Silverton where the “Old West” meets “Jeeping”

 

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Part cowboy, part mining, part recreation, part old west and spectacular beauty is what you will find in Silverton, Colorado. It is a blend of the old mining, cowboy southwest and off road recreational but they do it wonderfully.

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It’s where the 100% Coal fired Steam train still pulls up with visitors daily in the summer months. We decided a visit over one weekend and this would allow us to discover some of the sights in our own backyard here in Colorado.

Our new RV Lifestyle gives us the opportunity to do more being we are not tied to a house and all that goes with it.  We have cut down on all of the things we had to do and find we have a lot more free time.  Nothing better in my opinion.  We still work full time and we live in our Redwood 5th wheel full time too.  We are on our way to retirement but not quite there yet.  We are working towards 2 years maybe sooner maybe longer.

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Silverton is definitely ideal for the tourist who visit and it caters to that crowd. The buildings are still in your late 1800’s to early 1900’s facades. The once infamous Blair street which at one time hosted the underbelly of the town, and was reported to have 29 saloons and houses of ill repute now houses restaurants, candy stores, and hotels.

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We stayed at the beautiful Grand Imperial Hotel which is a classic 1900’s style hotel, it is really like walking back in time. We had a corner room and there is no air-conditioning but you really don’t need it. The bed I thought was the least appealing aspect.  I felt like it was left over from the 1900’s as it was hard as rock, and to complement it you had pillows that were also hard as a brick. Not good for the luxury minimalist in me. The hotel looked like it needed a little facelift as the room wall paper was peeling. Yet, it did add to the atmosphere of the whole thing.  I would not hesitate to book with them again but I would ask for better pillows, that would have made the hard bed easier to accept.

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Where Silverton shines in my opinion is its closeness and access to its off road areas. They are some of the finest Colorado has to offer. Here you will find the young and the old traversing these mountain trails. You could go back every weekend over summer and most likely not see everything. We managed to make it over to Hurricane pass and Corkscrew trail. We got to experience some amazing beauty and both my husband Paul and I thought we should take a weekend and camp up there by one of the Alpine lakes.  I cover the Jeeping aspect in more depth in “the man way the woman way Jeeping”.

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The weakest part of the town of Silverton is its food. Overpriced and nothing spectacular. So I guess you are paying for them to hall it over the mountain and then the ambiance of the place. I can say though that the best meal I had all weekend was at a little place called the Brown Bear Café where we had breakfast. I ordered a short stack of the banana pancakes. Let me tell you the short stack could feed and army. It was most excellent and the side of bacon was delicious.   Coffee was awful but hey I will take that being they hit the ball out of the park with the pancakes.

They were busy and the service was friendly and would be interested in trying lunch there.  They might just be better than what I saw and experienced through the rest of the town.

Silverton is a must see for visitors to this area, stay and experience the old west and of course of you would like to book a stay please by all means use my book site www.travelwitht.mtravel.com.  Better yet give me a call and I will help you.  There are various time period hotels in the area.

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The man way the woman way: Jeeping the Southwest

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Colorful Colorado lives up to its name here in the Southwest.   It has not only spectacular beauty but the best and most incredible jeep trails.  In the southwestern range you will find anywhere from 9,000 to 14,000 ft trails and they are definitely not for the faint of heart. If you have angina or heart trouble make sure you have your meds.

Being the newbies my husband and I thought we would give them a try.  I mean why not right.  So the 2 middle age jeepers head up the mountain and travel up like they are pros.

The woman way is purchase my books, and scour all the blogs looking at which trails to try first.  To locate the correct trails use my gps or garmin and map out all the roads I need to follow.  I mean you see how well that worked with the RV parking right?

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The mans way get in and go.  Don’t look at anything, just drive the jeep up the mountain.  It’s a jeep, there is a mountain, lets go.  There might have even been a grunt or two in there somewhere.

So being the wonderfully considerate wife that I am.  I forgo my woman way, books, trails ect and I jump on board with the man way.  I am flexible like that.  Jumping into the jeep we head towards the mountain we were off hair blowing in the wind (well mine anyways).

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Our route was through Gladstone past the Durango mine incident and straight up towards Hurricane Pass.  We managed to make it quite far before even having to really place it into four wheel drive.   So the two newbies wait until it is really necessary to place it in 4wd and of course it is on a switchback next to a ledge drop off.  I mean really you really don’t need to worry right?

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Well maybe not if you have driven the pass or even bothered to look it up but why do we need to do that?  So for about what seemed like 10 minutes right before we had to break the jeep book out, to make sure we were doing it right, on the switchback, on the ledge with a 12,000 ft drop down, with the wife trying not to utter a word, we get it in gear.

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I have to say being on the side of a 12,000 to 14,000 foot drop barely wide enough for your vehicle to fit makes you think and wonder (for a catholic)  man I hope I made a good confession.  A couple of times we stated to each other, we are way to old for this crap and the words no sooner coming out of our mouth and we pass a couple in there 70’s.  So not to be out done by the old folks we forge on.

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At times having to maneuver the jeep around other jeeps trying to get up the same mountain with a sheer drop off and really only space for 1 jeep.  Talk about adrenalin!  I would say this is definitely enough of a pump for an adventure junkie.

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The jeeping trails in Colorado are fantastic and whether you do it the man way or the woman way you are sure to get not only a great view but a great ride.   Most of our big trails don’t open up until around June or July due to snow pack and then close sometime in October usually again for snow pack.

I would love for you to come visit my home state and it’s incredible hiking and jeeping trails.  So if your making a weekend trip or longer from out of the area and if you need a place to stay please use my website booking link or go to travelwitht.mtravel.com.  It’s how I make a living on my blog.  If you book anywhere I post about let’s say a hotel I make a little money.  In Silverton I have Teller House listed. All the hotels in the area are period style places and reminiscent of the old west.   They are a classic way to stay the night and enjoy what the little town has to offer.  Especially since these beautiful trails are right by the area.

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Please check out our future travel and let me know if you want to join us.  After all the blog is TravelwithT.net.  Happy Day!

The New RV Luxury Minimalist

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Ok so we have started this journey to simplify our lives.  I have to say we really have, we sold our house, we got rid of a lot of stuff, and we are down to what will fit in the 5th wheel.  Yet, I am sorry I admit it “I am Teresa, and I am a luxury minimalist.   I think I have coined the phrase myself.  So just what is that you ask?

Well, it’s a simplified version of the dream.  What does that mean it means I still enjoy a lot of little things I enjoyed before just on a different scale.  I have ditched pretty much everything that went with a 2500 sq ft home.  EXCEPT; my coffee, my wine, and my food not necessarily in that order.

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I mean really, I am in my 50’s and I like my little comforts.  I don’t want to live in a van or pop up.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  I mean if I was in my 20’s, 30’s, maybe early 40’s I might even enjoy it.  I even might enjoy a little back pack trip now and then.  A couple of days trekking around the Colorado mountains or for that matter Europe with a back pack and in a hotel.  I like my hotels and I love Marriott for my hotel choice.  Although I might be open to trying some others.  I will have to see after I finish the Year with Marriott Gold experience I am on.  I don’t want to stay in a hostel and being I still work full time I am ok with forking out the money for a little extra comfort.  Or better yet POINTS!  My favorite way of getting great rooms on vacation with little or no outlay of cash.

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So for the luxury minimalist I enjoy cooking and creating wonderful meals, I enjoy wine, and wineries, and then more wine.  I enjoy a nice bed, a nice hotel, and I enjoy a city visit as much as a country visit.  I am not the new extreme version of the Minimalist, no car, no television, and other things like that.  I am a minimalist in the aspect of things and where we live.  I really can’t purchase anything because we can’t fit too much in our 5th wheel.

Yes, I have moved into a 5th wheel and some may gasp at the thought.  Yet, the Redwood is not your classic small tin can.  I have wonderful rustic cherry wood cabinets, actually nicer than I had in my stick built home.  I have a wonderful air-conditioner which I had not owned in 12 years.  I have solid surface corian countertops, I have a lovely king size bed all in the space of 325 sq feet or so.  This is what I mean I am a luxury minimalist I have a small space but it is equipped with very nice amenities and comforts.

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My husband and I have managed to scale down tremendously but I still enjoy many things I did before and we have reduced our cost exponentially.  It takes a nice outlay of cash to keep up 3 acres, with a 2500 sq ft house and greenhouse.  Not to mention the time it needs for maintenance and upkeep.  So now my husband has way more time on his hands too.

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So in a sense we have upgraded and reduced our cost.  It’s a wonderful win win idea.   There are many who prefer to maybe buy a vacation home on the beach or in the mountains.   We decided why not buy our home and move it to where we choose?  Why not be able to have the beach one year, the mountains one year, and or the desert, and or city at another time?  Perfect for the wanna be vagabonds!

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Style, one thing I was worried about having to pair down my selection of wardrobe.  I was introduced to the concept of capsule wardrobes and project 333.  These are ideas that you can use a series of items in your wardrobe to make lots of different options.  I loved it and I am working on this right now.  I do not want to live in shorts and a tee shirt as I am the luxury minimalist.  I like to look nice and I like nice outfits.

This lifestyle goes hand in hand with my affordable travel.  In the aspect that scaling down allows us to be free and go where we want when we want.  It allows us the freedom to pack up and just move in a matter of hours.  We know longer have things tying us down are a place we are tied too.  We can stay at our current jobs or not.  Our choice.  That alone is a beautiful thing.