Our summer RV trip began in Flagstaff. It is only two hours from home but now that we are sporadic RVers, we have learned to make our first stop close by. That way we can go back for forgotten items or get parts for whatever broke while not in use.
We have stayed in Flagstaff a couple times and not been impressed with any of the parks. This time we stayed at the Flagstaff KOA and it is a relative winner. We were pleased with our site.
We set up and were feeling good about having what we needed and everything working. We were even regretting not going a little further down the road.
What’s that you say? Nice site but where is the truck??
So, Randy is a gadget guy – just in case you didn’t know. He has apps on his phone to monitor our solar power, our home heating and air conditioning, our irrigation system and our water use. (I have been known to roll my eyes a bit – especially when the water use app was new and he asked me if I got up during the night to use the restroom.)
However, at this moment in time ….Alert, alert, alert!! The water use app was warning that we had used a gallon a minute for the last two hours. That is bad on so many levels!!! As far as we knew there should have been no water being used.
The irrigation system app said irrigation was not operating but that was the only water that could have been running. For the first time ever, we had done what thousands of people do all over Sun City Grand when leaving for months at a time – we turned off the water to the house.
Randy called two friends and asked them to go over and see if they could find a leak as soon as possible. Most of the people in our neighborhood are gone for the summer, and we didn’t have contact info for those we knew were still around.
Randy headed home. While he was enroute, our friends found the flood near the irrigation valve box. They turned off all water to our lot to stop the massive leak.
Randy made it home a couple hours later and he and our neighbor did a temporary repair. It required new parts and turning the water back on to the house. Hopefully all will be well while we are gone. Our neighbor will keep an eye on it while Randy monitors his phone apps. He drove back to Flagstaff that evening. That camp close to home idea worked again.
The next day we headed to Durango, Colorado. We vacationed near there a couple years ago and enjoyed the primary attraction – The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. I wrote about its history and our trip on the railway. Click the link to read it. Plan B: Colorado!
This time we opted for a history tour of downtown Durango. We learned about the mines, the immigrants, the sporting women and those that tried to make Durango a reputable city.
This is the Slater Hotel, named for one of its two developers. They had a falling out and Slater built a second hotel immediately next door- the shorter part on the left. Over time the hotels were joined as one and operate under the Slater name. It is reportedly haunted.
“Reportedly haunted” is a theme in downtown Durango! We didn’t take the ghost tour but got quite a few mentions anyway.
This historic eating and drinking establishment maintains a shrine for its resident ghost at the top center section of the bar.
A former resident of Durango is Jack Dempsey. He lived in the area in the early 1900s and went on to be Heavy Weight Champion of the World in 1919. This is our tour guide in front of the Dempsey mural.
We learned about the tunnel system underneath the current sidewalks. Walkways and a variety of businesses (some more legal than others) operated in the depths. The covers used to have glass inserts. The color shining through the glass indicated whether the business below was operating.
We ate lunch at the Olde Tymers Cafe, formerly the S. G. Wall Drugstore. The interior decor features some old time shelving, bottles, and supplies.
For dessert we went to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The business started at this site in Durango in 1981 and is now international.
Our campsite in Durango was at the Oasis RV Resort. We recommend it.
There was a gathering of Vintage look trailers and we enjoyed them. Most were red, and many appeared to be owned by solo women travelers.
Next, we traveled a few hours east to Alamosa, Colorado and the nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park. The dunes are the tallest in North America at 750 feet and extend 30 miles in length.
The sand deposits came from nearby mountain erosion and were brought to the site by water passage from the east and prevailing winds from the southwest. It is believed the dunes formed over 400,000 years ago.
The dunes are in constant motion between the prevailing winds and storm winds that come through mountain passes to the east. They form “chinese wall” features.
The area is huge. We walked from the parking lot to the dune site that was most accessible.
We were impressed by those hiking to the top but did not aspire to that level of greatness. Although, I bet the view was stunning!
We enjoyed watching those who had sand boards or sleds have their few seconds of fun before lugging the boards back up the hill again.
Stop number three was in the books. Next up is Canon City, Colorado and another old steam train!