On our way between Capitol Reef and Durango, we stopped for lunch at Stan’s Burger Shak in Hanksville. Very good!
We stayed at Ancient Cedars Mesa Verde RV Park from October 17th to October 20th at site 504. Cost was $133.50 for our two night stay. This RV Park is located .6 miles away from Mesa Verde National Park. It is not far from the Hwy 160 exit, but it isn’t right off the Hwy so there isn’t any traffic noise from the highway. It is more like a campground in my opinion since you are able to have a fire in the fire pit provided at your site. There is a group campfire area. They have wood for purchase at the office as well as groceries, Southwest Gifts, and camping needs. A can of Dr. Pepper costs $1.
They have 17 deluxe full hook up, 13 premium full hook up, 26 full hook up, 9 water/electric and 4 deluxe water/electric sites. There are 4 deluxe tent and 6 regular tent sites. They have 4 cabin sites as well. They have a bath house with restrooms attached to the office, they are open all day every day except during 11 to 1 when it is closed for cleaning. There are 3 toilets and 3 showers in each of the bath houses, one for men & one for women. I used the shower on our first morning at the park but was the only one in the bathroom at the time and the motion sensor lights shut off on me while I was getting dressed. I am not sure how long I was in there before the lights went off. I was there before sunrise so it was pitch black. Luckily, I had my phone with me and was able to turn on the flashlight. I was in the dressing room part of the shower and did not remember how it locked. As soon as I opened the door to the stall the light went back on. he heat didn’t work very well in the bathroom.
The laundry area has 4 washers costing a minimum of $2.25 & 4 dryers which cost $2 and is available 24/7. I am not sure how many minutes you get on the dryer because I chose to wait to do laundry at our next stop. There are 2 hosts on site. The water is city water.
There is a ½ acre fenced dog park, barn for hosting special events, recreation area, BBQ area near the office, a rec hall that contains a couple couches & a tv, a table that had a puzzle ready to be put together, a book shelf with books & movies you could borrow, a pool table, Foosball table and an arcade game, which was out of order. There was a second table in the room as well. There is a playground area, picnic area with gazebo, a swimming pool & hot tub, horse shoe area, bocce ball & 18 hole miniature golf which costs $3 per person. There is a propane dispenser, dump station and a dish sink access located near the office. There are dumpsters at either end of the RV Park. There is free Wi-fi, digital antenna TV with 100+ channels.
We spent some time in Durango, CO on the 18th. Chad stopped to get a coffee at Durango Coffee Co. on his way to see his mosquito control customer and he was very happy with his $4.50 16 oz Mocha. I took some pictures around Durango until lunch time.
We ate lunch at a place, Nayarit Mexican Cuisine, that he noticed as we were driving through town to get to an appointment with customers of Chad’s. We received a complimentary basket of chips with salsa. Chad thought the salsa was very good, I am not much for salsa since it tends to be too spicy for me. Chad had the Carne Asada Enchilada lunch plate which comes with homemade beans & rice, cost $10.25 before tax and Victoria had the Shredded Beef Chimichanga lunch plate, cost $9.95, that comes with homemade guacamole as one of the toppings. $2.25 was the cost of a glass of Ice Tea. The food was good and so was the service.
Chad had a bad tooth ache, which started about 2 weeks prior, but seemed to go away. It flared up again while we were in Torrey, UT so he called several places in Durango and was able to make an appointment at Comfort Dental for the Friday morning while we were going to be in town. He was told that a root canal and crown was needed, but due to the fact that there was only a 50/50 chance the tooth could be saved due to the extent of the abscess, and due to travelling he would have had to arrange an appointment with an endodontist somewhere to get the expensive work done without any guarantee it would ultimately work out, he chose to get the tooth pulled. They were able to get it taken care of the same day, just later on in the early evening.
We stopped at Mesa Verde Visitor Center before the tooth pulling. We found out that it is essential to by your tour tickets for the different cliff dwellings in advance especially during peak season. We found out when buying our tickets that the 19th of October was the last day for tours of the Cliff Palace dwellings. The cost of the tickets is only $5 each. We were advised to give ourselves an hour to drive up to the starting point of the tour. It only took us 40 minutes since there weren’t as many tourists as there normally would be. We were also advised to arrive 10 minutes before the starting time of the tour. You are only allowed to bring drinking water on the tour and you need to be in good physical condition to climb up and down the uneven stairs and the wooden ladders. There are plenty of other points of interest along the way that you will want to stop and look at.
On Sunday we decided to attend the Durango Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The theme was “Coming Out, Coming In” presented by Nancy Stoffer, the coordinator of diversity programming at Fort Lewis College, and it was phenomenal. The message, music, coffee, conversations, and people were a warm bright spot in the Colorado experience as we then headed North to Grand Junction.
We ate at Nayarit Mexican Cuisine again for lunch. Chad had the Burrito Mariscos – Baby shrimp, fish, and scallops in a tortilla with rice and beans, cost $13.75 and I had a Carnitas Street Taco, cost $2.50 each. For dessert we had fried ice cream, cost $5.75.
We unfortunately did not do our investigation of other things to do in the area. There was an Animas Valley Balloon Rally happening the weekend we were here. To find out more info click the link and then go to schedule of events. I did see one hot air balloon when taking pictures while waiting for Chad since he was meeting with a customer. The gentleman Chad was meeting with told us we should ride the steam train. We did see the train on our way to get coffee that morning and thought it was cool. We found out that we didn’t have enough time on Friday for a ride and the rest of our weekend was already planned out before needing to move on to our next destination . It is a full day on the train with a 9 hour round-trip experience beginning with a 3.5 hour journey from Durango to Silverton. Once there, you’ll have 2 hours to explore the historic mining town of Silverton before the 3.5 hour train ride back to Durango. The train ride is fairly expensive as one might imagine, ticket prices vary. They did have a special train ride for families with kids to The Great Pumpkin Patch Express! These rides are only available on specific days in October. The cheapest ticket is $27 for a child ages 2-11 and then it is $35 for 12 & up. At the Pumpkin Patch site you’ll have about 1 1/2 hours of fun for the whole family! Live musical entertainment, Costume Contest, Live Reindeer, Maze to the Pumpkin Patch, Letter Writing to the Great Pumpkin, Fuzziwigs Candy Factory, Lucy’s Psychiatric Help Booth, Hay Bale Wagon Ride, Photos with Snoopy & Charlie Brown and a Food Tent will be available at the Pumpkin Patch to purchase lunch, beverages and snacks! Menu includes breakfast burritos, hamburgers, and hot dogs. There is Trick or Treating for Candy, Bounce House, PEANUTS / Halloween themed arts and crafts, Temporary tattoos, Corn Pools, Pumpkin Decorating, Putt-putt golf course, Football Kicking Contest, Face Painting. For the adults – Horseshoes, Airplane Dispatch Station, Wine Tasting & Purchase and Beer Tasting & Purchase. There is also a Polar Express train ride beginning December 15 through January 2.