At Dolores River Campground, Dolores, Colorado...
The first couple of weeks in July that we spent at our Hondo, Texas place was a reminder that we were more than a month overdue for our usual departure from the oven that Texas becomes in the summer. While it wasn't as hot as usual, the heat coupled with the humidity made for very unpleasant days, wherein we were trapped inside but grateful for Willis Carrier's invention of the modern air conditioner in 1902. Being there with friends Richard and Karen was a delightful distraction; however, they must stay in Hondo all summer. There is no doubt they will enjoy their big, spanking new fifth wheel to keep them comfortable and cool.
Our 1,000-mile journey from Hondo to Dolores went without a hitch, thanks to good old Phannie. We try to keep the legs to about 300 miles a day now, especially in the badlands through which we traveled--well, they're not really BAD, they're just, uh, not what you would call scenic. We have tried driving 200 miles a day, but that seems too slow (unless we're in scenic territory), and we've tried 500 miles a day--once. We're getting too old for that kind of abuse. Three hundred-ish seems about right.
Once we approached Cortez, Colorado, the San Juan mountains began coming into view, and we knew we were not far away from a very pleasant remainder of the summer. We continued ten miles past Cortez to the little town of Dolores which, at nearly 7,000 feet elevation, we knew the heat and humidity we left would have a hard time finding us:
Dolores is a tiny town--so tiny it has only one bank and one small grocery store and, of course, the old train depot you see above, the cutout showing the town's elevation of 6957 feet. (I hate to tell you this, my dear family and friends back home, but we often have to use the heater in Phannie on cold mornings; it sometimes gets down into the fifties.) In a drive through the back streets of Dolores--which doesn't take very long--we see flowers like these. I don't know what they are, but they appear to be growing wild. It's a pretty little place.
We spent a day sightseeing, the six of us friends riding with Bubba driving over to Ridgway to eat a scrumptious breakfast at Kate's Place. It's Limoncello pancakes were possibly the best we've ever eaten. Everything we had was good enough to place it in the "Best Restaurants" list on this blog. Here are the six of us at Kate's--way too full, I'm afraid, but the weather was fabulous: