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Old 03-09-2015, 09:12 AM   #1
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Fla to Colo to the Balloon Fest recommendations

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ID:	88117Leaving Pensacola Sept, heading through Durango & Ouray and winding up in Albuquerque at the Balloon Fest. If anyone could point out some of the better routes and places to visit/eat we would appreciate it. We'll be in our 36' MH, towing the Jeep toad and bring along our menagerie.

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Old 03-09-2015, 11:51 AM   #2
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If coming from FL thru Ouray and Durango to ALQ, you missed a turn somewhere.lol
How are you getting to Ouray? The Brown Bear in Silverton had a very nice prime rib.

Stop by the Chase Crew Tower and we can hook you up with a Pilot.

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Old 03-09-2015, 03:29 PM   #3
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Love those pups , I had a collie when I was a young boy , just loved that dog .
Are they blue merl
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:24 PM   #4
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Blue merle and the other one is a white collie very rare.
We're doing I-40 to Amarillo then WNW to Durango and up to Ouray. Not sure about the best route to Durango?
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:32 PM   #5
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Mesa Verde National Park and the Durango to Silverton RR are both world class places to visit. Don't miss them.

I wrote a trip report about our time in Colorado last summer:

6 weeks on the road - Visiting Colorado
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mccsix View Post
Blue merle and the other one is a white collie very rare.
We're doing I-40 to Amarillo then WNW to Durango and up to Ouray. Not sure about the best route to Durango?
Not sure if you are going to be in a huge hurry, but it sounds like you'll be coming through Albuquerque on the 40 before heading up to Durango and Ouray, then coming back down to Albuquerque for the balloon fiesta? It's good that you are planning ahead, the balloon fiesta is in October. We lived in Albuquerque, and Northern New Mexico has some beautiful scenery.

So here's my advice. First thing I would do is make your reservation NOW for a campsite in Albuquerque for the balloon fiesta if you haven't already. Not sure if you are planning to park at the venue (dry camping) or if you planned on camping with full hookups at KOA Albuquerque. Either way, I would plan now..because they sell out every year. We stayed at the Albuquerque KOA, for a couple of days and it's about a 5 minute drive to the Park and Ride for the balloon fiesta, which I highly recommend. Driving yourself into the park is not for people who hate crowded parking lots and poor traffic control. If that doesn't bother you, then go for it.

Once that issue is resolved, this is a good route. From Albuquerque head north on I25 to Santa Fe. From Santa Fe you can head north on 84. I recommend Red River, New Mexico. We spent a few days at this beautiful mountain village along the New Mexico Enchanted Circle. If that isn't your cup of tea, then keep heading north on 84 to Chama, New Mexico. There is a beautiful RV park near Chama called Sky River Ranch. A fun day trip is to ride the coal steam locomotive from Chama to Antonito, Colorado via the Cumbres Pass. You will see some amazing scenery and likely some fall colors. Continue on the 84 to Pagosa Springs, you might want to stay a day and soak in one of the many hot springs spas they have. The 160 will take you to Durango. We stayed at the Durango KOA and recommend it. Plenty to do there as well. Another day trip is the Mesa Verde National Park to see the cliff dwellings of the ancient inhabitants of the region. From Durango you take the 550 to Ouray. This is the same road you can take back down to Durango and return to Albuquerque. It's a fantastic loop trip we did last year, and loved it.
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:21 PM   #7
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We spent 10 days at the Balloon Fiesta this past October. We were with a group in the dry camping area just south of the lift-offs. The free shuttle came by our MH every 10-15 minutes for a 10-minute ride to the lift-off field. Balloons landed right next to our motorhome in an open space. We also volunteered to be on a balloon crew - no experience needed - and we got an 1-1/2 hour ride. Awesome experience! It was a fun time. We would HIGHLY recommend that you stay on the Fiesta grounds for the very best experience and ease in getting around.

For Durango, Surferlous's above post is an excellent way to go. Hwy 84 is the painter's Georgia O'Keefe's hangout and it's beautiful country with an excellent road for big rigs. We spent some time at Abiquiqu Corp of Engineers campground for touring the area.

Then to Pagosa Springs - we soaked two full mornings on our last trip. We've been there a few times previous. The immaculate concrete pools have a range of all temperatures. Nice locker rooms. Bring a small cooler with water/food. There are tables by the pools. It is situated overlooking the river right in town. Great!!

For Durango, many recommend Alpen Rose RV although we haven't stayed there. We like Haviland Lake national forest campground a little further north.

From Durango you can take Hwy 550 to Ouray and plan to make a couple night stop in Silverton for a unique mountain setting. If you tow a 4x4 it's a must to do some of the trails. You won't find any better. Or...rent a Jeep or take a tour. We've done Hwy 550 often but a heads up - it is a steep climb to Ouray. Many RVers do it but don't know your mountain driving experience.

An alternate route from Durango to Ouray is taking 160 west to 145 north at Cortez (Mesa Verde Nat'l Park). It will still be a climb but an easier one than 550. This takes you to Telluride and 62 to Ridgeway and then 550 a little south to Ouray. You'll miss staying in Silverton though.

Have a great trip! It's a favorite part of the country for us.

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