I didn’t have much of a plan for the remainder of Day 3, but after seeing the San Juan Mountains in the distance from Mesa Verde National Park, I knew where I had to go. I set a course for Durango and Silverton, Colorado — two wild west mountain towns which I had visited before.
Durango doesn’t hold many surprises, especially if this is your second visit. It’s a neat little western town, that’s been made very tourist-friendly. There’s a mural…
… and some old brick buildings with old painted advertisements on the side. But for the most part, this is a modern town that’s been made to feel historic. It’s just a little too polished for me.
Yes, there are some historic signs, buildings, and hotels…
… like the town’s centerpiece, the Strater, which is home to the Diamond Belle Saloon. I spent an hour or so walking the streets, looking for some rough edges. I didn’t find many.
I did, however, find a good Mexican restaurant (Francisco’s, 2 blocks down from the train station), that served some good salsa and green chile.
Note: This trip was first published in 2006.