Colorado Trip – Saturday Evening

I’m only two days into the trip and I’m descending into old habits – fully experience the journey – don’t interrupt the experience by taking pictures – – πŸ™‚Β  But will share with you the awesome evening in Durango, even though I only have two pictures – – second one will most likely be deemed by most asΒ  inappropriate for little one’s eyes – that’s all the warning you get – –


After 2 days of traveling that resulted in our only meals being crackers, cheese, lunch meat, trail mix, granola bars, etc.,Β  from our well-stocked cooler in the car or a fast sandwich from the drive-through on our way out to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mom and I are way ahead on our budgeted ‘per diem’ for food,Β  and decide, near Silverton, that all we want is a thick, juicy steak and big baked potato dripping in butter and sour cream for supper before we head over to the melodrama.

We arrive and check in at the Iron Horse Inn – which was a great place to stay.

Iron Horse Inn - Durango, Colorado
Iron Horse Inn – Durango, Colorado

Next, we change our itinerary from a highly rated, locally owned Mexican food establishment (yes, I researched restaurants, too, for our trip itinerary)Β  to the Palace Restaurant which had steak on their menu and also, was handily locatedΒ  right next to the Durango Narrow-Gauge Railway Depot, meaning, I wouldn’t need to study the map routes I printed off for our trip later that night, to make sure I understand what route to drive tomorrow morning!

Great food service so fast and efficient at the Palace, we end up with some time to kill before the Durango Melodrama show at the Henry Strater Theatre.Β  We mosey half a block past the theatre, which was located only 1 1/2 blocks away from the restaurant and belly up to the bar at the Diamond Belle Saloon, because the bar was the only place with seating available.Β  Music fromΒ  rag-time piano player that’s featured six nights a week during the summer, rings out through the restaurant and we dig out our cash for his tip jar.

I’m enjoying my Durango Wheat locally brewed beer, listening to the music, observing the plush red velvet curtains with gold trim, the elegant gold ceiling, the old time saloon girl outfits displayed over the massive bar-back, when my gaze rotates around and lo and behold,Β  when they say ‘historic’ saloon, they mean, it – although unobtrusively placed, the requisite painting every true saloon must have is quietly displayed over the top of the entrance doorway – –

Ah, when the natural female form was adored instead of called 'overweight'
Ah, for the days when the mature female form was adored instead of labeled ‘obese’

Because I’m considered a prude by some, I had to snap a pic with my phone and excitedly text to those detractors that yes, I’m in a saloon, drinking a beer, looking at a picture of a ‘nekked womin’Β  – – – only replies I got were-

“Looks like a good time”


“Who Is This?Β  Who has Tamrah’s phone?!?”


The ragtime piano player dutifully played our Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer requests, even though they probably don’t stretch his massive talents at all AND he’s probably already been asked to play them at least a thousand times this tourist season.Β  The graciousness of our entertainer was only matched by the courtesy and efficiency of the bartenders and saloon girls – how is it that so many people think it okay to drop please, thank you and common courtesy when they travel?Β Β  I listened to some of the requests from other patrons and it’s pretty quick to figure out who the locals are and who the visitors are – – do you think the rude ones behave that way at home?

Our bartender was friendly and smiling, but I noticed the smile was not reaching all the way to his eyes – – Because of the prima donna ways of some of the other patrons, I folded a larger than normal percentage sized tip into bow-ties for him and when he came back down to our end of the bar, his eyes lit up and he declared he could get rid of his black tie and wear these instead.Β  He chatted with us to find out what we were doing while in town, and made some suggestions for other great places to see/visit.

We interrupt this broadcast for this Public Service Announcement

Many of those who work to make it possible for you to visit an area and engage in tourism have to work 2 or more jobs in order to afford to live where they work.Β Β  You can bring joy to these dedicated men and women simply by:

  • Not being an ass
  • Using please, thank you and waiting your turn
  • Tipping extra when it’s obvious the jack-arses at the table next to you are perfectly content to be served like kings and tip like paupers.

This message brought to you by one who served the tourist trade for 10 years before realizing she’d best leave before she engaged in action that would result in a lawsuit and/or assault charges.

We regretfully left the Diamond Belle and made our way to the theatre for the Melodrama – which was AWESOME!Β  So many wonderfully talented folks, who, during their intro number, confirmed my beliefs by singing about why they live where they do and how many jobs they have to work to be able to go hiking, biking, exploring the beauty around them once the work day is through – – See?Β  I’m not exaggerating – this same rule applies to those who wait on you in the ski towns, too, so be kind there as well.

Satiated by good food, drink and entertainment, we returned to our room to get a good night’s rest before heading out in the morning to board the Historic Narrative car of the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

25 thoughts on “Colorado Trip – Saturday Evening”

  1. I am now reading forward again your travel sequence.. And agree good manners to those who wait table and serve in Restaurants and Hotels costs nothing, and that extra tip always brings that extra smile! πŸ™‚ Loving how your journey is still unfolding, You write so well, I am in that Saloon, and can almost taste that Beer! πŸ™‚


    1. My work life is nowhere near to being over – and averaged out, we took a 5 day trip, splurged on guided tours to make the most of the time we had, ate when we wanted, what we wanted, stayed in clean and comfortable places and when all said and done, including gas, food, entertainment, mementos, etc., we spent $100/person per day – – Course, we were a tad closer to the area than some! πŸ™‚

      I only say, because it WAS a trip of a lifetime for me – though I hope to make further trips to various areas with the money/time to spend three months or more at each location – but, I, on a poverty level budget for so many years, that has turned me into a tight wad, realized at the end of it, “It was 5 days and means I don’t eat out for the coming year – totally worth it!” LOL


      1. Yes. And I agree I could be taking trips like this now if I wanted to, but it’s interesting. There’s the house, the kids who aren’t quite done being raised and all sorts of other obligations. In five years, I’ll be 55 and be able to retire. My youngest will be 22 and we’ll be able to downsize the house and dramatically reduce the responsibilities. That’s the moment I’m waiting for to really start taking trips like what you did. Wandering through a part of the country and enjoying a slower pace.

        I had a conversation today with my youngest about one of my biggest weaknesses. I’m impatient. I never feel like I really have the time I need to enjoy things because of all of the “stuff I have to get done.” As a result, trips like yours are not so relaxing for me. It’s when I finally have less “stuff” to do, that I hope I’ll finally be able to relax and enjoy road trips. Thanks for sharing this one with us. Will you plan my itineraries for me once I start hitting the road? πŸ™‚


        1. Yup – glad to – know that I charge $20/hour and it took me 23 hours to plan this one – – ROFL!

          I would never be a tour guide, but guess what? My long and aching search to discover the local gems, while sifting through grand and elaborate websites alongside poorly done ones gave me a new mission in life – As soon as I finish my current projects, I’ll be launching this one – and will let you know when it happens – will negate the need to hire me….LOL

          And, I hear every reason why you’re waiting – but from my perspective – of losing a son before he was 18 – of losing my husband after 17 years – after having a stroke at 43 years of age – Don’t Wait! If nothing else, take those quick little local/side forays with someone you love – you never know when it may be too late.
          πŸ™‚ sorry, can’t help myself!


        2. We take vacations regularly, but not the road trip kind. My favorite vacation was when we spent five days slowly driving up the Oregon Coast. I want to do that in every nook and cranny in this country.

          I look forward to seeing what your next project is. My niece had developed an idea for a TV show that fits into this — eight episodes about every State, with a different theme for each episode. History, night life, crime, food, etc. I told her I want to be part of her road crew.


        3. Tell her if she gets done first, can I purchase some of her copy and if I get my project done first, I’ll share with her. πŸ™‚


        4. Of course. She apparently has already received interest from some very big companies. And I probably shouldn’t share anymore. If you’re thinking of a website that might be along the same lines, maybe there could be a tie-in?


        5. There may be a tie in, but, quite frankly, if big companies are interested in sponsoring, she probably won’t be looking at the same things I am – LOL

          I have my niche – for everything I do – and usually it’s an underserved/underfunded segment – – πŸ™‚ Still – a wonderful project idea and I wish her the best – just not sure if they will tie in or not


        6. PS – I never have time either – one lifetime is never enough for everything I want to do – but I’m learning to make time, would you believe I actually went ‘incommunicado’ for 5 days (though I was monitoring for website emergencies) and no one, not a single soul, was inconvenienced AND I actually got another website job while I was on the road – πŸ™‚


        7. Yes – but what I’ve learned about myself (not necessarily that it applies to you! πŸ™‚ is that I go through life taking on all kinds of responsibilities, whether they are really mine or not – – and I’ve also learned the world doesn’t fall apart if I take 5 – minutes, days or years – – πŸ™‚

          My experiences are all important to my personal journey, peace and joy, but the essence of me is not crucial to the world continuing to rotate and the sun to come up – – LOL which means, I’m getting better at ‘stepping off’ – so to speak!

          Forgive if it sounds like I’m preaching or trying to convert, not my intent – but the lessons I’ve learned have been so hard won by going the hard way, I can’t help but speaking up, even when I maybe shouldn’t! πŸ™‚


        8. I’m trying to do the same thing, so it’s not preaching. I went to Cabo earlier this summer. It was my first vacation in more than 12 years where I didn’t take my work Blackberry. And the office didn’t collapse in my absence.

          I take one or two personal vacations each year. Three or four or five days. I don’t so much other than what I want to do. I refer to it as practicing retirement. What it really is though is spending time being me, reclaiming my soul, and not having to be the me everybody else thinks I am.


        9. Good for you! I look at my BS life (before stroke) and always think of the line regarding “men living lives of quiet desperation” – doing my best not to repeat those errors with my second chance! Of course, I had a safety net to carry me through my recovery without becoming homeless – not everyone has that! πŸ™‚


        10. That’s my problem. I am the safety net for my family. If I were to truly go out in life and feed my soul, there would be no one else to pick up the financial slack. I am going to seriously try to come up with some alternative that will cover the bills while giving me a chance to do something more in tune with me. Much sooner than retirement.


        11. Good for you! For me, easy to rebuild a life that does not require so much to maintain because the actions of others had already taken everything away. Harder to downsize/restructure when others are involved but you might want to ask them. It may be they like the look of what you’re envisioning as much as you do and are willing to let go of other things in order to have it. Good luck and wishing you your hearts desire.


        12. Always here for these kinds of conversations. You know – the important ones. Life is too short. I’m all for taking care of your responsibilities but what others want from you and what they need/ is your duty are often two different things. Also sometimes those around us are just as unhappy with the current version of life built but are afraid to say anything. Having conversations is a good thing. Sometimes the answer you hear is a very pleasant surprise and off you all go on a new adventure!


    1. It was! You’ll show me your pubs and churches and heather covered hills there – then I’ll show you the mountains, streams and saloons here – – LOL


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