Monday, May 20, 2013

Geocaching, Cold Stone & a campfire

On Saturday, we putzed around for awhile in the morning, so it was almost noon by the time we were ready to go out and do something.  After considering various options, we finally decided to drive to Durango and do some geocaching along the way.

Our first Colorado geocache took us to the Durango Silver Company,

Durango Silver Company

and what a great stop it was! 

Antler ArchWhile we were waiting for our handheld GPS to find our location, we went inside to check out the shop. 





Jewelry and Artifacts

We were pleasantly surprised to find that it was a family-run store where 90% of the jewelry is made by father and son, and the remainder by a few Native American artists that they have had a long-standing relationship with.


In addition to all the beautiful jewelry, they also have many displays of historical artifacts from the region.


It was a really nice shop, and the boys even found a pair of earrings that were just what I was looking for, and they fit into their budget!

Mother's Day_Birthday Present

Aren’t they beautiful!!??

Finding the geocacheBy the time we finished our shopping, our GPS had found us, and with a little hint from the proprietor, we went outside to search for the geocache.

Nicolas spotted it, and Bryce took it out of its hiding spot and signed the log.  This cache contained a “travel bug”  -- the first time we’ve seen one – and since we had a couple more caches to look for, we decided to take it!  Unfortunately, I didn’t read about travel bugs until later, and we didn’t take note of the serial code on it so that we could log the find . . . oh well, we’ll do better next time!

After a quick stop in Durango for lunch at Subway, we continued along the San Juan Skyway towards Silverton. 

Mountains and Valleys

Just a few miles outside of Durango, we stopped at a roadside marker that was the location of both an Earthcache and a traditional geocache.

Pyramid Hot Spring

Pyramid Hot Spring is a natural hot spring, and the water flowing out of it is about 90 degrees F, and we can testify that it’s warm!

Testing the water

Following the flow of the water,

Stream flowing from the hot spring


Searching for the next geocache

we searched for the traditional geocache also, and again it was Nicolas who found it!  Bryce signed the log, and deposited the travel bug into the cache before re-hiding it.


I read the history of Pyramid Hot Spring, previously known as Pinkerton Hot Spring when it was privately owned and operated as a recreation area, and noted the answers needed to log the earthcache find.

That concluded our geocaching for the day, but we decided to continue driving up the San Juan Skyway until we reached the Durango Mountain Resort, admiring the beautiful mountain views along the way!

Along the San Juan Skyway

The varying shades of green on the mountain were amazing!

Shades of green

As we got higher in elevation, the clouds got lower, and the peaks began to get lost . . .

Snowing on the mountaintop



We reached Durango Mountain Resort, which looked like a wonderful resort, and saw even more mountain peaks covered in snow still.

Ski Resort

At this point, we were only about 25 miles from Silverton, but the weather didn’t look too good up there, and the boys were ready to start back, so we turned around and headed back to Durango.

Historic Durango

We stopped in the historic downtown area of Durango, and walked through a few shops . . . after having a snack!

Enjoying our Coldstone

Durango is a cute town, and we enjoyed our visit . . . and we definitely needed the walk after that ice cream!












Bryce with his bear friend

Nicolas even spotted a car he liked!

Mustang Fastback

It was just a short visit, but I’m sure we’ll be back . . . we’ll probably take the train ride to Silverton at some point while we’re here, and there’s a college in Durango that we might visit.

On the drive back to Mancos, we dodged a few rain clouds, but never saw more than a few drops of rain!

Looking back toward Durango

This area needs the rain, but we were planning on a campfire for dinner, so we were glad to see blue skies over Mancos!

Twin Buttes

As we turned on the road to Echo Basin, there were horses at the fence to greet us!

Horses in the field

Nicolas quickly got a campfire going and we made some brats and hot dogs for dinner.

Enjoying the campfire



It was windy and a little chilly, but a great evening to enjoy a campfire!








  1. Well guys...your definitely not in Florida anymore;o) Beautiful mountains,very western towns and loved the hot springs!!!

  2. Hah- we camped just around the corner from that hot spring (even applied to work there), and looked for that cache but didn't find it. That region is one of my faves.

    1. Supposedly there's an old one and a new one, and I think we found the old one, because the current listing says the cache is a micro and the one we found was definitely not micro! We're getting better at finding them, though! We love this area, too! Echo Basin Ranch is still looking for workampers for this summer!

  3. You must go to Ouray and go jeeping...the boys will love it..and you too :-)

    1. Did you do a Jeep tour, or just rent one on your own? We definitely want to do some jeeping!


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