I’m in Silverton! I decided not to go to New Mexico this trip, but just head towards home. Silverton is about 50 miles out of route, but I love it here and I wanted to see the fall colors. They haven’t even started in the lower elevations, but they’re looking pretty good here. I think peak color is probably another week or so away. At the top of Molas Pass (between Durango and Silverton) they were brilliant!
I was here at exactly the same time last year but this year the campsites are crammed full of people!! Last year I had a whole cul-de-sac in Kendall camping area to myself, and that same place now has 5 campers in it! So I ended up at Anvil, which is just a little ways farther up the road, and much smaller, only 6 sites. I got a nice pull-through site right on the Animas River. It’s only about 4 miles from town so I even get a bit of a cell signal.
I left Poncha Springs and drove about half way; stayed overnight near Pagosa Springs. The sites I was aiming for were 4 miles from the main road. It was one of the worst roads I’ve ever been on!! Full of potholes; it took me 30 minutes to go less than 3 miles! I saw a pulloff with a few sites there and didn’t even bother to go the extra mile to check out the ones that were listed on FreeCampsites.net. It was right on the East Fork River but there were a bunch of bushes so I couldn’t actually see it, so I didn’t even unhook, just stayed overnight and went on in the morning. It took 30 minutes again to get back to the paved road. This is a scene of one of the ranches off that road.
Along the way I was stopped for 25 minutes for construction, then as the long line of cars got moving again, I saw a moose swimming across a lake! There was no possible way to pull over and get a photo so I hope you don’t think I’m making this up, LOL!
I decided I needed a little hand-held DVD player so I stopped at Walmart in Pagosa Springs and Walmart in Durango, and they didn’t have the cheap $49 one I wanted. I even tried to order one on Amazon and have it delivered to General Delivery in Silverton, but for some reason they couldn’t ship it to a Gen. Delivery address. ?? So I guess I have to dig out my TV. It has a built-in DVD player but it takes up an awful lot of counter space in here, plus the cord has to run right across the doorway over to the inverter, and every time I need to go outside, I have to unplug everything. I am pretty bored with my only entertainment being books and the few games I have on Kindle, and I did bring a bunch of favorite DVDs plus a few bought at a yard sale right before leaving.
I forgot that I had to go over two mountain passes between Durango and here. It wasn’t too bad., as I had the road pretty much to myself. Here’s the view from the top of Molas Pass (10,910’)
It was 31 degrees this morning! The “official” low for Silverton was 28 so maybe my little $3 thermometer is off a bit. I had heavy frost on the car….sure glad I put the plants (Ivy and baby Rosemary) in the car last night. The elevation here is around 9200’ so we could actually get snow at any time. In fact when I was here back in the 70’s, there was a lot of snow and ice on the road going over Red Mountain Pass to Ouray, and that was in July! (Talk about white-knuckled driving; that pass is really scary even in good weather!)
I love Silverton, as long as the train from Durango isn’t in. Then it’s a madhouse of people everywhere. It reminds me of how Telluride used to be, back before it was “discovered”.
I caught a photo of the Durango-Silverton train leaving:
View from the other side of camp
Here a couple Amazon product links that you can use to access Amazon, then you can use their Search Bar to find everything you ever wanted! Thanks!
9 replies on “Return to Silverton”
I hate the drive between Silverton and Ouray, too. There’s an avalanche slide to save the road and a lovely old miners cemetery. There’s almost what looks slime a swampy field in there somewhere and we once saw a moose in there, so I believe you when you say you saw one. I can remember when Silverton was much smaller—all dirt roads. The yellow visitor center was still there when I was there a couple of years ago. The ride to Telluride through Rico and Cortez is where I saw the best leaf color—I think those were the names of the town. Very pleasant drive without the huge passes and drop offs. Pagosa Springs is where some stole one of the bars off my hitch. Don’t care for that area. Glad you are having a good time. I so many movies on DVDs—too bad there’s no way to send them. Good post. Brought back a lot of memories. Molas is known to have bear so be careful where you put your garbage.
Sorry. Made a lot of mistakes in my post—hate posting on my phone. Can’t see!
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I didn’t notice that Silverton had changed that much. The only paved road is still the main one thru town; the rest are all dirt. I didn’t care much for Pagosa Springs either; too commercial. I’m not going to Telluride this year. I was so disappointed in seeing it last year that I won’t ever go again. I’ll hold onto my good memories of Telluride in the 70’s, before all the condos were built and it became so high-class.
Silverton has grown a lot in 20 years. Fortunately not as much as Telluride. The main road was dirt until I went back in 2010.
Beautiful campsite. It’s been ages since we’ve been to Colorado, at least since 2009. Someday we will go back.
Even though your plans get side-tracked, I still find myself jealous where ever you end up…. Wishing I was anywhere other than the east coast.
Drop whatever you’re doing and head out West!
I see north west in my future.
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It’s great….I’ve fallen in love with Colorado!