Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Durango, Colorado








This is my second post of the night, a rare double-billing. Ericka is sleeping off her second hip surgery in the last six weeks, so I have some spare time between her regular slumber hours and mine, which usually don't start until 2 or 3 a.m., thanks to my copy-editing prowess.

To recap the last week, we had an excellent time on my big turning-30 trip last weekend in Durango. Even getting pulled over by John Law on the drive down -- I was pushing 75 in a 65 -- did not wreck the weekend. In fact, I lucked out and got one of the nicer officers who has ever zapped me for speeding.

Upon pulling me over, he immediately appeared in my window and said, "Just to let you know, I got you going a little fast back there. No worries, though. It will just be a warning and we'll get you on your way."

With that, we were free.

The drive down took 6 hours, 19 minutes because of my reduced speed following the encounter. In the past, it has taken me 11 hours to do this in snow, but we had excellent, mild weather the entire trip. Which was part of the problem when we got to Durango.

Ski conditions were about as putrid as I've ever seen them down at Purgatory. While the northern half of Colorado has enjoyed a tremendous winter, the bases at Purg and Wolf Creek are about 25 to 30 percent of average.

Nonetheless, I skied the first day. It was my first ski day of the season, a fact which had caused a great deal of well-deserved ripping in my general direction. I was a little worried about wrenching my back, but it survived some good mogul runs in the morning.

After lunch, we played it safe and throttled down some of the roly-poly blue runs that make Purgatory such an excellent resort.

On the second day, I wasn't feeling so well, so we took a drive up the San Juan Skyway, though the old mining towns of Silverton and Ouray. We plotted some hikes and climbs for the summer, enjoyed a lot of good eats, stayed at a haunted B&B -- this is a good thing -- and got to spend some time with my grandmother.

Then it was back home.


(The pictures: At top, Ouray is a tiny speck of a town, but it is also the ice-climbing capital of the U.S. In the second picture, you can see a guy scaling an ice wall that is the side of a canyon that is about 2,500 feet tall. The third picture is a look at Engineer Mountain from Coal Bank Pass, and the last one is just a group of trees at the top of Molas Pass just south of Silverton).

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2 Comments:

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Local Shill said...

Wow, if only cops in New Jersey were that nice.

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Joependleton said...

Cat, nice pix. I'm pumped for November. Nice work Jan Law.

PS: Murderball arriving via nextflix tomorrow.

 

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