Zenfolio | Tom Wilby | AUGUST 2011

AUGUST 2011

September 04, 2011  •  Leave a Comment
AUGUST 2011

I’d heard the name, Mesa Verde, but didn’t really know what it was, so I was pleased to learn it was a National Park.  Designated such by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906, the park was created to preserve the “works of man” which includes over 600 cliff dwellings inhabited by Ancestral Puebloans from A.D. 550 to A.D. 1300. It's the Mother Lode of ancient dwellings, many of which you can access.


Cliff Palace Dwelling
S&A-1194
Step House Dwelling
Located in the SW corner of Colorado, its highest point is 8572 ft. above sea level, which gave us a welcome respite from the August heat. We stayed in nearby Mancos and hardly needed the air conditioning.

Mancos is convenient to Durango, which is the base for the Durango/Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.  We took the 3½ hour ride to Silverton (and the bus back), which follows the Animas River with beautiful views at every turn. We splurged on one of the restored cars, the Cinco Animas, with built-in Pullman berth seating (approx. $200/pp). Other choices are open air, which offer a bit more soot from the coal engines.

View of front of train, from our coach at the tail end.
Our coach, Cinco Animas.

CHS_2086
View behind our coach.
We finally had to leave our lovely weather for Amarillo. We were spoiled with the cool weather at the higher altitudes, but now we had to get back to the real world of 100+ degrees in Texas. Fortunately, Amarillo proved to be pleasant. Though temps reached the 90's during the day, the evenings were comfortable.

We celebrated my Dad's 93rd birthday with my brother John (from AZ), my brother Steven and his wife Vicki (from FL) and my sister Sharon (from CA); as well as Steven's son, Troy and his wife Hiliary, kids Lanta and August; Steven's daughter Tamy and her friend Laura (all from Amarillo). 

Jeanie, Steven, Hubert, John, Sharon.
We told Dad to smile and he said, I am smiling.

Irene, Dad's girlfriend, was a guest of honor as we also celebrated her birthday (only 83).
 
Hubert and Irene.
Steve's family.
Siblings sharing apps on their smart phones.
In between the festivities, we managed to buy a new truck. It's a 2011 Ford 350 diesel dually and similar to our old one, but with a few more bells and whistles. One of the neat features is the remote start. This means I never have to get into a hot vehicle, as we just hit the remote and the engine and air conditioner start up. Yeah, just in time for Dallas.

From Amarillo, we went to MCD in McKinney, north of Dallas, to have our RV shades replaced, and it was HOT. Over 100 degrees every day, so that remote start was put to good use. (Oh, did I mention the seats are cooled? Who would have thought that would be such a great feature.)

About 5 days later, we were in Colbert, OK, just across the state line. The main attractions are Lake Texoma, the Red River and the Choctaw Casino in Durant

Our campsite at Riverview RV Park in OK and new truck.
It was still HOT, so we were counting the days until our next stop - Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in the Ozarks.




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