. We found a “famous” one in Durango and seeing as how Durango is sort of an upscale resort area, we decided to go. We don’t have any pictures because it was a little bit creepy. The pictures on the website only kind of look like the real place and there are NO pictures of the one hot pool, probably for good reason. They say it’s clean and we didn’t develop any strange diseases but it really doesn’t look that great. It was oddly relaxing, tho and we had fun whispering mockery to each other (“How many of these people do you think are sex offenders?”  “How many people are in here?”  That kind of thing. ). Anyhow, we probably won’t be going back. It was expensive for what it was, the locker rooms were no good, and there was only one hot pool.

After that we went back to the RV and got ready to go to dinner at Ken and Sue’s. There were other places that were more exciting to me,  but they were all closed- it was Sunday night.  Ken and Sue’s got great reviews, tho, and it was really good.

Really good bread basket at Ken and Sue's, Durango, CO

Really good bread basket at Ken and Sue's, Durango, CO

Pinot and local beer, Ken and Sue's, Durango, CO

Pinot and local beer, Ken and Sue's, Durango, CO

We shared an iceberg wedge that was delish.

We shared an iceberg wedge that was delish.

Mike had the meatloaf which came with mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach and was really good.

Mike had the meatloaf which came with mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach and was really good.

I had a potato gnocchi with mushrooms and asparagus. The gnocchi was a little doughy. But the veggies were really good.

I had a potato gnocchi with mushrooms and asparagus. The gnocchi was a little doughy. But the veggies were really good.

We wanted to save room for dessert but were unable to. They supposedly have a fantastic chocolate souffle. It was a really good place but you could tell locals don’t ever go there. I’m sure locals don’t go anywhere near the historic district and next time I’d like to find out where they DO go.

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