Serendipity landed us in the welcome parking direction arms of Geno from Maine as he guided us into Durango’s Lower Columbine lot. “Just pa-ahk near the back and it’ll be fine”. We visited and I particularly enjoyed the Main-ah pronunciation of “Mon-aww-rch” as we told him our little story. The usual glint formed in his eyes as we went up toward that nice dinner at the resort and a good nights cozy sleep.
Durango proved to be a very nice ski area, I’m glad they cling a bit to their old name, Purgatory. Dante’s, Limbo, Hades, and Pitchfork among others make for a fun theme of trail names. The most notable terrain feature though are the shelves.
Every trail seems to roll along, flowing from gentle to sudden steep pitches. Dropping out from under you, over and over. Rolly-polly, undulating ground leading lower and lower. Such fun to let the skis lead me down, pressing my legs sideways to compress a pre-jump and stay on the ground. Maybe you had to be there, maybe you had to see it,
The next day we had the distinct joy of lunch in town with Christy and Steve, friends of my sister Meg. We laughed and bubbled through dozens of stories. Included, of course, was their own early trip into Durango that led to moving here and leaving the family/company arms of the also incredible Merritt company/family! They have skied, worked, sailed the Caribbean living on a sailboat for a year and and seem to have that same sense for life that leads to daily joy also. Kindred. We really hope to visit with them again. I may have to buy Meg a plane ticket out here to press her to take her own visit with them and to see Colorado.
Our own lack of planning almost made us miss out on that lunch. After skiing, night fell quickly and our “serendipitous selves” hadn’t found a “campsite”. We sometimes hide, sometimes park in plain sight. That eve I thought a parking spot under a streetlight on Fort Lewis College looked un-noticeable. Ha! At 9:30 a campus security officer knocked on our door (First time on the whole trip!) and gave us an “out”. “You’re not planning on sleeping here are you?” There is a city ordinance against “camping” anywhere inside city limits. Thank goodness for Walmart! We found a store 3 miles away and didn’t have to drive far so tired. (This is the second city that seems bent upon keeping campers and Trampers from sleeping peacefully, Saint Augustine, FL was first).