Durango

Of all the places we visited in Colorado this summer, Durango is the one I truly hated to leave.

The climate was pleasant and the town is the rare combination of charming AND prepared for guests. There’s a ton of opportunity to get outside and plenty of places to be entertained and engaged.

This southwest Colorado town was founded in 1880. It has a rich railroad history and is near Mesa Verde National Park which I enjoyed immensely (aside from the snake).

The Animas River cuts through town and there’s a River Walk that gives you a beautiful place to view the water while getting some exercise.

The historic downtown district has a host of restaurants and cute shops including some great used bookstores. We had a few delicious meals here too.

My friend was especially thrilled to find that the local humane society runs a thrift store. It was a nice one too, arranged more like a boutique than a traditional thrift store which always seem a little too messy.

This area is blessed with charm, beauty and so much opportunity for exploration I regretted not scheduling more time to enjoy it.

I’m already plotting a return trip next year. This time, I’ll be with two friends and I’m hoping to find a good Airbnb in Durango to use as home base while we adventure.

Isn’t it wonderful having a place to look forward to exploring?

Second Story Used Books

One thing I always seek out in my travels is a local bookstore. Durango, Colorado actually has a few options including Second Story Used Books.

It’s a small space in the upstairs of the Century Building in downtown. To be more precise, you go up some stairs, down a hall and then down another hall, passing some offices along the way.

There’s a sign down on the street but it still feels like a secret place, a portal to a far off land where you literally don’t know what is waiting for you.

This place has some of your run-of-the-mill used books but they specialize in the rare and out-of-print.

I had a ball here.

One of my purchases was the 1987 reprint of “The Thoughts of Thoreau.” Its from the Edwin Way Teale Library of Nature Classics and an immediate treasure in my world.

Here’s a quote from the book:

A traveler who looks at things with an impartial eye may see what the oldest inhabitant has not yet observed. Thoreau’s Journal, August 29, 1851.

It was also delightful chatting with the store’s proprietor about her collection and about a couple of rare books I’m seeking. I know it’s stupid but I always get excited when my book choices are met with the approval of other book people.

The prices are a smidge high for a standard used book store but were more than fair for the out-of-print items I was buying. I practically skipped out the door with my bag of riches.

Find Second Story Used Books at 862 Main Avenue in Durango, Colorado. The sign said they are open by appointment or by chance.

Dreaming of Durango

When you set off on a truly amazing journey where you spend every day in a new place, it can be hard to choose one thing that you liked best. After all, every place is completely different and we were able to focus only on the few special things that sounded most interesting.

However, I can honestly say that of the towns we visited, Durango, Colorado was my favorite. Truth is, we had very little time here – just enough to wet the whistle – and make me wish we didn’t have to leave. Consequently, we are already planning a return trip next year.

It’s a college town of about 19,000 and a tourist destination packed with interesting things to see and do. The Animas River cuts through the city and easy access to the mountains and parks set the stage for a nature lover’s delight. Historic buildings and a steam powered locomotive channel the city’s old west past. Plus, there are tons of cute shops and restaurants to enjoy.

Guys, I made it to three neighborhood bookstores without even trying!

Another thing I appreciate about this downtown is that there are interesting things to see including great architecture, vibrant flowers, murals, sculptures and cool signs. Venture just a block or so away from downtown and you’ll find some beautiful old homes and churches.

Next time, I want to just park the car and wander around on foot for a day or two.

Durango is also close to lots of activity. I think we will find a nice Airbnb for a home base in Durango and take some day trips back to Mesa Verde National Park, on that historic railway and to a host of other places we missed.

Honestly, I hated to leave and can’t wait to go back.