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8th August 2003 - Road Trip - day 8 - Durango, Purgatory

We drove the 28 miles out of Durango, to Durango Mountain Resort, otherwise known as Purgatory with the idea of some more biking.

We managed a short green rated loop called ‘Brush Rake Road Loop’ – it was only 1.7 miles long but had some tough climbs. So, now that we were suitably knackered, we decided to do the 5 mile ‘Los Pinos Trail’ which has a lots of long climbs, but worth it for the down-hill run on to ‘Diggler’.

After all that exertion we found there was a short trail along the flat to the Sows Ear Restaurant. We had spotted this strange sounding place on the drive from Silverton to Durango the night before, so rode there only to find that the restaurant didn’t open until much later on. However the Silverpick Lodge attached to the restaurant looked very nice, so I decided to ask what the room rate was for a laugh. It looked well out of our price range but the rooms were only going for $48. What! “Did you have availability last night?” I asked – “Yes” was the reply – bummer indeed!

silverpick lodge

We had a much need luxury shower, did some laundry and ate in the Sows Ear Restaurant. Always being adventurous when it comes to food, I ordered the Elk – and it was stunning – definitely the best meal of the trip (and the most expensive).

We were warned to make sure that there was no food in the car, as they sometime get visits from bears in the night looking to get into the trashcans from the restaurant. The Irish guy at reception told us they needed to lock up all the dumpsters at night to stop them being trashed by the bears. He said that in the mountains that by the time you see the bear it’s normally going away from you, as they don’t look for human contact. On the other hand he told us of a time he was walking the trails nearby during the day, and saw a mountain lion, which simply started at him – spooky!

At 02:30 we heard a noise outside just below our bedroom window on the 1st floor (2nd to the Americans). Getting up and looking up there was a bear on top of the skip (dumpster) trying to get into it. Amazing – I’ve never seem a bear in the wild before!