We stopped for a few days in Delta, Colorado, again, planning for lower altitudes to accommodate my uncooperative metabolism. After we arrived I was ill for a few days, but after I got better we decided to check out Telluride and Durango. We booked a room in Durango, whose elevation of 6,500 feet is around my upper limit.
The drive across the mountains to get there was splendid. As you can see from these photos, it was the type of scenery which one calls to mind when one thinks of the Rockies or the Alps in Springtime; gorgeous!
As for Telluride: I have to say we were underwhelmed. We are not skiers and it was not ski season, but it seemed to be pretty nondescript set of dormitories for skiers.
The hotel we stayed at was the Strater Hotel, a restored Victorian masterpiece in downtown Durango.
The lobby absolutely took our breath away with its gleaming carved wood, velvet wallpaper, and antiquey furnishings. The staff was cheerful and welcoming; they were very helpful when it turned out the elevator was broken and we informed them that, between my altitude intolerance and our arthritis, we could not stay on the third floor; they moved us to the first floor. The air conditioning also didn’t work and one of the cheerful perky staffers brought us a box fan for the window, which was fine for Colorado in May. Then we observed that the antique-reproduction wooden chair was pulling apart at the joints and about to collapse, and we decided that the hotel’s careful modernization might have left something to be desired.
We ate at the Mahogany Grille, their upscale restaurant. The prices reflected a much higher quality of food than was supplied (things were cold/overcooked/badly seasoned) and the waiter tried to tell me corvina is a Mediterranean fish (I lived in Ecuador, I know corvina!). In fact, the waiters all had a line of pretentious patter they evidently memorize daily regarding the menu offerings.
We walked (slowly, cautious about the altitude) around the downtown, took in the sights, visited a recreational marijuana dispensary (things have sure changed in the marijuana world since the 70’s when I used to smoke it!), and enjoyed the little town. Then it was time to return to our little snail shell and pack up for Mesa Verde.