Cliff dwellings, mining towns, and of course, beer

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Before we begin with our Colorado adventure a quick stop to fill up on groceries. Life in a parking lot..

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Mesa Verde

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This stop was a blast from the past for Jaimi, who worked here back in her college days. It was amazing to see the construction of the pit houses, kivas, and cliff dwellings. The stone walls, the fire ventilation shafts, and general appearance show that these people had a pretty good thing going here.

The hardest thing to grasp was the idea of climbing a rock face to get to the cliff dwellings.

We enjoyed our day here with a picnic lunch in/on Smartie and a short traffic stop to allow for a tarantula crossing.

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Durango

We found another great fairgrounds to call home in Durango, CO. Our spot was steps to the Animas River and bike path. Luckily the Slime in our bike tires has been holding up well and fall seemed to be a perfect time for a bike ride into town. The weather, trees, and river were beautiful. Colorado has some great beer options and we explored several in the area. Animas Brewing Co., Durango Brewing Co., and Ska Brewing Co. were all walkable or bikeable from the site.

Just next door to Durango are Silverton and Ouray. We had heard multiple times in our short stop that we should do the drive out to these turn of the century mining towns. It was not a letdown. A beautiful mountain road took us through several lake overlooks. There were obvious remains of old mining operations peppered along the way.

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A look at Silverton from above. 

We hit the furthest end, Ouray, first. This little town, apparently the Switzerland of America, is surrounded by rocky peaks. It was another awesome sight and experience. To take it all in we enjoyed the view from the rooftop patio of the Ouray Brewing Company, which is the only place we’ve been since our honeymoon to have swings at the bar!

Silverton was another cute, late Victorian, mountain mining town. Though mostly closed up for the season, we found Golden Block Brewery for wood fired pizza and a beer.

We met some great people in Durango and it’s on our list to check out further in the future. Shout outs to our Airstream neighbor Paul and beer buddies Hannah, Jordan, Jackson, Lizzy, Sonja, and Jake!

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