Okay, I have a minute to myself. I am currently sitting the KOA laundry room all by myself. I hate doing laundry but right now, I relish this peaceful moment to myself. It is 9:30pm. I will be here for a while.
Our vacation so far has been terrific. I will give you a brief rundown and my very own “Angela’s Recommendations.”
We stayed in a pseudo KOA just outside of Mesa Verde. We stayed in a rented cabin (20x20 . . . too close for any family). It has your basics--beds and a fan. That’s about it. Now, this pseudo KOA had a heated swimming pool, recreation cabin with a pool table and foosball (forgive my spelling), and mini golf. All the kids wanted to do was play with their cousins and do these things. Going to Mesa Verde to see Indian ruins—not too much fun for a kid.
But let me tell you something, my Callie is so very brave. We went to the Balcony House tour at Mesa Verde. It is a climb down, and a 30ft climb up a ladder to get to the Indian cliff dwellings. Also, you have to crawl on hands and knees through a tunnel and then climb up another 15ft ladder and really steep steps (that scared the bejeebies out of me) to get out of there. I was nervous. Other adults were nervous—some even sang Old McDonald to keep their minds off the process. But not my Callie, she climbed those ladders like it was nobody’s business. I couldn’t believe it.
We also saw Spruce Tree House and from there we went on a hike from hell. No kidding. It was supposed to be a 3.0 mile looped trail to see some Indian petroglyphs. We hiked and we hiked and we hiked somemore—3 adults and 5 kids (four under the age of 8). The kids thought it was great . . . up to a point. We crawled over boulders, climbed rock steps, squeezed through narrow openings, and sat to take a break under a cliff ledge. They were troopers. But it was dang hot!! We brought 4 bottles of water for our family and they were completely gone and we still hadn’t reached the end. It went on and on and on. I kept looking and thinking, my van is parked on that plateau across the valley . . . WAY OVER THERE. This didn’t seem right. The kids started whining and begging to go back to camp to swim. Some even sat down and vowed they would go no further. We actually saw a couple of really worn out cliff dwellings and I thought to myself, “I wonder if we could just live here.” It was that bad. Eventually, we did make it back, but everyone we talked to who did the same hike said there was no way that was only 3 miles. I told my husband, I earned myself some free, no complaining computer time.
So Mesa Verde pseudo KOA I would rate 3 stars ***(I give it 3 because it has the basics and it had WiFi)
Mesa Verde National Park I would have to give it 4 stars (minus a star for the hike I hated) ****
Now for Durango. Holy Cow! It is beautiful here. The mountains and greenery are fantastic. We are staying in a real KOA just outside of Durango, again in cabins and I’m telling you, this place rocks!! They have so much entertainment here and it’s beautiful and brand new. Our cabin has air conditioning and a heating unit—WOW. That’s going above the normal there. They offer pizza delivered to your camp site, pie and ice cream in the evenings (all for a price of course) and a free family movie in the park at dusk. Incredible. Besides living in the 20x20 cabin with my whole family, I could live here forever J And WiFi is a must. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Today, we rode the Durango/Silverton train. It was a 3 hour train drive to Silverton and it was fantastic. It is long. We took naps, but the view is fantastic. The kids loved it. We spent 2 hours in Silverton, a small tourist community, ate lunch at a café in town and went shopping. Then it was another 3 hour train ride back home. I think the only thing the kids will remember is on the trip back was that we were mooned 4 times as we waved to people from the train and that we also received “the bird” from a woman driving a white truck. The kids were rolling with laughter. We threatened them—never, ever are you allowed to moon anyone or flip anyone off. That is rude.
Durango KOA I will give 5 stars ***** (It’s about the closest thing to heaven there is as far as camping goes)
Durango/Silverton Train ride I would give 4 stars **** (long train ride and we sat on the wrong side of the train and had the sun blaring down at us in the morning and then again in the afternoon. We were in an open car.) Overall, it was fun and the kids enjoyed it.
Tomorrow we will start our trek to Frisco, TX. Hopefully, we will stop and stay in a hotel to break up the drive. We have 3 adults and 5 kids in two vans plus a dog, so this will be interesting.
*As I write this, I feel awful dizzy. Back and forth and back again sways my head—the motion of train jostling me around for 6 hours. Kind of strange. I feel like I am still on the train.