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Old 04-11-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parfleche View Post
....I will always have good memories of how it was and can never be again. Money rules there.
Same here for the long-gone culture of Chesapeake Bay watermen and big-time steam railroading, which are my frames of reference. The old day are all gone, no matter where in the country one lives or has lived. I've told people many times that the country has been growing since the Mayflower landed, and it will continue to do so. The only constant is change. All we can do is try to manage it smartly, adapt to it as best we can, and make the most of it. I refuse to feel victimized by progress or the natural order of change.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 04-11-2011 at 09:50 AM..
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Amazing for a town of just 15,000.
That ignores that fact that Durango is full of part-time residents that frequently aren't counted in the census, and that on any given summer day there are probably at least 5,000 tourists in town, too.

In the summer, Durango absolutely has the worst traffic of any town its size in Colorado--all the way from Animas City to Carbon Junction. And, yes, probably only the "long-timers" like me in Coloraodo know those placenames in Durango.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,255,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
-all the way from Animas City to Carbon Junction. And, yes, probably only the "long-timers" like me in Coloraodo know those placenames in Durango.
I'm pretty sure even fairly recent locals are quite familiar with them.

At least drivers there don't have to contend with this anymore on Main St.:

http://dhs.durangoschools.org/cdp/83-08-003.JPG
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
I'm pretty sure even fairly recent locals are quite familiar with them.

At least drivers there don't have to contend with this anymore on Main St.:

http://dhs.durangoschools.org/cdp/83-08-003.JPG
I wonder if they know where such locales as Tiffany, Oxford, La Boca, Bondad, Breen, Redmesa--just to name a few--are. I've been to all of 'em.

As far a cattle drives on Main Avenue in Durango, that used to be a regular occurrence in many Colorado towns. Hell's bells, it's only been in the last 25 years or so that the City of Denver finally repealed a city ordinance prohibiting cattle drives going the wrong way on a one-way street. At least Denver still has the Grand Champion steer from the National Western Stock Show put on display in the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel for an afternoon.

Like the Beef Council's bumper sticker says, "Eat Beef. The West wasn't won on salad."
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,255,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I wonder if they know where such locales as Tiffany, Oxford, La Boca, Bondad, Breen, Redmesa--just to name a few--are. I've been to all of 'em.

As far a cattle drives on Main Avenue in Durango, that used to be a regular occurrence in many Colorado towns. Hell's bells, it's only been in the last 25 years or so that the City of Denver finally repealed a city ordinance prohibiting cattle drives going the wrong way on a one-way street. At least Denver still has the Grand Champion steer from the National Western Stock Show put on display in the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel for an afternoon.

Like the Beef Council's bumper sticker says, "Eat Beef. The West wasn't won on salad."
Wasn't just beef cattle. When my 3xgreat grandfather got too old to ranch his job was to take the town's dairy herd out to graze and bring them back, often with one of his small grandkids in the saddle with him. Although that was before there were many cars in Durango.

My family owned ranchland in Breen and Redmesa, as well as Kline and Ridges Basin, some of it homesteaded.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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Wink Durango from a vantage

This seems impossible to me, but if memory serves I knew Durango before they built the US 160 detour along the south edge of town. That is where all the big box stores are clustered now.

The old road remained on the north side of the Animas River, and one entered the far southeast corner of town to jog left and right to continue north on US 550, or west towards Cortez. If continuing straight, then a bit of residential and winding up the hill to Fort Lewis College. This road is still there, but now acting as a secondary frontage road, or best access to that corner of town.

Those familiar with Seattle, WA understand why traffic is so often heavy on I-5. This interstate is the principal artery north and south through a region which is defined by Puget Sound to the west, and the Cascade Mountains to the east. There is not much room to spread out, and it all centers upon I-5.

The main drag north through Durango, US 550, suffers much the same in comparison, only perhaps more so. One can in places use residential streets, but in practical terms US 550 is it in traversing a town which stretches a good distance from south to north. Mountains and also river close in from both west and east, providing the town with a scenic but quite narrow valley to inhabit. While it pushes out and escapes in various directions, like up Florida Road, they all at last must answer to US 550.

At one time it was even fun to cruise up and down main street on some lovely afternoon, and possible. There were the inevitable stop lights, but traffic more usually moderate, even in summer. But in time Durango serves as an excellent case in point in resource deprivation. When it comes to access north and south through town there is only so much of US 550 to go around, thus every new resident and car will be felt.

My advice to visit the campus of Fort Lewis College. Drive to the left on the perimeter road along the edge of the plateau, past the small chapel. At a point one might find the perfect vantage to sit at the edge and look out over the town in the valley below, the snow caped peaks of the San Juan Mountains shimmering in the distance beyond to the north. Perhaps existential then to reflect upon growth and 'progress,' and what best makes and defines a town.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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My favorite "Like" about Durango is the wealth of hiking, climbing & backpacking trails a short drive out of town.... world class backpacking like the Colorado Trail, 14ers to climb & lots of alpine hiking. That's what I love about Durango.

My "Dislike" is seeing the farm land out 550 disappear. I used to live in a cabin out near Honeyville & get saddened to see all the development but then that's the way it goes!
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Durango, CO
118 posts, read 268,052 times
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Dislikes:

It can be an incredibly hard place to support yourself. Our first friends here have already had to leave to find employment in metro Denver. (But they still own their home here and are renting it out – see more on this later)

As follows point number one – the wage vs. cost of living scale here is not “fair” if that word means anything in this context. As with many “mountain town’s”, it seems that a lot of the population works 2 or 3 (or 4) jobs to stay here. [But, they want to stay here, and if they can’t, they often find a way tom come back.]

The Spring dust storms are a little depressing.

It’s a small enough town that if you are a single 25-40 yr old, it can be pretty tough to find a….er...mate? And it drives good single people out of town.

Likes: (and believe me when I say that this is a partial list)

Seeing elk from my bed this morning when I woke up

That it seems like everyone in town knows my 2 yr old daughter by name

4 good brewpubs in town. 4!

The Animas River

The animas river trail (way ahead of it’s time for a recreational “MUT”)

The sun!

The size of the trout in the animas river

Riding to work on the bike in January when it’s 7 degrees F as I leave my house (and that i'm far from the only bike commuter out there year-round)

Riding the bike home from work in July when it’s 84 degrees

What seems like zero humidity

The quantity and quality of friends we made almost immediately as total strangers here

The fact that there are several restaurants in town that are terrific, even after spending a week eating in San Francisco

The fact that I find myself longing for home after a day or two, even if I’m on vacation

The overwhelming sense that most residents of this town love the community, the landscape and the people here, and will do what they have to do to stay here.

Hiking up Perin's Peak from my front door

That living in this town has lead to me getting back into shape and being healthy for the first time in a decade. And that I’m still the slow guy on our rides.

A seemingly unshakable sense of community. I run into someone I know (and like) seemingly every hour that we’re out running around. There are endless opportunities to help…someone or something…the humane society, the soup kitchen (although they turn volunteers away on thanksgiving because they have too much help), the Durango Devo junior cycling development program. The list goes on and on.

The farmer’s market

Maria's Bookstore

E8

The incredible quality of day care and things for children to do here

That there's so much great riding and hiking that it's sometimes hard to decide what to do

The property taxes (I still can’t believe that one!)

The Colorado Trail

Did I mention 4 brewpubs?

Bread

Zia's

The absolutely jawdropping Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad in Fall

The guys I’ve met that work in the roundhouse

The view of the college mesa and Raiders Ridge from my daughter’s room

That the kid’s growing up here and seems to be loving every minute of it! (see for yourself)
Attached Thumbnails
Durango - Likes and Dislikes?-leprechaun-cropped-sm-.jpg  

Last edited by jchasse; 04-11-2011 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,255,168 times
Reputation: 6815
^^Awesome post!
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:15 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,099,702 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
This seems impossible to me, but if memory serves I knew Durango before they built the US 160 detour along the south edge of town. That is where all the big box stores are clustered now.

The old road remained on the north side of the Animas River, and one entered the far southeast corner of town to jog left and right to continue north on US 550, or west towards Cortez. If continuing straight, then a bit of residential and winding up the hill to Fort Lewis College. This road is still there, but now acting as a secondary frontage road, or best access to that corner of town.

Those familiar with Seattle, WA understand why traffic is so often heavy on I-5. This interstate is the principal artery north and south through a region which is defined by Puget Sound to the west, and the Cascade Mountains to the east. There is not much room to spread out, and it all centers upon I-5.

The main drag north through Durango, US 550, suffers much the same in comparison, only perhaps more so. One can in places use residential streets, but in practical terms US 550 is it in traversing a town which stretches a good distance from south to north. Mountains and also river close in from both west and east, providing the town with a scenic but quite narrow valley to inhabit. While it pushes out and escapes in various directions, like up Florida Road, they all at last must answer to US 550.

At one time it was even fun to cruise up and down main street on some lovely afternoon, and possible. There were the inevitable stop lights, but traffic more usually moderate, even in summer. But in time Durango serves as an excellent case in point in resource deprivation. When it comes to access north and south through town there is only so much of US 550 to go around, thus every new resident and car will be felt.

My advice to visit the campus of Fort Lewis College. Drive to the left on the perimeter road along the edge of the plateau, past the small chapel. At a point one might find the perfect vantage to sit at the edge and look out over the town in the valley below, the snow caped peaks of the San Juan Mountains shimmering in the distance beyond to the north. Perhaps existential then to reflect upon growth and 'progress,' and what best makes and defines a town.
Yeah, back when, US550 and US160 coming in from the south stayed up on the hill on the east side of the Animas. Wiseman's sawmill, complete with slash burners, was down in the valley along with some other industry--the railroad was down there, too. On the highway, there was a very good Italian restaurant south of town--"The Villa," I believe it was called. Eventually, 160 and 550 came into town on what is now CO3 (East 8th Ave.), turning west on 6th Street to Main Ave., or on west to Camino Del Rio.

The area south and east of the railroad yard was known as "Mexican Flats." South of the railroad depot was the gutted hulk of the Telluride Iron Works building. That whole area south of about 8th St. was considered pretty rough when I first went to Durango. Of course, "Rio Grande Land" revitalized the area around the railroad depot, but there was still some seedy stuff down there even into the early 1970's. The railroad yard was unfenced, and if one asked one of the "hostlers" in the roundhouse, a climb up into the cab of one the steam locomotives was possible, even maybe a ride around the yard while they were switching.

The Strater was "the watering hole" in town, and could be a pretty rip-roaring place when a number of the patrons got "oiled up." When Francisco's bar and Mexican restaurant opened up down the street, one could have some great New Mexican food and potentially get into a good fist fight if things were "jumpin'" there. When I go into the "yuppified" version of Francisco's now, I just laugh thinking about how that place started.

Then there was the Navajo Trails Fiesta every year. Talk about a wild town during that--drunken Indians (and cowboys) everywhere. It could be 100 and the Native American women would be wandering around in those full-length felt dresses. I knew one of the McKnight brothers that owned the jewelry store. They would take in Indian handmade jewelry in trade for watches and such. He told me that in the 1950's they had 55 gallon barrels in the store basement filled with authentic antique silver and turquoise jewelry that they couldn't give away back then.

All the important business in town was conducted at the coffee club at the Parson's Drug Store.

For years, the state record rainbow trout was one caught about a block south of the State Trout Hatchery. The Game & Fish people would never own up to the idea that one of their "pet" show fish--used to gawking tourists at the hatchery and eating Purina Trout Chow--got loose into the Animas River.

Then, of course, I happened to be in Durango when the Animas River flooded on Labor Weekend 1970. All that yuppie crap built since then north of town most of the way to Hermosa would have been in 4'-6' of water had it been there then. Since 1970, this has been the longest time since Durango was settled without a major flood on the Animas. It's due. 22 out of 45 miles of the railroad was washed out between Durango and Silverton in that flood. The Denver & Rio Grande got it rebuilt over the winter and opened for business for summer 1971. Photos here: 1970 Flood, Animas Canyon - a set on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/53177163@N00/sets/72157594349354080/ - broken link) ; 1970 Flood, Part 2 - a set on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/53177163@N00/sets/72157600071175211/ - broken link) ) If that happened today, it would take that long, at least, just to get all the permits to start rebuilding.

I never lived in Durango, but I spent a lot of time there back when it was one real fun historical town. My main involvement there now is with these guys--who have done some really neat restoration of what was nothing but a derelict locomotive back when I first went to Durango ( DURANGO RAILROAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY ).
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